The Nostalgic Spring Sojourn | Part 2

I was keen to get the charger issue sorted as soon as possible so, had shovelled the Lidl version of Special K into the cakehole faster than a stoker on the Titanic, on the Saturday morning as the sun was making it’s presence felt.

It was immediately obvious what the issue was – the mains power connector had worked loose. A nice easy fix although it took longer to get the cover back on the unit and into position. I have found with caravans that when it comes to wiring, they either leave way too much excess and have it trailing around needlessly, or trim it so short it’s impossible to work with. Anyway, at least I didn’t have to replace the charger. So far so good.

The next item on the agenda was the outside light – the awning light, had we have had one. I didn’t mention it in the blog posts from the London trip but came home one night to find it noticeably dull outside the ‘van. There was a strip of LED’s in the light and it looked like most of them had given up the ghost entirely, with the remaining two or three clearly suffering from a severe dose of CBA and emitting about as much light as a candle in the wind.

Anyway, it was time to have a closer look and the reason looked pretty obvious – it was half full of water, brought about perhaps by not having the shelter of the pull-out canopy - which I’d removed last October. Whilst I was mildly miffed that the light had only lasted three years – it wasn’t the original – I was more concerned with whether water had seeped into the cavity behind the light.

Thankfully not. Removing the control panel from above the door revealed it to be dry as a bone but despite taking the light to bits and carefully drying it out it was clearly knackered and couldn’t be coaxed back into life. I put some tape over the holes left by it’s removal to hopefully prevent any water ingress.

I’d nothing planned sightseeing wise but the knackered light gave me an excuse to go and mooch around Jacksons of Old Arley, about a fifteen minute drive from the site. This is one of the best caravan and camping spares and accessory shops I’ve ever been to and could have spent hours here – and a lot of money in the process. What I didn’t come away with though was a new light. They had several and most fit my requirements of either being LED or with a bulb that could easily be changed to same, but not having packed the power drill I would have been unable to make the necessary holes for fixing and cable entry. It wasn’t a wasted trip though - a tube of sealant was my unexciting but useful sole purchase.

Back at Patsy I’d decided to set up the telly and the signal strength meter suggested all was good – and the telly soon found a load of channels but the picture kept freezing and pixelating so I packed it away again. It could have been a number of things but – given England’s performance in the rugby later on - it was probably just as well or a new telly might been required. Dear dear.

That evening I met with digital marketeer and keen motorhomer Richard and his wife Diane for a meal at the  Clarendon Arms just around the corner from Kenilworth Castle. We had a good chin-wag and catch up over some great food. Richard kindly picked me up so I could indulge my passion for ‘research’. It was a very enjoyable evening and great to meet up again and I have found now I’m on my own that I’m grasping these opportunities to meet up with people so much more.

There was more of the same on Sunday afternoon when I met with site owners Angela & Marc along with a Ken, a friend of theirs, with proceedings getting under way at the Griffin Inn, a lovely old boozer near Shustoke. Serious chin wagging – obviously – and a nice couple of pints before we adjourned to the Manor House in Fillongley for one of the best Sunday lunches I’ve ever had, with a beer or two. Obviously. I spent most of the evening back in Patsy dozing before going to bed but no matter, a great time was had.

Monday was my last full day in Warwickshire and I wanted to make the most of it. A cunning plan was hatched – and then almost immediately changed – to head in to Birmingham on the train then, a certain body part permitting, I’d head to Worcester, a city I’d yet to visit.

Not five minutes drive from Somers Wood is Hampton-in-Arden. It has an excellent pub in the While Lion but it also has a railway station with trains into Brum every half an hour. Trev and I used it on a previous visit and it’s very handy, although then we clearly struck lucky with car parking as this time the station car park was rammed. It took a bit of driving around to find somewhere safe – and legal - but the car park of a council leisure centre came to the rescue just a a few minutes walk from the station. I read – and re-read – all the signs but there were no restrictions as to use and, satisfied that I wouldn't come back to a ticket on the windscreen I headed off to the station.

I said that my plans had changed and for once, logic took over. I’ve been to Brum but not Worcester so it made sense to head there first and, there wasn’t long to wait for the next train either.

It was a pleasant journey, heading south west out of Birmingham’s New Street station, initially hugging the canal arriving in Worcester some forty minutes or so later. The route to the cathedral was a pleasant stroll through the partially pedestrianised centre learning along the way that one Edward Elgar - that Last Night of the Proms regular – hails from nearby.

Entry to the cathedral was free although a donation was welcomed. I happily paid the three and half quid for a permit to take photos along with another couple for a fridge magnet. Well worth it my opinion for it is truly a stunning piece of architecture.

I took my packed lunch in the cathedral grounds overlooking the River Severn but any plans to take the Riverside walk back were thwarted by the fact that it was underwater.

The St Andrews Garden of Remembrance was a good place to pause though and neck the last of my coffee.

The train back to New Street was going to be a while but instead I jumped on the one that would take me into Birmingham’s Snow Hill, the plan being that I could take a slow walk back across to New Street taking in some of the sights along the way. The weather had other ideas though and the angry looking clouds above had finally delivered on their threat. Thus, most of the walk back to New Street was via shops and shopping arcades and my needs/want calculator went into overdrive but the wallet somehow remained shut.

There was no ticket on the windscreen when I got back to the car and was soon back in dear old Patsy, reflecting on what a great few days it had been. In sightseeing terms I hadn’t done much but it had nonetheless – thanks to friends – been another great stay at Somers Wood.

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