Friday 2nd August 2019
Today has been long and tiring.
We had been looking forward to the ‘Cream Tea at the Locks’ C&MH rally since we booked it. Doing the last minute packing in the morning and then a leisurely drive the 15 miles or so to arrive about 3.00pm. It would have been a relaxing start to the weekend.
We should have known better.
We have spent most of today at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Appointments with my Clinical Oncologist- getting the low down on what is involved with the Radio Therapy I will be undergoing and the effect it will have on me. Then a pre-op assessment with an ECG and blood for many tests (must have been half an arm full). Then a bit of a wait to see an Anaesthetist to see if there would be a problem with having a quite a long operation – luckily that was very positive – he suggested they might want to give me an Echo Cardiogram before but that would only be as a check. So when all the results are in all the teams can have a discussion and decide the best course of action to recommend. I’m still waiting for that – but it should be soon.
We came away just before 4.00pm feeling more positive than before – so it was worth it.
Back home – then couple up Voyager and Betty and we were off to our Rally.
We arrived just before 6.00pm to find a nice flat, well mown field with a good selection of Caravans and Motorhomes already sited.
Quick chat with the Marshals, manoeuvred to where they wanted us and then the bit of work getting setup.
Nigel did the outside stuff – getting the levelling rams down – although we were all but level they do add stability and stop any rocking! Then the silver screen. I had ignited the oven and when it was up to temp put the dinner in. While it was cooking we strolled over and did the financial stuff & got our Rally pack – quite expensive (relatively) at £30 for 2 nights but worth it for the location.
After our meal (homemade cottage pie – prepared yesterday) we put up the gazebo (Nigel didn’t try to put it up inside out this time – he’s learning). Then the awning. We have changed to orientation this time – the gazebo next to Betty with the door facing forward – I can look out at people not just a hedge – much better.
We met Helen walking her dogs past us – there with hubby Keith, they are from South Wales and had a Swift RIO Motorhome. We took a stroll to see it a little later – different with a flip up back – for more ventilation?
Then feet up, bit of TV and bed.
Saturday 3rd August 2019
A rather cloudy morning with a little mist but still warm. Nigel got out the pole and windsock – he couldn’t get the lights to work though (something to keep him busy when we get home) – while I made our packed lunch.
So with the 2G’s prepped and packed we set of for our trundle into the town by way of the tow path.
It was good to see the locks being used – with many narrowboats going down and a few going up the long flight.
Some with many helpers and others just a couple – it is wonderful to watch but you need to be pretty fit to do it – we are well past that.
We have been to Devizes many times before but not with Voyager – she is too big for the small car parks – so it was good to check out the shops together doing all the little side alleys as we trundled through.
It made a change to see so many independent shops although like most towns these days the Coffee chains and Charity shops seem to be spreading everywhere. There were a few traders set up in the Market Place – I bought a scented candle at one and Nigel was intrigued by a vendor selling smoked things – he bought a pack of smoked walnuts. We tried them later – very odd taste we decided (half went in the bin – still you never know unless you try).
On through the shopping area using Little Brittox, The Brittox, Maryport street and Sidmouth street (love these names) – where a street singer was giving a lovely performance.
We had lunch by the ‘Crammer’, people watching and chatting, before a quick trip to Morrisons for a pressure break (Pee) and to buy a few things we needed.
Then on our way back we checked out the indoor market – I found some lovely fabric stalls – bought a few yards to add to my stash.
We made one more stop at the Wharf and checked out the museum and gift shop – very interesting
– couldn’t get a Devizes fridge magnet though (all sold out) but did buy a few postcards. I will add it to the list of magnets Nigel has promised to make.
Then all along the tow path back to Voyager.
On the last 200yds of the trip, as we were ascending the rise to the road bridge, Gordon lost power and to cut a few awkward minutes short Nigel had to knock him into neutral so I could push him back with Grace.
We only just made it for the 3.00pm ‘Cream Tea’ social. We took chairs, table, plates, knife and cups – Jenny gave us a pack of 4 scones with small tubs of jam and clotted cream. The ern was steaming away with coffee, sugar and tea-bags next to it – so it was self-assembly which all added to the fun. We sat with Helen and Keith and while I made up a scone each for us, Nigel made our coffee’s. We thought that two halves of scone with jam and cream would be enough – but it’s been so long since we’ve had any that the others couldn’t be left. Oh dear – I fear the ‘Walk of Shame’ at Slimming World next week.
After we had eaten there was the ‘Picture Quiz’ – the four of us decided to act as a team. However even working collectively we only got 22.5 out of 32 – the winner managed 26.5.
We went back to Voyager, me for a little siesta and Nigel to check what was wrong with Gordon. He had a pretty good idea – while servicing him a couple of months ago he found one of the motor brushes to be very worn. After much searching on the internet he couldn’t find the manufacturer original replacements but did find what looked like good generic ones on Ebay. This replacement had completely disintegrated – but having bought a few he replaced it with another which got him going again – but not for long. He managed two circuits of the van, a trip to the Elsan point and half a trip to the hedge to dump the grey water – when it failed again he pushed it back.
He fitted yet another brush but only so he could get him back into Betty.
So Gordon is Bust – the moral of the story being – Don’t buy inferior Motor Brushes from Ebay!
Later after our steak meal we spent the evening back with a smaller group having a few drinks and a good chat.
I found them all very friendly and happy to listen to me (some groups don’t) which made for a really good night. I enjoyed it a lot – I think we will be doing many more Rallies with this group!
Then off to bed.
Sunday 4th August 2019
Breakfast and a bit of a tidy up before Flag at 11.00.
All the usual thankyou’s etc. – then the raffle (we had bought four strips) – our usual luck was with us – so no prize again!
The official Rally end time was 3.00pm so we relaxed in the Gazebo for a bit, waving our goodbyes to our fellow campers as they left. We are so close to home and the weather so good that staying to the end was our plan.
In fact we didn’t start dismantling and packing away the outside equipment until after our Tapas lunch. Our only concession today was Nigel having a non-alcoholic lager instead of his usual 5% one.
All packed up we were the last to leave (apart from the Marshals) at about 2.30 but we were still home by 3.00.
And so the washing began.
Since getting back I have received the schedule for my Radio Therapy –it starts on Bank Holiday Monday (26th August) with sessions every weekday for six weeks. Nigel hopes we can fit in a close to home Rally on one of the first few weekends. After that I will likely be too weak, tired and poorly.
We will be back sometime after that – with a bit of luck!
You might get a techy Blog in there sometime giving updates on the few jobs around the Motorhome and Trailer that need doing.