Friday, 13 August 2010

10 The South Coast

Saturday morning ( 31st Jul) after another rainy night we decided to see if we could get a camp site nearer Silverstone so that we could go to the racing and get some sunshine.  Bearing in mind that it is the summer holidays we weren’t too sure if we would, but as luck would have it we were able to get one on the riverside, called the Riverside in a little town called Tiddington, just outside of Stratford on Avon. We drove down on Saturday afternoon and had set up camp by early evening.  There was even some sun.
The following morning we set off on Wallace to Silverstone for the World Superbikes.  What a fantastic birthday present for Ray, I’m sure he enjoyed it as much as me........

On Monday (1st Aug) we walked into Stratford on Avon, strolled about a bit and saw Shakespeare’s birth place.  We spent some time down at the river and had to get a permit to allow us to use our canoe on the river.  So that is what we will be doing tomorrow.  Wednesday we are going to visit Warwick Castle. 
One thing that I have been rather lax about is we are travelling with our cat Leon.  For a 14 year old cat, he has adapted to the nomadic life really well.  He is used to being in Scotland, but in Wales he was surrounded by about 44 dogs, and he took it all in his stride, however we are going to nickname him Houdini as at any chance he gets, he leaps out of the motor home and has a run round and checks out the area. 
Chilled out cat

He is becoming quite famous around our various stop offs.   He hasn’t mastered the bike or the boat yet, but there is still plenty of time.
Once you start a blog, you realise just how difficult it is , a) to make it interesting and b) does anyone out there really care when they can make up their own adventures, so I decided you can always switch off. 
We got our boat licence, it cost us two pounds and we never used it.  We decided to scout out the area and as is Ray’s want we start off gently and then end up on some mega hike which is what happened.  We set off on a wee walk along the river and then ended up climbing styles, fighting off bulls, barbed wire, pissed off looking sheep, and me wearing my little sandals and short pants, which didn’t do well with the nettles and stinging thistles and other poisonous plants and beasties that wanted my blood.  You may have sussed out I like my wild life, so seeing a beautiful Kingfisher in its  own habitat did help.
By the time we got back to our M/H the wind had picked up. Once again I missed the moment,  Ray was outside trying to release the pegs for the awning and all I heard was “Ouch” and giggling, being the caring  wife that I am I thought  “yeah get on with it” . He came in with a cut to his eyebrow and a bruise on his eye, the peg had come out quickly, knocking him over and then the actual peg landed on his eyebrow causing the injury.  I didn’t laugh much, and I did offer to take him for a stitch, once I’d got rid of mine......being Ray he just ignored me and got on with his boy stuff.
Scary pose of an old fart with a black eye and a cut brow - plonker

Warwick Castle was something I had to drag Ray to.  However the first people we spoke to were two German Guys who had rented Triumph bikes. (Go figure)  Boys do boys things and I made sure I was ready to fight the last surviving soldiers of William The Conqueror.  There was so much to do we ended up there for hours and had a brilliant time.  If you do get the chance you must try to visit it.
Castle in the background, archery and crossbow lessons between tents
Not sure what is going on here, age is such a cruel thing

Ray was very impressed with Warwick Castle, it’s the first time history has been interesting, especially when they fired the big wooden catapult and hurled a 40kg fireball about a 100m.

Big boys toys. The actors made the visit, one depicting the plague where a woman dressed as a cook was conducting a post mortem on the local doctor. She ripped the intestines and stomach out of a lifelike dummy spraying wet stuff all over the small audience. Luverly.
Jousting compertion with the big slingshot thing at the back.

This is what happens to naughty children - I wish

Friday 6th August
We chose a site down on the coast, Pevensey Bay to be exact and our dear friend, Mac, and her grown up children, Damien and Rebecca, came down to stay.  
Learning curve for all of us, poor   Damien was meant to sleep in a small tent with the dog, his first night, he spent  awake, the dog, the lovely Milly didn’t like being without Mac and tried to break out of the tent all night. He ended up asleep in the car with the dog. The next night the dog (and Damien) slept in the MH much to the annoyance of the cat.
In the morning, after breakfast we went for a long walk along the beach and then went out in the car to Hastings  and Rye.  Hastings had a carnival on, but we didn’t actually get to see it as it turned bitterly cold and windy there.  Rye was lovely with lots of little knick knack shops. Very oldie worldie , then back home for BBQ.  The following morning they all left, remains to be seen if they are brave enough to come back.
We left there on Wednesday (11 Aug) ourselves and camped up at a little farm called, Buncton Manor, nothing fancy, but we have electric and wasp nests.   Ray managed to sneak a tent peg into their nest without disturbing them at the time, but now they are out for revenge.  However Leon loves it as he has space to run about without coming to much harm, apart from the wasps, but I don’t think they’ve sussed out he is with us yet.
Wednesday late afternoon  we took a trip into Worthing on the coast and wandered around the town and along the pier. There was a play being advertised as showing that night, called Murdered to Death, and it was. There were a few people in it that we recognised, including the guy who was Pace in Hale and Pace and Sandra Dickson who was once married to a Dr Who. (peter Davidson)  It was described as a murder mystery farce, and it lived up to that description. It was different though.
Thursday (12 Aug) I got my long awaited day by myself, just me the cat and the wasps, whilst Ray went to get the luggage racks for  Wallace, our bike.  Again we went out and toured around a bit and had a meal in a quaint village called Bramber then had a drink in a pub in Washington,(we just missed Obama, apparently he was off  washing his hair).
Friday, (13 Aug)  another working week nearly at an end.......not.
We packed a picnic and set off to Arundle, to the Wetlands Nature Reserve. ( I think I’ve probably mentioned before that bikes and birds.....wildlife, are the things that interest me).

Still in handcuffs, Ray was dragged into the nature reserve, but we have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed it and we saw many new species of birds that we had not seen before. 
Arundel Castle from nature reserve
If you mess with wild animals..... get bitten

We also saw.....wait for it...... a water vole. These things are as rare as rocking horse poo. 

A rare peice of rocking horse poo - AKA - a Water Vole

Apologies for the delay and problems but we have actually managed to book every site, with no phone signal and two dongles later, still no internet connection.  Note to selves, must try harder.
On the way home we stopped at a smashing little pub in the village of Houghton, called the George and Dragon. More beer...more food...great service.... more indulgence....we love retirement.

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