Friday, October 14, 2005

Not only did I listen in to the 'doings' of Margaret, the radio 4 Woman's Hour blogger but I got a trip out as well. Although my motivation to blog came from the mini-drama I am pleased to say that will be as far as the inspiration goes. Poor Margaret, (or maybe she isn't)has not only found a voice but she has faced up to the reality of her relationship and life with hubby in double doses and he maybe about to. I await with interest for tomorrow's episode.

Apropos our activites today Where we live you need to create a reason for visiting the county town twenty miles away, (unless you live there). We had a reason, so we went. In its fishing heyday it must have been a bustling place. There was a very attractive little centre with a genuinely hundreds of years old cobbled street. Some years ago it was legally 'vandalised' by the planners to make a pedestrian precinct, except there is still a through road for delivery vehicles, disability and business access, all of which tends to have a stretched definition. The town has a set of traffic light surplus to requirements as well.

It is generally held that there is an inter-town rivalry; what our town to the west has, the county town has to have too. We have a shopping precinct of individual character, not a Next or Accessorize in sight. It was built around some original features and planned to have out of sight commercial delivery arrangements. This appears to have been the rather weak rationale for the uprooting of a lovely old street in the county town, that any other town or city would preserve and make a feature of. Our town installed some sets of traffic lights, the county town followed suit in haphazard fashion which probably accounts for the spare set that exists. They do have two mini roundabouts, our town does not possess even one. There does not seem to be any concern about that and no-one seems interested in creating one here.

It has to be said that the county town has four desirable factors. The first one is a jewellery shop that sells quality items, they have interesting designs and their gift wrap service is superior. There are two restuarants of note; one that boasts a French owner who does his own cooking and provides within a limited time span each day, the only decent coffee in town, in my opinion. The other eatery is a Nepalese one with home style cooking. Because they found that over fifty percent of their customers come from our town, the owners are opening up a sister Nepalese Restaurant here. The fourth desirable factor and the most interesting is the Heritage Centre, run entirely by volunteers, which has won major accolades but which the local authority did not support with signeage because it was not a paid up member of the local tourist office!

The small County Town has taken an economic hammering in recent times and it has made various worthies sit up and think about their ruined treasures, some of which they are thinking of re-creating. The materials that came from demolition (which they were advised against) have long gone, some into the harbour and its walls. I am not sure that they really know how to develop this renaissance as they have cast off and lost so many people who would know. I genuinely wish them well.

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