Sunday, 15 June 2014

Bringing Shame Upon the Family Name

There have been  many instances over the years where it has been well published where individuals have been ostracised at best or stoned to death at worst for bringing shame upon the family name.  All will be revealed.

 Been looking forward to this weekend for some time.

The same day that the organisers announced that the fair was to be held at Pembrey Country Park pitches were reserved at the immediately adjacent CC site. As an added bonus in the week leading up to the event I managed to win free entry tickets on Facebook leaving an additional £25 to put into the pot for Strongbow!

Unusually, in the lead up to this trip I've had to be away with work in Mid Wales for a few nights.  As nice as it was to be waited on hand and foot in The Metropole, it wasn't exactly the ideal preparation for a long weekend away.

A late night ensured that wardrobes were filled, shopping was bought and the fridge & coolbox stocked in readiness for the weekend's antics.

Thursday 12 June

We wake to blue skies with the hope that the glorious weather will last through the weekend.  Work was manic as I'd been out of the office for 2 days, but a herculian effort ensured that I was able to clock out by 3pm and burn some rubber heading west.

Back home the van is inched out of its hidey hole and in the open is soon become apparent that there is no way it can be pitched on site in it's current state.  Next door is having some building work done, so the van is encrusted with a rather obnoxious combination of building dust and bird shit.

Once hitched up I head straight for Morrisons and invest £10 in jet wash vouchers before giving the van the good news with the pressure washer and foam brush.

With that done, and a sparkly clean van I'm pulling up outside Herself's work just as she's coming out of the door, and we make the short trip to Pembrey.  Mr Tatasports is already on site so after checking in we play hide and seek on the site roads trying to find him.  I spy his awning through the trees and think Oh dear!

Mrs Shag is not going to approve his choice of pitch at all.  Whilst I can see what he was thinking .... close to the park for his grand kids ........ not too far from the toilets ....... no through road in our glade ....... I am also thinking that those trees are way too high and we will lose the evening sun.

No sooner than I've checked in on Facebook, Mrs Shag is ranting allover my time line about the choice of pitch.

Once pitched up we head off to Burry Port to pick up a rather excellent Chinese for tea which was devoured before sitting out in the late evening light blowing the froth off a few cold cans and watching some arsehole do 4 circuits of the site at an unsafe speed searching for his perfect pitch.

We give up at 10pm due to being bitten alive and retreat to the comfort of the van to round off the night with a few more cans.

Friday 13 June

The sun is streaming through the blinds and the van heating up like an oven by the time I stir in my pit at 8.30am.  I leave Herself dribbling on her pillow and get dressed to take to dogs out for a walk.  I am on a mission though, so this morning's effort has a purpose. Instead of just aimlessly ambling farting, coughing and wiping the sleep from my eyes, I head off into the country park and up through the forest towards the viewing point.  From there I can see where the game fair is to take place and plot our easiest way in tomorrow.

I am out for a good hour with the dogs so you can imagine my surprise when I returned to the van and the blinds are still down.  What's more I cannot smell cooking bacon and as I opened the door me heart sinks as I see no sign of a kettle on the stove.

Herself is enjoying a well deserved lie in, so as quietly as I can I slam the caravan door off it's hinges so as not to disturb her in her pit!

She gets the hint and a steaming cuppa is in my hands before a further 10 mins has elapsed.  There is no bacon butty though, but Herself spits at me that we do not have any with us.

I have to pop out.  Firstly Roids has my rucksack in his car, secondly I want a personal speaker for my phone / ipad and thirdly I want some bacon and ribs from the butchers.

Mr Shag has once again engineered it that he is working on the day that he is supposed to be arriving, and what with there being over 60 arrivals today the chances of there being a vacant pitch in our glade by the time he and Mrs Shag get their collective arses into gear are slimmer that the average Ethiopian.

That in mind, Mr Tatasports has offered to go fetch his van for him and put in on a pitch to reserve it for their arrival.  I just know it's not going to end at that, and just after i return to site Mr Tts rolls up with Mr Shag's van following diligently.

It's a good job Mr Shag has decent acquaintances, and his van is set up, including the awning in readiness for his arrival (even if it did take a Google to work out how to use his motor mover).

Herself and I have plans to do some walking today.  A picnic lunch and enough water to solve the drought problems in Africa are packed into my rucksack before we head off into the country park.  It's hot and humid on the paths as they thread their way through the forest, and I feel like a squaddie on selection in the Brecon Beacons with the weight of my rucksack.  We get lost, but I tell Herself that if she listens out for the sea and we follow that noise, we will hit the back road of the country park eventually.  If it works for Bear Grylls it'll work for me.

The trouble is, walking in a straight line is great if you've got good shoes on like me, but Herself is wearing Sandals. Things start to get a little fraught.

We do find our way out and head towards the visitor's centre where Herself wants to renew our season ticket for the country park, which at £45 for a whole year represents excellent value.

I an hungry, in addition to wanting to lose some of the weight from by laden bergen, so we set off in search of a picnic table.

We time it just right as a school party leaves the adventure playgrounds and we settle ourselves down on one of the picnic tables overlooking a now empty and very quiet playground area.  I spend the next 20 mins trying to throw as much fluid down Herself's neck as I can in an effort to lighten my load before setting off.

Herself informs me that my folically challenged bonce is taking some punishment so I plaster it with some factor 35 before making tracks further into the forest.  BIG MISTAKE.

As we head further into the forest we lose the cooling breeze once more.  I am getting hot and my over exuberance with the sun cream has now resulted in my head resembling one of Charlie Dimmock's water features.  Only as the sweat trickles down my forehead it brings with it cream residue and cascades elegantly over my eyebrows into my stinging eyes.

We stop at the lake for the dogs to have a swim.  Well. Cerys swims while Tali goes no deeper than his ankles - he's scared of water - no matter though because I pick him up and throw him into the deep to cool him off.

We set off again deeper in to the forest and  it's some time before I have to do what no other man on this planet likes to do.  Admit we are lost again.  There are no rivers, nor can we now hear the see, so Bear Grylls' advice is out of the window.  Not to worry I say, as I fire up the maps application on my smart phone.  My eyes arewatering and puffed up like a new resident at the battered wives refuge and I'm struggling to focus on the screen.

It's not getting any clearer and I remark to herself that I think I'm going blind.  She storms over takes one look and delicately points out that I have no signal.  Things are getting fraught again.

It is at this point that I realise that Herself's idea for today's walk differed ever so slightly from mine.  She has made an effort.  her hair has been done nice, she has makeup on and is wearing a nice top with 3/4 jeans and sandals with a heel.  I really ought to get the hang of this communicating lark.

By now Herself's sandals have given up the will to live and one is flapping hopelessly off her foot.  We've been walking some time and things start to become a little more familiar to us.  We meet a man in the forest who is out with his hound (it's BIG) who is also called Taliesin. Little Taliesin meets BIG Taliesin.

I now know what Bear Grylls feels like when he emerges from under the dense jungle canopy into a clearing, and if I wasn't such a tired, sweaty mess I would have leaped for joy as we emerged into the camping area of the country park and civilisation.

We arrive back on site and look around in disappointment at the lack of a welcoming party.  We collapse into our chairs in a heap, unable to move for an hour.  A look at my smart phone app reveals that we've cover approx 5 1/2 miles in our travels.  I don't think I've walked that far since ......... well. since ever!  The map below how we zigzagged our way through the forestry.

Herself wakes me to say that 1 - Mr Shag has arrived and 2 - Ronnie and Roids are on their way to visit. I get up to go to the coolbox and my feet hurt.  They really hurt.

I fire up the Weber to cook up some food in the warm evening sunshine.  Nothing fancy tonight, just a few burgers with a huge dollop of CBA (can't be arsed) and proceeded to empty the coolbox of bow.  We had a great night and wrapped it up at about 2am feeling very pissed and very sun burnt.

Saturday 14 June

Considering I was up so late last night I am up by 7am having a shave and a shower in readiness for a busy day.  I sit outside with the dogs at 8.30am and Mr Shag is just stirring.  He does not look too well at all.  Roids and The Fridge arrive by 9.30am and we breakfast on bacon rolls before walking into the game fair.

It's rammed in there, and we walk around all the side stalls selling all manner of things from arts and crafts to shotguns and hunting knives.

I want a crossbow, but herself is having none of it no matter how much I plead and beg and promise to be sensible with it.  Instead I have to make do with a knife sharpener, a magnetic bangle and a few more leads to add to our collection.  We now have a pair of dog leads for every imaginable situation.

We stop for lunch and a pint before taking in a few watch a few shows in the arena. I'm impressed with the sheep dog demo and the wild fowl hunting exhibition, and rather less so with the rather politically motivated hunting hounds bit.  It's supposed to be a show, not a party political broadcast.

Every man and his dog are here, and to be honest with you, if I didn't have a dog on a lead I'd feel a little out of place.  Tali is yanking my arm out of it's socket, there is just too much going on.  Dogs everywhere, geese and other poultry round every corner, shotguns being let off and a helicopter circling over head.

We save the best till last and watched two nutters do mental things on motorbikes between two ramps before calling it a day and walking back to the caravan.

The Weber gets fired up for an altogether better effort this evening of pork ribs, pulled pork, sausages and burgers.  Another pleasant evening is spent BBQing in the sunshine .......... oh hang on.

Bringing shame onto the family name...................  As we are cooking our tea one of the site wardens wanders over to our pitch and is rather apologetic in his manner.  There has been a complaint ...... about us ...... we were up late last night ......... drinking and talking   ...... and have ruined someones weekend ..... blah blah blah.  He was very nice about it actually and I apologised unreservedly.  So that's it, someone has now complained about me to the caravan club ....the shame!

We are now looking round the glade to work out who the grass is.  There are only 2 other outfits apart from us, and we can't believe it's either of them as they have been talking tidy to us all day.  It is not long though till we get to find out.  It's 7pm and some bloke in a French registered motorhome, pitched some 40m away from us wanders over, obviously braver now the wardens have spoken to us, and proceeds to tell us to keep the noise down as we are getting on his wife's nerves .... it's 7pm ffs.

I am unable to drink Strongbow 2 nights on the trot so have brought along some Carling for company tonight.  Mr Shag is in his element and takes the piss out of relentlessly, even taking the time to take a picture and post it on facebook.  I have no excuse really apart from it was on offer in Tesco, and, well, I like it really.   So up yours!!

By 10pm I am on my chin straps and out of beer.  I am also shivering after catching too much sun today so call it an early night.  herself takes the dogs for a walk and we are tucked up in bed by 11.30pm snoring for Wales.

Sunday 15 May

I did not stir all night.  Bloody knackered I was after all the walking I've done this weekend, that though pales into insignificance when a mate of mine writes on my facebook timeline that he'd ran 13 miles on Saturday morning!!!

We were breaking camp by 9am and on the road home by 10.30am.  the roads were manic, what with incoming traffic to the game fair today and all the additional cars and pedestrians clad in pink doing the Run for Life in Llanelli today.

We have had a cracking weekend.  Wall to wall sunshine, some lovely walks and the Game Fair yesterday; all spent with some great company.  The booze flowed, as did the conversation and banter.  I brought shame on the familiy name by getting reported to the Caravan Club, but the more I think of that the more I feel that is you want a quiet weekend away, do not book a site on a weekend that is effectively a festival weekend on a site immediately adjacent to that festival.