This path is a short distance from the Cat and Fiddle. The pub is situated on a main road between Manchester and Buxton, cutting through the Peak District and climbing high. I’ve ate there a few times but I’m not a pub fan. For many people walking and rural pubs go together, as part of the same weekend fun. I find them ludicrously and annoyingly expensive and the food is usually bland. A portion of rice, salad and a bean or nut bake – typical vegetarian fare – should not be ten pounds. At home you would make it for perhaps one pound.

Some years ago, a Chinese friend told me he ate out all the time when he was at home. But you can’t do that here he said, which is true. You will pay ten, fifteen, twenty pounds for it. Most ludicrous is where they give you a piece of art which is not a good meal. There’s a place like that near where I live. I had a tiny ridiculous plate of food, paid a lot for it, then went to a chippy because I was still very hungry. What a stupid society we live in. I’d love to have meals at street vendors and cheap cafes throughout the week saving all the hassle of shopping and cooking.

The problem is the profit motive. Making food into art is comparable to what writer Daniel Boorstin called the pseudo event. Make something more important than it really is, take the piss (a good British expression) and charge for it.

The Cat and Fiddle is however strategically placed for good walking which includes, the other side of it, a path to Shining Tor. The light here was superb. It’s as much a feature of Peak District photography as rock and summits are for Lake District or Snowdonia photography.


Peak District Path

Sunday May 22, 2005