Saturday, 4 August 2018

From Scotland back to England

Jackie posing at Spey Bay
Things missed out of the last blog, were pictures taken at Spey Bay on the relaxed Friday and that one morning as I was feeding scraps to the chickens I had a fly past by the Red Arrows, that doesn’t happen every day! No pictures but a great sight.

Our campsite at Stirling
The journey to Stirling was longer than expected, seems to be a recurring problem, so sightseeing was off as the campsite was calling (Location: 56deg 2'47.9"N 2deg 53'35.2"W), though neither of us had that much energy anyway.... a nice enough campsite, but slightly overpriced we felt, but a good nights sleep before we finally got to see the Falkirk Wheel which was actually turning as we arrived, fortunately, as that was the last movement till we gave up and left, but it is a huge structure to join two canals of very differing heights, and really very interesting.

The Falkirk Wheel
A shorter journey followed to  Jedburgh, still a couple of hours, and still just in Scotland..... it really is very big. Very basic campsite (Location: 55deg 26'01.6"N 2deg 33'06.1"W), but we loved the view, the walks they had marked all round the farm and the fact we were on our own. It poured with rain but by then we’d walked and were back in to cook the best fillet steak I’ve ever cooked, and the best I’ve ever cooked steak. We decided to open the bottle of wine that Victor and Greg had given us, that would go well with steak, and how right they were. You know it was a good meal when you keep cutting the last bite smaller and smaller so you delay finishing!

The Falkirk Wheel halfway through its cycle
Catterick on Tuesday, no real reason except that I’d found the Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve, accessed through Catterick Garrison army barracks, it all sounded very exciting and too good to miss, who wouldn’t want to go to a covert nature reserve? I may have been putting the wrong spin on it, but it cracked me up, as well as the man with a gun who allowed us in to get the parking permit before we drove to a second gate where we had to wait for another man in uniform to come and let us through. As far as nature reserves go, it was beautifully laid out and maintained, there were loads of volunteers about, but we didn’t actually see any nature! Still a good walk in lovely surroundings.

The Falkirk Wheel just arriving to deliver a narrowboat, floating in a bath on the upper part of the wheel, to the upper canal heading off into the upper distance
Our campsite near Jedburgh on Tuesday night
A busier campsite than the last, on another working farm (Location: 54deg 22'39.1"N 2deg 41'52.9"W). First cat of this bit of the trip. On looking at the map we realised that half way between Catterick and Alvechurch was Derby, so we messaged Tim and Jill and invited ourselves to stay. We stopped en route at Clumber Park, a National Trust Property just outside Worksop with many miles of bike trails, and we hadn’t used the bikes yet... it was a lovely afternoon, the atmosphere was a delight, kids on bikes with stabilisers, kids in trailers, tandems, adults, everyone just pottering about. Going to Tim and Jill’s actually gave us a really good chance to meet our new charge for next week, little Ruby dog, 8 months old and full of beans, she is a real sweetie, and maybe a bit of a handful, Stimpy cat certainly agrees, she’s not that impressed, though it has apparently made her more affectionate!

Country and wood walks near Jedburgh
It’s handy knowing people with a drive big enough to fit Big Ted (this may be the name for the van, as little Ted has traveled with us for a long time). We’d said we could be self sufficient, but the invite to the bed we will be in from tonight anyway, and to the local curry house was too good to miss.

Fillet steak and Californian wine in Big Ted near Jedburgh
Back to mums in Alvechurch Thursday to empty Big Ted of the stuff we will need for the next month, and off to storage for him. Yesterday we went to see Charles and Caroline, which was lovely, revision, exams and Scotland had all got in the way so it was the first time we’d seen them since we got back from skiing. It was very hot, so we went to Ashridge Woods, hoping they would be cool, which they were, so general tree climbing, silliness and chatting were the order of the day.

On the Scottish side of the border on the A68 looking to England
Fabulous, we even came up with a plan for the beginning of next month when we are going away for a few days before they have to go back to school.

Today was sorting out, and general DIY before we head back to Derby and Tim and Jill for our next Housesit. It’ll be slightly odd as it turns out, Jill is away with Ellie and James while Tim has the annual shareholder meetings in London and Edinburgh so he’ll be in and out, but not there to look after Ruby.

Looking back to Scotland
A week of curry and food provided by Nicky, veggies fresh from the garden, and marked down meat from her freezer, you don’t mind taking £11.50’s worth of steak from someone when it only cost £1.25, not including her staff discount...!

Dashcam footage of our arrival at the army barracks to see the covert nature reserve (I probably should have fuzzed out the faces, but I lack the knowledge of how to do it!)
Driving through the army base following the signs
Walking through the Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve
Looking through the window of a bird hide. Nothing much to see unfortunately
Leaving the nature reserve. Not often we can get Big Ted and a tank in the same picture
Our working farm campsite at Catterick
Arriving at Clumber Park. That gate looks very slim for our 2.3m wide motorhome! It was fine, just us having a mild panic
On our bike ride in Clumber Park
Jackie looking cool
Taking a break by the lake in Clumber Park. The buildings opposite are all that remains of the old mansion, demolished in 1938
In the Walled Garden at Clumber Park
Big Ted parked up in his sport at the storage area. See you again in a month or so
Forgot to add this photo of Ruby dog sitting in Big Ted at Tim and Jills house
Charles trying out the rope swing at Ashridge Woods, looked on by Caroline
Caroline also having a go
How to climb trees and still look cool!
Caroline can climb trees too
Still looking cool up another tree
Caroline and Jackie trying out a den in the woods
And even Uncle Brian can still climb trees. "You're not bad for 62" Charles told me!

1 comment:

  1. Well shame you're nearly 63 then! Looks like you settled down well with Big Tex x