4th July 2012 - 1st August 2012

Back in the Motorhome and a visit to the New Forest
Wednesday 4th July 2012
Robeanne House Bed & Breakfast, Shiptonthorpe, 53 52 53 N, 00 41 47 W (174 Miles)

Good news this morning, Carol the Customer Services lady at Swifts rang just after 10:00am to say that our motorhome was repaired and ready for collection, I immediately arranged for us to collect it early tomorrow. First thing’s to organise, phone Gaslow to organise connection of the gas bottles in Loughborough, Enterprise to arrange return of the hire car and Robeanne House for our overnight stay. Then we had the task of taking down a wet tent, luckily the weather was kind so we were at least able to take it down in the dry, although in the next few days we will have to “air” it and clean the groundsheets. With the amount of rain we have had since being here we have made a right mess of the pitch, it will take it a long time for it to recover. We had a short stop at Michaels in Fradley as we were driving towards the North, to collect the gas bottles he had stored for us. Then decided to stop on the outskirts of Derby for a late lunch, I was sure the place I suggested we stop at was a Harvester, Brewers Fayre or similar, my memory isn’t what it was (although it has been 4 years since we have driven this way). . . . . we enjoyed the “Big Mac and Fries”! We arrived at Robeanne about 5:00pm and we soon luxuriated in a the lovely hot & powerful shower and then relaxed in our big, fluffy bath robes and I am now typing this sitting on the bed, while Jenny has managed to find a “Midsummer Murders” on the television that she hasn’t seen.

West Midlands
Thursday 5th July 2012
Kingsbury Camping and Caravan Site, Kingsbury, near Tamworth, 52 34 14 N, 01 42 14 W, (150 miles).

After a “full English” at Robeanne we left there at 8:30am, Betty was a bit confused on the way and wanted us to drive into Hull, luckily I spotted the sign for Cottingham and we arrived there a little later than intended at 9:10am. After we signed in at Security both Lesley from Customer Services and Tony the Service Manager were waiting for us and Tony took us to our motorhome. He was very thorough with his explanation of the rectification work that had been done to repair the water ingress, including the fitting of two new garage doors and the gas locker door, plus sealing of all the lower skirts, he is 100% sure that we won’t have a re-occurrence of the problem. After I drove the motorhome out of the security compound I parked it next to the hire car and we, or rather Jenny because I am not allowed to lift anything heavier than 2kg, took all our belongings out of the hire car and put them either in the garage or inside the motorhome. I then left Jenny to re-arrange everything, whilst I drove about 8 mile to Hessle, near the Humber Bridge to return the hire car, we had calculated the fuel perfectly, there was only 25 miles of diesel, according to the computer, left in the tank. Well they did tell us to return it empty! After completing the necessary paperwork I was driven back (not in the vehicle we had hired) to Swifts, where Jenny had completed organised everything ready for us to leave and after having a cup of coffee in the Swifts reception we left for Loughborough. We almost found “Gaslow” straight away on the huge trading estate, we only went wrong once, my fault not Betty’s and parked outside their premises. I explained to “Rodg” why we were there and he was soon outside with his spanners (we declined his offer of a cup of tea, we tasted it last time) and he re-connected our hoses and tested the system for any leaks, plus supplying a new gauge which we had broken the clips off when we had taken the bottles out. Payment for his time and for the new gauge was declined (although I made sure he didn’t do it for nothing, wink, wink), yet again great service from Gaslow. We left mid-afternoon, I almost left Jenny outside Gaslow, she was so interested in the young man (or rather his skills) at putting loaded pallets on an Artic truck with a reach truck. I told her that I used to drive one of those and still had the licence, she wasn’t that impressed, perhaps it was the young man after all! Our next destination was Asda at Tamworth, we badly needed to get our grocery’s, however on the way we phoned Anker storage and found out that they closed at 4:00pm, we therefore went there first to collect some of our belongings we had left in storage, we didn’t collect everything, we will leave that for next week. We arrived at Kingsbury just after 5:00pm and were soon pitched although it was some time before we had our customary cup of tea as we still had a great deal of organising both in the garage and inside, with the items collected from the storage unit. While Jenny was busy inside and as it was dry and very warm, I pegged out the groundsheets and scrubbed them clean with a brush, I did rinse them and they did look clean but as the weather forecast for tomorrow is for heavy rain, we decided to leave them outside to give them an extra soaking. We bought ourselves a “take a way” Asda Indian meal for an “easy” meal and we sat outside in the late evening sun enjoying the meal, especially being able to sit once again in our comfortable outdoor chairs. Having had such a busy day, it wasn’t long before we went to bed, so glad to be once more in our own “home”.

Friday 6th July 2012
They weren’t wrong with the weather forecast, it has rained all day, at least those groundsheets are clean, now all we have to do is get them dry. Jenny spent a lot of time at the laundry, clothes, sleeping bags and our “autumn” duvet to wash; hopefully we won’t need that in the next few months. A Testament to how warm the motorhome stays even in the winter, at no time have we put the “autumn” and “summer” duvets together to make a “winter” one. With the amount of rain today a hard standing pitch opposite has about 3 inches of water on it, its great fun watching 3 young children paddling in it, I had to stop Jenny joining in! No chance today to sort the garage out, perhaps tomorrow will be drier.

Saturday 7th July 2012
Yes, the day started off dry; at least it gave us chance this morning to empty the garage and lay down the (now dry) groundsheet which we used outside the tent, but normally resides on the garage floor. We were therefore able to at least put most of the garage items in there correct locations, although we still have items we need from the storage unit and items we need to leave there. Jenny was also able to wash the two groundsheets that are integral with the two sleeping compartments of the tent and hang those out to dry, all we have now is the tent itself to “air” before storing it away. I tidied up the gas locker, both gas bottles are held in by canvas straps, I just hate the ends to dangle so I tape them up neatly with PVC tape. In between times I watched the 3rd practice of the British Grand Prix from Silverstone and the rain interrupted qualifying, with the weather forecast for tomorrow being similar to today i.e. heavy showers, it should be an interesting race. We then spent the rest of the day relaxing by reading, listening to music and I played chess on the computer (the computer won) and Jenny knitted, no we don’t watch tennis.

Sunday 8th July 2012
A quiet day, the British Grand F1 Grand Prix this afternoon was what we were looking forward to watching on the television, just a pity that our British drivers didn’t do very well.

Monday 9th July 2012
Rather than waiting until Michael was able to help us on Wednesday we decided this morning to drive over to our storage unit at Tamworth and get the rest of our belongings that we left on Thursday. We did divert slightly to the Anchorside shopping centre, principally to purchase an update for Kaspersky Anti-virus, however we were unable to find anywhere that stocked it, however we did manage to purchase my photography magazines. Must read last month’s first though! Next stop was Lichfield to “load” Michael’s car up with all our camping equipment that we hopefully will not need. Michael will store it in his loft for us and hopefully use it for a family holiday. On the way back to Kingsbury we stopped at Canwell Caravans to purchase a large container of Toilet Liquid, for the first time since we have had the motorhome we have used our small reserve bottle, yes I had forgotten we needed to buy some. I then spent part of the afternoon cleaning the “plastics” in the cab with “Wynn’s Cockpit Cleaner”, couldn’t finish it though, I wanted to clean the front door trims but it started to rain.

Tuesday 10th July 2012
A chance this morning as it was dry to finally get the motorhome straight and tidy, then spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Wednesday 11th July 2012
Finally managed this morning to finish cleaning the cab of the motorhome and with the fine weather also cleaned both of the inside garage doors, gas locker and toilet cassette locker, great stuff that cockpit cleaner. Michael arrived just after lunch to take us to Lichfield, stopping at the storage unit on the way to collect some paperwork we had forgotten. We were early for my Physiotherapist appointment so before walking up to the Samuel Johnson Hospital we did some shopping in the town centre. June my Physiotherapist was very pleased with my progress and as given me some exercises to do to strengthen my left leg muscles, Jenny who attended with me will make sure I do them properly! As Michael and Sharon had a prior appointment this afternoon, we had to wait for him to drive to Lichfield from Burton, what better place to wait than in Café Nero and we enjoyed a Latte whilst talking to Jo, the manager who we have known since we started going there in 2007 and who coincidently is a friend of Sharon’s and used to work with “Mike”. Michael rang to say he was on his way and we arranged to meet him outside the Raj Duth our favorite Indian restaurant for many years and we ordered a “take a way” and had a nice chat with Mr. Hussein the owner. We then drove back to Michaels to enjoy our meals before he took us back to Kingsbury.

Thursday 12th June 2012
With the sun shining we spent most of the day outside, decided that we needed some vitamin D to prevent suffering from Rickets!!!!

Friday 13th June 2012
Weston-super-Mare Camping and Caravan Club Site, 51 20 04 N, 02 55 88 W (118 Miles).

An easy run this morning to Weston, although I must admit my leg was rather stiff when we got there. We were soon pitched on a part of the site that wasn’t to “soggy” and luckily the site manager had saved a hard standing pitch for us and were siting caravans on grass pitches. After lunch Rhiain arrived to take us round to her house, Ian arriving in the meantime with a Luton Van to transport their belongings to Southampton where they are staying with Ian’s parents, prior to moving to Canada

Saturday 14th July 2012-Sunday15th July 2012
Spent both days with Rhiain and Ian, helping them with their move. I had the best job, looking after Kura, Sunday afternoon Kura and I went back to the motorhome whilst Jenny and Rhiain did a final clean of the house. We had great fun, walking around the campsite and Kura insisting that we sit and pick Clover, trust me to sit in on a particular wet bit, I needed my nappy changed before Kura did! We then returned to the motorhome, more fun, with Kura investigating every nook and cranny. Then it was a contest, who would tire first, a 66 year old or a 13 month old, I won. . . . just. Kura falling asleep in a most uncomfortable position against the habitation door, however when she was sound asleep I managed to move her to the dinette seat. I was then able to relax by reading until Jenny and Rhiain arrived and after sandwiches for our tea and Kura enjoying having a bath in the baby room at the amenities it was time for Rhiain and Kura to drive to Southampton, another chapter in our daughter’s life ending. Time for Jenny and I to put our feet up with a glass of wine!

Monday 16th July 2012
Wincanton Racecourse Caravan Club Site. 51 04 06 N, 02 24 98 W, (45 Miles).

Leaving the Weston-super-Mare camp site at about 10:00am, we expect this to be our last time in this particular area of the UK, despite Rhiain having lived here for the last 6 years, we have never liked this part of the country, nor either campsite close to where Rhiain lived, although we always enjoyed our times at Moorlands Farm the Certificated Camp Site belonging to John & Jenny. Asda was our first stop to buy our needs for the next few days and typical we left Weston-super-Mare on a sour note, when we returned to the motorhome, we had been issued with a parking ticket from TCP , Asda’s car park management company for “obstructive parking”, without going into detail, where we parked at the side of the main car parking area, we were definitely not obstructing anybody and suffice to say I have sent Asda a strongly worded email, we will let you know the outcome. Although the steep drive up through Cheddar Gorge was easy, it was a difficult drive to Wincanton the road conditions with driving rain and surface water was atrocious. Jenny had phoned the Wincanton Racecourse Caravan Site on Friday to make sure that we were able to stay there as the site is grass only; the manageress told her she would reserve a pitch near the reception which had gravel underneath the grass and drained better than other parts of the 5 acre site. Sure enough when we arrived, although the reception was closed until 4:30pm, there was a large notice on the door for “Mr. Morris to pitch on No 45” and just onto the grass, which we obviously did and with a slight slope back to the “bitumen”, we are confident despite the wet conditions that we will be able to reverse off on Wednesday. 2:30pm saw the arrival of Suellen Dainty who is writing an article on behalf of Saga Magazine on the “lifestyle” and travels of the “UK Grey Nomads”, this should appear in their magazine about October, should be interesting what she has written.
Wincanton Racecourse Camping and Caravan Club Site.
Wincanton Racecourse Camping and Caravan Club Site.

Tuesday17th July 2012
A mammoth washing day to-day, at last the sun was shining this morning, giving Jenny the opportunity to have our clothes drying on the rotary dryer. We even managed to get our chairs out of the garage and sit out to have our “elevenses” and lunch. We spent some of the afternoon removing everything from out of the garage and re-organising it, at the moment we have items in there that Rhiain no longer requires and that we are taking to Michaels, good job they have already taken the aquarium! Needless to say, towards tea-time it started to rain, however it did give me chance to do what I call “a lazy man’s car wash” i.e. I got the chamois leather out and just dried it off, but a least I have got some of the dirt off.

Wednesday 18th July 2012
Salisbury Camping and Caravan Club Site, 51 05 13 N, 01 48 10 W, (35 Miles).

Another wet morning, when will it end? Having only a short distance to travel today we didn’t need to rush off, so we perused the book exchange in the reception and had a nice chat to the site managers before leaving just after 11:00 am, a good job we only parked just off the “bitumen” even in the short distance we reversed the front tyres had poor traction. We arrived at Salisbury at 12:20 pm and checked in, or attempted too, the site computers were on a “go slow” and despite there being a vacant hard standing pitch available, the computer system would not allow the site manager to allocate it to us, I suggested I pull the plug out, give the processor a kick and throw the keyboard across the office, they declined my offer, well it used to work for me! Another very wet camp site and the managers have struggled to accommodate the customers, having to fence off some of the pitches that are too wet & muddy, however we are pitched perfectly and we have a wonderful view through the windscreen of the mighty “Old Sarum” Iron Age hill fort just ½ mile away and which we will visit hopefully while we are here.
Old Sarum.
Old Sarum.

We had an answerphone message from the Wincanton camp site whilst we were in reception, I rang and spoke to the manageress, she asked whether the washing in their laundry room drier was ours, I checked my underpants drawer, they were all there, the one’s that I was wearing were dry. . . . it wasn’t ours!

Thursday 19th July 2012
A pleasant 30 minute mostly level walk into Salisbury, a city that I have passed through a few times when visiting my parents when they lived in Poole, Dorset, without actually stopping and visiting. The signposted walk started just outside the camp site along a footpath across Hudson’s Field, the large open space in front of the campsite below the remains of Old Sarum and used for a number of sports including, football, cricket, and rugby, we have also seen at lot of kite flying, plus land surfing (that looks dangerous) before crossing a road to take a path between house’s to a footpath/cycle way. This led to a bridge over the River Avon (the Hampshire one) and after crossing the bridge we continued along the “riverwalk” to the town centre. First stop was a Costa as we were both thirsty and medium Lattes helped, the triple chocolate muffin I had being a bonus. After browsing the shops we made our way to the cathedral and walked around the extensive grounds and cloisters, sitting for a short time in the warm sunshine, before returning to the city centre for lunch.
Salisbury Cathedral.
Salisbury Cathedral.

We couldn’t make our minds up. . . . Cornish pasty’s or a “Burger King”, the burger won, only because it was the first one we came to. After another browse around the shops we made our way back to the camp site, my leg by this time aching rather badly. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting outside reading and watching “skydivers” parachuting down, Old Sarum airfield is less than a mile away and is home to a multitude of flying schools so light aircraft fly low over the camp site quite often, together with a few microlights, thankfully they have not got a CAA licence for night flying. Interestingly Old Sarum is the best-preserved flying field of the World War I period and some of hangar buildings have preservation notices on them. Late afternoon it started to get cool and there was quite a stiff wind blowing (the kite flyers were happy); we moved indoors and spent the rest of the evening reading and listening to music.

Friday 20th July 2012
Despite my leg still aching from yesterday’s walk, I was determined today to walk to Old Sarum the site of the original Salisbury, the Iron Age hill fort was where the first cathedral once stood and the Romans, Normans and Saxons have all left their mark. Jenny enquired at reception the best way to go and found by walking diagonally across Hudson Field we could shorten the walk. The site is owned by English Heritage; we paid the concession fee of £3.40 each and walked across the bridge over the ditch (no moat at this one) into the castle grounds. The interpretive boards were first class and they really gave an insight into life in “Old Sarum” particularly in the 12th and 13th century, did you know they didn’t use loo roll then, only pieces of cloth, however the rich people did have a servant to hand it to them! Beats me that Jenny is so informed about English history and was able to tell me so many interesting facts; however she can’t tell the time. This morning I asked her what the time was “10 minutes to seven” she said, “Do you want your cup of tea now?” I asked, (it’s normally my job), “yes please” she answered. We drank our tea in bed and I looked at my watch. . . . 6:10am!!!! I read my book for another hour. I digress, back to the castle; we explored all the nooks and crannies of the ruins and grounds before walking out of the castle.
Old Sarum Castle-.
Old Sarum Castle-.

Then following the perimeter ditch path to the ruins of the Old Sarum Cathedral, built in 1092. Just five days later after completion the building was largely destroyed by lightning. Reconstruction began in 1100, however in 1220, a new cathedral was built on the banks of the River Avon, which is of course the cathedral we see today, so ends today’s history lesson. When we reached Hudson’s field, I walked back to the motorhome and prepared a salad lunch whilst Jenny walked to the local co-operative store for bread and milk. Like yesterday we spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Saturday 21st July 2012
A chance this morning to at least wash the bottom half of the motorhome and get some of the road dirt off, I also used some Autoglym Wax Polish that Rhiain gave me, which you can put on whilst the paint surface is still wet, called “ Aqua Wax” which I was most impressed with, all I have to do now is do the rest of the motorhome with it. Midday we walked to Salisbury once again, just to have another look around, this time we did have a Cornish pasty for lunch. We then stood for some time watching a pair of musicians, one with an electric guitar and the other playing the double bass, they were playing, blues, and some Chuck Berry numbers, they were very good, unlike the young lad that was in the same place on Thursday “murdering” a Dolly Parton song. After a look around the market stalls (the Thai food smelled and looked good, pity we had eaten), we had a slow stroll back along the river walk to the campsite, not without having an ice cream each though. We then spent the afternoon sitting outside in the warm sun, Jen reading and me having a Pink Floyd session listening to “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall” on my head phones, I was in another world! 5:00pm it was time to watch the highlights of qualifying for the German F1 Grand Prix, it should be a good race, just hope we can get a decent digital reception in the New Forest, our destination tomorrow.

Sunday 22nd July 2012
Holmsley Caravan & Camping Site, Bransgore, near Christchurch, 50 47 30 N, 01 41 53 W, (30 Miles)

First stop this morning was the Tesco Supermarket at Salisbury, to get enough food for the next six days. Jenny had fun, she found that on the “Tesco” App’ on her iPhone she was able to put on the shopping list, the App’ then told her the price of the item and which number aisle it was located in. The cost on the App’ was £36.04, we spent just over £39, which was attributed to 2 packets of biscuits which weren’t on the list, a large tub of Cole Slaw and 10 eggs instead of 6, we were quicker as well doing the actual shop. Looks like we will be shopping at Tesco again, especially as Asda haven’t yet replied about the “Obstructive Parking” debacle. We were un-decided which way to go to the campsite from Salisbury, I would have gone via Ringwood, however Betty suggested we go via Lydhurst, Betty should have listened to me. First of all we left the main A36 Southampton road onto the B3079 and after about 3 mile came upon a width restriction sign of 6 foot 6 inch, the motorhome is 7 foot 3 inch wide, we had to go down a number of very narrow roads to “get back on track”, then we had to “crawl” through Lydhurst. However we still managed to arrive at the camp site before 12 noon and they are particular at these camp sites about the arrival time (evidently the computer won’t allow an earlier arrival), the very helpful assistant therefore told us to find a pitch and come back later in the afternoon to pay. We found a perfect spot just off the hardstanding on very firm grass, and were soon having a “brew” and 2 of the “choccy” biscuits. These “Camping in the Forest” (original Forest Holidays) camp sites are owned by the Camping and Caravan Club who purchased them from the Foresty Commission in 2006, they are a lot less formal then the normal Camping and Caravan Club, i.e there are no exact pitches laid out, only electric posts in strategic places, the only rule for pitching is the “6 metre” rule, that is the space between units, be it, tent, caravan or motorhome. This site was once a World War 2 airfield on the edge of the New forest and we are pitched on what was one of the concrete stands for Marauder aircraft, there are is some information of its history on a notice board near reception, we will look at that during the time we are here.
Holmsley Forest Site.
Holmsley Forest Site.

After paying our fees this afternoon we decided to have a walk outside the camp site. “Watch for the car” Jenny said, “Never mind the blxxdy car” I replied, “what about those New Forest ponies”?, there was about 200 of them, well maybe 100, or possible 2, least ways I just hate horses (and ponies), still I will just have to get used to them there are 100’s around here, there I go again exaggerating!
"Hundreds" of New Forest Ponies.
"Hundreds" of New Forest Ponies.

Monday 23rd July 2012
Well I was going to wash the rear of the motorhome this morning then put some wax polish on it, however, Rhiain rang to say that they (Rhiain, Ian and Kura) would like to visit from Southampton, so instead we just relaxed until they arrived. We did decide to put the awning out to give Kura some shade from the sun, the first time we have “wound it out” fully this year (this is the integral motorhome awning, not our Kampa one that we used earlier in the year. After a light lunch we all went for a short walk along the track into the forest, Kura’s push chair becoming useful to me as a “prop” when my leg started to get tired. Early evening we went for a meal, finding a lovely pub called “The New Queen” at a place called Avon towards Ringwood, The meal was excellent and very good value, Kura really enjoying her fish, chips and peas, luckily before we ordered our sweets I had taken her outside in her push chair as she was getting tired, chasing peas around her plate had taken its toll and she promptly fell asleep, great. . . . I didn’t have to share my Pecan Pie with her!

Tuesday 24th July 2012
Gosh, at 8:00am it was already getting hot, we didn’t even bother having our usual “cuppa” in bed, instead we went for our showers then made a pot of tea and sat outside to drink it before having breakfast. At least this morning I did wash and wax the rear of the motorhome, Jenny in the meantime went to the laundry to do some washing. We then walked up towards the camp site entrance to make some phone calls, one of the only places it seems where we are able to get a decent “Orange” signal on Jenny’s mobile phone. Unfortunately we need to travel back to the Midlands as Jenny’s niece has passed away after a long illness and the funeral is on Wednesday 1st August. We are staying here an extra night on Saturday, on a “non-electric site (the electrics pitches are all full), travelling to Burford in the Cotswolds for 3 nights before driving to the Chapel Lane Caravan Club site near Birmingham, where we are staying for 2 nights. This afternoon we continued the walk through the forest that we didn’t finish yesterday and it wasn’t exactly incident free, first of all a small Adder slithered across in front of us (too quick for a photo), then I got nipped by a Wood Ant and then Jenny got bit by a “Mozzy”. Ironically tomorrow I had already made my mind up to attempt to photograph some “critters, I bet I don’t see anything.
New Forest Trail.
New Forest Trail.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the sun, Jenny once again reading whilst I listened to music. We did have a funny incident whilst outside, there is a nice couple next to us with their grandson and a little dog “Cloe”, despite me having my “noise reduction” Bose headphones on and quite loud music, I heard the dog yelp, I looked up to see the man flat on his back, he had tipped the chair over, and landed on the dog! We, that is, me, Jenny and his wife all had a good laugh, we asked him to do it again so we could video it for “Are You Being Framed”, but he didn’t seem too keen, we asked” whether the dog was OK”? “Never mind the dog, what about me” he laughingly replied. I did start to type this outside, but about 9:00 pm the night time biting bugs came to visit, I could feel them around my ankles, so I’ve beaten a hasty retreat into the motorhome to complete it.

Wednesday 25th July 2012
Thought I would get up early this morning and go for a long walk, taking both camera’s with me to hopefully photograph some wildlife, I was not successful, unless I wanted to take numerous photos of the New Forest Ponies or Rabbits, there was nothing else to be seen. Only a pair of Greater-spotted Woodpeckers, flying between two groups of trees and a Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly hunting created any interest and I returned to the motorhome for breakfast at 8:00am having been out for about 2 hours. Late morning we decided to go for another walk, we went the same way as I did this morning, however we did venture into the woods for some of the time.

Thursday 26th July 2012
Another very hot day and once again we had our morning cuppa and breakfast outside, its becoming an habit and weather permitting long may it continue. Rhiain and Kura arrived before lunch to spend the day with us, we had thought that Ian would be coming as well but he had other business to attend too; that meant more Lasagne for me (and Kura). There’s a bit more cloud to-night is the weather changing?

Friday 27th July 2012
It was such a warm night we had left all the roof vents wide open, a quick jump out of bed was called for to close them, when we had a heavy shower at about 7:00am, typical, it only lasted about a minute, still it got us out of bed and we still had our “cuppa” and breakfast outside. We decided to walk to Burley late morning, Jenny had promised me a “Cream Tea”. Not having an Ordnance survey map for the area, we bought the walking instruction leaflet from the shop for 25 pence. Which went something like: 1) turn left outside the campsite, 2) walk along concrete to grass, 3) continue to 5 bar gate, 4) go down the hill to T-junction, turn left, 5) follow the road do not deviate. . . . . and 25 minutes later end up about 200 yards from 5 bar gate you had already gone through!!!!! No, I don’t know where we went wrong, but we returned to the motorhome, I never did get my cream tea and Jenny wants a 25 pence refund on the instruction leaflet.

Saturday 28th July 2012
Surprisingly, I thought because it was so cloudy last night that it would not be a particularly nice day to-day, however we have woken up to “wall to wall” sunshine. We didn’t have to leave the powered site until 12:00 pm so we sat outside listening to the 3rd practice of the F1 Grand Prix from Hungary. 11:30am we started to ready ourselves to move just about 50 yards to a strip of hard standing directly opposite to where we were pitched. Jenny carried the chairs and positioned the outside mat for the habitation door. I reversed off the ramps and then drove across while Jenny carried the ramps to the new pitch. Just as I positioned Steve one of the camp assistants came and asked whether we were leaving today and Jenny told him, no, that we were moving because the power pitches were full for the week-end and we were staying one more night on a non-electric pitch. He said that’s a pity, perhaps if we waited until 1:00pm there may be a cancellation, but we said that we had already enquired at 9:30am and there wasn’t. Steve then went and spoke to Des the Camp Manager who was close by and he came across and said go back to your electric pitch and tell them at the office that I said you were to stay there. Great, they even carried our chairs; table and the ramps back over for us, within 5 minutes we were back on at our original spot! Rhiain, Ian and Kura came over and had lunch with us; they also told us the approximate date for their move to Canada, which will be about the 6th October. I feel photographs of Bears and Wolves might be on the cards.

Sunday 29th July 2012
Burford Caravan Club Site, Burford, 51 46 67 N, 01 38 92 W (89 Miles)

Didn’t make the mistake this time of using the “B” roads so at least I had plenty of width this time, especially for about 4 mile to the motorway. Actually, perhaps I should have said waterway, there was at least an inch of water on the road from an extremely heavy rain storm, which didn’t cease until we reached the A36. We had a short stop at Tesco in Salisbury for food and fuel, we bought a jar of Nescafe for £7, for which you received a fuel voucher for 10 pence off per litre of fuel, as we bought 56 litres the 300g jar effectively only cost us £1.40 and will last us for months. The driving conditions up to Burford didn’t improve, very heavy rain one minute, and perfectly dry the next, at least when we arrived it was dry and although we had booked a hard standing pitch the site warden told us despite the wet that the grass pitches were in good condition and we could have one of those if we wanted. As we prefer a grass pitch we chose one in the sun (we don’t like shady pitches) and soon had a ritual “cuppa” brewing, whilst Jenny prepared lunch. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, although with the motorhome wet from another heavy shower, I did take the opportunity to wipe the road dirt off the lower sides and front.

Monday 30th July 2012
A lazy day, Jenny caught up with our laundry, I edited a few photographs. This is a very attractive and spacious site and is very well landscaped, tranquil as well, apart from the occasional “toot” from a miniature railway and the roar of a “big cat” from the Cotswold Wildlife Park which is across the lane. We will return here again and stay longer, we won’t visit the wildlife Park as we have an aversion to seeing animals in “cages”, but we would like to visit the Cotswold village of Burford just 2 mile from the camp site.

West Midlands
Tuesday 31st July 2012
Chapel Lane Caravan Club Site, Wythall, near Birmingham 51 46 67 N, 01 38 92 W (58 Miles).

A short distance to travel this morning so we didn’t rush away from the camp site and we tried to find a place to park in Burford for a look around but were unable to find suitable parking. Continuing on, We would have been too early at Chapel Lane, so as we knew we could find easy parking in Warwick near the Caravan Club site at the racecourse we went there instead and had a browse around the shops. We had an incident as we drove up the narrow lane towards the camp site, a 4x4 coming in the opposite direction came to close to the centre of the road and his door mirror came in contact with mine, luckily we purchased ABS mirror protectors in March and they worked, his mirror glass was shattered, there was not even a scratch on ours! Good news, I had a phone call lunch time from Asda Customer Services, the parking ticket (invoice) which I had at Asda in Weston-super-Mare for “obstructive parking” has been cancelled. . . . Result.

Wednesday 1st August 2012
The day of Marie's funeral so it was taxis from the camp site to Kings Norton and return.
* * * RIP Marie * * *