Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Cumbrian Coast – Part One

We rolled into Allonby on Saturday, after a 3hr drive from our N Wales base. A very nice secluded CL site called Old Kiln Farm; Just off the main coast road between Maryport and Siloth.

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Breakfast!

Just a 200m walk to the sandbanks of the Solway Firth, its a very windswept part of the UK. The tide goes out for a mile or so, giving the area a serene quality. This is quite deceiving, because when the tide eventually comes in, its close up and in your face, a full tidal estuary, strong, powerful and very noisy.

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Looking south to Allonby – Tide in

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Tide Out!

On this trip so far we’ve had a couple of days of sunshine.  When the sun is shining everyones happy, lots of walking and fun things to do…

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Yippeee the suns shining, follow me

But when the weathers bad! ewwwwww, and we’ve now entered that wet phase. Today was spent mainly reading, having a pensioners, watching DVD’s and generally poking fun at each other…normally at my expense. I’ve lost count of the amount of what she calls “funny pics” that have been taken of me,with her occasionally adding the more embarrassing ones to her twitter feed (Hilarious!) 😦

As the rain is falling and my other half doesn’t do rain, i’ve also been tasked with dog walking, recycling and being the general family dogsbody. I can’t wait for the sun to re-appear!!! The other half has also discovered the delights of the Slow Cooker, which means she now just bungs raw meat in a pot, adds some magic powder, then retires to “My Seat” for 4hrs to play games on her IPad and use up MY internet…Hurrumph!

(Incidentally, we play a little game….digs to the arm if your wrong about something…I lost 5 digs, because I reckoned the frying pan wouldn’t fit in a drawer in the van…it did!….Then stupidly I tried double or quits, twice and failed miserably, She now owes me 20 digs. I’m  dancing on eggshells, never knowing when she’ll strike like a Ninja!!).

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Muttley enjoying a bracing walk!

Tomorrow we upsticks and move south along the coast to Boughton On Furness, which is south of Conniston Water, the site of Donald Campbells water speed record attempts in the 1950’s and 60’s including the final fatal attempt in 1967.

More to follow.

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This Weekend we’re off in the Chucklebus:

This weekend we’re off in the chucklebus for a 6 day pootle. Travelling north and then “Left” onto the Cumbrian Coastline in the area a few miles above Maryport at a small place called Allonby. Which is one of a string of small villages that lie along the Solway Plain. A few days there enjoying the sea, sand and the sun!!! Ha!; Before moving down the left-side of the lake district and setting up near to Boughton on Furness.

The chucklebus destination

The chucklebus destinations

Should be a fun filled trip, especially with the great British weather. Reports to follow.

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May 23, 2013 · 3:41 pm

Maps – Waterstones 3 for 2

As an ex mil guy, I loves me maps I do!
Anyway, popped into Waterstones to pick up a couple of 1:50,000 OS maps for a forthcoming trips to the lakes. Whilst there I noticed OS Tour Maps….Brilliant, not seen them before.They cover entire regional areas on one map, so one map covers the Lakes, or the Peak District, or Devon & Somerset etc. They are ideal for a life on the move and give you a 3D view of high ground and the watercourses. Plus it includes all info about interesting locations you might like to visit. You wouldn’t want to go on the hills with them, but ideal for pre-planning and if you don’t intent to stray far from your van.

Best of all…Waterstones have a 3 for 2 offer at the moment on all their Ordinance Survey range of maps. So today I walked of with 1 x 1:50,00 and 2 x Tour maps for just over 12 quid.

Tidy!

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Muttley The Wonderdog

The family mutt. A 9 month old standard poodle. Like a finely tuned piano!

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May 11, 2013 · 7:38 am

Muttley – Bathtime!!

Muttley - Bathtime!!

Please…NOOOOOOOOOOo!

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May 10, 2013 · 2:16 pm

Operation Muttley – A Force For Good!

This weekend we are off to a reunion gathering in Mid Wales. The mutt is going to be in the uncertain hands of the daughters, now although they are in their 20’s and very sensible, in my eyes they are still in their early teens, which emcompasses bad attitudes, zits, high sugar levels and a poor taste in music. With this in mind I’ve prepared a full written instruction for “Operation Muttley” Below is the opening paragraph setting out my stall:

OPERATION MUTTLEY

10/12 May 2013

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Muttley “Bring it on girls….grrrrrrr”

OUTLINE:

EOTM(daughter won “employee of the month”) and Cruella will assume responsibility for Muttley with effect Friday 1530L 10 May 2013 until Sunday TBC. During that period both munchkins will carry a dual responsibility for the care and welfare of their younger sibling.  For this to work it will require tasks to be equally divided and completed. Truces, teamwork, compromise and cooperation, that’s the ticket to success! Not the normal cycle of hostility, rages and prolonged periods of silence…a tall order!

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Initial response has been muted, other than the odd “Your a nutter” and “I’m checking your grammar!” comment. So all I have to do now is deposit £50 from the Bank of Dad to cover fast-food deliveries, then hand over the keys to the house and of course the very important asset, the dog!

Update to follow.

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Plas Lligwy – Moelfre Anglesey – Score 3/5

So this weekend we visited a small Caravan Club CL called Plas Lligwy near to Moelfre, Anglesey. Set on a farm, on high ground above the Lligwy Bay, some half a mile in distance, the site was quiet, secluded and comfortable.

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Plas Lligwy Camp Site – Note the Lateral Parking System, introduced by Cap’n Bertie

On arrival we were met by our friends Bertie and his long-suffering wife M’Julie. Bertie had arrived in his mammoth motorhome a few hours before us. This van is fitted to the standard of a Kwik Fit servicing centre. If he doesn’t have it, they probably don’t make it, he has boxes for boxes! In the short space of their arrival at Plas Lligwy, Bertola had already assumed the role of camp commandant/alpha male and changed the parking layout on the site, that had previously served countless generations of happy caravanners! Given time he would have surely moved onto gene selection and world domination. Anyway, the owner came up to speak to Bertola and decided that in this case, he would leave well alone. The reign of Cap’n Bertie was here to stay.

That evening we dined on thai curry and suicidal amounts of red wine. Bertie also topped me up with G & T’s which plays havoc with the old waterworks……it was a long night, full of stories and laughter, thanks to Berties G&T my bladder was shaped like a football at the end of it! Interestingly our Mutt ingratiated himself fully into the Bertie Family and M’Julie has kindly agreed to provide “Respite Care” for Muttley when he feels he needs a break from the Motorhomedreamer family. They don’t want a dog though!

Next morning at 0715hrs, from my observation point behind our blacked out windows, we spotted Bertola, strolling around the camp in his West Ham shirt looking for a fight….No takers, so he retired to his deckchair and spent an hour flicking through Motorhome Monthly, whilst keeping half an eye on his territory like a protective silverback. No sign of M’Julie until 1005hrs! She was probably ironing or some other domestic task!

We spent the day on a “Route March” around the bay of Lligwy and Moelfre, the area is visually very pleasing, the coastal path is well defined. An enjoyable area to stroll.

The Lligwy/Moelfre coastline

The Lligwy/Moelfre coastline

This part of the island has lots of historical points of interest, including the site of the sinking of the ship “Royal Charter” in 1859 in which over 450 lives were lost. The ship was only some 30 yards from the shore. Pretty horrendous story.

http://www.walesdirectory.co.uk/tourist-attractions/Coastal_Features/Wales10894.htm

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The Royal Charter Memorial Stone above Lligwy Beach

The walk took us through the coastal village of Moelfre, which has a nice feel to the place, lots of white washed cottages, with the dominant feature being the active RNLI Lifeboat House, which is open to the public and the nearby RNLI Museum. Outside the museum is a stunning statue to a local man and hero Dic Evans who for many years was the lifeboat Cox’n; well worth a visit.

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Cap’n Bertie harries his troops. No tea till sundown!

During the afternoon, the older members of the party snuck off to their respective vans for a “Pensioners”, meanwhile Bertie patrolled the stalag luft like a well drilled guard  and sorted his umpteen boxes of LED lights into alphabetical order and colour sequence.

Tea!! BBQ…whoop whoop, always enjoy a BBQ and just for a change, white wine(followed by red). Finally hit my sack at 0200hr. One incident of note, The Mutt managed to get hold of the BBQ Spatula and ensured he had a really good chew of the food flavoured item before reluctantly handing it back(Bertie wasn’t bothered, he had 100’s in another “spares” box in his van!!!).

Sleeping Bag Update: The other half is now complaining that the “Dreamcatcher 2000 (-25c)” is to hot and do I have any solutions! Yes I reply…switch off the portable radiator, remove your flannelette jim-jams and give me back my sleeping bag. But of course that would mean I would suffer, surely she wouldn’t want that?

Next Day…Bertie on Patrol 0822hrs……No sign of M’Julie till 1017hrs(probably more domestic work).

At 1200hrs the other 4 caravan units families gathered together to wave a fond farewell to Reichsmarshall Bertola and his good lady. The king is dead, long live good king Al….My rule is more benign and we will park in straight clearly defined rows, dogs can be on leads, we will voluntarily cease all partying at 2230 prompt! There will be no football shirts before 0900hrs and not on match days.

Overall a brilliant weekend with great friends. The only down side is the lack of what M’Julie calls “Facilities” and the strong north easterly wind that seem to be a constant presence. Would we go to this area again, definitely, but probably locate ourselves on the lower ground at a beach camp site.

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“All Aboard The Good Ship Bertie”

So this weekend we’re heading west to Ynys Môn, the island of Anglesey. This time we’re going to be mob-handed, joining up with my old pal “Bertola” and his good lady, the long suffering “M’Julie”. Bertie is an ex RN Submariner(chef). As he reminds me occasionally ” I’ve poached eggs right under the nose of the enemy son” (Argentinian Coast 1982). He is also famous for his tidiness, punctuality, odd-jobs that need doing and basically never sitting still for more than 5 mins. Me on the other hand, i’m lazy, always taking short cuts, I leave important tasks for another day and am generally a typical ex-army slacker. Which probably accounts as to why we all get on so well.

So the weekend will generally go along the lines of Bertola inspecting my van, fixing things I can’t be arsed to repair, teaching me how to use stuff I knew nothing about and basically run me ragged from 0800 till last light. Meanwhile I will happily follow him about like a baby gorilla hanging onto the coat tails of the aged troop Silverback.  In between that there will be copious amounts of wine, brilliant stories, dog walking and the occasional snack!!!

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Bertola(pictured in the middle), just about to serve his famous “Bubble n Squeak Surprise” . Somewhere off Southern Chile 1982

As I write this the “Other Half” is up at the van, with instructions to “Get the laminate floor gleaming, he will expect to see your face in it” ( I can crack the whip when I need to!).

Its going to be a great weekend….Update to follow.

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