All good fun

Four frosty days hooked up, thankfully, in the Midlands hanging out with BB. There are times when we behave like children, spontaneously play silly games and dissolve into fits of giggles.

Me: Where are we going?

BB: Dunno, which exit shall I take off the roundabout?

Me: First.

BB (having complied): At the junction?

Me: Straight on.

BB: At the roundabout in about five miles?

Me: Second exit.

BB: If it’s the M6 toll as I think it is,  you’ll have to chose another.

Me: I said second exit!

BB: That roundabout was the next roundabout, not the roundabout in five miles!

The second exit at the roundabout in five miles was the M6 toll. So we ended up taking the third exit to Lichfield; which was probably where BB intended to go all along, we just got there giggling and via a longer route!

Like me he’s into shop and market browsing and certainly neither of us is to be trusted in Fat Face. We enjoy the same films (mostly; I’ve never been a John Wayne fan), comedy (Swimming with Men and The Last Laugh watched this week) and music. You might think that’s entirely unexpected for siblings but BB left for Army Boys School when I was still in single figures (just) and I didn’t see much of him for the next dozen years – has to be the genes! The fact that we’re both currently having to diet I blame on the genes too!

The snow was very kind to us; I think Fazeley and a small surrounding area might have been in the only place in the UK that didn’t get a snow dump. Even Langport had sufficient that a snow day was declared by the local schools. The Smart One had huge fun with his mates snowball fighting and sledding, apparently returning home virtually hypothermic.

Tuesday was Coventry;

Wednesday was a brisk walk around Kingsury Water Park;

Thursday was a tiny bit frosty and included a trip to Lichfield;

I’m back now for the final week, which includes a meet up with The Bezzie and a double birthday party (J’s 40th and K’s 45th) before main engine start …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Soggy Córdoba

With the arrangement to meet up at the Aire in Córdoba vaguely set for “lunchtime”, Jo and I arrived from opposite directions within minutes of one another and had no problems parking side by side. An auspicious start to our few days stay. Unfortunately the weather continued as it has for most of the winter, very inclement and disappointingly unconducive for photography in a very photographic location.

Umbrella’d we explored the streets and monuments of the city …

The christian cathedral was built within the vast moorish mosque

The roman bridge and the decorative plinth to a monument

Jo was very taken with an artist’s studio and waterboarded him for details of his techniques …

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Wall art

We both enjoyed the many patios, indoor courtyards, some of which you could visit gratis, others in cafe’s costa cuppa coffee – but we were too mean to splash out for the “tour” …

Patios

Our evening of dinner with entertainment thankfully, did not force liquidation of our assets. Remembering the size of Spanish starters, we shared one (pumpkin soup) and also dessert (chocolate gateaux). Jo had a salmon main course and I, a lamb timbale. All in all an excellent meal – but the exhibition of Flamenco dancing that followed was beyond excellent, aside from the fact that as a Flamenco “virgin” I was totally awestruck, I was informed by a Spanish fellow diner that the Troupe was one of the best she’s seen.

Flamenco

We stayed for 3 nights and but for the unrelenting wetness would’ve stayed longer; still always leave with a reason to return, and there was still plenty left to see next time …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Welcome to Spain.

My regular reader may remember me musing on the likelihood of a post Brexit barrier for Brits to be stopped at. Well I’ve no idea where it would be placed on the western route from France to Spain because the D810 became the GI 636 with no sign of an Au revoir from France or Bienvenido from Spain. I just spotted a Repsol garage and became suspicious (my motorhomer reader, who may or may not be my regular reader, will know what I mean) and confirmation came from roadsigns now in Spanish. The weather rapidly went from bad to English; leaden grey, miserable skies and heavy drizzle alternating with lashing rain in a cold, gusting wind. The welcome did improve however, with the turnout of 5, yes 5, extremely exceptional convoys spread over many kilometers, to greet me and slow me on my way! One load looked like a part-built train carriage, another looked as if it might have had the train carriage’s wheels; the rest I just registered as very large, lumpy and heavy looking. It made life interesting going up to 2,000ft behind one of them when we came to the roadworks. Welcome to Spain – just like home!

Overnight at Burgos was very cold 3℃ – heating was used! But the next day dawned bright and sunny. Burgos is not an exceptional city, apart from the cathedral which is amongst the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

 

Burgos cathedral.

Driving to Valladolid (Bayadolid) this morning I turned on the elevation doohdah on the sat nag and I realised why I’ve been so cold – haven’t been below 2,700ft for the past 3 days …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Campals …

a new word meaning camper friends that you make on site. Janice and Bob invited me for a meal last night (and one or two bottles glasses of wine). Lovely people and great conversation and company, on their way to Spain with Jan’s father who will celebrate his 94th whilst there; gives wonderful hugs! Hope to see them on the road again.

I’ve wandered this delightful medieval city centre but have left some to see so that I can return. (Which reminds me – K. I’ve left shower gel and shampoo so that …. !)

Picassiette, which means “broken plates” and also “little Picasso”, house was built and decorated by Raymond Isadore over a period of many years starting in 1929 and there’s nothing he didn’t mosaicise (another new word). It’s very different in a Gaudi sort of way and I loved it, but I can’t imagine living in it and retaining either eyesight or sanity!

I’m leaving Chartres tomorrow but haven’t yet decided on a destination – somewhere in the Loire valley.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Post Script …

to the Shakedown Cruise.

Spent a couple of nights in the Berkshire Car Park after Butlins. I was offered a bed indoors but declined. Quick internal Roxiclean, washing and drying sorted and off to the Fens. Joined by BB and the dogs at a very good campsite. We visited Ely, after BB had installed new hookup socket for me. (Yes, I broke it. Thought I knew what I was doing manoeuvring in the Berkshire Car Park trying to get that side of Roxi as close to hedge as possible and didn’t leave enough slack in the cable 😦 )

What lovely place Ely is, it deserves another visit when I’m next here. We went into the stained glass museum at the cathedral, I didn’t realise the level of detail that goes into the artwork. Being able to get so close and see such tiny brush strokes was fantastic. There were examples from every era and I was surprised how much I liked the really modern stuff. Unfortunately cameras were not allowed in the gallery museum, however managed to get some lovely internal views of the cathedral…

Leaving here tomorrow and back to the Berkshire Car Park for 9 nights and then there is a spot picked out for me on a ferry to France 🙂 Thought about using Eurotunnel after reading a fellow blogger’s account but I’m banned as I’ve got an LPG tank. I’ve also decided be blowed to Brittany for now as I want to have a long summer and Brittany weather will be as cold as here. So it’s down south to Languedoc via the Massif Central and back up via Gascony and Aquitaine etc. and if I can’t afford that much diesel I’ll just have to winter there …..

🙂 🙂 🙂