Today, I went for a wander with my camera. The (fixed) destination is Newby Hall and the surrounding farmland.

When bored in town, I try to frame my walks as little adventures into the unknown and try and get thoroughly lost in the back streets and ginnels. This is a bit hard to do when you are in acres of open field – there are no reference points. When in town this activity falls under the bracket Psychogeography – the interface between psychology and geography. This piqued my interest as I was looking for a way to explore the urban environment having spent most of my life living on a farm (when I first moved to a town it was quite a shock). I am very familiar with rural environments (I can navigate long distances by the stars) but throw me in a semi rural back water and I may as well be in the favelas of Sao Paulo – completely lost.

If you are a psychogeographer (a practicioner of psychogeography) the technical term for these walks are derives. The intention is to walk with no where in particular as your destination yet arrive home safe – you are the literary flaneur of nineteenth century Paris – whacked out on intoxicants following ladies of the night in order to frame them in literary immortality.

However …. this was rural North Yorkshire on an overcast Tuesday afternoon and in the company of Kat. Flaneurs record their derives  – hence the name for these walks,



v. de·rived, de·riv·ing, de·rives


a. To obtain or receive from a source: a dance that is derived from the samba; confidence that is derived from years of experience.
b. Chemistry To produce or obtain (a compound) from another substance by chemical reaction.
2. Linguistics

a. To trace the origin or development of (a word).
b. To generate (a linguistic structure) from another structure or set of structures.
3. To arrive at by reasoning; deduce or infer: derive a conclusion from facts.

To be derived from a source; originate. See Synonyms at stem1.

[Middle English deriven, to be derived from, from Old French deriver, from Latin dērīvāre, to derive, draw off : dē-, de- + rīvus, stream; see rei- in Indo-European roots.]

de·riv′a·ble adj.
de·riv′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




1. (usually foll by from) to draw or be drawn (from) in source or origin; trace or be traced
2. (tr) to deduce; infer
3. (tr) to trace the source or development of
4. (Chemistry) (usually foll by from) to produce or be produced (from) by a chemical reaction
5. (Mathematics) maths to obtain (a function) by applying a sequence of steps
[C14: from Old French deriver to spring from, from Latin dērīvāre to draw off, from de- + rīvus a stream]
deˈrivable adj
deˈriver n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. -rived, -riv•ing. v.t.

1. to receive or obtain from a source or origin (usu. fol. by from); gain; glean.
2. to trace from a source or origin.
3. to reach or obtain by reasoning; deduce; infer.
4. to produce or obtain (a chemical substance) from another.


5. to come from a source or origin; originate (often fol. by from).
[1350–1400; < Old French deriver < Latin dērīvāre to lead off =dē- de– + –rīvāre, derivative of rīvus a stream, channel]
de•riv′a•ble, adj.
de•riv′er, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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