Okay, so I might only have lived there for the first three months of my life, but there has to be something in the water (and I’m not just talking the reasons why they bottle it and sell it all over). As soon as I stepped back into the hills and and valleys of Derbyshire I felt like I’d come home.


I’d come up to Matlock for the christening of Aelfthryth Mary Cant – the (almost one year old) daughter of my schoolfriend (and classmate in all three A-Levels), Rachel Cant née Stewart. She’s a cute kid and very well behaved — including throughout the service. Rachel’s Mum is ordained back in Norfolk where she now lives, and she performed part of the actual christening, and then we decamped to a function room in the town for a a vegetarian buffet, wine and cake to celebrate.

Amongst the guests of family and friends (most of whom were of or ex-Lowestoft connexions) was Mr Zipfell, the music teacher at Kirkley High. I didn’t recognise him until he was pointed out, but he recognised me, and we shared a few old memories. I met Rachel’s brothers William and Billy, who I don’t think I ever met before. In fact with the exception of Rachel I think my Mum knows the family better than I do – from parents evenings and teaching the boys.

It was good to see old friends and meet new ones…