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,


de·rive  (d-rv)

v. de·rivedde·riv·ingde·rives


1. To obtain or receive from a source.

2. To arrive at by reasoning; deduce or infer: derive a conclusion from facts.

3. To trace the origin or development of (a word).

4. _Linguistics_ To generate (one structure) from another or from a set of others.

5. _Chemistry_ To produce or obtain (a compound) from another substance by chemical reaction.


To issue from a source; originate. See Synonyms at stem1.

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

de·riva·ble_ adj._

de·river_ n._

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