Hitting the road (part one)

I’ve been a bit slack in updating my blog recently – what can I say?

We’ve been test driving/towing the caravan to make sure that when we flee these cold, wet shores for the summer we won’t make any huge mistakes/forget important things (like attaching the brake cables) when we hit Brittany and Spain.

We took our first trip to a lovely little campsite outside Tavistock – Woodovis Park – where the staff were friendly, helpful and reassuring to newbies like ourselves. This site is situated between Gunnislake and Tavistock and is a little jewel; it has everything you need – shop, clean, hot showers, washing machines and an indoor, heated, swimming pool. The only way in which the experience could have been improved would have been the weather, which had reverted to type and was wet, cold and windy. But we were snug, smug and warm.

The second part of our trip was to Trethewett Farm, a camp site between Boscastle and Tintagel, which saw me do my first drive towing a caravan. I managed to scare myself silly by driving through the twists, turns and steep hills of Gunnislake – not to be recommended for the faint of heart. Himself was ‘calm’ and ‘supportive’ through gritted teeth and white knuckles. When I finally managed to find a lay-by I couldn’t get out of the drivers’ seat fast enough. Himself took over.

We spent three nights at Trethewett Farm, two of which were more than a bit windy meaning our little Girl Dog slept on the pillows between us and I didn’t sleep at all worrying about flying off with a gust of wind and sailing down the North Coast of Cornwall.

I had actually forgotten how beautiful my county is; one of the drawbacks of being a native is you don’t get to do much sightseeing as you are either working or the county is full of tourists, the roads get clogged and parking is exorbitant – if you’re lucky enough to find it. To have the chance to explore it again has been lovely. I do love the North Coast with its mystical, wild and rocky coastline, fantastic surfing and gorgeous beaches, it beats the South Coast any day of the week.

The walks are spectacular too, we did the ‘easy’ route along the coast path into Boscastle (and saw a Chough!). I’m not sure I would have described it as ‘easy’ as some of it was more than a little challenging and had steps hewn into the cliffside to help out. These saw me crawling up them, breathless and quivering, desperately clinging to the grass at the side and with my eyes shut, as I’m not too fond of heights and there appeared to be a sheer drop into the boiling mass of sea down below. Himself told me off for being melodramatic. However, Boy Dog had to have a nap halfway through and then a carry up the steps, which I felt proved a point. However, finally getting into Boscastle was worth it. I felt I had achieved a major breakthrough as for the last three years at least I have been unable to walk more than half a mile without severe knee pain; my bionic knee is certainly working well!

Unfortunately, we’ve had to put off our trip to Asturias for a couple of weeks as, since the caravan trip, Boy Dog has become quite poorly. He’s very lethargic, drinking copiously, eating ferociously and gained 2 kg in a fortnight, which given he is a small terrier is quite significant. He doesn’t appear to be in any pain but he’s just lying around the house not engaging in anything at all. He’s at the Vets today for more blood tests, an ultrasound and X-Rays in the hopes we can find out what is the matter and make him better. Girl Dog is missing him. We are too.

                                 Tintagel to Boscastle

 The photo this week shows a view through the rocks on the Tintagel to Boscastle cliff path.  Many thanks to Himself  for the photograph.

A spring in my step

Well, it’s beginning to finally look like Spring is here. The sky this morning is a lovely china blue, with nary a cloud in sight, and when I took the dogs for their daily constitutional there was a hint of gentle warmth in the air, which is very welcome as for the last week we have had an Easterly wind which was bitingly cold. Things are looking up!

It’s been a busy week, starting last Friday (I know not strictly this week, but near enough) with the Daughter coming home for Easter carrying enough washing to start her own laundrette, an appetite for home cooking and a head full of her upcoming university Finals. She’s a great girl and is going to go far.  After she graduates she plans to move to Edinburgh to work for a while in the Voluntary Sector (paid work, I hope).

The dogs went crazy for her, the Boy Dog does a fantastic yodel, hitting several notes that have not yet been identified, and sets off around the house at high speed leaping stairs and humans alike in one bound. The Girl Dog wags her stumpy little tail until you think she’s going to take off and wears the biggest grin you can imagine all the time the Daughter is home. The house always feels that little bit emptier when she leaves – mainly because she has nicked my toiletries and clothes and been packed off with a kitchen full of food.

We also went out for dinner on Friday with some friends to a wonderful Nepalese restaurant, the Kathmandu Palace in Truro. The food is incredible and the staff knowledgeable, helpful and downright charming. Where else can you get them to add extra chillies to an already hot curry?

Monday saw the start of spring cleaning which, despite my best efforts at trying to wheedle my way out of it (tried it all…knee still not working properly, bad back, it’s too cold, can’t find the vacuum cleaner, it’s our wedding anniversary dammit…) but Himself was having none of it. I now have a sparkly kitchen where, get this, I can actually find things! Next up, the bedrooms…

I’ve spent a fair bit of time, too, playing with my new iPad. Now, I’m not a techie person and the only geekie stuff I’m into is sci-fi related – Star Trek, Dr Who, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaimon, Stargate – but I have become totally addicted to this thing. The sexy, slimline shape, the naughty speed with which it downloads stuff, the temptations of free apps….and, if I remember how to input the information properly each time it will also tell me where to be and at what time but without nagging! It even has a little man inside it to answer questions who doesn’t get offended if he’s ignored! Himself could learn from him.

http://www.kathmandupalace.co.uk

There’s a new haiku on the Writing page.

Spain 2011 017

The photo is of a storm coming up one of the valleys of the Picos de Europa.

Counting down the days….

It’s only another four weeks or so before we start our annual pilgrimage to our home in Asturias where we spend each summer. This is the time when I get over-excited about going and generally get on people’s nerves with my rhapsodising about the area in which we live.

Despite the fact that this is the fifth year we’ve properly done this there always seems to be more we need to take. Himself has been hitting eBay to provide the caravan with essential equipment (I’m not sure what’s going to turn up to be honest), working out how to transport said caravan and his beloved motorcycle along with two dogs and as many boxes of books, clothes, electrical widgets, food and wool as I can slip into the space available.

The dogs also need to be travel ready so it’s off to the Vet for their booster jabs and Rabies update and to make certain that we have enough Metacam to provide respite to the boy-dog’s arthritic shoulder until such time we can get to the local Vet.

Once my knee has been given the all-clear (not long now) I’m also shopping for the kitchen necessities that are either difficult to find, or downright expensive, out there – various curry pastes, Worthy Cheddar (a waxed cheese), PG Tips tea bags and 2 in 1 shampoo (it’s surprisingly hard to come by).

The one thing I have not been able to do is to physically go wool shopping and have been relying on the Internet (Deramores is brilliant), which is all well and good but means that Himself knows exactly how much wool is coming into the house and, given that last year I did go a bit crazy and built myself a moderate-sized wool mountain to take with us, means that if I don’t get to the postie first I end up being lectured on my profligate ways. However, my wool addiction is a lot less expensive than his motorbike addiction…as I frequently point out.

I’ve spent the last few days working on a couple of new pages to add to my blog you can find them at the top of this page labelled ‘Knitting’ and ‘Writing’. I’ve also added a short story, which I was lucky enough to get published by the One Million Stories project in 2010 and I hope you enjoy it.

www.worthycheddar.co.uk

www.deramores.com

www.millionstories.net

The photo is of Playa de la Andrin (Andrin Beach) near Llanes, Asturias.

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As Time Slips By

Funny how quickly time goes when you’re not really doing anything with it. Since being trapped in the house for extended periods of time and heavily reliant on the goodness of Himself in taking me out, I have noticed that one can potter around all day and not really achieve anything at all.  I mean, once I’ve checked my emails and Facebook for anything interesting and then read the paper online it’s time for lunch. A little trip in the car in the afternoon and maybe a gentle amble along a sea shore – by the way, I recommend Swanpool in Falmouth, nice flat walking around the nature reserve then treat yourself to a  hot chocolate and flapjack from the Beach Cafe (very yummy and very good value) – and it’s almost time for dinner.

However, all of this leisure time is coming to an end. I will soon be able to drive again and we are making plans for our trip to Spain. Which this year has involved the purchase of a 4 berth caravan to make the journey better and less stressful for our dogs. Seriously. They are getting older and find the 24 hour crossing from Plymouth to Santander on the ferry just too much.  So the plan is to use the caravan. Bear with me, it will work.

The plan is to take the ferry to Roscoff, it’s 6 hours. The dogs are allowed to remain in the car, which they like. We stop off to visit friends in Brittany and then take 3 or 4 days to travel to our home in Asturias. We all have a big adventure and the dogs are happy! Can’t wait!

Weed or flower?