There are some days when I just feel full of euphoria and contentment. They don't come often but like today I feel on a high. Don't know why. Nothing particularly great or nice has happened. I just feel fine about life.
Saturdays are my favourite days of the week, which probably helps. I try to treat Saturdays as 'me days' where I do something that I want to. Every other day of the week (including Sundays) is normally occupied with work or course-work or chores. Saturday though is the day that I set aside to do the things I want. Often that means setting out early on a trip somewhere. On various Saturday's this year I've been as far afield as Plymouth, York, Carlisle and Cardiff. I love the adventure of a long journey and the anticipation of arriving either at somewhere familiar or new.
I don't always set off on such epic day trips. Most often it will be a day out somewhere local and quite often around Milton Keynes. The longer I am here and the more I see, I realise that I am beginning to see this place as my home and falling in love with it. Like everywhere else, MK is not perfect. It may have been sold in the 1980s as an urban utopia but you cannot manufacture the 'perfect city' although they made a damned good effort.
One of the reasons for my good mood today is the lovely walk home I took from work. This is one of my more idiosyncratic pleasures. Namely, after working on a Saturday morning and assuming I have nothing to bother me for the afternoon, I will try and find the longest and most circuitous route home. At all costs trying to avoid the main roads (which is surprisingly easy in MK) and exploring some of the other estates and green spaces. Today, my walk took me via Loughton village, the Teardrop Lakes and the Shenley's into North Furzton.
Despite the popular misconception, MK is not all concrete cows and roundabouts. There are many delightful parks and open spaces, rivers, canals, lakes and woods. The nicer parts are often hidden from the motorist and although MK is the city of the motor car, it is only as a pedestrian that you appreciate just what a wonderfully green city it is.
Its these simple pleasures - long walks, the open air - that give me a real buzz. It's funny to think that sometimes I almost forget that I am in a city with a population of over 200,000. Take this afternoon for example, as soon as I came into North Furzton, I was struck by the peacefulness. You rarely see anyone else walking along the redways and often the only accompaniment is the sound of bird song. Traffic and the bustle of a city are far away memories. I like the peace and quiet and the fact that all the amenities of a major city are close at hand. Its that unique balance that makes MK such a nice place to live.