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..