19 May 2022

Edge

Long time visitors to "Yorkshire Pudding" may recall that one of my favourite stomping grounds in the local countryside is Stanage Edge - just over the border in Derbyshire. It is a 3½ mile millstone escarpment running north to south and over the decades I have taken many photographs there.

A few years back, another photographer who used to post to the "Geograph" website referred to me as The King of Stanage Edge and that is a sobriquet that certainly meets with my approval. 

I had another walk up there on Tuesday afternoon and of course came home with yet another set of  digital images in my Sony bridge camera. The top and bottom pictures show abandoned millstones carved long ago. It is thought that the hand carving of millstones along the escarpment had ceased by World War One. The industry was at its height in the middle of the nineteenth century.
The picture above shows a stone "window" close to Robin Hood's Cave

Stanage Edge is very popular with rock climbers. In fact, it is a veritable magnet for them. When my late brother Paul was at Liverpool Polytechnic in the second half of the  nineteen sixties, he travelled  over to Stanage more than once with other members of that institution's  climbing club. It is a pursuit that has never appealed to me because of the very real possibility of falling and ending up in a wheelchair or a cemetery.

Thinking of brothers... my younger brother Simon (aged 66) has finally been told by an oncology consultant that he has no more than six months left to live. A chemotherapy regime could perhaps extend his life for up to a year but Simon has declined that treatment. I guess he is thinking: What's the point? It is highly unlikely that he will reach his sixty seventh birthday. I am his "next of kin" so of course I need to be available for him as his life ebbs away through the coming  months. We hope and expect that he will be given expert support by MacMillan cancer nurses as he travels his final journey.

40 comments:

  1. I am awfully sorry about Simon. If the hospice nurses there are anything like they are here, they will be very important resources as you navigate the final leg of his journey.

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    1. It is difficult with him being sixty miles away.

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  2. I just can't get over the amazing scenery near where you live, Neil! Our 2 millstones displayed near the river here look pretty pitiful compared to your vastness there!
    Sorry to hear the news about Simon; probably expected but still sad. Hope he has comfort and peace no matter how many days are left.

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    1. Nobody wants to die a painful death. Thank you Ellen.

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  3. Safe and easy travels for your brother.

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    1. Even though it does not exist, heaven is calling him.

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  4. That's bad news about Simon, and I'm sorry to hear it. He's probably wise to decline chemotherapy if it will only extend his life by a few months at most--chemotherapy is tough and the quality of his remaining days would be seriously diminished if he opted for it. I hope he can make his peace with the world, and be kept comfortable during whatever time he has left. My thoughts are with him, and with you and your family. Hugs.

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  5. Sad to hear about Simon's diagnosis. Hopefully he'll be treated well.

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  6. It is sad to have what was expected now confirmed. May Simon not suffer too much.

    The views look so good from the escarpment. The millstones were carved but then just left there and never used?

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    1. Yes. Never used Andrew. It was as if the men just dropped their tools - as on Easter Island.

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  7. I'm so sorry. Cancer is a bitch, a heartless bitch. I hope Simon is comfortable and able to do what he wants for as much time as possible. I don't know what's worse, dying suddenly or knowing that you will die. I'm glad that he has you and Shirley to help him out but please take care of yourselves as well. Caregiving is hard on people, remember to be kind to yourself as well.

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    1. He is not an easy person to care for and he is sixty miles away. Thanks for your kind thoughts Nurse Lily.

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  8. I an tell this is one of your favorite places. I'm sorry to hear that your brother has received a diagnosis that's final.

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    1. You are lucky to have made it into your eighties Red. I hope I can follow you there.

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  9. Sorry to hear about your younger brother's prognosis. The co templation of losing siblings is an unsettling one. We hope you get some moments to treasure out of the remaining time you have together.

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    1. He's not the easiest brother to have Tigger. I cannot foresee any "treasuring" happening.

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  10. Millstones! I thought you had found the wheels off Fred Flintstone's car!
    Sad about Simon, but like my Dad, he prefers not to suffer longer than necessary I guess. My dad refused treatment too.

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    1. I think Simon would have gone for the treatment if there was a prospect of extending his life for five or ten years but just a few months did not seem worth it.

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  11. Like Jennifer, I think Simon's decision is wise. More than once, I have seen the effects of chemo on a close friend. He is still alive but his prospects were different from the onset (and he is about 10 years younger than your brother).
    Still, it is sad news and I hope that his remaining time here can be relatively free of pain, stress and hassle.

    Stanage Edge is understandably one of your favourite stomping grounds. And no matter how often you've been there already, no two times were the same, were they!

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    1. You are right - visits are never quite the same.

      I also think that Simon has made the right choice.

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  12. Those photos and millstones are brilliant. They could be sculptures in a rural setting. Sorry to read about your brother's sad news.

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    1. When I first encountered them I had no idea they were there. That would have been in 1979 I believe.

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  13. So sad about Simon, may you all have the strength to cope with the coming months.
    The mill stones, did they roll them down the steep hill I wonder. Often heard a lot about Stanage Edge but will go and find out about its geological history I think.

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    1. There are ancient sites close to Stanage Edge but if there were ancient sites upon the edge itself the evidence has been lost. Close by there is also Higger Tor which had significance to our distant pre-Christian ancestors.

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  14. So very sorry to hear Simon's prognosis, and agree that he's sensible to refuse chemo., with it's possible unpleasant side effects, for the sake of a few extra months. I hope that his remaining time will be as comfortable as possible.
    As always excellent photos YP - or do we call you "Your Majesty" ?

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    1. "Your Majesty" has a nice ring to it. Thank you for your thoughtful reflections upon Simon and his situation.

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  15. When my mom was dying with cancer, I ended up finding a forum hosted by MacMillian Cancer center and it was of great comfort to me. It gave me insight on what was to come and provided me with a place to talk with others in a similar position. It got me through a very dark time in my life. So much so, that I hung around for a couple years afterwards, to provide guidance for those just starting journeys. Eventually enough time passed that I felt I probably was ceasing to be relevant with all the new information out there and so I have lapsed.

    I pray that both you and your brother enter into this next phase of life with the grace and dignity MacMillian was able to provide my family.

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  16. Well, I'm so sorry to hear the news about Simon and even though this is probably exactly about what you expected to hear, it's still a blow. Is there a hospice facility near you where he could stay? Now is the time for comfort.

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    1. There is a hospice in East Yorkshire. It is called Dove House but it would only be for the very end of the endgame. I have been in touch with the local MacMillan nurses who support people reaching the end of their lives because of cancer.

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  17. I'm sorry to hear about Simon. If there's no prospect of a cure I could see why he would refuse chemo. You ARE the king of Stanage Edge!

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    1. I shall have to purchase myself a crown. I wonder if there are any on e-bay.

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  18. I'm so very sorry to hear Simon's prognosis. Chemotherapy is very hard on the body and the mind. To put yourself through cycle after cycle knowing that it's going to make you so ill is a big ask.

    It seems poignant to see the stones and their enduring legacy. We humans are so frail.

    Take care and may you all find the strength you need going forward.xx

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    1. Kind thoughts and wishes. Much appreciated Christina.

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  19. I also want to say that I hope that Simon is able to manage his remaining days with little pain and discomfort. It will not be easy for him and those around him.
    Your photos are very regal, Your Majesty.

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    1. I spoke with his assigned MacMillan nurse today. She gave me the impression that she will be a great support even though her current workload is too big.

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  20. Oh to walk on Stanage now that spring is here.

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    1. When the wind is blowing and the sky is grey as I walk upon The Edge, I feel like Heathcliff.

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