Friday, 29 June 2012

Laid-back in Leighton Buzzard

For the past 10 days we stayed in Leighton Buzzard because I had a good broadband signal and needed to do some work. We stayed about 1 mile outside the town itself, next to a nice park with lots of wild flowers, rabbits and a lake. It was a peaceful place to stay, nestling at the end of a row of narrowboats. The town itself has a man who carries a guitar and plays maraccas, seemingly for no reward. The people are friendly and the town is pleasantly old fashioned, with a market every Saturday. The high street is suffering a little from a glut of charity and pound shops, but has everything you need. Two interesting things happened while we were there – a cow in the field next to us hurt its leg and had to be confined in a field on its own for several days and on our last day we watched a police search in said field (nothing to do with the cow). They said they were looking for a person, a helicopter came over and firemen were thrashing about by the canal with sticks. Also whilst here, I bought Dale a fishing rod for his last year's birthday present and he was thrilled with it, but there was a canoe race along the canal on Sunday, and he thinks they frightened all the fish away. On Wednesday I finished my June magazine so we set off to Tescos to get water, empty toilets, and throw rubbish away. We went into Tescos to get some shopping. When we came out the maraccas man was there shaking his maraccas, singing, poking the trees and saying good morning to everyone. It was very jolly. Then we continued our journey through pretty countryside and a very pretty lock - Leighton Lock, to reach the Globe where we were going to meet my friends Helli and Chris. The Globe is a very old and pretty canalside pub and it's very popular, was packed. We went in and asked if dogs were allowed - yes they were - so I went and got Molly. On the way back to the boat a man who was sitting on a boat watching said "I remember you, I gave you a lift the other day". It was the man who gave us a lift to the shops in Pitstone! He was working on his boat, ferrying people to the pub and back. I went back into the pub and Chris and Helli arrived. Chris was the drummer with Lonnie Donegan for 23 years and Helli was a "Hill's Angel" with Benny Hill in the 70s and later did a lot of work with Harvey Goldsmith putting on events. They brought their little dog Kiki, a rescue dog with them. Molly growled at Kiki when Kiki tried to jump up on her seat, which resulted in Kiki shaking with fear. Kiki was so sweet! Helli and Chris have recently moved to Leighton Buzzard and they like it there. It's like countryside to them because they used to live in Lambeth. They know the maraccas man. We mentioned the missing person drama and they said lots of things seem to go on in Leighton Buzzard. There's supposed to be a big cat on the loose as well. Eventually we went back to the boat and had a pleasant cruise to our home for the night, which was in Old Linslade, surrounded by stunning countryside.
On Thursday I did some painting, then we set off towards Fenny Stratford. We drove through some absolutely stunning countryside in Old Linslade and Soulbury. I noticed there are lots of wild roses everywhere this year. When we got to Soulbury three locks a man joined us on a small cruiser. He had to walk with a stick but had got through 400 locks on his boat - he had been everywhere. We went through the 3 locks and then stopped at the pub there called the Grand Union. It was a beautiful day and we sat outside and had a couple of drinks. Carried on after that through some amazing countryside. The lock at Stoke Hammond was heartbreakingly beautiful. We went on and arrived at Water Eaton on the outskirts of Fenny Stratford. Decided to stay there for the night.

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