Catch Up Continued ….
1977-1981: Strawberry Fields, not The Beetles
29th July – 2nd August
As members of wild camping.co.uk we are also members of motorhomes.com, the less wild party sounding arm that arranges meets. Over the years we have got to know a few folk that attend these and there is always someone to natter to, or ignore should you so wish. We’d failed to find a suitably mutual date with Sue and Mick (we’d met them in the Peloponnese and have previously stayed on the drive of their eco house), so they booked onto the same meet for a few nights. Sadly the weather was pretty rubbish which limited our sitting out late opportunities.
With the Merc in dry dock and Zorba packed to the gunwhales with our stuff to go back to Greece, we didn’t bring a car to mooch around in. The campsite was on a busy road and not that close to anywhere, we deployed the bikes and doggy ride trailer. Its been a long time since we were in the saddle and a long time for CO2 since they’ve been in the Os-car (trailer), but they certainly remembered that they got biscuits for climbing in! Our derrières were OK for us to do two consecutive days of cycling. We got very wet BOTH days, so the phones didnt make it out of waterproof bags for photos!
The Lymington market was on, so we cycled to that … the sky looked heavy, so we headed into a very dog friendly pub and had lunch … good timing as it downpoured. The next day we cycled whilst Sue and Mick drove into Brockenhurst … a light lunch outside … than goodness for the large table umbrella. We aborted the village walk after about 30 mins … the paper map was turning to papier mache. On the third day, with rain forecast, I put the bikes away … we chilled and did some chores…. Not Laundry … as we left here for two days back in Chichester and abused Mum’s machine again.
But I did manage to get one shot of some New Forest ponies.
On the last evening there was a gathering … both Chris and Linda the blanket hoodies … but not as Pat Butcher as mine! Looking cool girls!
1984-1987: Holbeach, The Wash
We headed up to Lincolnshire for 4 nights for another motorhomer.com meet. Not their usual sort of venue as we were jammed in on the rally field attached to a crowded campsite. Not our cup of tea … a lot of children. There was a pub and small pool on site. The night we arrived we drove off to a neighbouring village and had a supper. This time we had the Merc with us and we were very pleased to have it as we escaped for two days.
The first outing was excellent … we’d seen signs along the road for the rearranged wood work show merged with a craft and food show at Sandringham Palace. And only a few showers! Crafts included wood, jewellery, glass etc. A food demo tent and falconry. We got chatting to a lady minding the birds and she gave me a couple of the feathers off one of her own birds. Ever since I got one of the rooster tail feathers from our Turky lockdown camp site, interesting feathers now get stuck into one of the two knitted hedgehogs on the dashboard. We thought we’d be there an hour, but spent 3 hours.
Think there must have been a chainsaw competition as a number had all been given a similar sized huge lump of wood which they were working.
After the show, I took CO2 for a walk along the Great Ouse on the opposite bank to King’s Lyn. It doesn’t look big from here but sprawls …
I’d never been up to Norfolk Lavender when I had a holiday home in Norfolk, so was keen to visit. I was really disappointed. I’d expected to see fields and fields of lavender, like the Dutch bulb fields, but just a small area of different varieties. Brunch and a good ice cream … but not worth the drive.
I had read that Hunstanton had an amazing beach and cliffs so headed there to walk CO2 … got a bit of a shock when we arrived … have not seen so many amusement arcades in a good many years.
The beach was amazing with a long promenade / sea defence wall. Some interesting houses and then caravan park. Two fun beach hut names … Sandy Bottom and
May (contains Nuts)
We contemplated driving out on the third day, but hadn’t really read of anywhere we fancied going … so did a jobs day. In the evening we watched the Barbarians game in the pub. Since we were there we ordered food … it was burger night, so I ordered my chicken naked. It truly was … not even a side salad until I asked. And not cutlery, so I asked again! Virtually indigestible. I used a lot of mayo to get it down!
1988-1989: Jez Repairs and Stonehenge
On the Monday we drove down to Andover and parked up in the forecourt of Abacus Motorhomes. They are expanding fast: car and motorhome hire and motorhome servicing, with a huge new complex just off the A303. H, the mechanic, is a van lifer and had supper with us with her gorgeous new Westie/Poo pup who’d not yet had her jabs.
Whilst Jez was being worked on, we drove the car to Stockbridge and had a walk along the Test Way. I think we must have chosen to walk the most boring part of it. An old railway track, dead straight through bushes. Lunch at a waterside pub was much better.
We were asked if we could bring Jez in again the next morning to finish off … so we spent the night at the well used lane right next to Stonehenge. As well as all the permanent and travelling vans, there were also two cars being slept in and one pop up tent … this contained a couple who asked me if these large stones over there were Stonehenge!!!
More parts to be ordered for Jez so we will back to Stonehenge and hopefully it won’t be misty and I’ll get a sunrise shot!
So close, I even set the alarm for 5.30 a.m. and put the zoom lens on my camera to get an early sunrise shot … went straight back to bed … a blanket of mist!
It hardly seems worth paying to get in, except you would be funding the 24/7 security guards. Apparently they don’t have any shelter and are not allowed to sit in cars to keep warm even in the depths of winter!
We tried another Chichester Campsite called Sunnyside not far from Bognor. It had hook up but the hard standing was some compacted gravel and we’d have to drive over the grass to get to it in winter … so not sure this is our Autumn / Winter home. Some OK walking from there … although the first night I was out with CO2 I suddenly found myself flat on my back. Oscar had galloped up as he was out of his comfort distance from me and careered into my leg.
Maddy come down once for a walk and supper and then we met her in Parham Park for a walk and picnic. You pay (unless you’re and National Trust member) to use the car park … a very reasonable £3 for all day. But God forbid you should want to use the visitor facilities such as the toilet or the cafe … we were told no … we’d have to buy a ticket for the house! We couldn’t have minded paying a fee to pee … but al fresco it had to be!
Looking back to Parham Park.
Oscar does love a stick, better than chasing deer.
Goodwood is very close to the Aged P’s so we went to lunch at the hotel restaurant … it was very good … well Dad didn’t make the best starter or pud choices, but the rest of us did.
White chocolate coated strawberry shortcake parfait.
Monday 16th was a super busy day. We saw J’s consultant in the morning in Southampton, who said he could travel to Ireland for his daughter’s wedding, but not OK for him to go to Greece. In the afternoon, I attended my ex-father-in-law’s funeral in Aldershot and then we bought J a new suit, shirt and tie … the tie almost cost as much as the shirt! We had booked flexi tickets for the stupid o’clock ferry for the night of Tuesday, and now booked a campsite near the wedding venue.
In case we could go to the wedding, we’d previously sorted out CO2 for travel too … we had eventually found a vet who after much negotiation would administer working tablets and sign their EU Pet passports. Vets are in short supply apparently … many leaving the profession as so many practices are now owned by big corporates and expect staff to work 60 hour weeks. Compounded with no supply of young vets from Romania or the Australia. If we had needed an Animal Health Cert, CO2 would definitely not have been able to come, as most vets seemed to be booking these in 8-10 weeks hence. They nearly didn’t come as it was … I mistakenly went to one of the satellite vet offices and rang James crying … they’re shut! What do we do with CO2? J was checking their pet passports for kennel cough and about to look at kennels … when I realised my mistake and the correct office agreed to see me! Phew!!! Getting dogs into Ireland is harder than France … as well as worming tablets administered by the vet, you also need to send their animal agency an advance notice form and the animals are checked on arrival.
So I’m just about all caught up and the next blog will be from Ireland and the wedding.