For some time, my mother lived in Tideswell, a stone-built village in the Peak District, grown up round a large parish church (“the cathedral of the peaks”), where buying a loaf of bread would take all morning as people circulated their news and thoughts. This was when she was principal of a college in Sheffield, owned Mushie the mushroom-coloured Weimaraner trout-poacher, was in a relationship with a former tank commander who lived by selling lingerie and wine; and before, redundant, single-again and bored, she escaped grandmothership to work in Malawi and Macedonia.
This weekend, I returned to Tideswell, chasing memories of the dales where we walked the dog. But I could not match the images in my head to the places I found. This one place I do remember: parking in Millers Dale, traversing the viaduct which once carried quarry stone on rail tracks, dropping down steps to the river Wye.
Whereas before we would follow the course of the river beneath the trees, now I deviated up a path across open fields.