Hello Friends, it’s that time again when I do my “What I did on my holidays” essay. This was a belter in so many ways, not all of them good.
The itinerary was changed at the last minute due to Badger realising he is going to be 80 years old soon & may not be able to do these trips much longer. He decided to go visit some old “friends and relations” in Southern Britain so we had to arm-wrestle which of my own pals got left out.
The Fabulous – my two-day trip to Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary, staying on a campsite nearby which was behind a pub wot did good veggie menu
so we ate there every night and nobody minded Lily coming with us. I’ve been involved with the Sanctuary for some years through Bestie Brenda who came up to meet me and so I was surrounded by mates both clothed and hairy – Paradise.
Wonderful to finally meet FB family in the flesh and I also got to see my “godchildren” adopted chimps. Must adopt Winston who is the world’s best kiss-blower who spent ages exchanging whistles and kissie sounds with me.
The Bad? There is a thing called “Wild Camping” which usually costs nothing and consists of just poling up somewhere and plonking oneself down with no facilities. We found one that wanted paying for this! In Walton on Thames we were put in a huge field which, to be fair, had electricity, a chemi-loo disposal point and a cold tap. The shock came when the car boot sale, which is apparently the biggest in the outer London area, took place in the field next door and the “campsite” became an unoffcial car park, dog toilet (only one person picked up after her dog, bless her) and public footpath shortcut… we didn’t dare leave the caravan and go out, even if it had been possible to fight through the incoming traffic. Oh yes, there were no showers within walking distance of the camping field so we had to resort to hot kettles, mugs and washing up bowls to do hair. Talk about frontier-living!
Being on a new “learn serenity and be nice” course I managed to not hit anyone by saying “It’s only this morning, they will be gone soon and I won’t be here next week”. But it got close!
We had to pay for this privilege of course and it was only because we were just up the road from one of our besties with whom I had a grand time and got taken to that there Lundun – yes, he let me loose on the capital, mad fool !
The Good campsite was in Ashton in Kent where everything was clean, friendly and had a very family atmosphere. The rules were a bit strict but that is probably why all the campers got on so well. Piston didn’t like having to be walked on his lead and showed his displeasure by shredding his Dad’s paws… no thank you I can take my OWN jacket off! I always carry a full medical kit in the van and so treated wounded Badger with spray antisepti, tea, Milka chocolate and unexpected sympathy.
The WTF experience was near Bristol where a very charming elderly couple were delightful but I got bullied, harrassed and close to committing GBH on one of their in-laws. While Badger was up in the reception talking air compressors to the old feller, a long haired bloke with a Hitler-complex came back three times to tell me to move the caravan as it was parked facing in the wrong direction. Having been told the first time that I don’t drive and advised to speak to my husband didn’t do it. He came back again. I marched him up to Reception to speak to Badger but he refused to come in. Eventually, in tears of rage and frustration, I made a dramatic entry on the old fellers’ conversation and demanded he be hauled off me.
The old folks came down to see us that evening and were distressed and apologetic which I tried to sort out. It wasn’t their fault and the only person who should apologise was the guy with the “I’m in charge” psychosis. I was good. I didn’t assault him but it came close.
Being without WiFi for nearly two full weeks was hell and meant that we didn’t discover until half way through the holidays that we had been defrauded to the tune of over 1200 euros on my bank card. Fortunately our bank manager, David, is a lovely lad and got it sorted by cancelling my card and sending a new one to the house so I spent the last week of the hols with no means of paying for anything. I am now trying to claim the money back from a different dept.
Two weeks was a bit too long with the whole family but then I don’t know that we will try it again. As swan-songs go, it was an aria but a bit out of tune in places.