Monday, 23 November 2015

Trip Cancelled

Well our trip to York next week has had to be cancelled, took the van for its MOT and it failed. I believe this is the first time it has failed but it has, so it needs some work doing. I can not get the large part until later in the week, so I thought it was best to cancel the short trip to York.

Hopefully it will not cost too much to fix and we can make the next trip to York in January, its not that far away. So that is it for this year, Happy Christmas every one and Happy New Year.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Taxing the van again

Well I got a letter to say that I had not taxed the van and you know what, they were right, it was about 20 days over. So I just paid but monthly, it is only a bit more than paying in full and not as much as paying for six months twice. It is done and out of the way now anyway.

Although the MOT is due very soon, better get that seen too next.

The van insurance is on until the end of March next year, so that is fine.

Monday, 28 September 2015

York again, first time this year, 2015

York, 20th to 25th September

Well we are off to York again, first time this year, although we have got another booking there in December and also two more bookings early next year before March.

Sunday 20th September

Arrived in York just after twelve but picked a pretty poor spot, since we last booked the colour of pegs has changed (we said they were wrong since the site was last done up) but we didn't know. Anyway the site has changed since our last visit (they were doing it last time we visited in 2014) but they are working on it again. Three pitches next to the toilets were out of use as a ramp is being added to the toilet block so that disabled people can get up there, there is a newish lift already so I do not know what that is all about.

We had booked a cheep trip to Harrogate on the train tomorrow and needed to collect the tickets, so after watching the F1GP until Hamilton and Jenson went out, we wandered off to the train station. We went via the back gate and found some sort of festival going on around Bishopthorpe Road but we made our way passed and timed the walk to the station. It took us about half and hour to get there. After getting the tickets in the station we wandered off over Lendal Bridge and went for a drink.

We like to go into the Star Inn The City, just over the bridge but the beer is really overpriced in there, so we just had the one sat in the sun, before leaving for the shops. Shopping didn't take long and we headed into the Kings (not unusual for us), there were lots sat outside by the river but plenty of room inside. Had a couple in there (all new staff in there) before heading back towards the campsite.

Dot IMAG0188

On the way back we did look back along Bishopthorpe Road but it was all over, we did get a bag of chips though to help us with our tea and a couple of beers from one of the shops. see the separate Beer Blog.

Monday 21st September

It was raining just our luck. Up early got ready and made our way to the Station, we still had an half and hour wait for the train though we were early. We did get on early only to be moved onto another train just before it was due to go. Trouble with that though was, that the original one was in the way and it took about 20 mins to move it.

York Staiton Clock Train, York

Once in Harrogate we made for the shops and it was still raining, not something the weather forecaster had said. Not long later we made for The Slug and Lettuce for a half price lunch and had a beer as well. We also had the, two for one afters, as well, so I was stuffed by the time we left.


We tried to do some shopping but with the rain we could not be bothered and went into Spoons and had another beer. By the time we came out the rain had stopped, so we had a nice walk around and a sit in the sun before heading back into another pub. The Alexandra was nice for sitting outside in the sun but as it clouded over we moved inside and sat in the window. We had a couple of beers in there, before heading to the station and as we were early for the train, we popped into the stations bar for one more.


Back in York we wandered back to the van, where we had crackers and cheese for supper and one more beer before bed.

Tuesday 22nd September

Spent the morning resting in the van and had lunch before we went out for a walk into the centre. It was much sunnier than yesterday and we were going to have a sit in the park. But in the centre we found that there was a Food and Beer festival going on, so that putt us off slightly.

We had a good look around but decided that, as it was on for a few days, we could pop back tomorrow. We went off looking for flip flops for Dot. After a walk around we had a sit in the Cathedral gardens until it started to cool down.


So then we made our way into a pub near the Cathedral, yes it was the Sam Smiths one, the York Arms.

In the York Arms.

After a refreshing beer we wandered through the shops again but eventually ended up in the Kings and stayed for a couple of beers. While we were in there it started to rain but it wasn't that bad on the walk back to the van.

Wednesday 23rd September

After our usual showers and stuff, I noticed one of the toilets was overflowing and wandered into reception to report it. I was a bit disgusted to find that I was the first to make the report to the staff there, just how many other had looked and thought nothing of it. This must happen to everyone, were you find that things in the world are changing and not necessarily for the better.

After lunch we headed out for a walk again and waked down to the Millennium Bridge then back along the other side of river, to the river Foss. I felt more normal than usual and was taking photos of ducks in the river, only to discover that there was no memory card in the camera. Ho well, I may get a new one from the shops as we wander around.

I eventually got a four gig card for £1.99, I could have got a bigger one but I didn't need a big one, I have plenty back at the van. The photo taking had worn off by now though, we had walked quite a long way by now but headed on. We walked even further before we got back to the Cathedral, round the outside of the walls from, Monk Bar to Bootham Bar.

York Walls Robin Hood Tower

From there we headed in and had a sit by the Cathedral but the wind was a bit cool, so we wondered off towards the Beer and food festival.

Beer festival in York. Beer in York at the festival.

It took a bit of time to get there but we did get there eventually, as it was really expensive over £6.00 for a pint and a half, we only had the one and made our way to the Kings. In the Kings Dot got chatting to a couple, good company in there and it was still just over £3.00 for our round.

Thursday 24th September

Pored down this morning on and off but the weather seems to be improving as time goes on.  So after lunch we sett of for a walk, we wandered along the river side until we got to the railway bridge and it started to rain again. We headed over the river and into the abbey gardens, were it stopped raining again.

We followed the city walls around to Bootham Bar and walked along the walls to Monk Bar, the opposite way to yesterday but up on the walls.  From the walls we could see a couple of workers up on the Cathedral, working from ropes, better them than me.

Working on the Minster DSCF9091

After the walk on the walls, we headed around the shops and eventually ended up in the Postern Gate, the newer Wetherspoons and had our tea in there. The tea cost all together £8.98 and that was with two drinks, my drink was £2.55, Dot's drink was £3.19, that made the food £1.62 each. OK, it wasn't a main meal but we did have chicken tikka wraps with chips and for £1.62 each it was absolutely amazing.

Now, although it was an absolutely amazing price, if Spoons keep on with their moaning about minimum wage, I may just give them a miss.

I did have a couple of new beers in there and we did have three altogether, many come in have a beer and a meal then just leave.

Friday 25th September

As usual we got a phone call and had to rush off home but we are back here soon.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Another new wheel

Forgot to mention this but before we went to France, I had to buy another new rear tyre, the oposite side to last time in December last year but as last year it was the wheel that had cased the problem (see The New Tyre), not the tyre. Same as last year when I said, something I have never heard of before and I hope will never again, well it did happen again. So the wheel had a hole in it and I had to find a new one again.

This time was was the opposite to last time, I could not get one from a local scrap yard, so had to get one on line, it was about the same price though. As last year the tyre shop changed over the tyre onto the new wheel free of charge, thank you very much.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Using the Van in France

Well the van has been abroad to France for the first time in since 2010, I did not believe it was that long but is was, honest.

One reason was the price of diesel over the last few years, plus the fact that we could get cheep Mobile Home holidays in France and Holland. Towards the end of 2013 is when I had my Stroke and that seemed to put an end to my Van travels in France for good. But the Stroke wasn't too bad, it is mainly short term memory that is poor and with the price of diesel dropping to less than petrol in 2015, we decided to use the Van again.

Although we did not use the Van to stay in, we still got a very good deal with a Mobile Home but as there were six of us travelling, using the Van saved using two cars and it was much more comfortable. The toilet in the Van was also a bonus and saved lots of driving time, well pulling over into service areas that is. Also with young Ralph doing half the driving it helped quite a lot but I think we went too far into France for just the one week. Although it was nice and warm were we went.

Me, Dot, young Ralph, Georgia, Emily and Amber all went, we set off in Friday night to miss all of the traffic and pay less on the ferry (about half as much), Ralph drove in England and I took over in France. We stopped off on the way down to pick Amber up and arrived in Dover earlier than intended but luckily we got on an early ferry. Off the ferry if France, Ralph drove on for a while but eventually I took over and we arrived in Onzain a couple of hours before we could get into our Mobile Home.

While we were there we used the Van for a few trips out but mainly we just stayed on site using the pool, the write up on the full holiday is covered in the Mobile Home blog.

Now we have used the Van for an overseas trip again, I think we could go again next year but really using the Van to stay in, we will have to wait and see. Have a look back next year and see what happens.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Warwick, day out to London

As we did last year from Stratford, we had a day out in London from Warwick, this year was much hotter though (think it must have been the hottest day of the year so far) and it was a shorter train ride. Yes, even though Warwick is further away from London than Stratford the train ride is much shorter.

Day four, Wednesday 1st of July

The taxi turned up on time and we got to the station with plenty of time to spare, even though the traffic was horrendous and I am sure the driver chose the wrong route. At the station the driver said just to call them when we got back, more on this at the end of the day.

Took photos in the station but didn't have a card in the camera, it was still in the computer in the van and I did not twig until we were in London. The train was on time but it was very full, we stood in the doorway until after the first stop and then got seats apart but at least we had seats for the journey.

Off the train in Marylebone Station, we set off walking, it was now I discovered that the camera had no disc in it and so I had not taken any photos, yet. We sat on some steps near the Wax Works and sorted through my camera bag to find a suitable memory card and luckily found one.

Post Office Tower

On our way again, we wandered of and made our way to Oxford St, looked in the shop windows but didn't go in anywhere. From there we walked down Regent St to Piccadilly Circus and then toward what we thought was Nelsons Column.

Piccadilly Circus

Only it wasn't, just shows our knowledge of London, it was in fact the Duke of York Column. Not too bad really, as we were only around the corner from were we wanted to be.

Piccadilly Circus Duke of York Column

We walked along the Mall until we came to Trafalgar Square and got our tickets (that we had ordered on line, on offer) for the bus trip. The bus left from just opposite the tourist office and we hopped on with a good seat in the very warm sun.

Bridge DSCF8398

Last year we concentrated on the boat trip this time it was going to be the bus. We continued with the trip until we came to Tower Bridge, were we got of for a look around and maybe something to eat. We walked to City hall and had a chicken wrap to eat and sat near the river. The Tower Of London was just opposite.

City Hall The Tower

After a nice rest we have a short walk towards HMS Belfast but didn't go on-board, then on the way back towards the bridge it started to open. I managed to get some photos but there were some barges moored in the way.

DSCF8435 Tower Bridge 1886

After that we walked under the bridge to the other side at Butler's Wharf but just for a quick look around.

Back Street

Over Tower Bridge, we got some water and ice creams and had a sit by the river to eat them, before making our way back to find the bus trip again.

Dixie Queen

Back on the bus we carried on with out trip and even though it didn't seem so, it was getting near the time for the buses to finish (or at least the drivers). Anyway we stayed on the bus until it dropped us off outside the Wax Works and we walked back to the pub we used last time. As last year we made for the Allsop Arms and settled down with a nice refreshing beer or three.

The train ride back was a lot less crowded, as we got close to Warwick I phoned the taxi company, only to get as answer phone and continued it get it all the way in. Never did get them and walked back to the site.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Week in Warwick 2015

Warwick, 28th of June to the 5th of July

Just over a week after our trip to Harrogate we set off for a week away in Warwick, I didn't know at the time we set off that it was only about 10 miles from Stratford on Avon, where we went last year. As last year we had also booked a train ride day out to London, which I will cover in a separate blog also as I did last year.

Day one, Sunday 28th of June

So as last year, we took the A19 to the A168 and the A1M then down to the M18 and the M1. As last year, the M1 had road works and was very busy, from the M1 we took the M69 / A46 to the second Warwick turn off and headed down the A425. Then turned right at the second roundabout and turned right again after the third pelican crossing, following the Racecourse signs to the site.

Warwick Racecourse

Warwick Racecourse Caravan Club Site
Hampton Street,Warwick,Warwickshire,CV34 6HN

We got booked in and decided to have a walk into town even though it was getting late and it was Sunday. We walked straight through town and had a look at where the train station was (to see if we could walk there on Wednesday morning) and decided that we would get a taxi.

Next we walked back into the town centre and eventually came to the Wetherspoon's, The Toms Lloyd, it didn't look bad at all but we stopped using it later in the week (more on that later). We sat outside in the very hot sun and had two or three beers before we set of back for our pre made supper. I was going to have a meal in there but Dot pointed out, I had made food for tonight. It must have been warm as Dot had a large glass of fruity cider and ice, the beers I had, are covered in separate blogs, Beers in Warwick, part one and Beers in Warwick, part two.

We just sat their and enjoyed the sun, it was after eight by the time we set off back to the campsite and van for supper.

Day two, Monday 29th of June

Today we decided to visit the castle, although it was the afternoon before we set off for into town, through the West Gate.

Warwick West Gate

We had a pass from the Caravan Club for half price entrance into Warwick Castle, although we had to pay full price for the ticket and not the reduced price for over sixties as we both are. So it wasn't quite half price through the Caravan Club.

I have had my moan about the entrance fee but the castle was very nice and we had a fantastic day there.

We walked down towards the castle but first came to a nice rose garden and had a walk around there first before continued on into the castle.

Warwick Castle Me

We entered the castle through the Barbican, then we had a walk around the big house and enjoyed the way it was all set out, with tableaux from the last century and earlier. From there we went into the Watergate Tower with a pictorial history of the castle on show, some of it using video and very well done it all was.

Inside Warwick Castle More inside Warwick Castle

Next we left the house and headed out of the castle towards a large catapult in the garden. Only we didn't get there straight away, as there was a birds of prey show in just outside the gate (can not find a name for this gate), at the far side from where we came in. The birds where all a bit fast for me to photograph but I honestly did try.

DSCF8244 Catapult

After the show we continued on to the catapult, the boat house next to it on the river, had burned down and looked very sad indeed. After a visiting the catapult, we saw the waterwheel down the river side of the castle and headed off back towards the castles for a better look.

Warwick Castle Water Wheel

When we got to the water wheel we had a good look around, then walked back the way we came to get back inside the castle.

Waterwheel Inside the generator house

Back in the castle we went up onto the battlements, a bit of a mistake as it was up and down stone steps inside towers all the way.  It did take quite a while to do and we are not the fittest people in the world any more.

DSCF8279 DSCF8295

By the time we had done the walls and towers, I was knackered, so we started to make our way out. Back at the way in, we saw a sign stating that you could come back tomorrow for only one pound. This had not been mentioned to us at all (very remiss of them), we did buy a ticket anyway.

From there we walked straight to Wetherspoon and had a nice cooling pint of beer, it was after five anyway.

The Thomas Lloyd

Day three, Tuesday 30th of June

Had a wander up to reception on the morning to see about booking a taxi for tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, of the numbers that worked, they were all too busy at that time of the morning. So I fingered that we would just have to walk to the train station in the morning.

That afternoon, it was practically the same time as yesterday when we set off for the Castle and once in there, we had a walk to where the birds of pry are kept resting before their show.

DSCF8320 DSCF8327

From there we had a walk along the river, than back towards the Conservatory and had a nice cup of tea sat in the sun, overlooking the gardens.

The Gardens

After the cup of tea we made our way to see the birds of pry show right from the beginning. I did as well as yesterday with the photos, I think I got only this one.


After the show we wandered around the inside of the castle and after a good walk, eventually made our way towards the exit.

The High Tower DSCF8340

I checked the time as we left the Castle and it was about an hour and a half earlier than yesterday. Anyway that gave us time to have a look around the shops before we made for Spoons. The service in Spoons was atrocious and I walked out before even getting a beer. I think there was new staff in training but there should have been someone there in charge, to see it all went well though.

So we just set off back to the van, after all, it was nice and hot and I had beers back there. On the way back though we passed the Old Post Office a bar and a man sat outside, convinced us to go in and try a beer (it didn't take much really). In fact we had a couple and sat outside talking to the gentleman that convinced us to go in there. It is a very nice place and we will be back.

On the way back to the van we passed the place were a taxi company lived, and took their number, called them and got a car for the morning. We then popped into the pub just down the road from there and had one more beer before we went back to the van for the night.

Day four, Wednesday 1st of July

Up early got ready and set of to get our taxi from the campsite gate. Our London Trip is covered here.

Day five, Thursday 2nd of July

After the scorching heat of yesterday today was quite cool and we spent most of the day sat in or around the van reading.

I think it was about four by the time I got fed up and we set off for a drink in the Old Post Office. We did sit outside for a wile but had to go inside when it started to rain and sat by the window. I made a mistake and bought a cider but only drank about half and gave it to Dot, I do not like cider that much.

DSCF8504 The Old Post Office Bar

We were only out for about two hours but we did get out that day.

Day six, Friday 3rd of July

A much better day today and after lunch we set off for a walk along the river Avon. We walked through the town via the old gateways, then through the park after the castle to the river.

Warwick East Gate

I have been unable to find the battery charger for the camera battery's and wouldn't you know it, they stopped working on the walk. The cameras in our phone's were working but they are not that good.  I did get photos of the two bridges that cross the river here.

Road Bridge Footbridge

Later back in town we had a look around the shops before going to the pub near to the Spoons, The Tilted Wig, I had decided to give Spoons a miss, sad but they had their chance. After our fist very nice drink in the sun out the front and while I was getting another, Dot told me we had to move to a seat out the back.

The market for tomorrow was setting up out the front right now and half the seating had to go, the seating we were sat in. It was ok out the back but I think I would have just moved on if I had known. Anyway we finished our drinks and moved on to the Old Post Office to finish the night off..

Day seven Saturday 4th of July

It was about eleven before we eventually got up to the market and had a good look around but we didn't buy much.

DSCF8529 Market Day

Around one o'clock, we went into the The Tilted Wig again sat in the window and ordered some lunch. I had not noticed that they had Hoegaarden on draught until we sat around this side of the bar and I ordered us one each. I say one each but I got a pint and Dot a half, but she wasn't happy with that so we shared.

After that we went walking and eventually ended up back at the van. That night we wandered back to the Old Post Office.

Day eight, Sunday 5th of July

We drove straight home as we had to get ready to be away again the next day.