Monday, March 14, 2005

Dabchicks Galore

We had a wonderful walk today along the canal at Cromford. I always enjoy this walk and seem to discover something new each time. Today we ventured under the road bridge near the disused station and discovered the old catch pit used to slow down or catch trains going too fast or derailed trains from the quarry top. Beyond this is the 2½ mile walk up to Middleton Top and we decided this was to be the next walk of discovery. Possibly coming in from Middleton top down to the canal and back again. I just love these areas of old industry where canals, rivers, railways and roads meet, converge and cross over each other, now tranquil places where once there was noise, smoke, sweat and energy. There is another walk we do at Consall Forge that has the same impact but here the trains run on the line between Cheddleton and Froghall on the Churnett Valley Railway and if you are very lucky you sometimes see the steam trains. The added bonus at Consall is the Black Lion Pub, very favorably sited halfway round the walk. Anyway, I digress, back to Cromford. Of course the draw at Cromford is the Mill cafĂ© with its home made cakes and scones or bowls of homemade soup always welcome after a long walk. Up in the village itself is the Scarthin book shop, well worth a visit with lots of lovely nooks and hidey holes where you can sit and look at all the wonderful books. The highlight of today was the Dab Chicks or little Grebes on the canal. They were having a super time, loads of them all together, very noisy but sweet individuals dipping and diving and generally giving loads of entertainment to the passers by. I guess it must be the mating season.

Today’s Gripe – people who don’t remember the highway - code. I always thought if there was a car parked on your side of the road then you had to stop to allow traffic coming towards you to pass before pulling out and passing the vehicle. Three times today cars have pulled out and kept coming straight on towards us even though they should have stopped. On one occasion a driver pulled out round a woman on a horse and a child on a cycle and almost hit us. If we hadn’t have been slowing down because of the horse they would have. Have they forgotten what they learned or did they never learn or are they just so arrogant they think everyone will stop for them. Grr.

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