Much Awaited Arrivals !!

Sunday 16th August (Day 157 of 236)

Doesn’t time fly when your having fun working !! Okay, so I know that it has been quite some time since I last managed to pen some ramblings and I fully understand, from the correspondence I have been receiving, that a few of my blog followers have been getting withdrawal symptoms, but what can I say ? Well quite obviously not a lot !! However, there have been a number of very good reasons for the lack of communication, the main ones being either the very bad weather on our days off, which certainly curtailed ‘Expeditions’ of any description, or, many of our recent days off being taken up with my attendance at various medical and dental appointments. There is absolutely nothing that we can do about the weather other than stay indoors in the dry and the comfort of ‘Big Momma’, however, as for the latter, well everything is coming together nicely now and so you can cancel the booking of the hire of the somber funeral attire and no need just yet for the sending of any notes of condolence to Shazza, as it appears that I may just be staying around for a wee bit longer, however, I Β must say that I really do appreciate the efforts that you were going to make to give me a good send off and to attend the function afterwards to toast my demise and ‘Good Health’ !!

The Dental stuff is nearly complete, no more infection and just another couple of ‘fillings’ to go, my arm is another story and although improving, it will not be healed until I finish the seasons duties and can rest it properly. But by far the best bit of news, well as far as I am concerned anyway, is that in a few weeks time I shall be having surgery to remove the ‘Cataract‘ and will be having a replacement lens inserted. This will mean that for a short period afterwards I will be restricted on some certain ‘Elf‘ duties like driving the tractor, emptying bins, cutting grass, trimming hedges etc. etc. but that is where the both of us being equally trained comes in handy. I shall be confined to working in the Office on mundane tasks like dealing with ‘Departures‘, ‘Arrivals‘, taking telephone bookings and of course ‘talking‘ to the customers, a hell of a task I know but I am sure I will manage !! Shazza on the other hand will get the advantage of spending lots of time in the fresh air. I have already managed to give her a bit of refresher training on driving the tractor and using the industrial hedge trimmer. I am sure the dents in the tractor can be knocked out again with a panel hammer and the vegetation around the site will soon recover and grow back before our Regional Managers next scheduled visit !!

We are fortunate to be in a location by the sea that has a vast wealth of marine wildlife, we currently have a pod of dolphins in the bay, these have been sighted by many of our guests from their Caravan windows. We also have a couple of visiting grey seals, an Otter, two resident Herons and a whole flight of Swans, in excess of one hundred, so we are now awaiting the imminent arrival of the team from the BBC Countryfile programme, Nature Watch, or perhaps we may even be graced by the presence of the man himself, no not Richard Craven, but none other than Sir David Attenborough. Shazza has complained that so far she has not viewed any of these Natural wonders, I have tried to explain to her that she has little chance of doing so from either the ASDA, TESCO or Morrisons car parks !!

So, what have we been up to over the last few weeks ? As some of you may remember, my last attempt at giving up the dreaded weed ended after a short three-month stint, although for me, three months without my daily regular ‘fixes’ felt like an eternity, however, I did say at the time of that failure that I would give it another go when I felt the time was right, well, so far I have managed sixteen days and strangely, I am actually finding it much easier this time around, there have been very few periods where I have actually really craved my ‘fix’, perhaps it is because it is me that has made the decision and not pressure from ‘other’ external sources.

We did manage to take a trip out to Gateshead to the large ‘Metro Centre’, a large shopping complex just off the A1 and only an hour’s drive away. Now I am not normally one for shopping and so this would generally be something worse than even my worst nightmare, but after being confined on numerous days off I thought that it would be good to get back out amongst civilisation. For some inexplicable reason, Shazza wore a big smile on her face from the evening before our ‘Retail Therapy’ trip and all through the following day. I quite naively hadn’t thought about the retail therapy aspect, more a cheap day out with the treat of a long-awaited KFC lunch, and so I made a massive error and forgot to leave the ‘Girls Best Friend’ back in the van, yes the ‘Plastic Card’ !!

The large ‘Metro’ shopping complex was exactly as I had anticipated that it would be, but surprisingly I was quite enjoying just wandering in and out of the shops, stopping in the odd three, five or ten for Shazza to relieve the weight from the bank balance with a few ‘much-needed‘ essential additions to the wardrobe, whatever happened to that policy of clothing replacements we were supposed to have of ‘one in, one out‘ !! My remonstrations appeared to go unheard, or more accurately, totally ignored. I did however get my KFC lunch and it was absolutely delicious, yes I know, I am a pushover !!

We came across an entertainment show for the kids and stopped to watch it for a while, it made us think that in the very near future, with the impending arrival of our twin granddaughters, that one day we may well be one of those sets of grandparents sat watching the show. I turned to where Shazza had been stood but there was no sign of her, what shop has she now wandered into I began to think, but then I saw her, down below on the lower floor where the ‘Kids Show’ was taking place, she had joined in !!

Can you see her ? The clue is.......... She is the one dressed in the Green Elfette Outfit on the left !!!

Can you see her ? The clue is………. She is the one dressed in the Green Elfette Outfit on the left !!!

It had been had been a good day out and we had both enjoyed the opportunity of getting away from the Campsite for a few hours but the following day it was back to ‘Elf & Elfette’ duties proper !!

With our next period of time off bringing another decent day, weather wise, we decided to tick off another ‘must do’ from our list of activities, a boat trip around the ‘Farne Islands’ from Seahouses to see the Puffins, Gannets, Cormorants and if we were lucky, the Grey Seals.

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One of the many trip boats

One of the many trip boats

Looking landward to the impressive sight of 'Bamburgh Castle'

Looking landward to the impressive sight of ‘Bamburgh Castle’

Some boat trips allowed you to get off at one of the Islands to view the nesting colonies of birds, we had elected to take the trip that didn't !!

Some boat trips allowed you to get off at one of the Islands to view the nesting colonies of birds, we had elected to take the trip that didn’t !!

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A Puffin with a beak full of fish ready to be taken back to its awaiting 'Pufflings'

A Puffin with a beak full of fish ready to be taken back to its awaiting ‘Pufflings’

And there it goes.........

And there it goes………

This gigantic vessel goes around the Country and services the unmanned lighthouses.

This gigantic vessel goes around the Country and services the unmanned lighthouses.

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Now that's what I call a house with a sea view !!

Now that’s what I call a house with a sea view !!

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I wonder why they call this place ' Seahouses' ?

I wonder why they call this place ‘ Seahouses’ ?

Bamburgh Castle at close quarters, still to be visited and ticked off our list of 'Must Do's'

Bamburgh Castle at close quarters, still to be visited and ticked off our list of ‘Must Do’s’

It was nice to get out again on a day off, but I have to confess at being somewhat disappointed at the lack of marine life. The sea was quite choppy, which didn’t help when trying to get decent photographs, but the Grey Seals are also quite shy and as soon as the boat got too close they submerged. On another day, at another time we may have got better viewing opportunities when it was time for them to just lay on the rocks basking in the sunshine, our trip was obviously on the wrong day at the wrong time !! As for, the Puffins, we saw just two and although there were many more Cormorants these were now, to us at least, getting to be as common as the resident Seagulls and Kittiwakes. Perhaps our expectations were far too high, last season, when we were working up on the West Coast of Scotland close to the Isle of Skye, we went on a rib trip and saw an abundance of marine life, so perhaps we had already seen the best of the best.

With the clock now ticking down on this current seasons exploration in the North East, yes, we are down to 79 days to do, or 11 weeks, or 3 more pay days, and yes we are counting down each and every one of them, there is not much left on our ‘Must Do’ list. However, just a few days ago, Chris and Sarah, presented us with our twin Granddaughters, Lily and Eva…….

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Our week has just been rounded off with a Skype Video call and our first introduction to our ‘Much Awaited Arrivals‘ and very precious little bundles, well done to Mum & Dad, our granddaughters were not very talkative but I somehow suspect that that will not last for very long !! We will get to meet them in person next week when we will use our days off to travel down to see them, can’t wait !!

To round off what has been a perfect week, we also had a Skype Video call with our daughter Stacey in Australia, so, although there have been few major ‘Expeditions’ over recent weeks, there has been enough to keep us occupied.

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30 Responses to Much Awaited Arrivals !!

  1. tomhope2421 says:

    Pleased to read you are on the mend and many congratulations on your new arrival too. πŸ˜ƒ

  2. Deborah Kenyon says:

    Congratulations on the arrival of the twins and safe travels to visit them this week. Pleased to hear you are both well and hopefully Eric your ailments will soon be rectified, do you get sick pay? and can you still drive with a cataract? πŸ™‚
    We have been busy packing up and sick of car boot sales ready to move on 28th. Have a major headache and its only 08:17 on a Monday morning in work, argh!!

    • Thanks Debs πŸ‘ Not sure about the ‘Sick Pay’ question as I haven’t taken any time off, all appointments have been on days off and just continued to work as normal. For the eye surgery we have just re-jiggled the roster πŸ‘ I will not be able to drive immediately after the eye surgery but you can drive with a ‘Cataract’ providing you have good vision in the other eye. My Dad only has one eye and he could still drive, the impact was on the Insurance cost though !!

  3. carla en cor says:

    nice to finally hear from you…we really missed your blogs…hope the shoulder heales aswell and good luck on the eye operation…..wow a twin…how lovely the look, congrats to the parents and ofcourse granny and grandpa…..and what a great castle!!!!!
    By the looks of it, UK is a great place to go to aswell!!!

    Love Carla/Cor

    • Never mind me, how are you ? Hope things are getting better for you, about time you started getting ready to get back on the road those hospitals are no good, full of sick people πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„

      • carla en cor says:

        yeah so true…but I’m still not allowed to travel….. 😦 ….. Cor just left this morning,, off to Portugal….hope he”ll bring lots of sunshine back home to me………..xxx

  4. Peter and Chris De Houwer says:

    Do not understand how this wordpress blog works! In the past I posted my comments under your blog text, directly. Since I have become an official follower of your blog I cannot do that anymore! I have just written a whole text, posted it and gone it is!! Nowhere to be seen.
    So I have to start all over again. Very frustrating.
    But… What a relief! We were getting worried about your health but now know you are still alive and kicking! Great. Still working on a few bits and pieces, but that is allright. You’ll be in great condition to spend the winter working, sorry, holidaying! πŸ˜‰
    And congratulations on your lovely, sweet, little granddaughters! If they have inherited sth of their grandfather they won’t be silent for much longer!
    All the best!
    Chris and Peter
    Belgian Beauty

    >

    • I saw your similar response on Sandra’s blog. Not sure what the problem is, doesn’t appear to be a problem with the blog as I am getting other comments through okay πŸ‘ Many thanks for sending us the Jedburgh walking routes guide πŸ˜„

  5. Congratulations on becoming proud grandparents. All your troubles are now “little ones” and your lives will never bee the same again. Good to here from you, your photos are still “brill”

    • Thanks for your comments Bill πŸ‘ The thing about being Grandparents is that the ‘troubles’ are the responsibility of the parents, the grandparents get to spoil them rotten then hand them back at the end of the day πŸ˜„

  6. coolasluck says:

    Who the hell is Richard Craven? lol

    You have my every sympathies with your teeth Eric,I have had the same pain with mine,so much so that we stayed an extra week in our local area whilst my teeth sorted themselves out.Nothing worse than tooth problems.Fortunatly they are now the best they have ever been and for the first time in about 2.5 years i am no longer suffering from tooth ache and the shooting pains they also give you.We are now out there mate living the dream at long last and you may be suprised to know that we are going 50 50 with wilding and cheap c.ls normally farms and i have to say it appears to be a happy medium.We will be in Spain this October for our first jaunt abroad so hopefully we may see you both over there.I think though that we may spend much of our time in Portugal first and venture south from there.i am aware that the police may be clamping down on wilding so will no doubt be enjoying in-land spain mostly with forays to the coast for short periods.
    Anyhow take care of yourselves and hopefully if we dont see you first we will come and crash for a few weeks at your new pad lol ha ha
    coola

    • I think he is the twin brother of ‘John Craven’ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      So how is life on the road ? We can’t wait to get back to living our particular dream but we shall do another couple of seasons on Elf & Elfette duties first πŸ˜‰

  7. noggin says:

    Congratulations Gran and Grandpa! I’m in trouble with daughter and s-i-l for teaching our grandchildren ‘ditties’ like ‘The boy stood on the burning deck, he began to splutter and cough ……’ and ‘Down in the jungle got belly ache …..’ – apparently their teachers weren’t impressed! Don’t think I’ll get away with ‘Mary had a little lamb, she couldn’t stop it grunting ….’!!
    Glad your health woes are getting sorted and hope it’s still going well with quitting smoking (I’m about to become a vapist!) – we’ll be back down at Manilva in January but we will see you before that (have caravan and will soon be on our first test-run!).

    • Thanks Roy, I think I gave you a list of our days off, let us know when you are coming. My surgery is on Friday 4th and then have the next three days off, should I keep an eye out for you πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  8. Cathy Heaton says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous granddaughters! And good luck with the cataract surgery. We’ve only got 13 more days of “work” left (with 4 days off in between). Heading to the Med, then Spain and Portugal so we must catch up with you! xx

  9. anteater says:

    How nice to hear from you again! Many congrats on the lovely grandchildren! Well, you have been in the Wars lately with the old health issues – glad to hear they are one by one improving!! We have decided to spend 3 nights in one of your favourite haunts, Seville, for Steve’s 50th in October! His idea – I am just bankrupt! Off at the end of the month to Southern Italy and just decided we do need to stay overnight in Sicily to see…Ortigia, Syracuse properly. Thanks to Google Earth I feel I have already been there, and I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing!!
    I had better not show Steve your pics of a choppy sea – he panics about going on a mill pond!!
    We are thinking of going over to Stromboli from Italy but…it needs to be booked ahead it seems, and Steve is already worried about it being “less” than a mill pond!
    Still have to get caravan down to France before the year’s end. Then x no. of years after that, we’ll hopefully be getting a motorhome again.
    Any tips for visiting Seville would be gratefully appreciated.
    Take care,
    anteater

    • Thanks Jean πŸ‘ Take the tourist bus, they will provide a map of the City, don’t get off the bus just do the round robin trip and pick out the areas/places you want to re-visit more closely. You can then walk to those areas πŸ‘ There is so much to see, probably best to go back and check out the blogs as I cannot remember all of the places we walked. However, the Cathedral is a must as is the Maria Luisa Park πŸ˜„

  10. Baxterbus says:

    Lovely to see some ramblings from you, good luck with the operation soon be over and done with. Congratulations to the proud grandparents πŸ™‚ hope you have a lovely first visit.

    p.s. (check your spam queue – from some reason lots of comments from non spammers have started to go in mine, had to approve them to get Belgian Beauty comments to show).

    • Thanks Sandra, we are both quite excited about our first visit πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ Chris (Belgian Beauty) comment came through on my normal comments notifications but I checked my Spam as you suggested but nothing there πŸ‘

  11. Jeff & Elaine says:

    Hi Granddad and Grandmother, glad to read you are recovering, any excuse not to work, leaving it all to Sharon. We are not long back from Portugal, Lisbon and Oporto, we now understand why you like it there, we enjoyed the places we visited..

    • Cor blimey !! Hello stranger πŸ˜„ Yes, we love Portugal but we haven’t done Lisbon yet. Did you visit the ‘Port’ houses in Oporto ? How is everything with the ‘wider’ family ? Drop us an Email when you get a minute πŸ˜‰

  12. John Strange says:

    Congratulations to both on the safe arrival of the twins, and of course you are now fully paid up members of the Grandma and Granddad club. The best club in the world! We now have 8 Grandchildren under 7! When my lot started, they just came one after the other. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    Take care both – and good to know I can put the best suite back in the wardrobe Eric! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    • Thanks John, first two for us but I am sure there will be more to follow 😧 Hopefully the ‘suit’ can stay in the wardrobe for a lot longer yet πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  13. Thought we’d lost you! We won’t make it as far north as where you are, but aim to be in Spain early next year so we might see you then. R & C

    • Hi Roland, I’m not that easy to lose, I have been lurking in the sidelines awaiting my opportunity to re-emerge πŸ˜„ We will be heading South in early November but our working seasons have surreptitiously been extended, a week earlier start next season and two week later finish !! But we should still get a good three months in our Winter bolt hole πŸ‘

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