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Travelogue

1st June 2012 - 3rd July 2012

Peak District, Somerset and Worcestershire in a tent!
Note: For those who are reading these articles NOT from the earliest to latest we are using our tent at present whilst the motorhome is at the manufacturers for retification work.

Derbyshire
Friday 1st June 2012
Hayfield Camping and Caravan Club Site, Hayfield, near Glossop, 53 22 67 N, 01 55 79 W.

Decided that we would not use the motorways to reach Hayfield but instead “go down the centre” driving through the traditional old woollen mill towns of Halifax and Huddesfield on the way, a route we have never travelled before, we were most impressed with the use they have made of the old mill buildings as they have been renovated and are now offices or apartments. Betty (the Satnav) went wrong twice, good job Jenny can read a map and soon put us back on the right road (and direction). Forgot to tell you we have now two Satnav’s Betty and the one integral in the hire car which we have called Gertrude, for a laugh when we were in Yorkshire we put them both on, very confusing, one measures in feet the other yards, we decided that Betty was more accurate, but Gertrude more polite! We reached Hayfield at about 1:00 pm crossing the high peak pass near Holme Moss in thick fog and were soon shown our pitch by Kevin one of the site managers, who very thoughtfully put us near the amenities and even offered us a “electronic key” to the dis-abled shower and toilets, did I look that bad? Jenny “as is her norm” soon had us organised and despite me feeling giddy every time I bent down we soon had the tent erected, thank goodness in dry, calm conditions and made ourselves comfortable, although 1½ hours later brewing a cuppa than normal, we usual drinking one within 5 minutes when we arrive at a camp site in our motorhome. After resting (sleeping actually, well me anyway), we drove back to Glossop a distance of about 5 miles to stock up at the Tesco supermarket for our stay, Jenny doing most of the shop whist I just hung on to the trolley and pushed, obviously because of lack of space in the car we cannot carry to much food with us and of course we haven’t got the luxury of a fridge at present. An early night for me, Jenny staying up late reading. Oh, must mention the gargantuan silver bird that blotted out the sun this afternoon, didn’t realise we were on the landing path for Manchester Airport!!!
Hayfields Camping and Caravan Club Site.
Hayfields Camping and Caravan Club Site.


Saturday 2nd June 2012
Cold in the night, we thought that the duvet from the motorhome would be warm enough for me (it was for Jenny), however the cold was coming up from underneath although the air-beds are “flocked”. Whoops, Michael did mention that one of the air beds leaked, great news it was Jen’s, so after breakfast we went and purchased a new one from Tesco and some batteries for the lantern that we forgot yesterday, Michael can have the other air-bed back (complete with repair kit). When we got back I was sitting in the car and Jenny on the little step when Kevin came past, he asked about chairs and we explained we had had to leave them behind because of lack of room, he immediately went and found us two for the duration of our stay, although we shall “borrow” OUR smaller ones from Michael when we see him Wednesday, very thoughtful and our thanks to Kevin. Spotted a mouse near our kitchen tonight, He asked me “why I wasn’t big and strong like him” I explained, “I hadn’t been well”, he went away “tutting” (old joke), we must make sure though that we have all our food stuffs safely stored away, especially anything that Jen’s cooked we don’t want to poison the little fella.

Sunday 3rd June 2012
Gosh that was a very cold and wet night, the wind from the East was particularly ferocious and in the middle of the night there was an almighty CRASH, the tent canvas had blown inward and toppled the camp kitchen over, no damage done, except the imprint of Jenny on the inner tent roof. I did go out to check around to make sure the tent was secure (it was), by the sound of things we weren’t the only people to have a happening. With the weather forecast for today to remain similar all day we didn’t want to spend the day in the tent. After breakfast we therefore organised ourselves a picnic and drove to a lay-by with a viewpoint over the Derbyshire Peaks and stopped there listening to music and reading, after lunch we then drove into Glossop and had a Latte , the first coffee I have had for some time, as strangely it has been one thing I have not wanted to drink for a while, we took our time in there not wanting to venture out in to the rain, although it has abated somewhat from this morning, chatting to the staff as it was very quiet, we guess people where glued to the pageantry in London on their television’s. I then decided we would drive along “Snake Pass” the English road which is notorious for being the first one to be closed when snow arrives in winter, the second one being the Woodhead Pass which is just a short distance “over the hill”. Despite the weather it was an enjoyable drive and we stopped at the far end of the pass at Nether North Grain on National Trust land for a short time by a rather pretty series of waterfalls, the water was a bit brown however.
Snake Pass Waterfall.
Snake Pass Waterfall.


Returning to the tent (nearly wrote motorhome) we retreated to our sleeping bags, which we are now using, good job we decided to bring them with us. I listened to music whilst Jenny read, thank goodness the wind seems to be abating, I am hoping for an un-disturbed night’s sleep and I am starting to feel a great deal better.

Monday 4th June 2012
Despite getting up in the middle of the night to go to the amenities we both had a good night sleep and it was nice when I woke up at dawn (before going to sleep again) to hear both a Woodpecker and a Cuckoo and without the wind howling through the trees, I can also hear the sound of the water in the little river which is only about10 yards away from us in the woods alongside the camp site. No lie in this morning the site manager’s saw fit to start the day’s celebrations early and started playing 70’s music just after 8:00 am, good job we were already awake, I would have thrown a “wellie" at them. After a relaxed morning it was time for lunch and Jenny didn’t have to prepare it, as part of the Jubilee Celebrations and in aid of the local Kinder Mountain Rescue Team, the site managers with a little help from friends were selling Hot Dogs, Beef burgers and Chicken skewers from the BBQ, as well as selling Shortbread and Cakes, needless to say we had a burger and hot dog each, plus some shortbread, we also purchased some raffle tickets. What we didn’t partake in was the fancy dress, pity, if the weather had been warmer and I had been fit and if I had my Didgeridoo with me, I would have gone as an Aboriginal man, but if,if,if. We also didn’t have a Union Jack to fly, however what we did have was an Australian flag, with Union Jack, plus of course six stars, that flew quite nicely from the guy rope on the tent. Thank you Runa, for the souvenir tea towel!

Tuesday 5th June 2012
A cold night, however we are now comfortable with our sleeping arrangements, although Jenny appears to end up half way down the air bed, minus pillows, I went to the loo early (how I miss just stepping down the ladder and into our shower room/toilet) and when I returned pulled her back up to the top and yes, when we woke up in the morning she was back to the original place, I won’t bother again! Didn’t win a raffle prize yesterday but £345 was raised for the mountain rescue which was excellent. We also had a very short walk to the little river to take a photograph of the small waterfall with the purple colour of rhododendrons in the background, my stick came in useful, and Jenny held an obstructing branch of a tree out of the way with it.
River Sett.
River Sett.


We are on a non-electric pitch so our powered appliances are running out of power (including this laptop), no dramas, a pot of tea, latte and a muffin (shared) at Costa Coffee in Glossop soon remedied that and other bits will recharge on the car 12 volt power socket tomorrow on the drive to Lichfield (more later). Leaving Costa just before closing time, the intention was to drive once again up the Snake Pass, unfortunately it had started to rain and visibility would have been poor, we therefore abandoned that idea and returned to the camp site for a spicy mince and rice concoction of Jenny’s. Mice are NOT invited!

Wednesday 6th June 2012
A drive this morning over to Staffordshire across the White Peaks, as I have an appointment with the Physiotherapist at 1:00pm. We stopped at our storage unit first at Tamworth, having decided that we do not need some of the items we have bought with us i.e. a holdall of cloths, spare pillows, a “mixed” plastic box and the water container, we did however collect our other windbreak, the longer one we had to leave in the motorhome, Hopefully, minus the above we will have more room in the car. Arriving at the Samuel Johnson hospital, we made our way to the “all too familiar” (my visit 2007 and Jen’s last year) Physio’ dept. and was met by the Senior Physiotherapist June, I won’t go into detail, but having spent an hour in consultation and examination, I feel much happier about my condition than when I went in. Trust it to be pouring of rain when we came out, I obviously couldn’t run to the car, Jenny could (and did); she was comparatively dry I was . . . . wet. Next stop was Fradley to see our Son Michael, partner Sharon and Grandson Charlie, great, they have just had a new central- heating boiler fitted and the house was nice and warm, I was soon dry. We had a smashing time there, chatting and playing with Charlie before leaving for our return to Hayfield, we will see them again Sunday, when it is Charlie’s 3rd birthday. Just one stop on the way back at Ashbourne and Fish and Chips in the old oak beamed award winning “Market Plaice” situated of course, in the Market Place, we had Haddock!

Wednesday 7th June 2012
Another wet day in Derbyshire, I didn’t get up until 10:30 am, even having breakfast in my sleeping bag, Jenny in the meantime had done two loads of washing at the laundry and talked for an hour (well it seemed like an hour), with the assistant manager of the camp site. This afternoon we went down to Glossop, yesterday we had collected our two older camping chairs from Michael’s unfortunately one of them was broken so we went to Argus to purchase one, I had refused to buy the “Pink” one from Tesco although it was much cheaper. Costa coffee (again) was our next stop, to use their internet and top up the “sparks” in the lap top so I can do exactly what I am doing at this moment, typing up the daily diary for the web site, very comfortable I am too, lying in my sleeping bag, with the laptop on a box and the mouse and mat on the stool. The reason? I am still having pain when I sit on my bum for long! Oh, and it's STILL raining.

Friday 8th June 2012
Well yet again we have woken up to a wet day and looking at the forecast it is going to get worse with the winds increasing during the day. Mid-morning we became what our son calls “glamping”, i.e. posh camping, that is we have decided to use our electric connection and purchase a small electric heater, why? If Jenny starts to become un-comfortable with cold than “its cold”, actually it is warmer than it was the weekend but the wind and incessant rain is now beginning to make us both uncomfortable. We went to Argos in Glossop for a “value” 2 kilowatt heater before Jenny went to “The Hair shop” for her 14:30 appointment for a haircut, unfortunately at present I cannot stand long enough to do it for her, they didn’t do a bad job, I “think” I could have done better though and I am cheaper! Returning to the campsite we changed around the boxes in the tent to make a “windbreak” against the door as there is a 4 inch gap at the bottom which the wind blows through, we were soon much warmer and we can now stop wearing our coats indoors. I am typing this whilst listening to Radio5 Live Sport Extra and the 2nd practice of the Canadian F1 Grand Prix from Montreal, still need to work out how we are going to watch the Grand Prix highlights at 22.30 on Sunday, might try the television, which we have brought with us as we couldn’t leave such a high value item in the motorhome and Michael has loaned us an aerial to try.

Saturday 9th June 2012
You needn’t ask, yes it’s still raining and the wind throughout the night was quite fierce, abating at about 6:00 am and we have spent most of the day reading. What was “a little river” that I mentioned on Monday is now a raging torrent, the river, I found out it is actually called the River Sett which starts way up on Kinder Scout and flows for just ten miles before joining the River Goyt, I have just (19:35) took another photo of it in full spat, compare it with the photo on Monday, quite a difference.
River Sett.
River Sett.


This evening it stopped raining and there is a colour in the sky, we believe is called blue, the weather forecast for tomorrow is showers, but we shall see. We also tried the television tonight to see if there was a signal, to no avail, looks like I will only be able to hear the Grand Prix qualifying instead of watching it, might try it on the BBC iPlayer on the laptop though.

Sunday 10th June 2012
* * * A Very Happy 3rd Birthday to Our Grandson Charlie * * *

Very pleased I did manage to watch F1 qualifying in BBC iPlayer last night although the “line up” wasn’t what I wanted, however I will look forward to the main event tomorrow. A drive this morning over to Lichfield to spend some time with our Grandson on his birthday and a very excited young man enjoyed opening his card and presents. We left in the middle of the afternoon to drive back to Hayfield, however when we got to Doveholes just outside Buxton there was a diversion for road works and after following the diversion signs ended up at the back of a very long traffic queue and after not moving for ten minutes and having time to study the map, I decided to turn around and follow the road further up onto the A6, good decision, as we were out of the traffic. Travelling along the A6 I spotted a signpost to Edale and The Blue John Cavern, so rather than drive over to the Snake Pass which was our original idea and without asking Jen, I drove towards Edale and found the very narrow road through Winnatts Pass, which is the only route out of the western end of the Hope Valley since the main route was closed in 1979 due to continual land slide.
Winatts Pass.
Winatts Pass.


We did follow the original road for a short time, parking to look at the old Odin Mine, we walked the short distance to the mouth of this ancient limestone cave, where lead has been mined for about 3,000 years, unfortunately I couldn’t climb right to the entrance although Jenny was able to look further inside, but with the amount of rain we have had in the last few days it was very wet and muddy and not having suitable shoes on, she clambered back down. We then returned to the car and drove back to the camp site via the Edale road and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Monday 11th June 2012
A late night (or early morning) watching the Montreal F1 on iPlayer, great result for Lewis and an exciting race I really enjoyed, I did have a problem for the last 10 laps, it started to rain and I couldn’t hear the commentary because of the noise on the tent, I resolved it by using my headphones. Before lunch we tidied up the tent ready for our departure tomorrow and then decided on a walk up towards Kinder Reservoir, we didn’t quite make it as the path bridleway becomes a steep cobbled path and I knew I would struggle to climb up it, I was satisfied though with the walk we did do and (so far) have not had any painful reactions. We did find an interesting structure along the River Kinder, Booth Sheepwash, last used regularly in the 1930’s, which was worthy of a photograph and the notice board was very informative on why it was built and how it was used.
River Kinder Sheep Dip.
River Kinder Sheep Dip.


After lunch and because the weather looked fine, we drove to Snake Pass, but climbing up the pass, the weather changed and it started to drizzle and the visibility became very poor, we did stay for a while at the top, but then decided to return to the campsite, sure enough when we arrived back there were patches of blue in the sky!

Somerset
Tuesday 12th June 2012
Rhiain’s House, Weston-super-Mare, 51 20 76 N, 02 55 99 W

Thank goodness that at least we had a dry morning to take the tent down and having organised ourselves last night it didn’t take long and we left mid-morning for the long drive to Weston-super-Mare. Our first stop was at our storage unit at Tamworth to pick up a few items for Rhiain and as “Anker Storage” is next door to the garden centre “Florascape” and knowing that the small café there always serves good food, we decided before continuing to have lunch there. Very good it was too, a 2 course meal for £5.95 each, soup (Leek & Potato) and roll, followed by roast beef and vegetables (6 varieties). We arrived at Rhiain’s to spend some time with them and stayed the night, tomorrow we will erect the tent at the campsite just 5 minutes away from their home near the Helicopter Museum.

Wednesday 13th June 2012
Weston-super-Mare Camping and Caravan Club Site, Weston-Super-Mare.

After Jenny and Rhiain arrived back from the baby clinic we organised ourselves to go “around the corner” to the campsite. I drove Jenny round and we were shown our pitch, nice choice an area about 2 acres and the only tent on it. We unloaded our immediate needs (the tent) and a few other items so that it would leave enough room in the rear for Kura’s car seat, I then left Jenny to start erecting the tent while I fetched Rhiain (to help Jenny) & Kura, good plan, when we arrived back Jenny despite the wind (should re-phrase that), had done a great deal of it, all I had to do was hammer the pegs in and play with Kura in the buttercups!

Thursday 14th June 2012
A shopping day!

Friday 15th June 2012
A baking day, or at least Jenny and Rhiain did, Kura and I played!

Saturday 16th June 2012
* * * A Very Happy 1st Birthday to our Grand Daughter Kura * * *

A great day with the Clarke and Morris families.

Sunday 17th June 2012
A relaxed day, badly needed after Kura’s birthday party yesterday!

Worcestershire
Monday 18th June 2012
Blackmore Camping and Caravan Club Site, near Great Malvern, 52 05 86 N, 02 16 58 W.

At least we have been lucky again with dry weather this morning to take the tent down and we were at Rhiain’s for breakfast at 9:30 am. We left Weston-super-Mare judged to perfection to arrive at Blackmore just after 12 noon, to be greeted warmly by Jo and Alan the campsite managers, obviously there first question being, “where’s the motorhome”? There have been problems at the campsite at present, there are contractors on site relaying all the access roads, of which stage 1 has been completed, unfortunately stages 2 & 3 is behind schedule due to the weather, the weather being the other problem as the ground in many parts is waterlogged and some of the grass pitches are un-usable. Alan found us a great pitch though on “higher ground” with a hedge at the rear to shelter us from the wind and only yards from the amenity block. We soon erected the tent, (despite chatting to our near neighbours for at least 45 minutes) and set up the kitchen, etc , blew up the air-beds and arranged our immediate needs. Next we decided we would drive to the Tesco Supermarket at Worcester to buy groceries for the next few days, however we did stop at a “Harvester” on the way for lunch. Arriving back, we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Tuesday 19th June 2012
A lovely warm day, we sat outside for most of it, reading and listening to music, when the weather is like this, camping is a pleasure.
Blackmore Camping and Caravan Club Site.
Blackmore Camping and Caravan Club Site.


Wednesday 20th June 2012

* * * Geoff Gloster 1955-2012 R I P * * *
A sad drive to Sutton Coldfield this morning for the funeral of an old friend and workmate of mine Geoff, unfortunate circumstances, but it was nice to see a lot of my old friends from my many years working for Chambers of Sutton. Never forget Geoff, Dave Whitehead (Blackhead) and I, driving to the River Severn near Bewdley in Dave’s car for a day’s fishing. We arrived the night before (after a diversion to a pub) and Dave couldn’t get comfortable for a night’s sleep in the car, so he stuck his feet out of the window! Surely in a quite country lane, parked on the grass verge he would have been OK? Not so, the local policeman came past in his little police mini-van and suggested it was not a good idea, we got up then (it was just getting light) and had “doorstep” bacon sandwiches, cooked on my picnic stove before we started fishing. If I remember correctly Geoff caught the most fish. Great memories! We continued to Lichfield for lunch, no guesses where we went? Yes the “Damn Fine Café” for a baguette of Packington Pork with apple sauce and stuffing and a pot of tea. A visit to Fradley was next to spend some time with Michael, Sharon and our Grandson Charlie before my 4:00 pm appointment at the Samuel Johnson Hospital for Physiotherapy, trust my leg to have been rather more painful of late, we thought I was getting better. No specific treatment as June the Senior Physiotherapist is hopeful it will gradually heal itself and has made my next appointment for three weeks time. Our last stop of the day was at my brother Brian’s and wife Linda’s at Great Barr as they had invited us for tea there and we spent a pleasant evening with them before driving back to Blackmore.

Thursday 21st June 2012
A relaxed day, unfortunately the weather has changed and it is raining heavily we spent most of it inside the tent reading, I can’t sit for too long on these chairs, so lay down on my mattress for part of the time, inevitable at one point I dozed off! Good news, when I phoned Swifts on the progress of the rectification work on the motorhome, we may have it back a week earlier (w/c 2nd July) than the date we were given. Jenny was so patient today, trying to get a television signal so I can watch the European F1 grand prix this week-end in Valencia, she was rotating the aerial a degree at a time to attempt to get a picture and sound, it looks like she was successful so hopefully we can watch it on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday 22nd June 2012
A very wet night and it was showery for most of the day. We did drive the short distance to Upton-on-Severn for some bread and milk, we didn’t realise that there is a music festival on there at present, so parking was not easy. Luckily as I drove back through the High Street a car moved and I was almost able to park right outside the small Co-operative store, We also spent the enormous amount of 20p on a 5mm screw at a “proper” hardware store to fix the TV stand to the TV, hope we can still get a signal tomorrow, otherwise I will take it back! At least it seems drier tonight, although the wind has increased and the tent is creaking and shaking, but hopefully I won’t have to put a raincoat and hat on to go to the amenities. A Fish and Chip kiosk is just outside the entrance to the campsite, it serves both us and the Caravan Club site which is next door and is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s, thinking of our figures, we shared a Haddock and Chips, it was enough, I didn’t need a Pudding! Oh, it just started raining again.

Saturday 23rd June 2012
I enjoy the sound of a Song Thrush, but not at 3:50 am in the morning, singing in a tree very close to the tent, especially when he does a “Hoggy Hoggy Hoggy” as part of his repertoire as he attempts to “out sing” his friend in another tree further away. Then the Rooks started their raucous call of “kaah” and the Wood Pigeons joined in with a softer “cooo”, I just love being out in the countryside, honest! Writing about Wood Pigeons, there is a pair building a nest in the Hawthorn Hedge nearby, and we are amused by their attempts to carry a 6 inch twig as nesting material and then try to fit it through a 4 inch gap in the hedge, they did eventually succeed. Jenny’s tenacity and patience yesterday paid off with the TV aerial reception, the television stood on the table and the aerial was perched on two boxes behind it and we had good reception to enable me to watch the F1 qualifying although we did have to use our outside groundsheet over part of the tent roof to block out some of the light on the screen. I knew that the amount I spent on a marriage license would pay off! We had a complete walk around the campsite this afternoon; actually not quite all the way around because there is some of it still closed for the road resurfacing. Then spent sometime in the recreation room, as I edited some photographs (it was too light in the tent) and Jenny knitted.

Sunday 24th July 2012
I started breakfast this morning our usual cereal and toast and I had just finished the first piece of toast and boiled the kettle when the gas ran out. Jenny unselfishly gave me the toast while she made do with bread and butter, before she walked up to reception with the empty canister to purchase a refill, (she won’t let me carry anything heavy than a bar of soap at present). £23.50 for a 6kg refill, the most we have ever paid to refill both cylinders in the motorhome has been £14.45; it shows how cost effective having the Gaslow system fitted is, and what a good decision we made in 2009. We set up the television and aerial early to make sure we had good reception for the Grand Prix and then just read until the start of coverage at 12:10pm and watched it until after 3:00pm, before once again relaxing and reading until the start of the England v Italy football match, yes I know I should not have bothered.

Monday 25th June 2012
After wasting my time stopping up to watch the match, I stayed in my sleeping bag until 9:00 pm this morning, Jenny (as usual) was up showered, dressed and on her way to get this morning newspaper. I was rudely interrupted in my slumbering state by two workmen who decided that it was time to start work on their biannual work of trimming the hedges. I did complain to the one workmen after breakfast about the noise, not that of the machinery, but his mates “attempt” at singing! Well at least he was happy in his work. Needing a few items of grocery we decided to catch the bus into Worcester, whist we were waiting two people stopped in their cars to tell us that there had been a bad accident (we had seen a police car speed past) further up the lane and our bus would not be able to get through. Just then the bus arrived and I explained to the bus driver what we had been told, luckily he was able to reverse in the entrance to the camp site and take an alternative route through Hanley Castle. Jenny and I had to then explain to the rest of the passengers on the bus what had happened as they were somewhat bemused when the bus started back in the same direction it had just come from. Arriving in Worcester we “window shopped” for a short time and found a Jessup’s Photography store which was larger than the one’s in Lichfield and Tamworth and actually had the neutral density filter that I wanted in stock, (this was the one that was incorrectly ordered by the Lichfield store in May) Lunch was next and we had filled Jacket Potatoes at a reasonable price in a nice little café near the shopping precinct, before buying our grocery needs and returning to the bus station for the bus back. We then spent the late afternoon sitting outside in the sun, I listened to music while Jenny knitted, before it started to get cooler at about 8:00pm and we retired to the inside of the tent.

Tuesday 26th June 2012
A relaxing day, outside reading and listening to music, then inside reading and listening to music, then outside reading and listening to music, then inside reading and listening to music, then outside reading and listening to music, then inside reading and listening to music, then outside reading and listening to music, then inside reading and listening to music, and so on. Yes it was very showery day today, although as I am typing this at 7:30pm, it is a now a very pleasant warm evening.

Wednesday 27th June 2012
A drive about 22 miles today to Gloucester and particularly the old Victorian docklands area with its restored warehouses, narrow boats and sailing ships. We decided to drive to the car park which had the “Park and Ride”, notice I said “had”, evidently it has not been in operation for some time, must update our 2009 road map sometime! Luckily I had parked next to a lady who told me that the “docklands” was a long walk from that car park and suggested that we follow the “anchor” signs to the docks parking, brilliant we were at the docks within 10 minutes and were parked right next to the West Basin. We had a pleasant walk around the interesting old buildings before we stopped for a Latte and Danish pastry in one of the many attractive café’s. We didn’t realise a large warehouse had been restored externally and changed to an outlet store so we spent some time “window shopping” before we stopped for a light lunch at a Cornish Pasty restaurant. Continuing on, we spotted a “Cadburys” factory shop; well we had to go inside didn’t we? Mmmmm, I just love Whole Nut.
Victoria Docks at Gloucester.
Victoria Docks at Gloucester.


After a further look around the canal basins and having an hour left on our parking ticket we went into the main city centre, just a 7 minute walk away. Unfortunately my leg was getting a bit painful so we didn’t go too far around the town but returned to the car and drove back to the camp site. Chatting to a man with a motorhome pitched near us when we go back, he was explaining he had been into Worcester to purchase a towing safety cable to replace his broken one for his trailer that contained a race car, but was unable to get one and would have to go out in his motorhome tomorrow to attempt to get one. Knowing that there was a Caravan Store nearby, (I had seen the sign for it in January when we were taken to fetch the hire car), I suggested he asked the camp manager where it was and I would take him, it was actually less than a 10 minute drive away and we were soon at “Caravan stuff 4 you” and they had what he required. He was very grateful; it’s nice to be able to help people.

Thursday 28th June 2012
Well that was a waste of time! Just after breakfast it started to thunder and I must admit that the rumble’s seemed to continue for the longest I have ever heard, so I thought that a photograph of lightening might be on the cards. I set up the camera on the tripod and waited for the storm to get nearer, it never materialised, plenty of very heavy rain, the odd flash of sheet lightening, but nothing to photograph, very disappointing. I did have a nice chat with a lady who commented on me “being brave” when she had seen me setting up the camera, she also had an interest in photography and we spent some time talking about the aspects of our hobby. We spent most of the morning inside the tent, however by lunchtime the weather had improved and we spent the rest of the day outside. I did telephone Swifts for an update on the motorhome; it looks like it will be next Thursday when it will be ready. Fish and Chips again tonight and this time we had a Haddock each rather than sharing one, then agreed that one would have been enough for both of us. I then spent the evening in the recreation room, the best place, because of the light (or lack of it) to edit some of the photographs from the Yorkshire Dales, yes, I am still trying to play “catch up” because due to my problems with my back and leg, I was not well enough to work on them before.

Friday 29th June 2012
We needed some fresh milk and bread, plus a few other food items today and we also need fuel, we decided to drive to the Worcester but also take the opportunity to visit one of my old work colleagues from my time at Hamer Ford. We drove to the Hylton Group on the western outskirts and Worcester and they didn’t have a Jason Drummond working at either the Renault dealership there or their Suzuki dealership that was adjacent, but did say there was a Jason at the Peugeot dealership the other side of the city. Typical it was just five minutes away from “The Ketch” holiday park we stayed at last year and just ten minutes from Tesco! We had a great chat with Jason, who is Service Manager there, about our time at Hamer Ford and some of our other colleagues who worked with us, next time we stay at “The Ketch” we will invite him to dinner. Spent the rest of the day reading and listening to music.

Someset
Saturday 30th June 2012
Rhiain’s House, Weston-super-Mare.

A short drive along the M5 motorway this morning to spend the weekend with Rhiain, Ian and Kura. As the “Clarke” family will be leaving Weston shortly to live at Southampton for a short time, before leaving for Canada, Mum and Dad’s help is required in sorting out some of their household goods. Or should I say Jenny is helping, I will stay upstairs and play with my Granddaughter!

Worcestershire
Sunday 1st July 2012
Blackmore Camping and Caravan Club Site, near Great Malvern, 52 05 86 N, 02 16 58 W.

Jenny was up at 5:15am this morning to go to the car boot sale with Ian, it was a military operation. Jenny went with Ian to start setting up the tables; luckily Rhiain had paid for an indoor stall so hopefully the very heavy showers this morning, won’t affect “business”. Ian drove back from Cheddar to collect Rhiain and take some more items. I stayed in the warmth of my sleeping bag!!!! That was until Kura woke up then it was Kura’s job to play with Duplo bricks with me; Ian then arrived back (having left Rhiain with Jenny) and we both had breakfast before we then drove in our separate vehicles mid-morning to Cheddar, not being restricted to the volume that Jenny likes on the car radio (low) Kura, sitting in her seat at the back and I had a great “sing-a-long” on the way and she did enjoy the heavy rock (I insisted). Ian and I browsed the various stalls of what is reputed to be the largest car boot sale in the South West, and then Ian stopped with Jenny and Rhiain while I sat in the car, the slick tyres for sitting on around the inside wall not being comfortable on my bum. The sale finished at 1:00pm so Ian came back to my car with Kura so that he could put the non-sold items back in his car. And with the sun now out Kura and I sat outside and discussed the world’s problems together, before I got bored and decided to pick daisy’s. Good news, Ian went with two car loads of unwanted items and other than one small box, drove back with just his car filled. We stopped at “The Sidcot Arms” for lunch on the way back to Weston, a Brewers Fayre pub/restaurant we have used before and have enjoyed good meals with excellent service, today was no exception. We didn’t stop long when we arrived back, the T4 music festival was on in Weston and we knew if we left it too late the traffic would be horrendous, However it didn’t help when we had just got on the motorway to find that Jenny had left her mobile phone with Rhiain and we had to get off at the Nailsea junction and go back for it. Ian needed fuel so he helped by taking it with him to Morrison’s Superstore, that saved us driving all the way back to Rhiain’s and we were soon on our way again, arriving back at Blackmore at 5:30PM.

Monday 2nd July 2012
Well we have been in the tent now a month and I can’t believe that I can count on one hand the dry days we have had, there’re not wrong when they say that June was the wettest since sometime like 1066! We must say though despite the rain we have always been dry in the tent, we obviously made the right choice purchasing this “Coleman Ridgeline 4” in 2007, our Norwegian Ajungilak sleeping bags which are now over 20 years old have also kept us warm at night. Yes, it is raining again today and the forecast for the next few days is not great either, It was my intention this morning to walk to Hanley Swan for bread, milk and a newspaper, I thought as it’s a nice flat walk it would be good exercise for my leg, however we drove there instead. We spent the rest of the day reading, and listening to music, at least my jumper that Jenny is knitting is progressing well.

Tuesday 3rd July 2012
Threatened to stay in my sleeping bag until it stopped raining, the sun came out and the grass dried, but I got hungry! We have had another wet day; at least I have finally caught up with editing my Yorkshire photographs on Adobe, only a few of the Derbyshire Peaks to do now. Jenny has spent most of the time knitting and reading, oh, and she also tidied up and organised stuff for our hopeful departure tomorrow. Our “Tracker” company rang to-day to check whether we were in our motorhome, obviously we aren’t but at least we could confirm for them it’s location, we presume that Swift’s were moving it around the rectification building, which is good sign.