Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time moves On....

It's been well over two months since our last blog, and a lot has happened in the intervening period. To start with the middle of October saw us acting as temporary wardens, (again),  for Greendales Caravan Park. We were well on the way to getting rid of the house, having spent some weeks either selling stuff on eBay or driving endlessly backwards and forwards to the tip. Where does it all come from! Once the Avatar look alike was ensconced in his house, that was also our opportunity to pile a whole host of precious artefacts that Mrs SA can't bear to be parted from in after him, much to his annoyance. I've also relished the opportunity to go around his house turning the lights on, and leaving them on - see how he likes it! By the time we arrived at Greendales we were looking forward to the rest!

The two weeks on the site went by in a flash, albeit in a very quiet way. Most of the seasonal owners were starting to pack up, and apart from a few passing Motor-homes no real touring traffic to speak of.

In the meantime Mrs SA had been plotting! I don't know whether the thought of a whole winter in the van was putting her off, but clearly she had been trawling the internet for alternatives. And as if by magic, how did we fancy three months in the South of France! Well Midi-Pyrenees, an area I've been to before when I was in the Army - the thing is, my memory of the area is that it rains - all the time!

Lots of discussion then ensued. Between me and Mrs SA, and the owners of the property she was interested in - and perhaps it won't be as bad as that. Certainly the temperatures on average seem warmer than the UK. They do get snow, but the Landrover will cope with that, so in the end, it seemed like an adventure too good to pass up. So December to the end of February will see us living the french life in "The Old School" Banroques, Entraygues-sur-Truy√®re, slightly North of Toulouse. Then the other shoe drops - on the way through France, we're going to look at another Cottage that just happens to be available for a long-term let. On top of this, close to where we are going, a couple are looking for seasonal wardens for next year, our cup runneth over!

Before all that though, it was time to move the van around the country, in order to visit family and friends.  The only downside was having to drive in some of the worst rain I've ever seen. Family in Wiltshire meant we were staying at Brokerswood, near Trowbridge and at one point we very nearly didn't make it off as rising water levels on the surrounding roads were about to make things impassable. We then moved to Northampton to stay with friends, at the same time as the nearby Billings Aquadrome Caravan Park was being evacuated after it was inundated with rising water.

At the end of this period, our drive back to the Borders became emotional - the final two hour drive from Ripon to Berwick-Upon-Tweed, took almost 4 and a half hours, as rising water levels caused the A1 to close at Catterick.

The strange things is that interspersed between this has been some lovely Autumn sunshine. The photo below was taken at Chain Bridge Caravan Park earlier in the month, and I challenge anyone to find a better view.

So, as the end of the week approaches, we need to get organised for another stage in our life we weren't expecting. Deciding what stays in the van whilst it is stored and what comes with us in the car, as always it's going to be tight. Passport for Big Black Dog, ferry bookings, overnight accommodation bookings etc. On top of this we have sworn to learn French and I have downloaded umpteen, (well 156), learn French by Podcast lessons onto my iPod, which are already the source of endless arguments in the car, but it passes the time.

Vive La France!

PS, now where are the heating controls in this house - I'm feeling slightly chilly whilst I write!