Wednesday, 12th July.
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.