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

Monday, 29 July 2019

Location, Location, Location

As the property TV programme states Location is very important, not just in choosing a house, but also when choosing a campsite.

When looking to buy a house people have different opinions both in the type of house and the location.  It is the same with campsites.

This was exemplified by the 2 campsites I visited just recently, both of which were new experiences.

My first outing was to the "Cock Inn" in Peasmarsh in East Sussex near Rye. The pub has a long interesting history.  Though it was built in 1670 during the reign of Charles II the name "The Cock" comes from an even earlier time the 12th century when Richard I was king.  It refers to the traditions of chivalry as practised by the knights of old.  During the pre-tournament meal where the knights made their vows a peacock in all its wonderful plumage was served.

This local pub has a large static park behind it as well as a much much smaller grass field for tourers at the side. It has a new modern amenities block on the other side of the pub. There are many walks of varying length some from the rear of the campsite despite that fact a few of the paths were inaccessible because of overgrown produce (beans I think).

The two walks I did was a wood walk where I got wet in a downpour.  The other was an explore of the medieval city of Rye (very interesting) and then the walk home.

The other campsite I went to was Windermere Camping and Caravanning Club Site.  As is usual with club sites it was well organized, clean and an absolute delight.

There was a dog walk but it was very basic; nowhere for Pearl to chase her frisbee.  Also with sheep about I had to be careful about letting her off in the fields.
The sheep even migrated onto the campsite.

Also the walks were unexciting especially for Pearl because of the plethora of sheep in many fields. The number and variety of walks improved after we had gone more than a mile over the fields to the nearby village.

However, Pearl and I discovered some lovely places. In addition to a playing field where Pearl could chase her frisbee we discovered access to the river where she could have a swim.

On one of the walks we had to take a detour along a minor road because of a bull in the field.   I decided not to cross the field because of the cows at the top of the hill right across the proposed path.  It was only later as the road passed the field I saw that there was also a bull with the cows.  Oh how relieved I was.

Two enjoyable campsites for very different reasons at contrasting locations

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Roller Coaster Ride

One result of having my second book "Wonderful Walks from Dog-friendly Campsites" published is the range of new experiences that have arisen.
 It has been a rather roller coaster ride.

On reflection, (looking back after several weeks) promoting and selling my book at the Newbury Motorhome show was a success.   So much so I was happy to repeat the experience.

So I booked a stall at the Norfolk Motorhome show.

Things began to go array right from the start.

  • My planned outing culminating at Norwich for the Show was curtailed as I had to return home for a new starter motor. As a result it was a long drive to Norwich
  • Erecting the gazebo was much easier as there were people around to help
  • Setting up the following morning I discovered I had bought the wrong banner; the netball one. I unrolled it anyway.  I though it might attract attention, with the Netball World Cup actually being broadcast on TV.
Things began well with books proving popular. 
Then a sharp shower halted proceedings with people decamping.  The rest of the day was slow.  
I hoped Saturday would prove different but with a dire weather forecast this seemed doubtful.  And so it proved.  The morning was not too bad but the showers were very heavy and footfall was sporadic.

The upside was a Saturday evening outing with a friend from Norfolk. 

Sunday was a lovely bright sunny day.   Unfortunately sales of my book did not improve BUT the day was considerably brightened because I met a couple with a dog who had bought my book from some other source.  They had been to one of the campsites and followed the walks.  
They liked the book and kept it in their van.  

All things considered it was not the complete wash out that the WH Smith signing was.

At both motorhome shows I lost sales because I was unable to accept card payments.  
This is now rectified  I have just acquired and set up a card repayment system.  
I now just need to test it. .
I was thinking of asking for volunteers to to donate a payment so I can see if it works before my next show this weekend. 
 Not sure I would get many such volunteers

The weekend after that I have a very special show.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Read of the Month (July 2019)

It seems that the "Read of the Month" post has come round so quickly.
It does not help that I was so late with the June book.

Over the past few weeks there has been interest in the D-Day landings.
My suggestion follows this theme.

"Read of the Month" for July is

Operation Mincemeat " by Ben MacIntyre

This is an account of an audacious disinformation operation by the British during World War II to feed false information to the German High Command.

Those of you of a certain age will no doubt remember the film "The Man Who Never Was" often shown on TV in the 1960s and 1970s  but released in 1959. This film, starring Clifton Webb and Gloria Grahame (no I don't recognize the names either) was based on the true story of a British attempt to trick the enemy into weakening its defences in Sicily prior to a planned attack in 1943.

The idea, code name "Operation Mincemeat", was to drop a dead man in uniform with fake papers in a secure bag attached to his arm into the sea near an enemy stronghold.

As with most films of actual events, the facts are adjusted to fit the narrative.

In the book the enterprise is recounted in extensive detail from inception to the unexpected  consequences including the significance of various personnel involved, both English, German as well as Spanish some of whom are incredible characters

It is a remarkable tale. 
Truth is in fact stranger than fiction.
 It is as riveting and spellbinding as any spy novel or thriller and yet is a true story