Yes, today is August Bank Holiday Monday, here in the UK, and as usual it is living up to its reputation of…….RAIN.
Not that a bank holiday has ever meant much to me in the last decade or so anyway, working in retail, a bank holiday monday was just another day, when us working minions helped fill the fat cat shop owners pockets even more, by serving the arrogant (we’ve got a day off, lets go and see who we can annoy today) public with goods they had to purchase THAT day.
The type of retail shops I’ve worked in (photographic and outdoor attire), the purchases certainly weren’t impulse buys, there may have been the odd ‘my camera has just packed up and we’re off on holiday tomorrow’ purchase, or ‘it’s raining (yes, remember it is a bank holiday ;-)) and my walking boots are leaking’ but in general, most folk could quite easily wait a day to buy their wares. Sunday trading gets up my nose just as much, for exactly the same reasons.
When we bought our motorhome earlier this year, we both agreed a bank holiday weekend away was always going to be a definite NO! there would be no benefit at all, in joining the horrendous traffic queues, to spend a few days away at a campsite during their most expensive tariff…………in the rain.
So with all this in mind, we planned our latest trip away.
Looking through various campsite books, I found Tudor Caravan site, only about fifty miles down the M5, it looked wonderful, and T liked the sound of the real ale pub at the site entrance.
A very last minutes decision, I phoned up on the morning of Sunday 19th August, and booked us onsite for 20th August for three nights.
We’ve mastered packing the van to a fine art now, and I’ve at last managed to convince my clothes that they don’t all need a holiday. Opening my wardrobe door, I selected the odd few items I needed, much to the disgust of all the others, that were screaming out ‘take me, take me’
As the canal was only a couple of minutes away from the site, we decided to take Little Sal and Jasper for a stroll along the tow path.
Leaving to go away at such short notice, had it’s drawbacks, we’d raided our cupboards and just brought the basics of milk, bread, beans etc with us. On other trips, we’d been fairly local to shops to stock up with anything else we might fancy. There was a small canal side shop, selling the basics, but the nearest store of any size was three and a half miles away, and there was only one bus a week……….. on a Sunday?????
As nice as the meal was in the pub, we wanted to cater for ourselves, and we didn’t even have any wine to go with the beans on toast this time 😉
Not wanting to walk a seven mile round trip, T unhooked the motorhome from the electric, and set off with our shopping list, leaving me sat in my chair, and the dogs on their beds, basically homeless for about an hour.
It’s a good job we didn’t all go, about thirty minutes later, I sensed we (I did think he was admiring LS & J) were being stared at, looking up, a chap asks “just going?” No, I replied, hubby’s just gone to get some provisions.
“Well we booked this pitch three weeks ago” he announces, as he wanders off to the reception desk.
I’m sat there thinking WTF was that all about, as seconds later he returns, “My apologies”, he says “She told us we were on pitch number 15 next to the motorhome (there were five other motorhomes on site), but I see you’re number 13″
It turns out he’d got his 13 and 15 mixed up.
T returned not long after, but just imagine his surprise if it had been double booked, I’d have been standing at the entrance, totally homeless, with dogs, their beds and chairs in my hands 😆
We later went for a walk on the towpath, this time towards Sharpness.
Poor Jasp, there’s no way he’d manage even four miles to Sharpness these days. We walked about half a mile, then wandered back, plonking ourselves down on the bench by the bridge, to watch the world go by.
A carving by the bench, and a nearby plaque.
We ate well that night, cooking home made burgers on the Cadac, washed down with some nice red. 🙂
With Jasps’ inability to walk too far, and no bus service, most of the holiday was spent totally chilling on the site, in the glorious weather we’d managed to ‘book’ again.
Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, is about fifteen minutes walk from the site, just at the end of the road (photo taken from the bridge), we did have a wander down, though I didn’t expect to be allowed in with the dogs.
But we saw plenty of life on the canal anyway. One of a pair of swans, who had seven cygnets in tow.
The short break went far too quick, and Thursday morning saw us heading back up the M5 for home.
A most enjoyable unwind, and somewhere so close to home, will probably be on the agenda again. Next time with bikes and kayak and a chariot for Jasper.