Saturday, 1st January 2022
Not quite the new year celebrations we are accustomed to but that’s covid isolation for you, still what has to be done, has to be done!!!
I did my usual test, negative of course, Christine also did one hoping she would be negative but no, too early, it was positive so a not too disappointed Christine who is now feeling more like her old self, did a load of washing.
Nothing else apart from the usual, crib etc.
Sunday 2nd January
Again my test was negative and I was now beginning to think I might escape, though I don’t know why!!! Otherwise another similar day though glad to say Christine is improving by the day though sleeping is another story. The legacy of her covid appears to be terrible catarrh and a nagging cough causing “sleep deprivation”, so last night she piled up cushions behind her pillows and slept upright, and I am pleased to say this worked for the majority of the night.
Of course during the course of the day we got snippets of information regarding Stonfield Castle from Leisha and David, it all sounded good and naturally we were “hissed off”, Still I’m glad they enjoyed themselves, just jealous as hell!!!
Ever since we sold our motorhome back in 2014, we have returned to the subject of owning one again on numerous occasions, only this time it had to be a smaller and mor powerful one. The other consideration we had to take into account is that as we’re both over 70, we are restricted to a maximum GVW of 3500kgs. With so much time on our hands, we scoured the country to try and find a suitable secondhand one for sale. Our requirement apart from weight was it had to be a “left-hooker” and be “automatic”; rather like looking for hen’s teeth but we persevered. Eventually Christine found one at a dealer in Newport, (Shropshire) and sent off an email. Because of Covid, “staycation” seems to be the “buzz-word” and motorhomes are selling like “hot-cakes” but worst of all, it has jacked up all the prices!!!
Monday 3rd January
Hooray, Christine joined me with her first negative lateral flow test, a great relief, though I’m am still rather concerned I may catch it, but what will be will be!! Marian has had two negatives, 24-hrs apart and has escaped today leaving Martin and Russell to isolate. Of course the rules state there has to be 24-hrs between the two tests but I virtually had to sit on Christine as she was so excited to be through it, she wanted to escape!!!
This morning we had a ‘phone call from the motorhomes dealer, giving us additional information and asking if we were interested. I explained our situation but assured him once clear we would be along.
The rest of the day followed the same pattern other than we met up with Martin mid morning for a coffee and a brandy, yes I still had a bottle of Soberano left!!!! Other than that, it was Crib, TV, some housework etc though Christine did take time to walk around the grounds and get fresh air though we had had quite a bit. Every morning we flung open all the windows and doors to blow anything away that could be infectious.
Tuesday 4th January
A great ceremony took place this morning, we both did our tests hoping for two negative results and I’m pleased to say we they were, great rejoicing took place including a cooked breakfast!!!j
Yesterday Russell volunteered to clean our car, for a donation of course!!!, anyway after some tough negotiations he agreed to do both inside and out but oh dear what a day. There was a heavy overnight frost and this morning it was bitterly cold so we did suggest he left it, but no. “Fair do’s” to him, he was outside, hose, bucket, hoover etc., and he got on with it and what a thorough job he did of it. The last time it was this clean was probably the day it left the showroom; thank you very much Russell. Today was also the first negative test he had after contracting covid.
Due to our negative results I was also able to commit to going to the motorhomes dealership, so phoned and made an appointment for Wednesday 5th.
By now the covid “tally” at Rockfield House was:- Marian and Christine two negative tests, Russell one Negative test, Martin still with a faint positive line and goodness knows why; haven’t caught it!!!!!
We both went to bed very happy though we did have to set an alarm for tomorrow!!!
Wednesday 5th January
Our first day away from the house for what seemed an eternity and Marian joined us for our trip to Newport. This morning Russell had had his second negative lateral flow test so had also escaped and gone to work whilst Martin had his first negative test, but still had to isolate,; oh yes, I was also negative!!!
Our plan was to get to the motorhome dealer and view the left-hooker with the automatic gearbox and hopefully, if satisfactory, do a deal. On the way home we were going to stop at “Pasta du Piazza”, an Italian restaurant we like in Stone (Staffordshire) as a thank you to Marian for offering us one of her holiday cottages to isolate in.
We hit the road around 0930hrs but the going was slow as there had been a little snow and a heavy frost, so slippery roads until we left the Peak District. The rest of the journey to Newport was generally slow as we seemed to be going “cross country”, no major roads to use, and there was quite a lot of traffic all throwing up “muck” from the surface, onto our nice clean shiny car that Russell had put so much time and effort into cleaning it.
We arrived and immediately went to look at the vehicle we had been interested in but alas, it didn’t match our expectations. Whilst there we looked at several others but two of them had possibilities, both different but with pluses, so it was time for a coffee at the adjacent garden centre to “mull-over” the pros and cons.
One was a small traditional motorhome with a fixed bed etc., the other was more like a camper van, much more like a car to drive but therefore far less inside space, though it did have that all important piece of equipment, a compact shower and loo. Our conclusion was the traditional one: though it was 15-years old it had only done 8500 miles since new, and looking underneath it was apparent; an unmarked chassis, in fact it was most probably kept in a warm/dry barn or similar. The inside also in excellent condition and though it was old, it carried a premium price tag and no matter what we said, the dealer wouldn’t budge on price. We already knew “staycation” was the new preferred holidaying arrangements and because of this, there is a shortage of nice motorhomes for sale.
After having another good poke about and chat with the salesman, we were very keen mainly due to its excellent condition, we’d even accepted it’s right a hand drive with a manual gearbox! We left muttering about the price telling him we would be in touch.
We now headed back to Stone for our Italian meal. We knew they closed at 1500hrs and we were later than planned, but with a fair wind and a heavy right foot we would make it. 1430hrs and we arrived at the Restaurants’s back door, so Christine jumped out whilst Marian and I parked the car by the canal car park only to see a “for-lawn” Christine walking over, the restaurant was closed today, oops!!!! We drove around Stone looking for somewhere but no, nothing open or available so a re-think was necessary.
We came up with our plan B; we’d head back towards Flagg but stop en-route for a cuppa and a bun. The chosen place to stop was the café in Marks and Spencer, Ashbourne, and whilst there came up with plan “B+1” we would head to the “Manners”, a pub with a very good restaurant and it opened at 1700hrs; just right. We all enjoyed a very good meal before heading back to Rockfield house.
Back at the house Martin and Russell joined us for a coffee and a couple of “covid busting” drinks; I am convinced Soberano has been the key to my success in avoiding covid!!!
Tomorrow we escape our very nice prison; Marian and Martins holiday cottage has been our salvation and a better place to isolate I cannot think of; thank you both again.