We’ve been listening to Wind in the Willows.
1635-1638: Hereford Motorhome Meet
Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th August
A lovely town to wander and, in theory, some great walking and cycling from here … but it had been raining and it pretty much continued cold and damp. So much so, that we had to be pushed off the grass and spent a couple of nights in the car park. We left the muddy hand prints on the bonnet for a few days … not really a badge of honour! With the weather and Covid, there was much less socialising than normal, but we did spend some lovely time with Ben and Lyn, who we first met a meet in Holland.
A good chunk of time, was spent putting stuff into bags … habitation service due … Oh, and we identified the leak in the garage, fortunately not a door seal, just a loose connection from the pump. With this having been dripping and causing mould under our bed (yuk!) and the broken bottle of dish washer liquid in the garage … everything was frothing and needed a good amount of cleaning up and drying out (when the rain ceased!).
1639-1642: Derbyshire Work and Walking
Monday 31st August – Thursday 3rd September
Early up and off … to Derbyshire. Jez the van had been booked into Geoff Cox Adria dealer for over a year … we had waited on parts to repair the damaged bumper (Cosica low loader damage early Summer 2019), but had to leave in September to meet the Aged P’s in Crete before they all arrived. I was slightly concerned that the parts (the bumper costing £2400 alone) would have been damaged or worse, lost whilst in storage … but I am my mother’s daughter … a worrier. A great moho dealer with lovely people who seem to really know their stuff. Habitation service complete, MOT passed (despite my worrying that the headlamps are aligned for the continent), bed frame fixed and a basic engine service done … bumper all new … just need to NOT drive into anything to keep it that way!
On arrival a a C&CC CS (5 pitch farm), we went into major erection mode. I grew up being ‘dragged’ all over Europe as a child under canvas and so quite enjoyed being in a tent. What we did not like was the odd leak (new tent!) and the cold in the evenings … no heating. What heating, in August, I know!!! As we had what we needed in bags and the cutlery drawers, living and cooking was slightly more complicated than it would be if we had just set off for a week’s camping trip … now which bag was the rice in???
We had use of a loan Os-car Ford Ka so were able to do some sightseeing …. limited walking as it, guess what, rained a lot. We had Jez back on Thursday afternoon … just enough time to get most bags and boxes back into Jez and get the awning down. Lovely to be back in our own bed in Jez, after only 3 nights in the tent. It was a good practice run though, as we plan to use the tent on the drive to Crete. I discovered that I should have bought a 220 – 12 volt adaptor for the fridge, and it wasn’t till we took the tent down, I spotted the electric cable entry point. But it worked well.
You can never go too big!
An old tradition of Girlie Camping trips is the erection beer, but we refrained until the driveway awnings up for the van contents and tent up for us to live in. So this is a post erection wine!
So it rained and CO2 went into body bags.
It kept raining, so a chilly J used one of my shawls …
And then the shawl was re-deployed to a chilly bedtime Corrie.
A walk in between rain fall.
Walk to Tissington: No pub, would you believe, so coffee and roll only.
Sign in the park at Matlock … who’d have thought ducks like grapes, but they have to be seedless mind!
1643: Heading North
Friday 4th September
The tent came down on Friday morning and we used the most immaculate facilities we’ve ever used to shower and do the services before we left. An overnight stop along the Bridgewater canal.
Good lay-by stop and view from our door.
Friendly live aboard canal boaters, one of which ran a dog walking business with this car reg!
1644: Stockton-on-Tees Stopover
Saturday 5th September
A stopover at the Darlington Railway museum. Small but interesting.
George Stephenson first engine on this line.
We met Lisa and Danny and their Romanian dog (named Jesus ‘cos of it’s white cross marking and shipped home to parents, who have appropriated it) at her parents house. They live on the edge of a large graveyard … Lisa recounted how her 18th birthday bash had been reported in the national press as ‘The Rave from the Grave’! After a walk, we inched Jez through the graveyard, managing not to drive over or churn up any gravestones and thence to their new flat (and the washing machine!). Danny managed to leave work to join us for supper.
My first ever chicken parmesan! Breaded chicken with béchamel sauce and cheddar cheese. Local delicacy.
With Danny and Lisa: Turkish lockdown buddies.
1645: And further North
Sunday 6th September
Continuing North, we stopped off for lunch at the Angel of the North and then Alnwick, pronounced Annick.
Like or loathe, it is certainly striking. And BIG. Eight reinforced concrete and steel pillars go down 33m to withstand wind.
Claims to have the largest 2nd hand book shop in England. Housed in an old railway station. Did I really need more cookery books?
But really famous for the castle aka Hogwarts.
Attractive main Alnwick square.
We almost made it to Scotland, but not quite … Battle of Flodden site and monument. Knew the name, but following the battlefield walk, I discovered that James V and most of the Scottish nobles had died here … for once English battle tactics had prevailed, despite a smaller force. However, it was also significant due to the death toll … 10,000 Scots and 4,000 English. And all over within hours. Up there with First World War battles for loss of life.
Battle of Flodden monument.