Saturday, 20 May 2017

Strange Weather

First of all we had no proper rain for weeks and I was getting very worried about my baby plants at the allotment.  Then we had a month's worth of rain in two days.  Last night I took Alfie for his evening constitutional and this was the sky ahead of me.

When I turned round to head home, this was the Colour of the sky the other way.

Unfortunately the dark skies followed me home and we had even more rain.  You just can't win!


Last weekend we went away with friends to Kessingland.  The site was chosen by them as it was a site that they really like and had been to several times.  As it was an overnighter we decided to sleep in the van, which Pete has converted to a micro camper.  We also have a small tent that goes up in seconds and which we can put all our bits in.  We can back the van up to the door of the tent so it becomes almost one unit.  Well, that was the plan.

Our friends had said there was a good pub next to the site that served good food.  Great we thought.  Anyhow we arranged to meet them in the pub, which turned out to be like a sports bar with pool tables, live music etc.  Not a quaint little pub that the UK is renowned for.  Things went from there.  We pulled into the camp site (which was huge) and before we said a word, a little jobsworth came out and said 'I hope you are not sleeping in the van, it's illegal as it has no windows and curtains'.  Who knew it was 'illegal', maybe against site or council rules but certainly not against the law of the land!  He took a look at Alfie and said 'the dog has to be kept on a lead', fair enough but it was the way he said it.  Another couple were due to join us but the lady had only come out of the hospital that morning after having had a reaction to chemotherapy.  But the jobsworth explained that as she was now out of hospital we couldn't get the deposit back (we should have lied!)  The children in a nearby camper were not allowed to play ball and apparently our BBQ was not the regulatory height off the ground.   So many rules for old rebels like us! The final nail in the coffin was the two great big wind turbines each side of the camp, whirring away.

If it had been just Pete and I, we would have told him where to put his deposit and left, but our friends were so keen and we didn't want to upset them, so we laughed it off.  We did have a lovely BBQ that evening and played Rummikup, which was a game new to us but we loved it so much I have bought a travel version for us to play.  We put the van side-on to the tent and crept into the van under cover of darkness.  It was like being in a nest and I had the best night's sleep.  We couldn't have slept in the tent as the sound from the turbines was like camping on the runway at Heathrow airport.
We went to a boot sale the next morning and picked up a couple of bargains and then made our escape as soon as we could without being rude.  We will not be returning to Kessingland and next time we will pick the site!

Next weekend we are off to Hampshire and staying in the grounds of a seamen's mission.  I keep telling Pete that we can book his place while we are there.  Will keep you up to date.

Oh and here is a gratuitous picture of a Pete trying to talk Alfie into going for a walk in the rain.  Alfie was so comfortable that in the end Pete gave up!

Friday, 12 May 2017


We have had a busy couple of weeks, lots of paid work for me and unpaid work for Pete (well he is a pensioner now!).  The mast on Carpe Diem has finally gone up today after two years.  It is quite scary to watch but also looks magnificent.  It seems such a shame to sell her, but we have new adventures to go on.

Every morning about 0600, Pete feeds two ducks by throwing suet pellets and mealworms over the side.  The other day he was not feeling too good so got up really late.  The ducks had obviously got fed up with waiting and were on deck, tapping at the back door.  Cheeky little mites!  Before you ask Pete is fine now.  As you can see, we have beautifully wide decks.  This is one of the features that attracted us to the barge in the first place.  They look at bit scruffy now, but we are planning on going over to Bradwell so that the barge can be lifted out, hull and decks shotblasted and painted.  When will depend on selling Carpe Diem as it will not be a cheap job.  We will have her surveyed again at the same time.

One of my new jobs is in Dovercourt, right down on the seafront.  I don't know how I am going to concentrate when my working view is like this.