Derbyshire 171 - Chesterfield - How many? When was it ? How long ago since ? Dont kill your granny?

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August 10th 2020
Published: August 10th 2020
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Poor old Gabby the motorhome is taking root . She has barely moved since .................................. A trip up the motorway. A trip to the tyre depot . She has barely moved since February . And no we did not SORN here nor has the insurance company come up with a refund for the lack of miles she has travelled . It all seems a bit unfair . To make it worse motorhomes seem to be hated now . So many newbies have bought them and hit the UK . So few places to go to that the locals are complaining . The motorhomers leave rubbish . Why would they ? They have their own bins . Their own ability to take their rubbish home . They spoil our views . They wee and do worse in the hedges . Why would we ? We have a toilet . We have a shower on board . We carry out own water . Surely it is the day trippers for whom your toilets are closed and locked and they are the ones who use the woods . You empty your waste water . Yes sometimes motorhomers do . They forget they have left the tap open . Most dont do it deliberately . They wait until they get home and empty . I wonder how many of the newbies will end up selling their vans when they realise that motorhoming is not a cheap holiday as the van sits there for weeks on end unused . How many will have purchased the van and not realised that they are carrying too much weight , that they dont have enough seat belts and that they dont have the correct licence to drive the thing? .

How many days is it since we were told that we needed to lockdown ? How long will it be before we are told that if we visit France we will have to quarantine when we get home. These were the questions that were being bandied to and forth whilst Glenn washed the Gabbys wheels . Where has all the dust come from considering she has barely travelled a few miles in the last four months? The wheels needed a good dose of seeing to as Tyrepal arrived . Before fitting the new valves she needed a spruce up. Before our holiday she needs a run out . Exeter - we have not been to Devon in Gabby . We need to visit a gun shop. The only ones selling what we want are in Exeter or Newport . OK Exeter it is . What is there to see? Plenty . A cathedral - need to check if we can go inside . Walls - 70% intact . Different shops , Sounds good to me . Even Sion smiled at the thought of a Devon cream tea , Devon clotted cream and fudge and Devon fish and chips . Would we be made welcome ? Would we find somewhere to sleep? . Surely there is friendly car park somewhere or a pub car park who will welcome us buying a drink or two and something to eat . Will it feel normal ? I doubt it but we need to try it and see . Deaths have been dropping into the 50's and below but numbers of cases rising . Is that the way we test ? More tests = more Covid cases found . How many die in hospital from something else but Covid is being registered on the death certificate? Will France close its borders before we get away ? Will Covid eventually die out like other viruses and turn up again sometime down the line ?

I suppose there is a silver lining to Covid . I have walked over 420 miles since March. 19 shopping trips not that I enjoy them at the best of time. I have got used to queuing and one way systems . Will we have to book to see inside the cathedral ? Will we bother ? What about Hidcot gardens on the way back ? Booking again . Bath - 15 minute slots to see the Roman baths . Am I bothered to do it ? Probably not . Cheap petrol - now that is a winner . Gabby is full of diesel though but she will need filling when we get home .

It is a work day today . Up early tea - no swimming just hump day and the weekly shop. A new day - what would shopping look like ? I walked past the bargain shelves and realised I more or less had the store to myself . There were more staff than shoppers. The shelf fillers blocking the aisles with their large cages . They stood talking to each other . Many young and not wearing masks . They got in the way . I know they need to do their jobs but ......................

Then the groups doing home shopping . 3 or 4 together none with masks on . The young , the invincible - we wont die or catch Covid . I wondered how many smoked or had COPD? How many really had a reason for not wearing a mask ? . I got annoyed . I started to count them . The shoppers were all obeying the law . The workers were ignoring it . I thought to complain to a manager but knew I would be told that there was a reason they were not wearing masks . And even those who did use one had it around their chins . They may as well have not bothered . Man up I thought . Life is full of things we dont like or dont agree with but we have to get on with it . The new slogan released to try to make the young were masks and social distance is "Dont kill your granny " I wonder if it will make the slightest of difference or go over their heads . And what about grandad ?

Home , empty shopping, coffee and cake . That is the order of the day . Switch computer on - cup of coffee . Shower - coffee . Dinner followed by more coffee . I wondered how the worlds intake of coffee had gone on . "How about Caerleon - roman fort , free parking , might be able to manage an overnighter . ?" Why not . It will be on the way home . The plan as small as it was was coming together .

Thursday - swim , coffee, lots of talk about Ross on Wye - not been there since the early 1970's . It appears there is a rowing club where we can pay a few pounds and overnight . Hay on Wye . No literary festival this year . Surely they would welcome us and our money. Why wouldnt they ? They must have missed all the summer tourists . Back home Monday or Tuesday . The plan that hatched yesterday is going well . All we need now is for Friday next week to come round . But first the viewers . Yes they came . Yes they seemed interested ., I tried my best to feel enthusiastic - we have new windows, new floors , new downlighters, new kitchen , new bathroom - new this and that . But somehow my mind was on Exeter and the trip out . And wondering if we would get away to France . They came . They went . They made the right noises . They liked the bungalow and they would keep it in mind . Another viewer, another day and another "I wish we were somewhere else "


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
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 .
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!!!
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

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