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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Cheltenham to York

Boarded the ferry at Roskoff with no mishaps and had a pleasant voyage to Plymouth :) So it's back home for a few weeks to get the bus and scooter serviced, stock up on essentials and visit family and friends. Back in Blighty again with no rough seas or damage to self or the RV and trailer! (double bonus ;) We received our first ever security check as we drove off the ferry this time, conducted with me hanging out the window as Mr H is in the driving seat on the left! Basically it went along the lines of...... Is this your personal vehicle madam?..... How many people are on board?......... are you carrying any tobacco or spirits? .......... Where have you travelled and for how long? ....... Where are you going and how long will you be staying? ... All enquiries were promptly and politely responded to and I must have a trustworthy face as we were then waved through the barrier by a youth barely old enough to shave with all the necessary boxes ticked! Strange really as we have enough visible and non visible storage space to smuggle through a large family and their horse plus enough booze and fags to keep a pub running for a week!! I must add that we have NEVER smuggled any item over the numerous borders we have travelled, we are not that brave or rock and roll!! (That’s if you don’t count taking red Leicester cheese into France).

First stop was Cheltenham for a few days at Briarfields to get reacclimatized . As always we received a very warm welcome from Scott and Jo on our arrival. We spent a busy few days stocking up in the local supermarket, sorting out banking and our mobile phones enjoying speaking our native tongue once again. I was unsuccessful in tempting Mr H to upgrade his wardrobe once again so I compensated by buying myself a few ladies essentials of quality hand wash and scented candles. We conducted our ritual locker sorting in the weak British sunshine and began to plan our summer assault on family and friends. 

No need for the sat nav now as the RV knows its own way to Signature Motorhomes As always a warm welcome for us in Wolverhampton despite the wind and rain. A short visit for us here this time and no new RV purchases to the relief of Mr H and his bank balance. Visiting Signature Motorhomes in Wolverhampton has become an annual pleasure. We feel looked after and enjoy sharing a few jokes whilst catching up with the lads! We spent the bank holiday weekend there and took the opportunity to catch up with friends we had met in Spain. Mr and Mrs L were great hosts taking us out to a fabulous local Indian restaurant and sharing their extensive local knowledge of the area over a beer or three! 

Must mention this, Mr H had spent the previous tour of Europe fighting with our levellers every time we pitched up. They are amazing inventions, four hydraulic feet that level the vehicle when we park up enabling us to use the two slide-outs. There is an auto levelling button that never worked so Mr H always had to level the RV with the manual option. I had to vacate the RV every time he did this as the front and rear bucked and rocked into a position that made my sensitive ears pop and stomach churn! When we reported this problem to the all-knowing Ross he opened the appropriate locker to investigate. His immediate response... wait for it.... one of those hydraulic pipes is the wrong way round!!! A two minute job that made Mr H’s world OK again.

Then on to York  Mr H set up camp and was faced with the now usual array of onlookers. They are always amazed at the size and design of his drainage pipes! So proud. Our stay in York was a flurry of activity as usual requiring a hire car, nerves of steel and a full wallet! We visited and received family and friends from near and far. Mr H managed to squeeze in some fishing on a rare sunny day with our daughter, partner and their very entertaining pampered pooch Buddy! Just love them all. While we were visiting it was our eldest grandsons ( SJ ) school leaving prom, an event I would have swam the oceans to witness. In true 16 year old lad style SJ didn’t want to wear a suit and tie but he went along with the theme to please the ladies! In true Nan style I fed him, bought him a new razor, ironed his shirt, became official time keeper, transported him and his mates around through the day and ensured he had a bottle opener! SJ tolerated the long process of dressing for the occasion and endless photo taking with his usual laid back style. I just about managed to hold back the tears of pride and joy when he needed his grandad to help him achieve the perfect knot in his tie! SJ finally presented his preened self to us all in his very slim fitting dark formal suit, shocking pink large knotted tie and his designer trainers! Watching SJ and his close friends arrive at the prom was emotional and very entertaining, the winners of “Best Arrival “came in a skip!! All I will report about the prom after party is that nobody died and it only took a day of constant fluids and bacon butties for SJ to recover thank-goodness! 

Our stay in York was extended due to us having to wait for the scooter to be repaired. Waiting for the needed part to be delivered from Italy cost us a fortune in extra site fees, car rental and paying for 4 changed dates for our ferry crossing. It was an all day job requiring a part from the manufacturer, I offered to fly out and collect the bugger as it would have been cheaper and quicker! Mr H was not even given a guarantee that the scooter would be ready on the day of our departure but we decided enough was enough and went ahead with our travel plans anyway. I must say that the mechanics at the garage were as frustrated as us and they did all they could to hurry up the job. Maybe a girl thing but have they never heard of sending needed parts overseas by courier? If Tom Hanks and FedEx can deliver the goods we have no valid excuse, rant over.

Our journey through Europe this year was planned and agreed and we stocked up with extra essentials. With a fridge and cupboards bulging with British bacon, beans, mayonnaise and our eldest grandson SJ (16 years old) on board for a road trip to Munich. We headed to the sacred KC stadium to hopefully collect and load up the scooter as it was the nearest available space big enough for our RV and trailer. Never been so pleased to see Mr H roll up on the scooter! 

With the scooter packed away in the trailer we headed off to get our ferry to Rotterdam in blazing sunshine and good spirits. 

A smooth overnight crossing was spent catching up with SJ and his busy lifestyle of studying, working and sporting activities. Due to the numerous ferry changes we’d lost our club cabin and ended up in bunk beds that seemed to be designed to roll you out towards the floor. Not much sleep but we all managed to hang on until we got up for breakfast, Holland here we come.

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