Posted by: glenswatman | July 1, 2014

201421-30 Out and about

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SATURDAY 21 JUNE – After an early lunch we head over to Wetherby area. Friends Angela and Martin have recently moved into a static caravan at Maustin Park and we are staying with them overnight. It’s a lovely site and a bit like ours with an area for lodges, a static caravan area and a touring section. Their static is newer and longer than ours but given that it cost about 5 times the price that is not surprising. As we all have medical problems much of the conversation revolves around this. We have a real laugh playing bowls with the lads just beating Angela and me in the last end. In the evening Steve and I head over to Collingham cricket club where Richard and Jane are having a combined party for Richards 50th and their engagement. Quite a few of our old ten pin bowling friends are there so we try and have a good natter. There’s a good cold buffet and Steve surprises me with the amount of desserts he has – can’t wait to meet his donor to see if he is a dessert lover also. It’s a good evening but we struggle to really hear conversations over the loud music.
MAUSTIN PARK

SUNDAY 22 JUNE – It’s just like being at home having our breakfast out on the patio (other than wearing clothes). Returning to Claire’s we head through the Asian area of Bradford where the streets are full of people shopping. The main items for sale are paper products with massive piles of toilet rolls on the pavement. Richard cooks us a delicious Jamie Oliver recipe carrot and coriander soup. Natasha spends the afternoon with me checking out the Adventure of the Seas on the laptop. The “wows” are never ending; almost wish I’d just waited until she went on board. Claire returns from an 18km bike ride in training for a triathlon. Daniel enjoys a Canasta challenge with me then after a family roast dinner we play card games with Azura and Natasha as well. It makes us laugh when Claire and Richard talk through the week then put up the organising board. It has chalk plaques for each day onto which they write the menu (so the first person home can get started), who is in and who is out and events.
CLAYTON HEIGHTS

MONDAY 23 JUNE – Don’t know what is going on with traffic in England but round Manchester we get low speed limits due to congestion and lots of stop and go. No accidents just sheer volume of traffic. After lunch at Netty’s we visit Mum. She’s doing pretty well although getting worryingly thin and not eating as well as we would hope. At least she gets plenty of exercise by taking a walk around town each day. Bobby & Steph have been doing quite a lot of work on their garden and it looks much bigger and brighter. Olivia is a little darling and entertains us with her counting and also pointing to different parts of her body. She’s such a cute and happy little girl. Netty cooks us a pasta meal whilst Ian opts to go for a run before having his. We enjoy watching the DVD of Nick’s passing out parade in the RAF and learn quite a lot about his courses.
MARKET DRAYTON

TUESDAY 24 JUNE – Netty and Ian are both working today and after our hectic week of visits Steve prefers to have quiet time whilst I take Mum out. It’s probably a good job Steve didn’t want to come as our boot is too small for Mum’s walker and I have to use the back seat. Dearnford Lake near Whitchurch is a lovely spot. They are erecting a marquee ready for a summer ball. Once we have managed to half drag the walker across the gravel Mum manages well on the grass. We sit on a bench watching an open water swimmer going round the island. I continue and do the mile around the lake whilst Mum doubles back to meet me. They have lots of events here including swims and you can stay over in a tent or caravan from as little as £4 (note to remember this once we have another motorhome). Fordhall organic farm contains Arthur’s restaurant where we stop for lunch. Unfortunately it is in a converted dairy and the acoustics are bad and made worse by being sat next to 4 Mums with babies and opposite a group of school kids. The service is poor but the food is tasty although a bit expensive. Interestingly the farm nearly went bust a few years ago but the owner managed to get 8000 shareholders to invest in his forward thinking idea of organic farming and natural energy. Call in to Mum’s old neighbour Pauline on the way home. I chat to Pauline’s daughter and carer Mandy who is busy organising work on the bungalow to get things up to scratch. They had a lucky escape recently when a tree fell on the roof so now the rest have been cut down. At Mum’s bungalow next door the new people have put loads of solar panels on the roof and have cut down lots of trees at the side in order to extend that patio. In the evening Netty & Ian join us to go to Wetherspoons to meet Paul & Elaine and Pete & Carol where we have our usual good catch up.
MARKET DRAYTON 2

WEDNESDAY 25 JUNE – In Newport we visit Fodens estate agents and meet Stacey who is dealing with our cottage. She was a great help a couple of weeks ago when we had a gas problem so we wanted to take her some wine. She’s still waiting for her recommended gas engineer to give us a quote for the new boiler and the man we arranged to go from Market Drayton hasn’t contacted her. It’s really frustrating that so many people say they want work but when you try to get someone out they can’t be bothered. Pop in to Henshalls to see Zena and learn that it is Dave’s 60th birthday tomorrow, he went to school with Steve and apparently a group of school mates and their wives are all going to Turkey in September to celebrate their 60ths. Sadly we phone other friends to try and visit but hear that Lin has taken a turn for the worse in her battle against cancer and we won’t be able to visit. As always this kind of things shakes us up and is especially upsetting as I get the impression she won’t be around when we revisit in September. When I go to get the Satnav to key in our next destination I notice it is missing but in place of it I find Mum’s camera in a similar black case in the glove box. After a detour back to Drayton to do a swap we reach Steve’s sister Netty’s just before lunch time. It’s a pleasant afternoon and after sitting out having lunch we drive to Telford. The centre is undergoing a major upgrading with new restaurants and hotels being built. The town park makes for a nice stroll. The High Ropes Adventure course in the trees looks amazing. We are accosted by a reported from Shropshire radio who asks us about what the crazes were when we were young. Interestingly although Netty is 5 years younger than me we remember pretty much the same things such as clackers, elastic skipping and deeley boppers. After a brief trip back for a rest we pick up Mark at the station then head to the Toby grill. It’s near to Lauren’s so we call in and meet her new fiancé David who seems really nice. Feel really bad taking Netty & Mark’s bed but they insist as Stacey is home and Mark will take the single in the spare room whilst Netty sleeps in the lounge.
MADELEY

THURSDAY 26 JUNE – Leaving after breakfast we have a really good journey over to the M1. In fact we are so early so stop off at a farm where we buy a big basket (2.2kg) of lovely strawberries for £6. At 1pm Jean & Arf arrive at Chequers pub near Lutterworth and we have a good lunch with lots of homemade food and great company. It’s 5.30pm when we arrive home and soon settle in. Although Steve is a bit weary from the journey he rallies round and goes out to play pool and catch up on all the Merryhill gossip.
MERRYHILL

FRIDAY 27 JUNE – After going to the Doctors (blood tests for celiac disease and iron levels) we continue to Dereham. We had intended going for a walk but heavy rain has knocked that idea on the head and we make do with walking up and down all the aisles at Tesco.
MERRYHILL

SATURDAY 28 JUNE – Steve decides to have another go at making our kitchen sink drain faster – bad move as we end up with all sorts of leaks. I make fig biscuits and seeded spelt bread. Steve finds out that he has got Holland in the World Cup sweep so in with a chance and it adds a bit of interest now that England are out
MERRYHILL

SUNDAY 29 JUNE – It’s a shocking morning with lots of torrential rain but it turns into a lovely afternoon and its nice to get out in the fresh air.
MERRYHILL

MONDAY 30 JUNE – Steve gets back on the plumbing job and realises there are blockages all along as the pipe work doesn’t have enough angle to drain. Whenever he clears one area and tests it out he finds a leak or blockage further along. I keep threatening to call a plumber out but he persists and eventually cracks it. I’ve never been keen on the striped vinyl walls in the caravan so try out painting the hallway magnolia. I love it but Steve hates it. Have a bit of a giggle at lunchtime when I serve up spinach and Steve starts singing “I’m Popeye the sailor man and I live in a caravan!” Taking our rubbish and mail stroll we pass Colin & Eileen’s and get invited for a drink then end up enjoying a session in their hot tub.
MERRYHILL

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