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.