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

Sunday, 30 June 2019

More new experiences

It has been a hugely enriching experience researching for my book "Wonderful Walks from Dog-friendly Campsites throughout the UK".

One reason was the many new places I discovered.

Another reason is the variety to be found throughout the UK and the phenomenal countryside.  I am continually surprised by my discoveries.

I am often asked which is my favourite campsite.  This is difficult to answer because there is something special and unique about each one.

Two campsites perfectly illustrate reasons mention above:-

Burghead Beach Holiday Park
  • Delamere Forest Camping and Caravanning Club site.  Here I explored the forest and discovered the delights of Chester
  • Burghead Beach Holiday Park. As the name indicates this campsite was ideally situated for a beach walk also convenient for trips in the bay

I have also enjoyed the experience of promoting my book
particularly at the Motorhome Show I went to in May in Newbury .  As a consequence in the middle of July I am doing another Motorhome Show in Norfolk.  I hope this will be as successful.

Do drop by if you are attending.  I so enjoy talking to fellow walkers and motorhomers.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Climate Change Protest

As you all know the research I did for my book "Wonderful Walks from Dog-friendly Campsites" has had a profound effect upon my thinking. So much so that my daughter has remarked I have become somewhat militant.   I have definitely become more passionate about the countryside, wildlife and the whole issue of climate change.

As a consequence when I received an invitation from CPRE to join them at a protest gathering in London I was intrigued and decided to investigate.

So it was on Wednesday morning I found myself at Bristol Bus Station waiting for the specially chartered coach to London

My day began exceptionally well.  I opted to get to the bus station via the recent "metro bus". 
As it was the first time I had used this bus the system was totally new to me.  I asked the bus driver to explain.  He spoke quite quickly, then hopped out of the bus and actually got me a ticket from the machine beside the bus stop. I told him I did not have the exact money and would need change.  He said not to worry. 
So I gave him all my change; about 3/4 of the fare. 
How wonderful to meet such a kind and thoughtful person.

The journey to London was uneventful.  We were dropped off beside the River Thames close to Albert Bridge (I think) by the Houses of Parliament. 
I did not take careful note of names and places etc, I just followed the people from the bus.  They very quickly got swallowed up in the crowd all along the road.

I was not sure precisely what was happening and what the procedure was so I wandered around having a close look keeping a watch for any CPRE members

It was NOT a march.  Instead there were groups of people of varying sizes waiting patiently on the pavement along both banks of the river as well as across the bridge,
It was suggested that as many as 16,000 people were on the streets.  Certainly there were lots of organizations such as WWT, Wildlife Trusts, RSPB,  CAFOD, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace. 
I also saw a Buddhist  group  and a WI group.

I soon realized beside each cluster of people was a name of an area in the UK. Eventually it came to me it was the name of the various constituencies.  The groups were waiting for their MP to come and talk to them.  I listened to some of the MPs.

It was most impressive.  They spoke without microphones or anything; no notes; and they answered the questions the crowd put to them without fobbing anyone off.

I listened to a Labour and a Conservative MP. 
They were both brilliant. (No other word for it).

What of my MP; well he did not turn up.  I don't know why.  I was not surprised.

The four hours or so I spent in London was a real tonic. I saw another aspect of life and society and it was not nearly as black and depressing as portrayed in the media; TV, print and digital.

With so many organizations and people right across the age range concerned about climate change I feel more confident that something positive will happen.

Then it was time to board the bus for the journey home.  This too was eventful.
One young man was missing when we set off at the appointed time.  As we drew out into the traffic and onto the bridge the people in the back of the coach saw him running along the pavement.
Unfortunately the coach could not stop to wait for him.
He kept running round the corner onto the bridge chasing the coach.
With the heavy traffic the coach moved across the bridge very slowly.
The closer he got to the coach the slower he ran, unsurprisingly; it was a long bridge.  Nevertheless he did get to the corner at the same time as the coach.
When the coach turned left off the bridge the driver could pull over for the man to board.

Now we had the full contingent it was homeward bound after a day full of pleasant surprises.

A final message;-
Please join an organization concerned with the planet earth. 
I would be delighted if you would make it the CPRE. 
Help protect our countryside, flora and fauna.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Read of the Month (June 2019)

Apologies for being late again with the June"Read of the Month".

June was not only another busy month but an injury to my knee rather hampered me besides the difficulty I had walking. 
I may have been injured but I still had to take the dog out for a walk.  Actually walking was good for the injury as I was informed by a doctor, but it did tire me so.

Also I was dog sitting for a friend.  I learnt a lot from this dog as it was very very different from Pearl and her ancestors.
 It was a miniature dachshund. 
It did not like going out in the rain and this week we had a lot of that. 
Also it did not like long grass so it meant I had to adjust the walks I did with Pearl.
I found it a interesting week.

This is all rather appropriate to the "Read of the Month".

"The Genius of Dogs" by Brian Hare.

Like some previous books the ideas expressed in it and the theories suggested are all based upon a raft of scientific studies carried out all over the world.
Who knew there were people studying the humble dog. 
Perhaps this explains why the author is American!!!!

I know of lots of people who would be only to happy to have a job studying dogs.
Despite this the studies quoted are fascinating and produce some surprising results. 
Many of them are simple enough to be replicated with any pet dog.

If you have a dog or are interested in dogs this book will help you understand them better.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

House Buiding

Just a few days ago I received this update from CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England).

It made for grim reading but is VERY important.   PLEASE PLEASE read on.

Do you enjoy the countryside?

Are you an outdoor enthusiast?

If so you need to be worried VERY worried.

If the present situation continues soon in certain parts of the UK there won't be countryside as we know it just parks.  These won't be like the National Parks such as Exmoor or New Forest but more like Hampstead Heath in London. 

Is this what we want?

The CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England)  not only strongly opposes building on the Green Belt but also offers alternative strategies.  See below

As an individual there is very little you or I can do but together anything is possible so come and join the CPRE and fight to protect the countryside which is amazing.

JOIN THE CPRE  https://www.cpre.org.uk/

Take part in "The Time is Now" Mass Lobby on Wednesday 26th June in London

The CPRE's statement about housebuilding.
  • More and more countryside is under threat (this I know from my research for my book).  The CPRE point out there is enough spce on suitable brownfield land to accommodate 1 million new homes
  • Not enough homes are being built (to me this seems odd)  but I concur with CPRE the vast majority of houses being build are not affordable the the government's own definition.
  • Fewer houses are being built than before 2008 crash (I can't verify this) the government has failed to solve the fallout of the crash
  • Loss of the countryside is accelerating whilst industry profits are skyrocketing  - companies are sitting on land hoping to increase profits.