An auspicious start to this years family (well half the family) holiday. Prior to our long journey I enlisted K’s help to deal with a R0X1 issue. Previous time out R0X1 came into contact with some metal railings, green metal railings, and the nearside rear indicator no longer worked. Repairs are severely delayed owing to Adria’s second shutdown of the year. The usual 6 week wait for parts will be extended by at least a further 2 weeks. Blow the legality (or not) of the situation I couldn’t bear hours of the extra fast clacking of the “indicator on” indication emanating from the dashboard indicating that the indicator wasn’t … I determined that Something Must Be Done. I won’t bore you with the full technical details but we two novice mechanics rectified the indicator situation and gaffer taped over the green scrape marks — and hole, oops!
The drive to the North Yorkshire dales was easy, it being mid-week, and the CS is more than adequate. The location is very rural, quiet, with spectacular views and the owners are extremely friendly. K and the Smart One hoofed it over to Cumbria on the second day so that she could visit friends and he could climb a big hill (Cat Bells). That night found me in a similar position to the same time last year in the Brecons, kneeling on my bed with my upper body outside the roof light watching the Percy’s shooting across the conveniently cloudless sky.
Dieppe/Newhaven is my new route of choice. The port is smaller and the staff friendlier than Calais. No getting your pet out of the vehicle, subjecting them to stranger danger and stressing them out before you start, the reader for the animal chip is passed through the window for you to use.The crossing was a bit lumpy which didn’t help my migraine any but her littlewhitefurriness suffered no ill effects and although the weather on landing was rather less than springlike, in pitch black with the wet stuff coming down in stair rods and patchy fog, bow doors open to home still took only 2 hours.
Arriving in the Car Park as the family streamed out and cars were moved to make room for R0X1, the Smart One stood opposite the cab waving his arms wildly over his head. Glimpsing the lunatic (affectionate description) Daize woofed once, it then dawned on her who the lunatic was and her eager whining and whole body wagging equalled the outside lunatic behaviour. A whole lot of hugging ensued. We ended up with 6 adults, 1 child and four dogs for the (very wet) Easter weekend – almost enough for 1/2 a Spanish family …
I’ve been roundly told off by my optician for not having my retinal screening done regularly, for buying over the counter readers (apparently my right eye needs twice the correction of my left and I’ve been putting my eyes under too much strain), I should be wearing my varifocals nearly all the time and I must drink more (water) as my eyes are dry. Serves me right for telling her about my frequent generalised headaches and increasing migraines. Apart from the above my eyes are in tip top shape, new glasses arrive next week and with their arrival hopefully an end to the headaches. (6 days and counting for this current migraine – luckily it’s not disabling.)
I’m not the only one having running repairs. R0X1 is in the garage having a service, hab check, kitchen window replacement and a new hab door lock, the dodgy lock having given up the ghost 2 days before we sailed for home. Luckily the door still locked from the inside so it wasn’t a big security issue.
Future plans are to spend April catching up with loved ones and we’re booked to sail back to France at the end of the month.
… but then I really have been here before! I’m back at Tarifa. The main reason being that it is pretty much always breezy here, I had loads of washing to do and the washing machines are also 40% less expensive than at the previous site. It was lovely to get a huge Hola hug from Pepe and then, by chance, to park up next to a Scottish couple I met briefly in Puerto de Santa Maria. (BB; it became a small world when we were exchanging details, as you do, and they announced they knew Reading a bit as their son was in the REME, apprenticeship at Aborfield!!) The other main reason for being here is that the wifi is free and reliable and I have to have a very important FaceTime conversation with the Smart One. Inexplicably he has his 11th birthday today – yes, yes, I know all about the birds, bees and humans but what I don’t know is how time, which seemed to go so slowly when I was his age, can accelerate so …
Tomorrow I’m up to Ronda. I saw something I wanted in a shop there but thought I’d see it somewhere else and didn’t bother to buy it at the time – haven’t seen it anywhere else … typical. And of course it’s such a hardship to drive that scenic route. Maybe Gibraltar will show it’s face to the lens as I pass bythis time.
Then off to Lorca for Xmas (and hopefully the new kitchen window) via a campsite I need to check out for when The BezzIes arrive.
is getting close. No, I don’t mean the slap on the polyfilla, put on a dress kind of date. I mean an anniversary type date, a particular day on the calendar. In a few weeks it will be a year since I took delivery of R0X1. The date was 23.06.14 and by pure coincidence (or not, depending what your beliefs are) it would have been my beloved’s birthday. Call me silly, but that has always seemed to me like a sign of his approval, as if he were saying “You go for it, and enjoy it enough for both of us”. So after 30 years and 1 year it seems it’s still a day for celebration. But what to do? Cake? Wine? A drive by? It appears I have to put my thinking cap on.
Last week the Smart One and I had a great day in London. We went to the Tower, he was impressed with my jewellery, but disappointed with the lack of blood and gore in the Bloody Tower. I was impressed they let us out after the Smart One asked one of the Yeoman Warders how much the crowns were worth and I asked how the State crown was transported to Madge for the State Opening of Parliament a couple of days earlier. The answers respectively were “priceless and uninsurable”, and “I can’t answer that for security reasons”!
Seasonal confusion has reached Hurst. Spotted this daft daff blooming in the verge on my walk this afternoon. Never known Spring to arrive pre Christmas before!
The Smart One reaches double digits this week. As usual he’s ahead of himself – teenage behaviour rules. Spends all his time in his room which he refuses to tidy (except we played the trump card this weekend; no tidy up = no birthday presents). Unsurprisingly, the trump card won.
Daisy and I are sleeping in the car park because the decorations are up in the house and with the xmas tree looming over the sofa bed it’s a tad claustrophobic for me and a huge temptation for the pup. We have decamped to R0X1 and killed 2 sweet little birdies by solving the heating quandary as well!! Daisy, however isn’t impressed by the lack of carpet … she’ll be even less impressed by her first haircut on Wednesday!
I’m going to take a blogging break for a couple of weeks dear readers, so will sign off by wishing my fellow Motorhomers (and one Narrowboater) safe travelling. Hope all your sites are level and locks full in 2015!
Have a peaceful and happy Yuletide and New Year everyone and may all your needs be met.
Finally I would like to share a New Year Resolution I have not broken since I made it about ten years ago – never to make another New Year resolution!
The temperature is dropping and I’m concerned about the boiler. The boiler manual (first time out for this manual) says to drain it for the winter, but I don’t want to be draining then refilling then draining again, as I intend using R0X1 school half terms and hols and maybe the odd weekend. (Just booked sites for the Feb and May half terms, Worcester and the New Forest respectively). Currently I have the boiler running on it’s lowest setting, hopefully that will be enough to keep everything frost free. Should I take her for a spin every couple of weeks to keep the brakes from seizing? I wasn’t supposed to have to worry about stuff like this … keep a space for me in Portugal next winter fellow M’homers!
Worries aside, I took the Smart One out for a spag bol at our favourite Italian on Friday evening, then we went walkabout to see the Xmas tree exhibition and the Christmas market in Twyford. Market less than exciting, all tombolas and tat, apart from our neighbour, known to us as Upstairs Jonathan (to distinguish him from son Jonathan and grandson Jonathan) who was putting on a very untatty juggling/balancing performance, but the trees each decorated by local organisations from the nursery schools to the W.I. were lovely. All massed in the church they made Magic and Sparkle (to coin a well known store’s Christmas ad slogan)
Then this afternoon the Smart One took his Grandmama – well I drove as his feet don’t reach the pedals yet but he told me how as usual – to see Paddington (the movie). I was OK about going, wasn’t expecting much, but what a treat! Hugely funny, mine were not the only very unladylike guffaws, beg pardon. Nicole Kidman hammed it up beautifully as the bad guy. It’s a shame K has a really nasty cold and sore throat and couldn’t come – the Smart One and I will be gutted to have to accompany her when she goes to see it (she really shouldn’t be allowed out on her own). We saw the trailers for the new Aardman – Shaun the Sheep, The Movie, definitely a must see, and for A Night at the Museum 3.
There’s a lot to be said for this second childhood stuff …