Derbyshire and the Peak District are not on our doorstep but they are close to the home of a dear friend who has only very recently retired. The sun hasn't stopped shining since she did and she is revelling in the pleasure of being outside when everyone else is inside working. The first of her retirement challenges is to walk the boundary of the Peak District National Park, raising money through sponsorship for a local charity supporting refugees.
I stayed overnight so that I could accompany her on what is a relatively short section of the walk just south of Chatsworth House which looked magnificent in the sunshine with its fountains a tempting sight in the heat. We ambled between two quintessential English villages, Beeley and Winster, passing through a third, Rowsley. We strolled in woods, across meadows abundant with wild flowers and over moorland. We stopped briefly by the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, with stones that are approximately two feet in height; it definitely is not Stonehenge although it still holds a mystical quality.
Unfortunately, although I had a camera with me, our conversation was so engrossing that, save for the first flower meadow, I forgot to take photographs.
What did we talk about? Retirement, of course! My friend may be newly initiated and still in the early honeymoon period but I sensed a true convert, starting on the path to fitness and already enjoying the healing powers of outdoor life.