We have just about completed our first month here at Berwick and boy doesn’t time fly ! Whilst we have had days off in that time we have been unable to have any ‘major’ expeditions yet, as other priorities have had to take precedence, the biggest one was to finally get around to sorting out the leak on the van. We discovered the leak last year whilst we were on the West Coast of Scotland during our first ‘Elf & Elfette’ season. At the time I established that the leak was coming from the rear mounted cycle carrier, but with four supporting brackets and eight bolt holes I didn’t establish where the water was entering. I conducted a ‘temporary’ fix, which just so happened to work so well that I forgot about it, that was until we arrived here and suffered from gale force winds and rain. So I had no option, ‘Big Momma’ is our home and like any home, repairs and maintenance need to be conducted, and this repair needed sorting as a matter of urgency so a day and a half off was spent in doing a ‘proper job’ this time !
Now most of my regular readers are well aware of my renowned DIY prowess but ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man‘ as the saying goes. I wanted to do the job properly so that meant removing the cycle carrier completely, all the brackets and the retaining bolts, and then hoping that a big neon arrow would light up in front of my eyes with one of those conversation cloud type things that you see in cartoon strips, this one would say something like “Eric, this is where the water is getting into the van“. Now I can hear you laughing, but you can stop that right now, okay, so there was no neon lit arrow, nor was there a cloud, but there was something that was just as good……… one of the eight retaining bolts, only the one mind, and it had rust on it !! Everything was stripped down, the old sealant was cleaned off, the existing rubber seals were checked for cracks or any signs that they were perished, fortunately they weren’t, so it was then a time-consuming matter of re-sealing everything and putting it all back together again. Now all I needed was a good downpour to see if my ‘permanent‘ water tight repair was ‘water tight‘. However, since proudly completing my great DIY project the weather has turned and not one rain cloud has been in sight, I guess I could always turn a hose on it but I decided to savour my success for a little while, just in case it is short-lived and I have to engage the services of someone who actually knows what they are doing !!
We have had some respite however, we even managed to conduct a brief reconnaissance of the local area for future some ‘Expeditions’, well a short drive to ‘Seahouses’, a small coastal town just a few miles South where we can take boat trips to, and around, the ‘Farne Islands’.
On Easter Sunday we had a half day off, so with a lovely sunny afternoon at our disposal we drove across the Border into Scotland, just five miles away, to ‘Paxton House and Gardens‘.
It had been good to get out and enjoy a walk in the sunshine but we were both feeling a little tired so we decided to head back to ‘Big Momma’ and just put our feet up for the rest of the day. However, on the way back, not far from the campsite, we saw a sign for a beach and so decided to take an unscheduled diversion. Sometimes, just wandering off down a side road can reap rewards…………..
We parked up on the cliff top with the most amazing views of a lovely beach and the sea and very conveniently there was an ice cream van parked nearby, well it would have been rude not to have indulged now wouldn’t it, so we sat for half an hour or so, just staring out onto the most wonderful seascape eating our ice creams, a wonderful end to a relaxing Easter Sunday afternoon, ‘Easter Eggs, Sunshine and Ice Cream‘.
Easter Monday arrived and when we awoke we were greeted by quite a thick shroud of mist, we could hear the sea but for now we couldn’t actually see it !! We had visitors arriving to spend the day with us, Margaret and Tom, Shazza’s Aunt and Uncle, they were travelling up from Doncaster and staying overnight in a local hotel. They arrived mid-morning and after a Cuppa and a chat we went for a walk along the ‘Spittal’ seafront, just enough of a walk to build up an Apetite for lunch back at ‘Big Momma’. That was followed by us giving them a guided tour of our Campsite before heading off into town for the afternoon and evening.
It was good to see them both and that is the good thing about being at this location as opposed to where we were last year, we are now close enough for relatives and friends to come and visit. So, although we have been here for almost a month, we have already had two visits from relatives and identified locations for our future ‘Expeditions’, we still have another seven months to enjoy them so what’s the rush ?
Hopefully, in my next post I will have some exciting news about yet another ‘new‘ adventure within our wider ‘Big Adventure‘, but you will just have to wait for that one…….