Whenever I’m exploring the history of the boat or the ambiance of a small town, it’s about ghosts rather than tangible reality. Any site is composed of echoes, of ‘resonating emptiness’, of memories, associations, emotional responses, question marks, hyphens or even the odd exclamation mark.
It’s as much about empathy and open-mindedness as detective work, tracing a finger across long-gone events, weaving the mists of time into a form that speaks to now and connects now with then through scenes or the stories of people I never met, the voices I never heard, of lives unknowable.
Take Pic Tor.
It’s little more than a short wooded walk between a line of minor limestone tors and the waters of the Derbyshire R. Derwent.
It’s a scrubby path, dog-sh_tty, and all but ignored. The lamp-posts inevitably carry broken fixtures, the waste bins overflow, the metal fence along it is broken and patched…
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