Thursday, 9 December 2010


Malcolm was promised a day out for his birthday (poor old thing!) but the weather has been too bad to venture very far since the big day itself.  Today however, we took the bull by the horns and decided to take a trip out to Matlock.  It's been a long time since either of us has actually walked around the town, so after chipping the car out of it's block of ice, off we went.
It is often said that town centres are dying and that the 'out-of-town' shopping centres are the cause.  I have an alternative theory.  Town planners and especially those who are in charge of the traffic flow through towns, are far more to blame.  These days, it is so difficult to actually get into most towns to do some shopping, that it is far easier to chose an out-of-town area.
Matlock is a prime example of this.  The town centre has been 'improved' so it is now only possible to get to it from the north - not so good for those of us who arrive from the south!  These so called improvements have completely bunged up the town centre with traffic lights, roundabouts and one-way systems, so that now, almost nothing can move - even when there is not much traffic because of the weather.  What it must be like in the summer, I tremble to think.
However, we did eventually manage to find a car-park in which we were able to park (none of them had been cleared of snow and it was impossible even to get in most of them), and we set out for a walk around the town.  What a disappointment it is.  Like most small towns, there's nothing left to attract the shoppers.  We couldn't even find a post-box in which to post a letter!  Even the local ducks looked unimpressed..
The views out of town were good - if you could see past all the clogged-up traffic.  Up the hill towards Riber Castle the snow highlighted the scene.
From one of the bridges across the Derwent, it looked just as chilly.
The river was flowing fast as it passed under the bridge but there was till ice on the rocks below.  Not a day for a paddle!
So, hot Coffee and a Brie and Cranberry Panini at Costa before getting back to the car and coming home again.  But as Malcolm said, at least it was nice to get out and about.
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