I got back last night from Bedford where I spent a lovely chilled weekend on Lins floaty boaty. Very relaxed we did not do a lot other than a few nice gentle walks with her dog. But extra special was that on Sunday we were joined by Confused. How wonderful was that. Nice riverside walk, lots of tea and chat + cake! A nice pub lunch and a great day all round. Extra bonus points for the roads being clear and quiet for my trip home which I did in a personal best time without breaking a single speed limit.
it was lovely. haven't seen lin or daisy for ages. and it was all very impromptu on my part. wanna come? okay.
lovely to see lins new floaty boaty. very nice. compact and bijou and all a person really needs. plus friendly neighbours, a very chatty parrot next door, dogs a plenty. watching the cormorants in the big tree from the prow (is that the technical word?) of the boat, watched over by the giant duck. swans visiting, swans fighting Canadian geese. butterflies. lins lovely dog, and tasty ice cream.
great mini meetup
although I do need to insert a rant about Milton Keynes, a town between me and lin. as me and lin discussed, you never ever leave it the way you came in. not cos of one way systems but because mk is like a Chinese puzzle with coded instructions.
wtf mk, i'm following the signs, but upon my return now i'm on a duel carriageway. I never came this way! oh great, now it three lanes. I specifically plotted this route to lins to avoid roads like this, because did I mention I HATE driving? so ok, its still the right way but how, HOW did I end up here? at this point I become my own satnav. GET IN THE RIGHTHAND LANE. NOW. RIGHTHAND. STAY ON TARGET, STAY ON TARGET, ROUNDABOUT AHEAD, RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT.
ok cool heading towards mk west now. kay, good.
except, what the shit mk, this isn't H8? wheretf am I? jeez the roads are on a grid system with numbers. not like the a423 or m42 numbers, but as in horizontal 1, 2, 3 and vertical 1, 2 ,3.
(although these roads also have street names, and they are mostly named for pagan importance. avebury boulevard, midsummer avenue. mk is actually designed around leylines and magic trees n shit. no, really! its designers were into this. that and wide roads, lots of trees and green patches, is the only thing that redeems this town)
should be easier right? lol. so somehow I'm in mk north and I wanna be south. otherwise i'll end up still in the right direction but on the wrong road.
some half a dozen roundabouts south later, i'm bak on the right road.
sometimes I hate mk. oh and driving, did I mention that?
I'm with you on the weirdness of driving in MK, although I am glad to say I have only ever been a passenger when travelling through that mystical realm.
It's so fucking weird! All those road names, the odd numbering system, the fact that all the roads seem to look the same so you can't even use landmarks to help (bit like Redditch - another man-made town)
These places make me feel like I'm trapped in a nightmarish scenario of me driving and driving and driving but never, ever getting out of MK.
Today is o.k `ish but last weekend I drove to Bedford to Lins for another floaty boaty weekend. The gods of the motorways were kind to me. 3 hours there. (it has taken me 5 before now) And an unbelievable 2hrs twenty mins coming home Sunday evening. And no I did not break the speed limit! We went with some of Lins chums to look for and pick Sloes. Not plentiful at least on the reachable branches but mission accomplished and Lins friend very happy. Saturday p.m we strolled around Bedford and visited an exhibition on green issues and then a very odd museum. That of the Panacea society. Best that you Google them rather than me trying to explain... Sunday was the whole reason for going though. Apple day at Bromham water mill. Lots of great stuff and CIDER! I have come home with a heritage apple tree to plant in my garden. Thank you Lin for that gift. But what was the icing on the gateau for us was the bird ringing. A chum of ours is a volunteer with the British trust for Ornithology. This needs lots of training and the need to gain a licence. He and the team were there catching birds in "mist" nets they are then sexed aged ringed if not already all details recorded for research purposes and then released unharmed back into their own environment. Really interesting stuff and a chance to see very small bird up close and personal. It was awesome. great weekend all round and I slept so well being rocked gently to sleep on the boat. Thank you Lin. X
I have just had another weekend with Lin aboard her boat in Bedford. On Saturday evening we went to see Ray Mears give a lecture talk at the Corn exchange. It was brilliant! He spent the entire first half talking about fire. The importance of fire for our survival and how to make fire. That was the good bit as he demonstrated five differing was to get a good blaze going on stage! The second half was about his trips to Australia and filming the wildlife and living with the Aborigonal people. It was all fascinating stuff. But the very best bit for us was afterwards where he patiently sat signing books and answering questions for people. The books ran out before I could grab one but he signed my ticket and a flyer for me and I asked him some questions about birchbark canoes. He positively lit up at that point. I am sure if the theatre had not needed to lock up for the night he would happily have sat hours telling me all about them. A genuinely lovely bloke. I am a bigger fan than ever now.