Posted by: glenswatman | May 9, 2007

200704 April 2007

200704

 

SUNDAY 1 APRIL 2007 – After a sunny start to the day the weather goes downhill culminating in a thunderstorm mid afternoon.  Venture up to the bar in the evening but there’s a group in and they are all speaking Africaans so we return to our cosy van.

HARMONY NATURE FARM 4

 

MONDAY 2 APRIL – The workers disturb the peace before 8am and this induces us to make an early start.  Enter GAUTENG province where Magaliesburg town is buzzing as its payday for the blacks.  Joe & Ralie live nearby at Golden Harvest retirement village.  It’s more like a luxury holiday resort with it’s own golf course, bowls, croquet and swimming pool.  Even their  “small” home is big by English standards.  They have a terrific set up with a special garage for their motorhome and caravan.  After a drink and a full tour we continue our journey to Virginia Waters naturist resort near Randfontein.  It’s only been open a few months so everything is new and facilities superb.  Steve is delighted to see the recreation lounge with big screen satellite TV.  Other facilities include 2 swimming pools, 2 hot tubs, bars, restaurant, library and great accommodation but sadly no other visitors.  We will be very happy to spend a week here.  Lionel shows us all round but it’s his daughter Colette who runs it all and she introduces herself when she gets back. 

VIRGINIA WATERS

R150 (£12) site for 2

 

TUESDAY 3 APRIL – Whilst I put in a couple of hours on the Internet Steve sets about cleaning the outside of Millie.  Reward ourselves with an afternoon relaxing, by the pool, in the TV lounge and in the evening with a wallow in the hot tub.

VIRGINIA WATERS 2

 

WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL – In order to complete the task in short bursts we begin the big clean up and clear out of Millie.  Steve gets quite a shock and reckons he’s done a days work after spending 2 hours cleaning the outside! We get a nice surprise when Jacky & Marlene arrive on a day visit; we met them at Harmony and got on well.  Unfortunately the temperature is dropping as a storm approaches but we are warm enough all sat in the hot pool. 

VIRGINIA WATERS 3

 

THURSDAY 5 APRIL – Another quick burst of cleaning in the morning before our friends Derek & Annie, from Kiepersol, arrive.  The have come to see us and also to look over Virginia Waters and are very impressed.  Annie has a bought a lovely picnic lunch for us all and we eat at the picnic table near the pool.  There’s just time for a hot tub and a game of pool before they leave.  A couple arrive for the weekend but quickly shut themselves away in one of the cottages, not surprising as it’s raining.

VIRGINIA WATERS 4

 

FRIDAY 6 APRIL – Claire’s 30th birthday and we spend most of the day trying but failing to contact her.  Tony arrives late morning, at 87 years old he does really well and is taking himself off to Croatia next month on holiday.  We invite him to share our shepherd’s pie lunch and he lingers afterwards chatting.  It’s a cool day so we have both afternoon and evening spas and spend lots of time in the TV lounge.

VIRGINIA WATERS 5

 

SATURDAY 7 APRIL – Manage to get Claire on the phone, they had a lovely day out yesterday up at the Lake District and got back very late. Tony leaves mid afternoon when it becomes overcast but luckily the storm skirts around us.   

VIRGINIA WATERS 6

 

SUNDAY 8 APRIL – It’s a very pleasant surprise to open our door and find the Easter bunny has been and left 2 bags of eggs.  We’ve booked to partake in the buffet lunch, R150 (£12) per couple inc wine, but are the only ones.  A lovely table for 2 has been set up in the dining room complete with candles but we invite Collette to join us.  Fully replete we spend the afternoon sleeping off our over indulgence. 

VIRGINIA WATERS 7

 

MONDAY 9 APRIL – It’s pouring with rain when we wake up but soon stops and we get another pleasant day to complete the van clear out and pack.  It’s strange how almost everything we do we end up saying “this is the last ….  in Millie”.  Collette’s Uncle and Aunt ask to look in the van and extremely impressed and want to buy it and reckon we have sold it too cheap.  So much so that they say if for any reason our sale falls through tomorrow they will have it.

VIRGINIA WATERS 8

 

TUESDAY 10 APRIL – We’re all packed up and ready to leave by 8am so Millie makes her final journey with us through Randfontein and Krugersdorp to join the main motorway north.  We’re meeting Andrew at Menlyn shopping centre near Pretoria and have been instructed which car park to use, except there is a height barrier!  We park in an open area and are early so I head in to check on arrangements at Rennies Travel Office.  There I find that Diana and Andrew have been given duff info.  Basically Andrew is paying us the R55, 000 balance in cash which I am supposed to change into US$ travellers cheques, however they won’t do this unless I produce the original receipt for the van purchase, flight ticket out of South Africa, passport, and an official receipt from the dealer to whom I have sold the van (they say foreigners are not supposed to buy vehicles here and must sell to a dealer!)  Meet Andrew at the van to explain the problem and then spend well over an hour bouncing between exchange offices and banks until we reach some sort of a solution.  South Africans are allowed to make a gift of R30, 000 per year to anyone so he arranges a transfer of this amount to our UK account.  The balance of R25, 000 I get to keep in cash as the bank know of no other way of changing or transferring it.  Andrew is delighted with the van and heads off back to Tzaneen with passenger Graham whilst Grahams Mum Heather takes us to our host.  Ada (64) and Ami (76) are an Israeli couple that live in Moreleta Park.  They are lovely people and make us most welcome.  Having spent much of their life living and travelling in foreign countries they are very interesting to talk to.  Ami suggests I post my travel info on the Internet and helps me set up a web site for my diaries and pictures www.glenswatman.spaces.live.com/ so this should make life easier in the future. 

PRETORIA – MORELETA PARK 1

 

BRIEF SUMMARY OF MILLIE’S TRIP. 

Purchase price R60, 000 plus taxes = R62, 500

Spent approx R5000 on new tyres and contents for the van

Sale price R65, 000 Inc all contents

Distance covered approx 16,000km in 6 countries (South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana)

Average weekly expenditure £165

 

WEDNESDAY – 11 APRIL – Although in his mid 70’s Ami likes to keep busy and runs his own irrigation company so he is up and away at daybreak.  I get up at 6am and begin work on the Internet transferring my diary information to the blog, after 10 years on the road there are over 250 folders plus any photos I care to add.  Ada goes out for the day to baby-sit her grandchild so I can stay on line all day whilst Steve lazes by the pool.  We buy a take away curry for the evening meal after which Ada goes to a neighbourhood watch meeting.  Just a few doors down from here a family were recently murdered in their home so people are trying to find new ways to tackle the problem.   

MORELETA PARK 2

 

THURSDAY 12 APRIL – Ada takes us on a guided tour of Pretoria starting at Church Square where the Paul Kruger monument stands in the middle of gardens surrounded by beautiful buildings.  After a coffee stop in the French style Café Riche we explore some of the shopping arcades.  We drive past the impressive City Hall and Railway Museum before reaching Union Buildings.  The huge and impressive red sandstone construction is in Italian style as are the gardens.  Lunch is taken at Café 41 before heading south to the superb Voortrekker Monument.  Proudly sited at the top of a hill the imposing cube commemorates the great trek from Cape Town into this area.  We enter to enter to find the 4 walls covered in a beautifully rendered white marble bas-relief depicting the story or the trek.  Downstairs is a museum with tapestries and other artefacts and from the top of the monument we get fine views back over the city.  We’ve nearly arrived back home when Ada gets a call to say Ami has injured himself in a fall at work and thinks he has broken his knee.  Ada makes arrangements to meet their Doctor at hospital and bundles Ami into the car as soon as he gets back.  A couple of hours later they return and tell us he has 2 cracks in his patella and must rest.  This does not go down well with Ami who likes to keep active.  Another disaster happens after Steve takes a shower, the drain is blocked and with effluence spilling out it must be the main sewerage one as well.  They have insurance for such problems but can’t get anyone out tonight so we have to manage overnight. 

PRETORIA 3

 

FRIDAY 13 APRIL – Ami is feeling better and hobbling around.  We spoke to Nedbank International yesterday and have been told of a system to get our money back to England using one of their branches.  Ada drops us off at Menlyn shopping centre where we hope to deal with the money exchange.   En route to the bank we pass a different exchange office and call in out of curiosity.  They say that we can buy US$ travel cheques so long as we have our passport and airline ticket out of South Africa, they don’t need the rest of the paperwork that the other agents demanded.  At the same branch of Nedbank that we visited on Tuesday we are stalled at the first hurdle when the receptionist says they won’t deal with us unless we have an account.  Insist on seeing the foreign exchange specialist, again the same one I saw on Tuesday.  I relay the system we have been told about but she says this transaction is no longer available.  However I have the name of the person at the International branch and after a quick phone call she says that yes we can do it.  Another classic example of miss information and moving goal posts!   Wander round the shopping mall and stop at Mugg & Bean for a coffee and snack to use up the credit on our infinity card.  Learn that they are stopping accepting the card at the end of the month but make various excuses why they can’t take it now.  Eventually after speaking to a supervisor and then the manager the matter is resolved and the card accepted.  Ada picks us up when we are finished and we return to find that no one has come to clear the drain.  After numerous phone calls a women turns up but doesn’t have the correct equipment to do the job.  She calls up another company and much later they arrive.  The man mocks the previous job saying a woman’s place is in the kitchen.  He has longer poles and one with a cutting end to saw through the tree root that is blocking the pipe. Unfortunately this company is not registered with the one Ami insures through so he has to contribute towards the bill but at this stage is just happy to know we can use the toilet and shower again.  For our last evening meal together Ada cooks up a delicious Thai curry.

PRETORIA 4

 

SATURDAY 14 APRIL – Steve’s boots are starting to split so Ada runs us to a nearby cobblers where 1 hour and R30 (£2.40) later they are fixed.  Ada has very kindly offered to drive us down to Johannesburg where we are returning to stay with our original host Maryn.  Since we were here in July Maryn has turned her spare bedroom into a massage studio so this time we are staying in her partner Sven’s cottage next door.  We’ve been there about 1 hour when Rolf picks us up.  Sandi & Rolf are friends of Bobby & Rhinda in Australia and have asked to meet us to chat about our travels downunder.   Rolf’s normal car has broken down so I have to squeeze into the back of his MG and am thankful that we are only going on a short journey.  Sandi makes us welcome and over lunch tells us a bit about themselves.  Sandi comes from England and is going there tomorrow to visit her Mum before continuing to Portugal where she and Rolf have a house.  They spend half the year there and the other half in South Africa but Sandi needs us to convince Rolf that they should visit Australia.  By the time Sandi runs us back our information and photos have impressed them both.  Maryn & Sven have left to go to a party and will be staying out all night so we are home alone. 

JOHANNESBURG, BEDFORDVIEW

 

SUNDAY 15 APRIL – We walk to the nearby Eastgate shopping mall and enjoy the full buffet breakfast at Ciao Baby Cocina, R40 (£3.20).  Take a wander round the shops but there’s absolutely nothing we want to buy so we soon become bored.  Until mid afternoon it’s hot and sunny and we can sit out.  By the time Sven and Maryn return it is raining.  We want to take them out for a meal and fancy a steak but unfortunately their favourite “Medium Rare” restaurant is closed and we end up back at the Eastgate Mall at an Italian restaurant.  Pizzas are on special offer on Sundays but they tell us the pizza oven has just broken, how convenient!  I order my steak and select potato wedges from the menu but the waiter says they only have chips so Steve orders his meal with chips also.  Both meals arrive with wedges! 

BEDFORDVIEW 2

 

MONDAY 16 APRIL – After doing a load of washing we walk back to the mall and enjoy the special cooked breakfast at Café Nescafe, R19.50 (£1.60).  It’s very hot and sunny once we return and I sit out reading Maryn’s book “Spud” by John van de Ruit, a sort of South African version of Adrian Mole.  The diaries are of a boy at boarding school in Natal and very funny.  At 4pm John picks us up and takes us to his home in Edenvale.  We met Janet & John on the campsite in Kasane and they have invited us round for a braai.  Also waiting to greet us are 3 dogs including a huge great dane called Murphy.  After selecting drinks from their garden “pub” we settle down to relax and enjoy a delicious beef fillet.  Get back just in time for a quick chat with Maryn before she goes to bed.

BEDFORDVIEW 3

H

TUESDAY 17 APRIL – Our last day in Africa and we take a Maxi Taxi (011 648 8869) R120 (9.60) to the Apartheid Museum.  We arrive before the 10am opening so kill time wandering over to check out the adjoining theme park and casino.  Back at the museum admission is R25 (£2) pp plus R15 (£1.20) for the audio guide.  T’s all rather upsetting even though we have already learnt much about apartheid from other museums and by talking to people.  A series of rooms take you past photographs, television screen, artefacts and other descriptions of this era but with an emphasis on the struggles involved.  There’s a seminar being held so we have to miss the main film but it still takes us well over 2 hours to get round.  There are taxis waiting outside so we go to the Eastgate shopping mall to eat a carvery lunch for R45 (3.60).   The rest of the afternoon is free for us to sit out enjoying the sun. England’s having a mini heat wave so hopefully this will not be the last of it for us.  Maryn leaves work at 4pm and comes back to pick us up for the airport run, our trip has definitely being enhanced by superb Hospitality Club hosts.  Its total chaos at the airport with the queue just to get into the check in area so long it’s hard to find the end, and so complicated that many people are pushing in inadvertently or otherwise.  We arrive 2 hours before departure but it takes almost all this time to get to the check in desk.  Needless to say the flight is over 1-hour late in leaving and by this time it’s raining heavily and thunder and lightening making for a bumpy start to our journey.  We’re on Emirates and the flight is full, service poor and the food not great but with over 100 movies to watch the time passes quite quickly during our 7-hour journey.

FLIGHT FROM JOHANNESBURG TO DUBAI

 

WEDNESDAY 18 APRIL – We have an uneventful 2-hour stop in Dubai but mooching around notice a restaurant offering free meals to people with a stop of over 4 hours.  Shame we were not made aware of this as our outward flight had us in Dubai airport for 10 hours.  Depart ½ hour late on our Manchester leg leaving us very tight on time.  Our original ticket showed arrival at 11.30am so we booked the 1.30pm bus to Hanley.  At reconfirmation they told us of a “change” in arrival time to 12.30pm but we think they forgot about British summer time, even though it has been around as long as I have.  It’s almost 1pm when we land in ENGLAND. I leave Steve to collect the luggage and head off to the bus station arriving bang on half past but there is no sign of the bus.  At the information desk I learn that it is running late and hasn’t even arrived so go back up the escalator to try and spur Steve on if I see him in the distance.  Even with them holding the bus up by a further 5 minutes we still miss the connection as Steve is held up waiting for 1 of the bags.  Very frustrating for us as we normally only travel with hand luggage but this time we are transferring a few possessions from our South African motorhome to take onwards to our next one.  There isn’t another bus until 5.30pm and this misses the last connection to Drayton. Lucky for us Netty is at home and agrees to meet us at the bus station getting us back to Mum’s just after 7pm with us chattering all the way.  Netty and Mum both look very well and we admire Mum’s new bathroom and catch up on all her news. 

MARKET DRAYTON

 

THURSDAY 19 APRIL – I’m awake at 6am and it looks like being a nice sunny day so I get up and start on paperwork.    I join Mum for a walk up town where there are a number of new shops.  Interestingly I notice that many items are the same as ones sold in South Africa and most are cheaper here.  Early afternoon we drive over to Newport for a meeting with the tenants at our cottage.  We’re surprised to find that since last July the school behind us has closed, been put up for sale and is now under offer.  We will have to find out what is going on there as it could affect us especially if a 2-storey building was erected.  Luckily the tenants want to rent for the foreseeable future providing we can deal with one or two problems.  We all drive round to Netty’s for an evening barbecue.  Arrive just as a very happy Bobby is heading out in his car after passing his test this afternoon on the 5th attempt.  We meet “Annette’s” new boyfriend Ian and make the most of the pleasant evening by sitting out to eat. 

MARKET DRAYTON 2

 

FRIDAY 20 APRIL – I’ve left the day free for Mum and she wants to go shopping so I ride shotgun whilst Mum drives us up to Telford where she inadvertently ends up in the short term car park with a maximum 3-hour stay – phew that’s lucky!  We go our separate ways and meet up for lunch.  Next stop Newport for a stroll around then back to Drayton in time for tea. 

MARKET DRAYTON 3

 

SATURDAY 21 APRIL – Since leaving England last year Steve’s sister Netty has moved back from Spain and set up home in Madeley with her new partner Mark.  We easily find their house and get an extra surprise to find our niece Stacey and her boyfriend Neil also there.  Steve’s brother Kevin and his wife Sandra soon join us.  To complete the group our niece Lauren also arrives with baby Aidan.  It’s great to be with the family again and catch up on news.  No sooner have Lauren and Kevin left then Mark’s Mum, sister Michelle and her boyfriend Steve arrive so things are pretty hectic.  After lunch it quietens down and there’s just Netty, Mark, Stacey, Neil and ourselves left so we pass the time, and have a good laugh, with the play station Buzz game.  Early evening we drive to Newport to Paul & Elaine’s’ and are joined by Pete & Carol for a take away meal.  There’s lots to catch up on and chance to admire photos of Vicki’s new baby Jack who was born last September.

MARKET DRAYTON 4

 

SUNDAY 22 APRIL – Claire and Natasha drive down from Yorkshire and we get to see how much Natasha has grown.  Claire also looks different with her brown hair.  Netty & Ian call round on their way out to walk up the Wrekin.  Along with Mum we go up to the Crown for a tasty carvery lunch and leave soon after.  Stop off to see David who has turned his dining room into a Liverpool shrine with ticket stubs and other memorabilia covering the walls.  Claire has moved since we left last year so we go to her new house at Steadings Way in Keighley.  It’s a bright modern 3-bedroom semi and they have already put in a lot of hard work to make it look very nice inside.  Daz & Daniel arrive back; Daniel has been flag bearer in a “Cubs” parade.  Our last stop of the day is in Bingley at Mom & Dads.  They are off on a cruise to the Canary Islands early in the morning and we are staying in their flat whilst they are away, and doing a few odd jobs for them. 

BINGLEY

 

MONDAY 23 APRIL – Mom & Dad leave very quietly 6am.  They insisted we slept in the bedroom last night whilst they stayed in the lounge, Mum wanted to sleep in the chair so that she didn’t flatten her new hair do!   We’ve had problems with the tenant in our Parkwood Street house; they haven’t paid rent since Christmas.  They were due to be evicted today and early afternoon we learn that they actually left on Saturday.   We’ve no car so catch the local bus to Keighley, £1.50 single.  It’s after school time and very busy.  Certain seats are reserved for disabled, elderly and parents with children but a couple of young schoolgirls are sat in one.  When an elderly couple are left standing another passenger speaks to the girls and asks them to stand up.  They completely blank her but she persists and asks them to show consideration and that it appalling how young British people treat the elderly – the lady in question is talking in a foreign, eastern European, sounding accent.  An elderly passenger who is sat behind her then joins in and tells her to leave the girls alone as they have paid their fare and that she should mind her own business and get back to where she comes from!  Quite an argument ensues by which time other people have got off and the elderly couple are seated.  We have to laugh when we reach the bus station and find that the foreign lady was also sat in a priority seat when she obviously didn’t need it.  What is the country coming to? We meet up with our letting agent to check over the property.  It looks terrible with dirt and mess everywhere and the kitchen and bathroom in a very sorry state.  Reckon it’s going to need complete refurbishment including redecoration, new kitchen and bathroom and new carpets throughout.  Guess we can kiss our proposed Nile River cruise goodbye!  We get dropped off at Claire’s new house in Keighley where Daz is at home.  It’s a modern 3-bedroom semi and they have done a great job in making it look really nice inside.  I go on the Internet and find a kitchen on E-bay but at this stage we haven’t got proper measurements and have no idea how much it is worth but are tempted enough to put in a bid.  Spend time with Daniel and Natasha after Claire brings them back from school.  Move on down to Sandra’s where Keith joins us.  Send out for an Indian take away and spend the evening chatting.  Claire phones to say we failed with our kitchen bid so we either bid too low or weren’t meant to have it!  Keith drops us back in Bingley.

BINGLEY 2

 

TUESDAY 24 APRIL – Neither of us sleep well as we have so many ideas going through our heads about what to do with the house.  We’ve no car and no tools to do the work but can use the bus to get to Keighley and our holiday trolley bag to cart things to the house, fortunately they are quite trendy nowadays as many business men have them for their computers.  Bigger things we can borrow from Claire and Daz.  We begin by pricing kitchen and bathroom suites and soon realise we should have placed a higher bid for the kitchen on E-bay.  Buy enough materials to start work at the house.  Everywhere is absolutely filthy, it looks like nothing had been cleaned since they moved in last July and many walls have writing on.  Claire calls down in her lunch hour and takes us out to collect some paint.  The rest of the afternoon is spent doing a job list, taking measurements and attempting to form a plan of attack.  Claire picks us up after work and we baby-sit for Daniel and Natasha.  Their house has a nice garden and Natasha is busy in the shed planting seeds.  There are lots of other children on the estate and they really enjoy playing out so are no trouble at all. 

BINGLEY 3

 

WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL – Back to the house with me detouring to buy a few more

cleaning things.  We’ve decided to give the bathroom and kitchen a thorough scrub

then make a final decision as replacements would also mean new tiling and other extras and having seen the way tenants treat things they certainly don’t deserve new.  Umpteen scouring pads and gallons of cream cleanser later I have managed to remove the mould from the bathroom tiles and have the rest of the bathroom suite sparkling clean.  Steve has also had similar success in the kitchen and we reckon that new worktops, flooring and a lick of paint should leave it looking reasonable.  David is coming up from Manchester to stay for a few days to help us and he arrives late afternoon.  He gets stuck in with clearing out the cellar and by the time we finish at 6pm we can see a good amount of progress although we do ache in places we didn’t know could ache.  Steve & David head off to watch the Liverpool match in the pub and will stay at the house overnight.  I catch the bus back to Bingley and feel much better after a long soak in the bath. 

BINGLEY 4

 

THURSDAY 26 APRIL – I arrive at the house at 11am to find the lads busy at work.  The back attic bedroom ceiling is done and the walls in progress whilst Steve is painting the kitchen.  Early afternoon David gets a call from Donna to say that he must go back.  The arrangements for someone to look after the children whilst Donna is on holiday have fallen through so David heads off to catch the bus.  Claire picks us up on her way to college and drops us at home.  Rod & Nancy call round and we send out for a Chinese take away.  I’m whacked so stay at home whilst Steve goes with them to bowling returning just before midnight.

BINGLEY 5

 

FRIDAY 27 APRIL – Unsurprisingly we make a late start.  At the house we did have a plan of action starting at the top and working down but get side tracked when we see “little” things we can do to create a better first impression as the house is advertised in the paper today.  With the exception of an all white bathroom we want the other rooms to have a white ceiling and magnolia walls.  This is going to be hard work as we have been left with a dark blue bathroom (ceiling and walls), blue ceiling in one bedroom and another bedroom painted in terracotta.  Daz is working until late so Claire calls round with the kids after work.  We all go back to Bingley and pick up another Chinese take away to supplement that left over from last night.  With a towel spread out on the lounge floor we settle down Chinese style to eat. 

BINGLEY 6

 

SATURDAY 28 APRIL – We begin by starting to paint the bathroom ceiling and walls white to cover the blue but it’s going to take 3 coats.  Steve breaks off to go down to the auction to try and pick up some doors and a cooker on the cheap.  Both went above the price we had in mind but other things went for a song often picked up by the many Polish people in the bidding.  Richard calls round in the afternoon to measure up for new carpets and lino and then gives us a lift home.  It’s only 4pm but we are ready to knock off early. 

BINGLEY 7

 

SUNDAY 29 APRIL – The first bus to Keighley leaves at 9.11am and it’s packed but most of the passengers get off at Castlefields to go to the car boot sale.  Claire calls round early afternoon and Daniel and Natasha are soon helping out.  We end up ripping up all the carpets and putting them on to neighbour Jimmy’s trailer to hitch it on the back of Claire’s car for a visit to the tip.  There’s lots of dust left behind but with Natasha’s help I soon have it cleaned up.  We’ve not done the work we had planned but feel satisfied enough to call it a day and go back to Claire’s.  She cooks us a superb roast dinner before taking us home.

BINGLEY 8

 

MONDAY 30 APRIL – We’re having a day off from Parkwood today to do a few jobs at Mom & Dad’s.  I set up the steam cleaner to do the carpets but find it hard work and ineffective so resort to hands and knees job.  Steve is going to paint the wall in the outside hallway but when he gets the paint out there isn’t enough and it’s the wrong type.  He walks in to Bingley and finds there is nowhere at all to buy paint so his job has to be abandoned, very frustrating because it is now too late to go in to Keighley.  Mid afternoon we catch the bus to Shipley to check out a few carpet places before meeting Richard at “Trade Underlay”.  They offer us the best deal so we agree a price for them to deliver the carpet and lino on Friday and Richard fitting it on Saturday.  It’s going to be a very tight deadline for us to get all the decorating done by then but better than waiting until the following weekend.  Richard runs us up to Wilsden where we are going to visit Rod & Nancy.  After a nice meal they drive us up to Harecroft where their elder daughter Jenny, 26, has taken on the lease of the Station Hotel pub. It’s a small, olde worlde, typical English village pub and she has settled in well but is working very long hours.  She has a small terrier dog called Bruce and we take him with us on a walk over the hills nearby.  We had forgotten what fantastic scenery there is in Yorkshire and get superb views of the viaduct and over towards Wilsden.  Unfortunately we had also forgotten what lazy winds are like when they insist on going through you rather than round you!  Return to sup a few drinks with the locals before spending the night at Rod & Nancy’s place.

WILSDEN

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