Sandfly swarm

The live singer in Saltash on New Years Eve was enjoyable even tho’ the mixing desk somewhat overly heavied on the decibels from the speakers. Frankly, her voice was very good and if he hadn’t had the backing up so loud she probably wouldn’t’ve needed a mic. The DJ who was on during her breaks was even more heavy handed on the decibels  – when will these folk realise that music does not need to be that LOUD in a small enclosed environment.

Okay that was the last rant for 2018.

New Year’s Day saw R and I walking at Seaton (Cornwall) sea front. I felt right at home steering R0X down a narrow, twisty windy to the beach and just after we’d parked illegally on double yellows the sun chose to come out to play. The warmth that came with the sun’s appearance must’ve convinced the sandflies that spring had arrived as the damn things swarmed everywhere. LWD was covered, R got one in her eye and I tried desperately to breathe through my blocked nose (I’m now into week 5 of the cold and cough from hell) to avoid swallowing a mouthful. Apart from that we had a great walk and lunch; R did impressively well on her new knee especially as she’d spent a fair bit of the previous evening dancing.

Seaton (Cornwall) January 1st 2019

So an auspicious start to the New Year for me and only six weeks to the start of my next trip … France, Spain, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, France, Germany and Denmark; I figure in the event of a No Deal Brexit they’ve got to find me before they can deport me!

Happy New Year dear regular readers! (I think there may be more than one of you) I hope 2019 will see you and yours happy and healthy throughout.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Rockin’ the night away!

Apart from seeing R’s latest surgical scar, my other reason for being in Saltash was to celebrate The Bezzies’ birthdays. S had been deviously and secretly plotting a celebration for R as her this year’s birthday number has a zero in it – 100, no I’m kidding there’s a few more decades to go before that! Relatives and friends arrived some of whom she sort of half expected and others she had no idea of. As someone who was completely in the know, I delighted in watching her face as each of her children (and grandchildren) arrived at carefully choreographed times on Friday and Saturday – and it wasn’t even her birthday on Saturday, it was S’s! R’s is on Wednesday. 13 of us sat round the table for a splendid Chinese takeaway followed by the traditional singing to the arrival of the cake, only one candle, can’t have the “old” girl getting too breathless!

Then it was everybody off to the The Cecil, their local, for live music from Luke Deakin, an excellent local musician/one man band! The arrival at the pub of two old school friends was S’s final surprise for her, she’d been half expecting the “kids” and knew I was coming for the weekend but hadn’t a clue about the final guests. Simon having achieved his triumph finally relaxed and got rather merry. We sang, we danced, we drank –

[I actually drank very little, as on Friday I made the (probably fortunate) mistake of standing on R’s bathroom scales and discovered a possible reason for a recall to the surgery for repeat blood tests next week. I’ve put on quite a bit of weight and could well be close to the trigger point for diabetes and the end of my remission. Calorie counting has started. Urgent weight loss is required; I refuse to go back on medication.]

– and rocked the night away, quite literally in the case of the Bezzies and I.

I was sleeping in R0X and they in Big Blue (their new camper van) the bedrooms being filled with other guests. The arrival of an uninvited overnight guest rocked our world as a storm with gusts of up to 70mph swept up Plymouth sound. Parked outside their bungalow right up at the exposed top end of Saltash we did not have a peaceful night in our rocking vans!



🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. S’s birthday was not ignored he got cards and prezzies and was sung to in the pub as well, much to his embarrassment, he doesn’t do front and centre!

Plastic surgery completed

A huge welcome home to R0X1 following “surgery” to her rear nearside (UK) corner and replacement grey waste pipe. At the same time she had a service and MOT and is once more fit to travel. Many thanks to Richard and Brian at my local garage in Langport.

The BFF has also just come out of hospital having had surgery so next week R0X will get a long overdue run out – down to Cornwall so I can help relieve R’s boredom – she really doesn’t do “take it slowly” at all well.

Tomorrow morning festive decorations will appear chez Crosby/Mepstead, looking forward to seeing all my baubles and my Santa collection again. One of the nicest things about this joined up multi generational household is the huge amount of baubles, ornaments, trees and lights we jointly own, all of which will be on display. Then late afternoon we’ll go into Langport for the market, fireworks and lights switch on, hopefully amongst the food concessions there’ll be a mulled wine stall …

Pix will follow early next week.


Change of plans (# 42,969)

My regular reader may remember bullet point 4 in a previous blog, “Adjustments” when I declared that a smaller Moho would be in my travelling future.

Several months and a restful, well since I finished the unpacking and sorting it’s been restful, period of reflection back in the West Country and I find that I have absolutely no desire to sell R0X1 and downsize. I will however, bear in mind time constraints on my breakdown insurance abroad to ensure no further “Arrogant Macho Peacock”  occurrences; which experience knocked my confidence sufficiently to cause all the self doubts I’d been having, well that and a four and a half month bout of sinusitis.

The sinusitis ended very abruptly one morning in September when on getting out of bed I suddenly had a moment of dizziness and nausea. I controlled it, sorted The Smart One out for school and then went back upstairs to bed as I felt decidedly unwell. After a violent bout of vomiting the dizziness cleared and I felt better. A few days later I realised my sinuses had been pain-free for over 72 hours without sniffing drugs … and nary a twinge since. 🎶Halleluja! Now that my sinuses are pain free, Halleluja! Halleluja! Halle-e – lu-ja!🎶 (with a chorus of apologies to G F Handel)

The parts for R0X have been sitting in her underpart patiently waiting to be fitted. I’ve found a garage in Langport, the owner of which is very friendly and he and his wife have done some serious motorhoming; R0X will be having her new back corner and grey wastepipe fitted there, along with an MOT and service at a reasonable price in just a few weeks . And of course she’ll have to have a little test run after … probably down to see the Bezzies as poor R is virtually confined to barracks with a serious knee problem, the need of a replacement for which is urgent (no news to us) according to the consultant Orthopod. Having sold their old VDub, R&S were hoping to be making their first trip abroad in their new-to-them campervan early next year but that’s had to go on hold; R is, as always, very philosophical about it and looking forward to being able to do the trip, and many more, without pain at a later date. [She should also consider changing her name to Metal Micky or RoboCop, as she will after this have had both hips replaced, a hip replacement replaced and both knees replaced … my bionic mate!]

Good luck my Friend x

Half term next week and I’m off to plague Big Bruv and help him drink his gin …

“Reflections back in the West Country”

🙂 🙂 🙂


So the Bezzie came to stay for a couple of nights … there may have been a couple or three wine-o’clocks … there was certainly a superb pub meal at the Green Man (with a bottle of wine of course).

R was very impressed by K’s post-op progress. K now being back to her original height of 5’ 8 3/4”, walking without mobility aid, having left foot (plantar) reflex for the first time in 7 years and off major analgesics for the first time in 6 months. (She has her first physioterrorist appointment today and, I think, is actually looking forward to it!)

R was also impressed by my progress at planning of the early summer trip to France. Done in much more detail than my usual laid back “let’s see where the road takes me” style, I already have routes sorted and road numbers charted for the first part and these will soon be joined by overnight stops (well, as soon as this year’s France Passion guide arrives). When I get into these organisational modes I can become a bit OCD (DVDs and books have to be stored in alphabetical order – always!) but I’m just going to make a list of suitable overnight stops from which I can pick the most appropriate as I’m not building in anything other than the most basic of timelines i.e. departure date, mid journey date (when I’ve worked out mid journey point) and return date. Yes, Regular Reader, I know this is a major change of behaviour for me – it remains to be seen …

We made good progress on the Christmas plans and I will be emailing our lucky chosen site near Barbate to enquire if pre-booking is essential. R is going to research typical Spanish Christmas dinners – we shall of course research local wine at the time.

Tower Bridge from the Tower – Version 2

Tower Bridge, London

I don’t normally mention goings-on outside my own life but after yesterday’s attack in London, I just have to say that I’m incredibly proud of the way all those involved behaved at the time and reacted afterwards. After all the political divisions of recent months it is great to know that we are all still British and can still unite in adversity.

My thoughts are with the families of those who died or were injured.

I hope PC Keith Palmer is awarded a posthumous George Cross (for civilian gallantry) immediately.

🇬🇧 🇬🇧 🇬🇧

Under starters orders

Preparations are almost complete. Daisy needs one more check at the vets tomorrow, I need a small food shop, R0X1 needs fuel and we’re good to go.

The rear ends are as follows; mine; all better (and that’s even after cooking and eating sausages last night!). Daisy; antibiotics, steroids and added fibre. R0X1; gaffer tape.

R, who regular readers may have noticed did not join me as planned on the Wales leg of Eurotour 15/16 is languishing in the geriatric orthopaedic ward, her “bad back” turned out to be a dislocated replacement hip, awaiting surgery. It’s a shame I’m going to miss the opportunity to visit and take the piss but her emergency admission does mean she and S will be able to make Espagna. I’m really looking forward to it, so come on “Chester”, stop the hobbling, we’ve seen it all before (twice), and get mobile!!

Daisy and I had a long walk (R, see that word – walk? It’s what your legs are for!) round the lanes yesterday afternoon and I couldn’t resist photoing the signs of autumn – nor playing around with the images this morning …

Mellow fruits
Next one will be from where the sun shines …

🙂 🙂 🙂

P.S. Good luck my bestest friend, loads of love, see you fit and well in February xxx

Gin palace

Three years ago R and I descended on Ledbury in Gloucestershire for the weekend and I’m not ashamed to admit the main reason for this was to attend a Quo gig. Ledbury is a very historic town with loads of old buildings and we spent Saturday morning wandering and admiring. Being Ladies, we lunched and then went shopping for picnic goodies. Now any serious gig goer knows that you have to take wine with you, unless you like the on-site rubbish that passes for beer at hugely inflated prices on these occasions. So into an off licence we went and, this being Ledbury, a very nice off licence it was. In the shop we were approached by a lady with tray and tot glasses who asked if we would like to taste some gin. My very unLadylike answer, for a Lady wot lunches, was “Gimme!” – it was slightly excellent, made by a local company Chase Williams, cost my right little finger (sorry – in joke) but lasted ages. Gig was good, so was the picnic and wine.

I’ve been staying at a site just outside Hereford as I had to pick up the table bracket from an Adria dealer (to replace the one that BB broke) and on my way to the dealers I noticed a sign to Chase distillery. It had to be and I had to go … it was, I did and I bought!

Unfortunately distillery tours only take place on Fridays and this was Monday, but tasting before buying is allowed, and for the more discerning sipper they even have Fevertree tonic, but you have to ask! Mr Chase (or Williams) with whom I nattered in the distillery shop was very interesting told me all about their prize-winning different flavours of vodka and gin. Apparently the big supermarkets do not buy the best blends they go for the blander tasting ones, more mass appeal according to them. He’s sitting on the whisky they’ve started to distill until it’s aged sufficiently to be up to their high standards. He also confided they just happen to have a vineyard in Provence ….

🙂 🙂 🙂