Thursday, 20 February 2014

February half term cruise day 3; and a tease

20th February 2014

Set off in the rain after breakfast and got to Campbell Park at coffee time. All the visitor moorings on the offside were taken, and some of the boats there looked as though they haven't moved for some time. Perhaps they are genuine CRT winter moorings. So we carried on to the winding hole round the corner, and tied up on the towpath opposite. As Jan was preparing lunch I happened to look out of the rear doors - and saw something which made me dash back inside for my camera. Now this story will work much better with photos, so I'm going to have to leave you on tenterhooks!

After lunch we walked up to the Light Pyramid sculpture, and continued to Central Milton Keynes shopping centre.

When we lived on the outskirts of MK in the 1980s it was always referred to as "CMK", as in "Central Milton Keynes". Now it seems to have rebranded itself "The Centre: MK". Still CMK, I suppose. (In our day all the parking for the shops was free - not the case now.) In another twist the main railway station is now called Milton Keynes Central.

On the way to CMK we walked through a sculpture, I suppose you'd call it, consisting of stone columns of various heights. Some of these had inscriptions on, each celebrating a specific "day". There were the obvious commemorations of Saints George, David, Andrew, Patrick and Valentine. But more interesting were the paeans to First Teabag Day, Aston Martin Day, Wolverton Railway Day, Amazing Grace Day etc. Again, photos would help, but, again, you'll have to wait. Sorry. First Teabag Day, did I say? Yes, according to the inscription the world's Britain's first teabag was made in Bletchley in 1953.

Back at the boat we had a very welcome cup of tea (yes, made with one of those new-fangled bag things, I'm afraid) and relaxed by the stove.

At 5 pm I decided I was feeling well enough to do a bit more cruising, so we set off for Giffard Park, arriving while it was still just about light enough to see. Incidentally, a boat came towards us as we were almost at a bridge hole in the twilight. He had his tunnel light on, which was pointing straight ahead and dazzling. As we passed he gesticulated at the front of our boat, and then castigated me for not having my "headlight" on, saying that he nearly didn't see me! Well, it was plenty light enough to see. As always seems to happen in these situations, I couldn't think of an appropriate response in the one second before he was gone. Perhaps I should have got in first with "Your tunnel light dazzled me". Yes, that would have been good.

Outside the Giffard Park pub there was a mooring with rings between two boats. Perfect. Only as I pulled in a woman from the boat in front said that she needed to move her boat back into "my" space when she had finished taking on water - something about being worked on by the boat behind, and would I mind not mooring there? There didn't seem to be any other moorings for a long way, but I managed to squeeze in just after the water point.

We had tea on board; now I don't know if I'm feeling up to a visit to the pub. Perhaps later.

Updated to correct info about Teabag Day. Also: I had a half of a totally unimpressive Bombardier in the Giffard Park. Sparkled to death.

No comments: