Tuesday 1st September (Day 173 of 236)
So, with another month now completed, we find ourselves with just 63 days of this seasons contract remaining, although it sounds even less if you refer to it as only two more months, but for us, it sounds even better when we also deduct our days off in that period, then it reads that actually we only have thirty-four more full ‘working days’ to do ! To be extremely honest and up front, this has certainly been a long, physically demanding and very tiring season, since Easter the site has been virtually full, every day, for the majority of that time, however, with the Bank Holiday in England marking the end of the school holidays, for the first time in just a little over five and a half months, we have an exodus of over half our campers from the site and a chance to actually take a breath once they have departed. Not that we can start to take things easy, oh no ! We still have the days new arrivals to deal with, which, by the end of the day, will see the site back to two-thirds occupancy again, that’s around 60 Camping Units although it doesn’t really make too much difference whether we have ten campers or a hundred campers on site, the daily routines of bin runs, cleaning the facilities block, cutting grass etc. it all still carries on as usual, it’s much like ‘Groundhog Day‘, if people can remember that film with ‘Bill Murray‘. It is however, only a short respite, four days to be precise and then by the weekend the campsite will be full again !! Serves us right I guess for getting a wonderful site in a beautiful location and one that has proven popular with Caravanners, Motorhomers and Tent campers, club members, as well as non members, and lots of International visitors. So we are certainly ready for a good long break ourselves and we are counting the days down to catching our ferry in November for some much-needed relaxation and ‘Winter Sun’ !
Although we haven’t been able to do everything that could be done in the Northumberland area, the only outstanding sightseeing activity left on our own personal ‘Must Do‘ list is a visit and exploration of the nearby ‘Bamburgh Castle‘ and ‘Grace Darling‘ museum and now that the summer hoards are thinning out it would be a good time to go and take a look, but not just yet, as there is one other very important appointment date in my calendar of events that has to take priority, more about that a little later.
In my last post I announced the arrival of our twin Granddaughters, ‘Lily‘ and ‘Eva‘, unfortunately our work schedule didn’t permit an early visit to see them both in the flesh, so to speak, and so although ‘Nana Shazza’ and I were chomping at the bit to get down to Wiltshire, we had to wait until our working roster gave us the opportunity to do the Seven Hundred and Fifty mile round trip. When that day finally arrived there was no holding us back, we finished our half day’s duties as usual with toilet cleaning but somehow it didn’t seem as much as a chore, perhaps our minds were elsewhere !! Shazza had prepared a picnic lunch to eat ‘on the go‘ as we first headed Southwards to Doncaster where we would stay overnight before heading off early the following morning to Swindon. Having the photo’s of our two Granddaughters was great, as was the initial Skype video call, however, it was nothing compared to actually getting to see and hold the little bundles in person.
We spent a good seven hours with the four of them before, very reluctantly, having to drag ourselves away and start the long journey back North again but the trip was certainly ‘well worth every mile‘. We knew that we wouldn’t get another opportunity to visit again before we finished our Season’s work up in Northumberland, but Chris and Sarah do take the time to video Skype us regularly when the ‘girls’ are awake so that we can say hello. We will see them all again the weekend that we go down to catch our ferry and with the promise of a chance for Chris and Sarah to have a night out, Nana Shazza and Grandad may just get to take on their first ‘Babysitting’ duties !! There are also plans afoot for the four of them to come and visit us in the Apartment in Spain early next year, we are very much looking forward to that as the twins by then will be six months old !!
Over far more years than I care to remember, I have travelled the full length of the A1 on numerous occasions, passing the ‘iconic’ steel structure that is the ‘Angel of the North‘, however, I had never actually stopped at the viewing point to take a closer look, only viewing it through the windows of a car, however, Nature is now making such viewings more difficult as the ‘saplings’ that had originally been planted are now mature trees and as each year passes, and as the trees grow taller, the ‘Angel of the North’ is becoming less and less visible. So, it was time to go and take a closer look and seeing that we have now spent a fair bit of time living in this neck of the woods as ‘Temporary Residents’, it would be impolite not to call by and say hello, wouldn’t it ?
I do however feel the need to apologise to the people of Northumberland, for, close up, I have to confess at being totally underwhelmed at this iconic structure, in fact it looks far more impressive from a distance. We stopped only long enough to take a few pictures, just as proof that we actually were there, and then we headed to the ‘Metro Centre’ for a much more interesting and satisfying luncheon appointment with a ‘KFC’ !!
Back on site and back to our ‘Elf & Elfette’ duties, but in a just a couple of days, on Friday 4th September to be precise, I have my surgery to remove the Cataract that I mentioned in a previous post and something that has needed doing for the last three years so I will be relieved when it has been done. Dougie and Avril have re-shuffled the working rosters to enable me to take a few days off immediately afterwards as I cannot get any water in the eye, or lift heavy items, so cleaning showers or using the ground equipment is off the agenda, as is driving the tractor. Shazza will be my personal chauffeur to and from the hospital in Newcastle and when I told her that I didn’t know how long I would be there or the time of my surgery she said “That’s okay, there will be a Cafe in the hospital so I will just wait and I will have to keep an eye out for you” !! “That’s like a joke, just not funny” I replied !!…………………