Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Motorhome for Sale

We are now moored up in Higher Poynton caravan park. We arrived here on Monday. After covering thousands of miles of incident free travels Elaine opened the side door and fell out of the van! Fours hours later she was released from A&E with ligament damage on her ankle.

The rest of the week has been spent on cleaning the van, and sorting out our worldly possessions to be sent to storage. I can assure you it is nowhere near as exciting as travelling.

The  link to the Autotrader ad for the motorhome is here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Last Post :-(

We had a great day yesterday, playing cricket, watching the football and generally having a good old family catch up.

However, it went a little bit pear shaped when my niece, Hayley thought her boyfriend had a spider on him so she decided to throw her mobile phone at it (as you do).  Unfortunately my mother's head got in the way and the phone made a gash on the top of her scalp as it flew across the campsite.  It bled quite heavily and she went into shock so she was patched up and then taken to the local hospital, where they glued up her scalp for her!

Elaine, bro, niece and niece's boyfriend check out the damaged bonce!

My poor niece was so upset at what she had done to her Nan.  Elaine went with them to the hospital - she said the medical staff were most concerned whether it was a malicious act or an accident!  Elaine told me that the doctor was very thorough in wanting to check for any nerve damage and apparently one of his checks was to get Mother to puff her cheeks out and shrug her shoulders ... so it seems they had a bit of fun with that when he left the room ...

She was back again after a couple of hours and all was well again!  We put her to bed with a cup of tea and she was snoring in no time!

In addition to all that excitement a hot air balloon also passed over last night.  The wind had increased a bit and it was flying along quite fast ... it must have been a fun landing ...


This morning it was a slow start before we all had the full English breakfast ...

Then we got together for a group shot ... or two !



Today we also celebrated my nephew, Liam's birthday, so we all got stuck into a mega cake early in the afternoon ...

Also this afternoon my niece, Kimberley gave Bombo a haircut with Elaine assisting.  She normally does horses so doing a stroppy little dog was a piece of cake, although she said it took longer, with all his interruptions !

Most of the other campers left this afternoon, just leaving our little camp.  Tonight Elaine and I will be back on our own for our last night on the road ...  

Before they all left us though my other sister, Kerry arrived with her boyfriend, Jim (and Ruby the dog) and also my other niece, Leigha with her partner, Brad and her little boy, Mason ...


This is Charlie (my brother in law's father!) having a kickabout with Mason ... 

Then, late in the day we were all on our lonesome again ... 


Tomorrow we are heading back to Macclesfield where we will moor up at Poynton for a few days, whilst we clean out the van and get it ready for sale.

So that is it !  The narrowboat/motorhome tour of the UK and mainland Europe is all over.

We always get asked the same question as to which we prefer, the narrowboat or the motorhome? Basically we loved them both.  All I can really say is that the narrowboat always felt like we were living in a parallel universe to normal life albeit at a slow speed.  The motorhome feels like we are constantly on holiday which, believe me, is such a lovely feeling!  The narrowboat was, of course, a holiday as well but with the addition of constant maintenance to keep the boat in a shipshape condition.  With the motorhome you just drive it and clean it occasionally ... it is a very, very easy life, but a love of driving helps. 

Which brings us to the 'last post', as per the title of this blog post!  As our travels have now come to an end it seems a good time to finish the blog.  I will do an ad for the van and put that on the blog plus will put the occasional post up if something exciting happens, but as a day to day blog this will be the last one :-(

I have absolutely loved doing the blog which started out just being something for friends and family to have a look at, then all of a sudden it started to get read by over 10 people!!  

 I think we are now up to about 285,000 page views and it is a very humbling experience that strangers take time to read it and for that I thank you all very much.

I would also like to add that through blogging we have met some fantastic, lifelong friends.

I have nicked a nice little appropriate quote to finish off, I think its rather apt ...

I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I've learned the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning middle and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.


We love yous all
from
Paul, Elaine, Bombo and Sam
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Family Camping weekend

This weekend is the annual gathering of the Macey clan.  As per usual it takes place at Billing Aquadrome.

We picked up my mother on the way and headed to the campsite. 

We arrived at noon on Friday, where we had the site to ourselves.

Whilst we set up mum took Sammie for a walk ...

We set up a perimeter fence to repel any hostiles ...

The others were arriving later in the day so we just chilled in the lovely sunshine ...

The others all arrived at about 18.00 so we set up a circle of caravans, tents and a motorhome.  My sister Lynne brought her dog, so we stationed 3 dogs on point duty to keep away any errant pikeys ...

Last night we all went to a local pub for dinner.

We were awake at a reasonable hour, the people in the vans having a good night sleep, the tent people not so!

I used brother Russell's tripod to catch the early risers in their onesies ...I was naked!

We have a Cadac BBQ which is connected to a gas point on the side of the van, so I cooked brekky for the throng ...

Elaine has been pressed into work massaging a wounded soldier, well he is a sailor actually ...

Today is going to be watching a bit of football, relaxing, eating, drinking ...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Heading North....

We left Crystal Palace yesterday morning heading towards Luton.  When we leave Crystal Palace we head north and drive straight through London.  Maybe I am a bit strange but I love driving through the centre of London!

Brixton was quiet for a change ...

 As we crossed the Thames Elaine took a pic of a stranded Hippo! 

We turned off the M1 at Luton and headed to Aldi for a stock up.

I was born in Luton and lived there all my life till I left for Oz in 1980.  It always saddens me to see what an absolute dump Luton has become.  I can't see what they can do with it now, to me it's beyond repair :(

We then moored up just outside Luton at the tiny hamlet of Fancott.  This is the fourth time we have stopped here.  The Fancott is a great pub, plus they supply a 240 hook up and water ... all free!

Click here for the link to the pub.

We arranged to meet up with some old friends of mine while we were here.  I worked with Will at Vauxhall in Luton in the 70s but Will and Sheila now live in Oz just north of Sydney.  They are over here for three months, on an extended holiday.

We had a great catch up from 17.00 until we were last to leave the pub just after 23.00!

The company, food and beer was superb.

We were having such a good old catch up that I forgot to take a pic, so I nicked one from back in Oz about 4 years ago!

Great to catch up guys and have a safe trip back ...

This morning we pick up my mum from Milton Keynes and head off for a long weekend at Billing Aquadrome.  It is the annual get together of my family, so it should be fun! 


Post Script:  After seeing the poppies at the Tower we looked into it further and found that you can buy one for £25, which you can get sent to you when the display is finished in November.  A great momento and 10% of the the money raised goes to six service charities.  Click here for more info.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Poppies and Boats

This morning we caught the overland train from Crystal Palace to Tower Bridge.  A walk across the road and you are confronted with the The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red poppy memorial which is commemorating 100 years since the start of WW1.  By the time the last poppy is planted on November 11th there will be 888,246 of them, each one representing a British military fatality in WW1.




 It is truly staggering and well worth a visit, just to sit and reflect on the magnitude of it all. 




We walked down to look at Tower Bridge but, as per usual, the dogs wern't interested in the sights ...

We then walked down to Katherine dock which was very busy with lots of classic boats arriving for a classic boat festival this weekend ...

The Royal row barge Gloriana was there ...

Next to Gloriana was the boat Havengore ... this boat carried Winston Churchill's coffin across the Thames in 1965...

The Dickens Inn in Katherine Dock was looking good...

What boats?!

More classic boats arriving in the Katherine dock lock...

By now we were getting peckish so we had lunch outside the Tower Hotel next to the bridge.  It is a great little spot with a mobile food stall and an outdoor bar, plus comfy chairs, tables, deckchairs and blankets in case you are feeling chilly!

We hadn't been there long when the bridge opened ...

To let a cruise ship through ...

She was going through the bridge stern first with the incoming tide, using the bow thruster to steer plus a tug was attached to the bow to control the speed ...

Once through the bridge she was tied up next to HMS Belfast ...

We walked over Tower Bridge to the other side.  Half way across and the alarm started sounding, they were raising the bridge again!

The tug was leaving this time,  plus this Thames sailing barge was going up stream ...

Whilst all this was going on an Asian couple were having their wedding shots taken on the bridge.  They seemed to be chucking a mosquito net over the pair of them!

Next stop was a walk around the old Butlers Wharf warehouse, now home to mega expensive apartments and restaurants ...

Next stop was Covent garden where we were going to have a quick catchup with Elaine's niece Josie.  The quick catchup ended up being a long catchup in a pub!

No complaints from me, it had a comfy Chesterfield ...

Once again another magical time in the greatest city in the world bar none!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back To The Palace!

This was last nights mooring, parked behind the Thai pub at Stedham.


We headed off towards London. the first few miles through some very pretty county lanes.


It was then a straightforward drive up the A3 

Once we got to the Crystal Palace site we gave the van a good clean out and vacuum plus washed the sheets. 


Being moored next to the Crystal Palace tower we get a very good TV reception.


On a sad note I was talking to one of the site wardens, he said the site will probably close down in a couple of yeas as the council is taking back the land, which is a bit sad as it is such a good site for visiting London.
Tomorrow we will venture into the city for probably our last time :-(