Hello and welcome to another riveting blog documenting our fun packed summer tour of er, Cambridgeshire. As I type a traditional British summer is in full swing. The wind is howling and the rain is lashing against the van. Yes, one is feeling a little sarcastic this morning I’m afraid. Although I am impressed with the way in which the guy next door has taken down his awning this morning, despite the arctic conditions outside. So precise, methodical and controlled and any offers of help I am sure would be a hindrance. That’s my excuse for staying put in the warmth of Patsy anyway!
I’m having a day ‘off’ from visiting HRH in Addenbrookes today, but it looks like Trev may be there most of the day. He’s having a meeting with someone this afternoon about options for when Hilda is ready to be discharged. So things seem to be moving at last – probably so they can clash with our planned trip to Devon in a couple of weeks. Sorry, there I go again, grumpy cynical old git.
So, I’ve mentally composed a to do list for today. Writing this blog is one, so at least I’ve made a start. Getting the www.alearchive.uk up to date is another – there’s at least half a dozen beers to write up. Third is to spend some time learning some new video editing software, a trial of which I’ve downloaded. There’s some Site Arrival videos to prepare, the ‘van could do with a bit of a tidy up and I need a haircut. The clippers are charged and ready to go. Trouble is, none of them are urgent so a bit of self-motivation and discipline is needed or I’ll end up spending all day on Facebook and Twitter, interrupted by rather more frequently than desired trots to the toilet thanks to a pint last night which was most definitely past it’s best.
Right, enough of the whinging. Probably. Those who’ve followed our exploits on social media will know that there has been some events of note to report since my last missive other than visits to Addenbrookes hospital and pubs various. Here we go.
Last Monday, when we were still at Lynchets Farm, I woke to hear the idle of an unfamiliar diesel engine on site. Being naturally nosey and wondering if was a very early arrival, I raised the blind on the door to have look, only to discover an ambulance outside one of our neighbours. It transpired that the gentleman - Donald - had had severe chest pains and feared a heart attack. They stabilised him but decided a visit to hospital was necessary and whisked him off, not to Addenbrookes but Stevenage. His wife Pamela elected to follow in the car but there was a third party to consider – a 13 year old Jack Russell shaped object by the name of Alfie. Knowing from experience that Pamela likely had a long day a head, I offered to look after Alfie. I should point out right now that my offer was in no way made in the knowledge that I would be unable to visit HRH in hospital that day. Whatsoever. At all. Honest!
Anyway, dear old Alfie was as good as gold and no trouble at all, although he was either deaf or just ignoring me – but as a married man I’m used to that. He even ended up joining us in a couple of pubs and seemed to love it. We moved site on Wednesday and Alfie came with us so Pamela could again visit the hospital, but we took him back in the evening and were delighted to see Donald back having had an angiogram and then a stent. It’s all to easy to knock the NHS but we all agreed what fantastic care Donald had and to get him on the road to recovery so quickly was superb.
That in a way mirrors HRH’s experience. Her care has been nothing short of superb, although she has now been moved from a single room to a ward and I’ve lost any opportunity to discreetly bring things to a conclusion with a suitably positioned pillow. I AM joking…
As I mentioned, we’ve moved site and after booking in for a few nights, they’ve agreed to put up with us a for while longer and we are here now until we hopefully head down to Devon in just under a coupe of weeks. We’re back at Highfield Farm Touring Park – one of our favourite sites near to Cambridge – and whilst it is more expensive, the showers alone are worth it. There was nothing wrong with the one at Lynchet Farm – it was at least as good as what we have at home - but the ones here are just divine. I frequently emerge shrivelled like a prune after an extended stay under the hot monsoon. Just lovely.
No sooner had we arrived though, then we were off for a night away – heading west minus Patsy – to our venerable Honda’s ‘birth’ place, namely Swindon – or at least the outskirts. The reason? We had been invited to the launch of a range of Caravans – the 2018 Unicorn range from Bristol based manufacturer Bailey. This was very exciting for us and quite an honour to be considered worthy of an invite. The hotel in which the launch took place was actually owned by Honda too. The Stanton House Hotel is popular with visiting executives from Japan thanks to it’s proper Japanese restaurant upstairs and it’s proximity to the Honda car plant where dear old Rosie was (hopefully) lovingly crafted several years ago.
The launch was Friday morning but I took the opportunity to get all my photo's on the Thursday afternoon in the sun, then indulging in some research thanks to the surprise presence of a real ale on the bar, before writing up my blog – the ale ensuring it would be down to it’s usual standard - so it could go live when the embargo was lifted midday the following day. It was great to meet up with fellow bloggers and vloggers as well as caravan industry journo’s and execs from Bailey for a good old chinwag. It’s the first time a caravan manufacturer has included us bloggers and vloggers in such an event and goes to show how seriously they are taking social media. Something other manufacturers should consider as it ain’t going to go away. Social media will no doubt evolve – as it already is – but it’s here to stay and companies need to embrace it.
Right, for once this trip I’ve managed to waffle on sufficiently to hit the word count. Do please check out the links below if they are of interest.
Thanks again, as always for reading. I never imagined when I started writing about our Egypt trip in an email some eight years ago that my recollections of our travel experiences would evolve into a blog this popular. And that’s only because you lot are kind enough to read it. Cheers!
Rich & Trev