A bright and fairly dry Sunday. I say 'dry' because it makes a change to actually get a summer's day without rain. Carol has broken up from Milton Keynes Academy. We decide fairly early today to take the dogs for a walk. I had suggested taking them to Rushmere, a place we've been with them on quite a few occasions. But we have the problem of Alfie, who, as soon as he realizes we are going out for a walk, even if we don't actually mention the word 'walk', begins to change considerably, barking and running around the house. If you so much as go near the dog's leads, which hang on a hook in the kitchen, he will be more than ever excited and may even try to bite the lead you pick up for him. If we had gone to Rushmere it would mean I would have to put the cage in the back of the car and that is upstairs in the spare bedroom, so he would have to be kept away from being able to see me go out with it. So we abandon that idea so Carol suggests taking them along the Redway towards the Grand Union Canal, about a mile or so's walk. The process of putting both dogs on their leads goes relatively painlessly, even though Alfie makes a considerable amount of noise. Once out onto the Redway behind our house we let the dogs off their leads and they can enjoy their freedom. Poppy ambles along while Alfie runs ahead. We get down to the road near the canal, going under the Marlborough Street underpass, noting the interesting comments some clever graffiti artist has written along the walls. We have to put the dogs back on their leads briefly. Walking up the incline which leads to the bridge over the canal we have to step aside as a group of cyclists ride past, giving us barely time to get out of the way. I'm not impressed by their behaviour. I think they might at least been a bit more considerate and if we hadn't stepped aside the dogs would have got run over or at least there might have been a nasty accident. We walk on and come out on Woughton Green and see a running approaching. It seems that the place is over-run with people either running or cycling. We then take the path off the road across the green to the left and walk towards the canal. We bought a bag of bread with us and Carol puts the contents on the top of a drain cover and we sit at a picnic table. A large group of geese had gathered in the grassy space under the trees and walk off and swim away along the canal. We sit and watch as a crow comes down and takes a piece of the bread we put down. Several other crows appear and eat the bread. We have sat for ten minutes or so and then walk on along the towpath beside the canal and back to the bridge over the canal and then back along the Redway and home. Both dogs are exhausted by their walk and as it so happens, so are we.
After we have some lunch Carol decides she'd like some icecream as by now it has become quite sunny. It appears that the next few days are going to become quite sunny. A mini heatwave or that was what we were told on the Breakfast weather forecast. We decide to drive to Willen Lake. We had forgotten that for the next ten days or so Milton Keynes will be hosting the annual I.F. (Milton Keynes International Festival of Arts.) and we discover that the carpark at Willen Lake is extremely busy because there is a sort of festival village set up with a wide range of artistic exhibitions to look at. The place is teeming with people wandering about. We walk along the lakeside and find a gym which has a swimming pool attached. As we are currently looking for a new gym with a swimming pool to join since we ended our membership of D.W. Fitness, we enquire. We may or may not join. We find a cafe to buy ice creams and when we finish eating them we return to the car and drive home. As we come out of the carpark Carol mentions Nuffield Health, who has a site at Kent's Hill and I am reminded that I think that was a place I used to take one of the people I used to look after when I was a carer. Indeed it is, and it seems a very suitable place to join and use for swimming. We might join after we've done more research into other facilities around Milton Keynes.