Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Four go mad in Dorset!

Wow, what happened to the Summer?  Day one of the Summer holidays and Circus Sutton went south.  A splendid weekend at 'Dovefest', a field in Dove Dale in the Peak District http://www.weddingwood.blogspot.com/, with lashings of ginger beer and a jolly good hoot!  Music, revelry, and a lot of showing off in our friends' field made for a top start to the hols.
Nan the Van was out on her first full length road trip.  206 miles to Durdle Door, £52.27 of unleaded fuel got us to Dorset with a stop over in Leamington Spar and Savernake Forrest on the way.  That's 21.6 miles per gallon, not bad for a 31 year old 2 litre engine!  The plan was to meet up with pals from Dovefest at Camp Bestival in the grounds of Lulworth Castle.  We camped at Durdle Door campsite, an old favourite from years ago.  


Thing is, places change, and boy had this place and sadly not for the better.  Too many statics and not enough level ground for a campervan.  We were booked on for two nights but high tailed it to the sanctuary that is Tom's Field a few miles down the road.  A different kettle of fish altogether, laid back, friendly and flat.

A great few days and our first visit to Dancing Ledge, a 'swimming pool' blasted out of the Purbeck Rocks some time in the early 1900s, presumably by a bloke with a whole lot of time on his hands and an ample supply of TNT.  The water was bracing to say the least, but I did manage to venture in albeit only for a brief moment or two.
Then on to Camp Bestival, quickly re-named Camp Jesterville owing to the extortionate prices for rides and entertainment in the children's field.  At two fifty a go for a single ride down a helter skelter we thought it a bit rich.  Won't moan about it here, suffice to say we shan't be returning.  Madness were good and George Clinton was out of this world, so not a total loss!

7 hours, £58.70, and a half pint of engine oil saw us safely back in Otley.  After ten day in the van, even I was glad of the cosy duvet and a proper bed!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Nan's last ride

Back in the Spring, my brother and I took Nan for a ride in Nan the Van.  Given that Nan was born in North Wales, it seemed appropriate that we head for the hills to find a final resting place.  With my erstwhile badminton partner and general good mate Glyn reading the map and taking the pictures, we headed west on the M62.

There's Nan on the dashboard, centre stage below the rear view mirror.  We'd decided to scatter Nan's ashes on the top of mount Tryfan.  Mountains are good, way above the tree line you see, and for some strange reason Nan was never fond of trees.  I remember years ago driving down Ebw Vale on a day out with Nan, remarking on how beautiful the scenery was.  "Yes Joshua", she said, "but there's too many bloody trees!". That's cool Nan, we can do no trees!

A splendid climb through knee deep snow, a struggle to the top of 'Eve' (don't look down) and a sudden change in wind direction!

Thanks Nan!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Bittersweet beginnings

Nan was born in 1909, she lived for a hundred years.  Nan died last year, with the money she left me, I bought a Type Two VW.  Nan The Van rolled off the production line in 1979, some seventy years after her namesake.  I miss my Nan, but think of her and smile every time I sit behind the wheel.