On ‘How Time Flies’..

Time is precious.  We all know that.  We also know that life’s too short.  This is why we embarked on this adventure – taking a year out and travelling.

We are struggling to believe that we are already nearing the end of this year (I know we still have 4 months of the year remaining, but remember we ARE in the UK and we WILL lose the weather sooner rather than later.  We are however desperately wishing for a prolonged Indian Summer so that we can keep travelling through to later November.  We understand that we have a maximum, therefore, of 3 months travelling in the UK.

Being at the end of August we were expecting to be in Scotland by now…  Actually, we expected to have almost finished Scotland by now!  The furthest north we have got, however, is Whitby in North Yorkshire – there is so much to see and do in this wonderful country of ours.

Back to the point of this post though.  Time is indeed flying by, but what I have found is that when we spend time with family and friends it flies even quicker.  The last 2 weeks have seen us spending a week in Cornwall (my favourite spot in the whole world – keep an eye out for my post on this) to celebrate my friend’s 40th birthday, followed by a return ‘home’ to catch up with family (in particular to make sure that Calv’s grandchildren still recognise him!), and to celebrate my friend’s birthday again (on the actual day this time 🙂 ).

This time is going by so quickly that it simply emphasises the point of our travels, of our year off, of doing this before we run out of the energy or the desire to do anything.

Everyone tells themselves that this is something that they would love to do in some capacity (i.e. not necessarily in a motorhome!), but there is always a reason not to take the plunge.  They don’t have enough money, they need to keep an eye on the kids (adult kids even), they just need to see through this big project at work, they couldn’t possibly give up work…

All valid reasons of course, and, don’t forget, we all have different motivations and desires.

However (and it is a big however), we truly believe that we have changed our lives for the better.  Despite the fact that there have been a few bumps along the way (I shan’t go into that now!) which meant we had less money available than we initially thought, this hasn’t detracted from our enjoyment of our time on the road together.  We have found that we want for a lot less, we have become far less materialistic if you like.

I didn’t actually consider myself overly so to begin with to be fair, but even I have noticed that I want for less – apart from reading material and the occasional new (but useful) gadget for the van!  Even our grocery shops have declined (although they’re still more expensive when we’re meeting up with people.  Alcohol. Of course…!)

Even with all the time in the world that we have gifted ourselves we still never seem to have time to do everything.  We have learned to relax (even Calv, it might surprise some of you to learn), although it doesn’t seem that we actually do that very often.  We only realised this yesterday when we did actually relax for the whole day.  We sat reading (well, I did – he hasn’t changed that much!), drinking tea (yes, tea), enjoying the sunshine and then went on a lovely walk in the countryside to a local country pub (The Old House at Home in Chidham, well worth a visit, and actually much older than it appears from the outside).

 

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Looking over towards Emsworth on our walk to the pub
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Looking over the water towards Bosham on our walk home from the pub

We have loved spending time with friends and family, apart from the fact that we also put weight back on when we see them – so in 2 1/2 weeks our waistlines have taken a definite hit!

But we are also looking forward to getting back on the road.  On Tuesday we will be heading north again, taking in the Yorkshire Dales and the top of the North York Moors via York itself, before heading into Northumberland – which we believe (and hope) will be the highlight of our trip so far.  We suspect that by the time Northumberland has finished with us, and us with it, it may be time to cross over a little to the west coast and start making our way home.

We are sad that we won’t make Scotland this year but, if all our plans come together, we would like to think that we’ll head straight there for some time next year.  We have lots of plans going forward – another by-product of this time is that we really talk to each other.  A lot!

Please stay with us as we tell you about our adventures yet to come over the next few months, as we visit yet more places that we have never been to before and create more wonderful memories – trust me, we will always have something to talk to each other about!!  Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts and experiences – we love to hear from you!

I will aim to tell you about Cornwall as soon as possible – but we are busy seeing people over the next few days before we head off again!

Keep travelling! xx

 

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A surprise to be found in Oakham Castle

On the opposite side of Rutland Water from where we were staying lies Oakham, the county town of Rutland.  So we decided to visit.

This is a pleasant little town although there doesn’t appear to be an awful lot going on.  We parked up on the side of the road and went for a little wander, heading towards the church – which you can’t really miss.  In the old market place we found this Butter Cross with it’s stocks.

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We then took the path to the church, although we didn’t visit on this occasion, and then found an old school house behind the church.  When I say old it has a inscription in Latin on the outer wall, and graffiti from, perhaps, the 16th century (we couldn’t be sure!)

From here we went into the castle grounds from the modern park (the front entrance is by the butter market).  I thought that the grounds were all that was left, thinking that the building was a rather more modern church building (see the main photo above).  How wrong could we be??!!  It’s actually a 12th Century hall and is still used as a court building to this day!

As we walked in I just stopped and stared to try and take in what I was seeing – what an amazing sight! (The photos really can’t do it justice).

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Entrance is free and there are a couple of guides available to answer any questions you might have, as well as plenty of information boards.  The horseshoes are presented by any dignitaries who visit the town, and include many from the current royal family.  Below I have included photos of the oldest one (from 1470..)

There is also a small shop, several toilets and refreshments.  This was a real hidden gem and it would be so easy to miss out on it.

On our last day in Stamford it rained most of the day, and the only thing that we did was to walk across the fields from our campsite to the village of Ryhall, which is a nice little village.

On Wednesday when we moved on to Whittlebury Park for the grand prix .  Once settled in we headed out to visit Rushden as this is where Calv was born and lived until he was about 7.  I was very impressed that he remembered enough to drive straight to his old house in Coronation Avenue!

We wandered around the area, with Calv remembering various places and events, such as the school railings that he got his head stuck in when he was 5, the shop that they used to run down to and the shoe factory that his brother Phil used to work in.  We also found his eldest sister’s house in Irchester where he and his niece used to play – this we very nearly missed as there has been quite a lot of development around the house.

On the way back we went through Higham Ferrers which was absolutely delightful – the picture below is of the church at Higham Ferrers (we didn’t take any pictures of Calv’s old house as it didn’t seem the right thing to do!)

The next 5 days were spent at the British Grand Prix – read all about it here 🙂

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A day in Caythorpe brings back happy childhood memories

The Sunday before the Grand Prix we visited some of my relatives in the little village of Caythorpe (& Frieston) which sits midway between Grantham and Lincoln.  This was a day full of memories for me as I spent many a happy family holiday here with my aunt and uncle (Audrey and Clarrie).

Calv was very much taken with where my cousins live, in an old cottage fronting onto the old village green.  Who knows where we might end up living in our retirement??

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The ‘other’ village green in Frieston

We had Sunday lunch in one of the 2 remaining Caythorpe village pubs, The Red Lion, which was lovely.  Following this we donned our walking boots and took the dogs, Wally and Murphy – 2 of the best behaved dogs I have ever met 🙂 – for a walk.

We headed first to the church, where John and Jude are very active.  This meant that we had more access than normal, and more information too.

The church itself, St Vincents, is Grade I listed and a rare example of a parish church with a double nave; it was built in the early 14th century.

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The interior of St Vincents in Caythorpe

At the end of 1859 a lightning strike damaged the top 25 feet of the steeple.  When it was repaired it was shortened by about 12 feet, causing a ‘bulge’ (known as ‘entasis’) at the top.

This information was learned not only from my cousins, but also from a lovely book by Christina Farley that I bought whilst visiting ( ISBN no. 978-0-948639-67-8).

However, the highlight of our visit was, for me anyway, the fact that I challenged myself to go all the way up the tower and into the steeple. Continue reading “A day in Caythorpe brings back happy childhood memories”