‘The concept of ‘darkness’ was revealing.
It is where light ends. But I also realised that darkness is not the absence of light but the antithesis of light. In other words, they are aspects of each other. Light and dark are not only metaphors but the means by which we perceive and understand.’
– Vittorio Storaro
“He says he wants to investigate my vision.”
“You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve been saying.”
“Oh Ned, you mean…well, what you have to ask yourself is, do you really want your vision investigating?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Or even, does your vision want your vision investigating?”
“I’m not sure I even know what he means by my vision.”
“Presumably he’s referring to all those stories you make up.”
“But he hasn’t read any of those stories and I don’t make them up,” says Wen, reaching for her Gazetteer of Mysterious Britain and brandishing it.
“I know you don’t, dear, I’m just teasing. Vee has read them though and she’s probably told him all about it, or at least enough to get him interested and you were dancing with him in Oxford last May Day.”
“Yeah, that’s true I was dancing with him, him and about thirty other people also. I think he thinks I’m still working in Buckinghamshire.”
“He’s in for a nasty surprise then…”
“If he does agree to come up here do we take him to Devil’s Drop?”
“We could, it would certainly make for an interesting experiment but we would have to give him some sort of warning if we did.”
Devil’s Drop is our new name for Gib-Rock.
Wen has been doing some more research on the story and I have to say, our theories on legend notwithstanding, the bare facts of this one alone are rapidly approaching mythological proportions.
On the way to the gibbet the cart carrying the body got lost and had to pass over the territory now known to us fondly as Chat. Now, at that time there was not actually a thoroughfare over the land, but passage to the dead has to be given when requested.
“Why does passage to the dead have to be given when requested?”
“It’s an Old English Custom.”
“It becomes a law simply because people are accustomed to doing it?”
“Don’t you just love it?”
“It’s utterly bonkers but beautiful!”
“It’s nothing less than a road of the dead.”
“The road that passes through Chat is a Corpse Road.”
“I mean this is quite recent, yeah, within living memory?”
“It was in the Eighteenth century, so almost within living memory.”
“I think that’s part of an older tale that has got mixed up with an actual occurrence. It could only happen in Derbyshire.”
“Is that also why huge standing stones as big as any you’ve ever seen also go missing there?”
I have to say that the last remark was a little below the belt…