Monday, 4 June 2007

Cross country travel

A drive across several counties tomorrow as I travel over to Milton Keynes to visit my mother a few days after her 94th birthday. Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. People say that you either love M.K. or loathe it. I'm one of those who love it, concrete cows and all. I like the grid pattern of main roads that allow you to get around or across the city quickly. I like the way that all footpaths and cycle paths are separated from the roads so that there are no pedestrians running under your wheels or cyclists blithely riding two abreast in front of you. (Whatever happened to the Highway Code instruction that they should ride in single file? Try telling that to the lycra-clad sweating red-faced cyclists that speed around our narrow lanes training for the next event down the main A-road). I like the way each suburb is clustered around a village centre with small shops and sometimes a pub. I like the main shopping Mall with its long parallel corridors of bargain and temptation. And then there's the new IKEA store right near where my mother is in Bletchley. Always good for an hour or so of browsing, wondering how you've ever managed without a rubber spatula or green plastic mincing machine. I'm still looking for two matching single bed-heads, and know exactly what I want, but can't recall where I saw them. I also just laugh at the prices! There's no way I'm spending £150 or so just to replace the mis-matched ones I have in the spare room at present.

So, it will be "tea" with Mother, after she comes back from one of her outings to the Red Cross Day centre. No doubt the TV will be on as she won't want to miss her daily shows, even if I'm there. God save me from becoming that dependant on the illuminated box when I age that I prefer it to real people. Even now I toy with the idea of getting rid of the TV altogether. I could manage with a DVD player and screen without a tuner, and then I could sit back and watch film after film. With radio for the news and weather and selected plays and programmes, I think I could adjust quite quickly. One of these days ....


  1. May God bless your dear mother. Milton Keynes? Never been there, but will visit with an open mind. As for television, I can honestly say that we have three sets in the house, and apart from Kate watching her pre-teen stuff from time to time, as a family we never watch television. Like you, we select our movies from time to time. but network TV (and even Public Broadcast TV) - no!

    Yet we have a large and growing film library...!

  2. 1. I found the blog - good.
    2. TV is a monster that's often hardly worth the effort of switching on. Recent caravan holiday was as usual TV-less - daughter had portable DVD player to soothe withdrawal symptoms, I could access news weather and sport via mobile phone if wanted. We all read a lot.
    Foreign TV however is most interesting - French bizarre and occasionally hilarious, German and Austrian sombre, odd and informative , Italian and Greek - well the "scorchio" sketch on the Fast Show was uncannily accurate. Best TV I have seen is Irish.
    Never been to M-K. I've lived in NW, W, SE and E England, Scotland, Wales and USA and beneath the surface most places are fine. Except, of course, Merthyr Tydfil, which houses the rudest people I have ever met.

  3. Is there such a thing as a "Welsh fatwah"? If so, I wouldn't cross into the Land of the Red Dragon for a while.
    Mind you, my only experience of Wales was when I was looking at a cottage in Snowdonia. Walking into the village shop to ask directions it was like a scene from a Western movie - conversation stopped, and all eyed the foreigner with suspicion. When I asked my question in English they all started talking in Welsh. Not very welcoming ....

  4. No - THAT particular piece of stylish headgear was still some 10 years distant.