15th December 2013 - 1st March 2014

Christmas and Early New Year in Devon
Sunday 15th December 2013
Cadeside Caravan Club Site, Wellington, Lat: 50.98609, Long: 3.2176 (159 Miles).

Three intended stops today on our way to Somerset, the first just 4 mile from Kingsbury to fill with diesel at Asda at Minworth, we weren’t there long and joined the M42 motorway at Junction 8 below Coleshill before meeting the M5. Next stop, again a short one to top-up with LPG at the BP station at Tewkesbury and we only needed 8 litres to take the 2 bottle capacity to the 22 litres that should be more than enough for our winter stay in the South. Our 3rd stop was the farm shop at Puxton Park just ½ mile from Junction 21 at Weston-super-Mare, a farm shop we have used many times for meat and vegetables when our daughter Rhiain lived nearby. Our Christmas meat was what we actually wanted and we purchased a piece of lamb and steak, plus a few other items before we had a meal. We had decided as it was lunchtime to eat at the carvery restaurant and we chose the turkey and trimmings with a variety of winter vegetables very nice it was too and excellent value at £6.95 each and it meant we didn’t have to cook tonight. Just a further 45 minutes along the motorway and it rained most of the way before we arrived at Wellington and the Cadeside Caravan Club Site. A “no frills” campsite with no amenities (shower and toilets) and just 17 pitches, we had the choice of most of them, there was only another 6 units there, the site being used in the main as a secure storage facility for motorhomes and caravans.

Monday 16th December 2013
Cofton Country Holidays, Starcross, near Dawlish, Lat: 50.61330 Long: 03.46150, (38 Miles).

Tesco at Exeter was our first stop today, 2 mile from Junction 30 of the M5 and one we have been to before and found ample room to park. Having the list already on Jen’s iPhone we didn’t take long purchasing our requirements, which was mostly the “non-perishables for Christmas, we will go to the Sainsbury’s at Dawlish Warren nearer Christmas for the rest. After a quick look at Curry’s next door to Tesco at “docking stations” we continued to Cofton, although we did go slightly wrong not trusting Betty and were (incorrectly) going to re-join the motorway, before Jenny quickly confirmed the correct route on the road map. Arriving at the camp site we were soon checked in (we had pre-paid) and were directed to the grass pitches, then we had a problem! We were told when we booked in November that even when wet the grass pitches were OK for a motorhome, it became apparent straight away that they weren’t, even just walking on them (after 3 days of rain), my feet were sinking in, trying to get a front-wheel drive motorhome pitched would have been impossible. We parked the motorhome on the drive and walked back to the reception to see if they had a hard standing site, they had but only a “super pitch” with its own water supply, drainage, TV socket and internet connection for an extra £5 a night, certainly not an amount we were prepared to pay. The receptionist suggested that she contact the man on site (we presume a manager) who would show us a firm grass pitch, however his suggestion was better, they are just finishing some hard standing “super pitches” for next season and he said we could use one of those at no extra cost, we were told that they were at the back of the amenities, Jenny had already seen them so we were more than pleased to use one of those, hard standing, with electric, but without water, TV and Internet connection which were still to be finished. We still had a tight squeeze attempting to stay off the very wet grass but with a bit of “toing and froing” we were soon pitched, organised and having lunch. After lunch we had a walk around the camp site to orientate ourselves, the fishing pools look good, but I had already made the decision to leave all my fishing tackle at the storage unit. We then walked down to the leisure centre and had a look at the swimming complex, wow, a brand new build with water jets and fountains for the children and a “bubble” part separated from the swimming pool by a wall which you swim into, we went straight back for our swimming costumes and returned for a swim, a 7 day ticket costs £8.95 each which we think is excellent value for money and there is a sauna and a steam room too!

Tuesday 17th December 2013
Despite the main road being not too far away and because it’s also in a dip edged by trees we didn’t hear any noise last night except the barking of a fox which like the hoot of an owl we don’t mind at all. After driving the motorhome on the last three occasions on wet roads it was dirty to say the least, time this morning then get the bucket, sponge and brush out and give it a good clean, especially as the weather is good and we know from the weather forecast it is going change and get very windy and wet for the next few days. It took most of the morning to get it sparkling again, meanwhile Jenny cleaned the inside and did some baking we then relaxed for the rest of the afternoon before going for a swim.

Wednesday 18th December 2013-Saturday 21st December 2013
Well the weather forecast was correct, extremely windy and very wet and for the most part we have stayed in the motorhome, reading, listening to music, playing games on the laptop and having our daily swim at the leisure centre.

Sunday 22nd December 2013
Still wet, we are so pleased to be on a hard standing pitch as several people have struggled attempting to use a grass pitch even with 4 wheel drives and “caravan movers” fitted on their caravans. We decided to have lunch at “Warren’s Retreat” the restaurant/bar on the camp site, the carvery meal was £8.95 each, however the girl asked whether we had a voucher for 2 meals for £7.50, we didn’t have a voucher but she still only charged us £15.00, which was great, the meal, we had beef, rare cuts for Jenny and medium cuts for me were first class too, the vegetables cooked perfectly, we will definitely go again.

Monday 23rd December 2013
The plan today was to either walk or catch the bus to the Sainsbury’s Supermarket at Dawlish Warren about 1.25 miles away and purchase the fresh vegetables, salad and dairy products we needed for Christmas. However the weather is so atrocious that we decided to phone for a taxi, we were given a list of three from the camp site reception we chose the first one “Grab-A-Cab" and he collected us from reception. We arrived at the supermarket and told the driver we would ring him when we had finished, we weren’t long doing the shopping having done the list of requirements on the Sainsbury’s “app” on Jenny’s iPhone and whilst Jenny was finishing at the checkout, I went into the foyer to phone for the taxi, low and behold, he was just dropping off another fare so he waited for us to finish and within a short space of time we were back at the campsite.

Tuesday 24th December 2013
A very peaceful relaxed day.

Wednesday 25th December 2013-Thursday 26th December 2013

* * A Very Happy Christmas to all our Family, Friends and Readers of our Web Site * *

Friday 27th Saturday 2013-Saturday 28th December 2013
With the terrible weather once again we have had over the last few days remained in the comfort of the motorhome.

Sunday 29th December 2013
Another relaxed day only venturing out to the “Warrens Retreat” for a carvery, this time choosing the Turkey, having lamb for our Christmas lunch it was nice to have a “Christmas” lunch!

Monday 30th December 2013
A better day today, at last the rain and wind have abated so we decided to go to Exeter. The bus stop is ideal just outside of the entrance to the camp site and we didn’t realise that the buses run so frequently, actually if Jenny had remembered that there was a separate exit/entrance to the campsite just up the field the walk to the bus stop would have been even nearer! We didn’t know the difference between the “2” bus or the “B”, we got on the first one (a “B”) which went into Exeter via the Trading Estates and we got off in the town centre. We weren’t going for anything specific so browsed the shops in the high street and the indoor shopping centre before we had lunch, We had decided on Burger King but there was a long queue at the counter so instead we went to the “Oggy Oggy” Cornish Pasty shop and managed to find a seat and were surprised when we found it was waitress service which was good and we ordered and enjoyed a medium pasty and chips, plus a pot of tea. We decided to have a look if there was a “Bose” shop in the city as we have decided to buy a Ipod speaker system for using in the “bedroom” and we liked the “Bose SoundLink Mini”, there wasn’t a Bose shop but found the nearest stockiest was actually the “Apple” store . . . and we had just left there, not realizing there was an upstairs floor! Luckily we weren’t too far away and walked back and made our purchase, we had also noticed that the bus station was this end of the high street so after leaving the Apple store we continued there and caught a No2 bus back to the camp site.

Tuesday 31st December 2013
Another relaxed day!

Wednesday 1st January 2014

* * A Very Happy New Year to all our Family, Friends and Readers of our Web Site * *

Thursday 2nd January 2014-Monday 6th January 2014
Very much battening down the hatches and staying in the comfort of the motorhome, although the shaking of the motorhome with the wind and the rain lashing down on the roof, plus the occasional flash of lightning and rumbles of the thunder have woken us up several times each night. We should have been leaving Monday (6th), but we have now decided to stay a further 14 days, with the terrible weather we have had since being here we have not been out walking/exploring as much as we would have liked, hopefully staying longer we will be able to.

Tuesday 7th January 2014
A break in the bad weather so we took the opportunity to go to Exeter today for some shopping and collect the rest of our prescriptions from the Chemist. We also went to the EE shop to see what was available as an upgrade to Jenny’s iPhone her contract has just finished, it appears that she can have the latest model (5s) and she will have more data (10 GB) and the monthly cost will actually be less. It was a pity they didn’t have one in stock, we will return when they let us know they have one. After a cup of tea and a toasted tea-cake at Wilko and getting grocery’s at Sainsbury’s we made our way to the bus stop in the high street and didn’t have to wait long for a “B” bus back to the campsite.

Wednesday 8th January 2014-Thursday 9th January 2014
Two more relaxed days.

Friday 10th January 2014
Another bus ride today to Exeter as we still need a bracket/shelf for the Bose speaker; we got off the bus at B&Q store just before the town, we needn’t have bothered they didn’t have what we wanted. We were only ¾ of a mile from the high street so we walked there from B&Q, calling in at other stores on the way to see if we could find anything suitable, we didn’t. First stop was the EE shop to see if they had an iPhone in yet, they hadn’t but suggested we try the larger shop about 100 yards away (why they have 2 stores so close is another story). The other store was very busy so we booked in after the assistant told us they did have a phone in stock, we waited about 10 minutes before an assistant did all the required paperwork for the new phone, only to find the lady assistant had picked the wrong phone (a 16gb instead of the 32gb), they were full of apologies and they are going to ring Jenny as soon as the iPhone arrives, we obviously left the shop empty handed. After lunch at Oggy Oggy’s (again) we did some more food shopping before catching a bus back to Cofton.

Saturday 11th January 2014-Tuesday 14th January 2014
Relaxed days.

Wednesday 15th January 2014
Jacob from the EE phone shop rang yesterday evening to tell Jenny her Apple iPhone was in stock so we caught the 11:00 am bus to Exeter and walked the short distance to the shop. We were lucky in the shop having an assistant that was efficient and she soon had the paperwork done and even transferred Jenny’s contacts over to the new phone for here. We decided to have a simple lunch at Wilko (tea and a hot beef sandwich) before shopping for a few bits and pieces at Sainsbury’s and then we caught the “B” bus back to the campsite, the bus stop for the “B” nearer to the High Street than the No2 from the bus station.

Thursday 16th January 2014-Saturday 18th
Relax days, the weather still being very wet and windy.

Sunday 19th January 2014

* * * A Very Happy Birthday to my Wonderful Wife XX * * *

Sunday lunch at the carvery, we both had the beef, delicious but cooked rather rare for me, we also had a sweet this time, Eaton Mess for me, (perhaps too much mess and not enough Eaton), and Jenny had the Profiteroles.

Monday 20th January 2014
Another very wet day, needless to say we didn’t go very far.

Tuesday 21st January 2014
A shopping day again in Exeter, we visited the O2 shop to get information on using Jenny’s old 4s as my phone on “Pay As You Go” instead of the Nokia I use, (well not really use, I still have £6 credit from £10 credit we put on it last July), it wasn’t as simple as we had been led to believe we have to have it unlocked and at a charge of £20 we will have a re-think, however all the information can be done via the Orange “help line” and on the internet. After a snack at the “Café Zest” in “House of Fraser” (tea and toasted tea cake) we did the necessary food shopping at Sainsbury’s before catching the bus back to Cofton, just dodging another rain shower as we arrived at the motorhome.

Wednesday 22nd January 2014
With the weather forecast better for today (or at least this morning) we decided to take the bus to Teignmouth. But when we arrived at Dawlish we made a very quick decision and got off the bus there, we will save Teignmouth for another day. We thought it a good idea first, to have a walk along the sea front and we followed the sea wall path, side stepping the shingle and stones which had been left by the storms over the previous weeks and also as it was high tide the occasional sea water spray that was reaching the sea wall. We got as far as Coryton’s Cove before we turned back, not wanting on this occasion to walk on the beach to the next cove and wanting some lunch we walked back into the town. We eventually found a fish restaurant shop “Chips A’Hoy” (great name) at the top of the town and enjoyed a meal of Cod and Chips before walking back towards the bus stop, finding on the way an excellent butchers and greengrocers which we will no doubt use at some time. We did right not going to Teignmouth as the weather had changed and become cold and Windy.

Thursday 23rd January 2014
A relaxed day other than a a short walk around the fishing pools, the paths however were very muddy.
Ashcombe Pool.
Ashcombe Pool.
Mamhead Lake.
Mamhead Lake.

Friday 24th January 2014

* * * A Very Happy Birthday to a Wonderful Person . . . ME * * *

Saturday 25th January 2014
Requiring bread and milk we caught the bus this morning to Dawlish, well we thought the “B” went to Dawlish, but at certain times it only goes to Dawlish Warren before returning to Exeter. It didn’t matter we had a short walk along the sea-front there before catching a No11, which did go to Dawlish, again “The Warren” is another place we want to visit in better weather as there is a nice walk through the nature reserve there. We didn’t stay long in Dawlish, just getting our requirements from a very decent Co-operative store and meat and vegetables from the butchers and greengrocers respectively. This evening we celebrated “Burn’s Night” (our birthday meal) at Amelia’s Pantry which we had booked a few weeks ago. There was plenty to choose from on the menu but decided to have the traditional fare, Cullen Skink as a starter, Haggis, Neaps and Tatties for our main meal and Kraken for our sweet, washed down not with whisky but a nice bottle of Marlborough (New Zealand) red wine.

Sunday 26th January 2014-Monday 27th January 2014
Relaxed days.

Tuesday 28th January 2014
A morning in Exeter, having decided to change the way we wanted to “mount” the Bose Soundlink Mini, we are now putting a small shelf under the cupboards in the bedroom and the only thing we needed to purchase was some “Contact/Fablon to match the wood pattern of the motorhome interior to cover . . . wait for it . . . an old plastic chopping board. We found exactly what we wanted at Wilko before calling in at the Orange/EE shop for a “pay as you go” sim card for Jenny’s old phone (now mine), having found that would be the most cost effective option for the “spare”, we will find out about transferring my old number at a later date, for now we will keep my original old phone as a second backup. We then walked to “House of Fraser for a baked potato light lunch, chicken and bacon with mine and prawns on Jenny’s very good it was too and excellent value. Then back to the bus station for the No2 bus back to the campsite and plenty of time for Jenny to go for a marathon swim, I have not been able to go recently as I have had a stubborn cough.

Wednesday 29th January 2014
Whilst Jenny did the washing this morning I made the “shelf”, rather more difficult than I thought as I only had my Stanley knife and a hacksaw blade to cut it to size with, however I am pleased with the result.

Thursday 30th January 2014-Saturday 1st February 2014
Relaxed days although on Thursday I did have a short walk around the fishing pools.

Sunday 2nd February 2014
A pleasant carvery at Amelia’s Kitchen.

Monday 3rd February 2014
At last a bit of a break in the weather although it is still very windy at least the rain has stopped (for a while). We needed some milk and bread so decided to go to Dawlish to the Co-operative store and was very surprised when we got off the bus at the stop nearest the sea wall how much the sea was still pounding the wall, so much so that there was still stones on the road. I hadn’t taken my camera with me, but we used Jenny’s iPhone to take some photos of the crashing waves and then walked to the railway station about 100 yards away where we could see the waves hitting South station buildings and platform. It was amazing the water was hitting the roof and then spilling on to the track also flooding parts of the platform and running on to the track. We then walked back to the main street to do our food shopping including buying some nice pasties and pies from the butchers before catching the bus back to the camp site. We then (my cough being better) spent some time at the swimming pool and afterwards relaxed for the rest of the day. Note: Since writing the above the fate of the railway in Dawlish has taken a twist.

Tuesday 4th February 2014
A very relaxed day, NOT however, a very relaxed evening or night, the wind is the worst we have been in since having the motorhome and actually we can’t remember being in such a strong wind ever! We decided to stay up listening to music, the television signal having failed early evening, until the wind eased just after midnight and we decided to go to bed.

Wednesday 5th February 2014
We were awoken several times during the night by both wind and rain and just as dawn approached the wind just got worse again, we decided to have an early “cuppa” in bed and then get up for breakfast. We didn’t do much for the rest of the day, although we did organise our stay at Kingsbury Water Park for the second week in March and also car hire for our week of appointments. We also watched the news (we have a signal back on the television), not surprised that Dawlish station has been damaged by last night’s storm but shocked that a complete section of track bed had disappeared and the sea wall had collapsed and most unfortunately damage caused to the row of houses adjacent.

Thursday 6th February 2014
Another, (I keep repeating myself), very wet day although not quite so windy, other than go swimming we had a very lazy day.

Friday 7th February 2014
A trip to Dawlish again this morning to have a look at the damage caused by the storms this week and also purchase some fresh food. Unusually the bus was late, but we had a nice chat with the bus companies (Stagecoach) van driver who was attaching information notices to the bus stops, (they are extending the Exeter City “Zone” ticket to include Dawlish and the villages, whilst the rail line is closed). Arriving at Dawlish we walked along the road in between the huge amounts of rail ballast that had been thrown up onto the pavement and looked back towards the station from the foot bridge which goes over the track towards Coryton’s Cove.

It was after walking towards the cove that the devastation caused by the storm hit home, I took a photo on Wednesday 22nd January of the colourful beach huts along the promenade and there were at least 15 of them, today there were only 3, bizarrely completely untouched, whilst the others were completely destroyed, with several turned completely around or on the roofs and sadly possessions of the beach hut tenants, fishing equipment, chairs, tables, clothing, kitchenware, etc. strewn all around.
Damaged Beach Huts at Dawlish.
Damaged Beach Huts at Dawlish.

We then decided that we would have a fish and chip lunch again at the Chip A’hoy so we walked up to the top of the main street and enjoyed lunch before a short trip around the Co-operative for our shopping needs and the short journey back to the camp site.

Saturday 8th February 2014
Because the swimming pool gets busy on weekends we got up early this morning and were in the pool before 8:30 am (almost to ourselves) before having our breakfast. We thought it a good idea this morning despite the high winds to go to Dawlish and take some photographs of the high seas, hoping we could dodge the occasional heavy showers that were promised, at least today the bus was on time and we were in the town before noon (high tide was at 12:12 pm). We were no longer allowed to cross the footbridge to Coryton’s Cove it being deemed too dangerous to walk along near the sea wall, instead we walked up the hill to an excellent shelter (just as well, we had a brief heavy rain shower) and took some photographs from there.

Then descending the path to the cove, where we watched the rough sea for a while before walking back to the town, purchasing some baguettes for our lunch to go with the delicious cooked ham we bought from the butchers yesterday, then once more caught the No2 bus back to Cofton, having to put the hoods of our jackets up as we walked back to the motorhome from another heavy downpour.

Sunday 9th February 2014
Up early once more to go for a swim, we did about 30 lengths of the pool, before having a short relaxing “session” in the steam room. We thought it a good idea today, instead of having a carvery lunch to have one of “Amelia’s Pantry”, Full Monty breakfasts, very good it was too and we should have perhaps gone and done another 30 lengths of the pool after it! We thought with the sun out, no wind or rain we might have been in the eye of the storm this morning, we were even able to have both the roof vents and habitation door open, we also managed to sort out some of the items in the garage, although I think part of it was wishful thinking on Jenny’s part, she decided to retrieve her summer T shirts from one of the storage boxes. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, hopefully I will have also updated the web site, and (I have if you are reading this)!!!

Monday 10th February 2014
A break in the terrible weather forecasted for today so we thought we would take the opportunity to go to Newton Abbott for a look around and do some shopping. We caught the No2 bus on the main road at 11:23 am and like 2 kids went upstairs, the route took us through Dawlish, the sea looking much calmer than of late, just a swell rather than the huge waves. We also travelled through Teignmouth a place which we will visit before leaving Devon early March, we also reminisced as we went through the village of Bishopsteighton, it was at the Wear Farm camp site when we were camping in a tent with Rhiain and Michael about 25 years ago that Rhiain broke her arm falling from a swing and we had only been there 4 hours! We arrived at Newton Abbott an hour and 10 minutes later and after reading the large scale town map we made our way to the market square, no outdoor market today, but the indoor market had some interesting stalls that we browsed around before walking to the main shopping street. Unfortunately for some unknown reason (other than old age) my knee was very painful and stiff, so we cut our “window shopping” short and concentrated on the items we really needed, ie, two new jumpers for me from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and a tub of Cinnamon from the Herb shop for Jenny! After purchasing some food items we wanted some lunch and having already spotted a “Oggy Oggy” in the market square we enjoyed a large pasty and a side of chips with a pot of tea, before walking back to the bus station for our return trip to Cofton. A good day out but we both agreed that compared with some other towns we have visited like Worcester and Shrewsbury, Newton Abbott wasn’t as good.

Tuesday 11th February 2014
A relaxed day, I needed to get up early morning to close the roof vents as once again the weather was wet and windy, when will this terrible weather end?

Wednesday 12th February 2014
A very wet and windy day and another day when we have sat in the motorhome doing crosswords, codewords, listening to music, “playing” on the laptop and until the power went off mid-afternoon watched some television (which we don’t normally do during the day). The power was off for about 2 hours and Jenny had just walked up to check with reception whether the power outage was on the camp site or around a larger area when it came back on again.

Thursday 13th February 2014
A lovely surprise this morning to here from our New Zealand friends Brian and Judy who are at present on holiday in their campervan at the top end of the South Island near Abel Tasman National Park. It was ironic that we were able to hear them so clearly, when yesterday I was talking to somebody less than 50 miles away and got cut off twice! We wanted some tubs of spice from Tesco and as we could only obtain them from their larger store at “The Vale” near the motorway, which we have used when passing in the motorhome. We caught the No2 bus and got off at the bus station and went into the information office to check which bus we needed. The D and H went to the Tesco Superstore and we were told that we could catch one on the high street, It wasn’t quite so easy, the D came along and Jenny asked the driver whether it did indeed go to Tesco, it didn’t, we were on the wrong side of the road! We walked across the road and another D came along. I asked this time, it didn’t, “only went as far as the hospital”. An H was next, I asked again, it didn’t, only went to the university . . . . do we really need these spices? Curried potatoes and Tandoori chicken, mmmm, yes we do. Another H came along, success, we were on our way and we were at the store in about 30 minutes, after the bus went to every housing estate in Exeter. It was now lunch time so we decided to have a look at what the Tesco café had to offer, baked potatoes looked good and I had Tikka chicken with mine and Jenny had Chilli Con Carne and very good value it was too at £9.95 with cups of tea. We weren’t long it finding the spices we needed and a few other items of food and we were on our way back to the bus stop where a J was waiting, no mention of a J at the information office, but I asked the driver and it did indeed go back to the city. We got off the bus in Fore Street and walked across the road for a B and within 45 minutes we were back at Cofton, having used No2, H, J, and B buses today, we have decided we are going back next week to complete the alphabet!!!

Friday 14th February 2014
Yes, you’ve guessed it once again it is wet and windy, so much so that we noticed last night that a new arrival with a caravan lower down our section of pitches had erected an awning, it wasn’t up this morning!

Saturday 15th February 2014
Another relaxed day, although we did go to the swimming pool, however because it is now half-term the complex was very busy so were unable to swim many complete lengths. We have decided for the next week we will swim earlier in the day or in the evening.

Sunday 16th February 2014
Up this morning for an early swim, it worked there were only half a dozen people in the pool, so we were able to swim complete lengths for about 30 minutes before having a short relax in the steam room, we then had breakfast in Amelia’s Pantry for the second Sunday in succession, another “Full Monty”. We spent the rest of the day “tidying” around the motorhome, the first day for some time we have managed to have the roof vents and the habitation door open. I had a great “Facetime” (a video chat application on the iPhone) with my granddaughter Kura in Canada, I walked up to where the camp site donkeys are and fed them while she watched, its fantastic today’s technology!

Monday 17th February 2014
Boring I know, but yet again we are staying in the warm and dry of the motorhome another wet and windy day.

Tuesday 18th February 2014
A swim again this morning, no big breakfast though, back to Muesli. Well the weather forecast for today (this morning at least) was better and requiring a few items of food we decided to go to Dawlish. We past Lady’s Mile Touring and Holiday Park on the way and realised how lucky we were with our chosen camp site, there were at least six large static caravans that had been destroyed by falling trees from the high winds of last week. After finding the post office, hidden in the back of the “OneStop” supermarket to post a parcel to Canada, we made our way to the vegetable shop and the butchers next door before buying bread at the Co-operative and then waited in the queue for a longer time than we had been in both the other two shops! We didn’t delay in the town as it started to rain and with a bus due we waited at the bus stop for it to arrive and within a short time we were back in the motorhome enjoying our fresh rolls and the delicious tasty ham from the butchers.

Wednesday 19th February 2014
We are getting used to our morning swim and we now have a routine, swim for 30 minutes and only stop when the “bubbles” start, have 10 minutes in the steam room, collect our newspaper from reception on the way from the pool, and then have breakfast and complete the Daily Mail crossword. The engineer finished the aerial socket installation to each pitch today, we now have all the digital television and radio channels we need and we don’t need to keep swiveling our own aerial on the roof to get a decent picture.

Thursday 20th February 2014
A relaxed day.

Friday 21st February 2014
A trip to Exeter today, we didn’t even look at the bus time-table, knowing that with 5 buses every hour (3 No2’s and 2 B’s) one would be along within a short space of time, there was, in fact we waited under 5 minutes, it was a No2 so up-stairs and on the back sit with the sun on our necks. It seemed a long journey this morning, not helped by a long tail-back of traffic across the 3 bridges into the city (canal, river and railway) but we eventually got to the bus station and walked to the high street. We were looking for a birthday present (we didn’t find what we wanted) and as it was almost lunchtime and the pleasant sunny morning had turned to a heavy rain showers we went into House of Fraser and Café “Zest” for lunchtime of baked potatoes with fillings. After a further fruitless search for what we wanted we did some food shopping before catching the No2 bus back to the camp site.

Saturday 22nd February 2014
Another relaxed day.

Sunday 23rd February 2014
At the pool this morning for a swim at 8:30 am, before breakfast at Amelia’s Pantry.

Monday 24th February 2014
Although we had passed through it on the way to Newton Abbott, we hadn’t been to Teignmouth since we had been in Devon, so as the weather was better than yesterday, the wind having dropped considerably we decided we would visit there today. We caught the 11:20 No2 bus and once again managed to get the upstairs front seat (yes, we will grow up . . . one day), there was a bit of a delay before we got to Dawlish at a set of road work traffic lights, where they are parking convoys of concrete mixing trucks that are pumping concrete through a network of pipes to the repair the damaged section of rail track and sea wall, would not be surprised if they were delayed again after yesterday’s high winds. Within 35 minutes we were in Teignmouth and we had a pleasant walk in the warm sun along the promenade towards the Teign estuary, again here walls and buildings were showing signs of damage from the storms, infact we saw that the steel door on a harbour entrance lighthouse had been buckled by the force of the sea water hitting it. After taking a few photographs of the estuary (on Jenny’s iPhone) we walked back through the gardens to the town centre and browsed the shops before looking for a place for lunch. We found the “The Pickwick” and decided on the “senior citizens” 2 course lunch for £6.99, we were pleasantly surprised when our meal arrived, pork, roast & new potatoes stuffing and carrots, we were even more pleased when 2 dishes of peas, cabbage and cauliflower were also placed in front of us. Infact the only difference between ours and the £7.99 single course appeared to be there was extra pork, however there was more than enough for us anyway and the Apple and Blueberry pie for pudding was delicious. After a great lunch we went to W H Smith for envelopes and to hopefully purchase an Ordnance Survey map for Northumberland, the destination for our next trip, we got the envelopes they didn’t have the map, nor did the little bookshop the lady in W H Smith directed us to, the book shop did have a lovely friendly and cuddly collie-cross dog however! We then walked back to the bus stop stopping at a Ironmongers on the way, where I managed to buy some dry lubricant spray for the motorhome locks, they have been getting “sticky” with the amount of rain we have had lately, before catching the No2 bus back to Cofton and an afternoon swim in the pool.

Tuesday 25th February 2014
A big decision today, we don’t normally book too far ahead the campsites we use, but this morning we booked Cofton for our Christmas stay at the end of the year and into 2015. Despite the terrible weather we have really enjoyed our stay here, with the ease of access to the city of Exeter and the coastal towns and also being able to have the opportunity to swim each day, plus the friendliness of all the staff we wanted to return. We have even chosen our pitch for December, No 9 which as a great view over the fishing lakes, albeit that we will be a bit further from the amenities.

Wednesday 26th February 2014
Having got fed up of her hair looking like a mop head after I had finished shearing it, plus the expense of sticking plasters and having to get the blood off the carpet, Jenny decided to get her hair cut in Exeter today! I went with her and we judged the time to catch the “B” bus which stops almost outside the hairdressers in the high street, which we had spotted on previous visits to the city. She didn’t have to wait too long and we completed the Daily Mail crossword until her turn (it was one of those turn-up, no appointment necessary hairdressers). After the “operation” had been completed we walked to “The House of Fraser” for a cup of tea and toasted teacake before purchasing a few items from the Tesco “Metro”. Not requiring to see or buy anything else we caught a “B” back to the camp site and had lunch before going for our swim.

Thursday 27th February 2014
Yet another night of wind and rain and once again we were unable to open the top roof vents, which we always prefer to do, we can’t remember now the last time we had a day without it raining. Even during the day we were having a short sunny period and then longer heavy showers, at least when we went swimming this afternoon we timed our walk during a dry period. We saw a funny thing whilst we were in the pool, another heavy rain shower started and the 2 donkeys and miniature Shetland pony were out in their field, the donkeys strolled back to the stable, the Shetland on its short legs, ran and got there first.

Friday 28th February 2014

* * * A Very Happy Birthday to our Son Michael xx * * *

Ditto yesterday’s weather, other than It was only in the early hours of the morning I needed to sit up and wind the roof vent down when it rained heavier; then a relaxed day with a swim in the afternoon.