Friends & Family

Original eh? But however reminiscent it may be of a time before all-inclusive minutes, it does provide a suitable title for my latest blog. We have of course been away in the caravan again, and whilst our latest trip was planned originally as  a chance to hook up with again with my cousin, some friends came along too and we  ended up with a very enjoyable mini meet. 20170527_112730

One of the ‘joy’s’ of living on the south coast is that to go virtually anywhere north you have to get around London – which for most means a soul destroying bumper to bumper crawl along the M25. However it wasn’t London’s orbital which halted our progress this time but the M11 – pretty much as soon as we’d turned off on to it. Traffic backed up to quickly and so we sat there edging forward every so often.

A few, who clearly felt queueing was beneath them saw fit to try and barge in just before the junction splits off to north and south bound. A large black German  4 x 4 (quelle surprise!) proceeded to force his way in in front of me. Having already let someone else in, I could have held my ground but felt a little disadvantaged with Patsy on the back. I reluctantly decided preserving the No Claims Discount was preferable to the more instant gratification of not allowing him space but I suspect had I not given way we would have been exchanging insurance details – and probably a few choice words too. Selfish arrogant prick. And breathe…..

Mr 4 x 4 was attracting the ire of other motorists too though as we had now come to a complete standstill, leaving him with a significant portion of his backside sticking out into the other lane and causing an obstruction to motorists heading north. His kids in the back must have been quite alarmed by the blasting of horns and whether this was what caused him to eventually change his mind and pull back out and head south I don’t know. What was amusing though, was that a few minutes later, we were on our way.

There was little else of note to report on the rest of the journey, however if you find yourselves on the A142 approaching Ely there is a railway bridge with just a 9 feet clearance. We assumed – correctly, thankfully that Patsy would easily clear it. However it wasn’t until I consulted the handbook later on that there was just 3 inches or 75mm to spare. A little too close for comfort! There is a fork that takes high vehicles across the tracks and if you are at all unsure – please use it!

Our destination was Lakeside Caravan Park near Downham Market in Norfolk and my cousin Andy and wife Janet were already installed on a lakeside pitch having arrived the day before. He’d chosen the site because of it’s five fishing lakes and first impressions were that it was a very attractive site. Busy though, not surprisingly given it was a bank holiday weekend. Friend Alison from Kent was to join us a short while later for a long weekend, followed a little while later by her son Adam and partner Jamie.

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Sunday would see the arrival of Andy’s youngest – Amanda and partner Tim, who, we were delighted to learn had set the date for their wedding next summer. Monday brought with it eldest daughter Sarah and husband Derek and kids Braydon and Esmae and their brand new tent. We set up a row of chairs and a camera and watched them make a mighty fine job of putting it up for the first time.

Andy & Janet’s pitch became the focal point with gatherings most nights for burnt offerings from the BBQ’s. The geese and their gaggle of goslings entertained us and it was great, just sitting and chatting whilst the sun went down.

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Regulars will know that on most of our trips, no sooner are the legs down then we are out and about sightseeing, camera in hand and long leather coat flapping. Outings were few and far between this time, not because there wasn’t much to see, but simply because it was just nice sitting round chatting, reading and snoozing whilst soaking up a few rays.

We did manage a couple of brief excursions though – the first being a couple of miles up the road to Denver Sluice – where five watercourses meet and whose management helps prevent the Fens from flooding. There has been a sluice here since 1651, built be a Dutchman Cornelius Vermuyden. The Fens like Holland is very flat and the Dutch certainly know a thing or two about land reclamation.

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Of no interest to us was the pub, right by the water but we felt, in the interests of research, obliged to take a look and in fact that night we all returned for a meal which seemed generally well received.

Our only other excursion from site – other than a couple of quick trips to see Trev’s Mum – was to Ely. Observant readers may remember we visited Ely on our 2016 Spring Twittercamp in Cambridge, but didn’t get much further than the very impressive cathedral. This time - keeping the water theme going - it was the riverside that was the interest and having not been – probably since childhood - Id forgotten what a lovely spot it was. We were just in time to catch a short cruise along the River Great Ouse (how very lyrical) on a lovely old boast with a friendly skipper and some informative and entertaining commentary. I like river trips because it can give you a more varied perspective on a place than just pounding the streets. At six quid for around half an hour it was good value – the company is Liberty Belle Cruises – and they offer other cruises too such as evening outings to riverside pubs. Hmm, Ely might be in for a return visit….

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And that was our time in Norfolk. Not the usual sightseeing photo laden blog but after a hectic Easter getaway up north and a busy period at work it was nice to kick back with family and friends. We loved the site too and it’s on the list for return visit as there’s much more around here to explore. If fancy it yourself check out our site arrival video on YouTube.

So, until next time, thanks as always for reading.

Cheers

Rich & Trev

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