Welcome

Hello to all you fellow motorhomers and welcome.
I hope you get as much fun reading this as I do writing it.







Wednesday, 27 May 2020

A Lockdown Walk

To keep "book" fit and to aid mental health I have been walking my dog Pearl.
In order to avoid as many people as possible I have been exploring new routes.
This is one of my favourites.





The Start
  • Crossing the main drag
  • Onto the unofficial grass path
  • Heading to the trees
  • New houses on left were contested




The Back Lane

(Yes that is its name)

A lovely path beside a field.


The Line Of Trees
         on
The Cotswold Escapement 


Leading off the Back Lane
a tree lined path 
out to 
a local Landmark





Passing Horses

Along the edge of the fields  









And flowers in the hedgerow







Onto the road

now quiet 
because of lockdown
 






Through the Churchyard
              and
       Over the stile










The Valley

stretching off into the distance.
It is not as far as it looks









The Church

behind us








The Bridle Path

the final stretch home

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Photo of the Month (May 2020)

Because I have been talking about quad biking I thought it appropriate to post a photo I DID take of quad biking.

The photo in the previous post is of me on a quad bike

This one (though not the best of photos) is of other people in my group enjoying quad biking over the sand dunes.

I have included it because it is atmospheric.
I hope you agree

Thursday, 14 May 2020

A Strange Birthday

Shortly after I retired I decided I would do "something special" on my actual birthday.
Irrespective of whatever day it happened to be I would then be free to do anything I wanted.

Last October whilst in Africa  I had my first quad bike ride. 
We motored over all the sand dunes. 
The experience was exciting and exhilarating.

So this year I decided my "something special" would be quad bike riding.


Unfortunately this was not possible because of the lockdown regulations.

Nevertheless I had a lovely day with my daughter.



I do have 2 birthday wishes which I hope you will be able to help me  realize.

Number 1
For all my "friends" to like my FB Page
Motorhome  Musings
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Motorhome.Musings/posts/?ref=page_internal
to enable me to reach a target of 100 likes.


                                                      Number 2
To find 100 people prepared to act to fight for the British countryside
by joining the CPRE. 
(The Countryside Charity)

Why should you join?
  1. The countryside is a valuable asset and needs protecting from becoming a concrete jungle.
  2. Nurturing the countryside assists in combating climate change.
  3. Looking after the countryside by default supports wildlife.
  4. Access to the countryside has health benefits.
  5. Once the countryside is gone then it is gone.  We cannot afford to lose any more of this precious commodity.

Please will you support me;  

Please join the CPRE.
Membership is only £3.00 a month.

Click on the link to sign up.
https://www.cpre.org.uk/get-involved/donations-and-membership/become-a-member/






Monday, 4 May 2020

Read of the Month (May 2020)

wikipedia
The 75th Anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day is this Friday 8th May.

This has hugely influenced my Read of the Month.
If the events recounted in this book had been any different there would not have been a VE Day;
at least not celebrated by the Allies.


The book is like a modern day thriller except it is true and so the outcome is already known.
Surprisingly this does not make it any less of a thriller
I found it a page turner and finished it is just a few days.

With hindsight it is frightening to realize just how precarious the situation was in May 1940.
The book gives a comprehensive insight into the politics of the time.
In addition the people involved are more than the 2-dimensional reputations history has given them.

Read of the Month (May 2020)


Five Days in London; May 1940 

by 

John Lukacs




The days from May 24th to May 28th 1940 changed the course of 20th century history.
During these 5 days under discussion was

  • who should head the War Cabinet
  • whether the War Cabinet should declare war or negotiate with Hitler


I also liked this book because it demonstrates Neville Chamberlain's political understanding and skill despite being seriously ill with cancer.  Chamberlain was persuaded to remain a member of the War Cabinet after his resignation in May 1940 until his death because Churchill realized his expertise was vital.

Postcript

Neville Chamberlain's reputation was tarnished because of the peace treaty (Munich Agreement) he signed with Hitler in September 1938.

On the journey to Munich  a member of the British delegation was a young political assistant, who was later known as Sir Alex Douglass Hume and became Prime Minster in the 1960s.

In his memoire he recounts the real reason Chamberlain followed the policy of appeasement for so long and signed a Peace Treaty with Hitler.

Chamberlain was certain war with Hitler was inevitable.
However he also knew the British public was extremely reluctant to engage in another conflict.
He had to demonstrate to the people that there was no other option.
Hence his very public celebration of the Munich Agreement; "Peace in Our Time".
Chamberlain was certain Hitler had no intention of honouring the Agreement.
When the British public saw this they would be more inclined to back the government in declaring war.







Thursday, 30 April 2020

A Most Unusual Month

Keep Calm and Stay Home
.
11th,March 2020
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, reached the UK

23rd March 2020

The Government ordered the country to 
STAY HOME.

The resulting weeks were as follows;-

School cancelled
GCSEs cancelled
A-Levels cancelled
All non-essential travel banned.
We are to distance from each other.
Don't socialise with anyone outside of your home.

Racing
Non-essential shops and businesses mandated closed.
Pubs, theatres, restaurants are closed.
Entire sports seasons cancelled.
Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events - cancelled.
Children's outdoor play parks are closed.  
Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings - cancelled.
Churches are closed. Graveyards are shut.


Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towel no laundry soap, no hand sanitiser.
Bread, pasta, flour, chicken and chopped tomatoes are sold out everywhere
Shelves are bare.


London
Press conferences daily from the government.
Daily updates on new cases and deaths.
Arenas open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.
Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.
Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitiser and PPE. 

Essential key workers are terrified to go to work.
Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.
The government throws money at businesses to try to keep the economy from imploding. 
Grants and loans. 
The government to pay 80% of employees wages where businesses cannot continue to do so.

Self-distancing measures on the rise.
The dead are denied wakes or funerals and barely anyone is allowed at the graveside.
Tape on the floors at shops to help distance shoppers (2m) from each other.
Limited number of people inside shops, therefore, lineups outside the doors.
Fines are established for breaking the rules. Police patrolling the streets.
Barely anyone on the roads.

Diesel price at all time low; just over £1.00
People wearing masks and gloves outside.


YET


We have so much!
Be thankful. Be grateful.
Be kind to each other - love one another - support everyone.





A record of what it was like so we don't forget. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Celebrations

Well my wishes have come true.

Quite appropriately on the anniversary of the forthcoming book signing of my first "Wonderful Walk...." book.


The publishers are Hubble and Hattie.

They have agreed to publish a sequel. 


This book too locates walks from dog-friendly campsites.
The campsites will however be in in different counties to those in the first book. 
There is an added ingredient of the British Pub.

Because of the current situation with regard to the Coronavirus the publication date is February 2022 .
The manuscript and associate materials have to be submitted by August 2021.

With 21+ campsites I need begin my research as soon as possible. 
I am doing as much preparation as possible now.

Needless to say I am keen to be off on my travels with Pearl.

As usual posts of  happenings will appear in due course. 





Friday, 24 April 2020

Photo of the Month (April 2020)

This is only my third "Photo of the Month" even though it has been a year since the first one,

It has yet to become a regular feature.

As the current situation prevents Pearl and me from exploring in the motorhome for an unknown period of time I thought I would resurrect "Photo of the Month"

Having a new camera makes this particularly appropriate.
I have a different make of camera.
It is also much newer.
As a consequence the controls are very different and much more complicated.
I am still familiarizing myself with it so the quality of the photos is extremely variable.
At present the photos selected are those taken with my old camera.

This is a rather dramatic photo.
It is in the Lake District near Windermere Club Campsite where I stayed last year.







Sunday, 12 April 2020

Respect the Countryside

Whilst researching for my first walk book "Wonderful Walks from Dog-friendly Campsites throughout the UK" I realized just how amazing the British countryside is and how fortunate we are to be able to access so much of it.

At different times over the years since the 1930s various
UK Government's Rights of Way and Accessing Land  Acts have been passed.

These have 2 purposes:-
  1. Ensure all could access the countryside to enjoy. 
  2. Protect the countryside
Full detauls of the current act can be found at.

Our unique rights over our land carries with it huge responsibilities.
These are set out in the Country Code.

I appeal to all those enjoying the countryside to follow this code;-

Respect other people

  • Consider the local community
  • Leave gates and property as you find it 
  • Always try to follow paths and tracks (most important)
Protect the Natural Environment
  • Leave no trace and take litter home
  • Keep dogs under control

Enjoy the Outdoors
  • Plan ahead and be prepared
  • Follow local signs and advice


Full details can be found  at
www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code/the-countryside-code



Please respect the farmers'

Let us support them in the work they do.

We need them.




Saturday, 4 April 2020

Read of the Month (April 2020)

BBC


Now you may think what has the BBC got to do with Read of the Month

Its long and illustrious history are fertile territory for a whole range of books

  • It was established in 1922 and granted a Royal Charter in 1926.  This makes it the oldest national broadcasting company in the world.
  • It is the largest broadcaster in the world as far as number of employees.
  • It makes a wide range of TV programmes
  • It has several national and local radio stations.
  • It publishes a weekly TV and Radio guide "The Radio Times"
  • It has various in-house orchestras and choir.

It is unlike any other broadcasting company.  For this reason many people all around the world tune in to the BBC.

The Read of the Month for March is a book about one of the world's most iconic radio stations; Radio 4.  It is one of the few radio stations in the world that is purely a "talk" station;




And now on RADIO 4
by 
Simon Elmes






The book is informative and interesting; a behind the scenes look at a "national treasure".

Nowadays many of the programmes are easily available due to the popularity of the recent technological evolution of podcasts which has garnered it a global audience.

As well as the current affairs output such as The Today Programme some of Radio 4's programmes which are extremely popular include;

  • Desert Island Discs
  • More or Less
  • In our Time
  • Start the Week

Former creative director of Radio 4's documentary unit, Elmes provides a fascinating insight into the workings and history of a truly iconic institution. 









Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Advice from Pearl



Pearl says

"Stay Calm and Chill Out"





So the motorhome is on the driveway with newly rust-proofed undercarriage, cleaned and packed.

The battery is flat.
Before I go anywhere I will need to sort this out. 
Pearl advises

"Stay Calm and Be Patient"




At least I can prepare thoroughly whilst at home as
Pearl says

"Stay Calm and Work from Home"








Because the situation is so unusual and difficult Pearl has some
special advice for you




"Stay Calm and Enjoy Comfort Food"