My, that was windy…

My goodness that was windy. No not the weather, but you know what they say. When in Rome do as the Romans do. Well here in MK they have an iFly venue. An indoor sky diving experience.

On Wednesday our friend Jo (NB Blue Pearl) joined us for a cruise, but with 40mph winds forecast we weren’t prepared to pull the pins for anyone. So as we sat chatting, she asked if we knew MK had an Ifly.  Before I had time to blink I’d agreed to have a go. Eric equally quickly offered to be our photographer.

Well what can I say but oh boy that was fun. I’m told I did really well. But as each flight only lasts a minute I wasn’t really aware how I was doing. We got two flights and we opted to do a high spin which was scary but exhilarating. I don’ think I’ve properly come back down to earth yet.

Jo is now busy planning our next adrenaline rush. Apparently there’s a high speed mile long zip wire in Wales. Thank goodness it’s not near any canal.

PS Eric admitted that he thinks he should have joined in as well.


The Gyosei Art Trail

Last year Gt Linford commissioned a sculpture trail celebrating the Japanese boarding school that used to be here, before the site was redeveloped for housing. The Gyosei Art Trail   We stumbled upon this while cruising yesterday so of course I had to look up what why and where before I could go off searching for all 8 of the installations.

The first is a beautiful glass mosaic picture of a barn owl in Autumn,

So much detail and sparkle, I’d give this picture a place in my home if the people of MK ever got bored with it.

Next we saw a shire horse plodding along the bank.

And an elegant bench to sit and watch the world go by.

I’d love to know what the Japanese writing says. I didn’t think it would be comfortable but it was.

The next bench didn’t appeal to me quite so much, I hope he isnt one of the locals.

but then I was worried about being attacked by the giant dragonfly hovering above.

Its made out of an old shopping trolley.

I took shelter under the bridge and found a gallery of 7 murals, each with a classical reference. They reminded me of the monthly calendars my mum used to get every year.

The final two installations were harder to spot, perhaps this one was was intended to catch the giant dragonfly.

Although being 2-3 m wide, I was very very glad not to have seen its local resident.

And number 8 was an intricately sculptured map depicting the positions of the art alongside the canal. It was built around the foundation stone of the school the trail was commemorating. And was actually set within the gardens of the new housing estate built on the land.



Massive Milton Keynes

I keep saying we’re in Milton Keynes, but I think the locals might take exception to that. We are currently skirting the outlying villages that Milton Keynes is gobbling up. On the map it looks like one massive built up area but actually the places that we are passing through like Wolverton and Great Linford, are significant places in their own rights. And I am sure that all the other names on the map will also have their own identity.

Continue reading Massive Milton Keynes

Friendly moorhen

We’re used to the ducks and swans loitering outside the galley hatch in the hope of being fed. But the moorhens are notoriously skittish and usually stay on the opposite side of the canal. So it was a nice surprise when this one was quite onviously waiting for his breakfast. (For some reason I have assumed he’s a he….)

And he was considerably larger than his companions. But give him his due, we couldn’t resist and shared our porridge with him.

Helping hands

We had a lovely day this weekend. We were in the top lock at Stoke Bruerne, chatting to the friendly gongoozlers, Lily and Brian. Never one to miss an opportunity, knowing we had 5 more locks over the next mile I asked if they’d like a little trip on Firecrest. They were thrilled and thought we were offering them a treat, of course we all know the bigger your crew the easier the locks are. Win win all round. And if you’re reading this , Lily and Brian thanks for your help it was a pleasure having you on board, we really enjoyed your company.

After a short pit stop we made quick progress down to Milton Keynes where we located an excellent micropub and a huge free fireworks display.

Back in Braunston

We’re back in Braunston for a day or so before the planned winter maintenance closes our navigation. All 6 of the locks are repaired this November. The hubub and variety of boats is a nice contrast to our previous isolated location but with so many boats on the move, we were lucky to find a mooring.

But the weather is bland and grey. The cloud cover providing a welcome duvet to keep us warm. Even the sheep are well wrapped up.

We consider the most essential thing to do in Braunston is to stock up on Braunston bangers, the home made sausages from the excellent local butchers.