Posted by: glenswatman | June 11, 2013

20130601-10 We’re all going on a summer holiday

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201306

SATURDAY 1 JUNE 2013 – Steve’s feeling a bit achy and happy just to stay home.  We both sit out and the neighbours must think we have fallen out as Steve is in the shade at the side of the bungalow and I’m in the middle of the back lawn.  I get a good upper body workout using the hand mower to cut the lawn.  I spend ages tramping round town to try and find a pair of black high heels that are comfortable and it seems the best thing for wide feet with bunions would be the shoe box itself, total failure.

KEIGHLEY

SUNDAY 2 JUNE – I’d hoped to get down to under 10 stone before holidays but it’s a struggle so we walk to the Tarn where I manage a couple of 2 minute runs and then run all the way home, downhill is no problem but I’m hopeless on the flat and hills.  Karen & her friend come round for a meal mid afternoon.  I’ve cooked up an Indian and we take our time over it and talk about their recent trip to Spain and lifestyle choices.  With luck the sale on her apartment in Spain is going ahead and some of her houses will sell in auction next week so that she can begin to look to the future and get the divorce sorted.  Claire pops round after her week in Scotland; she’s had a good time and even managed a 23 mile run.

KEIGHLEY

MONDAY 3 JUNE – Down to 10 stone 2 lbs (1 stone lost) and I have definitely dropped a size in clothes and feel much better for it.  Steve drops me at the station to catch the train to Leeds for my dental appointment.  It’s a lovely day so I walk to the surgery and soon have my front chipped tooth repaired.  Having trawled all the shops in Leeds that sell wide fitting shoes I am feeling really depressed and frustrated by my ugly feet and the fact the only things comfortable are flip flops or boat style flats.  On impulse I pop into Dorothy Perkins who don’t sell wide shoes but have a dainty pair that fit.  By fit I don’t mean comfortable but at least they are not seriously uncomfortable!  I’m so chuffed I treat myself to the matching bag as they have a 30% off sale.  In the afternoon Steve has his second round of baby injections and doesn’t need any more until October.  Sandra and Keith call round for a meal. We haven’t seen them since their long holiday in Cyprus followed by a motorhome trip so lots of catching up to do.

KEIGHLEY

TUESDAY 4 JUNE – We head down to the Midlands and surprise Mum with our arrival.  She’s pretty busy with the gardener at work and someone delivering fresh baked cakes.  It’s good to see her again and she seems better than last time as her back hurts less now that she can take massive amounts of pain killers.  As her pupils arrive we head to Bobby’s.  Steph is home along with baby Olivia, she is lovely and much bigger than when we last saw her and now smiling.  Bobby has just started a new job and we hang on until he returns home and immediately takes over with Olivia.

MARKET DRAYTON 1

WEDNESDAY 5 JUNE – Meeting Annette from Bryn Melyn at the cottage she is surprised how bad it is as she had paid people to do jobs and they have not been done.  The garden looks much better with new turf, the ivy removed and most of it tidied up but the inside needs quite a lot of work.  We make a list together and feel happier knowing that they are going to pay another month’s rent to enable them to get the work done.   Late afternoon we walk round to Netty’s and admire their new bedroom with en-suite.  She’s delighted to have been offered redundancy and plans to finish end of September all being well.  Now we know we don’t need to return to the cottage I set about finding us accommodation from Friday to Sunday night.  Park Resorts have a summer sale on and I manage to pay £92 for 3 nights in a bronze static and get an upgrade to Silver Plus.

MARKET DRAYTON 2

THURSDAY 6 JUNE – I’ve asked Mum where she wants a trip out to so we head to Brown Moss nature reserve at Prees Heath.  It’s a bit overgrown but she remembers it well from past visits with John and before him Roy.  It’s too high for us to walk around as the path is muddy and I doubt Mum would get far anyway so we opt to continue to Whitchurch.  Mum fancies a coffee and the 1590’s coffee shop in the main street is just lovely.  Manage to fit in a bit of shopping and get her the style of top she has been looking for.  It’s the over 60’s club in the afternoon to I drop her at the Festival Hall.  We got to Newport in the evening and sit out with Carol enjoying the sun.  Paul & Elaine walk down to join us and Pete arrives back from golf just as Steve & Paul arrive with the take away.  Over Indian and Chinese we put the world to rights.

MARKET DRAYTON 3

FRIDAY 7 JULY –  Steve wants to make an early start for our journey but agrees that when he wakes at 5.30 it’s a bit soon.  We nap for an hour and end up leaving just before 7.30am.  There are just a few traffic hold ups around Birmingham but we make good progress.  Passing through Axminster we stop at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage canteen and deli. We pick up some yurt Cornish style cheese and a pasty.  Arriving in the pretty seaside town of Beer we park up on the waterfront to eat.  What a disappointment, the pastry is thick and heavy and the filling dry and not very tasty.  Ah maybe with being a traditional pasty we should have thrown the pastry away!  For £2.40 we expected much better and are glad we didn’t buy more stuff.  Sidmouth is a much bigger town and we park up to stroll around.  It’s trying to rain and quite chilly so we don’t linger but are happy to notice the National Trust shop is advertising 12 months membership for the price of 9.  We drive along country lanes noticing that you would be hard pushed to get a motorhome down them and certainly wouldn’t be able to pass anything.  With high hedges on both sides the only passing places are still quite narrow.  Should have bought the NT membership in Sidmouth because we arrive at De La Ronde and find they cannot offer the deal only full membership or £7.50 a head admission.  Luckily I have my laptop in the car so join up on line and also get 5% from top cash back.  We head back in with my membership Email and gain admission.  De La Ronde is round 4 story building built by 2 female cousins after they returned from travelling abroad.  The house is full to travel memorabilia and decorated with local shells, feathers and other things.  The design meant that by moving around the house during the day they had plenty of natural light and sunshine.  We’ve been told the cafe here does a really good cream tea and we end up with 2 massive scones and lashing of clotted cream and jam.  Either my memory is playing up or Cornish clotted cream is tastier.  At Dawlish Warren we check onto Golden Sands Caravan Park.  On booking I requested a clean caravan with no damp or mould and in a quiet area of the park.  The caravan is certainly in a quieter area of the park but there is mould on the bathroom floor and in the shower.  Back at reception others are having problems but yelling and causing a fuss.  I quietly ask to see the manager and still waiting 10 minutes later speak to a receptionist to explain the problem and show her the photo.  She disappears and the manger calls me in.  The bottom line is that the park is almost full but because I was very polite about my complaint I am being offered a top of the range Gold plus 3 bedroom lodge as an apology.  It’s really nice and a shame we don’t have anyone with us to share it with.  Reckon we could happily live in something like this.  Once settled in we make the 10 minute walk to Dawlish Warren beach.  It’s lovely walking along the promenade in the evening sun and then returning through a nature reserve.

GOLDEN SANDS, DAWLISH WARREN 1

SATURDAY 8 JUNE – After a late start we set out to walk to the nearby Sainsbury superstore.  It’s only about a mile away and we find a better way back along a stream.  In the afternoon we drive to Dawlish where many are sunbathing on the pebbly beach.  It’s a very attractive town with a stream flowing into it from the hinterlands.  It looks most attractive with lots of small waterfalls, black swans and grassy lawns where people gather.  After doing a tourist trail we visit the Museum £2.  There are numerous themed rooms, one with Titanic stuff, and it is incredibly interesting.  There’s a really interesting story about local bagpiper Bill Millin as he was brave enough to walk along Sword Beach piping the soldiers ashore on D-Day.

GOLDEN SANDS, DAWLISH WARREN 2

SUNDAY 9 JUNE – Steve wants to set out early and we arrive in Exeter before many things are open.  It’s a lovely city with some fantastic old buildings.  Once it opens at 10am the Victoria and Albert Museum is excellent.   We drive to the University where there are many sculptures but unfortunately most are inside the buildings that are closed for the weekend.  Making use of our National Trust card we next visit Castle Drogo, the last castle built in England.  Had we had to pay the normal £9.60 admission for house and gardens we would have been a bit miffed as it is under restoration and there is very little to see.  Cutting across country we turn off in Bovey Tracey where there is a craft festival.  At £8 admission we opt out but on the way in passed The Jolly Roger factory where they make life sized models.  It is absolutely fantastic, two floors and many rooms of life sized models of animals, starts, film characters and more – we love it.  At the other end of the village The House of Marbles is another gem with information on marble making, Teign glass and more.  Just as we are leaving 8 traditional sports cars pull onto the car park, it’s an outing for the Panther Club who are happy to show off their vehicles.  After a very enjoyable day out we return for a bit of r&r.

GOLDEN SANDS, DAWLISH WARREN 3

MONDAY 10 JUNE – Heading down the coast we stop off in Teignmouth to wander around.  We spot a couple of motorhomes on the car park by the estuary and find out they have been able to stay overnight and just pay the £4 a day parking fee, feeling homesick.  In Torquay we check in to The Burlington Hotel where we have a pleasant light and airy room with bathtub.  Walking down the hill we are soon at the waterfront and gathering info at the tourist office.  We walk along the waterfront where there is a big wheel to rival the London Eye.  Following the Agatha Christie trail (she lived most of her life in Torquay) we cut up through a park.  At the conference centre there is “The Sun” van and other wagons and we discover it is a newsagent trade fair. We wonder in and are happy to indulge in the pie and doughnut samples.  After watching “Hotel” on TV we can’t resist popping in “The Grosvenor” intending having an afternoon tea but it is dead and not appealing.  By the time we have meandered back we’ve covered 5 miles and deserve a rest before dinner.  Our hotel booking includes a 3 course evening meal.  For starters we opt for minestrone soup and mackerel, mains cod in sauce and liver and dessert black forest gateaux and apple crumble followed by coffee and mints.  The evening entertainment is a young man who is a comedian and singer and not too bad but once the lady next to us starts coughing and spluttering we return to the room.  Unfortunately we are above the entertainment lounge so it is around 11pm before all goes quiet.

TORQUAY, BURLINGTON HOTEL 1 (PACKAGE 4 NIGHTS HALF BOARD £89.95pp)

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