|"The Sycamore Inn" in Parwich|
|House in Parwich by a little stream that feeds the village pond|
And Parwich is indeed magical. Its houses are all constructed from local white-grey limestone. There's a village green, a pond, a church, a village hall, a bowling green and a pub - "The Sycamore Inn". A woman in a floral dress rode past me on an old black bicycle with a wicker basket on the front. It was as if I was suddenly back in the 1950's.
|The bowling green in Parwich|
|Norman doorway - Bradboune Church|
The village that time forgot. No crime or immigrants. No vandalism or vulgarity Respectable white Anglo-Saxon England as it used to be. I almost expected Morris dancers to jangle round the corner or shire horses pulling carts of newly scythed hay from surrounding meadows. And the sun shone down like soothing honey on an early summer's day that seemed timeless and untroubled. Bees hummed in the hedgerows and docile cows with big brown eyes looked up from buttercup pastures as I strode by.
To Sitterlow and Gorsehill Farm then on to Bradbourne Mill and Bradbourne - a "thankful village" - thankful because the eighteen men who left it to fight in World War One all came home. There are only fifty one such villages in our country. Then onwards to Dullands Farm and past the redundant little church in Ballidon. Its last ever service was in April 2003. Then up to Ballidon limestone quarry and along lovely Monsdale Lane back to Parwich. Magical and utterly therapeutic.
|Llama at Gorsehill Farm|
It wasn't the easiest of walks because several of the paths have clearly known very few boots for years and a couple of times I got a little lost but it wasn't the Australian bush. It was deepest Derbyshire and I was never going to be lost for long.
At one point I looked to the hillock above me and saw of all things a strapping great llama. Then more ears appeared over the grassy knoll - a veritable herd of them all looking my way. Keep your distance you guys! I hopped over the nearby stile quite sharpish. After all, it's hard to argue with South American mammals when you don't speak Spanish!
|The disused church in Ballidon|
|Monsdale Lane, Parwich|
|The ford at Bradbourne Mill|