I think I should warn you that this post isn’t so much picture heavy – as picture obese!

But, first – hello my friends. It’s 5 weeks since I last posted, and I have been gadding about again for all but four days of those weeks. My desk.. well, as I only arrived home Sunday, with a mountain of washing, very little food in the house, and masses to unpack – it hasn’t exactly seen a lot of action yet!

Starting top left of the desk; a wallet of cross stitch – taken away but not even opened; white make-up case – filled with necessary chargers; an empty camera case – the camera being in my hand at the time; a pile of mail and some birthday gifts – yet to be sorted; two packs of started but unfinished Christmas cards – I made them up before going away intending to colour them whilst away… failed!

I coloured a grand total of two. Both the bell design. Not touched the candle design yet…

So, basically that is me here on the North Wales coast today. If you don’t want to progress down the page, that’s just fine – we are supposed to be here for the desk. If you do want to carry on – then there are lots of pictures of my travels on Trip 4 of my Gap year!

This time I didn’t visit Nottingham to pick up the caravan – my elder daughter and family already had it down  at the far end of Cornwall – at a site right on one of the best surfing beaches in the South. I “simply” drove down there and took over the van after their holiday. They wanted to show me how they had spent their time away…

This honestly wasn’t posed – they just happened to all catch the same wave, and come in toward me in a straight line! (sorry about the tilt on the horizon!) You would not believe how hard it was to get a photo of all four of them in one shot. I confess to simply putting the camera on “sport” and holding down the shutter!

A visit to Trengwainton gardens revealed a local school children’s scarecrow competition entitled “What I want to be when I grow up”. About 20 scarecrows – anything from a vet, through a spy, to a sumo wrestler – but I confess I loved this lifeboat man!

This view was one of my favourites – Looking out to Godrevy lighthouse – I think I came up to this headland and sat gazing each day. It was about a three minute drive from the caravan site, National Trust land, with an ice cream van… What more could I want???

A visit to Land’s End was essential – the day was glorious, I could even see the Scilly Isles out on the horizon 28 miles off the mainland. Longships lighthouse is around a mile and a half from where I am standing.

A visit to the Minack Theatre was something else on my list – literally hewn out of the rock on the South coast I was sorely tempted to stay for the afternoon performance. My daughter and her family decided to treat themselves to an evening performance – which they said was stunning – not for the performance, but for the way night fell, all the stars they could see, the view out to sea…

So then it was time to move a little upcountry – to Devon, and this was a regular feature from my caravan window! Whilst here I met up with Christine (Bishopsmate) and PJ, her hubby, and also Shoshi and her hubby. A hugely fun afternoon of food, drink, chatter and laughter!

Buckfastleigh butterflies were an absolute delight!

The Garden House was a great day out – still full of colour and shape – and as for the seedheads and grasses…

Bigbury on Sea is a delight. The hotel across on the island is extremely exclusive, and hence, extremely expensive, but is used in TV films as a classic art deco place – even one of the Miss Marple episodes featured it! The island is cut off at high tide twice a day – so there is a “sea tractor” – you can see it waiting to travel back to the mainland. It’s like it is up on stilts and rides high above the water.

Moving further North again I stopped in Gloucestershire. A meet-up with Julia was lovely – we spent ages talking, having lunch together, laughing, and then enjoying an afternoon tea! A visit to Slimbridge wildlife and wetland centre was a must. Established by Sir Peter Scott, it is full of glorious wildlife.

Avocets – black strip on the head and a great curved beak; Redshanks – small bird, brownish, with red/orange legs; and a Little Stint – black back, red legs; were all within about three feet of my camera lens. What a treat and a privilege.

This goose is almost identical to a grey lag – but for the yellow ring round its eye. There was a competition for the children to see if they could find him on the reserve – but, I’m sorry, I know he is extremely rare in Britain… but I just can’t remember his name!!!

A visit to Westonbirt Arboretum was a treat – and the autumn colours were really beginning to show – reds, yellows, oranges… another couple of weeks and they would be stunning – so long as the horrendous weather this past weekend hasn’t blown all the leaves off the trees!

So that was the end of my journeying – I thought I would show you my “country cottage”. The two seats are about 6feet long. To the left is the wardrobe door, and to the right is the edge of the “cooker” – two gas rings and a grill – but I never use the grill because it sets the smoke alarm off!!! Turning through 180 degrees…

…the dining room! These chairs are around 3ft 6 inches long. On the table is one of the jigsaws I have done whilst away, to the left is the kitchen sink and fridge, and to the right is the toilet compartment.

So, a few statistics for those who like bullet points…

Since April 24th, when I first picked up the van in Nottingham, I have … visited 17 counties in England and Wales, sleeping in all but three of them …. spent 103 nights away from home, all but three having been spent in the caravan …. actually travelled almost 1500 miles with the caravan on the back of the car, plus lots of “tourist” miles …. travelled by boat, car, bus and train …. done 33 jigsaws, read I don’t know how many books …. and have taken nearly 1500 photos.

This year has been the most incredible privilege – I have met WOYWWers, college friends, church friends who have moved away, new folk who have shared their stories with me, seen some glorious sights, and visited some lovely places. I have been privileged to have tea and hot chocolate (and cake!) in some fantastic settings. The caravan has done well. She is an aged lady, like me, built in 1982, so this was her 37th season. The car has responded well despite my very best efforts to burn out the clutch at the last site where I took a wrong turn and had to reverse, with the van on the back, up an incline! Phew!!!! That was scary. And now it is autumn – time to put the van away for winter – time to get ready to go visit Mr and Mrs D!!!!!

Night, night everyone! If you got this far you deserve a medal.

Take care. God bless.


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29 Replies to “WOYWW539”

  1. Morning Margaret and welcome home! what a wonderful post you’ve shared with us, some gorgeous photos and such an adventure – hope you have a few days (at least!) at home now….for a while anyway although it sounds as if you are off again soon… I’ve never been to Slimbridge but my parents lived near enough the Arundel reserve to visit when we had access to a car (i.e. before I got divorced, lol) and I have fond memories of it. The open air theatre sounds fabulous, how amazing it would have been to see as night falls… Helen #1

  2. Welcome back, must admit UK has some beautiful places and a great way of seeing them is with a caravan/motorhome. It is also a great way of meeting up with friends – lucky you. Don’t know if I would have ventured off in our caravan without my husband though so reluctantly sold it when he died. Have some rest now your back. Ani #6

  3. What a fantastic gap year you’ve had – it’s so brilliant to see your pics and enjoy your experiences. You’ve got some great pics, I like the 4 surfers one especially! And how wonderful that you were so busy having fun, you never got to craft!!! I think that’s brilliant. So welcome home, enjoy being back in your nest.
    But what are you going to do next year?? 🙂
    Hugs LLJ 8 xxx

  4. Good to have you ack, my word what a year and this leg has been spectacular! Lovely lovely pictures…I’ve been to Lands End three times and never managed to even see Longships because of the weather!! Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed our special day together, didnt get your permission to use our ONE photo so will save it for my scrapbook pages. It’s funny that you didnt do much colouring or stitching whilst away..I always take something and rarely do very much. It’s nice to do something else instead. And frankly I suspect the way you pack your days that most evenings you just fell into bed and slept! All power to you Margaret, even vicariously, it’s been a wonderful trip. John would be so proud of the way you’ve driven, manoeuvred and handled!

  5. How wonderful that you are able to travel around my friend! Such lovely photos and I love the lighthouse! Well I must say I love all your photos! Such beautiful places you got to visit!
    Glenda #14

  6. It’s so lovely to have you back and to see what you’ve done and where you’ve been. I hope it’s all helped you to find the new purpose for your life. Do give my love to Mrs D when you see her.
    Annie x #9

  7. Welcome back Margaret you have been away as long as I have. What adventures you have had visiting our wonderful countryside and landmarks. I’ve always wanted to visit the Theatre but never quite made it. Managed Lands end when I was a youngen, I believe you can not walk out as far on the edge as you used to??
    What love you have given your caravan, it’s served you well and deserves a rest until next year now. We have a small campervan that is just used instead of putting up a tent now, we hope one day to upgrade to something much bigger and travel around the UK sight seeing just like you. Thanks for sharing WoywW today, enjoy your home time.
    Hugs Tracey (5)

  8. Welcome back Margaret. It sounds like you have had a wonderful time. I particularly loved seeing the photos of Cornwall, especially Minack – our Gilbert and Sullivan society often performed there when I was at uni but sadly i never got the chance. Slimbridge photos brought back many memories of my childhood as we went there on several occasions. Nice to see the inside of your caravan, it looks very cosy and comfortable. Take care of yourself and enjoy seeing Mr and Mrs D. Happy WOYWW. Love & God Bless, Caro x (#12)

  9. Wonderful memories, Margaret – I really enjoyed your photo diary and the statistics! Your caravan looks very cozy – it was just the other day my husband suggested we should get one when we retire – it has a certain charm, doesn’t it? And you’re so brave doing all the driving yourself! Have a well deserved rest now – holidays are fun but so tiring! xx zsuzsa #16

  10. Ah loved every bit of it Margaret and enjoyed it all immensely, I love travel photos, and there were some beauties, like the butterfly and lands end, and four in a row.. and and..?
    Thanks ever so very much for sharing it all. Mm can relate to your desk issue, mine needs a sort out, nice idea for a card too those two.
    Re smoke alarm. You’ve obviously the wrong one in your van.
    I did some research when replacing my kitchen one as its habit of going off at the slightest drove me bonkers.
    There are two different types.
    One for living areas bedrooms which you must have I think.., and one for kitchens. “There are two main types of smoke alarm for home use: ionisation and photoelectric alarms. Photoelectric units are less prone to false alarms from burnt food, so they may be a better fit in kitchen areas.”
    Happy WOYWW. Thanks for sharing, Shaz in Oz.x #18

    {Wonderful Words of Life – Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards – Shaz in Oz}

  11. Wow you have been busy! Some beautiful photos and what a fantastic trip. I had to smil about the cosmetic case full of chargers and cables – we have one of those too! Thank you for your earlier visit. Happy WOYWW Cindy #17

  12. WOW! What a fab trip! I sure enjoyed your post! Love taking “trips” though other’s photos!
    Welcome home!
    Carol N #21

  13. Well I picked up my medal but it was no hardship to obtain as I enjoyed every word and every picture. What a fabulous post this was. Love the Christmas cards and am sure you will get on with the colouring as the dark nights fast approach.
    Loved seeing the family riding along on the crest of a wave – great photo – and the fireman who had probably just rescued a cat from that tree. So glad we didn’t see the Sumo guy – but I wonder what he looked like!
    Minack Theatre looks wonderful and I bet it was glorious to watch a performance there – something I have always wanted to do – watch a performance out of doors.
    Looks as if the Garden House day out was wonderful, I can just imagine wandering around those grounds – and the Art Deco Hotel fascinates me. I treated Chas to a night in the one in Morecambe for looking after me and it was a wonderful treat for him (not so me as the pain was too bad and rather marred the whole experience).
    Love the ducks and birds and the trees in their autumnal splendour – probably my favourite season of all for the colours it brings us – not so much for the leaves poor Chas has to sweep on our property (we are surrounded by trees and get them from other people too).
    Last, but by no means least – it was wonderful to see your little home from home. Now we can picture you there next year when you set off on your travels once more. Do hope the old lady (as you called her) is ready for the rest and recuperation so that she can take you to even more wonderful places for you to share with us.
    Thank you so much Margaret, I have loved every minute of your post.
    God Bless, Neet 2 xx

  14. Hi Margaret, Welcome home 🙂 I loved seeing all the shots you shared and I did read every word 🙂 That is so fun you got that shot with them all on the same wave too. ~Stacy #23

  15. Margaret! I can’t believe it, you’ve been gone so long and I thought it was only a couple of weeks. Great photos, looks like you’ve had a lovely time. When reading that your caravan is 37 and was made in 1982 I realised that my car must now be 47. She was coming off the line as I started college in 1972 and we got her when she was about 8 so we have had her for a long time and she is a much loved MGB GT. Hope you have a lovely creative woyww, Angela x15x

    1. My Dad had 2 MGB GTs, Angela -both in British Racing Green. He loved his MG sports cars! He started with a red MGA which was a beautiful car. After the MGs, he had 2 Porsches and he was still driving the second one, aged 89 (my Dad, not the car lol!). Reading about MGBs brought back some fond memories! Take care of your baby and she will last and last. Great cars!!

      Shoshi x

  16. Goodness, Margaret, you’re intrepid! But what a fabulous way to spend your ‘gap year’. Dare I suggest you and your old caravan make your way up to Scotland next year – you can add a lot more to those stats. Enjoyed all the photos – some brought back happy memories of our holidays in Cornwall and Devon. Have a great week. Hugs, Elizabeth x #22

  17. What a smashing post, Margaret, with all your marvellous adventures. I join the others in congratulating you in being so brave, taking the caravan on your own, and managing what must be quite complicated manoeuvring with such a big thing on the back of the car! I loved all your wonderful photos. I went to the Minnack Theatre with my parents many years ago and loved it, but we didn’t get to see a show there. I know Buckfast quite well and have visited the butterflies. Mum used to love the Garden House. Lots of familiar venues!

    It was soooo great seeing you, Christine and PJ – what a treat to have my very own WOYWW meet, all the way down here in the westcountry. I so rarely get to see any of you and it was fabulous. I really missed you at the show – you would have loved it. I hope you manage to see my mammoth post about it, because I took loads of photos on the Pergamano stand, knowing that you’d want to see what they were up to. It was a great day out. Also, scroll down my blog to see the photos of our meet up.

    Thank you for your good wishes for my upcoming re-assessment, and I’m glad you like the slippers! Making steady progress!

    Happy WOYWW and God bless,
    Shoshi #30

  18. Hello Margaret. Thank you for popping by, I am sorry I am late visiting you.
    Your trip looked and sounded wonderful, the photos are stunning. I think you are amazing – I am not that brave! Take care. Anne X #19

  19. Welcome Home!!! So pleased you had such a good time, you have visited places that are on my bucket list so your post is really informative and encouraging.
    God bless you with rest and good health now that you are back home.
    Christine #34

  20. Welcome home! Beautiful photos. I especially love the lighthouse photos and the garden. What is it about lighthouses that we all love. My mother loved them and I too am now facinated by them. Thanks for sharing such great pictures.
    Have a blessed day!
    Belinda #29

  21. You have been a busy lady! Thank you so much for sharing your trips with us. Places I’d love to see but never will. I’ll be happy exploring the USA. Thank you for visiting me today… and for letting me know you arrived home safely.
    You asked about World Cardmaking day so I found you this link: https://www.papercraftcentral.com/world-cardmaking-day.html I hope you’ll stop by my KellysCreativeDreams blog on Saturday, my Youtube channel or my FB page. Creative Blessings! Kelly #25

  22. Wow. great post! I loved all the photos, and the bullet points – what a fantastic life you lead! Now that you are settling in for the winter, hopefully we will see some more crafty pics of your desk! I can certainly understand why you only got 2 cards coloured! Thanks for your visit, have a great week, Lindart #27

  23. Hi Margaret, I sent you an email. I had another look at your beautiful photographs. 37th season! Wow, she has done you well. I wonder if you pack away as much crafting stuff as I do 🙂

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