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 ever present 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
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?
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
Probably a hidden message there I expect.
Clearly a town for the Age of Aquarius.