I finished my last blog on Wednesday, June 24, while in Milton Keynes. I decided to wait until the next day, when we would be in the flat we had rented in Knightsbridge, London, to look it over and add a few things. When we got to London I found my little laptop was dead, deader than a doorstop. I thought it might be the adaptor, so went to a computer store to see if a new one would work. No such luck. Since it takes me about five minutes to text a message like “will call you at 5:00 pm”, texting my blog on my smart phone wasn’t really an option. Yesterday, (we got home Wednesday night,) I took it into Fry’s as it was still under warranty. It will take four to eight weeks to be repaired. So, will try to sum up our trip now.
You may wonder, as did my great-niece Alison, why we wished to visit Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is one of the “new cities” that encompassed several older communities, built in the 1960’s to relieve the housing congestion in London. Its architecture is about as interesting as Bakersfield’s. We were there because one of those older communities digested by this “new city” is Bletchley Park. If you saw “The Imitation Game”, you will be familiar with what went on in Bletchley Park. The place has a special interest to Roger, who worked in intelligence in the 1960’s when he was in the USAF.
We Left Bude on Monday, June 22, and took the very narrow road around the Atlantic side of Cornwall to Land’s End. It is a spectacular coast line. We stopped for lunch in Penzance, but we saw no pirates, though we ate at the Pirates’ Inn. We went on to Carylon Bay, near St. Austell, where we spent the night. We had time to go for a walk on the beach, and did so. The beach was reached by a concrete sidewalk and steps. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, we were surprised to see a massive construction project underway. A local woman who was out for a walk, advised us to “pay no heed” to all the mess, and just look out at the beautiful coast. The beach is privately owned, and the public could be denied access at any time the owner wished to do so—as a sign at the head of the stairs advised all visitors. An old entertainment hall had been demolished, and now a “mixed-use” residential/commercial project is being built. According to the local, it has taken about fifteen years to reach the “shovel-ready” point. Here’s a 2006 article about the project: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/3349187/Tide-turns-against-private-beaches.html And, here’s a site with a slightly different take on developer rights: http://www.carlyonbaywatch.com/page_22.html You might notice some resemblance to similar conflicts in San Diego County.
The next day we visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan. My favorite part in the garden wasn’t the famed “green” statuary, but the field of poppies and the emus. Next we toured the Cotehele estate, a unique Tudor estate that survived the English Civil War. Then on to Teignmouth, Devon (near Torquay) where my nephew has lived for almost twenty years. We all went out to dinner at the same excellent restaurant we went to with my nephew and his family when we last visited Teignmouth in 2002. The restaurant is on its third generation of owner/chefs.
The next day we drove across the Salisbury Plain up to Milton Keynes, where we visited Bletchley Park. We had thought to revisit Stonehenge, but one look at the crowded parking lot, and mile-long queue, changed our mind. When we last visited Stonehenge, you could almost drive up to it, and see it for miles. Now they have the road blocked, and if you want to see it, you will need to walk about a mile. The entrance fee has gone up considerably too.
Next blog, London.