13th October 2015 - 3rd November 2015

Back in the UK and "bricks and mortar"
Tuesday 13th October 2015
Blackmore Camping and Caravan Club Site, near Great Malvern, Lat: 52.1023, Long: -2.3064 (175 Miles).
Good Morning Ireland! After settling down with our headphones on listening to music we managed some sleep before waking up as the sun was just coming up as we approached the coast of Ireland. We landed 10 minutes before time at 9:05 and everything went so smoothly and even the passport control officer was friendly, Jenny and I went to the desk together, he did Jenny’s first and then mine, I asked him what he was smiling at, he said, looking at Jenny, “usually we have to ask people to remove their glasses”, Jenny’s passport photograph shows her wearing glasses and obviously since her eye operations she doesn’t normally wear them! Our luggage was already on the “belt” so we didn’t have to wait; Jenny grabbed a trolley whilst I pulled them off. We walked through customs and on to the travellator to the exit and made our way to the rental-car offices. When we past the Enterprise office on two or three occasions before we left (remember we were at Gatwick for two nights), there was always a queue, not this time, we went straight to the desk and having already filled in most of the documentation online, we were soon driving away in a Toyota Aventis. After a stop at Cobham services on the M25 for a coffee, inevitably forgetting to use the clutch as we came to a shuddering halt after using automatic gearboxes so much over the last 6 months, we continued to Worcester. We were much earlier than we anticipated and Gary (Gazavan) wasn’t expecting us to collect the motorhome keys until 3:00 pm, so we left a message on his phone and decided to drive to the Tesco at Worcester to get some groceries to carry us over for the next two days. Great, Gary rang us whilst we were in the store, so when we had finished we drove to his house to collect the keys and then directly to the storage unit near Powick. A quick check over of the motorhome (Gary was right it was filthy on the outside) and a transfer of three suitcases, camera bag and laptop bag, plus groceries from the car and into the motorhome. A short drive to Malvern next to drop off the rental car and with the usual Enterprise efficiency we were soon back at the motorhome. Arriving at Blackmore it was a case of filling with the fresh water, just sorting out our immediate needs, eating a Tesco Indian ready-meal and relaxing for the rest of the evening, before having an early night after two long days without too much rest.

Wednesday 14th October 2015
Wow, no jet lag, although we did wake up at 9:00 am which is rather late for us. We were so pleased yesterday with the condition of the inside of the motorhome, despite being in storage for 6 months, we could still smell the Neutradol air fresheners that Jenny had left in various places in April and the motorhome after leaving the heater on during the last night was as warm and cozy as its always been. The outside was the opposite, dirty, with black streaks running down it and green algae and leaves on the roof. We drove it down to the motorhome service point and with copious amounts of water and shampoo, plus plenty of elbow grease, 5 hours later it was looking a lot better, not perfect, but certainly much improved, we are glad now we took the time and effort to wax polish it all over before we left the UK in April, it was worth it.

West Midlands
Thursday 15th October 2015
Kingsbury Camping and Caravan Club Site, Kingsbury, Lat: 52.5682, Long: 1.7040 (55 miles).
We left Blackmore just before 12:00 pm and drove directly to the Tesco at Worcester to do “big” grocery shop, (evidently passing Don & Jan as we drove out). We had only been in the supermarket about 5 minutes when the phone rang, it was Michael, he was hoping to surprise us by arriving at the camp site, he obviously missed us by a few minutes too, sorted though, he drove to Tesco and after we finished our shop he had coffee and cake with us in the Costa Café. We arrived at Kingsbury mid-afternoon and were soon pitched, although not on one of our “favourite” pitches, the caravan and motorhome show is on at the NEC and the camp site is very full, it was a good job we booked it before we left the UK.

Autumn Foliage at Kingsbury Water Park.
Autumn Foliage at Kingsbury Water Park.

Friday 16th October 2015
A quiet day, Olivia from Enterprise collected us at 3:00 pm and she drove us to the office in Sutton Coldfield to complete the usual documents and we drove straight back to the camp site in an Astra 1.6. Friday so the mobile fish and chip van was due, we have learnt now, one fish and a portion of chips is quite sufficient for our evening meal, not forgetting bread and butter!

Saturday 17th October 2015
Off to the Caravan and Motorhome Show this morning, we haven’t been for a couple of years so thought it would be a nice change. As usual although very busy it was very easy to park and we didn’t have to wait long in the queue to purchase tickets. We had a nice stroll around for about three hours and of course we did what we normally do, look for exhibitors offering free samples, so we didn’t need lunch when we found two stalls with free cheese! We also spotted Andy who we purchased our motorhome off on the Swift stand and had a chat to him for a short time. We also watched an exhibitor demonstrating a cheese grater, having broken ours some time ago and not replaced it we decided to buy one, actually 2 at a special “show” price, so we will give one to Michael and Sharon.

Sunday 18th October 2015
A great day in Fradley with our son Michael, partner Sharon and our wonderful grandson Charlie

Monday 19th October 2015
Jenny had emptied our suitcases last Wednesday and today was the first opportunity for us to take them to the storage unit in Tamworth, it didn’t take us long, three suitcases and a few items into storage and my fishing tackle removed from it. Tamworth town centre was our next stop for a few items from Holland and Barrett before continuing to Ventura Park for some clothes shopping at Marks and Spencer.

Tuesday 20th October 2015
A lovely sunny day and perfect for cleaning the windscreen cover which was so dirty after the storage, by the time we had scrubbed it and rinsed it, then left it on the washing line to dry it was back to being usable, although with the warm weather of late we probably won’t need to use it for a bit. The other task we completed was our paperwork box that we bought back from the unit, getting rid of out of date receipts, warranties and obsolete tax codes, etc. made the box a lot lighter!

Wednesday 21st October 2015
A drive over to the garden centre near Shenstone to purchase a couple of shirts from the Edinburgh Woolen Mill, very pleased that I only require a medium now instead of a large. Then continuing to Great Wyrley and spending a lovely afternoon with Jenny’s niece Kathy.

Thursday 22nd October 2015
Nice to see Richard Burgess an old work colleague from Hamer Ford who came over to the camp site to visit us this morning, good to know he is his relishing his job as a train driver. This afternoon we drove over to Burntwood to see our friends Don and Jan and of course Mollie and Jack their Border Collies and had a long “catch up” before driving back to Kingsbury, via the fish and chip shop at Fazeley.

Friday 23rd October 2015 - Sunday 25th October 2015
Three very relaxed days, unfortunately not feeling too well with the cough that has persisted on and off since leaving Rhiain’s getting worse. Disappointed that despite staying up late on Saturday for the qualifying of the US F1 Grand Prix from Austin, Texas, due to the heavy storms it was postponed, still we had double action on Sunday. Well done Lewis Hamilton!

Monday 26th October 2015
A visit late afternoon to brother Brian’s and wife Linda in Birmingham, good to see them both and have a good talk and see Brian’s 00 model railway in his garage.

Tuesday 27th October 2015
Up early this morning for Jenny’s doctor’s appointment for her half-yearly blood tests, plus a flu jab (late we know). Then over to Tesco for groceries before calling in at Michaels for the photograph albums we had ordered, then a stop at the storage unit to relieve ourselves of the paperwork box before returning to the camp site. Unfortunately my doctor’s appointment was this afternoon, so once again we drove to the Health Centre at Lichfield and it was a course of anti-biotics for me for a chest infection! We then drove to Sutton Coldfield to return the hire car, Olivia very kindly dropping us back to the camp site, excellent service once again from Enterprise.

Wednesday 28th October 2015
A pleasant walk over the Water Park to the Co-operative supermarket at Kingsbury for a couple of items we forgot yesterday must admit I was extremely tired by the time we had walked back!

Thursday 29th October 2015 – Friday 30th October 2015
Two very relaxed days, I’m not feeling brilliant so plenty of rest

Saturday 30th October 2015 – Sunday 31st October 2015
A good sort out of the photographs from our trip, now all I need to do is edit them, put them in their correct categories and then choose some to print, no mean task! The F1 qualifying and race from Mexico to watch this week-end with both the constructors and driver’s championship already decided its lost a bit of its excitement, nevertheless it was a good race.

Tuesday 3rd November 2015
A massive change in our future lives, but first of all a back track. It was in 2006 when we first thought of selling our house and living in a motorhome and indeed that was what we have done since 2009. However, the long term plan was to re-visit our future before our 70th birthdays (in January 2016) and earlier this year we decided to put our names down on the housing list for Lichfield and before leaving the UK in April for Canada we “ticked the box” to action it. Since we arrived back we have “bid” for a few properties that we thought might suit us and expected to be on the waiting list for months if not longer, today we had a phone call from Bromford Homes to see if we wanted to look at 3 properties we were interested in and to cut a very long story short we chose one and had the keys to our apartment on the 12th November! We have sold the motorhome our last night in it was 23rd November and our first night in our new home was the 19th November.

Our "home" since 2009.
Our "home" since 2009.
Motorhome Departing.
Motorhome Departing.

What does this mean for our website? Well we will still be travelling, but as the website fees will be up for renewal in May 2016 we think at this moment we will not renew it, although as yet we have not made a firm decision.

Jenny and I would like to thank those who have contributed to our website since 2007, those who have commented using our guest page and those who have contacted us by Email, not forgetting those who have just browsed our web pages.