O Wer’t Thou in the Cauld Blast

For July, we have had some pretty cold weather. Yesterday we stayed in mostly apart from a brief walk where we bought microfibre cloths, recommended for cleaning the solar panels. Shane is still hoping to boost their productivity, though the weather was not the best to test the difference. We took in a look at the community orchard nearby. Shorts swapped for trousers and cardigan and fleece on. We got back just before the rain started.

Staying in is less eventful, no toads or dinosaurs yesterday. I had a look in the French Foodies afloat book but somehow the summery tomato tarts and champagne risotto didn’t seem appropriate. In stead I decided on a warming veggie haggis style concoction and mashed potatoes for the winter weather. I did, find in our giant tattie sack, a strange alien creature.

 

I didn’t include that in the meal. Shane used the time in to move power points with a usb socket around so they weren’t level with our shoulders. It may save them from being accidentally leant on but remains to be seen if they are not so useful for charging while typing. It was such a quick job he is prepared to swap back. I had hoped to finish writing the pattern for the Roman Numerals which I have neglected and then hit a snag with layout. Progress was made but halted when the laptop was required for a video chat between Shane and his brother. Back to reading and knitting for me.

Today was by contrast a sunny morning. Milton Keynes is known for providing separate paths away from traffic for cycling and walking and plenty of parks so we decided to explore by bike. We began by going along the tow path and helped a little when we reached the lock. We were soon at one of a series of big parks and  going alongside the River Ouzel.

Milton Keynes is a planned city but also incorporates some old villages so isn’t devoid of historical landmarks. While Shane pumped tyres up I got a look at the village of Simpson. We didn’t go into the church as there was a service on. There was a fair amount of yarn bombing and an odd sighting. 

Not a cat on a hot tin roof but a straw fox on a thatch roof

It was lovely cycling weather and enjoyable green space. We stopped to look at the sight of a medieval fish farm. The fishponds used river fish but trout was rejected as unsuitable for eating!  We reached a water park for lunch and both enjoyed our choices of pizza and salmon salad. I rather liked the orange fish, those Medieval guys didn’t know what they were missing!

The sun has gone on but we still enjoyed eating outside and continued through various different parkscapes with sports facilities,  and sculptures scattered throughout. We headed into the centre and found the train station and have found that we will be away just as a big event in Milton Keynes starts. We won’t suffer FOMO as we are not footie fanatics. We are hardly sporty at all, though Shane is watching the Tour de France now. Still I am pleased to see women now “allowed” to play football by the FA. 

One of many placards with the history of women’s football

I was surprised this far south to see the statue at the town centre was named after and inspired by a Robert Burns song. My haggis dinner choice seemed even more appropriate. We will be having the leftovers tonight.

‘O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast’ carved in Scottish granite
A portion of the inspirational song

We headed home through a mixture of old and new route and just as we returned to the lock a “cauld blast” of heavy rain started. We sheltered under a bridge having lifted the tandem through the awkward ironmongery. I am afraid we were not as charitable as to help the boaters in the lock when we had the advantage of the shelter, but they seemed cheerful enough as they passed us and some passing walkers helped a little as the rain eased.

Locked out in the rain!
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