This summer has been an experience – inertia interspersed with activity, rationality and knowledge with anxiety, disappointment (being unable to meet up with P&M as arranged) but above all frustration at being static.
I’ve kept myself busy, sort of, by redecorating – as much as one can in a 7 x 2.32 metre home! It boils down to more light strings and new pictures! I got a bit bored of looking at prints of my own photos so decided some small “art” would replace them. Unfortunately couldn’t find any that I liked – so bought some fancy frames and artsy craft paper and made my own. The best bit being that when I get bored with the new pictures there’s loads more craft paper in the pack to work my way through.
Eat your heart out Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen!
I’ve re-jigged cupboard space and (once again) tidied and decluttered cupboards and the garage. I’ve sorted the route through Spain and re-thought future travel arrangements. Having moved all R0X1’s, Daisy’s and my necessary annual appointments with destiny to August, I shall henceforth depart these shore each September and return at the end of June. This will save on ferry fares and diesel, and avoid much lousy weather. K & JJ will be coming to join me for a week during the spring break.
So apart from a couple of short trips and some days out, my regular reader may well be wondering why I’ve been static for the past 8 weeks … and the short answer is … hospital investigations. Thankfully all the (3) oscopies and (4) biopsies have come back clear of anything nasty so after some minor treatment early next week and a birthday curry, main engine start will occur on Saturday.
…❝🎼 Next week I’m off to sunny Spain, hey, viva Espagna …❞ …
Over recent years K and I have fallen into the habit of having an afternoon of girlie time each December admiring all the glitter, bling, tinsel and bauble of Christmas decorations. We mostly go to garden centres, the one at Henry Street, Aborfield being our favourite locally. After discovering that Liberty’s Christmas shop is already open and as we’ve missed the last two years because in ’15 I was in Spain and in ’16 K was unable to walk, K decided a return to Liberty of London was called for – we haven’t been for several years. Okay it’s only September but I leave for the winter in a few days. There was a certain lack of yuletide excitement but there was sparkle and colour in abundance, all inside that wonderful Tudor revival building –and there was Afternoon Tea …
Earlier this week I made the very long trip to meet up with The Bezzie to celebrate 50 years of friendship. She knows how much her friendship has meant and still means – I won’t labour the point.
We met at the station, travelled back to the Car Park to pick up R0X1 and LWD and got on the road. After a long and tiring drive we hooked up at Swiss Farm campsite. Now I don’t normally rave about sites, especially in this country, but this one really does match up with the best and that means as internationally as I get, which will increase, but more about that at a later date.
The staff were very friendly and welcoming, the necessaries were extremely clean and sweet smelling at all times, the site neat and well laid out with generously sized pitches, we were on a fully serviced pitch, fresh veg. from their own market garden available daily from a little honesty hut, heated swimming pool, free wifi, bar and cafe. As well as the usual motorhome services there was a machine the like of which I’ve not come across before – an automated toilet cassette emptier and cleaner. I’d’ve used it just for the giggle one of the pictures in the visual guide to use, a depiction of a neat pile of poo inside a cassette, gave me but actually used it twice once for the in use cassette and once for the spare (neither of which actually contained poo!!).
The cafe deserves a special mention. It’s really too good to be called a cafe. Once again the staff were very friendly, service was great and the food, admittedly not fine dining (but I wouldn’t have been eating there if it was), was fresh, tasty, beautifully cooked and I probably weigh half a stone more than I did on arrival – who wants to cook and then wash up when that quality is available at very reasonable price just 100 yards away.
An altogether brilliant couple of days, eating and drinking too much, a spot of walking and shopping, at all of which R and I excel!
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🙂 🙂 🙂
P.S. I exaggerated slightly about the journey – we went to Henley-on-Thames – all of seven miles away from the Car Park!!
Hopefully like his intialssake, BB enjoyed his one hundred and eleventh seventy-fifth birthday party – well he certainly had enough celebrations; an early one with friends, a lunch actually on THE day and then the BBQ a few days later. Hopefully he won’t do a post-party vanishing act like Mr Baggins.
Back in Hurst we had a family day out to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton Road station, a former Metropolitan line overground underground station, now a museum. There is still one main line track operating a couple of freight trains a day but according to the Smart One this is about to change. The old line is being restored/upgraded and in places totally rebuilt to re-establish the old east – west line which, it is hoped, will ease congestion at London terminals by saving passengers having to travel south and then north to get east or west! (Shame Dr Beeching cannot be posthumously fined for unnecessary rail closures and costs charged for reintroduction.)
The Smart One, who by the way now wears the same size shoes as I do (he has been warned that my high heels are not for borrowing), had a great time explaining all the east-west business and other railway trivia …
as the daughter and grandmother of steam railway fanatics, some of it must’ve rubbed off; I had a great time too …
It’s been a hectic few days. The Percys were observed shooting through, old friends were visited, Mandy, Paul and Dan, lovely to see you again after so long, and new campals were made in Barry, Anne and Sue. (Don’t believe anything any health professional tells you about recommended weekly units of alcohol, we keep the number low so that there’s plenty left on the shelves for us to purchase.) We were well into the wine when we discovered the reason we were all getting on so brilliantly had nothing to do with alcohol; Barry – GP; Anne (Barry’s wife) – Nurse; Sue – Nurse; Maggie – Nurse. Finally, on Monday evening LWD and I pitched up at BBs.
Sadly BB lost Sam, springer 13 yrs, a couple of weeks ago to kidney failure and I was a bit concerned how Sally, springer 12yrs, would react to being on her own with LWD. Sally has never been Daisy’s biggest fan, Sam and Daize always hit it off but Daize is usually a bit too excitable for Sal, however they’ve been brilliant together this past couple of days. LWD, which may be bit of a misnomer for her now, she’s developing more and more apricot patches as she matures (I use that term advisedly), first came across Frogs in France in May (who said “where else”?). She was somewhat startled but fascinated by them jumping. Here at the marina she’s not sure what to do with the plethora of Frogs jumping across the path during her evening walk but at least she doesn’t seem at all interested in eating their legs!
I asked BB if he could sort out my 12v electricity. The 12v feed is up near the ceiling and requires me to use a stool to reach the socket, the inverter has to sit on top of a cupboard which also requires me to stand on a stool to plug in an extension lead which then drapes untidily (and for any elves reading this, unsafely) from back to front of the van. I envisaged BB running cable from the 12v feed up, across the ceiling and forward to the desired spot with a socket at the end. Would he do that? Oh no … he, retired electrical whizz that he is … has wired directly from the leisure battery discretely under the floor to the inverter, now neatly tucked away out of sight, and at the mere flick of a fused switch, 12v comes into play when I’m off grid. I neither plug nor unplug anything and I don’t have to use a stool, and for that I will forgive him for dragging me all the way up to a chandlery near Nantwich, which had none of what he needed but just happened to be only a mile away from Snugburys ice cream shop (my regular reader may remember BB’s devotion to Snugburys ice cream from a previous post), only to find every electrical thingie he needed in a chandlery he’d “forgotten all about” not 10 miles away – I’m not a suspicious person but …
… mine was vanilla, sloe gin and damson (1 scoop) his was amaretto (2 scoops) and four tubs for the freezer!!) Yum.
Lovely few days in Torquay, good to spend time with J&B. The dreadful traffic and poor weather was a disappointment, but this is England in August…I’ve had to put the 4tog duvet away and break out the 9tog. I draw the line at long sleeved t-shirts tho’. I will be wrapped up warm tonight with my head through the roof light hoping for a good view of the Percy’s. The sky is clear at the moment and I’m on a farm campsite so light pollution shouldn’t be too bad.
I’m in Somerset, was hoping to catch up with The Boys in Glastonbury tomorrow but they’re away early to London, hopefully we’ll catch up in September before I cross over once more. On to Wales to see more friends before heading for the Blue Buzzard and her “not my birthday captain”, BB.
Final health bulletin on my patient for anyone wondering; not only did Rosemary survive my rusty nursing skills, she has made a full recovery! She saw the consultant earlier this week and is now full weight bearing and is to walk as much as possible. She’s also allowed to swim but only if the water temp is above 31℃ – that’ll not be a problem then, it was 29-30ᴼ when I was there.
Arriving home from the hospital appointment, after what I’m sure must’ve seemed an eternity dependant on others, Rosemary celebrated her new found mobility in style – by walking up the steps that caused the damage! I’d’ve also kicked them (gently) for good measure …
I’m currently in what I regard as my home – if anywhere can be home given the number of times we moved house throughout my childhood, which habit I continued as an adult, not to mention my current peripatetic lifestyle. Devon, the place I lived in the longest, and especially Torquay has my heart and is home. It’s good to be spending time with J&B and I’ve managed to catch up with two sets of close friends.
The site here just outside Brixham, is not my usual type of site – being quite large and kiddy orientated – and is rather expensive due to the summer holidays. But it’s great as a base and B has lent me her car for the duration, bless her, and it does provide the most amazing views of the river Dart.