Thursday 25th August to Saturday 27th
These few days were all about “house hunting” and during this period we finally agreed a sale for our home in Campoverde; fingers crossed this isn’t another false start but who knows, anything can happen and that’s why we have not gone out publishing this fact!!!
Having travelled most of Somerset we are now dipping our toes into Devon and Dorset but our preferred area is South Petherton, a village midway between Hope Farm and the beaches on the south coast.
Still being school holidays, we also spent a lot of time with Mia and several evenings playing Marjon, not to mention the occasional babysitting.
Sunday 28th August
A couple of weeks ago, once Trevor and Gill knew we were in the U.K., we were invited to Trevor’s 60th being held in Barton on Sea. Having sold their home they are renting whilst looking which meant we would have to sort our own accommodation out; no problem, we have Rosie. Barton on sea has a long seafront high up from the beach and between the road and the cliff there is a very wide stretch of grass and Trevor and Gill advised us that motorhomes often stop overnight on the road next to the grass verge.
Christine and I did debate this but in the absence of a camping site nearby, well within walking distance, we made the decision to take the risk. The other issue of course was, “will we find a spot”??
The party started at midday so an early start was called for, so the alarm went off at 0700hrs followed by a quick breakfast and we were on the way. Being a bank holiday weekend we were conscious there may be rather a lot of traffic about but on the other hand we basically went “cross country” crossing all the main roads to and from the West Country. En route we both decided this was a new place, neither of us having been to Barton on Sea before but to our surprise as we turned onto the sea font we realised we had been frequent visitors in the past when we had Sooty and Bella; we used to come here from Bournemouth to give the dogs a jolly good run and for us, get some good, clean, sea air.
As we drove onto the front with our eyes scanning for a parking place, we “clocked” a couple getting back into their car and better than that, their car was parked in an ideal space, right on the end of the allotted parking spaces before the double yellow lines started. Bingo, they left and before anyone else had a chance, Rosie was parked.
Leaving extra time to get here and straight into a parking space we were early, still better to be early than late!!!! Having parked up, on went the kettle and settled down into, fingers crossed, our overnight spot. To add to our good fortune, when we put their address into Google, we were only 3-minutes away, it was round the corner; what a good result all round.
We arrived at the party at the appointed time only to find, apart from close family, we were the first to arrive, still this gave us uninterrupted time to catch-up with all the family news.
By early afternoon the party was in full swing; it turned out Trevor was only aware of family members being invited so was totally surprised when their friends from the London/Berkshire areas arrived. Being his birthday he was relieved from bar-b-q duties, these were undertaken by Trevor’s son Edward, an Gill’s daughter’s boyfriend, and what a good job they did. They cooked an assortment of meats etc., for about 25-guests “and” there was meats over at the end.
Full and replete, not to mention well oiled, out came this perfect party game for revellers, called Kubb. This, dare I say “stupid game” was ideal as it involved 12-people and an umpire to keep an eye on anyone “cheating”. The basics involved a number of 2” square pegs about 8-inches long, spread in two lines about 10-foot apart. The two teams of six stand behind their line of pegs and armed with round sticks or a cut down broom handle into lengths of 6-inches, they each throw one to knock the square peg down. I can assure everyone this was jolly difficult, but very hilarious both to play and watch. Two “matches were played, between a team of the fairer sex and the men; the good news is, honours were equal. Because of the level of “difficulty” or the “amount of alcohol”, these two games too the majority of the afternoon to complete.
Exhausted!!! We all sat and continued sitting around a rather large table discussing everything under the sun whilst watching it go down, occasionally heading to the table still laden with goodies. Fortunately the weather was perfect for Trevor’s 60-party, sunny, but not the intense heat that blanketed England the previous weeks.
We eventually headed back to Rosie in the evening wondering what we would find, or not as the case maybe🤞🤞🤞. As we turned the corner onto the sea front there she was, still in the same place. First concern over; not towed away. As we approached we checked each wheel; second concern over, no clamps. The third concern won’t be resolved until the morning!! We think Rosie thought she had been abandoned, as previously she has always been parked in a secure place🤭🤭🤭!!! Now It was time for bed though I went to bed in trepidation. Rosie, parked on the edge of the road which was sloping to one side; Christine would roll into the motorhome’s side, whilst I could fall out of bed, so extreme caution was called upon by me.
Monday 29th August
We awoke to a sunny morning in Barton on Sea, and no knock on the door during the night, what a result. Last night there was talk of going for a swim this morning so after breakfast we quickly did a “recce” of the way down to the beach, never mind the sea temperature!! There was quite a steep path down to the stony beach and with my bad knee, I didn’t fancy the walk backup the cliff path, so made the decision not to join the party, and besides the sea may not have been up to our pool temperature!!
Back in Rosie, this voice boomed out, you can’t park there, oh dear caught at last but looking out of the van, there was Gill, driving by, stopped, and did the shouting; thank goodness. Later Trevor arrived far a coffee which rounded our weekend trip off nicely.
For our return journey I changed the route to one that was slightly longer but had less “B” roads as Christine doesn’t like twisty narrow lanes; I don’t know why, perhaps it’s because Rosie being a “left hooker” she is in the middle of the road.
Our run back was un-eventful and again, crossing all the main routes to and from the West Country, no hold-ups.
Arriving back to an empty Hope Farm as the Littlejohn’s were out for the day
Tuesday 30th August
Great excitement today as we have two viewings in South Petherton early afternoon and Jane is joining us. To make things even better, both these viewings are for bungalows that need some TLC.
After Jane had done all her horse duties and with Christine’s help did a couple of change-overs we headed off. We left in sufficient time to visit the Brewers Arms in South Petherton for lunch before our viewings; again not disappointed with what we ordered but, “note to oneself”, one “light” lunch between two in future!!!!
Our first viewing as an interesting proposition, had nearly everything we were looking for including “hideous” colours on the walls but with potential. The downside were the miserable owners, no help whatsoever, questions answered with grunts; maybe they don’t want to sell.
Our second viewing was next door and on paper, Christine’s first choice. We naturally had some concerns with two places, next door to each other, and on the market at the same time. Fortunately we had half an hour to spare and spoke to the lady doing her garden who lives opposite, to find out the ”low-down” and the “reasons”, if any why they are both for sale. This extremely friendly lady, “Penny” gave us chapter and verse about nearly everything. She has lived in South Petherton for a number of years but recently moved into her current abode and loves it; worries over.
Our second viewing, also very interesting as this place was like walking into a time-warp, good sized rooms, strange layout but nothing serious though the neighbour “Nelson” has not got the “tidiest” of Gardens, otherwise a good visit until we were informed there was already an offer on the table.
After a few hours deliberations we “bit” the bullet and put in an offer. With the U.K. market as it is, offers have to be on or above the asking price which certainly goes against the grain!!! So in it and we had to wait.
Back home, dinner, a quiet evening and bed whilst anticipating what the decision will be tomorrow.