Saturday, 21 August 2010

Look after the Pennies...
Returned from a few days in the Lakes. Younger son, Doug, and family rented a cottage in Bowness for a week and we joined them for Dominic's third birthday. Weather forecast was heeded - rain all week - so left the shorts I have been wearing since March on Gecko. Weather, needless to say, was beautiful. Last time we went to Bowness, Dougie was eight months old and it was the last week in April. Uninterrupted sunshine on the day we arrived and we spent the afternoon walking along the Lancaster canal. Next morning we could not see the lake which was all of 12ft from our window. Heavy snow was falling. Whilst we contemplated our next move a lorry slid down the hill and into the reception area. Anticipating the chaos a snowfall causes to road traffic I extracted the OS map and plotted an escape route on country lanes where we would meet no other vehicles. We eventually struck the M6 without problem and headed south. CalledTrust House Forte central booking from the services to give them our direction and requirements (pre mobiles). Called again at each service station until they confirmed a booking for us in Stratford-upon-Avon - well clear of the snow chaos. On our second morning there we awoke to a blanket of snow again and so repeated the process hoping for Salisbury as our next resting place. We finally came to rest in Abingdon which was only a half-hour drive from home. That is why I took the forecast of never-ending rain in August seriously .
The weather was fine when we set off this morning. First we had to empty the toilet cassettes and fill up with water. Before this was completed Kathleen and Robert - fellow Landmark Friends - had arrived for a trip to Radford Bank. The attraction here, in addition to the comfortable moorings, is the Radford Bank Inn where the carvery is still £3.59 all day Mon-Sat. On Sundays it is £3 more. The junction at Great Haywood is one of the busiest on the English canal network and BW still do not have a sanitary station there. Elsan facilities are provided by the Anglo Welsh hire base so it costs £1 to empty the toilet. So much for spending a penny!

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