JenGog's Guestbook

16th September 2020

I love planning my next trip...
I hope this time your plans work out. With a vaccine right around the corner, perhaps life will start to get back to normal. And as for not being European, welcome to the club. This has never affected my ability to travel to and around Europe except for the current lockdown that has affected everyone.
17th September 2020

We are not so confident on a vaccine here . The Oxford Trials seem to be going Ok until they had to stop them and then restart them . The talk here is that the vaccine wont be ready for quite some time and if it does work it may have to be tweeked every year like the flu vaccines . We are well hated in Europe and it has got worse since Brexit . Will have to learn to stand in the non EU line at the borders . Not used to it . Not done it for 40 years it will be novelty. Perhaps I can start collecting stamps in my passport LOL . Boris is making a hash of it all so it cant get much worse
28th August 2020

Now you are getting into my country...
with Scotland on your radar! Perhaps you will be taking the trip that I had envisioned. I hope Scottish weather is good in September for your sake. There are tons of castles besides Calzean...just go to Google maps and search for Scottish castles.
29th August 2020

scotlands castle s
We had hoped to park up at Culzean as it has a campsite however it is full until October !!!! A lot of the castles are not open due to Covid. Spent last night looking at places to stop in Northumbria on the way up . Everything full and nearly everywhere closed . Lindisfarne closed . It is a nightmare !!!!! And the prices are through the roof . Some double to what you would expect to pay . It truly is a mess .
17th August 2020

Glad you were impressed by the Amphitheatre/ I hope you saw the Barracks opposite? It is such a shame the Roman Baths and Museum are shut as they are the best parts!! Shame about the Boy Racers? I wonder if they raced around because there was a campervan there and they had an audience or whether they would race around anyway? Yes the UK feels very small with everyone who lives in UK travelling around. I reckon it will take us forever to get to Plymouth!!
13th September 2020

Well you got away then. Just been reading all about the beaches or lack of them and the tides . Sounds like you packed a lot in . The Covid test sounds awful . A colleague at work was picked at random some months ago and asked if she would do a test . She agreed but wished she had not . She said it made her gag and felt like she was pulling her brains out with the cotton wool bud. Our trip to Northumberland and Scotland cut short . Sold house /lost buyer /came back for another viewer . She loves it and she is bringing her husband tomorrow for a second viewing . We are hoping for the best . Trying to plan a Christmas break but sure that Boris will cock it up again . What a palaver . Glad to hear you have joined the ranks of pensioner . LOL . I cannot believe that I got there years ago and got my pension at 61 years and 10 months . The government really did make a mess of it when you look at how long it has taken you to get there . I thought my wait was bad enough . We have had a few strange weeks . My mums brother died (the last one left ) about two months ago , his wife (second one ) died two weeks after him. My cousin died same time (he was in his 70's) . My husbands Auntie died two weeks ago - she was 102 - . She died of ..............wait for it ------------------no not Covid -........old age !!!!!!! A security guard at work aged 33 committed suicide and an ex colleague dropped dead a few days ago . Feels like I am being stalked by the grim reaper !!!!!!!!!!!! Bloody hell I need a holiday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved the blog - seems like you have our problem places shut on a Monday .
17th August 2020

I had some nasty things to say about English traffic, too!
The motorways and A roads are terribly backed up and the byways are single lane between hedgerows occupied by large farm vehicles. As for things not getting worse, I think 2020 is another annus horibilus...this time for everyone! I hope you found a place to park Gabby.
17th August 2020

Too many cars , too many people on our small island. It is gridlocked everywhere apart from the Highlands or Wales . We never go out in the Peak District on a bank holiday . Our B roads in Scotland are even worse . Single track with passing places . Not much fun in a van . That is why we like the roads of France - so empty compared to ours . It just gets worse
16th August 2020

Cant wait for your next blog!!! lol!! The trip sounds horrific, with all that traffic and the parking at the pub! We are going to Plymouth next Friday and not looking forward to it at all now!! We went to Swansea for a few days and it seemed hard work! Couldnt get anything to eat as all the restaurants and pubs didnt have any 'walk ins' and we were reduced to queuing for a takeaway MacDonalds!! In the hotel we had to make our own beds as there is no room service anymore and breakfast was a croissant and a yoghurt in a paper bag to eat in your room!! Life just isn't the same , is it? I'm just so glad we have done a lot of travelling already!
17th August 2020

the trip
Oh God it got worse and worse and worse . We were at each others throats by the time we got home . Our country is just too anti motorhome . I hope that your trip goes better than ours did . The boy racers arrived . We should have guessed when no other motorhomes arrived . I hate Mc Donalds but know what you mean about having to get what you want . CAnnot believe that you had to make your own beds and the breakfast was awful. I feel like a caged animal at the moment . I like Plymouth . Went there many years ago when my kids were very small . Seems a lovely place although it was in the early 1980s . I remember Smeatons Lighthouse on the promenade. Life is definately not the same . We have been trying to get some viewing of houses over in Wales . The estate agents dont answer the phones . When they do they are slow to sort anything out . We have two booked for Friday in Rhuthun and plan to go in the van and hopefully park up at Pontcysyllte aquaduct . God it cannot be worse than Exeter !!!!
15th August 2020

France plans...
I just saw a report on BBC that Boris requires any Brit who visits France to be self quarantined for 2 weeks upon return. I hope you still go to France as you have already self quarantined for months.
15th August 2020

Bit more complicated . The Foreign office have also issued an essential travel only warning on France and Belgium which invalidates our travel insurance so no health care and also our vehicle insurers can say our other insurances are invalid as holidays are non essential travel . Unless he lifts it in the next two weeks we are stuck again and wont be able to travel . Not happy
13th August 2020

The gondola is just basically a car ferry hanging down from the Bridge!! Not scary at all!! Walking across the top is - scary that is!! Caerleon Baths are shut which is a shame as the special effects in there are second to none!! Happy Camping!!!
12th August 2020

Check that the Roman Baths are open as they are inside! There is the Amphitheatre and also the Barracks that are both outside! The Priory is good for lunch,,,pricy...or The Hanbury if you go cheap. But you would need to book! We are just back from Swansea and ended up having a takeaway in MacDonalds last night because there were no 'Walk Ins' everywhere!!! Exeter is lovely too - especially down by the river......give us a shout if you end up in Newport! The only tourist attraction is The Grade 1 Transporter Bridge - worth a trip to see, walk across the top or if you are like me - ride in the gondola!!! lol
13th August 2020

HI I think we will head for the ampitheatre . The baths will have to wait for another day . I used to go past the transporter bridge when I used to come down on courses to Cardiff . I always knew I was nearly there when I saw the bridge . Glenn said Gondola - you wouldnt get him up in one . I love them and would try it . Sounds fun . The plan is a bit loose . We might change it or stick to it . Once we have done the gun shop in Exeter and seen the city the weekend is ours to do what we want . We will end up in Newport sometime and yes I will give you a shout .
11th August 2020

I hope you make it there. If you happen to pass Newton St Cyres a couple miles north of town please stop at the church. It is full of memorials to my Northcott ancestors.
11th August 2020

the plan is there -hopefully it will work out . will look out for the village . sadly for most of us here we are never lucky enough to be able to trace very far back . . we always get stuck at 1780 and that is a miracle . we have a visit to a gun shop - going to see the cathedral , probably off to caerleon to see the roman fort and then drop in Hay on Wye and Ross on Wye . I hope it works we are going stir crazy
3rd August 2020

We have a small wiidlife garden in the front!! It stemmed from when there was a massive silver birch tree that was chopped down as it was dangerous. but the stump was left at about 4'. Its covered in ivy - so I made a small path round it. edged with old tree trunks and it hosts bluebells, primroses.foxgloves, ferns, a couple of lilac trees that are also about 4ft, a budhlea ( dont think that is spelt right!!) a Black Lace elder flower tree ( so that I can make elderflower champagne in the spring!!) a clump of teasels -(they may have to go as too many 'babies'!!) and a couple of hawthorn bushes I have just planted!! I keep trying to get more things to grow but I have transplanted daisies and clover this year! Not very successful with meadow flowers so I think I shall stick with woodland plants!!
4th August 2020

Wild garden
The garden sounds lovely and the champagne = well what can I say? We have lavender and the bees are all over it this morning. We had two but other half dug the other one up when he did the drive for Gabby. We have foxgloves but the teasel I had last year must have been from a seed dropped by a bird and we have none this year . Got buddleia and also pyracantha (I think ) the bees love it in Spring . Loads of clover in the lawn . Not much else . Potatoes being harvested got too many really . Glenns tomatoes are just colouring up . I love the smell hate the taste . He hates the smell but loves to eat them with a bit of salt on . Yuck . I wonder what a hatred of tomatoes is called . Saw another garden taken over by poppies aand cornflowers this morning on my walk . It was a bit of a surprise . But very pretty . Seems the fashion these days xx
26th July 2020

I've learned the lessons I needed...
so now it can go away. I don't think that will happen in the US until Nov 3rd. I recently took my grandson to our aquatic center. I swim laps with the backstroke. I look at the ceiling trusses and vents to let me know when I'm getting close to the end of the lane. Our pool has similar restrictions as does yours.
27th July 2020

lessons learnt
Me too Bob . It has been a long time and now we cannot go to Spain for the foreseeable future . A lot of people just gone out for their 2 week summer holiday and will have to isolate for 14 days with possibly no pay. It is a mess . Not sure how long it will be before France and Spain shut shop again . Been swimming this morning - booking in advance is a real pain . I too swim more backstroke mostly but it is not easy the way the lanes are arranged . We have a reasonable sized pool with normally 6 lanes . Now there are three double ones marked out. I ended up in the slow lane this morning . Sadly there is slow and very slow . I am a medium swimmer and got really clogged up . Still better open than not at all . It is free to swim this week apart from us who pay the reduced £19 a month old age pensioner rate . I had to pay yesterday whilst the young who pay by direct debit have free sessions . They are even reducing their rate for August to £12 from £30 which is a bit of an insult really . At least we dont pay when we are on holiday so I guess it is swings and roundabouts . Just heard that Blackpool are keeping their lights this year over the Winter . Normally they start around September and end early November . Makes sense to extend the season . I wonder whether our National Trust properties will latch on to the same idea . I hope they do .
24th July 2020

The gardens look lovely and I have never heard of them!! If you are ever down this way look out for Dewstow Garden & grottoes at Caldicot. Amazing place and very different. I cant remember if I replied to your last message or not, as my computer went in for repairs! well, PC World didnt want to know (It was 1 month out of warranty - Er there was a pandemic on and all your shops were shut?) Took it to a little computer shop who also couldnt repair it as it need a new hinge and lid and he cant source in theory the computer has to go back to HP. In practice its now stuck up with gorilla tape!! Anyway, we harvested the last of our peas today - strawberries finished a couple of weeks ago - but now we have raspberries and goji berries. Loads of carrots, turnips, potatoes and courgettes (made some courgette and stilton soup this morning!) Going to Dyffryn Gardens near Cardiff next Wednesday with my daughter and grandchildren and braving it to Somerset in August to see some friends in Wells and then on to a hotel in Plymouth to see Chris' son! Is this the New Normal? Still dont know whether to go to Spain this winter! Will it be safer because its warmer, or then, what if you get ill........Jurys out!!!
25th July 2020

We love unusual gardens and have earmarked Caldicot now . We had never heard of Felley so we had it to ourselves . It was lovely . We like different and have been to a few strange ones in France . Had planned the bamboo garden in south of France - cant remember why we never got there . What a pain with the PC. I dont like PC World . they rate up with Sportsworld and Weatherspoons in my mind. I hope they are more reasonable in the end and you manage to sort it out. I broke the screen on my last laptop and had to buy a cheaper one from PC World . It is not brilliant if I am honest. we have a problem with the new windscreen on the van. The reversing mirror is in the wrong place and the Remis blinds wont close . the company are quibbling saying it is the only windscreen they can get however we had a new one from sheffield last summer and they got it right . We have harvested the last of our peas. They never hit the pan . We ate them out of the pods . Our strawberries have finished and we harvested the first of the new potatoes yesterday . Lovely with mint sauce . runner beans a bit slow but they are growing . No apples on the tree this year. Let me know what Duffryn Gardens are like . We love Wells and stayed there before we had the van . Lovely city and loved the cathedral. One of the nicest we have seen in this country . Spain is a bit iffy at the moment . I can see it closing up again if things carry on the way they are . Have a good weekend . Oh yes heard my son in law - well he has lived with my daughter for over 20 years (they wont marry) had a mini stroke last Saturday. they kept it very quiet . He lost his speech and was slurring last Saturday morning . Had a couple of days in hospital - clot in the brain . On drugs now but the worst bit - he is 41 . Overweight but a long way but then all his family are . It makes you think . xx

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