1129-1130: Lovely Leiden

1129-1130:  Luscious Leiden

Tuesday 9th – Wednesday 10th April 2019

We arrived at the Leiden car park – after travelling for all of a half hour via an LPG refill. The special motorhome parkings were full – so we waited until a Belgian van left and moved into their space – tight… Light lunch and – the free shuttle city bus takes dogs!  2 minutes to city centre……. A K-guided walking tour quickly convinced us the we like Leiden even more than Gouda!   And we liked Gouda more than Delft.  28 km of waterways – most outside Amsterdam…  found a park where our doggy/children could roam free – kids after school activities – footy and tag games. The park has a sun trap cafe – for – wine…..Eased our way home via a bank for cash. Leiden is the birthplace of Rembrandt – and lots of sculptures, etc. 

Chilled evening (is there any other kind?) – with some vino and (the cooking) Marsala…..Zzzzzzs.  Definitely Leiden again tomorrow – possibly a boat trip. 

Wednesday dawned – windy and very chilly – so lots of layers.  Walked the short distance to the same park – for doggy freedom – and same cafe – for coffee and cake – K had cheesecake and I had traditional Dutch apple pie – yummy – no calories….only coffee as Wednesday is another alcohol free day – quite a few of those recently.   (n the park, Corrie feasted on pizza from the grass!  Met two lovely Dutch ladies – with a Kooiker dog – same colours as Oscar – they had a mad chase all around the park!  They gave us lots of local advice…. 

Kooky narrow streets – and suddenly a large and lively market!  I bought some fruit/passion e-juice – and K got her phone screen protector replaced.

Back to Jez – late lunch and – nap for me…..

Early night – as 6:00 am start – to visit a massive flower auction area.  We will definitely revisit Lovely Leiden! 

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CO2 make themselves comfortable!

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 Making friends with the locals. 

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For a sheep chaser, Corrie was most unhappy with these!

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Oscar – and Corrie’s Diary.

So – missy Corrie thinks she can out-Franglais me!  Hallo and Goedemorgen – and Hoi!  Doei and Tot ziens – (but that’s after you read the blog).  That’s put her in her place – for now…

Our owners K and J say we’re still in Neverlands – from Daft to Lazing cities.  K and J are now almost fully trained – after 2 years from me – and 1 from missy. They will always need refreshers of course… today K was walking beautifully to heel – I only had to correct her once. J was – well fairly normal – for an almost 72-year old – that’s 504 in doggy years – very scary, old man!  

They were intending to take us to a country called Pooland – but now it seems it will be Germilly – and the Cheque Republic – (must be lots of banks in Chequeland). Our good friend Kerstin will be 350  doggy years young…. she’s a mad hatter…..  The party will last all weekend, at least!  We just hope they have enough dogfood….. Slallammy and sausidge with loads of kertchoop – will do nicely…

Tot zien – for now – all our 11 readers…

O and C

 

 







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1125-1128: Discovering Art in Den Haag and Delft

1125:  Den Haag Camper Platz

Friday 5th April 2019

A leisurely departure from Gouda to the DenHaag Camper Platz, to be greeted by a huge metal gate, an ebullient hostess and strict dog rules.  BUT they do allow two dogs, have showers and are cycling distance from both Delft and Den Haag.  The site is a flat (no surprise there, we are in the Netherlands) open expanse with a motorway on two sides, so not the prettiest.  We elected not to pay for hook up and give our new lithium leisure batteries a good test.  The result is that we cannot harvest a fraction of what our new solar panels are producing with only sunny-ish weather.  We just don’t use enough electric.  Should we be running the fridge and hot water from our leisure batteries as the next investment in the van?

The afternoon was spent hand washing underwear and using the site machine for laundry … didn’t like to get  the twin tub out here.  A goodly breeze 🙂

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We found James Willy Boulevard in Antibes and now this on todays short journey.
 

1126:  Den Haag

Saturday 6th April

We checked the weather and mindful of how cold we’d been in Rotterdam, and knowing how it feels a lot colder on bike, we seriously up.  My thermal leggings came out.  We took turns in the Mauritshuis, which had free wifi, so you could download a tour of highlights.  It was a good size, i.e. not too big, so you could actually take in the paintings and not just have a retina image for a nano second.

We joined a walking tour … but it was far too large a group, the guide had superb English but was softly spoken and didn’t add to our Dutch history knowledge.  Quite a few Brazilians on the tour who are working in Amsterdam … they had all independently descended on Den Haag.

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The Mauritzhuis … C17 building housing a collection started by William V of Orange.

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 Perhaps the Maurithuis’ most famous painting – The Girl with the Pearl Ear ring by Johannes Vermeer C17. Her eyes really do follow you.

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Jan Steen drew on bawdy humour.  He was brought up in a bar and his father was an art dealer  it is thought the young lad being taught to smoke was his younger self.

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Another Van Steen  check out the lady who has fallen over on the ice  she forgot to put on her knickers!

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Peter Paul Reubens Old Woman and a Boy with Candles.

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This is just a tiny corner of a still life  such attention to detail.

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Hans Holbein the Younger painted Henry VIII of England’s falconer and was offered a place at court, but he declined.

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Just liked this one.

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 And now for Rembrandt.  Wed visited the house in Amsterdam where he lived, worked and taught.  It is 350 years since his death, so the Mauritshuis had all his paintings that they own on display.

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tilp 1632.  Rembrandt was only 26.  At one point this hung in the greasy kitchen of Amsterdam’s Surgeons Guildhall.

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Rembrandts last self portrait 1669.

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And my favourite – we have a copy hanging in one of the bedrooms in Combe Martin.  Carel Fabritus’ The Goldfinch.  He was killed in a gunpowder magazine explosion in Delft aged 32.  He was considered Rembradt’s most talented student.

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The small octagonal building is the Presidents cosy office.  An island off to the right had hemp seeds scatted onto it, which then grew (and were quickly removed) as part of the protest against recent anti pot smoking legislation.

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The Hotel Indes, where the ballet dancer Pavlova died … or natural causes we were told, nothing to do with eating too much pudding!

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Above the central lamppost is the Union Jack, flying outside the British Embassy.  It burned out in 2015 by a disgruntled security employee who had a drink and drugs addiction.  Perhaps the Netherlands was not the ideal posting for him!

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Haagse Harry: a cartoon character who represented the voice of the working class.  Pot smoking, football hooligan but with a heart of gold.Not sure why he had to have a dump in public, but being responsible dog owners, we always carry spare poo bags!

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The Binnenhof  site of the medieval fortress and home to the Dutch parliament until they felt the buildings did not reflect their status and they moved to a flashy extension next door in 1992.


1127:  Delft

Sunday 7th April

A super sunny day today “).  No thermals!  We cycled in the other direction to Delft.  Using a phone app we did our own walking tour.  

The Vermeer Visitor Centre was one of the main sights.  Despite the fact that Vermeer lived all his life in Delft, the town does not have a single one of his paintings, and very little is known of him.  The are a LOT of authorship questions over his paintings.  A number had other artists’ signatures on them.  Vermeer did not sign all his work.  A 1930’s forger created a few more!  He was only discovered when accused collaborating with the Germans … he claimed he passed them forgeries, so was not collaborating! Currently there are 36 paintings that are said to be true Vermeers, but then even a few of these have a big ?.  The Centre had digital prints of all 36 works, BUT they were smooth flat and as a result lost a lot of the detail and depth of a relief.  Lovely to see how he always had the light from the left, used the same models, room and clothing.

I like porcelain, and a must do for me was a Delft factory, so we headed out to Royal Delft.  A very slick display of their work and then you can walk through the factory.  Being the weekend, you could see the work benches, but no work being done.

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Bikes chained up outside the Old Church.  It takes us a full 10 minutes to get the dogs out of the Os-car and tied up, and then get our 5 locks in place.  We ain’t taking any risks with these babies!

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Typical Delft street.

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The New Church, rebuilt after in 1536 and then the gunpowder explosion a century later.  Inside is the private mausoleum for the Royal Family.  William the Silent’s elaborate mausoleum is on display.  A 100 metre spire; sadly we couldn’t go in or up as it was Sunday.

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The spire and the well known (!!!) statesman and scholar Grotius, 1563-1645, in pride of place.

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Town Hall the other end of the Market Place. 

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Think the clue to the fact weve arrived at Royal Delft is here.

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Delft blue copy of one of Vermeer’s paintings.

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This display likened the frenzied trade in tulip bulbs like the Bitcoin explosion.  Bulbs were traded for silly money, such as a bag of 100 bulbs was swapped for a coach and horses.

IMG 1153Having seen so many beautiful tiles in Portugal, I was disappointed to learn that Delft closed its structural production arm in 1990, including the tiles.  I had thought I’d buy a picture made up of tiles, BUT a single small tile would have set me back EUR59!!!

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The factory moved out of the centre of town in the early 1900’s and show cased its own architectural work.

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As it was Sunday, the factory was closed and a solitary worker demonstrated how the black pigment is mixed with water and painted between the lines of a stencil.  The blue colour appears after firing.

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Biscuit ware, after first firing, ready for paint.

 

1128:  Panorama to See and Not Sea

Monday 8th April

I think the Panorama Mesdag was the Delft / Dresden highlight for me.  Panoramas were popular in late 1800’s, but by the turn of the century, most had been cut up.  People climbed dark stairs, and them emerged into the light of the panorama.  Standing on a central platform you walk around 360 looking at the view.  Explanation of the making is in the first image below.  It was unvarnished, so as not to have a sheen.  The top and bottom are hidden from view (sand dune and roof over the viewing platform, so it disguises the canvas edges.   Our campsite host explained that as the panorama uses natural light above the viewing platform, the look of the painting differs through the seasons.  I was lucky enough to have the viewing platform to myself for about 10 mins.  Really quite magical.  

Note to self, ask how much a cafe charges for cake!  Two coffees and small cake was EUR24!  No tip given!

We cycled on past the Peace Palace, had a picnic and then headed for the coast.  It was as if the Dementors were descending … swirling damp mist and a chill.  By the time we got to coast, it was a pea super!  About 7C cooler than the city.  I still managed an ice cream, whilst J had a warming coffee.  The dogs have not been off lead much, as there is a real lack of places to walk them without causing a bicycle incident … they went ballistic on the beach.  

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The Peace Flame:  fire from lots of countries combined.

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The Peace Palace, opened in 1913 and we know what happened in 1914.  Also the International Court of Justice.

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Just as well we’d seen the sea  and town of Schweningen in the Panorama, as you couldn’t  see the sea for the mist, unless you were right on the water’s edge.  A spooky figure suddenly emerged … he was carrying a huge camera and catching the waves breaking.

 

 

 

 

1121-1124: Gorgeous Gouda

1121-1124: Gorgeous Gouda

Monday 31st – Thursday 4th April 2019

Gouda is famous for its cheese and during the tourist season, its Thursday cheese market.  We had planned to come here two summers ago, but responded to a Kerstin’s plea for decorating help in Germany.  Gouda and the market were definitely on our to do list this trip.  Having read that the motorhome aire gets VERY busy on Wednesday, for the Thursday market, AND having had problems finding campsites that will take two dogs … we got here mega early.  Monday, in fact.  We went from 14 vans to 44 on Wedsnday night and back to 7 on Thursday night.  At EUR8 for 24 hours and as we were so early, we got free electric hookup, it was a bargain.

We had planned to stay only 3 nights, but with such a good parking place and so close to a lovely town, we stayed 4.  We managed an ice cream each day … I had two days of some ache and shiver bug (weird), so did little on those days, but still managed a walk into town for a white chocolate and hazelnut, or coffee and pistachio …. purely medicinal.

Gouda really is lovely to wander around, but the high light is definitely the C16 stained glass windows in the Church of St John.  I also visited the Gouda Museum, which had a good mix of furniture, art, porcelain and I learned about the pipe making in Gouda.

The cheese market was disappointing … a fairly ordinary small market with only about 4 cheese stalls.  There was a sort of display and demonstration, which we missed.  Lots of photo opportunities for a pic with a buxom blond lass in costume, which we also missed!  We aborted the market in favour of a glass of vino on the edge of the square and people watched.  I did managed to come away with enough veggies bought to make a caponata and asparagus soup … slow cooker, Remoska and electric hob all in use whilst whilst we have electric!

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Sint-Janskerk:  Images depicted various Battles.  This was the battle of Leiden where the town was besieged and the citizens were starving.  The Mayor offered up his own body to feed the people … they declined, but it gave them new heart.  Their rescuers brought bread and herring, which they still consume at an annual celebration.

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King Phillip II from Spain thought so much of himself, he had his image included in the Last Supper tableau.

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A biblical tale, where the town was saved by a Judith chopping off the head of the attacker whilst he slept.

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And from 2015, evil around the outside and good, hope, joy etc inside. 

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These are Stolperstein.  We’d have not necessarily noticed them if Mike and Carol did not seek them out on their travels and blog about them.  They are outside houses to show where Jewish people lived before being slaughtered by the Germans in WW2.

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Gouda Museum was formerly the hospital and had its own pharmacy.

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Gouda had quite an industry in pottery… they adopted the Majolica method of glazing tin to achieve colours.  Most of the colours and styles followed current fashion.

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This is one of the museum’s treasures.  Miachel Sweerts’ The Spinner 1656.  He was noted for his use of light, particularly on the head scarf.  A lot of Dutch painters were influenced by Caravaggio.  Feel I should have taken more notice of him when we spent 6 months in Italy.

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Not hat pins!  But pipe cleaners …

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 Long barrels to cool the smoke.  Gouda was a major production centre, then lost out to French designs and coped the shorter, double walled pipes.

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This was the only piece of porcelain I would have happily ‘borrowed’ from the museum.

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Just love the very Dutch decorative style.

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From 14 to 44 vans the night before the Thursday cheese market.

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A cheeky little donut with raisins.

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The cheeses laid out in front of the Town Hall for the tourists.

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The small cheeses are the young ones as they don’t have time to develop a thick skin.  To add flavour they are infused with herbs, garlic, beer, pistachio … you name it.  We bought a slab of the much tastier 2 year old.

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He’s sliced off a bit of Sponge Bob Square Pants!!!!  The Cheese Master hosting the demonstration and explanations for the tourists.

1118-1120: Biking around Dordrecht and Rotterdam

1118: Dordrecht

Friday 29th March 2019

Yesterday arrived in Holland at Dordrecht.  With wild camping being illegal, and not wanting a fine, we are using marinas, aires and campsites.  This marina here was EUR14.50 with electric, showers, toilets and a waterfront location.  Very secure and peaceful.  We manoeuvred into a waterside pitch.

We deployed the bikes and the Os-car for the dogs and then wandered around Dordrecht.  Dordrecht looks out over the busiest peice of water in Europe: it is where the Rhein and Meuse exit.  A light lunch in town.

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A cow on top of a chimney?  A dutch BBQ?  Although we suspect a more erudite meaning (Apollo and Europa – some of Stephen Fry’s Mythos audio book sunk in!), as this was over the library.

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Dordrecht had been the major shipping city, before Rotterdam. In fact, the first Dutch city to be granted a city charter.  All goods had to be stored here and pay taxes.  The locals are known as Sheep’s heads, as a cunning farmer dressed a sheep in human clothing, walked it between two people through the city gates to avoid a tax … unfortunately it baaa’d just then and they are caught!

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We didn’t go in, but this is the Hof, court of justice, where the States of Holland first convened.

 

1119: Biesbosch National Park

Saturday 30th March

So peaceful a spot, we decided to stay another day, so I climbed the tower to the Marina control to hand over another EUR14.50.  Whilst there, we established from the timetable that the ferry across to the Biesbosch National Park wasn’t running yet.  Ho hum, the bikes were ready.  We were ready.  And CO2 were ready, so we’d just do a shorter bike ride.  As we got to the ferry crossing, one was just coming in.  What luck.  We jumped on and had a bike ride around the National Park.  No pix as it was as flat as a pancake.  A lot of geese!  You are still very conscious of industry … power pylons, wind sails and the odd factory chimney in the distance.  Give that the Netherlands is the third most densely populated country in Europe after Monaco and Malta, this is not surprising.

 

 

1120: Rotterdam

Sunday 31st March

Another visit to the marina master’s ivory tower to pay for a 4th night!  We cycled to Dordrecht again and caught the hour long water bus (with dogs, bikes and Os-car, the dog trailer) to Rotterdam.  Our bums are just getting used to the bike saddles after an absence of about a year!  After a beautiful day yesterday it was blistering cold today. We were just on the point of ditching the bikes thinking it would be warmer walking – fast, when the sun finally came out.  Biking around such a major city was a synch.  Clearly defined cycle paths and we got to see more of the city that we would have otherwise.

I’d cleverly ordered the Holland Pass … museum card and we tried to redeem this at the Euromast (high tower with a lift) but no, I was told to go to the Central Station.  No, you used to be able to collect it there, but no longer.  There are ONLY only in 5 points in Amsterdam!  Telecon and email correspondence with Holland Pass and hope we get a refund.  Note to self … read the small print!!!

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Some interesting modern architecture … post war Rotterdam was the one place they allowed modern architecture to flourish and it still is.  P&O Britannia was in for two days.  A couple told us it was a short cruise … Rotterdam and then Guernsey.  

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Witte Hus – this Art Deco 1898 sky scraper was one of the tallest in Europe for a long time at 148ft.   Constructed form iron and steel, it has two thick interior walls.  It survived WW2 bombing.

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Kubuswoningen, Cube Houses, the cube is tilted 45deg, and rests on a hexagonal pylon.  There are 38 apartments, whilst they 100square metres, 25% is unusable due to the walls and the angled ceilings.

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 The Markthal has 228 apartments as well as office space, with a huge daily food market in the middle.  The outward facing apartments had balconies, and seemed much more desirable than the cube houses.  Opened in 2014 it has a stupendous painted roof depicting fruit and vegetables.

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James nibbled the samples all the way round the market!

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We cycled onto Delftshaven, which was also fairly unscathed from WW2.  Ancient warehouses are now restaurants antique and bookshops.  We stopped outside the church where the Dutch Pilgrim Fathers set off for the new world.  The leaky Speedwell boat barely made it to Britain, where they transferred to the Mayflower.

1102-1112: Friends and France

 1102- 1103: Leaving Home – Slowly

Wednesday 13th March – Thursday 14th March 2019

We both virtually killed ourselves cleaning and getting our stuff out of the house.  On our knees.  We left on the Wednesday and the first holiday visitors arrived on Saturday, so it had to be VERY clean.  James left in the van, and all I had to do was clean the kitchen floor, have a shower and then clean the shower.  And then follow in the loaded car.  Cleverly I stuck the clothes I was wearing in the washing machine, only to discover I’d not tightened the seal enough when I’d cleaned the filter.  Result … a bit of flood in the utility room.  At this point I realised that my clean clothes, I’d planned to wear were actually in the van with James … it was chilly naked kitchen floor clean and then I had to wait till my clothes were just dry enough to put back on!  Afterwards, I remembered I could’ve wrapped a towel around me!!  Told you I was tired … not thinking!  

Whilst parked up for 2 nights at the Fox and Goose pub in Greywell, we sorted out the van …. disposing stuff at the Aged P’s house … fortunately they were in South Africa and would have barred the door at how much we brought back to the house.  So I kindly sent them photos of each stage of loading boxes in and, mostly, up to the attic!

As we were staying in a pub car park, it would have been rude not to eat there … first night with sister Clare and Chris, and second night with Maddy. 

As well as a dentist for me, I lost 1.5 hours of my life in the vets, trying to get a form completed for the health cert that will replace the Pet Passport when / if there is no deal … only to discover the vet had the wrong form … the correct form would not be released by DEFRA for a few days!  As we moved along the south coast visiting friends, we rang various vets whether knew nothing, or did not have the right sort of vet in the practice.  A phone call to DEFRA established that the form would not be sent to vets until 20.03 … our Tunnel crossing was booked for early on 21st, and they could not tell me what time of day it would arrive.  Ho hum.  My DEFRA contact did go and check, when I asked, and confirmed that we could get the form done by any EU vet.  Nothing about this on their web site … or what people already in Eurozone are supposed to do.  No surprises there then!

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The Aged Ps were delighted that we took the twin tub from their shed  but not so pleased, we left an awning, dog run and shopping trolley (mistake!) in its place!

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Not to mention, what we left in the attic.  Dad had only recently remarked how spacey the attic had seemed after we’d emptied it!  They are not allowed to move house.

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Sarah and Mac … this one is for you … we stayed at the Fox and Goose and had to have a Butterscotch sundae – yummy.

 

1104-1109:Sleeping on Driveways!

Friday 15th March – Wednesday 20th March

With Jez the motorhome ready to roll, we set off for Eastbourne.  We met up for dinner both Friday and Saturday with friends staying in a hotel, whilst we wild camped in a street back from the coast.  It was a 1.4km walk each way but along the front, so perfect for the dogs.  Gale Eric was not so perfect, but we got blown one way and fought our way back.  

Sunday night saw us parked up in Rustington, straddling the drives of Ian and Jimmy and their most lovely neighbours, Ted and Marj.  We had a fishy lunch with a couple of my old muckers (Gill, Gordon and Al), who came down from London, Maddy, who came from Brighton, Mel and boys, Ian’s parents and Nicky’s parents Ruth and Brian.  Really lovely to see them all.  Not so lovely was my sense of being poisoned the next day … I blame Mel, who kept us drinking … a sea front run sorted that out though!  For us anyway … not saying who might have had a late start the next morning!

We took refuge on a campsite for a DRY night, and then spent a night on Sue and Mick’s driveway.  We met them in Greece and had another good night with them.  A slow start and off to the Canterbury aire.  Where I trawled ALL the opticians trying to find one that would sell me 4 months worth of 1.5 contact lenses!  I should specify +1.5 contact lenses.  Being new to using them, I’d ordered -1.5 (OK!  I thought the – was not a negative but a dash!) … I soon found my error on applying one to my left eye and my vision being so compromised to be dangerous!  A quick text to Lin and Bo, who we’d be seeing in a few days and they could be delivered to their home before they left!  Phew!

 

1110-1115: Arras and WW1 Sights

Thursday 21st – Tuesday 26th March 

We have never seen the Canterbury aire or Eurotunnel so quiet!  And really quiet!  So many people just haven’t travelled due to Brexit uncertainty.  Just hope we have remembered to cover all the documentation we need!

Meg had ferried from Hull to Rotterdam and we’d liaised that if the weather was OK, she’d delay her journey south and meet us in Arras.  We had such a lovely time, having coffee in the squares, at the market, doing the tourist sights and eating together in the evening … we all stayed 4 nights!  Arras is really close to Calais and is definitely worth a few days trip.  Blanche is a Papillon, the same breed that just won Crufts. She might be small and fluffy, but she doesn’t take any nonsense from CO2!

Meg left to head down through the Rhone valley, in the vague direction of Slovenia or Croatia, and we moved a short distance down the coast to Peronne and a campsite for 2 nights.  After 12 days away, we desperately needed a free and voluminous water supply to do some laundry … the twin tub was deployed all afternoon!  And the weather Gods smiled on us and send a good drying wind!

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Our home for 4 nights on the banks of a canal in Arras.  Great for running and dog walking.  And a short walk or hop onto the free electric noddy bus.

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Re-built as 80% of the city was flattened, in the original Flemish Baroque styles.  Several such squares.  Meg and I climbed the belfry … in a lift, and we all visited the Boves (caves) underneath, dug out for the chalk as a building material.

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I think it was 214 men who were executed here for their resistance work.  Their names line the walls. 

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The British cemetery.

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Meg and I visited the Wellington caves.  Also dug out for the chalk stone, but joined up and enlarged by 500 New Zealand engineers and British miners, so they could hold 20,000 Allies soldiers for a week before the Battle of Arras in April 9th 1917.  They were dug out by hand so as not to alert the German forces.They were homed here in secret and some of the tunnels went up to the front line.    The push gained the Allies 11 km at a cost of 4000 casualties on the first day.  Total deaths were 160,000 British Third and First Army and the Germans lost 125,000.  

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Having got all excited and dragged Meg into the town on Friday, as I’d not listened to both Meg and James that I was a day adrift, we finally caught the market on Saturday!  Huge market and I filled the fridge with veg, as well as half a rabbit (yummy).  We ended up buying a shopping trolley…. madness really as this was an item we’d left in the Aged P’s shed!  Spot Blanche.

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I toured the WW1 museum in Peronne.  It gave equal weight to the Allies and Germany and presented artefacts in a different way.  Really worth a visit too.  This is a British Officer’s tea making facilities for the trenches … for all as if going on a family picnic.  

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Rather than display uniforms and artillery in display cases, they were in ‘graves’ on the floor.  I hadn’t known that due the mechanisation, they had re-armour troops.  each country had its own styles of steel helmet, largely styled on native peasant hats.

1116-1117: Contact Lens Delivery!

Wednesday 27th – Thursday 28th March 2019

Electric cable and twin tub stowed away, we drove for less than an hour to Marcoing.  We had an assignation with my contact lens couriers!  We managed to throw in a meal and some wine, except Bo, who was the only one who showed restraint on the 0% lager!  Amazing Lin and I did not suffer a bad head, but both just felt shaky … needless to say the menfolk drove late morning when we eventually set off!  Lin and Bo (& Maud the cat) are heading in a leisurely way to Crete.  Tempting to join them, but we are headed to the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands and then to S Germany for Kerstin’s 50th; possibly Poland in between.  Who knows!

Oscar and Corrie’s Diary

Bon Jours mes enfants! Ici deux chiens – Corrie et Oscar et moi est Corrie – Le TopDog….. Alors – Oscar est ok-ish…  Nous avant en La Belle France, perchance.  My command of Franglais even surprises moi!  We are in France because our pets K and J say so.  As for the language skills, please don’t alert L’Acadamie Francais!  We’ve been to Arras, Peronne and Macoing – Lo and Bin and Maud we met – they’re good salty dogs (and cat). They imbibe a little but then – who doesn’t? K and J don’t know we steal out the gin when they’ve gone a bedding…. we clean our teeth to disguise the aroma. It’s all ‘mist to the grill’… I quite like ‘Trever Fee’ tonic. They say we’re going to someplace called ‘Neverthenlands’ – all water and canals filled with bicycles – a little boy stuck his pecker in a dyke to save people – it must been a big’un!  Oscar could do that, I think…  Well, we’ve moved on to Gouda – cheeses! Not the ones with holes in – that’s a place where the cheese is made by the little boys pecker!  Tonight J dragged us out in a thunderstorm!  Made my eyes water and my makeup ran… but I can borrow K’s makeup bag (later).

Ok – tot zien (Dutch) and watch out for stray peckers! 

Yours in treats, songs and sardines – its a good life….

Corrie and Oscar.