Friday, 14 November 2014

Holland to South of France

Spooky McNooky
 They dragged me away from the Maker-of-all-Things Tasty and stuck me on a spooky site in Hasselt which has these giant solar panels and strange men wandering around non of which were daddy.  It all smelt of damp and drippage.  http://www.eurocampings.co.uk/belgium/limburg/houthalen/campsite-de-binnenvaart-101095
Lake at Houthalen
 There was a really beautiful lake there but Mama kept peering into it like she was looking for bodies.  We left really early in the morning and even Daddy didn't have a shower!
Beutiful Woody Wood La Spineuse
The next day we stopped on the border just before France in a lovely dingly dell in Neuf Chateau.  It was full of rabbits.  And trees.  And rivers.  Mama said she would bring me back here again when it was a bit warmer.  There was a home made playground and Mama and Daddy nearly killed themselves on a zip wire.  Daddy went first and had a very strange expression on his face as he came whizzing out of the trees. They wouldn't let me near it and both complained of back ache the fiollowing day.
We have a couple of nights in lay-bys and aires and head down the east of France through the Ardennes. We stop at a site just outside Lyon http://www.camping-indigo.com/fr/camping-indigo-lyon-rhone.html which is great but packed out.  We get to go and see statues.  Mama wants to eat tete de veau and I want to throw leaves in the Rhone.  There is a bit of a dispute so Daddy takes me off to throw leaves and Mama eats her dinner.  She spends hours eating my Mama.

Bonjour La France
 Then guess what.  The No-Funs tell me they are taking me to the nougat making hub of the world and I get all excited.  We get to Montelimar.  No sweets.  They make me walk miles in the rain.  Then sleep in a supermarket car park.
My nougat night

The Med
 I was so happy to reach the South and see the sea.  I saw the sea.  And the wind blew and we all ran in circles like sea gulls for ages.  We finally reach Camping Les Peupliers at Colombiers http://www.camping-colombiers.com/english/index.asp and it is wonderful.  The sun shines, the crickets chirrup, the air smells of pine and woodsmoke and the trees rustle like water running.

L'oppidum enserune
We climb to the top of the Oppidum in the blazing sun and eat cake.  We cycle along the canal du midi and eat cake.  We sit in the port and watch the boats go buy and eat cake.  We see a coypu and eat cake.  We give the coypu some cake.
My aunties come and see me and we eat cake.
Sunday we're off to Spain.
If we'll fit.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Belgium to Holland

Picking sweet chestnuts
 We had a terrible journey around Antwerp.  Daddy says all the lorries in the world come from Belgium.  There were only 2 lanes and the cars were going really fast in one and the lorries were going really slow in the other and we were caught between the two.  But we found a lovely campsite at Hoeven called Molecaten.  http://www.molecaten.nl/bosbad-hoeven Mama said she wouldn't be seen dead there during the Summer months but they had a forest and a heated swimming pool and slides and trampolines and all things exciting. 
Me and my bike

Me and my mate the cake maker
 We cycled into the nearest town and bought cake and hot cholcolate and beer.  We had a lovely time and I said hello to everyone.  We stayed 2 days and then set off for Amsterdam.  We stayed a night in AmsterdamBos http://www.campingamsterdamsebos.nl/en/ and it was very rainy but we went a walk through the forest.

Zeeburg Amsterdam


 We left the following day from the Bos and were in Amsterdam very quickly.  Daddy seems to find his way very well.  He takes after me. I told him where to turn left and where to turn right. I liked the Zeeburg campsite in Amsterdam. http://www.campingzeeburg.nl/  It had goats and a beach and some great smelling cigarettes.
My goats
 We walked into the nearest town and so Mama could have a haircut.  There were herons EVERYWHERE.

Spot the Heron
 The following day we went into Amsterdam.  There were lots of ladies in windows who kept knocking and smiling at me.  I liked them a lot.  Mama took me a fantastic Chinese restaurant Hoi Tin in China town and I had my favourite.  Char Sui.  I also ate the best custard bun from their bakery that I had ever tasted. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g188590-d2072610-Reviews-Hoi_Tin-Amsterdam_North_Holland_Province.html
Hoi Tin
 I loved Amsterdam.  I loved all the statues and the paintings and the women knocking on windows.  Everyone loved my orange coat. 
Dam Square

The zoo   
Dutch Delicacies

My Aunty Jackjack and her daughter came to visit us at the campsite and we all went to the Artis zoo together.  http://www.artis.nl/ I loved the statues.  My favourite Uncle Joe also came to join us and whisked us off to his house near Rotterdam where he stuffed Mama and me and daddy full of the most delicious food I have ever tasted.  I felt so at home there.  I didn't want to leave but the No Funs are making me get back in the van.  We leave for Belgium tomorrow.
Mama's favourite view of GUJ (at the cooker).
 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

In Brugge

Num Nums
Mama likes this film and I loved Brugge.  Lots and lots of statues.  And horses.  Mama did have to stand up holding me on a bus full of school children all the way back though - huffing and puffing about manners.  I sang to them and they liked it.  Still didn't give up their seats though.

Look No Spokes
 So we went around Brugge with me spotting every statue in sight and asking to go and touch them. 
Me and Jan Van Eyck
Mama looked quite tired at the end of the day.  Especially after the bus ride.  But I discovered Belgian choc chocs.
There's a big storm going on here with thunder and lightening and big hail stones and the van is shaking about.  I am sooooooo excited.  I think we might blow away.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Channel Crossing

Port of Dover
The Ally Ally Oh
 Mama and Daddy took 2 days to get to Dover.  We stopped at a great site at Pevensey Bay where Mama was happy because she could hear the sea at night and then onto another site very close to Dover called Little Satmar.  Mama rang for a Chinese delivery and we were very excited to have it delivered to our camper van.  It was good too.  Anyway, Mama got in a bit of a flap because of not having a working phone so she said that we couldn't leave and had to wait a day until her number transfered but then it worked in the morning so we could leave!  I was terribly happy.  I sang the Big Ship sailed on the Ally Ally Oh but Mama wouldn't let me sing the verse when it sinks to the bottom of the sea.  We had lunch and then I fell asleep whilst Mama oohed about about being on the sea.  Suddenly they were waking me up and Bonjouring all over the place.  I soon got into the swing of it.
Bonjour La France




They parked up in a car park called an Aire by the beach.
The beach was wonderful.  Full of sand.  Sand was everywhere.  Mama was happy because we didn't have to pay but they soon ran out of charge for their mobiles and Mummy frets if there isn't any internet.  She just can't leave her gadgets alone.  I have tried to introduce her to the joy of crayonning.

Sand
M et Mr Mitterand
 I got to see lots of statues.  The French like a statue.  I had my photo taken with Mr and Mrs Mitterand in the centre of Calais and also with one by Rodin.  Mama used to say I was a bit of a thinker when I was born so I suppose that's why I liked it.


Thinking
View from my bedroom window
 Mama was so happy to be back in France.  She explained all the signs to me and and translated all the menus we passed even if we weren't hungry.  Daddy kept pointing out the dog caca.  He's at it now as well as Mama and Nana.  They are like the caca police - my family.

Bonjour la baguette


Oh and I discovered la baguette.  The lady in the local bakery called me petit monsieur and I would go and get the bread every morning and eat most of it before I got back to the van.



Just as I was settling in - they move to Belgium...............

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Change of plan - back to Dorset

M6
After our 2 goodbyes to Nana - we head back for a third.  The leisure battery isn't working properly and the original plan to head to Chorley Wood  for a few nights before leaving the country has been changed again.  What are the No- funs upto?  Pouring with rain.  Mama muttering under her breath.  Find another pub campsite in Hixon, Staffs.  http://thehixongreenman.co.uk/  I've had enough of being trapped by the time we arrive.  Traffic terrible.  £15.00 a night but no showers or toilets.  Can't remember when Mama had a shower last.  I don't care as long as she doesn't make me have one.


Off t'pub


Daddy takes me off for a drink and the pub goes a bit quiet when we go in.  I try and cheer them up but they're having none of it.  Daddy says it's the best pint he's had in ages.  There's a really beautiful sunset but it's cold.  Really cold.
Winter is upon us

Mama gets on her got to get up early in the morning.  They set off in the pitch black.  Mama thinks it's funny to take photos of me asleep.  She sleeps with her mouth open too you know.
Pff.  Another crack of dawn

Anyway, we had a quick trip up to London in the car for some business of Mama and I got to see my friend again and then I got to see Nana and Daddy bought a new battery.
Kaviya x
Now they tell me they are taking me on a big boat at the end of the week. Going to France! Mama has taught me to say 'Bonjour and Merci' so I am quite excited.
Will have to say bye bye to Nana again.  Leaving Wednesday for the longest trip in the world along the South coast.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Up North

Parked in the car park
So Granddad Geoffers had found a campsite very close to him and my Grandma Brenda and Granddad Ernie.  http://www.smithsonfarm.co.uk/ ( Do you know I have 4 Granddads but only 2 Nanas.  How does that work?) It was a Caravan and Camping Club site at £15 a night.  We arrived there at 1.30 and parked in the car park.  Mama jumped out to find out where the site was and discovered we were in it.

A view of Pendle


 The North of England is so very green.  A different green to Dorset.  It was cold though.  We had stopped at Sandbach services and changed out of our shorts and into our thermals.  Granddad Geoffers came over to see us and brought the Mr. D which Mama had ordered.  Mama was beside herself.  I have never seen anyone get so excited about a pan!   Apparently it is a slow cooker which works without heat.  So what!  http://mrdscookware.com/ She is mad for it.
We walked to an Indian restaurant up the road.  The Shapla.  http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g503927-d3806755-Reviews-Shapla_Indian_Restaurant-Burnley_Lancashire_England.html
Mama had been singing her 'I'm gonna eat chilli song' for hours.  She claimed she hadn't had a chilli since leaving Tooting but I don't believe her.  She did that embarassing thing in the restaurant of  asking the waiter a hundrerd trick questions to find out if it was going to be authentic food and then looked sad when it wasn't.  I had a great time.  They were really nice and really friendly.  I ate everything up as it wasn't hot at all.  I also made friends with a man called Jeff who shook my hand and said it was terribly nice to meet me.
The Cut
 The next day we walked to Brierfield along the canal which is beautiful. 
 It was full of sunshine.  They have built a marina where you can hire barges.  Mama made lunch in Mr. D and we drove to Grandma Brenda's house and parked outside.  She and Granddad came in and we had lunch and wine and cheese and sat parked in the road for 2 hours.  It was great.  I showed them round the van.  Mr D's lunch was a success and I think Daddy may have had to eat his hat.
Aunty Jayne and Aunty Ping and Aunty Joyce and Uncle Keith came to see us the next day.  They are lovely and said they are going to come and see us in Spain which I would like very much.  We went for dinner with them.  To another pub!  I like pubs.  I like my Aunty Ping and Aunty Jayne.  I missed them when she went.  Mama drank a bit too much as she was very grumpy the next day.  She said she was grumpy because the site charged her £10.50 for the electricity which was only running our fridge for 3 days and they wanted 2 x 50p for every 5 minute shower.  I think it was because she had quite a few glasses of beer.  She refused to shower the whole time we were there.  And she kept moaning because there wasn't any internet.  And I stood in dog caca.  And there was more dog caca at the back of the van. 
Me and my hoss

I liked it there because we had chickens come and visit and ponies and dogs and I don't mind dog caca.  The dog is worth it. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Going Up North

Gloucester Services

So they finally dragged me away from Nana to set off on this wild goose chase.It was such a beautiful day at Durderlee door that it was a shame to leave.  We headed off up the M5 and came across this amazing service station near J11 called Gloucester Farm.  It really took the biscuit.  None of the Old MacDonalds or the Little Thiefs.  Just lovely home made cakes and a beautiful building.  They even had a pond with a water fall.  mama liked it so much, she wrote to them to ask if we could stay overnight and they say yes - for £20.  http://www.gloucesterservices.com/


Looking at a barge on the river 7
Anyway, it took an absolute age to get there so Mama came up with the bright idea to look for pubs with campsites.  She found a great site where you could search by map http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/ and picked the closest one which was in Tewsbury.  The Hawbridge Inn.  It was fabulous.  Playground for me,.  Hot shower for Mama and a good pint for Daddy.  £9.00 a night. http://www.hawbridgeinn.co.uk/
Arty Farty
 We went for a lovely walk along the River Severn.  Daddy went on about the longest river in Britain and watersheds and Mama banged on about some bloke called Laurie Lee and took thousands of arty photographs.  I have only let her put a few on here as she gets so carried away.
Picky Wicky
 I had yet another dinner of chips and juice and went a bit mad on the sofa.  Mama decided that it was a good idea to try the van without electric hook up and that's when it all went dark.   We spent the rest of the evening in torch light.  Very exciting.  Daddy says we need a new leisure battery.
Kicky Knicky

Mama then insisted on us all  getting up at 4 in the morning to get ooop North.  That was fine with me as I had been awake since 2.30.  On the way she kept reading out the motorway signs which said 'Tiredness kills'.  I don't know why she kept staring at me.
Scary lady.