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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Locks of Love on the Bridges of Paris

I can't be a romantic when my first thought on seeing the "locks of love" on Paris bridges is that the lock industry must have something to do with this phenomenon! Perhaps it started here, I don't know, but this trend has spread far beyond Paris. Am I cynical to see the industry rubbing its hands in glee? Like the phenomena of the London Eye, each city now needs its own giant ferris wheel and people need a place to demonstrate their affection, albeit in the same way, apparently there are now love locks on the Great Wall! However, I'm not sure I'll be joining the throngs as I don't fancy the metaphor of being locked in to love, or the idea that every tourist who gets the urge should clutter the beautiful bridges of Paris.
The pedestrian Pont des Art at the Louvre and Pont de l'Archeveche behind Notre Dame are festooned with engraved locks (for the organized lovers above) or more commonly locks  inscribed with what has often  proved not to be a permanent marker. Unfortunately when they start appearing on the historic ironwork of other bridges  they just look like bad graffitti.