Monday, 31 May 2010

26 Rules

So this weekend we found ourselves on a campsite with a very pleasant view. Nicely tucked away and right on the banks of the river. However when we arrived we were issued with a photocopied list of 26 rules which must be adhered to at all times and which are strictly enforced by the owners who are clearly more inspired by Chairman Mau than Billy Butlin.
Hang on - and I just noticed there's 27 as there's an 11 and an 11a

1. 5MPH speed limit at all times
2. Only on car per pitch all others to be parked on top car park.
3. Caravans/ Motorhomes must be pitched away from static bank and vehicles kept inside their pitch at all times.
4. No washing of vehicles, Motorhomes or caravans on site.
5. No parking on the tourers access road at any time.
6. Tourers vehicles are not allowed to park by the toilet block or in static parking area.
7. Strictly no parking on double yellow lines at any time.
8. Tourers are responsible for the behaviour of their visitors.
9. All visitors to park on top car park.
10. Visitors vehicles are not allowed on touring field.
11. No children under the age of ten allowed.
11a. No small children allowed near the river bank without an adult.
12. No small children allowed at toilet block without an adult.
13. No ball games.
14. Chemical toilets/ buckets must be emptied at the Chemical Disposal point and not in the toilet block, waste water to be emptied down the drain and not on the grass.
15. No washing of cutlery, pots, pans, plates in toilet block.
16. All rubbish must be bagged before placing in bin/ skip.
17. No washing lines allowed.
18. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and exercised off site.
19. Dogs are not allowed to be exercised on the river bank or the static area.
20. Any dog fouling on the site must be removed immediately or the owners will be asked to leave the site and no refund given.
21. Dogs are not allowed in toiled block.
22. The toiled block is a no smoking area.
23. An person not registered and stopping overnigh must book in at reception and pay the overnight tariff.
24. Charges for day visitors are £2 per adult/ £1 per child per day and must book in at reception.
25. Caravan arrivals from 12 noon.
26. All departures by 12 noon.

I find some a little odd, none of them wildly unreasonable and many of them blindingly obvious and I think it's treating us all like kids to a have to spell it out - and certainly not welcoming to have it thrust into your hand as soon as you arrive. Oh and if you don't read it it's posted in the toilet blocks along with a few other dos and don'ts... There's no 'pleases' or 'thank yous' anywhere. The tone of it and the manner in which it's enforced did NOT make for a relaxing stay... The site wardens patrolled the site 3 -4 times per day peering into each unit to make sure we were all behaving and were very fleet of foot if any wrong doing was suspected!
I guess we don't need to be told how to be have like responsible adults and we don't really want to stay at sites where people do need to be told.
Oh - and Monty behaved impeccably!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Lurking in Lincs.

Our longest trip yet with Monty - we needed to go house hunting in Lincolnshire and what could make more sense than to take a motorhome and cat with us?  It was also our first experience of using a CL/ CS (Certified Location/ Certified Site) which are basically fields or large gardens with basic facilities and the ability to take a maximum of 5 caravans/ motorhomes.
'Home' for the week was to be someone's large garden near to Woodhall Spa and very lovely it was too.  The owners were delightful and the gentleman came round and spoke to everyone on the site each day and was keen to explain all the lovely things Lincolnshire had to offer - though he was a little chatty and it could have been easy to have spent the day talking about the things we could see rather than actually seeing them!
Sunset through the grass
Delores motored up hill and down dale - yes there are hills in Lincolnshire.  Well there are in the Wolds anyway - the fens are a little on the flat side!  Much of the Woodhall Spa area reminded us of the New Forest except fewer cars and a LOT cheaper.  Free parking - can you imagine that in the New Forest?  (Mind you can you imagine anything free in the New Forest?)
Whilst motoring in a particularly quiet part of the county we decided to let Monty out of his cat carrier to see if he relaxed a little more as he was getting very upset being locked up every time we set off. Turns out he's absolutely fine although he does tend to peer out the windows at passing motorists which attracts a little attention.  He was a little spooked at first when he looked out of the back window and noticed other vehicles driving towards him (let's face it, we're in a motorhome, everything bar the odd tractor hurtles towards us!) but he soon found a few little nooks to hide in and is now much happier when we're driving around.
He did us proud again with his incredible reversing but at least there were fewer people around to see it this time.
On this trip we did notice the one downside of summer camping - people with their doors open watching TV loud enough for us all to hear what was going on.  Is there nowhere in the country to escape Graham Norton or Ant & Dec?  I'm sure they're very lovely people but when I book a campsite in the middle of nowhere I don't appreciate being stalked by people looking for Dorothy...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Incredible Reversing Cat

Well the time came for us to risk a venture out with Monty.  We'd got him used to the van and even spent a night in there with him to see how things worked out.  Fine as it happens - but it startled the pizza delivery guy when he was on his way to our front door and we ambushed him!  Monty was fine that night - although he did realise that it was easier getting up into the overcab bed than it was getting down again! 
We picked a site we knew well just in case he made a dash for it and headed off feeling somewhat nervous.  He wasn't impressed at the journey maybe it was my driving, or he could just have been singing along to some Abba classics, but either way he made a bit of a racket!
The only spot left at the site was next to a cattle grid, which wasn't ideal but at least we'd be safe from marauding cattle.  After we were settled we kitted Monty out in his new lead and harness and attempted to lure him outside.  The first thing I'd like to point out is that the website we bought the harness off has an excellent sense of humour "Your cat will love the snug harness" it told me.  Really?  A cat will love wearing a harness?  Not sure what zen like felines they're familiar with but Monty was certainly not impressed with it.  After several Houdini style attempts to wriggle free he gave up, but insisted on walking backwards...  So there's me standing guard over 4 sausages on our blue bucket barbecue whilst Steve behind me is in charge of the reversing cat.  We certainly attracted plenty of attention.  Could have been the cat or possibly the fact that our BBQ seemed to be setting off all the smoke detectors in all the vans in a 200m radius. 
Next trip is 4 nights in Lincolnshire.  A four hour drive and four nights with Monty in the middle of nowhere - what could possibly go wrong?