Monday, 8 July 2013

A very expensive cheap weekend away

Friday 5 July

My Twitter and Facebook time lines were telling me that the world and their partner were away enjoying themselves and I was feeling a little left out. @DerekTheWeather was promising a heat wave, so herself and I decided to get the caravan out to escape for a cheap weekend away.

Today was not ideal, we were both working and I was stuck in Llandrindod Wells in a meeting till late on. Usually I take the Friday off to get the van ready, so with the sun high in the sky by Lunch I decided to skip the afternoon session and head back west.

To make it worthwhile the intention is to stay on a local site and stop for 3 nights with herself going straight to work from site on Monday.  Herself had  finished work by 4pm and arrived home to find me sat  in the car, engine running and fingers drumming impatiently on the dash. No pressure there on her at all, but never the less by 4.30pm we were pulling in through the gates at Gowerton CC Site.

Set up by 5.30pm and with sweat pouring off me like a Paedophile in a creche, it was time to get some provisions in.  We are quite close to home, so to make it feel more like a holiday we thought we'd get the shop in somewhere different to the  usual Tesco or Morrisons, which would have been closer.

Pulling up in the car park of CK's in Penclawdd in bright sunshine we were in full; on holiday mode.  Within Half an hour we really felt like holiday makers too having been robbed of £75 by them for some goods that barely covered the bottom of he trolley.

Back on site the Weber is fired up to cook the steaks for tea before we take the dogs for their late evening constitutional in the superb on site dog walk and then settling in for the evening with a  6 pack of John Smiths for company.

Saturday 5th July

Last night was hot and sticky, and me guzzling earlier mentioned cans of beer did nothing to aid restful sleep.  I was awoken several times by my screaming bladder during the night and at 4:40am Cerys started playing up asking to be let out.  I relented and got up to let them out to splash their boots before climbing back into bed where I stayed unconscious until 10.30am.

It's test rugby day today.  The deciding test for the Lions and the Convicts.  I have Sky Go set up on my IPad so settled down to watch the game.

Unfortunately the rest of the country must also have had this idea because the Sky website refused to play ball and stream properly, so I spent the next 80 mins watching pixilated red and yellow blurs moving over my screen and kept track of the score via Twitter.

We thrashed the Shackle Draggers and some of the Pundits that have been lining up this week to have a go at Gatland and Welsh people in general should hang their heads in shame!

With the game over, we sat in he sun for a few hours before nipping to Lidl to get some provisions in. Not quite the some holiday experience as CKs but at least the cashier was not wearing a highway man's mask!!!!

Ronnie announces that him and DD are coming over with Roids and his significant other (I've not yet heard her speak, so we'll call her The Mute) but shock and horror they do not require feeding.  Though they did however steal all my donuts for their journey home!

They brought me a belated Father's Day gift, stone ice cubes.  I'll have to be careful with these babies, because I have a habit of swallowing ice cubes, and I have a feeling that these may hurt in the way back out!

Once we'd got rid of them the Weber was fired up and I BBQ tea in the hot sunshine. With full bellies and in severe danger of falling asleep for he rest of he evening we decided it was spin time. Setting off along the North Gower road we encountered loads of people in Penclawdd.  Now we know there's not that many Donks so something was happening.  I've not seen that many people in Penclawdd since the last time CKs had a 4 for £1 offer on their sausage rolls!  Turns out it was a Festival of the Tides.  Don't know what all the fuss is about cos it comes in and goes out twice a day every day!

Turning off the main road (it's only a B road, but that is classed as a main road on the Gower) we meandered through the lanes before stopping at Whitford Sands.  What a lovely spot.  We parked looking up towards Weobley Castle and looking over to Turksville (The Promised Land)

Hopping out we marvelled at how pleasant a spot this was, and headed off to walk the dogs along the coast towards Llanmadoc.  We got to the end of the path over the COMMON LAND and were welcomed by a sign that proudly stated that the farmer would shoot any dogs off a lead.  How nice!!

Now I know he's got no legal right to shoot anything, but we were not prepared to take the risk and headed off after letting the dogs have a brief stretch.  By the time we get back to site the sun was low in the sky and some of the heat of the day was fading.  Not having learnt my lesson from last night, I proceeded to make my way through a six pack of Carlsberg's finest before turning in quite late.

Sunday 7 July

We wake to another glorious day.  I look at my phone and it promises to be rather hot.

We've no plans today, other than to site by the van with the dogs and enjoy the sunshine.  We worry about finding them shade, and whilst Cerys is sensible enough to lie down in the shade, Tali sunbathes in the blistering heat on the mid day sun.

Just after lunch my sister and her significant other turned up, having been for lunch with Nana Coupons.  They stayed for an hour with us before leaving Nana Coupons to enjoy the rest of the day with us.

Ronnie and DD then show up with work clothes for herself for the morning, before shooting off themselves armed with a bag full of food for the BBQ.

With them dispatched we start to relax, though it's very hot.  they've not been gone 25 mins, when my phone rings.  It's Ronnie, and he don't sound to good!  He fesses up straight away and just blurts out "I've just put petrol in mam's car!"

This is not good.

Herself's car runs on diesel.  What's more it's only a week old, brand new out of the showroom.  At least he hadn't tried to start it after realising his mistake.  My heart starts to sink as I start to add up in my head the cost of all this.

It's 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. so we've no chance of getting a local garage out to sort it, it's not covered under the breakdown policy, so we've no choice but to cough up for the AA to some out and remedy the situation.

We make our way to the filling station to push the car off the forecourt and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

Mt plastic is hammered for a few hundred notes, and with the hour a rather high tech transit van pulls up and proceeds with the fuel recovery process.

The guy who does it has a thankless task.  Whilst being relieved that the problem can be sorted, his customers are mighty pissed off at being relieved of nearly a week's wages for the privilege!  He was a very cheery chap, and while I could not find it in me to laugh at his quips, I did resist the urge to punch him straight in his smug chops.

Back on site it's still bloody hot and all the windows and roof lights in the van are slung wide open in an effort to get some air flowing through it. Tea is once again cooked on the Weber.  We eat Al Fresco, me with my top off (you're welcome, the ladies of Pont y Cob) and wash it all down with some ice cold lager.

Having recovered from his earlier misdemeanour (I'm still crying inside) Ronnie turns up with DD, Roids and The Mute on the premise of asking where nice they could go for a spin out.  I think he was just testing the water to see if we were pissed with him from earlier.

Anyway, after emptying out our fridge of coke and water (we are cheaper than CK's see) they depart into the sunset in the general direction of Oxwich Bay.

Once it cooled down a bit, herself and I dropped the awning before taking cool showers and settling down to doze in front of the TV.

Monday 8 July

Another warm and sticky night.  The alarm wakes us at 7am and I have herself in work by 8.30am.  Roids turns up with herself's car and come back to site with me to pack up.  The van isn't going straight back into it's hiding place though because Leisure Medic s coming out to take a look at the rear steadies and the electric hot water heater.