Was a bit of a strange and traumatic build up to this weekend away.
The bank holiday weekend at the end of August is traditionally a washout, particular in the western reaches of mainland UK. Since our last trip out to the Favela of Pembrey it has not stopped raining much in our part of the world, still at least it keeps the dust down eh!! @DerekTheWeather is predicting his usual doom and gloom so it looks like much of the weekend will be spent under my "Mongo" hat.
Mr and Mrs Shag have been having a little trouble with their caravan, and Mr shag informs me that the guys in the workshop have spent more time in it this year than he has, so opportunities to caravan together have been limited (non existent), so it was with some excitement that we booked a few nights away together on a non facility site on the Gower, Where if the worst comes to the worst we shall spend much time getting corned beef legs in front of the halogen.
I picked Herself up straight from work on Thursday and we went shopping for grub and shant. We get home with it and go to load it straight into the van. We sense something is wrong and on opening the door it would appear that someone had forced entry and had spent a few nights dossing in it!!
Not content with doing that, it soon became evident that they had also taken the time to urinate all over our soft furnishings and drop in carpets!! Animals!!
The police are involved and have a pair of ear rings with the intruder's DNA all over them, next door also have CCTV which has been downloaded onto a disc, so we might just get to know who our uninvited guests have been.
Quips from people I used to consider as friends are currently filling my time line. I might find them funny in time, but for the meanwhile I may have to consider demoting these very people to mere acquaintances.
Friday 29 August
I have the day off but Herself has to work, so after dropping her off I go out to the van to start loading her back up just as the rozzers turn up. Juliet Bravo confirms that the van no longer stinks of pee after our clean up operation last night and £150 worth of new bedding and throws from Argos.
I'm hitched up and ready for the off by midday, and set off in bright sunshine. Cruising the north Gower road with Madness blasting out of the speakers I've not a care in the world until I get past Lanzarhidian and the roads start to narrow somewhat. The main beam gets turned on as I cross Kennexstone Moor and the road turns to single track as I pass The Britannia.
Once past the church the road is a very tight single track where the van touches both sides, and my heart sinks as I spot an oncoming caravan roof over the hedge.
Luckily we meet exactly at the entrance to Whitford Sands and we can squeeze past each other!!
I pull onto a deserted site, reverse onto our allocated pitch and set about setting up. It takes me a little longer than usual as we've purchased a new porch awning, one of these inflatable ones. It goes up really easily, just 22 pumps, and once familiar with it I estimate that it will be just a 5 min job to put up.
You know when at the back of your mind you've got a nagging doubt about something. Well I'd had that since I left home, and only now when unpacking it hit me like a tome of bricks. The BBQ, I can now picture it sat in our shed back home.
Not too bad really though as I have to go back that way to collect Herself from work later. I take a phone call from someone who wants to buy our old awning and arrange to meet them by B&Q in Trostre where the deed is done.
Herself gets into the car and informs me that Roids and TF are at the van waiting for us. We meet them back at site and sit around for a bit until Mr & Mrs Shag rock up at around 6.30. We all pitch in to help them get pitched up before a simple evening meal of burgers and hot dogs off the BBQ.
After waving off Roids and TF the rest of the evening is a bit of a blur, but involved flinging copious amounts of Stella and Gin down my neck whilst putting the world to rights. I have little recollection of much. but am assured that Herself and Mrs Shag took themselves off to bed at around 1am. My next memory is Mr Shag stood outside my awning door at 4am in his boxers trying to wake me to tell me to go to bed!
Saturday 29 August
Contrary to @DerekTheWeather's forecast we wake to bright skies. I'm feeling none too good though, even after taking the dogs for a walk, a bacon sandwich and several mugs of tea!
Mr & Mrs Shag take off to the beach with their dogs and I set out our chairs in the sun to embark on some serious personal contemplation.
You know how all these models are posting pictures all over Twitter of their sun tanned legs while sunbathing in some far flung exotic place?
Well, this is my effort below, unfortunately not quite the same with my short stumpy legs and gnarled toes!!
As I'm sitting there I think I spot something, but put it down to my hangover. But no, I get up to investigate. My BBQ is burning flat out and is almost red hot to touch. I'd only gone and left it on last night! After giving myself a good kicking I go check on the gas bottle that was brand new for this trip ....... running on empty. Gutted I was, gutted.
Mr Shag returns and it looks like the hill back up from the beach has taken it's toll on him, but he's not got long to recover as they have guests for a few nights in the shape of Mrs & Mrs Stobart along with mini Stobart.
The good thing about this site is the space. Only 5 vans are allowed and we have a large field to ourselves with a big open space for playing ball games.
No sooner have they arrived than Mr SB and mini SB have a wendyball out and are hoofing it around the place having a whale of a time. I say nothing, but if they are coming again I shall be insisting that only oval balls are allowed.
Having had directions from Mrs Shag the SBs head off to the beach. They don't get far though as they are stopped in their tracks by the armed sentry on guard at Llanmadoc Farm, who on the expressed instructions of the infamous Mrs Price is to stop anyone from crossing their land who has not paid for the privilege to do so.
Nana Creaky and Grandpa Grumbles have been married 50 years, and Grumbles has taken her to a posh hotel in Cheltenham for a few days to give the bed springs a work out, so we have been Savage sitting. The afternoon is spent chilling, and getting in some quality personal contemplation time while Tali spends the day stalking Fudge.
We get the phone call that they are back and we head off to meet them in Donksville to hand the savage over before returning to site.
We BBQ in the late evening sunshine before enjoying drinks as the sun sets over the big dune at Broughton.
Mr Shag and I laugh quite a bit as Mr SB gets himself into awkward spot after awkward spot with Mrs SB. From the comfort of her chair she directs him to take a photo of the sun set for her, Fair play to him though he's climbing fences and risking life and limb to get the money shot for her. I just hold my phone above my head and press the shutter button before taking another slug of my Thatchers. Apparently his photo's were crap and he gets earache for a good ten minutes telling him so.
The air starts to get damp so we retreat to the relative comfort of |Mr Shag's awning to get some warmth off a light bulb (which appears to be the only kind of awning heater he's brought this weekend).
Mrs SB then clocks me massaging Herself's feet. That isn't right either and Mrs SB then starts to remonstrate with Mr SB because he never pampers her. Mr SB has had enough and takes himself off outside for an hour pretending he's got trapped wind.
A lovely evening was had by all, and with only 3 occupied vans on site (the third also hosting a birthday get together) making a noise was also not an issue.
Herself and I leave them to it at midnight.
Sunday 30 August
I wake up fresh as a daisy at 9am and leave Herself in bed while I head off out with the dogs. Left out of the gates I turned and took off down the lane towards Mrs Price' place. Sure enough a sign a has been erected threatening to shoot anyone who has not paid.
I look longingly over the hedge before I turn around, determined to find a way down to the beach. Back up past the site I slog before spying a sign adjacent to the entrance to the Whitford static site. A lovely path takes us down the hill and through the dunes, passing the row of quads and 4 x 4s lined up waiting to tow boats onto the beach.
Through the dunes the wide open space of Broughton Bay opens up and the dogs enjoy the wide open space.
The slog back up to site has Cerys whinging, though as we rejoin the lane to the Christian Camp I'm happy to stop for a spell myself!
Nearly 3 1/2 miles mind! Do I get some sort of medal? Still never mind eh, it's been a good workout and I'd been gone nearly 2 hours so Herself is bound to be up by now and got breakfast sorted.
I'm climbing the hill back into the site and my heart sinks as I clock our van with blackout blinds still shut. herself has obviously been enjoying some extended personal contemplation!
As I'm cooking breakfast Mr & Mrs Shag, Mr & Mrs SB and mini SB head off for the beach via the new route that does not entail crawling on your belly under razor wire at the Price's gaff.
With breakfast out of the way Herself and I jump in Miranda for a bit of a spin. We make tracks towards Rhossilli in heavy showers, and it appears nearly all of south West wales has too. The place is rammed so a stroll along the cliffs to Worms Head is quickly ruled out. The heavens opened as we are leaving so the rest of the afternoon is spent within the confines of Miranda until we get to CKs and take the opportunity to stock up.
It's still raining when we get back. The occupants of pitch 2 are huddled around a table playing Newmarket. I stay and watch for a while but find it difficult to follow as they're not playing it right and appear to making up the rules as they go along!
Roids and TF rock up at 5.30 for feeding and it's still hammering down. After clearing away the dishes they settle down to watch some TV and I lay on the bed to read for a bit before joining Mr Shag and the others in their awning. It didn't get that far. I fell asleep and woke up briefly at 9.30pm just as Roids was leaving. I stayed awake long enough to eat a Mars and drink a coke before going back to a nice cosy bed proper.
Monday 31 August
I wake at 9am and it's stopped raining. herself has already started to break camp. No time for pleasantries today though as we have to pack up, get home, put the van away before Herself had to be in work.
We're pulling off site by 10am with the front end of Miranda lit up like a Xmas tree for the 10 min sprint though the lanes. One of the charming things about Llanmadoc is that farm animals are allowed to roam the moor and lanes, and whilst this is very endearing, all the sheep tend to leave rather a lot of deposits on the road surface which in turn Miranda's back wheels throw up onto the front of the van without hesitation.
Back on the drive the front end looks like it's been dragged through a farm yard at speed. Here's hoping that a weekend soaking in the bath has been enough to slavage our drop in carpets.
Until next time .... Da bo!