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

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Our Amazing Countryside

So did you guess?
Yes I was doing one of the walks for my forthcoming book to be published in October 2018. I was doing the walk from the campsite in Easthope to the lovely town of Much Wenlock. Only in the UK would there be such an unusual name as Much Wenlock. It reminds me of a story or joke I heard a long time ago.

An American was so fascinated with the unusual and strange names of places here in the UK that she took a tour of the country noting down names of places she encountered. When asked about her experiences she replied that it was all very interesting but there were a lot of places called "Loose Chippings".

The views of the countryside especially on the walk over the fields to the town were incredible. As
stunning as anywhere in the world. Every few steps I would pause and do a 360 degree turn admiring the magnificence laid out before me. (The photographs do not really do justice to the stunning views).

The delight I felt was tinged with sadness. This is such a small country so the amazing countryside is a finite commodity. If we don't use it, appreciate it and protect it NOW, before we realize it, it will be gone. The Green Belt is crucial. So here are some suggestions.

Once a month do a walk in a new part of the countryside.
Once a month support the farmers; go to a farmers' market or buy locally produced goods.
Join or make a donation to the CPRE Campaign to Protect Rural England www.cpre.org.uk

One thing I have learnt from my research is the enormous variety of countryside that is available for us to explore and how magnificent so much of it is. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Supporting our Farmers

Every campsite is a wonderful experience. Each of them is different and unique.  This time I am at a small site in Shropshire near Much Wenlock. It is part of a working farm. There is no reception you just roll up, look at the admissions board and go to your allocated pitch. During the day the farmer will visit each site with information and for payment.

It was during this visit we got chatting (that has always been me, a chatterer). I learnt so much about farming. It is not an easy occupation especially for young farmers who want a career in farming.

At present they have young sheep which they buy in and monitor to sell for breeding later on. These are a cross breed sheep making use of the hardiness of the Welsh sheep with the quicker growing of the other breed. They used to have pigs but this proved uneconomical.  The cost of feed and labour etc was barely covered by the amount per kilo received when sold on.  All the pigs went and the barn is now used to store caravans. The wheat they grow is sold on instead of used to feed the pigs.

Considering the item in "Countryfile"  which looked at the pigs in Denmark many of whom have an antibiotic resistant MSRA virus (I cannot remember the strain number) maybe we should encourage more of our farmers to keep pigs.

Besides all this they have a few horses on livery, the half acre campsite and a small pond for fishing. They do not like Pearl swimming in it because it frightens the fish who all go to the bottom of the pond and are then difficult to catch.

Then there is is  problem with the wheat. The brown patches in the green fields are the result of some kind of worm destroying the wheat shoots. Because of EU regulations the crop is not allowed to be sprayed so there is nothing right now the farmer can do to
halt the spread of this worm until the next cycle of planting. All the money spent on wheat seed is lost.
So if like me you enjoy walking in the countryside try and support our British farmers whenever you can.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Missing the Internet

At the campsite in Essex I went to, internet was available but there was a charge. Just as paying for dogs on campsites is  I feel an effrontery  so is paying for internet.  As a consequence I was unable to do my weekly post.  Then when I got home the situation was no better. The internet was down and to compound the issue it was external and even worse under the pavement. We had to wait for the request to be authorized then wait for it to actually be done. It was
over a week before it was eventually fixed. It was difficult to complete my writing as I needed the internet to verify facts and figures.
Apart from the problem with the internet my visit at the Essex campsite was wonderful. As I stated on the Facebook page it was the first time Pearl encounter The Sea. She soon got use to its movements and enjoyed swimming in it. The problem was when the sea went out. She could not understand why the sea was not
there. She was keen to go through the mud to find it. Definitely not. I did not want a black Labrador!
We both enjoyed walking along the beach. When the tide was out there was so much to see and of course in the town of West Mersea there were so many boats.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Book I recommend to be read.

I actually wrote this on 29th March 2017 when I finished reading the book. I was away in my motorhome researching for my second book and did not have access to the internet. Only now have I been able to post it.

The book is

 Wojtek (pronounced Voy-check) by Aileen Orr 

How this book came to my attention is a strange story in itself which I will recount in greater detail later. 
To elucidate it was as a result of an invitation from Rita Cosby, who wrote “Quiet Heroes” to a meeting with her in Edinburgh. 
This was an unforgettable experience.  It was whilst with Rita I
met Aileen and she mentioned her book about Wojtek.

This piqued my interest. Shortly afterwards I purchased a copy of the book. However, it took me a long time, not only to start reading it, but to actually finish it. I knew I would find it an emotional read because of my father and what I learnt about some of his life and so it proved to be. It was also a cathartic experience on so many different levels. I would urge all of you to read it.

At the basic level it is the intriguing story of an animal, much like my book “My Friend Ruby”. However, it is more than that as the circumstances were so much more dire and the animal brought solace to so many people. As Aileen concludes in her account of the bear, Wojtek was so
            “much more – a symbol of hope, friendship, trust and freedom.”

But as you read the story of the bear it also highlights the plight of all refugees fleeing from wars. Even when they find themselves “safe” the uncertainty they face is unimaginable. It made me realize how lucky I am.

I knew a little of the situation regarding the Poles who stayed in the UK after the war because my father was one of them. I did not know the huge number involved until I read Aileen’s book. Also as a young child I had direct experience of how much the Poles were disliked though I have to say it did not upset me at the time, I just thought those people were stupid.

What I do find so sad is we seem to have learnt so little over the past 50 or 60 years. The arguments against the immigrants today are exactly the same as they were against the Poles all those years ago with rampant xenophobia commonplace then as now.  Perhaps reading this book will aid understanding and encourage tolerance. It will certainly enlighten the reader as to the enormous contribution the Poles made in enabling the UK to defeat Hitler. It is something that should not be forgotten.