Day 536 – Escape! – 20 Aug 11
For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk
Well, we are ready to go. Portsmouth tomorrow morning for Le Havre. Can’t wait.
In the past 2 weeks we have been getting about. Our trip up to Cheltenham was preceded by me cocking up the loading of Smartie. I misjudged the position and punctured the rear right tyre on the sharp edge of the trailer. So we tried to fill it with gunk but the tyre went down again. So we arranged for ATS in Cheltenham to order a tyre and come out to the racecourse and fix it.
Got to Cheltenham and met up with Sue after the ATS man came out to fix the wheel - £120. Ouch, but it needed doing.
Sue was in good form and was looking well. We had a couple of very enjoyable days out and about including a visit to a vineyard where we tasted a selection of English wines. However, as usual they were fairly thin and tasteless. Good meal in the Royal in Charlton Kings – excellent mixed grill.
Off early to Cardiff in order to avoid the rugby traffic. No problems and we got to our field in Cardiff by 1100. Unloaded Smartie and travelled over to Llandaff to see the old Channel 5 crew of Paul, Jenny, Mike and Gaye. All in fine form and we enjoyed a trip out to visit the Welsh Living History Museum. Great supper from Jenny and relived old times once more.
Got back on Sunday morning and deserted the field for Bourton on the Water where we arrived at 1500 to see the Bollenbergs and 35 other Autotrails. Walked into town for a beer and were greeted by a lovely, archetypal English village. Full of Japanese but nice anyway. BBQ with the Bollies on Monday and sorted out the Bavarian trip for next year.
Then back to Alan and Mary’s on Tuesday and topped up on LPG so we are set fair for Pompey on Sunday. Booked St Clair in Le Lavendou for September where we’ll meet up with Pat and Maria. Perhaps Jackie and Paul will make it too. Even the Englands may turn up. Let's hope so.
Got all the paperwork done today and ordered new chair covers for the wag. (they didn’t fit so have gone back). Sorted out the council tax – 10% reduction for being unoccupied but furnished. Sorted out the house insurance for being unoccupied – 25% premium. Got the TV licence and car tax refunds – so all looking good. Had a haircut!
Got to get the Smartie sorted tomorrow as the steering column is squeaking. Something else that SMC should have done but didn’t. I think I’ll be going elsewhere for van/Smart servicing next year. Their loss – about £1500-worth. Rear view camera is playing up but not much we can do about that. With a bit of luck we’ll be all sorted by Saturday.
Smart will need fixing. Front wheel ball joints completely knackered, which should not have got through 3 MOTs! I’m going to write to SMC again.
Played a short round of golf with Al at his posh club. Nice Par 3 course. Got Smartie back and have cleaned the van with my new showroom shine gunk. All the washing done and van packed up ready for the off.
Set off for Pompey on Sunday morning for the LD Lines 0830 to Le Havre. France and eventually Cabopino – HERE WE COME!!!!!!!!!
Hopefully see you soon,
Enjoy your visits to the house,
If you get a window of opportunity for a long weekend, I’ll buy you a ticket to Malaga so Mum can see you.
M and D
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