We cycled around the estate yesterday. I'm fine on my new Muddyfox bike, but Carol had been having problems with her new bike. She couldn't fathom the gears, which admittedly is quite difficult as with something like 21 gears and two levers one on each handlebar, it can be quite tricky getting the right gear for the correct speed and pedalling. We went round the estate several times. I just want to ride along the Redway for a distance to get myself fully conversant with the machine. Great as it is, I haven't cycled for quite a while. Also, I have never ever owned a brand new bicycle before. The one I did own and I used to cycle to school on (a good many years ago now, forsooth!) was a machine handed down from my eldest brother, James. It was later stolen from outside a house I lived in many years ago in Tyne Crescent, Bedford. Which was a pity, as it was a good machine. A bright blue Rudge. Amazing that I remember the brand.
The weather has been unsettled which is why we haven't been out too much recently. No good going out in pouring rain. I must buy a bike lock so that when I park at various locations, such as the local shops or even church, there is no chance that somebody can even attempt to steal the new machine, which would be both annoying and a great shame. It's appalling that you can't trust people to leave your property alone, but never mind. Also, I think I need to buy a helmet as there have been far too many accidents with people falling off their machines and hitting their heads.
Earlier this morning we went to D.W. Fitness. It opened at 8 a.m. so we must have been amongst the first customers through the door. It was great that there were very few people in the pool. Why do people who exercise always look so miserable? Why do they almost all seem so humourless? We did around 20 lengths of the pool. I spent some time in what I call the 'hot cupboard,' the steam room. Very hot and steamy (!) and does you a power of good, sweating out all those toxins etc etc. We sat in the jacuzzi for a good 20 minutes and then back in the pool for a further four lengths. Then one of the swimming instructors came in along with a few parents with children which decided us on getting out and dressed as it gets really crowded and noisy when the children are doing their swimming lessons. All very well, but it doesn't do my motivation much good. We went home and had toasted buns to eat and tea and coffee. There is always the temptation to have food in the cafe at D.W. but it can be quite expensive. It's a good year at least since we signed up.
Later, when we'd looked at the situation regarding the weather, we decided to take the dogs out for a walk at Rushmere Park, near Leighton Buzzard. Getting Alfie, our little Yorkshire Terrier, into his harness and then into the car is a real problem. We take him out in a cage which is in the back of the car and I had to make sure it was installed within the car before he came out and that he didn't see me doing this as he gets so over-excited. We managed to get him in the lounge on his own while Carol got Poppy into her harness in the kitchen. Alfie became like a demon-possessed creature and I could hear him attacking the doors and making the most appalling noise. Goodness knows what the neighbours must have thought if they could hear his commotion. They must have done, as he was really loud. We eventually managed to get him harnessed and into the back on the car in the cage and we gingerly drove out of Milton Keynes and onto the A5 towards Leighton Buzzard and the country park at Rushmere.
The dogs had a great time when we let them off their leads. Alfie runs ahead of us and approaches any people he sees along the path, regardless of whether they want to be assaulted by a small terrier. Poppy just ambles along and it was very pleasant with the sun shining through the trees.
They have made some improvements since we were last there, with a new cafe just opened and a brand new toilet block near the visitors centre. I have to admit that the old toilets there were somewhat unsavoury to say the least.
We were going to have ice creams from the cafe, but Carol found that there wasn't much of a choice and they were somewhat over-priced so we didn't partake. We left and drove out of the carpark and through the barrier where you have to pay £2 to get the barrier to open so you can exit.
It was at this point that Carol decided she wanted chocolate cake (as you do!) so we went to Dobbie's garden centre which is just off the A5 at the roundabout near Fenny Stratford. No sooner had we parked the car than Alfie started yapping. He had been quiet up until this point, but we had to leave the dogs in the car when we went inside the garden centre and into the food hall to find suitable cake. I did think £4.50 for a small chocolate cake somewhat over-priced, but, on getting home and after unloading the dogs, I made tea and we ate some of, what turned out to be very tasty and moreish chocolate cake!