an idiot in london


Wednesday, 12th July.
Peak late

The plan had been for me to go to the Scottish highlands this week, but the weather has been fairly atrocious. So I decided to go somewhere a little closer to home and a little less dreadful than the Pile of Shite.

The Peak District is a national park near Manchester. I was heading for Buxton, a town on the edge of the Peak District. The highlight of my journey came early on, when I was still on the tube, and I heard a Japanese tourist referring to "Picadirry Circus".

As the small train trundled towards Buxton, I observed long, straight stone walls dividing the countryside. In the distance there were quarries - scenes of many an episode of Doctor Who or Blakes 7 I'm sure. Schoolgirls gossiped and hitched their skirts higher (some things never change) and one by one they left the train as it pulled in to their station. First the tall skinny one, then the short fat one, then the tartiest one (notice that I said tartiest, not tarty) then finally the one who thought that she was the best looking.

Buxton was winding down for the evening when I arrived, but I still managed to buy some provisions and find out where the nearest camping site was located. I found it, set up the tent (I am fast) then went back into town to investigate.

There was some sort of fair going on - probably to mark the beginning of the Buxton Festival. At the top of the hill there was a sideshow alley of sorts. Dodgy rides, greasy food, loud music, and kids everywhere having the time of their life. I got myself some fish and chips (although that's not what I asked for) and sat down to watch the world go by.

One greasy meal later I headed down the other side of the hill, towards the town centre to see what I could find. I found an opera house! (I am not making this up.) The opera house sits next to a very English park, long and green and manicured. I strolled through the park, avoided getting run over by young teenage boys riding their mountain bikes, and walked through the winding streets back up the hill towards the fairground attractions. An elderly woman didn't seem too impressed with all this "fun" that was going on. Give those young 'uns a mortgage, a job they hate and a few broken hearts and let's see how happy they are then!

The perpetual doof doof doof of the PA from each of the rides competed with each other for attention. The kids on the "Shocker" were having a great time! And why wouldn't they...the contraption was decorated with pictures of the Terminator, Alice Cooper and Elvira! (Does anyone else remember Elvira? Answers on a postcard.)

I returned to the tent, and planned my walking for tomorrow.