Mystic MK

Mystic MK

After a week struggling with sleep patterns, the body clock is finally getting readjusted to UK time. Probably not the ideal occasion, one might think, to get up at 2am after 3 hours sleep and drive to Milton Keynes. “Milton Keynes?”, I hear you cry, “Why would you go there anytime, let alone at 2am?”.

Well today, of course, is the Summer Solstice and – as the cognoscenti know – Milton Keynes is a temple to the sun.

A new town born of the 60’s and 70’s, the chief architect for Milton Keynes clearly had a hippy streak as wide as Midsummer Boulevard. Given the option to create a street grid system oriented north-south east-west, the creators opted to shift the axis slightly such that the sun on the summer solstice would shine down Midsummer Boulevard. Kudos.

And so it is that we find ourselves stressing our way down the M1, through everpresent road works, wondering just how annoying it would be to get up at 2am and not arrive in time for sunrise. No need to worry, we make it to the light pyramid in time and are treated to a glorious sunrise, along with our fellow revellers…

As the sun rose in the distance, we were expecting a cheer or clapping, but the atmosphere was subdued. In the distance, a lone percussionists had taken it upon themselves to drum in the solstice. Fair play.

Anyway, hands numb from the early morning chill, we went in search of coffee and a view along Midsummer Boulevard and yes, it does pretty much line up – although I am not privy to the exact calculations around timings and alignment. Pretty impressive though.

So, mission accomplished? No there is more. Putting aside the fact that every building is a little weird

Pyramid Bingo

What shape shall we make the new bingo hall? As if you need to ask

There is a stone circle and a tree cathedral to visit. Well, we thought that the tree cathedral was likely to be less than impressive from the ground and so opted for the stone circle. Not an original neolithic you understand, just another recent addition. The “energy” line through various gates in the circle lines up with the Tree Cathedral and Midsummer Boulevard. Obviously.

And then just through the trees this … because, why not?

pagoda

Milton Keynes may have a reputation for being dull, but that clearly doesn’t apply to the city planners. I suspect that beyond any hippy inclinations, it may be a stroke of marketing genius to get the conspiracy theorists all riled up. What3Words has the location of the Light Pyramid as

lifetimes.dangerously.imported

Probably a hidden message there I expect.

Clearly a town for the Age of Aquarius.

I’m melting…

I’m melting…

Another week in glorious Swindon. The mid 30s and humid, and this is what passes for air conditioning in the Travelodge…

That should do it then!

Still, at least Swindon has its compensations. There is, of course, the magic roundabout, a marvel of modern traffic management…

Be afraid, be very afraid…

… and an integral part of what makes Swindon such a joy to drive around…

Believe it!

 

Winter Sun

There is something glorious about Winter Sun, but even more so when What3Words come up with the naming goods.

Welcome to

always.snores.magically

and the mysterious and misty

muddy.trees.select

End of the World?

Well not quite. Pretty much the end of the UK in one direction though.

Finally made it to Spurn Point(ish) – or

as I like to think of it – at the 3rd time of trying.

Had to speed walk to the end and back to avoid being stranded on the part which is temporarily an island twice a day since the great tidal surge of ’13 washed part of it away into the Humber (cooincidentally shortly before the last time we tried to visit).

Anyway, that’s another one ticked off!

The Desert

So it turns out that there is a desert in Britain. Nonsense I hear you cry! I shit you not – ¬†a bone fide, meteorologically verified desert. Discovered my Ethan of course, but how he stumbled across the strange micro climatic oddity is anyone’s guess.

Still, we duly packed up the car and headed south to the strangely compelling, slightly weird but utterly cool Dungeness.

Bizarrely, the humidity changes so quickly that even walking to and from the headland, there is a noticeable difference. The landscape is somewhat alien, which probably explains the constant stream of film crews using this as a prime location. Minds suitably blown we had to have a rest and refuel with a lobster brioche at the Dungeness Fish Shack…

…if only because it is a fish shack in a desert!

Anyway, a weird phenomenon – even if it is caused by a nuclear power station. Well worth a visit. Could this be the coolest (warm) place in Britain?

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