12 Aug

I have to admit to neglecting this space, I did expect to have more time to input whilst away, however that did not materialise, so sorry folks, but, I am back now.

I actually surprised myself by how easily I managed the drive down to Nuneaton, however the next two days I was shattered! this was partly due to the mini heatwave and the humidity in the Midlands, I had forgotten what that was like. I enjoyed my time with Mum and Dad and catching up with other friends and family whilst there. Robert came down at the weekend for his trip with Christopher to Silverstone which they enjoyed despite the heat, they took loads of photos.We were sitting outside about 6.30am both Saturday and Sunday morning having breakfast before they left, really was like being on holiday.

As is usual the weather broke and thunder rain arrived on Tuesday. We set off on Wednesday for Plymouth to see Elizabeth and Alistair and arrived to rain, it rained most of the time we were there I think, exception being Friday, when we visited Newton Ferrers and Nos Mayo.

The estuary there is very picturesque, and Robert was fascinated by the causeways which link the three pubs together, thankfully we did not start to walk over when he wanted to, as about 10min later the tide began to cover the walkway and very quickly it had disappeared. We felt this had probably been used many times as an excuse by men folk for their late arrival home, however one old gentleman set out to prove how much he wanted his tea hot(or maybe just scarred of the wife!) by rolling up his trouser legs and staggering accross, he looked as though any minute he would fall flat on his face and have to be rescued before he floated away, but he managed it to the other side and staggered off up to the village.

We had a great meal at the Barbican on Saturday evening, Alistair and I had a fish platter which we did a great Jack Spratt on, him eating the shell fish and me the fillets. There was so much there we did not think we would manage it all and I think that kept us going for a couple of days in protein!

Monday we moved on to Penzance to see our friend Linda from Stoney Stanton days who with son Aled is living in a fantastic spot overlooking Newlyn harbour. We enjoyed their great hospitality and the company of her current paying house mate, Andrew. Once again the weather could have been more favourable, it hardly stopped raining all the while we were there and in St Ives on Thursday the fine, wet, relentless, missal made us feel really sorry for all those who had decided this year to holiday at home.

Wednesday we called in to St Agnes to see more old friends from the Stanton era, Neil and Sue, Neil taught Robert and Christopher Judo in Stanton and we had some good social evenings there. They now run a very nice B&B just outside St Agnes which they built themselves after much planning wrangling, a real grand design project and we were very impressed.

The rain followed us on our northward travels to Oakhampton where the sun came out and we felt we were in a different world, we had lunch an continued on up to Chester.

Guess what it was raining! Chester on Wednesday evening was deserted, we had a meal in a restaurant which should have seated about 150, there were two other couples in when we arrived who left after a while thus leaving Robert and I to ourselves…the food was good but not as good as Chez Joules on Thursday night if you are in Chester check it out, especially their posh fridge cake(bitter sweet dark chocolate and pistachio terrine)I also had cod cheeks for my starter which was a first. I have since discovered they are a little known delicacy, if you like fish try them if they appear on a menu!

Chester’s galleried walkways were very interesting the independent shops are just about holding out against the multies, it must make for interesting work trying to fit the requirements of modern retail into the listed buildings available. We also managed to walk the wall in two sessions (one to walk off the terrine)which was fascinating being able to look down on to the various styles of property below.

Friday, early, we set off for home, Robert did not want to go on motorway all the way so we programmed the sat nav. for minimum motorway, I was driving first and very quickly realised this was a good idea as the A road was peppered with traffic lights, all of which truned red on my approach, we headed north towards Liverpool and I was slightly worried when half way under the Mersey Tunnel Robert anounced he would have liked to see the river. I pointed out this was not something one wished for so far underneath it, and put my foot down a little harder.I eventually got thouroughly fed up with traffic lights and just before the M6 Robert took over, my 1 and 1/2hr stint of driving felt much longer than the whole journey to Nuneaton.

We headed off the motorway later and drove over the Pennines stopping off to eat lunch at a reservoir somewhere in the middle of nowhere, with hardly even a bird to break the silence, this was the first time I had felt cold in the 3 weeks I had been away as despite the rain it was thankfully fairly warm.

We called in at Hexham for provisions and arrived home at around 4.30, I had enjoyed our meanderings but t was lovely to be home. I think one of the benefits of the RV will be that we can have the best of both worlds, we will be home and travelling all in one. Now for the final countdown to October the 9th…more soon


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