Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sydney Part 1


Sydney is certainly starting to live up to expectations. We were so disappointed when we flew in the first time we decided to give the city a chance and on our return planned our campaign.
On the first day we decided just to walk as much of the city as we could so we knew roughly were everything was. This has paid dividends as we have the whole week planned out. On Sunday we decided to spend the day at Manley and we arrived early to catch the famous Manely ferry which is a cruise in itself. The crossing was just fabulous, and once at Manley we walked the scenic walkway to the north harbour which is beautiful. There it ends dear reader as Manley itself is like Clacton on a bad day, and as you are aware the Warden does not do sand so we caught the ferry back to Sydney Harbour and spent  the rest of the glorious day in the Botanical Gardens. We then had a pie peas and mash (not forgetting the gravy) at a famous market stall on our way home.
Today (New Years Eve) has been a highlight day, first we went to the exhibition of convicts in the Hyde Park Barracks which was excellent. Note the photo’s of the convict court no24 here you will see the defendant (the Warden) on trial accused of a life time’s complaining about the cost of Angela’s clothes, hair, and other essential girls requirements, and the presiding judge.....whose verdict was as follows, GUILTY AS CHARGED 30 years hard labour.....No change there then!!!!. We then had our lunch in the revolving Sydney tower. The views were to die for and the food tremendous, we really did have a lovely time. Let’s hope we get to see some of the fireworks tonight!


Our New Year's eve lunch



The accused. Guilty as charged

The Judge. Always fair ...well ish!!


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Its Christmas

Things we have done today

1. Walked along this beach in our swimming things



2. Sat by this pool and read our books 


3. Cooked our Christmas lunch on the barbecue


4. Managed to speak to family on Skype

5. Received a fantastic gift from Mand and Rich, lunch on New Years Eve in Sydney Tower Restaurant

6. Missed our family and friends

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Great Barrier Reef

What a day we have had. Me and Him have been swimming and snorkling around the Great Barrier Reef. This has to be one of the most fantastic things we have ever done, well apart from James and Mand of course.
Below is a picture of us in our wet suits just look how gorgeous we look. The first picture is especially for our 'Warden Boss' Michael, he knows why!!!! Anyway  i do feel i look at least a size 8 in the next picture.
Anyway back to the reef, the corals and the fish were unbelievable and me and him just spent all our time in the water, of course i had to keep getting out to run over to the boat to use the toilet, but i got quite nippy in my pink flippers (i kid you not), and we were quite amazed to find some people didn't even get in the water or ride in the glass bottom boats they provide.
Anyway the whole experience blew us away, and tomorrow we are going up in a hot air balloon over the rain forest so that will be different.
I was sorry to miss my little brothers 50th birthday party at home though, but we sent our Mand and she can party for all of us so i shouldn't think we were missed that much...............i wonder if any-one at the party wore a suit like mine?
Joe Cool

Me and Him

Just spoke to Mum and Mand on skype fantastic xxxx

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Down-under in OZ

What a hectic week we have had. We left Christchurch and flew into Sydney for one night before flying on to Ayres rock for a three day tour. We were quite shocked at Sydney as we had just left New Zealand with its fantastic scenery and gentle pace to life and we found ourselves right in the middle of a hectic city with all its traffic and people and noise. However we decided to give the city a chance and when we return to it next week we hope to plan our time to give Sydney the chance to shine.
Well next shock came as we landed in Alice Springs, this certainly is different again, but we met a wonderful lady on the plane who owned a bar in Alice who took a real shine to the Warden and when we walked past her place she dragged him in !!!!. So after one night we caught the coach to Ayres Rock, through endless miles of desert and bush and desert and more desert.
We  then spent three days charging about the same desert in a coach looking at three very large pieces of rock. They are Mount Conner, The Olgers, and of course Ayres Rock or Uluru as it is now called. It was very hot and i didn't manage some of the walks we had hoped to go on but the Warden did and was seen coming out of the desert with the rest of them.We are glad we went and saw the area, but i am not sure either of us would go again, and the trip was slightly spoiled by the cost of things while we were there just basic coffee in the morning required a large investment from the Wardens pocket money.
Anyway we are now in Port Douglas, all ready to look at the barrier reef and stuff, we have Christmas here and as we have a little house we have already been to the shops and got all our food ready to bunker down.The Warden cooked chilli tonight .....it was smashing. Oh and we have a washing machine and i dryer so i have washed all the smalls and we both smell fresh and clean again.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Queenstown


Me and him have been in Queenstown for 5 nights which is a bit of a shock as we have spent the last couple of weeks like a couple of old Dids moving every day or two from place to place.

What can i say about Queenstown? It is just fantastic i am sitting in bed with the Warden looking out across the most beautiful blue lake with a mountain range surrounding the whole are it is just remarkable (name of the mountain range). We have been on a coach trip to the Doubtful sound which took our breath away, shame about the coach loads of Chinese people we shared our experience with, the Warden became particularly attached to a girl in a pink coat who he felt was stalking him as every time he tried to take a picture she came and stood in front of him.........! 
We also met an elderly Indian couple from Sydney who had brought their four grandchildren to Queenstown so they could try all the activities (note to self, if i get grandchildren try and steer them to Willingham feast and the dodgems it will be a lot cheaper)
Yesterday we went up the cable car to watch the many ways young boys throw themselves off a mountain, both me and the Warden felt this was defiantly something our James would have done, so a little sadness crept in then. Anyway spurned on we decided to take the lugge, the Warden had done this before but on ice when he went ski-ing so was off like a shot down the track, i followed and the race began.......i did feel it was a little un fair that my photo at the end showed me with my crash helmet falling off and me holding on for ‘grim death’. I said to the young boy who took the photo and was from Harrogate (didn't know our Rich though) he could have at least made me look a size 8.
Anyway off to see where they filmed the Hobbitt today then back on the road in the morning.
Update. Didn't get to see where they filmed the Hobbitt as we did not have enough petrol to get there and back, so with a full tank of petrol we went to Arrowtown which was lovely and had lots of historical buildings and a complete restored Chinese mining settlement.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Earthquakes, helicopter rides and stuff

We left Wellington on Thursday morning and took the ferry across from the North Island to the South Island, well the Warden was quick to notice we were travelling on a old cross channel ferry. I just made sure it didn't say the Herald of Free Enterprise i figured we were going to be okay. The crossing was magnificent with stunning views of the coast line, islands and bays almost all the way there.

Leaving Wellington on the ferry

We then had a couple of days in Nelson, so we put on our walking boots and spent the day in the Abel Tasmin scenic park. Many people spend a week walking the trails but i read the information boards and it said 'for all toilet requirements keep away from water courses and take a shovel........this is not for me, so we went for the day, and i made sure we started and finished at the park cafe.

Then the morning we were due to leave the Warden and me were sitting in bed when the whole hotel shook, yes they said at the hotel reception we have just had an earthquake......we left soon after, to travel up the stunning west coast to our next destination which was Fox Glacier. I cannot tell you how fantastic the coast line along the west coast was. We just had to keep stopping to drink in the fantastic views which is why the journey took twice as long as it should have done.
The view from the toilets we stopped at along the west coast
The Warden having his picnic lunch (standing you notice.....to much driving)

So now we are at Fox Glacier and unfortunately the weather has not been on our side. We had booked a helicopter flight up to the glacier but they didn't fly today as the cloud was to low, so we had to make the best of it and we walked up to the glacier which was great in its self. We also walked round the 'mirror lake' so all in all had a good day. We are going to try again though in the morning before we leave.

The mirror lake
We miss our Amanda a little today but with the wonders of skype we do get to talk to her quite regularly. Oh and i don't think we have won the premium bonds.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Wellington

Today is Tuesday and we have travelled all the way down to Wellington, we are here for two days then we catch the ferry to the South island.
We enjoyed our time in Rotorua especially during the day when we spent our time walking and looking at lovely warm water gushing from the ground and some very interesting hot water pools and strange landscapes, including boiling mud, the hotel we stayed in was also good. However being there over the week-end was not so good, because everything closed by 4pm on the Saturday afternoon and nothing much at all was open on the Sunday. Just like England 30 years ago. Anyway we then drove down to Napier on the coast which was just lovely and we really wished we had spent longer there, especially as we found the RSA there and had a full roast dinner for less than £10 each (with a pud as well!!!).We spent our day by the beach and walking through the 'art deco' town buildings, and this morning we woke up to the sound of the ocean outside our hotel.....just lovely and it was lovely and warm
Anyway today we travelled all the way down to Wellington and although the journey took 6 hours it was great until we hit Wellington and we spent the next couple of hours trapped in the one way system in the town trying to get to our hotel, we finally found the hotel tucked behind a back street.........quite a bit of domestic discussion during that time, which resulted in the Warden questioning my education and me his parentage.
Anyway we are here now and yes its raining, yes its windy, and yes its cold. Off to the free museum tomorrow then, oh and the free tour of the Parliament building as well (the Warden cannot wait!!).
I wonder if we have won the premium bonds?
Oh and our old tenant wants to pay us the money he owes us over 12 months.....grrr... the Warden is many things but 'Littlewoods Catalogue' he is not.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Rugby

I need a bit of advice, on how i should manage the Warden and the recent win in the rugby, given the fact we are in Rotorua for the next couple of days, anyway as he is on his holidays he has been allowed to choose his own things to wear and dear reader you guessed it he is sporting his England cricket shirt brought by child no 2 as his outfit of choice today.
Anyway last night we went to a Maori concert which was just fantastic and we saw all the traditional dances including the 'Haka' i was just spell bound it was great. We also had supper at the venue cooked in the traditional way.....not sure about the tin foil covering the potatoes but perhaps they discovered it before Tesco's.
Today has been the grand parade with Father Christmas and as you can see from the photo he is here even in the sun. It is really strange to see all the Christmas decorations up while it is so sunny and warm. Oh and another worrying aspect is there does not seem to be any Christmas presents in the Wardens luggage.
Anyway off to see the hot thermal springs today.......Oh and bad news on the RSA's today is Sunday and they are not open on a Sunday so no cheap grub today.

He's here!!!

Okay i'm scared!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Rain

Yep guess.... what woke up this morning to that very familiar sound....Rain. It has rained for most of the day and just to top it off New Zealand is going to enjoy a unusual cold snap this week-end, oh goody goody. Please don't laugh all those of you in GB, i am told it is not normally this cold and wet at this time of the year so it should get better. Must be the Wardens curse...remember Devon?
Anyway on a lighter note we had a good day, we walked to a wonderful beach in the morning and this afternoon we took a boat trip out to the 'hole in the wall' and spent a very nice hour or so watch dolphins swimming in the sea.
We have also made a bit of a find, following a recommendation from the young man in the Catholic mission yesterday we have eaten for the last 2 nights in the local x serviceman club which serves fresh home cooked food at a fraction of the price in the local hotels or restaurants. They are apparently all over NZ and OZ so a good place to eat all round, and well known to seasoned travellers.
Leaving Russell tomorrow so a new adventure begins

Today was all about culture

Today was our first full day in Russell which is in the Bay of Islands, so me and him decided we would explore the area on foot then hop on a ferry after lunch and explore across the bay. So after a free breakfast, we slapped on the sun screen.....I'll just write that again ....we slapped on the sun screen and decided we would start at one end of Russell and off we went. First stop a Catholic mission building, and we were greeted by a lovely boy on the front desk who came from GB and asked us for 10 dollars each as an entrance fee..........not a good start to the day, however you may remember i talked the Warden into joining the National Trust in Devon..... so when the young man saw the look on the Wardens face when he was asked to part with money,  he asked if we were members of the National Trust, yes i cried and produced the cards and we got in for free. Result!!

The Warden in the garden of the Mission



The Mission
It was fascinating in the mission they had a printing workshop, and a leather tannery, which was all to print leather bound bibles to give to the native population, we saw the tanning and book making process and all in all spent a lovely couple of hours. We then visited the oldest church in New Zealand, okay if you like churches but we are not really fans. After lunch we caught the ferry across to where the treaty was signed between the British and the Maori people which led to the birth of New Zealand as a country. The entry is free for all in New Zealand and us others have to pay. Not these others however, so we went to the cafe and had a cup of tea and a piece of cake, oh well the walk there and back was nice.
Old Bloke outside old church

View of where we are

Our gaff
Tomorrow we are off on a boat trip

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

And we are off

Well off we go on the next stage of the adventure. Me and the Warden left our home on Friday morning, it is locked away safely in a very large compound near Gatwick airport. The Warden does not like to be late so we arrived at Heathrow some 5 hours before take off, but the time was well spent as we walked around terminal 5 until we could check in our bags, no chance for DVT with us, i do have a few blisters though but i was told they didn't count and i should not have worn new shoes.
The first leg of the journey was to Hong-Kong and the flight was all right especially as we had booked our seats during the summer. I am always surprised at the food we eat on such journeys and even looked forward to breakfast ( how sad is that) The Warden didn't go a bundle on his so i helped him out. Breakfast is a recurring theme of our travels. The Warden is especially pleased when our hotel includes breakfast in our package, this enables him to make enough filled rolls to last us the rest of the day and saves his hard earned dosh, except at our hotel in Hong Kong i was given the job and according to him failed miserably as i didn't make enough, then failed to seek them out of the hotel properly and forgot to include bananas and then to top it off i dropped two of the rolls out in the street.....not good. Anyway at our hotel in Auckland we were back on cereal for breakfast so my training has had to wait.
We embarked on a city tour in Hong-Kong which was very good,except it rained all day and we were unable to see any of the views when they stopped the coach at various places. We did get to go on a boat around the harbour which was interesting to look at all the fishing communities who live on their boats.
We flew out of Hong Kong for another overnight flight to Sydney and then a connecting flight to Auckland which took up the night and much of the following day, so when we arrived in Auckland we were very very tired. After a good nights sleep and good old fashion cereal for breakfast we made a packed lunch, picked up the hire car and took to the open road towards Russell in the 'Bay of Islands'.......to be continued

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Christmas week-end

Me and the Warden have been staying with Amanda and Richard for a early Christmas week-end. We had the very best time. Rich cooked Christmas lunch with all the trimmings with special cheese-cake for pudding. Our Mand cooked all the Sharpe traditional fare including very special sausage rolls which even the Warden had to agree knocked his into a cocked hat. Anyway we had a fab time, we were very good and ate everything that was put in front of us..... and came away with presents we are not allowed to open until Christmas morning which will be at the barrier reef in northern Australia for us!!!!
Well we are on the final count-down to the off. So we leave this camp site we are on (Milestone near Newark) which i have to say is one of the nicest sites we have stayed at for a long time and we start our journey towards London stopping on the way to say good-by to the parents and of course my Sister who i shall miss terribly while we are away.Oh and the Warden has another day of work to do......!!

Guess who?



My family out on our Boxing day walk


Them two

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Best bib and tucker

The Warden has been seen back in his suit and clutching a lap top and note pad and heading off to work. I laughed, only to be told that this week i will be mainly stuffing envelopes with invitations for organisations to view the new product he is helping to launch onto the market. This is not what i had in mind at all as it is our last week before our grand trip and i planned to scour the shops in an attempt to find stuff to take with me or at the very least fit after finding i have put on so much weight i can no longer get my leg in any of my shorts.!!!
So if any of you would like an exciting new machine that tests leaks in all sorts of items, please look on the DynaScan website and place an order, we then can sell up and make a fortune and the Warden can get back to what he loves best driving the tractor around site, cutting grass and emptying the rubbish bins.
We have had just the very best time while we have been back in the shire. People have been so kind, we have been invited out for meals,coffee, week-ends away (which is why i cannot get into my shorts i suppose). However a minor blip is that i did loose money this week end, playing dominoes so i am very focused on practising before we meet our dear friends Ray and Barbara again in Florida in January and play again, especially the new card game they taught us this week-end.
So we are on the final count down, we have Christmas day with Mand and Rich this coming week-end (no chance i can get my money back playing dominoes with them they flatly refuse), and then we have to take the motor home for some minor repairs before returning back to Cambridgeshire for Dentist and Doctors before heading off to London to place the motor home in storage. Getting very excited now

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Maintainence

This week has really flown by and me and the Warden are having to set our alarm clock and get up at the most un godly hour of 7.30am just to cram everything into the day. I had not appreciated the amount of maintainence i require just to keep looking as stunning as i do (imagine dear reader what i would look like if i did'nt), also we are straight back in the middle of daily living. Sorting out issues of non payment of rent in one of our houses grrrrr. Catching 80 year old parents in the act of complete furniture removals grrr, funny how things change, you know when they have been up to no good, when you walk through the front door and they are both grinning and the house looks completely different, or there is a tell tale throw away line 'Dad has just been preparing for the loft insulation'!!!!! the mind boggles.
One of the lovely things though is catching up with all friends and the diary is filling up with lunch dates and evenings out. Lovely less cooking for us. Well when i say us i really mean the Warden
We have also stumbled on a good cause in the village which we feel would be a lasting memory to James, the village is embarking on a tree planting scheme so we are going to support this venture in memory of our boy, and if i can get my self organised i may look for sponsorship for this when we climb Sidney harbour bridge, which is something i am doing as part of my personal journey as James Sharpes mum.The Warden is doing it because i booked it and told him (he hates heights!!!).Hey Ho.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Sharpes have landed

What a week we have had, we spent two days at the motor-home show. One day with Sister and John, and one day with our friends Sharon and Mike. We haven't seen them since they left their site so it was smashing to catch up before they head off to complete a winter contract 'up north' somewhere. Forgot where Sharon said now, but i do know their next summer contract is in Wales so i was paying attention at some point.
We didn't find anything we liked better than the tour bus at the show which is just as well being we are broke now, but had lots of fun looking.
We then went up to our next site which is in Derbyshire and is one of our favourite sites. It is a new site, with lots of hard standings and not much grass. The Warden was very worried before we got there because he was concerned we would not get the 'tour bus' in the compound, so it was with much relief he got out his tape measure and decided we would get the bus in quite easily. The facilities in our compound are going to be fantastic, the Caravan Club employees among you will recognise my excitement at having a bath and shower in the bathroom and above all the sink and cooking facilities in the garage conversion. Dear reader i cannot emphasise too strongly the luxury our new site will offer us. No more running across the car park to reach my bathroom while in my PJ's for me!!!!
The new Wardens are lovely though i may have blotted my copy book when i couldn't operate the barrier card and my new Warden had to come and rescue me, (my old Warden would certainly have a comment to make, i just couldn't put it into words here!!)
We are now back in Willingham, we are in the local caravan park,which is okay but you certainly know the difference between these type of sites and ours.
The downside of this life-style of ours is where to do the washing, hand washing is not an option for me,as it ruins the nails, also the cleanliness of some of the washing machines on sites often leaves much to be desired, so today i sneaked into my Mum and Dad's house with a chicken under my arm with the pre-text of cooking their Sunday dinner while stuffing all mine and the Wardens smalls in their washing machine. Result lovely clean washing dried on the line and a lovely roast dinner all in one day. Smashing.!!!!
Busy week next week......Dentist, Hairdressers, Fitness classes, All body waxing and various treatments for me, and the Warden is going to work!!!!!! Oh and he is playing golf two days so really only going for three days. Plus catching up with all friends and family we haven't seen since March........Oh and i am on a diet.(well when i have eaten all the crisps in the cupboard)  Watch this space.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Oxford or Cambridge

We are on a weeks R&R with Sister and John and we have had some smashing days out. We went to Oxford one day and took the tour bus round. No we didn't take our tour bus but the official Oxford city tour bus. The only problem was it was so cold i made the Warden sit downstairs which hindered the view a little. We all decided that Oxford is not a patch on Cambridge, though there are one or two nice places in Oxford Cambridge wins for us hands down.
We have also visited some lovely Cotswold market towns, the houses in places such as Broadway are just stunning, and the little shops are delightful as you see things you would never see in many of our larger cities. We did get a bit stuck in Broadway as the buses were few and far between, so to keep out of the rain we spent a happy hour in a local pub.
All in all the scenery and the buildings in this area of the Cotswold is worth every penny. Broughton on the Water was another day out, and again a pleasure to wander up and down the streets along side the river/streams which runs through the town. What amazed me the most was how clean the stream was, with not a bit of litter or a shopping trolley to be seen any way near the water let alone in it.
Today we went to Warwick which again had some fantastic medieval houses and we made our way up to the castle, which dear reader was as far as we got, because the price to get into the castle was very very expensive and quite out of reach of a couple of Caravan Club Wardens. Needless to say we spent a merry hour grumbling between us on the cost of a day out for any family and threatened to write to all and sundry to complain, then the man who drove us home on the water taxi told us it was owned by a company in Dubai so there will be no joy with that campaign i fear.
Anyway off to the Motor-home show tomorrow..........i know we have just brought a new one but we need a flat hose

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Elvis's Tour Bus

Well we went and did it. The Warden and me have updated the mobile accommodation and we now have a tour bus, (this is in keeping with the names we have for our motor-homes as our first one was known as Elvis, so this one is Elvis's Tour Bus)
The first photo is the posh side of the tour bus and the second photo is its less glamorous side with the Wardens washing and collection of beers both on full view. This is not as bad as it could be because just out of camera shot is John's satellite dish which really does make it look like a 'traveller encampment'.
Getting the new motor was not free from stress, as the day started out with us having our first booking at Bladen Chains Caravan Club site cancelled. (being Wardens was no help there then) and when we took our old van in for its part exchange the salesman found damp and requested more money.......Now at this point the Warden carefully explained leaning over the desk that he was paying no more money. Me, Manda and Richard slid away at this point.......however he got his message across and not a further sheckle was given in the exchange.We then spent a happy hour with all our worldly goods in the car park as we transferred from one van to the other. You will understand why me and the Warden took to strong drink in the evening.

The posh side of the Tour Bus

The not so posh side

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Final Count Down

So here are the stats for the final countdown before me and the Warden head off into the distance to meet up with Sister and John for a spot of R&R.
5 more days at work
5 more toilet block cleaning sessions
5 more bin runs (only for the Warden i do not do rubbish or dog bins!!!)
The awning is nearly dismantled, most of the items from the cupboards in the awning have been packed into boxes, most of our uniforms have been washed and packed away ready for next season, and i have nearly painted every piece of wood i can find around the site a lovely shade of Caravan Club green.
We were really sad to hear one of our friends Marilyn died this week. There is'nt any thing one can add to that except how difficult to express such sadness in any words that describe the true meaning.
Oh and we have brought a new motor-home, slightly bigger than the one we have now, and build to survive temperatures of -20. It have a large island bed in the bedroom and plush leather seats in the lounge part. I am not sure what is in the kitchen and as i do not cook at all i may never explore this area in any great detail.I expect the Warden will though! I have decided to continue with the Elvis theme and this motor-home is fondly called 'the tour bus'.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Cows

Now i may not have discussed this before but me and my sister do not do cows, we do not like them, we understand it to be true that they do in-fact eat people and we will not under any circumstances walk through a field of them. So today me and the Warden did another section of the coastal path and were going great guns until we crossed into National Trust country (you will remember we are now members) and before us were cows with horns which were at least 2 foot in diameter on each side of their heads, so i made him turn round and walk home again, he offered to hold my hand, and place a bag over my head while we walked through but i was having none of it. Anyway we stopped on a large rock to eat our lunch, and the photo below shows the Warden eating his cheese and marmite sandwich, and yes before you ask why were my shorts lying on the rock...........just getting my legs brown in the sun, as i said to him no one is interested in a middle aged women lying on a rock in their pants.
The Warden eating his lunch with the view of where we are staying in the background

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Lands End

Well we are on the count downwards for finishing our first year. What a season, learnt so much, spent very little money, made some very special friends, met some really interesting people, seen some wonderful places, and above all have not killed the Warden even though there have been times when i could have strangled him, especially when the rain was so bad at times we were stuck in the office together for hours on end.Mind you i think he may have felt the same about me!!!! but i am not admitting that fact.
We have had a couple of days off so me and the Warden packed up the motor and travelled down to Lands End. We are on a private camp site overlooking the sea and the views are just fantastic. However i did have to stop the Warden commenting on how some of the campers have parked, or how fast some people drive into the site and i did have to stop him telling some-one in the tent field to put their dog on a lead (all Caravan Club site do's and dont's) not that he is above the rules as i reminded him, he has parked our motor the wrong way round, but all he said was 'I'm not moving again' hey ho.
So today we walked to Lands End and as you can see from the photo the sun was actually shining. I quite like the photo because i do feel my arms are in better shape which i expect is down to all the toilet cleaning and hedge cuttings i have been raking lately.......still not sure why i still only get to do the clearing up while the Warden does the hedge cutting........

Me and the Warden at Lands End



Monday, 10 September 2012

More important news

Today we heard we are off to Poolsbrooke, for our next contract with the Caravan Club,which is just fantastic. We have had the most fantastic time here in Devon with our wonderful Wardens Michael and Marilyn, but the weather has just been shocking, so really please not to be coming back this way next year. It means we are only 30 mins away from Mand and Rich (their lucky!!!) and a couple of hours away from the rest of the family and friends.
I know i was hoping for London but maybe we can do that another time. I love that part of Derbyshire and there are so many lovely places to visit and walks to do......really brilliant, it also means i get to see Mand lots which has to be good.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Days off and important news

The Warden on the beach on our last day off
 Now the Warden does not do sand, and in fact has been known to stand fully clothed on the prom while me, James and Amanda play on the sand, so imagine my delight when we found this beach not far from us which has pebbles. So as long as i buy him a paper and he has his ipod, i manage to get a day sunbathing. Note the picnic bag with our packed lunch with fabulous sandwiches made by the Warden (of course) from his home made bread

Beesands beach
Beesands beach

The next two pictures are the views from the beach as we sat in the sun. Anyway we had a fantastic day, then we went to our Warden friends for the evening and had supper followed by their attempt to win back some of the 38p we had managed to win when we last met and played dominoes, anyway they introduced us to a game called 'pigs' and needless to say we lost 4p.

The next piece of news is that on Monday we all hear where our next contract will be. They are sending out a generic spreadsheet with every-ones next contract. Me and the Warden do not really mind where we go next but we would really like to be a little nearer home, especially as my Dad has taken up sky diving off ladders and demolishing green houses while balancing on one leg cutting ivy from next doors walled garden. We are trying to encourage him to take up gentler hobbies now he is 83.

Oh and the next piece of really big news is the Warden is looking at big German built motor-homes. He thinks i don't know his game, this winter will be the first year he has not gone skiing, and i know his plan, if he has a bigger motor-home he can join his old pal Di on their annual skiing holiday, however dear reader i am one step ahead of him, if i plan it right, i get to keep the new motohome in this country and i will pack him off with the rest of them.....then a week of peace and quiet for me!!!!! Thats more like it.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Here comes the sun....Here comes the sun

Well as we tell people who phone our site it has in fact rained here since March. I have grown webbed feet and the Warden is only ever seen out with his Wellingtons he brought from Mr Rudd, which was fraught with difficulty as he only had two pairs he could choose from at the time and one of the pairs were in fact both left footed. Anyway he is getting he use out of them.
I am however just a little fed up with watch the BBC weather forecast and seeing rain over Plymouth and sun over Willingham. Anyway we only have another month to go then we have finished this contract. We have requested to work slightly closer to home so we should hear around the middle of September if we have our desired location.
Today we had a really lovely day out at Antony, which is a rather nice house just the other side of Plymouth. We really have made good use of the National Trust membership. I did have one slight mis-hap in the big house....as i tripped on the carpet the guide gently but firmly asked me to be careful because if i tripped i could damage some of the furniture. The Warden walked off at this point, while i explained very carefully and quietly that i was more important actually than any old furniture (i am directly descended from the Tolpuddle Marchers so i find inherited wealth and all that goes with it difficult at the best of times, mind you it is just as well i was not around in that era as i would have been burnt at the stake at the very least).
Anyway we did have a couple of lovely days away from site last week and came back to Cambridge. As usual we packed so much in. We got to see Amanda and Rich in their new home. We manage to scrounge dinner from Mum and Dad. Supper from Liz and John and i also managed to meet up with a friend for lunch as well as squeeze in supper with four dear friends in the evening. Phew!!!! well back on the diet today.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Hedge cutting and daily bread

Today me and the Warden have had a super day we have been hedge cutting, i of course am the assistant and have to rake all the cuttings as he moves forward cutting and them we get to scrape them all together and put them in the trailer. Just think this time last year i was working in a hot office wearing nice shoes, now we get to work outside and my safety shoes well... I just look fetching......but we are very happy so that's all that matters
We only got soaked twice so all in all a good day. I felt my stomach muscles tighten with every pull of the rake so i am sure i was a size 8 by the time we were called in for tea, just a shame i had a cream tea, anyway i am off to Zumba tonight so i am sure i will work it off.
We had a really good week with Mand and Rich and the weather was kind to us and we even managed to eat outside on a couple of nights. The Warden refused to give up his bed for them this time so they had to sleep in the awning but they didn't seem to mind!!!1
Oh and we are having great success with the bread making which has been taken over by the Warden who is making all sorts of fancy breads, i knew baking him only wholemeal bread would get him to take a keen interest and take over the responsibility of the daily baking (those of you who know me well know i don't cook and i even expect him to leave me all my meals in the freezer if he goes away at all)
We did have a really good day out last week doing the Devon 'round robin' which means visiting key places using the bus, steam train and a river trip. The best part was the river trip from Dartmouth to Totnes, it was really beautiful and well worth going.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Good things about today

1. Today is James Sharpe's birthday and we celebrate the fact that we love him and are very pleased to be his Mum and Dad even if we would have liked him around for longer than he was.
2. The sun came out today and it was very hot and i am told it is staying for at least a couple of weeks.
3. Mand and Rich are coming to stay for a few days next week
4. I am arranging a holiday with my best..ist sister for when we finish on site
5. My Mum has got an abundance of runner beans and that means we will get some next time we are home (even if i have to ask her to freeze some for me.........she will have to do it because i got none of the broad beans this year!!!!!)
6. It is the Wardens birthday tomorrow (he cannot make his mind up what he wants as a present so i may just go ahead and get something for me.....well shame to miss a buying opportunity.
7. One of our campers left us some wine and chocolates....we used to get pressies like that in the Health Service years ago!!!!!
Anyway all in all....a good day. With a tiny black cloud!!!!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

School outing

Yesterday me and the Warden had our day off and we went to a lovely National Trust place called Landhydrock which was brilliant. The week before we went to the Eden project with our dear friends Ray and Barbara, which although we had a lovely day this was mainly due to the great company rather than what the Eden project had to offer. However it was interesting to note that Cornish Pasties in the restaurant at the Eden project was £6.00 yet in the cafe by the exit they were only £3.00. Guess where we had ours?. Anyway the Warden wanted pasties for his packed lunch yesterday so we stopped off at Looe first thing to stock up before hitting Landhydrock.
Well today we heard the weather is on the change so we are hoping for lots of sun which will be good as Mand and Rich are coming to stay next week. Oh and we have had our contract extended so we are now working till the 2nd week in October, so the Warden is pleased as we have five months with out pay while we are off travelling!!!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The boys in the hood


We have a new addition to our family and before you all start sending us congratulations on being Grand-Parents i had better explain.
This is Trevor or Trevour to his friends. He is a travel bear and came to us from my Sister in Suffolk. He has already been to Saffron Walden, and to the Ladies tennis semi-final at Wimbledon and now he lives with us in Devon

Trevor (Trevour) on arrival


Trevor ready to welcome guests

Trevor learning to operate the Wardens tractor
Anyway Trevor has joined the gang so he is coming with us to the Eden Project tomorrow and who knows where else!!! He will need a passport to join us on our trip to Australia so its all go here on site now making the necessary arrangements. Also i am very glad to report no further toad incidents, oh and the sun came out today!!!!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Reptiles

I have reached crisis point and have told the Warden i am off. I found the biggest toad in our awning yesterday it was as big as a dinner plate. Now i do not do reptiles, i have had to work with them in the past, especially in my last job but i refuse point blank to living with them. The Warden took no notice of my plight and reminded me our site is famous for being a bio-diversity site and gently encouraged the creature into the hedge. Anyway i am on toad alert big time.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

We are borrowing a snorkel

Well our fellow Warden friends are buying snorkels to help them on their site, so i have asked if i can borrow them, so that the Warden can continue to build his ark to rescue all the animals and campers we have on our site as well, now we are back to work after our days off. We have just returned from a visit to Sheffield to catch up with child no 2, and yes you guessed it it rained there as well, but it was lovely to see her and Rich.
The good news is that the Warden has agreed to complete a balloon ride over the rain forest (get the link!) when we are at the great barrier reef in Australia in December, so i have quickly booked this for Christmas Eve as well as another trip he doesn't know about yet which will take us into the rain forest on one of their famous railways.....getting a little excited now especially as some-one told me the sun shines in Australia at that time of the year.
So back to work and going to experiment with the bread maker this week so that is something to look forward to, also have our monthly assessment meeting this week, and i am hoping the recent praise about my tractor driving is going to work in my favour and the fact i lost a set of campers on the admission board is going to be over-looked!!!!. Anyway the Warden continues to shine, although he did get told off for not wearing his high' vis vest' on the tractor.....i did chuckle!!!.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Just so you know

Just so you know we had our additional tractor training on Friday and the man said i was the best lady Warden at tractor driving and grass cutting he had seen in the 4 years he had been doing the training. The Warden is reeling from the shock but i feel a little smug.
The bread maker came today so off to experiment with baking our fresh bread, the Warden has worked out it will take two years to pay for itself taking into account the cost of a loaf of bread he can get from the co-op verses the cost of the bread maker.....he has no soul.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Urgent Update

Those of you who have been following us here on the blog will know there have been issues with me and the tractor driving, first during our induction training and then again the other week when the lead Warden tried to teach me to drive the large tractor to cut the play field.
Anyway I have just received a phone call from the trainers to say they are coming on site tomorrow to continue our equipment training which dear reader includes tractor driving!!!!!
What can I be ill with?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Summer Clothing

It is time for me to discuss the issue of clothing. Being a girl i love to go shopping for clothes and remember with envy when i was 15 that my dear friend Rowena used to have a clothing allowance, which she spent at a particular shop in Cambridge which is now a building society (she obviously didn't spend enough) So when we started this job i was very excited to receive the free uniform. We get long trousers.....short trousers...polo shirts....sweat shirts and the most unshapely fleece you have ever seen, all of which are in green with the appropriate trim, so dear reader what i want to know is why do i only get to wear my long trousers and polo shirts and only mange to do with-out my fleece once or twice in the week; it is the middle of June and as i look out of the awning it is raining again!!!!!!! The toilet block is going to be unspeakable at cleaning tomorrow when every one has trodden mud in again. Hey Ho, but i really do want to wear my shorts.
However on the positive this new way of life has meant i have lost weight so at my parents 60th Wedding party this week-end i managed to get into a dress which has to be a result. Oh and we got to see our Mand and Rich again so that's always a bonus.

Mum and Dad relaxing before 50+ family turn up wanting food (mainly cherry pie)

We stayed with my Sister for three nights which was fab and great to catch up with her, we then stayed a night with our dear friends Ray and Barbara which was a real treat, and all i have to say is the Warden had quite a few treats while he was there and as a result blamed this on his performance the next day on the golf course, not the wine or beer. Anyway we are back to work now and the site is getting quite busy so all we need is the sun and all will be well.





Sunday, 10 June 2012

Royalty

This past week has been very eventful. First our Mand and Rich came to stay for the week and we just loved having them. Secondly we had our Jubilee celebrations here on site and Paul wiped the board with his face painting stall. I had a 'win a lolly' stall which didn't do quite as well, mainly because one rotten grandfather cheated so that his granddaughter could win each time she had a go grrrr.

Paul with his first customer

Mand painting her Dad

Boys at work








































Anyway Paul has quite a talent at face painting and most of the site were seen walking round as tigers.

I'm a tiger...I'm a tiger


We went away to Tintagel during the week and stayed in a lovely B&B called the Coach House at Boscastle. Both Boscastle and Tintagel are lovely and well worth a visit, the weather was damp but we made the best of it.


Our two most favourite people
Anyway coming home next week end......cannot wait

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sharpe's update

I was telling my sister on the phone last night we had moved the awning round and I had started gardening. Well I brought three mauve pots so she said well you had better put the pictures on the blog so I have.
This is the view we get every day as we go about our daily jobs
This is the view of my garden (okay not quite RHS)

This is our kitchen in the awning

And this is the Warden watching live footie (i have been chucked out into the motor)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

James Edward Sharpe

James belongs in our blog because he is our son and even though it is 11 years since he was killed in a road traffic accident there is not a day that goes by with-out Me, or his Dad, or his Sister,or his Grandparents or his Aunties and Uncles thinking about him. That's all i wanted to say.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Olympic Torch

Today the Olympic torch came through Modbury (where we are living at the moment) so we went down to see the torch come through the town. The torch came through very quickly and surprise surprise they ran through the town with it so it was over very quickly. The police convoy though took ages to come through, just think of all that overtime!!!

Anyway here is Paul waiting
 And here is the torch

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Toilets

Now dear reader a great deal of Wardens time is spent dealing with the toilets, cleaning, re-stocking, re-cleaning after the great British public have walked over the clean wet floors with their muddy boots, picking up the toilet roll after the same people have hurled it across the floor, shutting the doors to keep the heat in and of course opening the doors when...........!!!!!!! and I have to say I don't mind them at all
But today took the role to new heights, today I did the bin run. This involves driving the big tractor around the site and making sure all the service points are clean and emptying the bins. Also the same members of the public also throw away such amazing things. Today we collected an old fire, two deck chairs and a airer. What we are supposed to do with these items i do not know, but i do know we are not Bluntisham tip.
But the very worse thing i had to do was empty the dog bins, now i am not a dog person at all, but i managed to change the bag in each bin while holding my breath. Now that is a Nurse's training for you!!!!! Prepares you for anything

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

we are soggy

We are all a bit soggy at the moment with all the rain, well I am also a bit saggy but that is my age. However dear reader I am trying to do something about it I am attending a boot camp in the village and i can still do 2mins of star jumps with out any accidents so i am quite pleased.
We have had a great week my sister who is also my best friend came to stay on site and we had a couple of days off and went exploring. We went to the sea, and ate fish and chips from a fantastic fish and chip shop which is called 'The Codfather', slightly more exotic than Besters fish and chip shop in Willingham, where we used to buy 3d worth of chips with crispy bits when we were kids, but the chips were just as tasty.We also went to Looe and had a lovely day just wandering about and sitting by the water.Oh and eating pasties.
We then had a wonderful day yesterday, our Warden mates came to visit for the day and we went to the sea and i even managed to take of my jumper and bare my arms (nicely toned from boot camp, as long as i keep them by my side) Anyway me and my friend are going to learn to surf. This is no 1 on the 20 new things we are going to do this season, no 2 may be struggle into a wet suit but we're not sure until we book our first lesson.
The rain is relentless, and we cannot understand why people with large caravans have to drive over our grass on their way to their hard standing pitch but all part of the job i suppose. Good job we have plenty of grass seed and me and Paul have perfected the art of treading in the ruts ....similar to going onto the pitch after a polo match the only difference is i am wearing my steel capped trainers and not designer heels!!!!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Sharpes take the plunge

We have taken the plunge and joined the National Trust. It did need some active discussion but once i argued the savings i recieved the go ahead. So we joined yesterday and then as it was our half day we went across Dartmoor to Lydford Gorge and had a wonderful walk to the gorge with the waterfalls which were spectactular after all the rain we have had here.
Paul at Lydford Gorge
Ang at the caldron !

Now there is a big development in the life of Sharpe and Sharpe Wardens, we have been left in charge while our Wardens have their days off. So far so good, it has done nothing but rain all day so we have had to sit in the office till 5pm then we have managed a walk round the site, me in my most fetching orange reflective waterproof coat.

Really looking forward to this week as my Sister comes this week and there is the promise of warmer weather ahead.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Turning the water into wine

Those of you who know me well will know i am not religious, (sorry Mrs Rock my Sunday school teacher) but events surrounding my James has played a huge part in my beliefs. However when the constant rain we have been experiencing causes me to get up in the night and pour myself a drink from the fridge of what i thought was water and turned out to be my favourite wine......well what is a girl to do.....slept divinely for the rest of the night though, well it was a tumbler full.
The wind and rain have really been dreadful, lucky the awning has survived so far which is down to Paul's skill in developing the most interesting 'trigs' to hold everything in place (younger members of the family will need to ask Granddad Curtis about 'trigs')
On our last day off we went along the coast line to Dartmouth, and it was delightful. The mediaeval buildings around the harbour are fantastic, and the many boats moving in and out of the harbour are wonderful. We spent a good hour sitting in the sun by the harbour just watching the boats go out to sea and treated ourselves to an ice-cream. There is also a steam train which we will explore when Liz and John come to say, and some interesting river and sea trips to try.
We also found a sleepy fishing village by the sea on our way to Dartmouth, and there was a shack by the sea selling Cornish pasty and fresh dressed crab. We brought some of each for our tea, guess who had the health fish and who had the pie!!!
Well back to work now, and we are working on our own for a few days while our Wardens go away for some well deserved R&R. Just as well really co's it gives me time to replace all the toffee's i stuffed today from the welcome dish we offer members when they arrive. Hey ho it could have been worse it could have been ginger nut biscuits.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Its all about Tesco and Marmite

Tesco featured very heavily in the world of Sharpe's. As it was so cold and wet yesterday Paul and me went to Tesco's just because it was warm, well as long as we didn't stay down the frozen food section for to long or for that matter the milk, cheese and yoghurt section as well.
I am also in charge of keeping an eye on the rise and the lots of falling of the Tesco shares ready for a very important Sharpe to cash in their investment, i may not shine as a investment advisor at the rate we are going but i have fun looking every day.
Today was our day off proper so we went to Looe which was lovely, we had our packed lunch (we know how to live) on the quay looking over the beach across to the sea. I had cheese, Marmite and cucumber which reminded me of Sunday school outings to Hunstanton so that prompted me to ring Mum and Dad to say hello, which i try to do on our day off each week. Mum has been as busy as ever and proceeded to tell me of her trip out to a very unsavoury part of London for the day collecting material from her craft work. She then gave us a task of collecting all types of flotsam and jetsam from all the beaches we visit ready for her to use on her summer school. Now Paul hates sand with a passion, and the last thing i will get him to do is roll up his trousers and paddle about in rock pools looking for seaweed. Down to me then. Oh well my Sister can help when she comes down to stay.....he...he

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Rubbish

This is about rubbish: Paul mentioned that up to a month ago his role involved meeting ambassadors from many different countries, members of parliament and other civil dignitaries often over lunch or in the evening at dinner, and today his role involved upside down in the waste skips emptying large amounts of filled rubbish bags into the large skip ready for the waste tanker to empty this morning. Happy days

This is not rubbish: Me and my Mand at the Tower of London. Also the sun is shining and we have spent the afternoon outside cutting grass. Also Paul had an ice cream from the shop........What you may ask what did he do with the wrapper, put it in the new empty industrial sized skip we have on site of course.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


This is me.....i know you wouldn't have guessed....We went to Plymouth on our day off this week and had a wonderful time. We parked at Mount Battern and took the water taxi across to the harbour, we ate our sandwiches looking at all the lovely boats and enjoyed the fantastic views and the wonderful sunshine. I am standing on the spot the Pilgrim Fathers left Plymouth for America in 1620. We are also making our annual pilgrimage there in January when we go and stay in Florida after our big trip so thought it was appropriate.  Thought about our James again while we were there as him and his Dad took in Plymouth on their cricket playing days.
Oh and we also had a 'Mr Wippy' ice cream.
Had a great day at work today, the sun shone, and i managed to order something on line from the purchasing department......the young girl in the purchasing department was ever so helpful and took the time to ring me to check if i really meant to order 100 window catches or did i really mean just 10. I said 10 would be fine, and she promised not to tell the Warden!!!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Damp and wet grass

Okay the not so nice about our new life. Cleaning the toilet block in the driving rain when every one has trampled grass into the building. However the good thing was our Wardens gave us both an Easter egg, which dear reader is more than we got from our remaining child and her partner, who when challenged about the lack of said Easter egg for her hard working parents replied......you are on a diet!!!! and i got told off for eating fish and chips.
Finally many apologies to our friends Ray and Barbara as we were cut off doing a Skype session, the internet connection in this part of the world is very hit and miss, as is the night call system on site (hey ho), nearly as bad as being a Community Midwife when we used to get sent out with no mobile phones or radios and you had to remember to take coins for the public phone box if you had an emergency....happy days

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Hair straighteners or hot brush

Right we have been living full time in the motor for 2 months and it is time to get serious. What does a girl do to avoid 'caravan hair'. As my working life has changed i have found it very difficult to get into a routine with doing my hair. Make-up is okay but hair... nightmare. So i took advice. My sister swears by a hot brush and Manda uses straighteners, well i tried a hot brush and i am rubbish so straighteners have won. Anyone want to buy a hot brush one owner and used very little.
We had a half day today and Paul spent all afternoon taking the awning to bits and moving it. Even a marriage that has lasted 34years cannot stand up to issues with an awning. I ask you would you like all your possessions out on the road for all the campers to see? Anyway we are settled again now and it is very cosy and we are making full use of the space.
All in all it is working out very well living in our van, lets see how we get on when Mand and Rich come to stay

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Windy cold and a little damp

What a difference a week makes. Today was our day off and we decided to explore Torquay and before i start dear reader you have to remember today was cold windy and sometimes a little damp so it did cloud (excuse the pun) the day somewhat. I am sure some people have a fantastic time at Torquay Sharpie and me are not those people and may not visit again. We found it very dismal and at times tacky. We were also a little sad as Paul remembered times past when him and James played cricket there, and one time in particular when they stood together and watch the total eclipse which happened years ago. I also remember it, but i was at work at the Rosie hospital not messing around playing cricket!!!!
We then went the Painton (didn't stop) and quite frankly quite glad to get home. Well we had to explore that part of the coast and we have decided we may join the National Trust and try and plan our days off a bit more. Unless it is blistering hot then we will just head for our local beach which is stunning.
And to finish our Adds found this photo of more 'sharpes on tour' and i had to share this with you.This could be us next year, especially if we start gathering stuff again.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

IT help desk

Yes it had to happen today we were left in charge. Well i think Paul was really left in charge and I brought up the rear. This is totally and utterly due to the fact he cut the whole playing field and therefore is 'top dog'  which I feel is a bit unfair as it is very difficult to shine when you are only pulling up weeds. (even though they are very difficult weeds. Any way all went well until it came to the end of the day and i had to complete the end of day report and print out the said copy. Yes you guessed it it didn't work and after all my years experience in IT I phoned the IT help desk. They are brilliant and the gentleman was so helpful and i was really enjoying talking to them until.......you guessed it I had let the printer run out of paper which is why I could not print.......do you think this is why Paul was left in charge?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sun sea and sandwiches

Today was what this change of lifestyle was all about. It was our first whole day off and we went to the seaside which is about 4 miles from site. We walked along the cliffs and found several secluded beaches along the way, we stopped and eat our sandwiches looking over the most fantastic beach and views possible. The sun shone and we both have turned a nice shade of pink. Paul doesn't do sand so sat on the rocks, i striped down to my vest and pants (not a pretty sight but the beach was deserted) and had a small nap lying on the sand
The views from the cliffs were amazing and we loved looking at how the way the cliffs had been formed millions of years ago by pushing up the mud and slit to give the most fantastic formations. We also spent some time watching the surfers crashing through the waves. All in all a very good day. Back to work tomorrow

Friday, 23 March 2012

Oh how the mighty

Just to say yesterday talking about New Year in Sidney, today sweeping the roads (around the site) still loving it though!!!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sidney for new year

We have had full conformation about every part of our trip. Leaving London at the end of November first stop Hong Kong then Auckland via Sidney. We have three weeks travelling in New Zealand, we were offered a camper van for this part of the trip,but i think we will be sick to death of living in one by then, so it is car hire and Motel/Hotel, based (of course) around Paul's budget restrictions. We then fly to Australia and travel to the Red Centre for three/four days, then up to the Barrier Reef area (Port Douglas) for a week over Christmas. We then travel down to Sidney in time for New Year (really excited about that) and we have booked to 'walk the Sidney Harbour bridge' while we are there. We then fly on to New Orleans for three days then hire a car to drive round to Ray and Barbara in Tampa Florida for a couple of weeks R&R. We also get to eat at Coady's which is always a bonus especially with the rum runners you get with your meal there.
After all this we fly home and by then we will be missing our Mand very much and will be very pleased to see her and our Richard, and of course use her washing machine for our heaps of dirty washing we collect on our way around.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Water everywhere

Today was about water and orange trousers. It rained for most of the day and apparently this site is the wettest in the region, but it didn't matter because today's job was scrubbing the drains and the service points. I was in charge of the hose pipe and Paul was in charge of me........there were time when both connected and unfortunately Paul got wet!!!!. It is a complete amazement to us both that at the end of the day we took immense pride in the gleaming drains all ready for the members to use.
We both wore our reflective orange trousers and jackets for this task but I do have to say I looked quite fetching in mine and even the volunteer on our site was overcome by the sight (in a good way I am sure). Lets hope the sun comes out tomorrow.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Guess what

Today was brilliant I learnt so much. I spent some time in the office and did some 'on line' ordering, then despite my dismal performance on the tractors and other equipment during the induction i was allowed to do some mowing, and i have to say it I felt I was just brilliant. Paul gets to use the huge ride on mowers and every-one says he is doing a wonderful job making the site look so pretty. I only had to be corrected twice on my mowing technique and i am sure it was not punishment that i was sent to hand mow the back of the toilet block
The sun shone all day today and I think I have a bit of a sun tan!!!! Not sure I have lost any weight yet but we have our proper uniform now and tonight we are having a grand trying on session. Why do I have a sinking feeling?

Friday, 16 March 2012

On site

Got on site yesterday lunch time and met the team we will be working with. We have our own compound and shower room and garage, but we have parked on the road by the reception at the moment because we need to spend our time getting the site ready for the opening next week, before we can think of getting ourselves sorted.
Our first night we went out for supper to a lovely bistro but tonight we cracked open the pasta sauce and eat in the van. Today was our first full day on the site and i learnt how to check and open up the bollards ready for the caravans and motor homes to connect up for electric. We also started on the toilet block and Paul spent all day cutting grass which made the site look so much better. We feel very tired this evening, but we have had fun, and are looking forward to our first day off (even though we are not sure when that will be) and exploring the area.
Every one at home seems to be okay so all is well

The fourth and final day

The last day was devoted to first aid, some of you may think that being a Nurse and Midwife helps you with first aid but this is not so, people such as me are usually useless. So for me the sessions were fantastic, we learnt all about 'little sick' cut fingers and the like. 'middle sick', such as broken limbs, and then 'big sick' heart attacks and conditions such as stroke. We all got to practice, and i was so grateful for the experts in first aid when Paul dislocated my shoulder putting me in the recovery position during one of our practice sessions.
It was quite sad to say goodbye to all the new people we had met on the course but we were all very excited to leave and start our new positions.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Day 3 of the induction

We are have just completed day 3 of our induction. Yesterday we had the whole day training on the equipment we will be using on site. I am fabulous at driving a tractor and mower forwards but completely rubbish at driving the tractor and trailer backwards. I feel this may be identified as a development need on my personal development plan!!!. Paul of course could do everything perfectly.
We have frequent food breaks during the day and wonderful evening meals, I am trying very hard not to eat to much, I am not sure how long I can hold out though. Paul has not given himself this stress
We travel to site on Thursday, and then set up our camp. We are painfully aware that people are much more organised then us, and have all sorts of 'kit' for this lifestyle, so we may need to visit a Tesco extra on the way down to site. What is a halogen oven anyway? does any-one know? and what do I do with it if I find one?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

We are on our way

Finally got packed and away from the pension house at lunch time. Both the car and the motor home are stuffed full of stuff. We counted we have taken 8 chairs with us which is a little excessive i know but they do all match!!! We are now in Chatsworth awaiting the arrival of Manda and Rich with our tea (this is more like it!!!) we have moved the boxes out of the way so we can at least sit down to eat. Oh and I have managed to find the wine
Update on motor home, all is now well after a trip to the garage, the on board computer has been re-set and all now seems to be working. We are also contacting Trail finders tomorrow to give the go ahead to the Australia trip. We leave in November and will take in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, New Orleans, and Florida.
Just got a few months of hard work to do first!!!
Now thank you to every-one who has offered us a bed, bath and hot meal in the months to come now we are homeless. We are being fair to you all and developing a rota as we speak, so you can all take it it turns.