Good afternoon all! I hope you’re well and, like us, gearing up for a little more freedom? Let us know what you’ve been up to now that the long, long lockdown winter is receding and the sun is making an occasional appearance.
We’ve just managed a bonus visit to Vince’s storage location to see him again. We told ourselves it was an essential journey as his MOT was due. Last time I mentioned that we were experimenting with the batteries so they’d hold their charge longer in storage. It worked! We were so relieved when I connected up his starter battery and everything sprang to attention, awaiting orders. Vince’s engine fired up first time and a second check showed that the solar panel had kept his leisure battery in tip-top condition. It looks like we’ve cracked this storage business at last, thank goodness.
As part of gearing up for the new season I completed two little jobs that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. One of Vince’s wardrobe doors was looking sorry for itself as the laminate was peeling off on the inside. Wood glue, a spatula* and clamps have sorted that one out. Unfortunately the door will have to stay in my shed awaiting our next visit.
The other job took a little longer. We have some decking on the balconies of our apartment which was looking a bit green after the damp winter. I invested in some Wet & Forget to see if that would get rid of the algae. It did an amazing job, the decking looks like new. This got the brain cells ticking over… what about the perennial green tinge that all caravans and motorhomes suffer from when left standing for months? I checked first to make sure it was safe to use on Vince, then gave his roof and bodywork a good seeing-to. Theoretically it’s supposed to reactivate every time it rains – time will tell. I don’t get paid for mentioning these products by the way – we don’t carry any advertising. However if anyone from W&F is reading this I’m happy to forward my bank details…
We’d found a garage in Knaresborough quite close to Vince’s storage compound, so after a relaxing drive through the country lanes of North Yorkshire we dropped him off for his MOT. We then headed off for an explore as we’d brought the car too. After all, who wants to sit in an oily workshop all day?
First stop was Harrogate. We could see that the town was suffering from lockdown with an obvious lack of tourists. It was very quiet and relatively traffic-free. We didn’t have long to explore but wanted to get a general feel for this beautiful spa town. Ideally we’ll return for a few days in Vince some time, when everything is open. We’d hoped to ogle the glorious pastries in the window of Betty’s Tea Room but like so many of Harrogate’s other attractions it was closed. Having seen a TV show recently where Bake-Off’s Nadiya visited Betty’s, we’ll definitely call in there next time. On our next visit to Harrogate though, we’ll give the Estate Agents’ windows a miss. We couldn’t believe the prices!
I did find somewhere for a man-browse, however – Arkwright’s Tool Emporium is straight out of a Two Ronnies sketch! It even had four candles in the window. The place was stocked from floor to ceiling with every tool and fixing imaginable so I was in my element. After thirty minutes (which seemed to flash by in seconds), I left with all the necessary rope, netting and eye-bolts to make the patented anti-balcony-pigeon device I’ve been working on. I won’t bore you with the details – the clue is in the words anti, balcony and pigeon 😉
On the way back to get Vince the sun came out in full force so we stopped off at Conyngham Hall in Knaresborough to explore their woodland trails. Spring was well on the way as we wandered along the banks of the River Nidd – the daffodils were doing their nodding in the sunshine thing and there were lots of walkers looking dazed and blinking in the light after weeks of winter lockdown. It’s not a huge expanse of countryside, but we whiled away a pleasant hour or so in (rather appropriately) Foolish Wood and had lunch outside in the fresh air for the first time this year – lovely.
Back at the garage the news was good, an MOT pass and a precautionary change of number plate bulb holders which were looking pretty corroded. Bill paid, (which was very kind of him) we took the big fella back to his storage berth in the hope that it won’t be too long before we see him again.
On that note, and as we’re unlikely to get abroad this year we’ve decided to act our (old) age and joined a club. Not that kind of club, matron – the Camping and Caravanning Club. We’re going to test them out in the last week of April with a mini-tour round North Yorkshire. We’ve booked a couple of nights in Barnard Castle to get our eyes tested (is that one wearing thin yet?), three nights in Whitby and two more in Boroughbridge near where we keep Vince. It’s a long way from the secret coves and empty beaches of our normal foreign travels. But the bit which appeals most to our Scottish blood? We get 25% off for being 60+ and an extra 10% for booking midweek 😀 Who knows? It may be caravan rallies, fish and chips, bingo and knees-up-mother-brown from here on in…
Tune in in a few weeks to see how we get on!
Chat soon xx
*That’s the first appearance of the word spatula in over 5 years of Vince blogging 😀