I give you the shitheap that is Milton Keynes - In the name of Thiago - Day 271
I know it's horrible to put down places based on barely a handful of visits but it's only fair to point out that Milton Keynes is a complete fucking dump and not a place that any of you should visit any time soon. It actually felt fairly soul-destroying when we had to ask for a taxi to Milton Keynes from Bletchley last night. Even more so when the bastard driving the car took us to the wrong Premier Inn despite me telling him which of the three Premier Inns in MK we needed to get to.
There is nothing to see, no reason to spend a moment of your lives here. Please don't feel you need to see for yourself whether what I am saying is correct. I plead with you to trust me - it's total shit. Don't bother.
This delightful fellow however, has an unerring knack of cutting through swathes of crap and providing extraordinary levels of entertainment and he's indisputably produced the goods this last three days. More importantly than that though is his extraordinary talent on the bucket. With the old donation seeking it starts off with extraordinary all round energy as we tell the story of what we're doing and why we're doing it and then as the day meanders like the Grand Union Canal that we're trying to follow reasonably religiously, so the attempts become a little more direct.
Simon, without question has more chutzpah on this front than I do and frankly I have a shitload of it so we're a fairly formidable team. There have been some absolutely astonishing donations secured over the last fortnight, I think in the bucket alone we have managed to raise not far short of a bag of sand. And all the while through it's been an absolute hoot. With the exception of the natural misery that a place as depressing as Milton Keynes provides, the entertainment has been in constant supply.
Even its shopping centre somehow manages to radiate more gloom than most. Admittedly I'm not a chap inclined to spend time in town centre shopping areas but the shopping centre element of this miserable town is an addendum to the depressingly familiar grids that make up its overall structure. I am going to quiz my friend Adrian on Sunday about this very subject, as he has a fairly senior role in planning at a local authority. I am curious to know what his views are on how this utter shitheap came to be. Entire oceans of nothingness.
Our trip to the very shittest that Milton Keynes has to offer was not without some success however. Yesterday, I was getting close to the point where we were physically unable to take more cash donations to the bucket, after one boatman emptied his entire loose change collection into it. For a fleeting moment, I did think about telling him not to bother and that I'd simply put a fiver in it later on his behalf but this man of the water was not to be denied. He didn't 'arf seem happy. The MK branch of Halifax didn't seem quite so happy to see us
We've had donations from weekend boozers, towpath fruit pickers, coffee makers, brewers, young lovers, well meaning wanderers, waifs and strays, fancy dress pirates and everything in between. Barely a soul hasn't been prepared to pop a few pennies in the bucket, and Mr Eastland has been an incredible asset in that regard.
But for now it's time to welcome my latest 'In the name of Thiago' memorial walk debutants Dave and Trish Robinson and to make our escape from this barren Buckinghamshire wasteland first thing tomorrow. It cannot come soon enough. Away!