Well Hello again👋👋👋 - and after a month of not blogging and being stationary at Riddings Wood Caravan and Camping park I got up this morning with the words of a song (made famous by Willie Nelson and more recently released by Ringo Starr) buzzing about in my head :-
We're on the road again,
Just can't wait to get on the road again,
Goin places that we've never been,
Seein things that we may never see again.....
And the flurries of snow and icy blasts of wind that occurred last night and this morning made us even more keen to get under way! However, that's not to say we haven't enjoyed our time at 'home'! In fact, we've had a fantastic month getting reacquainted with all our lovely family and friends, and we've also been indulged with quite a bit of Grandma and Grandad duty which has provided us with very enjoyable opportunities to spend precious hours with our 3 beautiful grandchildren.
During our 'holiday' we've enjoyed pretend Christmas day on the 18th November where we feasted on Christmas dinner with all the trimmings at Sarah and Paul's house (daughter and son-in-law), and for that, along with all Sarah's hard work preparing it we need to say a very big Thank You 😗
However, although delighted, the children couldn't quite work out why 🎅 had arrived a bit early!
|The Chief Cook - but not the Bottle Washer!|
|Vicky and 👶 , Ben, Louise, John, Adam and Paul (bottle washer included!)|
|Paul, Sharon, Sarah, Thomas, another Paul and John!|
And as I mentioned before we've enjoyed several visits from our Grandchildren while we've been on the campsite.
Additionally, we also seem to have managed to iron out most of T4rdis2's glitches and hopefully ousted our resident gremlin! We now have fully functioning central heating 😀 - it turned out that our problem was being caused by a burnt out glow plug that was preventing the boiler from firing up on diesel! T4rdis2 has also been newly shod so the rubber on our wheels will hopefully last us for many more miles to come, and finally, we now have the luxury of a flushing 🚽!
Anyway, I won't ramble on much more cos it might get boring, but as I mentioned at the beginning, we're on the move again, and as I'm tapping out our story we should be bombing south along the M1 towards our first destination which will be The Oak and Ivy public house near Bodiam where we plan to stop for the night (A Britt Stop Pub). However, as often happens on British Motorways, we're only moving at a 🐌🐌🐌s pace, but we're just keeping everything crossed that once we get onto the M25 things will improve 🤞.
Alas NO - we managed to get caught up in one tail back after another, and in the end it took us nearly 7 hours to cover just over 200 miles - and at that we didn't even have a lunch break😢. We also had to make time to call in and collect our bikes from a dealership where we'd left them a month ago for service and repair, so by the time we got to our destination it was pitch dark and quite cold, but looking on the bright side, I didn't have to cook dinner! We enjoyed that in the pub where the deal was a tenner for a very satisfying pint + burger and chips and then we could stay overnight for just another 7 quid!
Saturday 2nd December 2017
After yesterday's mammoth drive we'd broke the back of our journey and we'd only got 55 miles to travel to the Aire at Canterbury where we plan to spend tonight before catching a ferry over to Calais at 9.30 tomorrow morning. So really, we needed to find something to pass some time, and as we're National Trust Members Bodiam Castle provided just the distraction we needed.
This well preserved 14th Century moated castle ruin was quite interesting to explore, and while we were within it's walls we learnt quite a bit - some of which was about it's history, but also about it's residents of today - which aren't of the human kind.
Apparently, there are several breeds of bats that live within the walls of the castle and they've even set up a Maternity Wing within one of it's towers - the info boards told us that in spring you can hear the females chattering while they await the birth of their pups! Additionally, for many years honeybees have made their home in the castle Buttery and the information boards there told us that if all the bees disappeared off the earth man kind would only have four years of life left!
While we were exploring we climbed several steep staircases which led us up to the tops of towers from where we had magnificent views of the Kent countryside and vineyards, and also into several residential chambers where we learnt about the castle toilets of which there were many! As you would probably imagine they were set into the outside walls and the chutes emptied directly into the moat. However, it seems they regularly became blocked and when this occurred sorting them out was a job for small children - the smaller the better because they would fit into the chutes!
We also visited the kitchen area where there were two massive open range fire places, one of which included a bread oven - and if you sniffed really hard you could almost smell a freshly baked crust! And finally the Well which supplied the castles water - but this wasn't for drinking! Adam and Ben, you man have liked it here cos medieval folk stuck to ale - even at breakfast time!
After our visit was complete it didn't take us long to scoot off to Canterbury, and thankfully, we didn't meet anymore traffic problems. Tomorrow we'll be up bright and early to nip along to Dover for our 9.25 ferry to Calais, and after that we've got two weeks to wend our way down to Spain just in time for Santa! However, I'm sure I'll be chatting to you again along the way!
But for now take care 😚
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