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

Sunday, 25 November 2018

CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) 1

One of the results of my research for my forthcoming book "Wonderful Walks from Campsites with your Dog" is the realization that the UK countryside is awesome; it is remarkable, picturesque and inspiring, 

It needs safeguarding from developers and the government. 

As an individual I am able to do very little so I decided to join the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England).  As I was serious about trying to make a difference I decided to join my local group and am now the membership secretary. 

I find the meetings depressing because just in our local area there are so many plans for various developments and buildings on the Green Belt.  The people who read the detail plans and then make them comprehensible to the likes of me are amazing. (They are all volunteers).  However money is needed for legal fees in order to challenge these plans,

As membership secretary I am on a quest to increase membership numbers, especially in my local group.  Having a larger membership means there will then be more funds for legal fees.

PLEASE PLEASE join the CPRE.  It is only £3.00 a month; the price of a cup of coffee or glass of beer.

Help protect our countryside.

Like advertisers this request will be repeated several times over the year.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Me and my Dogs

It may seem odd writing about dogs in a blog entitled Motorhome Musings but for me "motorhome and dog" is synonymous. 
I travel about in my motorhome with my dog; just me and my dog.

How did this come about: well it was a bit like the chicken and egg scenario.   Did we get a dog because we were thinking of getting a motorhome or did we get a motorhome because we could then travel with the dog.

Without doubt the recent acquisition of a dog was a significant factor as was the newly introduced Pet Passport Scheme.  This now allowed us to travel to mainland Europe if we wished.

The dogs I have had (as an adult) have been an important part of my life, especially Ruby; the first dog.  She was not only a comfort to me when I was ill but was also hugely instrumental in life after retirement.  It is because of her I now write and take photographs.  It was only when she went that I fully realized just how special she was. I thought it would be a good idea to write about her for several reasons;-

  • It would help me deal with loosing her.
  • It would keep memories of her alive.
  • It would prove whether or not I could be a writer of books as well as articles.

So it was I wrote my first book "My Friend Ruby".

Because Ruby was such an extraordinary dog I looked into the possibility of her having a litter.  I know it was very selfish as there are a lot of unwanted dogs about but somehow it felt important that her genes did not die out.  I did consult my vet.  I found his advice encouraging but then again I think that depends how you look at things.  

In the end Ruby had 2 litters.  I kept the darkest bitch from the second litter and called her Amber because that was the colour of her coat.  She too had two litters (I did not keep any of the puppies as I did not want 3 dogs).  Now I have Pearl who is Ruby's great grandaughter and Amber's granddaughter. 

Just last week she had her second litter. They are all gorgeous.

This is going to keep me busy for several weeks.

Hard work but fun.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Fabulous Synopsis

This has been a busy and exciting week;  preparing for the arrival of the puppies Pearl is due to have in early November and checking the proofs of my second book.

So much to do:-
  1. Winterize the van as freezing nights were forecast.  I did not want water to freeze in the pipes and so have to deal with the fallout.
  2. Check the proofs of my book "Wonderful Walks..."
  3. Begin compiling an index for my book
  4. Waiting anxiously for the arrival of Pearl's puppies. She is getting very big.  Not long now.  She still likes going out but is very slow.  This is especially noticeable when she goes out with her aunt Lucy.                  

Reading the proofs is tedious; trying to spot any errors; typo or just my ineptitude.  I find it best to do it is small blocks in order to remain focused.  Despite this it is so incredible seeing my work set out in book format.

I read some of it and think "this sounds amazing"; presumably the editor's input.  However when I compare it with the manuscript I find the proofs the same; word for word - exhilarating and for a split second unmitigated pleasure.     JK Rowling must have felt much the same when her first book was eventually approved for publishing and she saw the proofs.  I wonder if she still felt the same when the seventh book was published.

Even though my book is not being published until February it has now been included in the new Hubble and Hattie catalogue; a whole half page.  There is a photo of the book cover but also the one above of my motorhome and dogs.

The synopsis is fabulous;-

"This unique book combines the joy of camping with the delights of walking with your dog. A variety of campsites, all of which welcome dogs, located very close to footpaths and walking trails, provide the opportunity to explore the area and appreciate the diverse environments to be found in Britain.
If you like camping and love taking your dog, this book will help you find the perfect location for a weekend jaunt and the facilities you need to explore a region or even tour the UK".

What a fabulous synopsis!  I did not write this!!!!!!!

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Read of the Month (Nov 2018)

And the read of the month for November 2018 is..................................................

The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay

This seems an appropriate book for November.  Although it is not about WW1, which ended 100 years ago on the 11th November it is about WW2; specifically the work done to break the codes used by the Germans

This wonderful book explains the origins and function of Bletchley Park as recorded in documents and according to the memories of some people who worked there.

The book caused me to reflect upon:-

  1. The huge number of people who put their lives on hold when summoned so mysteriously  and knowing nothing of what they were going to do.   I wondered how many people today would act in a similar manner.
  2. How amazing it was that the work and the place remained shrouded in secrecy for so long.  Would this be possible today with mobile phones and social media?
  3. The huge number who worked there in addition to the "code-breakers" such as drivers, cleaners and cooks etc.  At one stage as many as 8000 people were associated with Bletchley Park.
  4. Would such an enterprise be possible today?  It was initially a private compromise pushed through on a shoe string from network connections.  A typical British fudge but brilliant.

All those involved with Bletchley during its period of operation were amazing.  It was satisfying to realize  so many people were ready to give their all especially without any kind of reward or recognition.  

This read of the month is extremely interesting and thought provoking.  If the opportunity arises do go and visit Bletchely Park. It is an amazing place.

Because this is the first "read of the month", I thought it apposite to launch a special offer; a sort of BOGOF(buy one get one free).

Keeping to the same theme (WW2) the second book is especially personal to me. It is:-

Quiet Heroes by Rita Cosby.

 It recounts some of my father's experiences during the war.  I did not know of this until I read the book.  Rita Cosby, is a well known journalist in the States.  She was writing about her father's life in Poland and his war-time experiences.  My father came into the book because her father and my father met up in a "hospital" and became buddies doing everything together until peace-time.

This is a personal account of a traumatic event; Warsaw uprising. 
It raises the question "what is it that makes some people withdraw and others to become intensely involved even when the outcome is likely to be catastrophic". Hence the title.

I hope you enjoy reading in as much as I did.

Buying the books

I would appreciate it if you did not buy them from Amazon; on the grounds of dubious business practices.

The Secret life of Bletchley Park can be purchased directly from

Quiet Heroes is not published in the UK.
Copies from the States are very expensive.  
However I have some copies available for sale via my website www.annachelmicka.me at the special price of £5.00 including postage