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  • clivenmel

Jan 18th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Well we have finally left the confines of Milton Keynes!    We left our mooring on Friday morning and headed for Fenny Stratford.  We managed to moor up just beyond the bridge and then we went shopping.  There is not much in the way of shops in Fenny Stratford � there are loads of takeaways, restaurants and pubs but no general stores, however there is a BP garage on the main street with an M&S Simply Food so that�s where we headed for � we needed bread mainly, but managed to stock up on a few other bits and pieces too.  Then back to the boat and off again.  I was about to go and have a shower when Clive called out to me that he had forgotten about the lock - so had I!  I quickly got back into my boots and outdoor clothes and was just in time to jump off as we approached the lock.  This is a very unusual lock as it has a swing bridge right in the middle of the lock � I mentioned it in a previous blog, when Vicki was with us, but this time managed  to get some photographs.    Once we were through the lock I managed to have my shower � which was very welcome considering we had been rationing water for the past few days!   For the first time in ages we saw other boats moving up and down the canal.  Of course nobody was moving much before due to the stoppages, but there were boats coming and going in both directions again and we followed one for a little while.  However, we didn�t travel much further, we moored up outside The Plough at Simpson.  I put a couple of big spuds in the oven and then we went to the pub for a drink (or two!).  Just over an hour later we were back on board enjoying our dinner.   We set off again after a leisurely morning at around 12.30.  The sun had been shining all morning and was lovely, but still a bit chilly.  We had promised ourselves that we would go back to The Peartree Bridge Inn again and indulge ourselves in their brilliant carvery, so that�s exactly what we did � yummy!  Then back on board and we cruised for a little while longer then moored up again to prepare ourselves for the weather that we knew was coming.  We got well and truly battened down, which was just as well because it got extremely windy during the evening and the boat was being buffeted against the bank.  Clive actually went out and doubled the ropes just to be on the safe-side!  However the wind had subsided quite a lot before we went to bed.   This morning dawned bright and sunny again, in fact the sun was streaming in through the windows and had warmed the boat up considerably � it was so warm that we actually opened some of the windows to give the boat an airing!   We set off late morning and cruised for about half an hour until we came to Giffard Park � we need to do a bit of shopping as we had run low on a very vital non-food item � toilet rolls!!  The shop was very close to the canal so it only took us a couple of minutes to get there.  We got the necessaries and a few other bits besides then back to the boat for a cuppa soup and a sandwich before setting off again.  We cruised on up to the Black Horse Pub as we knew there was a water point there and for once we did not succumb, we just filled up with water and set off again!  Then all of a sudden Milton Keynes was behind us and we were out in open country again � lovely.  Whilst we were enjoying the lovely scenery a kestrel flew right alongside us and landed in a tree - beautiful.     Although I have to say we both found our sojourn in Milton Keynes quite a pleasant experience, there are many other large towns and cities that we have most definitely not wanted to stay in any longer than necessary! So here we are in a lovely spot with not a house in sight!  We are actually facing West and the sun set over the bows a little while ago.  It will rise (though we might not see it!) over the stern in the morning.   The weather forecast for tomorrow sounds pretty horrible but as we have got a brilliant TV signal and we have an extremely good dongle signal, we are going to stay put tomorrow � I don�t think we will want to set foot out of the door from what the weathermen have been saying!  We are expecting strong winds again tonight too!

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