Frustrating Times

This has got to be the worst winter ever for me. It’s a combination of things, winter blues, Covid, stuck in one place etc. And I didn’t win the lotto this weekend after telling Nikki I was going to win and then she spent hours on the internet looking at houses ……with big garages I must add.

I do struggle with winters, I do like to see the snow but only for a couple of days and if I don’t have to go anywhere. I hate the constant rainy windy days. I need sun in my back, on my face, I need that heat to make me function properly. I know there is a condition called SAD, seasonal affected disorder. Nikki thinks I suffer from this in a mild form and I agree the winter does effect me.

It’s worse this year because of the dreaded Covid. We have been really good and not just going out and about for the sake of it. There are so many peaple we wanted to catch up with while here in Devon but we haven’t seen anybody, I wanted to go surfing while down here, surf my local beaches, walk on the beach etc. But to drive from where we are staying is a twenty mile drive each way so not really a essential journey.

And then you look on the news and see so many peaple just doing what they want, driving miles just to get fish and chips go for a walk on a beach go to their second homes and those same peaple will go home and watch the news and wonder why the infection rate is not going away. Frustrating times.

Ok I am getting off my soapbox now and bring you up to speed on what we have been up to. We had a spell of very wet and windy weather, you know just the sort I hate but we can’t stop it. The small river that runs through the campsite was very high, probably about four to five feet above its normal level. We were in no danger unless it came up another twenty feet so no panic.

Swollen river Mole

I have been out on my bike (allowed daily exercise ) starting from home. Had a great ride the other day up onto Exmoor. Although it was on the road which I don’t really like much preferring off road and bike parks. I stick to the small roads so less traffic apart from the odd tractor and farmers 4×4 I normally make the ride up as I go along or look on google maps before setting off and try and remember a route. So the other day I went out to a place called Landacre. It’s a small bridge over the river and in the summer is a popular place for families to go with the kids and play in the river.

Landacre bridge

That day was too cold for playing in the river. I then carried on to a small village called Withypool. It’s a typical Exmoor village where every one knows everyone and the curtains twitch as you go by and you imagine them sat there rubbing their hands and muttering …..New Blood. The village has one store which serves as a shop, post office, meeting place. Even has an old petrol pump outside which is not used now. I didn’t venture inside, I am brave but not that brave in these times. Opposite the village shop are some old petrol pumps which used to serve the village, sadly not used now but nice to see them still there.

Withypools old pumps

I stopped briefly to take some photos but kept one eye on the surroundings and my bike. I then continued on my bike ride so all in all I by the time I got back to base I had done 28 miles and my elevation gain was 3248 ft. In all that time I probably only saw about six cars and one other person. A great ride out which does me the world of good.

Nikki doesn’t come out on her bike with me unless we just go for a little cruise along a flat esplanade so she goes out for a walk from base. Up into south molton and here there and everywhere, she often pops into the supermarket and gets a few bits. I go with her sometimes. It’s a nice walk up through a woodland then round the old part of the town. If we go on a Thursday the farmers livestock market is on where they sell all the sheep. I love the smell as we walk past there, and the sound of the auctioneer doing his selling, takes me right back to my childhood days when my mum would go into Oxford to go shopping and leave me in the indoor market watching them sell the cows, pigs and sheep. The smell also takes me right back to going to my dads parents farm up in Wales.

The old church in south molton

The above picture of the old church in south molton with Nikki waiting outside. I think she wanted to go in and see if they could change some water into wine or confess her sins. I love the old door, I wonder how many peaple have been through that door over the many years.

Old church door

We had some snow yesterday, not a lot but it did settle but then started melting and the day consisted of snow, hail, sleet and rain and then froze overnight so today looks very dodgy out there. We won’t be going anywhere in the car but will have a walk.

So that’s up to date, sorry about the doom and gloom bit at the beginning but I am sure some of you know how I feel. We are into February next week so will soon be on the road to Wales to start work. That should be an interesting drive. Stay safe everybody.

Picnic anybody

It’s got to get better

Happy new year to you all. Let’s hope this year is better than the last one. Surely things can only get better. Fingers crossed.

We are still here in south Molton, we decided to stay here instead of going north although it’s costing us more money it’s nearer to MiMi (Nikki’s mum). We get payed at the end of March so it will be fine, we can have toast with our beans then. The timing was not right to leave Devon yet. The site is actually closed now because Boris said but they allow key workers and peaple who are in between house buying etc to stay. It’s very quiet here.

We had our first bit of snow on the 28th of January, not enough to stop life here in Devon but it was snow. It went as soon as it appeared. New Year’s Eve was really strange this year, it was so quiet. Not that we stay up for it anyway but normally we hear fireworks going off and peaple rolling out the pubs etc depending where we are on New Year’s Eve. The site has a club house which would normally be full with peaple eating and drinking and they have a band, and disco which all goes on very late, but this year they had to close it all down the day before because Boris said so. so this year it was very quiet.

Not a lot of snow

January 1st was MiMi’s birthday so we were going over to say happy birthday. We woke to a real hard frost -5 all the trees were white and the grass all crispy, the heating in the camper was working on overtime but we were all snug as a bug. I had to go out to take some photos for this blog and as soon as I stepped outside I thought if it gets any colder I might have to put some trousers on. Those thoughts never lasted very long. For those that don’t know me I never stepped out the van in my pants although I have done before but I wear shorts all year round. Not to be big or clever it’s just more comfortable for me and as long as I am all wrapped up on top my legs don’t get cold at all.

A moles view

Yesterday we decided to have a drive out to Wistlandpound reservoir to go for a walk. It’s about a twenty minute drive. The reservoir was built in1956. It’s owned by south west water, holds up to 1550 mega litres of water which is 341 million gallons. So glad I never had to empty it by bucket to find that info out. And it’s 22 metres deep in places.

It’s only a short walk around the reservoir about a mile and a half but it’s nice going around the waters edge and through the pine woods. There were a few peaple about walking off there Xmas feastings but not enough to worry about because of all the space. And it was very slippery in places with ice due to the frosty conditions over the last couple of days.

A seat for reflecting on life.
3D Trees

Half way around on the edge of the lake we saw these trees. The colour and the light conditions almost made them look like they were in 3D and with some of them reflecting in the still water made it all so unreal but amazing. We thought so anyway. The pine woods were also nice to see in winter.

The Pine woods

After the walk we went back home for lunch and just as we got back it poured with rain, good timing in our side. I planned it like that really. Today it’s raining so the temperature has come up to about 4 degrees. Tomorrow I have to go into Barnstaple to get my medication. Yes life has caught me up and after having blood tests they say I have high cholesterol so I need to take some medication (satins) I must admit I don’t like the idea of taking pills everyday but if the experts say I need to then I should listen to them. It’s better than taking the risk of a heart attack or stroke. I have so many more places in the world to see and so many more things to do before they do away with me. Stay safe everybody and keep taking your pills.

The road to who knows where.

Back and forth

Here we go again, just as you think you have a plan the goal posts move. Our plan was to stay at Dulverton then move on to Minehead, then cheddar and then into Wales before finally ending up at site ready to start work in March.

Just as we were getting comfortable at Dulverton and loving every minute of the peace and quiet, the sound of the river, the walks, the biking. We even planned on going to the pub for a substantial meal and a beer or two next week. I think it’s the first time we have been to the Dulverton site and not been to the pub.

The wardens told us all the club sites are closing on the 26th and we have to leave. Gutted. The club does have some sites open for waifs and strays like us but the nearest was up near Birmingham and we don’t really like the site. So we decided to come back to south molton so we are still able to see Nikki’s mum. We will spend two weeks here and see what Boris is going to do with the country then but we’re not holding our breath.

A couple of days ago We went to church, not to pray or nick the lead off the roof just to take some photos at night I wanted to do some in black and white. Then on the way back we popped in the fish and chip shop to get some tea to take home.

Dulverton church at night
Another angle

The village really does a great job with all their Xmas lights etc. All the trees on the shops have the same coloured lights, the shop windows are all decorated, it’s a real village community. It’s a shame the pubs are not able to be open as normal. Walking past the pubs windows and not seeing anyone in them was a first. Normally there is always someone in there from midday onwards.

Empty tables waiting

I went for one last walk up the woods above the campsite. A three mile walk and didn’t see a soul which was nice. The walk follows the river although you are a lot higher than it most of the time then you take a higher path and I even caught a glimpse of our camper through the trees. You can just see it in the middle of the picture.

I spy home

Leaving Dulverton today was interesting on the roads. Yesterday we had so much rain and the river leval was very high I knew there would be a lot of water on the country roads. In some places I had to drive on the other side of the road because of the amount of water but nothing too deep luckily. Tomorrow is Xmas day and we will go and spend it with Nikki’s mum. Stay safe everybody.

Dulverton town hall

Exmoor’s charm

Now we are at Dulverton again another site we have been to many times. It’s right in the village of Dulverton beside the river Barle. No Traffic noise day or night just the sound of the river rushing along. Made greater by the rain we have had in the last couple of days. There are not many on site due to the current situation in the country, a lot have cancelled.

Morning sun lighting up the arches.

The above picture of the sun lighting up the arches of the bridge into the village sets the scene for the village. You often see canoeists paddling by and in the summer kids will play in the river. The narrow roads add charm to the village although can be a bit tricky getting to the site in a 30ft camper, but slow and steady is the way to go. Some streets you just can’t go down or up though only on a bike.

Not for the camper this one.

Being on Exmoor means there is lots of biking trails for me, narrow lanes and bridle ways, big hills up and big hills down. Last year when we were here I biked out to Tarr steps and wanted to go there again only this time do a bit of a loop so I came to it one way crossed it and came back another way.

Many years ago I used to go up on Exmoor every weekend mountain biking and have biked across the bridge at Tarr steps and gone through the river in the summer. Now it was winter, the stones will be slippery, they’re not very even, they have gaps in them that could catch you out, the rivers cold and running fast, no one is about to fish me out if I fall in, my bike could disappear. Should I get there and walk across. What do you think. Of course I got there took some photos and rode across with a big grin on my face when I got to the other side.

Tarr steps

Tarr steps is what they call a clapper bridge although I never heard anyone clapping when I got to the other side. It’s 55 metres long and been there a very long time. It’s right in a valley so a big down hill to get to it and a big up hill to bike back up.

Another thing I wanted to do while we were down in Devon was to get Ellis some real Devon cider. Ellis is the welsh guy that has a small holding opposite the campsite we were working on in Snowdonia. He supplied us with the very nice trout we had all through the summer. Chatting to him he said he liked a cider with his tea in the evening. So I told him I would bring him some back next year. I knew just the place to get some from.

Indicknowle cider and farm shop is on the edge of Exmoor but still in Devon. They rear all their own animals and make cider. The cider is made from apples from their own orchard. The apples are blended, milled, and pressed using Victorian equipment using the same methods the family has used since the 1870’s and then stored in oak barrels. So when I say it’s proper cider, it’s proper farm cider. Not the manufactured stuff you get in the super market which has never seen an apple in its production.

The cider cellar

I was chatting to the owner about the way it’s made and working on the farm. He was saying it’s a hard life but very enjoyable. He offered me some cider to try before I buy, but I declined the offer telling him it was for a friend and me and cider don’t really get on. I have had a couple of dodgy nights on the cider, well the nights were ok it was the next day that was dodgy so me and cider are no longer friends.

So that’s us up to date on our travels, we are missing France, Spain and Portugal in the winter but other things have taken priority this last two years, and with Covid and brexit happening now who knows what will happen next winter for us. Watch this space. We don’t do Xmas as you will know if you follow this blog so I will wish you all a happy holiday. Stay safe out there.

Still some leaves to fall in Dulverton.

Back in Devon

We left Cirencester on 22nd of November to head for Devon. We needed to get down there to see Nikki’s mum and sort so much stuff out for her. We had doctor and dentist appointments and the car and camper were both booked in for mot and services.

Because we were both going to be driving different vehicles we had a plan to go a certain way and stop at Taunton Deane services for a pit stop and snack which we had made. I left as Nikki was still putting in the sat nav directions in the car and somehow I went off in a different direction to her. So I carried on and she carried on. I thought she will catch me up soon especially when we get on the motorway.

I got to the motorway and still no sign of her so I just carried on cruising along at about 60 mph knowing she will catch me up. Meanwhile Nikki is just cruising along thinking I will catch her up. I approached the service area and thought no sign of her she must have gone on by so I stayed on the motorway. Just after leaving the motorway I pulled over for a pit stop then carried on to the campsite.

I was just checking in when Nikki messaged me to say she had just got to the service area, I was about half an hour in front of her somehow. We did laugh.

The campsite we were now on was only open for key workers and peaple who were in between buying houses etc, so was not very busy. We have stayed here before and it’s not to far away from Nikki’s mums.

We went to see Nikki’s mum the next day and was good to see her and I am sure she was pleased to see us. The long list of things to do is getting shorter by the day although I am sure there are a few add ons.

Our trip to the doctors was ok and the dentist apart from the cost but you can’t put a price on a nice smile can you. The car had its mot service and cam belt and water pump done so that was a big bill. But again you can’t put a price on that smile you get from driving it. Perhaps the dentist and garage should get together and come up with a deal. Smiles per miles. Nikki’s mums car also had a mot. Her car had been sat in her garage for a year and sadly she is never going to drive again so it’s got to go. I got it started and took it for an mot. It needed a new battery but apart from that was all ok. It’s now up for sale but it’s the wrong time of year so near to Xmas to be selling it. And we leave the area this weekend so that causes more problems.

The camper also had its mot and service and I asked for the levelling jacks to be refurbed. It’s all been done but I have not had the bill yet. To be honest I don’t want the bill because that one is not going to make me smile. Still it’s got to be done. If the wheels don’t turn we can not travel.

Before we left wales I cut my hair. On the first of November and decided I was not going to cut it again until I get back to wales on the first of March. But I did have another hair cut. My beard had been bugging me for ages, not growing like I wanted it to etc so I cut three inches off it. After another few days while Nikki was out I decided it had to go so out with the kitchen scissors and it’s all gone. After having it hanging on my chin for Severn years it felt odd. Nikki is still staring at me strangely but she has always done that anyway. Nikki also changed her hair colour which looks very nice.

On the beach

It’s nice being next to the sea again although the surf has been rubbish so I have not been surfing. We have been down the beach and yesterday I went down the beach on my own to chill by the sea. I also wanted to check out a new bike facility on the way. In Braunton they have built a pump track. A pump track is a serious of humps and bends to practice certain things on your bike. It’s an all weather one also and should be quiet at this time of year, not to many kids so I plan on going down to have a go around it while they are all at school.

A nice berm
Humps and berms

Our travel plans have all changed for the winter because of Covid. We had planned on seeing family and friends etc but due to the tier system we decided it’s best not to visit but keep ourself to ourself as much as we can. So I do apologise to those of you who were looking forward to buying us a beer and catching up. There’s always next year.

Wish these were my driveway gates

We are moving from this site on Sunday and going to Dulverton, another site we have been on before. We will be there for three weeks. Its a bit further away from Nikki’s mum but we we will still go and see her. After that we will be going to Minehead and then onto cheddar before heading back to wales to start work again and get some money in the bank. Getting fed up with beans on toast now. Stay safe every body.

An Old street in south molton

Strange sights

One of the things I was looking forward to about coming to Cirencester was just down the road on Bird lip hill, do birds have lips ? was a bike park, a playground for me to go off and play on my bike, giving Nikki some peace and quiet. But Boris said no Mike the bike park has to close. Thanks Boris. I argued the case pointing out that when on the trails you don’t see anyone and if you do keeping two metres apart is easy. But the answer was still no.

So I was forced to go out in my bike on the road. I love being out in my bike but not on the road. For me it’s boring and don’t get me started on the traffic. I think everyone who takes driving lessons now should ride a bike for a day or two around towns etc and then they would realise just how much room they should give peaple on bikes etc.

Luckily when I go out from the site I can avoid most traffic and try and use all the small back roads, that way I rarely see cars just the odd tractor. That was until the other day when out in my bike just making a route up as I went along I came across a main road the A429. When I say main road it’s not like a major busy road but bigger than a rural lane. We drive along it when leaving here heading for the M4. No I never ended up on the M4 on my bike.

I knew where I was when I came onto this road and knew just down the road was a place called Kemble which has an airfield now called Cotswold Airport. When we have driven down this road last year you can see over the other side of the airfield old planes, some complete others in parts. But now parked up right next to the road are a line of 747’s. You can almost touch them.

Beware low flying planes

It’s not everyday you see these big planes up so close especially when your out for a bike ride. Plenty of room for me to park the bike up and take some pictures. There is a company that use the airport called ASI Air salvage international. Basically a scrapyard for planes but a posh one. This company strip parts and store them, they do refits where they will strip a part off and transport it anywhere in the world and refit to another plane. Refits on the interior for training etc, film shoots and they will store your old planes here for you. A scrapyard on a grand scale, not like your old car scrapyard you used to see years ago. So if you need a part for your 747 etc these guys just might have what your looking for.

Line Em up
So close

After taking some photos I got back on my bike and headed for Cirencester to complete my 22 mile bike ride. And I didn’t see one tractor that day just a load of 747 jumbo jets. You try making people believe that when you tell them.

Another photo opportunity I wanted to try was to put some lights on my bike and take photos of it in the dark. No not Xmas lights just normal bike lights. Well not quite normal but very good bike lights. Bike lights have come a long way since my childhood days on my paper round. Replacing the battery’s every couple of weeks and even then it was just like having a candle in front of you. Then you left them off for the summer and when you went to put them back on next winter they were all corroded and had to be thrown out so you had to spend your paper round money on new lights. Vicious circle really.

My bike lights now are led lights and you recharge them through a USB port and they are very bright with main beam, low beam, flashing, strobing etc. Yes they are expensive for good ones. These were £100 but you can get better ones. I will rarely use these but I do quite fancy doing a night ride down the trails at the bike park in Wales.

Bright lights

As you can see they are very bright and peaple should be able to see me if I go out at night. Probably not a good idea around here though as the planes coming into the cotswold airfield might mistake my lights for the runway lights being so bright.

Tonight we are treating ourselves to a Chinese takeaway, it may contain nuts but no Covid. Stay safe everybody.

Light and dark

A walk in the park

It’s nice to be back at Cirencester, it would have been nicer if it wasn’t under these circumstances. Good to catch up with friends that are here also. The weather has been kind to us so far which is always a bonus.

We went for a walk into town the other day just to get a bit of shopping and stretch the legs. Cirencester is a loverly old town and in my opinion better now because all the shops are closed, although not very good for the owners having to lockdown again this year. We walked past the pubs we used to go in last year. It’s strange how you really want to go in the pub when it’s closed but if it was open you would just walk on by. Well maybe with a bit of effort you could.

Our walk took us through the Bathurst estate and we had a pleasant surprise. We came across some elephants. No I did not go in the pub and then imagine it. There on the grass were four elephants. Not real ones but beautiful full size sculptures.

Elephants in the park

The elephants are made from dried Lantana camara stalks, a weed when dried behaves like willow. Next summer 125 of these elephants will transform London’s three royal parks. Green park, St James park and Berkeley square park into an Asian jungle. It’s all about bringing the awareness of elephants living in harmony with humans. You can find out more by going to Coexistance.org. It’s a fantastic thing to be done. Let’s hope it protects and saves this wonderful species forever. Elephants are really fascinating animals.

A couple of days later I went for another walk up through the Bathurst estate again but a different way. The whole area is vast and so many ways you can go and to think it’s somebody’s garden. It’s only open from 8am until 5pm. Being such a large area you are never going to be bumping into peaple which is nice. I came across this monument. It’s called the popes seat. Stood looking at it I wondered how many peaple had sat on the bench inside, how many peaple over the years had walked through that archway and where were they going.

Popes seat

After taking some photos and no one answering my questions I wandered off further up the estate still wondering. On the way back I approached the popes seat from a different angle and that got me wondering all over again. It would be great if you could turn back time just to have a look around.

Light and dark

I walked a total of nearly five miles and there are still plenty of miles still to walk in the estate with all the different ways you can go. Nikki came with me on one day, I showed her the popes seat. We saw a muntjac deer, buzzards, kestrel but only walked about two miles that day. Nikki’s legs are only small. The colours are beautiful with all the autumn leaves and that’s where I will leave this post for today with a picture of some leaves. Stay safe everybody.

Crispy crunchy autumn leaves

Stopped before we started

With the site gates closed and all the shut down work done and one last visit to the pub, we could sit back and relax. Now we had to decide what to do after the news that England was going to go into lockdown. And to make it more complicated Wales would come out of lockdown on the 9th November and England go into lockdown on the 5th of November.

We need to get down to Devon, with a stop on the way ideally. Luckily the club we work for open some sites for peaple like us, no fixed abode and peaple who are moving house etc. Cirencester was one of these sites This was one we were going to stop at on the way to Devon anyway. So the decision was made, book into Cirencester and leave Wales. But when do we leave with the cross over lockdowns in place.

We decided we have good reason to be moving about, having finished our contract in wales and then going to a safe place. The club have all our details and are happy for us to do this. we decided to leave wales on the 5th November. All packed up and we left the site yesterday morning at 9.15 am. Me driving the camper and Nikki following on in the car. Nikki has made sandwiches and we planned to pull over somewhere for a comfort break and lunch, all in the comfort of the camper. So from start to finish of our journey we would be totally independent.

We had joked about being stopped, or me being stopped driving the camper in Wales while in lockdown and again in England as that was the day they went into lockdown. I had visions of getting pulled over as Nikki drove on by in the car.

Leaving wales on a beautiful sunny day was hard. We had a lot of wind and rain the last few days but yesterday was beautiful. The mountains looked fantastic and the morning mist laying low in the valleys all reminded me why I love this area so much. It was a long drive, 177 miles and just over four hours with a comfort stop and another stop to refuel. And you know what, we only saw one police camera van and that was about 15 miles after we left site.

The sun was out in Cirencester and as we pulled onto the pitch to get set up, a voice called out, good to see you back and there was Malcolm one of the seasonals who we knew from last year when we worked on this site. He said he had got word of us coming back. The trouble with being famous. LOL Our friends from Cornwall also turned up as they are on the way up north, so it’s good to catch up with them.

So that’s us here at Cirencester. Lockdown in England ends on 2nd December but we have an mot on the camper booked on the 1st. We have a campsite down in Devon which we hope will take us just before this date so we can keep our appointment. If not it will be a night on the garage forecourt ready for the mot next day. Living in a tin can is great, never a dull moment. Oh and one last thing I need some more sofas to look behind and I think we could be living on beans on toast for a long time because I’m sure the clutch is going on the camper. Stay safe everybody.

Need a boat

We got back from Lincoln last Thursday not without problems. The new fridge decided it didn’t like working on 12volt. This is what it should do as soon as you start the engine. We are still emailing Camper U.K. in Lincoln about getting this sorted.

We also missed our turning on the way back which was not a problem. We followed the sat nav and it was me who wanted to go another way. But sat nav way was a nicer route, she knows best.

Back into work the next day which was the day the site shut because of Wales going into lockdown. There were only two peaple on site and they left by midday and I closed the gate behind the last one leaving.

Empty site

When the site closes we have a week to shut everything down and collect everything in, clean it and store it etc. So with the site closing four days early this gave us more time. The weather did not agree. It has not stopped raining and I am beginning to think we will need a boat to get out of here instead of the camper. We are supposed to leave site on the 4th but because of Wales going into lockdown until the 9th we will now leave site on the 9th November.

With the gates closed on Friday and the pub closing on that evening at 6pm. We all went over the pub. The landlord had invited us over for a few beers on him. We send a lot of peaple over to him so it seemed rude not to go and have a beer or two or three and then that’s a odd number and the media always tell you to have a balanced diet so we had to have another to make it four a even number.

The long path back to the camper

You can just see the camper through the trees. I know your thinking it’s not far, but it is all uphill. Reliant is still around and even comes in the camper for a go on the iPad. We are going to miss him and hope he remembers us when we return next March.

Reliant checking his E mails

I mentioned before that we discovered the leisure batteries were knackered. Not normally a problem because we are on hook up but with us leaving here on the 9th and England going into more local restrictions who knows where we will end up parking for our winter tour. So I decided to look down the back of the sofa and under the bed and in every nook and cranny to find the money to pay for them. All ordered and should arrive today. The old ones have been in the camper for ten years so let’s hope these new ones do the same. They are the same model etc which keeps things simple when changing them over as all the connections are the same.

The rain is still hammering down as I type this blog but we have a day off and there’s not much more to do on site now. Hopefully over the next couple of days we can get everything done and enjoy the last days on site chillin and getting some last welsh biking done. There are still nice sites around site to photo like this fungi. Now where’s that boat.

A Fungi

Lincoln

Our trip to Lincoln to get our fridge freezer replaced in the camper had been planned for a long time. The fridge was paid for in advance and a campsite and travel lodge all booked up. We then had to count the days until we could go and get it done. And of course find the money for the installation etc. While I looked in the lockers, Nikki looked down the back of the sofa and counted how many more times we had to eat beans on toast.

Then Covid starting appearing across the country again and we were beginning to wonder if we would get to Lincoln. Some of the counties in wales were going on local restrictions but the county we are in was all good and in the lowest bracket, luckily so was Lincoln. All this meant we could travel from our base into Lincoln. As the time drew nearer the welsh minister was thinking of going into full lockdown again.

We left wales at 8.15 am on Sunday 18th October. A five hour journey with a stop for lunch in the camper and a fuel stop, 220 miles later we were on the campsite pitched up. The campsite is only ten minutes down the road from camper U.K. where our new fridge freezer was waiting for us. The campsite has two fishing lakes and is really peaceful. We had a walk around the lakes and found some great fungi.

Fungi

Up early the next morning and off to camper U.K. Handed over the keys, and grabbed our travel bag. I think Nikki thought we were going away for a month the amount she rammed in the bag. Now camper U.K. just happened to have an event on showing off the new 2021 Burstner models. It would be rude not to have a look so we wandered around for an hour looking at them. To be honest there was only one I was really interested in and that was the 2021 Burstner elegance, the newer model of ours. WOW it was very nice but we were having trouble finding money for a fridge so to find about £140,000 was pushing it a bit. Not enough sofas to look behind. Was nice to look at though.

We then rang for a taxi to take us to the travel lodge. An artic lorry would have been more suited for that big bag that Nikki filled. Booked in at the travelodge and off to find our room. It’s strange for us to be sleeping somewhere else other than in the camper. But the room was pleasant and had a great view of Lincoln cathedral.

Our view from the travel lodge window.

We were hungry by now so decided to go out for lunch as we can’t cook or carry a load of food about in our travel bag. I am sure every thing else is in there though. Wetherspoons is always cheap and cheerful and there just happened to be one just around the corner called the Ritz. So we had lunch at the Ritz, although it was nothing like the Ritz but it filled a gap. Back to the room for a chill out and then off to the wharf to find somewhere to have a beer or two and a meal. The wharf is not far from the travel lodge and is really nice.

Dusk at the wharf

It was strange going into Lincoln and seeing everyone wearing face coverings/masks. Well most people were. We had downloaded the track and trace app to our phones and used this wherever it needed to be used, travelodge, wetherspoons and in the pub where we had our evening meal the Royal William IV. That’s it in the photo above. On entering the pub you have to be wearing a mask, you have to scan the barcode for the track and trace and they take your temperature. That’s with a gun not up your bum. Luckily. Your not allowed to go to the bar, it’s all table service which is nice. We had a very nice meal and a couple of beers then wandered back to the travelodge. And I slept for twelve hours. A long drive, the day before, walking about, beer at lunch time and again in the evening. I was done in.

When planning this trip, because we had a couple of days to see Lincoln we knew what we wanted to do. We had already ticked off some of the things like go to the pub, see the wharf, dine at the Ritz. The only two other things we really wanted to do was to see the cathedral and to walk up the old part of Lincoln called steep street. Tuesday was a loverly day so after our cups of tea and biscuits, a real healthy breakfast we masked up and wandered up the high street. I can’t get used to wearing a mask all the time but Nikki insists it looks ok.

Spider man

The main high street was not our cup of tea and apart from Nikki rushing in and out of a couple of shops we soon got through this part of the town. There were a lot of students about and the usual buskers and big issue sellers etc. As we got nearer to steep street the crowds had gone and we were surprised how quiet it was in the old part of Lincoln. Some loverly old shops and cobbled streets.

Steep street
Steep street again.

We wandered all through and up steep street and then found Lincoln cathedral and I must say what an awesome building it is. Built in the eleventh century they certainly knew how to build things then. It dominates the skyline and is very impressive. We walked all around the outside because I wanted to get some photos. Shame the front of it was covered in scaffolding for some renovation work.

Lincoln cathedaral
Lincoln cathedral

On the way back down steep street we called into a small cafe called Buntys a vintage Tea room to have a spot of lunch. It was like going back in time. A real fifties theme, even the waitress dressed in fifties clothes and fifties music playing. After lunch it was time to go back to the travelodge for a chill out. We had arranged to meet some friends in the evening who live on the outskirts of Lincoln. The last time we saw them was about three years ago. As it happened Andy came on his own because Anna had been called away for work which was a shame. Good to see Andy and have a catch up. Forgot to mention, we met him at the same pub we had been to the night before. We went down early as it was a nice evening and sat outside waiting for him to arrive then went inside to eat. Good to see you mate.

This morning we went to get the camper, where we discovered we need new leisure batteries. More beans on toast and looking behind the sofas again. It’s not really a problem because most of the time we are on mains hook up. It’s another expense but can wait for now. Tomorrow we go back to Site and back to work on Friday just as the welsh minister puts Wales into lockdown. That’s if they let us in. It could be interesting. Will keep you informed.

Part of the interior of Lincoln cathedral.

Autumn at the cathedral