26th June 2013 - 8th July 2013

Note: No Photographs in this Section.

Wednesday 26th June 2013
The Horseshoe Inn, (Britstop) Uckington, near Shrewsbury, Lat: 52.6811, Long: 02.6263, (68 Miles).

Jenny’s appointment at Good Hope hospital wasn’t until 2:00 pm so we didn’t leave the camp site until after lunch and after dropping Jenny near the hospital entrance I drove to a local pub car park and waited until she rang me to pick her up, it worked well so we were soon on our way to Lichfield for her next appointment at Specsavers. Being too early we stopped at the Wyevale Nurseries at Wall and browsed the store until it was nearer the time, I then left Jenny in Lichfield, then parked in the Co-operative Supermarket car park awaiting a further phone call to once again collect her. Leaving Lichfield we continued to tonight’s Britstop near Shrewsbury and enjoyed a good meal there before settling down for the evening.

Thursday 27th June 2013
Ryton Farm Certificated Location, Condover, near Shrewsbury, Lat: 52.6334, Long: 02.7458 (20 miles).

Certainly not far to drive today, however we did need to buy groceries for the next week or so before going to Ryton. Our first “port of call” though was Total Angling just a few hundred yards from Tesco, (even less if somebody hadn’t put a railway line in between) for a few fishing “bits and bobs”. Arriving at Tesco shortly afterwards we had already organised our shopping list on Jenny’s Tesco app, so we didn’t take long purchasing 44 different lines and we got a “5p off” voucher for our next fuel fill, good planning I think. Although there were already 2 pitches occupied when we reached Ryton Farm our favourite pitch (No 6) was empty so we were soon organised and decided to have a cup of tea and lunch before we went to fetch the electric box key from the farm, unfortunately it started to rain heavily when we got back so we decided not to erect the awning until either it stopped.. Now not being able to erect the awning was rather fortunate. . . the Truma hot water/heating system refused to work on either electric or gas, no indicator lights, no nothing, and keeping the story short, after contacting Richard at Central Caravan Repairs (who fitted our new heating elements in February) and the service department at Truma, we have had to resort to organising a visit to the local Truma agent, Salop Leisure, who hopefully can sort the problem, luckily they are only 7 mile from Ryton Farm.

Friday 28th June 2013
We were at Salop Leisure when they opened the gates this morning at 7:30 am and after the receptionist took some extra information from us we waited in the comfortable waiting area with a leather settee (that Jenny wanted to lie along and go back to sleep), a television and free coffee. A faulty fan motor was diagnosed, but unfortunately they hadn’t got one in stock (they obviously hadn’t got a Parts Operations Manager as good as I was) and they are putting a motor on order, we will hopefully return next Wednesday to have it fitted. We were soon back at the camp site and having breakfast, obviously we will not be able to have a hot shower for a few days, Jenny will be OK, she’s brave and will have a cold shower, I’ll just smell! The rest of Friday we just “chilled”, I watched practice 1&2 of the British Grand Prix from Silverstone, looking forward to the rest of the coverage this weekend and the “Stones” at Glastonbury.

Saturday 29th June 2013
A few little jobs within the motorhome this morning before I sat down and watched the final practice of the Grand Prix, then prepared for a fishing session before watching the qualifying session. I spent the afternoon fishing on Hughes Pool, whilst Jenny remained at the motorhome knitting; the fishing was quieter than normal although I did catch a Common Carp of 10½ as well as some smaller fish. We spent the evening watching some of the bands at Glastonbury before the highlight of the evening, The Rolling Stones, they were tremendous and the encore of my favourite Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, plus “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, were fantastic, I was “hyped up” when I went to bed.

Sunday 30th June 2013
A lazy morning before we watched the Grand Prix and then the “red button” forum afterwards then I fished from approximately 4:00 pm onwards; again the fishing was not very exciting and with the wind was blowing across the pool into my face, it wasn’t that warm I only fished for 3 hours. This evening we enjoyed watching Glastonbury, particularly Mumford and Sons who closed the festival, a group we know very little about, but were terrific.

Monday 1st July 2013
A quiet day, the weather once again (nothing new) not being particularly brilliant, although I did manage to wash the outside of the motorhome this morning and clean all the windows, washing the motorhome here is easy with a tap to the rear of our pitch. I fished once again this afternoon and Jenny knitted, however the weather not being dis-similar to yesterday I only had a short session before returning to the motorhome for our evening meal.

Tuesday 2nd July 2013
Another “lazy” day, definitely not fishing today too wet and windy, but the weather from Thursday onwards looks like it will be improving; at least it has given me the opportunity to catch up on some of the editing of photographs from our stay in the North. Writing about photographs, we have been entering the Britstops monthly photography competition, which is simply taking a photograph with the motorhome at a Britstop location and we have won the entry for June with our photo at the Fat Lamb Country Inn in Cumbria where we stayed last month, ironically Jenny took the photograph, although I did “compose” it and then changed places with her. We have won next year’s edition of the Britstop directory for 2014, which will save us at least £25.

Wednesday 3rd July 2013
Salop Leisure rang yesterday to inform us the new motor was in stock for our Truma heating so I am writing this as we sit in their reception waiting for them to repair it. We arrived just as the gates were opening at 7:30 am it only being a 15 minute drive from the camp site and Jenny has been busy knitting (the amount of interest it created with the members of staff, she could have sold a dozen) and I have been “playing” the cribbage app on her iPhone. Now writing up this evening, as after we visited their showroom, accessories shop and “Love Coffee” for breakfast (tea and toast), our motorhome was ready and with heating system fixed I will now have a shower, (Yes Jenny, I promise)! After calling in at Tesco, for milk, bread and fresh fruit, and filling with fuel, saving £3.80 with our voucher, we returned to Ryton and had an early lunch. With a slight improvement in the weather I decided to spend the afternoon fishing in my favourite spot on Hughes Pool, I was very pleased when Jenny brought down to me a cup coffee, 2 home-made scones AND my body warmer, I needed it with the cold wind blowing in my face, I will be pleased when the promised “heat wave” arrives later this week.

Thursday 4th July 2013
At last the weather has changed it was even warm enough to make a major decision and let Jenny cut my hair to its “summer setting”, got my own back though I cut hers. I had an interesting conversation this afternoon with John the owner of the farm, he had apologised for the noise of the chain-saw in the nearby woods, and he then explained what was happening. He had purchased the wood last year and it has a short stretch of public footpath running through it, unfortunately the footpath is “above” a Badger Sett and the Badgers have made the footpath dangerous with all their entrance/exit holes so with the help of “English Nature” who together with John hold the licence to move them, he has (John) constructed a new Badger Sett in the wood at the back of Eddie’s Pool. How has he moved them? Trails of peanuts from the old Badger Sett to the new one for several days, then fixing “one-way” gates to each “hole” which allow the Badgers to exit their Sett, but prevent them re-entering. “English Nature” the experts were felling trees in the wood, prior to getting in heavy machinery to dig out the Sett completely, as is my “norm” I was “nosey” and went and had a look and had a good chat with the two men who were working on the project, evidently they don’t just move Badgers but Bat’s and Newts that are also protected under the Wildlife and Countrywide Act. Late afternoon I fished once again on Hughes Pool, however with a stiff wind blowing across the pool, plus two of the farm lads using noisy strimmers along the bank I moved to Goff’s Pool and using floating bread caught a few Carp before returning to the motorhome.

Friday 5th July 2013
A quiet morning sitting in the sun before fishing after lunch, this time accompanied by Jenny who sat beside me knitting until she walked back to start our evening meal, I still only managed to catch one large Common Carp, but with great company, in a wonderful setting it didn’t matter.

Saturday 6th March 2013
A walk to the top of the lane this morning to catch the bus to Shrewsbury as we decided to visit the motorhome show at the Shropshire Show Ground. Arriving at the bus station, we hadn’t got a clue what bus went near the show ground, Jenny asked at the information office and found which bus and at what time, we had just missed it, in fact we watched it pull out, but didn’t realise it was “our” bus. I decided to look on “Maps” an app on Jenny’s iPhone and found out it was only 1.6 mile away from the bus station by road, despite it being very hot we decided to walk and actually the distance was much shorter as we were able to use the footpath along the river which cut a long stretch of road out. We had a good browse along the different stalls; we were looking for a new shower mat, but didn’t see the type we wanted, which we have previously seen sold by length from a roll. We visited the Britstops stand and had a nice chat to Steve and thanked him for the award of a free 2014 Britstops directory for our June photo competition entry. We bought ice-creams which we had a mortgage for, before watching “Mr. Smith” a strongman act in the arena and after looking at a couple of new motorhomes just to be nosey, we walked back to the town. It was lunchtime and we knew that we didn’t need another mortgage to have Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas (me) and Curry sauce (Jenny) for £4.20 each at the Town Fryer our favourite “chippy” in their upstairs restaurant. After making a couple of purchases we caught the bus back to Ryton in time to watch qualifying for the German F1 Grand Prix.

Sunday 7th July 2013
We did have a nice surprise yesterday when we did get back, Ken & Violet from Bromyard had arrived, a couple we have met twice before at the camp site so we had a nice chat with them last night. They were both fishing this morning, Violet’s only second attempt and probably Ken’s 5th, the young lad in the caravan next to us was helping Violet, I spent some of the morning helping Ken, it worked, they both started to catch fish, Violet particularly did well finishing the day with over 30 fish. I also fished for a short time in the afternoon catching a few Carp, before I returned to the motorhome to watch the F1 race, then I revisited the pool late evening and caught another 16 Carp in about a 1½ hours before it started getting dark.

Monday 8th July 2013
Cathedral Grange touring Caravan Park, Lichfield, Lat: 52.6947, Long 01.84278, (51 miles).

After another long chat with Violet and Ken we walked to the farm to hand back the EHU key, a further long chat ensured with Molly, she demanded (in fun) that we book our stay there when a function, i.e. A garden open day or a charity fishing contest is held, as she wants Jenny’s expertise at organising the refreshments and snacks, she so much enjoyed when we were last there in May! We readily agreed as we had a great time too and she now has our email address to update us on upcoming events, we will try and be there. A slower than normal drive back to Lichfield, for some reason the A5 was closed South bound for road works. We decided to double back and use the “old” A5 (now the B4380) through Atcham and we joined the M54 motorway near Wellington, right decision a vehicle that was in front of us in the queue at Shrewsbury diverted left, we diverted right and he didn’t catch us up until we were near Wolverhampton, obviously “his” route was a lot slower. We arrived in Lichfield at lunch time and were soon organised, begrudging the campsite fee we pay there of £18, certainly not value for money now, especially as a 4 minute shower would cost an extra £1, why we have to pay extra for a motorhome over 21 foot is beyond us, when all other motorhomes and caravans regardless of size are £14 or less! Their loss though, we used to stay for several days, now we only stay for one night when it suites our circumstances. A 30 minute walk after lunch to the City station to go to Sutton Coldfield for Jenny’s eye clinic appointment, we arrived at Good Hope Hospital at 3:55 pm for her 4:15 pm appointment, she saw the nurse immediately, who told Jenny the Doctor was awaiting patients, she saw the doctor and we walked out of the hospital at 4:19 pm, that must be a record! Because it was so hot we decided not to walk back to the station (mostly uphill) and catch a bus instead, the bus stop being just outside the hospital side entrance, we hadn’t even managed to get our concessionary passes out when one came along and within minutes we were back in the town and after a short walk to the station we only waited about 5 minutes for the next Lichfield bound train. Likewise, arriving in Lichfield we opted for a bus back to the campsite and used the city circular, alighted at Eastern Avenue, took a short cut over the Rugby/Cricket/Hockey pitches of the sports centre, through the gate at the top of the camping field and were back at the motorhome before 6:00 pm.