2nd August 2012 - 19th August 2012

Shropshire and the Midlands
Thursday 2nd August 2012
Ryton Farm Certificated Location, near Shrewsbury, 52 38 01 N, 02 44 74 W, (76 Miles).

Must say the A2B (0121 733 3000) the Taxi service we used yesterday to get to and from Kings Norton were first class, they were punctual, a text message to say they were on their way and then a text message to tell us the registration number and vehicle type and colour, both drivers were polite and friendly, and it only cost £13 in total. First stop this morning was the large fishing tackle store very conveniently just to the rear of Tesco in Shrewsbury to “top up” with a few items for the next 13 days at Ryton. A big shop at Tesco next, not often we use a large trolley but we did to-day, are they all made with wheels that insist on going left? By the end of our shop I could feel the “pressure” on my leg so I sat and waited for Jenny to finish and go through the check-out, we also got another 10 pence off fuel voucher, this time for Typhoo Tea (and it was a special offer as well). Arriving at Ryton we were soon located on “our” No6 pitch (spoilt for choice we are the only one’s here) and we walked down to the farm to pay for our stay and collect the key to the electric hook-up. Had a good chat tonight with John the owner of the farm, when he came past on his JCB, we were swopping the history of our ailments and treatment as he has had a problem with his back/leg too. He suggested I pop in and see his wife Ann, “she’ll put you right, she does me”!

Friday 3rd August 2012
First task this morning was to put the awning up and we hit a snag, the two poles we purchased Easter to replace the one’s that bent from the unexpected overnight snowfall have shorter adjusting extension (12inch v 21 inch) than the old ones. I should have checked them, we didn’t use them at Easter as I had straightened (sort of) the old ones. Luckily we purchased them at Salop Leisure the local “Kampa” supplier and I called Richard there. He didn’t know the answer so he rang Kampa. We did manage to use the shorter poles so it didn’t stop us erecting the awning and despite the problem and we soon had it “furnished”, (2 chairs, 1 table and a carpet). After relaxing the rest of the morning, sorting and preparing my fishing tackle and having lunch I had a walk around the pools, looks like it’s fishing well, the only problem is if I catch a large fish how do I land it? Physio’s orders don’t pick up anything heavier than 2 kg! Richard from Salop Leisure rang while I was “walkabout”, evidently both he AND Kampa had learnt something, i.e. that the poles for the motorhome awning are longer than those for a caravan awning. The correct ones are en-route to Salop Leisure so when they arrive they will contact us; we may go whilst we are here or call in as we go past on the 15th August.

Saturday 4th August 2012
Well I was going to fish this morning, however it started to rain, then it stopped, then it started again, and so on, and so on. we decided to sit in the awning as it was nice and warm, then it got too warm so we sat outside, then it started to rain, so we went back inside the awning, then it got too warm……and you can guess the rest!

Sunday 5th August 2012
Decided that I would risk the weather forecast and fish today on Hughes Pool, Jenny spent the morning “housekeeping” before bringing down to the pool a picnic lunch and then sitting reading for some time, “back seat” driving on how I must net the fish so I don’t put any strain on my back/leg, she then returned to the motorhome mid-afternoon as she wanted to bake a Ginger Cake. At about 4(ish) the sky darkened and the first rumbles of thunder started and slowly became closer, not wanting to get wet (despite having the fishing umbrella with me) and having caught plenty of fish, I decided to call it a day and return to the motorhome……and a slice of Ginger Cake.
Storm Clouds over Ryton Farm.
Storm Clouds over Ryton Farm.

Monday 6th August 2012
As I had woken up early this morning, I had the idea of walking around the pools with my camera with my rarely used macro lens fitted and see what I could find to photograph, other than a beetle, numerous dragonflies, which were far too fast to focus on and the resident Heron, I didn’t see too much to shoot, plus I should have taken my tri-pod with me. After breakfast I had another walk around the pools and I was a bit more successful, but I will have to put a bit more effort in and get more used to the Tamron lens. We both then had a very relaxed day reading, watching television and listening to music. I may go out for another walk or fish later this evening.

Tuesday 7th August 2012
We had decided to go to Shrewsbury this morning on the No 435 bus, however looking at the weather forecast to-day looks as though it will be better than tomorrow so I fished for the day on Hughes Pool instead. Jenny once again sitting on her chair at the back of me (the safest place to be when I am wielding my fishing rod about), reading her book. Jenny went back late afternoon to prepare tea, whilst I continued to have a successful days fishing. My day’s fishing didn’t finish at tea-time though as I had an hour floating bread on Hughes Pool and caught 5 large Carp, before it got too dark to see my float.

Wednesday 8th August 2012
Caught the 11:06 am bus to Shrewsbury this morning from Ryton cross-road about a mile from the camp site, good job we aren’t here later in the month as because the small river bridge in Condover is going to be repaired so the bus will be taking an alternative route and won’t stop at the top of the road. We only wanted a few items from Shrewsbury so bought our requirements, window shopped and then went for lunch at our favorite “chippy” the “Town Fryer” and we were not disappointed. After browsing the shops we made our way back to the bus station, started and completed the Daily Mail crossword while we waited for the bus back to Ryton Farm and got back just before 4:00pm.

Thursday 9th August 2012-Friday 10th August 2012
We spent both days fishing and relaxing and getting a sun-tan!

Saturday 11th August 2012
For the first time since staying here, all 5 pitches are full on the camp site, other than 2 caravans last week-end we have had the complete camping area to ourselves, the Shrewsbury Flower Show is on this weekend so we guess that may be the reason. I had another “session” with my macro lens this morning, attempting to photograph the Damselflies on the bulrushes around Hughes Pool, the one I want to photograph particularly is the very pretty Banded Demoiselle if only the critters would stay still! This afternoon I had another walk around the pools and had a chat with the 2 couples who were in the caravan near us, who were fishing on Goff’s Pool, “Ed” had fished just 3 times and for Ken it was his first time, I stayed with them for at least an hour giving them the “benefit” of my limited knowledge of Carp fishing and some Sweet Corn for bait, Ken was pleased he started to catch fish. I couldn’t resist it; I decided to have a go myself and fished in my “normal” place on the same pool, very successful I was too, catching 14 Carp up to 8lb, mostly fishing bread on the surface. Jenny will now have to bake a loaf of bread as I used the last of our Warburton’s “Toastie”; well it went to a good cause!
Female Banded Demoiselle.
Female Banded Demoiselle.

Sunday 12th August 2012
Another relaxing day at Ryton, once again exercising my leg/back by walking around the pools attempting to photograph “critters" I had my hands full, camera, tripod, beanbag, collapsible stool and small groundsheet, although well prepared I wasn’t too successful. With everyone leaving today we are once again on our own, Had a nice chat with our neighbours before they also left and Ken very kindly gave me two bottles of Cider, perhaps I should teach angling!

Monday 13th August 2012-Tuesday 14th August 2012
Last 2 days before driving to Kingsbury Water Park so I fished both days, Jenny relaxed by reading and knitting.

West Midlands
Wednesday 15th August 2012
Kingsbury Water Park Camping and Caravan Club Site, Kingsbury, 52 34 09 N, 01 42 21 W, (61 Miles).

As we were ready to leave earlier than we anticipated this morning, we walked down to the farm to return the key for the electric hook up and spent some time talking to John and Ann the owners of the farm, what lovely people they are here; it’s still our favorite camp site. Our first stop this morning was to see Richard at Salop Leisure to collect the two extension poles that were supplied incorrectly earlier in the year. We arrived at Kingsbury Water Park just before 12:00 pm and we just had time for a cup of tea before James from Enterprise arrived to take us to collect our hire car. We have a Ford Fiesta this time, a change from the Chevrolet we normally have, its brilliant white, it makes the white on the motorhome look cream. An appointment this afternoon with June my Physiotherapist at Samuel Johnson Hospital in Lichfield, good news, MORE exercises!!! Seriously my progress over the last few weeks has been slow but at least I am going in the right direction and I don’t have to go back again until 10th October. A visit to Tesco was next to top up our food larder, Jenny once again using the “app” on her iPhone to locate the correct aisles and dashing around the store like a whirling dervish, with me struggling to keep up despite using a turbo-charged shopping trolley.

Thursday 16th August 2012
A few things to do today and hopefully just going to Tamworth would fulfill what we wanted to do. Firstly Allen’s Tackle shop at Kingsbury to buy a few items of fishing tackle (not getting all I wanted) before stopping at a Camping & Caravan Club Certificated Site just the other side of Kingsbury to just take a look for future reference, there was only one caravan there and we had a chat with the man who owned it. We actually got talking on photography as his interest was old machinery, i.e. Steam engines, Tractors, etc, we eventually got onto the subject of the camp site and he was very helpful in telling us about it, definitely a little site we may visit in the future. Next stop was the storage unit to take some items that we had “lent” to Rhiain that she no longer requires before her move to Canada. A wasted drive then to the other side of Tamworth to the Fiat Dealer, to cut a long story short, we have had a recall letter from Fiat on a concern with the spare carrier and fixings, our spare wheel is in the “garage” so the recall doesn’t apply, how to stop Fiat sending letters to us is the question and the Fiat dealer in Tamworth could not help. We (well Jenny actually) has broken the rubbish bin on the door and although we have attempted to repair it several times we have been unsuccessful. We decided we would remove it and buy a “stand alone” one; all we want is a small rubbish bin, preferable white, easy? No! unless we want a silver or grey one and despite visiting, Tesco, Asda and B&Q to name but three large stores, we are still using a plastic bag.

Friday 17th August 2012
Spent some of the morning deciding where to go in the next couple of weeks, we had forgotten that there is a bank holiday at the end of the month. We have managed to book “The Ketch” at Worchester for 3 nights, then we are going to stay at Bromyard Downs until the 3rd September, coincidently we have organised our stays not dis-similar to the same time last year. Needing to collect our medicine prescriptions we drove over to Lichfield this afternoon, we also attempted to purchase the small rubbish bin, this time silver or black was all the stores seem to stock, back to the plastic bag again! Well Friday is fish day so we drove the short distance to our favorite local “chippy” “The Atlantic” at Kingsbury; we were surprisingly disappointed the haddock was barely warm!

Saturday 18th August 2012
Back to the storage unit this morning to have a “tidy up”, I managed to find a chair that had been left out so I sat, supervised and gave orders whilst Jenny did all of the work! This afternoon we sat outside reading, before I decided to go “walkabout” around the lakes photographing any “critters” I could see; unfortunately I missed 4 critters and I’ve got the bites on my arms to prove it. Actually I did see one of them, too late though to prevent it drawing blood on my arm, but not too late to give it a slap on the head, Score? Mozzies 4, Alan 1, at least we still had a tube of “Soov” that we bought in Australia, it worked even if the “best before” was August 2011.
Gibson Pool, Kingsbury Waterb Park.
Gibson Pool, Kingsbury Waterb Park.

Sunday 19th August 2012
Up early this morning (but not as early as I intended) to once again stroll around the lakes with my camera, successful this morning in managing to photograph a Brown Hawker one of the more common Dragonflies.
Brown Hawker.
Brown Hawker.

Late morning Michael, Sharon and Charlie came over from Lichfield to visit us for a short time. We spent the afternoon once again sitting in the sun reading and drinking copious cups of tea.