Saturday, 22 April 2017

Amber's Birthday (April 2017)

15th April to the 19th April

We could not be there for the whole of Amber's Birthday but we could get there for a couple of days and see her before we left on her Birthday. We were going to be away for a couple of days before we could get onto the site in Peterborough, then two days on the Caravan and Motorhome Site there. The first site was well out of the way over towards the Wash below Boston.

Saturday 15th April

We drove there relatively easily, although the SatNav took us down a very narrow road for the last mile or so of the journey, which it didn't have to. The route there was A19 to A1 then A17 to the side road for Holbeach Hurn, where the site was.

The Rose And Crown is a very nice name for a campsite although the site is not that good, we will have to see how it goes.

Rose & Crown Campsite

Rose & Crown
1 Low Rd, Spalding
PE12 8JN
Web Site

We booked in and were put next to the children's play area, it was windy so we didn't do much just sat in the van reading and watching TV.

At tea time we wandered into the bar, where they had a nice choice of draft beers and a good selection of food on the menu. I had a a couple of draft beers in there and for food I had the biggest Hunters Chicken and Dot had Homemade Steak & Ail Pie. It was all very nice, the beers I had were Tom Wood's, Hop Bunny Hop and one called Patron Saints Ale, not sure who made it. They were both not bad, better than I expected but we only had the two, then left.

Sunday 16th April

Another quiet day in the van, we didn't do anything at all, except read and watch TV. After the GP we wandered back over to the bar and had a Beef Sunday Dinner, when we got there we were told there was no beef left but on checking, the chef had just cooked another one. It was really good and I had another new beer in there, Tom Wood's, Imp Stout, although I moved back on to the Patron Saints Ale for the second one. Again we only had the two and the meal then wandered back to the van.

Monday 17th April

Today we were thankfully moving on to Ferry Meadows Caravan and Motorhome Site in Peterborough. Again our SatNav took us down some very strange roads to get there. We got there ok and we were half an hour early but we were just allowed in. People were still leaving, well into the afternoon, what happened to no entry until twelve thirty and having to leave by eleven or eleven thirty. First the change of name then the change of rules, what is the club coming too (I do not believe the rules have really changed).

Amber, Ralph and Fran turned up not long after we got there and pretty soon we had the BBQ going, we also had a few beers.

Later that night, Amber stayed with us and I watched the Boro match on Ralph's iPad before bed.

Tuesday 18th April

Ralph came back late in the morning and him and amber ate all of the sausages that were left from yesterdays BBQ.

We then all went out for a drive in Ralph's car, to Rutland Water, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. We did not stay there very long but Amber managed to get an ice cream before we left.

Rutland Water

We took a long way back to the site as the A1 the way we wanted to go was stood still. When we got back Fran and her granddaughter came over and latter on, we all went to the Beefeater for a birthday meal for Amber.

Wednesday 19th April

Amber's birthday, Ralph and Fran came over early and we spent the morning together before we had to leave to get back for Dot to go the work on Thursday.

Amber, 12th Birthday

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Three Days With The Girls (April 2017)

2nd April to the 5th April

The twins were on holiday two weeks before most of the other local schools, so we thought we would go away for a few days in the van while it was still quiet. Imagine my surprise when I went to book the Caravan and Motorhome site in Barnard Castle and found it was over £38/night. This is for a pitch on a site at the beginning of April, the 2nd to the 5th in fact. We didn't go there.

We booked the Caravan and Motorhome site in Thirsk, something like £22/night and just as nice. As we were so close to home we also took the car with us, so we could drive around during the day.

Sunday 2nd April

Well I set off for the Caravan and Motorhome site in Thirsk, now you may be wondering what the Caravan and Motorhome Club is, well its the Caravan Club but they changed their name to keep in with us motorhomers. I say I set off, because Dot and the girls were in the car and they arrived just after me.

We got set up and had our lunch before Me and Emily set off onto town to watch the Boro match. We went to the The Darrowby Inn in the centre, as they were the only ones to answer the phone when I called them to see if it was on. The match was ok but the beer was very expensive, or the cola was and it wasn't very nice, that's the beers.

After the match we met up with the other two and went for a walk by the river, we wandered about for about half an hour then just went to the pub for tea.

We made our way to Spoons The Three Tuns, and sat downstairs in one of the basement rooms. Me and Emily had the All Day Breakfast, Georgia had Burger and Dot had the Pie and Mash with Mushy Peas. The beer I had was Birrificio MC-77, Mild The Gap from Italy but it was really from Hook Norton and it was ok. I had another beer a Bodebrown, Brazillian Burton Pale Ale from Brazil but again it was really from Banks’s.

Monday 3rd April

When everyone was ready we got in the car and drove to Ripon, its not far but it got us out. It was dinner time when we arrived and we just popped into Greggs for some sandwiches, well small baguettes each. After dinner we headed to the Cathedral then on down to the river just for the walk.

Ripon Cathedral T & R Williamson Ltd

Back in town I had a look in DrinksWell a booze shop, very good beers in there but expensive, so I bought nowt. I had a sit in the town square while Dot and the Girls continued shopping. We then made our way into Booths supermarket, where the beer selection is fantastic and I bought quite a lot, as I usually do in Booths, the price is just right.

We even headed into the cafe upstairs for a drink.

Time for a drink

I had to take the beer back to the car but the girls continued with their shopping, so I just sat on a wall, in the sun and waited for them to get back. When they did get back we just drove back to the van and played on our iPhones / iPads (well some of us did) until it was time for tea.

We made our way back to Spoons for tea but first I had a pint of Butcombe, Union, it was a bit too hoppy for me. So with the food I got an Abbots, the girls both had Fish and Chips and Me and Dot had Tandoori Chicken Wraps.

On the way back to the van we called into Lidl and got some more beers, some nice French Wheatbeers and some other nice beers as well. Then it was back to the van to drink them.

De Gayant, Abbaye de Vauclair Blanche, France

Tuesday 4th April

Today we headed off to Knaresborough, we parked down by the river and set off for a walk under the viaduct towards the next bridge over the river. We have been many times before and even a few times with the girls but nether of them remember the place at all. I though they may remember as we got into town but they never did,

Up in town we decided against going for somewhere for lunch and just got fish and chips and ate them in the square.  We would eat later back in Thirsk at Spoons.

After lunch

After a walk around the shops we made our way to the remains of the castle but as I said the girls didn't remember any of it, very strange.  But I did take a photo to show them when we got home.

Knaresborough Castle Knaresborough Castle

We walked through the station on our way back to the car and had to wait for a train to pass before we could get through to the other side. Emily did go through the underground pass to get to the other side but the rest of us just waited.

The Train Station

From there we walked down to the river and had a walk along the far side but the opposite way to Mother Shipton's Cave. We didn't walk too far and came back the same way, from there we made for the car and drove back to Thirsk.

That evening we wandered back to Spoons again for tea, I had another new beer, a Maxim, Hapi, not bad at all but I did change to Abbots for the second one. For food Me and Emily had Tandoori Chicken Wraps and Dot and Georgia had Ham and Cheese Panini, all with chips of course.

In Spoons

On the way back to the van, again I popped into Lidl for more of the good beer we got yesterday.

Wednesday 5th April

Well it was time to get back home, Dot and the girls went off in the car, Emily had to be back to go to the Boro match. So I just drive slowly home on my own.

Next trip will be to Peterborough for Ambers Birthday in about two weeks.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Back in York but for a week (March 2017)

4th March to the 11th March

Second time in York this year and only the second time away in the van. We are away for a full week to take in both our birthdays and to have a nice rest.

Saturday 4th March

My birthday, got ready and set off for York. When we arrived there it was very busy and it took some time to get through to the site. Once we got there we were told drive around, pick out a site and go back for the key (all very usual), only there were only three places available and one of them was reserved.

When we got settled in Ralph and Fran came to visit us and we sett off into town. Ralph's feet are not that good so in the end the girls wandered off and we made for the Spoons pub. Before we finished our first pint the girls turned up and joined us. Eventually we got our tea bought for us for our birthdays and it was very nice.

After they had gone we just stayed in the van and watched TV for the rest of the night.

Sunday 5th March

Today the other half of the family, Nick, Tim, Georgia, Emily and Sid came to visit. As yesterday we wandered off into town to go shopping, although the weather was not that good, it kept poring down. At one point I got the job of standing outside with Sid as everyone else was inside shopping (Sid is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and he is very soft).

Latter when we were on our own after the others had gone home we just stayed in as the weather was not good. I messed with the iPad I had got from Nick and the others and had a couple of beers that I had brought with us.

Monday 6th March

Latter on the afternoon we wandered off towards the train station, just to see how long it took to get there. Of coarse we have done this before but we are getting old and just needed to check. We are off to Leeds for the day on Wednesday (makes a change from Harrogate), just for the day and it only cost us £12 in total.

Well it took about half an hour, we had a look around the station, got our train tickets from the machine and then wandered off into town.

Constantine the Great, AD 274 - 337

I managed to buy a shirt and a cardigan in one shop after all our walking about, then made for the pubs. We had decided to try some different pubs for a change, and wandered into the first one we passed. Evil Eye Lounge was nice inside but the beers we got in there were not nice and very expensive (only in cans and bottle as well), so we drank up and moved on.

Next we went into the House Of The Trembling Madness, a very good beer shop and went upstairs to were they sell beers but it was too full, so we moved on.

The next place was The Botanist, the beer was much better in here even though I was from the USA. It was a Sam Addams on draft, from were we sat we noticed a bar restaurant opposite and decided to pop in there next. Dot had also noticed that it was half price in there on Monday as well, so that was it.

Kennedy's Bar and Restaurant, was full but we managed to get a table and ordered food, I think we both had the chicken burgers. I had a new beer in there a Helmsley, Striding The Riding, not too bad but I have had better.

On our way back to the van we did have another much cheaper one in the Kings.

Tuesday 7th March

Today after walking about York for a couple of hours we ended up in another new pub for us (I think we may have been in before a long time ago), the Hole in the Wall. I had a Marstons Pedigree and as we sat reading the menu noticed that they did smaller afternoon meals before five. So we had another beer each and ordered Stake Pie for Dot and I had Hunters Chicken.

Bike Park in York

From there we moved on to Pivní, I had a Wild Weather Ales, Big Muddy and Dot had Primátor, Czech Wheat Beer. Both nice although Dots was better than mine.

From there on our way back to the van we did have another one in the Kings again.

Wednesday 8th March

Up early, showered and ready to go to Leeds. Arrived at the train station with plenty of time but could not find our train on the departure boards. In the end I asked and we were stood next to our train, still never got onto the main boards though.

York Station Grand Central

On arrival in Leeds we walked into the Spoons in the station for an early lunch, the breakfast that is available until twelve. But the one in the station was very full and we could not find seats, so we decided we would just get something later.

Out of the station we walked along Park Row and within minuets came across another Spoons, so we popped in and ordered two breakfasts. The spoons was Becketts Bank and it was a bit rundown must be one of the older ones but the food was ok. Looking out of the window in Spoons we noticed a Gino D'Acampo My Restaurant, opposite, looked good but probably beyond our pockets.

After diner we wandered around into the centre and did the shops, lots of shops, Leeds is a lot bigger than I remembered. Even the indoor market it very big and I think the only thing we bought in Leeds was in there.

Leeds More Leeds

Eventually it was time to sit down and we ended up sat outside another spoons The Cuthbert Brodrick, it looked a lot newer and was in a very good position. Sat outside in the sun was very nice and with our backs against the wall, it was very warm. I had an Acorn, Jarrylo IPA, it was not too bad Dot was sticking with the 1664.

Sat outside in Leeds DSCF2121

We had a couple sat outside in the sun, although I switched to Abbots for the second one. We then moved inside as the wind got up a bit and we decided to have food again. This time we had Tandoori Chicken Wraps with Chips and yet another beer or two.


Soon it was time to get back to the station, we had a slow walk back and waited about half an hour for the train back to York. Once back we just walked back to the van and had an early night. We had walked today further than we had walked for over a year.

I woke about midnight with my hart in defib and I kept having to get up and go to the toilet, luckily by the time Dot woke at about eight, I was back to normal but it had tiered me out.

Thursday 9th March

We didn't do much at all today, besides me, we were both worn out after our long walk yesterday. We sat watching the TV but eventually set off for a walk late in the afternoon. Although we didn't get far, we just wandered out the back and made for the pub out there, the Swan, but only had the one in there. I asked what to try and the one I was given was foul, Empire, Soner, is not nice at all.

We were joined in there by a group of about seven what looked like students, and an older man with a dog. The older one was asking for volunteers for something tomorrow and when three said they could, he gave them pamphlets and left. The seven what looked like students, then all sat there with their half's or water and looked and typed on their phones in silence. It was all very strange.

We then set off for food, we looked in the caffs and restaurants close by but just got something from the shop and went back to the van.

Friday 10th March

Dots birthday, we were both feeling better today and set off into town for tea. After a look around the shops and getting birthday presents from me, we made for The Star Inn the City and sat outside in the sun. Although that didn't last long and we moved inside to finish our drinks. Again I did that thing with the drinks, I asked what to try and again it was foul. The Brew York, Jarsa Session Ale, could have been the same one as last night, so we moved on after that one.


Dot had picked somewhere for tea, it was a restaurant bar we had been in on Monday, The Botanist, first we had a drink in the front before moving into the restaurant at the back. There were also rooms upstairs but we just got a table under the stirs, this was a lot better than is sounds though. I had Lamb Koftas and Dot had Steak, both very nice, I also had the Sam Addams to drink again.


Saterday 11th March

Nice sleep in, then got the van to go, the drive home was straightforward see you next time.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

2017, MOT.

Well, we have got the van through this years MOT, although it did coast me. It failed on the off side front wheel bearing. It took the garage longer than it should have to change, as it was seized on but they got it done eventually. So the MOT and the wheel bearing cost me about £260, not too bad for something built in 2002.

We are now ready for our next trip away, not far at this time of year, its just our usual trip to York for our birthdays. Only we will be there for about a week this time, to cover both our birthdays and we like it there. We are away from the end of the first week in March, I do hope we get some good weather though.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

York, second week in January, 2017

This trip was booked last year, as you know we couldn't get booked in towards the end of last year as we usually do, but we did get this one and our Birthdays in March. I think it is my memory that is causing us to miss booking times for trips like this but that can not be helped nowadays. I have looked back at last year and was surprised to see that we did almost the same things last year just a bit later in Jan.

York 8th to 11th of Jan 2016

Sunday Jan 8th

We arrived in York not long after twelve and set up against the side with the big trees. The TV was just plugged into the ring main and we were ready to go into town but we didn't. We sat and watched TV for a while and had lunch before we set off.

when we did set off we just walked along to Ouse Bridge and there crossed into the centre. Walking there, the elastic in Dots leggings burst so we made our way straight for Next to get some new ones. We then had a bit of a look around before heading to the Kings for a drink. It was nearly a year since we were last in there and there was not one person in that we recognised.

For a second pint in there I did have a Christmas beer, the Samuel Smith's, Winter Welcome Ale 2016/2017, it was very good but a bit strong at 6.0%. I only had three pints (two of them just ordinary bitter) in there before we wandered off back to the van for the night.

Samuel Smith's, Winter Welcome Ale 2016/2017, England

Monday Jan 9th

Again it was fairly late, about three before we set off into town. The sun was really shining and it was a very nice day as we walked over Skeldergate Bridge, past Clifford's Tower, to start looking in the shops.

Clifford's Tower

Fist thing that happened is that I bought some shoes, we then moved on to Dot buying a new handbag (or two) and then spent the rest of our time there shopping.

It was Monday and that is half price for meals in the Slug and Lettuce, so we made for the one next to the river. The Slug and Lettuce no longer do two for one meals on Monday anymore and the pint and a half of lager we got in there was really expensive. So we took our time drinking them, before moving on for something cheaper and our tea in Spoons. The Slug and Lettuce used to be full this time on a Monday night, when we left there were about fourteen people in there.

The Postern Gate on the other hand was fairly full but we got a seat and drinks easily. I got a pint of Ossett, Excelsior and it was not to my taste, it was not nice at all. So when we ordered food I got something different with it, Abbot Ale. Stake and Chips was on offer so we had that, it was good but it could have done with some peas or lettuce with it.

After that we made our way back to the van.

Tuesday Jan 10th

Today we decided to try and walk a bit further than the last couple of days. So we set off in the wrong direction, something we have done many times before and written about on here. Anyway we crossed over the Millennium Bridge and walked back into the centre.

Dot bought another new handbag (she had only got one yesterday), then we wandered off into the Museum Gardens to sit and get it set up. It was getting cold and the wind was getting up so we headed of to the pub to warm up. Yes we ended up in The Postern Gate again, it was warm in there and just about everything in there is also cheap.

It was still early but we ate anyway, I had the BLT and Dot had the stake pie, the stake pie didn't come with a beer but the BLT did and I had the Abbot Ale again. I had tried some of the other beers first before we ate, but they were foul, The Rat Brewery, Rat Crafted and Bad Co, Clockwork Orange, both far to hoppy.

Wednesday Jan 11th

This is what I wrote last January "Up in plenty of time to get the van sorted and left fairly early, it was due to get windy again so it was straight home."

Well it was almost the same this year, only it was already windy and it was a dodgy drive home but we got there ok.