Monday 24th January
We drove back down to Dumfries today and my parent’s short respite was over, we were back. I hadn’t managed to sneak any of Bruce’s dogs away with me either. I did have my three next best friends in the sheep dogs and we went for our nightly walk, well they did, I got to play on the quad bike, (some things never change).
|Karens favourite doggys|
Tuesday 25th January
It was only for a short stay, as on Tuesday, Mum and I got all dolled up and into the car and drove down to Liverpool to go to the Liverpool Echo to see, Strictly Come Dancing. I had booked us an overnight stay in the Jury’s Inn which is in Albert Dock and was described as being 300 meters from the Echo, it turned out to be about 50 and we had a fabulous view of the rest of the docks and the Mersey and also a millennium wheel which was beautifully lit up, but was a lot smaller than the one in London, still impressive in its own way though. We ran out of time again so I didn’t get to spoil mum with a nice meal, we ate on the go and went to watch the show. It was brilliant. There were the three judges, all the male ones. Zoe Ball did the introduction of all the dancers and dances. It was much more fun than the t v show, far raunchier and loads of double meanings, and the dancing was great. We got a programme and in it was a poster that had Craig Revel-Horwood’s signature sayings, one on either side, so we could show “fab u lous” or “dis as ter” depending on what we thought. It soon became apparent that I was one of the only people using it, much to my mum’s embarrassment. (I think it is called role reversal). It was one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time, and Ann Widdicome dancing with Craig, I use the term loosely, was hilarious, but the best bit was, there was no doddery old fool by the name of Bruce Forsyth. We hiked back to the hotel, took us 5 minutes as we stopped to take photos, partook of a few glasses of wine and slept really well.
|These photos were taken from the hotel room of the venue opposite.|
We got back to the farm about mid afternoon, Mum and I stopped off for some retail therapy on the way home. This time it really was our last night so we were taken out for a meal by Mum and Sandy, lots of laughter, and on returning to the farm, my last trip with the doggies and the quad, I get very miserable when I have to leave, I love the farm and have been really lucky that Sandy puts up with my efforts, right back many years ago when he let me help with the lambing and now when I try to do him out of his quad and the dogs.
Thank you both for a wonderful time.
Twas, with great sorrow I climbed into the motor home to leave Scotland, lots of sniffing and wearing sun glasses, and poor Ray wondering why I stare out the window so much, but this is about our adventures travelling, and it might get a bit boring if that was all I could tell you about. So M74, M6, and here we come. I must just put in, whilst I’ve been swanning around and enjoying myself, Ray has been doing the “let’s make sure the motor home works” thingy. He had arranged for the generator to be serviced in Clitheroe, so that was our first port of call. We had to leave it with the firm and then carried on down to Hertford, to our usual camp site. We decided to collect the Fiesta from Trula’s and as we had made good time down the road, arrived about 9.30 and went in for a cup of tea. This may seem like waffle at this stage in the blog, but stick with me, it does have a point. We cannot take vehicles into the campsite after 11pm. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem because we would run off of the generator, but it is in Clitheroe, and we would not be connected to the electric either. Anyway, we stopped and had a cup of tea and a catch up, and about 20 past ten, decided to head off leaving us with time to spare. Ray jumped into the motor home, I got in the car, I had a problem with the brakes releasing, (apparently it has sat there since we dropped it off) but as I drove off, I noticed that all was not going well. On further checking, I noticed that one of the rear tyres was quite flat, and called Ray by phone. We tried the nearest garage and the only thing that didn’t work was the air, not that it mattered in the end, because when we got up close and personal, we could see a huge nail in the tyre. 10.30pm, ( F1 pit crew, eat your hearts out), we only had a normal fiesta jack, no pneumatic drill, but by 10.38pm, I was left in a cloud of dust, putting the last tools away, spare tyre in place, as my husband took off from the garage in Lizzy, to do a trip, which would normally take twenty minutes by car. I swear that I drove to the speed limits, and I never caught him up, until we reached the camp site, I thought at one stage I must have passed him parked up somewhere, but didn’t know Lizzie or Ray, had it in them, we made it with a minute to spare.
Great timing. Great driving by the boy.
Settled in, bird table up, life has moved to London pace. All appointments and driving lessons have started. We have had the fiesta MOT’d and Lizzy goes for her service and MOT on Tuesday. Our next planned trip, is from about the 16th of Feb, when we will be heading over to Italy and skiing. We are basically back to what we do best, which is meet up with everyone that we can and socialise, eat, drink and enjoy our retirement.
I must put in that this part of the blog has been all about me, but one of the biggest things I have missed out, has been Ray’s withdrawal symptoms from the missing bike. He has been buying bits and pieces for it, so we lasted until Saturday, and now the bike is back in his possession, no doubt in a couple of days I will become a “Tenere” widow , no matter, Subaru Impreza, you will be mine.
My cousin John and his wife Jackie Hall have looked after Wallace whilst we have been in Scotland. We went for a Chinese with them in Epping and collected Wallace from their house afterwards. They are fantastic company and are like two ends of a magnet that completely complement each other whilst being poles apart. John runs a plumbing business and Jackie works for the NHS. We are all of a similar view of the world and we absolutely love their attitude and outlook on life.
|Ray, Karen, John and Jackie. Chinese restaurant Epping.|
An early start (for me anyway!) and a quick trip to Harlow to collect trula for a driving lesson. The night before, I had asked her if she wanted an early lesson and she eagerly said yes, I then said "I'll be there at 5:30am". The phone went quiet for a few seconds and she said in a low voice "no". I laughed my socks off and told her 9am.
An interesting morning. Trula, God bless her, told me she was able to drive to the industrial estate where I wanted to teach her some more. After a quick couple of attempts it was obvious that she was wrong !
I then drove to the industrial estate and started from scratch. After a slow start she gained confiidence and skill very quickly and at about 10:30, she drove us very competently to McDonalds for breakfast. We then had another session in the estate and she had pretty well mastered reversing, clutch control and the use of the handbrake. She did very well in 2 hours of driving and then took us home. I was very impressessed. Well done Trula.
Monday 31st January
I spent the Morning putting some new accessories on Wallace and in the afternoon we went to Rye Meads nature reserve for some twitching (no not a nervous problem - bird watching). A very cold day and not much activity but it was lovely day.
|Bull rushes. I love these things.|
|Backlight low winter sun on long grass - I liked it.|
|Swam climbing over a small weir.|