And So, To Our New Elf And Elfette Grotto !!

The ten days since we got off the ferry at Portsmouth had just flown by, we had done all the catch-ups with our respective families, caught up with most of our Admin stuff, ‘Wuxly’ had been Serviced, MOT’d and Taxed for another year and we had got our working gear back down from Sonia’s loft. ‘Big Momma’ would still need to have her Annual Service and MOT but that couldn’t be done for at least another two weeks, although it didn’t need to be done until the 1st May so we had six weeks to sort it and there was a FIAT dealership that could handle Motorhomes in Edinburgh, that was quite handy as it was only a one hour drive away, provided they could book me in.

We have certainly felt the cold since being back, although there have been a couple of slightly warmer days, in the main we have been chilled to the bone and to our dismay it doesn’t get any better as we head even further North. We have been keeping an eye on the weather at Berwick-upon-Tweed and it looks like multiple layers for the foreseeable future. However, and I knew I would regret doing it, but I also do comparisons with the weather in Southern Spain where it is, on average, a mere 10 degrees(c) warmer !! But, if I thought that the comparisons on the contrasting weather painted a gloomy picture then I was in for even worse news, yes, you’ve guessed it haven’t you ? Shazza has already been checking out locations for eight months of new ‘Expeditions! !! Although the site doesn’t actually open to the ‘Campers’ until the 20th March, we have to be there a week early to meet our ‘Wardens’, then between us we will get the site and its facilities ready for the opening day of the season.

‘Snoopy’ had had her mapping updated so hopefully there will not be a repeat of some of the ‘brain farts’ this coming year as we had experienced on our recent trip. Our route up was fairly straightforward, basically a three and a half hour drive up the ‘A1’ with a brief stop just before ‘Scotch Corner’ to top up the LPG and Diesel. It was strange being on my own in ‘Big Momma’ without Shazza in the ‘Navigators’ seat, she was following in ‘Wuxly’ which would become our primary mode of transportation for the next eight months. The weather started off grey and overcast but dry, however, itΒ rapidly deteriorated the further North we drove, fog, drizzle and falling temperatures, well there’s always the summer to look forward to !! Lots of road works made progress slow but we had left early so had plenty of time. We made our LPG stop at a ‘Shell’ service station just before ‘Scotch Corner’, quite handy as the LPG pump is set alongside the fuel pumps. The last time we topped up the LPG was in Spain at Los Barrios, we had relied on the gas supply for our Wildcamping at ‘Coria’ on the way up, then we left the gas on during our 24 hour ferry crossing and then whilst at Shazza’s mums, where we spent seven days, we kept the gas on to keep the Fridge and Freezer cold, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it still only took 8 Litres !! I used the opportunity to top up the Diesel as well, although we wouldn’t be using ‘Big Momma’ to travel in over the next eight months there will be a trip to get her Serviced and MOT’d so at least I won’t have to worry about re-fuelling again as Edinburgh is only around 60 miles away. Whilst I don’t anticipate having to top up the LPG in the coming months, as we will be on EHU and so making good use of the Electric Hot Plate on the cooker and the trusty ‘Remoska’, I did notice another service station on the Southbound side of the A1, not far from Berwick, which advertised ‘Autogas’, good as a ‘just in case’ scenario !

We pulled into the site, our ‘New Wardens’, ‘Mentors’ and ‘Work Colleagues’, Dougie and Avril gave us a really warm greeting and after we had finished getting ‘Big Momma’ into our ‘Compound’, and hooked up to the EHU, they made us a very welcome hot ‘Cuppa’ and we spent a bit of time chatting and generally just getting to know each other. So, here we are in our new home until November, the next week will be spent getting the site ready for the ‘Campers’ when we open officially for the season on Friday 20th March.

The view from the Campsite, it lives up to its name, 'Seaview' !!

The view from the Campsite, it lives up to its name, ‘Seaview’ !!

Another view looking across from the site, the old 'Walled Town' of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Another view looking across from the site, the old ‘Walled Town’ of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

We spent the rest of Friday afternoon and evening just getting ‘Big Momma’ settled into ‘Lived-In Mode’ and then once the van was nice warm and cosy Shazza cooked us a quick tea of Gammon, Eggs and Baked Beans, lovely !! Although the sea is some distance away, I could hear it as I lay in bed and the sound helped me drift off into a wonderful sleep.

We were awake quite early on Saturday morning, this was our ‘Official’ set-up day, so after the usual duvet coffees we got up and started to get a few things sorted. We had quite a large compound again but the weather wasn’t conducive to getting the awning out and putting up the ‘Wind Blocker’, that will have to wait until the weather warms up a bit, however, there were still a few jobs to do, setting up the electrics to the large shed where we had a Fridge/Freezer and do a temporary running repair to the ‘Fresh Water’ tap in the compound which had sprung a leak. I started to look at what I could do in my spare time (days off) to create some outdoor space for a bit of ‘Al Fresco’ dining once the Winter has gone and the temperatures begin to rise. I had a good supply of paving slabs provided for me to use, they would make a nice ‘patio’ and we had a wooden bench and several hanging baskets so with our ‘Windbreak’ erected and our large Camping Table and the Sun Chairs, we could have a nice ‘private’ garden area for those ‘Summer’ evenings. You can see what I am doing here can’t you, it’s all about ‘PMA’ (Positive Mental Attitude), if I keep talking of Summer, rising Temperatures, Al Fresco dining then it ‘Will’ happen !!

Once we had done as much as we could, which included re-organising some internal cupboards to accommodate the seasons ‘Elf & Elfette’ clothing, we decided to do a bit of local ‘familiarisation’. In Shazza speak that interprets as finding out where all the ‘essentials’ are (Supermarkets and Shops). Outside of the Town there are a good supply of Supermarkets to choose from, all the usual suspects, ASDA, TESCO, M&S, Morrisons and ALDI and a small Retail Park with Homebase, Argos, Halfords, NEXT etc. Compared to last Season when we had to drive 15 miles to the ‘Kyle of Lochalsh’ to the nearest, and the only Supermarket (Co-Op), this was a bit of luxury, well it was for someone !! We, Shazza, elected to honor the ‘Morrisons’ establishment with our presence on this particular retail expedition, which, I have to say, is impressively large and well stocked, however, for me, it doesn’t make much difference where we shop, my wallet still gets emptied !! After making a ‘sterling’ effort to turn around Morrisons falling profits, we headed back into town to investigate what was on ‘Offer’ there. Actually, whilst it is much like any other town in respect of contains all the usual ‘brand’ name shops, what was nice was the fact that this still has the typical High Street, no ‘pedestrianised zones’ here, a main road runs through the town with shops on either side with lots of little side streets to wander down and explore, but fortunately not all on today’s little ‘recce’ visit. What I didn’t know was that Berwick-upon-Tweed is a ‘Walled Town’, much like our visits to similar towns in Portugal and Spain, you can walk around the ramparts and wander amongst some lovely ‘green areas’. We walked a short distance around the walls but then decided, primarily because we were freezing in the icy bite of the Easterly wind, to leave this for a future ‘Shazza Expedition’. From the ramparts we also identified several other footpaths to be explored and for me, with my love of the sea, a walk out along the harbour wall to the lighthouse at the mouth of the estuary. There are also a couple of beaches to be explored and these, and the ‘other’ walks I have mentioned above, can all be done from the Campsite. Beyond that there are simply ‘oodles’ of places in the local vicinity, beaches, castles and more historic towns, all to be explored, so it looks as if I will be able to keep you entertained over the coming months with reports on where ‘Shazza’ drags me to, but until then there is a little matter of work to do………………………………..

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23 Responses to And So, To Our New Elf And Elfette Grotto !!

  1. debsk31k31 says:

    Hi Eric & Sharon, blimey that 10 days went by quickly, can’t believe ur there already, thanks for update hope ur settling in ok on day 2. You’re in a beautiful part of the country and I’m sure once the good weather arrives 😳 you’ll be out and about. Take care and hope following days go well, not heard anything else from CC yet but imagine won’t be for a while as they’ll be ensuring every ok for this season x

    • Hi Debs, yes we are quite excited about getting out and about and exploring on our days off. However, the site is great as well so looking forward to getting stuck in. Our new Wardens are really lovely and have a great sense of humour, I think we are going to really enjoy ourselves this year πŸ˜„

  2. We stayed at Seaview last May in our caravan.It is a gem of a site in a lovely location with an amazing view.We are looking forward to returning this year in our Motorhome.Spring is just around the corner,it is only 2 weeks till the clocks go forward,you will soon be making good use of your patio area.You must visit Seahouses and the Farne Islands,Craster for crab sandwiches and Lindisfarne,so much to see and do on your days off,the time will fly by.See you soon.Martyn and Carol.

    • Thanks Martyn, going to be busy so not sure how soon I can get ‘the patio’ constructed πŸ˜„ Shazza has identified many of the places you have listed, looking forward to seeing them all. Alnwick Castle is only 25 miles away, I visited there many years ago but looking forward to going back, the town is nice as well πŸ‘ Say hello when you arrive πŸ˜‰

  3. Debs says:

    Sounds like you have a great place there. I hope you are both settling in well
    I am also doing the P.M.A for summer…….. lets hope it comes quickly…… I had to wear socks again today !!!!
    Look forward to hearing all about Shazza Expeditions !!!
    Enjoy the weekend

  4. Bev says:

    The beaches up there are amazing. We stayed at Berwick a few years ago. We have just started our first season with CC at Hillhead in Devon. X

  5. Baxterbus says:

    We stayed at Berwick CC a few years ago, beautiful area. Glad to hear you have both settled in, look forward to expeditions updates as they happen πŸ™‚ (its absolutely freezing here today, snow forecast next Friday at our next destination so don’t feel so bad!)

    • Thanks Sandra, think that when we start work proper tomorrow we will be too busy to notice things like not being able to feel fingers or toes πŸ˜‚ Not wishing to be selfish but please keep the snow to yourselves, there are some things that are just not meant for sharing πŸ˜„

  6. rick lyon says:

    we are just over the Forth in sunny fife,have been to your site and found it handy for exploring the coast ,Dunbar is a great wee town,.A trip to aviation museum at east fortune is a must as is a a trip to the Sunday market there.
    Plus all the joys of touring the royal and ancient county of Fife,whichmust include visit to Anstruthers great fish and chip establishments.any questions re fife and area drop us a notr.

    • Many thanks for that. If we plan on crossing the Border on any ‘Shazza Expeditions’ may just take you up on your offer, although our plan at the moment is to explore the North East as we havn’t done very much in this neck of the woods πŸ‘

  7. Steve & Lys says:

    Roll on summer , have they supllie green shorts? You have your tanned knees to keep brown !
    Hope all goes well over the next months ,we will be thinking of you
    S&L xx

  8. John Strange says:

    Hope it all works out up there Eric.

  9. tomhope2421 says:

    The North East is a lovely part of the world, it brings back happy childhood memories for me.
    Enjoy your time and before you know it you will be off on your travels again πŸ‘πŸ˜ƒ

  10. Well done for getting there. Hopes it all goes well.

  11. Ste T says:

    Make sure you point BM into any prevailing winds mate! Those North Sea gusts can be quite impressive. We get to our new site, Leek, on Saturday and get set up ready for a start on Thursday. The house move is going well and we’re all set for a 24th of April completion date, then we’re nomads too! Have a good season.

  12. Peter milne says:

    You are on the Northern Border of Gods country! some of the best unspoilt scenery in the UK. Don’t let work get in the way of the opportunity to explore! Enjoy the pair of you, but as Ste T says, watch out for the ‘Nor Easter’s that can certainly freshen you up abit!
    Have a great time!

    Pete

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