After three mornings with fog and frost, the last day of 2016 was dry, cold and grey without any frost or fog, so the great outside beckoned, if for no other reason than to provide much needed exercise – an opportunity I was not going to miss, though I had no plans beyond a slight lie-in before Shave and Shower. When the invitation to join some of my family at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes; this settled it. As if to further tempt me, the sun made a showing. It turned out that was flattering to deceive, for having appeared for some five minutes, it disappeared, never to return during the rest of the day!
What had I expected? After all this is England.
I breakfasted, then gathered what I felt would be the most likely lenses to capture any wildlife that might be present and family images of fun, my 35mm f/1.4 and the 300mm f/4.
They turned out to be entirely adequate, I failed to get the Phone’s SatNav to link to the car’s audio and having planned to use the M1 northbound to reach Willen Lake, set off; then completely forgot this decision and headed along the A421 for a few roundabouts! Fortunately I did spot my error and continued for a while before taking a right at one of the roundabouts and finding a long slip road that sort of doubled as a layby, I took a look at the phone’s map and picked up the originally intended A509, soon arriving at the car park.
I was early, so I took the 35mm out originally, but soon found that since there was a good deal of common bird life around, returned and swapped to the 300mm on the 5D MkIII. Everything else I left in the boot and headed for the lakeside where I had earlier spotted a bluetit and a magpie. This occupied my time well, till my daughter arrived with two bikes, one being ridden by my male grandchild, the other being carried by my son-in-law, whilst my female grandchild was being carried by my daughter! That was an ominous sign!
We adults did some chatting as we walked, whilst eventually both children duly did take to their respective bikes, every so often being discarded as other interests such as steep banks and precariously angled tree trunks appeared along the route. We headed for the Peace Pagoda initially, then when one of them needed a toilet, we split up as mother and daughter headed back the way we had come. The exercise was far from strenuous, but keeping on the move, the cold wind was less of a problem. We had a spell with liquid refreshments and some time in the play area, and the time passed speedily. My daughter had just a minute left on arrival at her car park with an attendant Attendant, just starting his rounds of their parking area. I collected a tub of Condensed milk from her and then we said our goodbyes and headed off in opposing directions, as I now had to walk back to my parking area with over an hour to spare on my car!