The Motor home & Caravan show

I won some complementary tickets to the Motor home and Caravan show held at The NEC Birmingham.

Sunday morning and after a 20 minute drive to the NEC we boarded the shuttle bus heading for the exhibition hall. I had actually made a list of things we needed to look at (a first for me).

Puffin’s upholstery is in good condition, but is a dated design. The flowery curtains and cut moquette seating speaks volumes about the 90’s.

Dated design very 90's

Dated design very 90’s

We started to collect estimates to transform our camper into something a little more up to date, but would we agree on the fabrics.

Surprisingly we had similar ideas of what we wanted. The estimates varied by as much as £500 difference.

We had discussed whether it was worth spending a substantial sum on our aging campervan purely on a cosmetic change. I think the clincher was that we could replace the foam in the rock and roll bed for something softer and easier on our aging bones.

We would never get the cost back if we ever sold, but this adventure isn’t about investment. It’s about enjoying ourselves and feeling comfortable.

We have narrowed our chosen upholsterer down to Careavan based fairly nearby in Birmingham. We will be taking Puffin to their showrooms and make our fabric choices and check out their quality next month.

After our decision to make Poland our touring trip for next year I was hoping that there would be Polish camping info at the show, but alas nothing.

Having seen everything we wanted to and purchasing a few odds & ends we headed home.

A fairly new fish & chip restaurant just outside Henley in Arden called Finest Catch was our next stop and very enjoyable it was.

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Bath & a Knitters Surprise

I have tried to organize a surprise trip that satisfies the extreme knitters passions, Shopping and knitting.

This was another dog less trip, so Ruby was handed over to our daughter to spoil for the weekend.

It was Friday lunchtime and after a leisurely drive down the M5 and a short section of the M4 motorway we exited onto the A36 heading for our favourite city of Bath.

I had pre-booked a pitch for two nights at the Bath Marina campsite. The urban campsite is a gem because of its close location opposite the Newbridge Park & Ride.

The Marina and campsite sit beside the River Avon. It’s an all year round site with concrete hard standings.

Bath Marina

Bath Marina

Marina

Marina

After a walk around the Marina and the river we settled down to a relaxing evening in Puffin.

Water feature on River avon/Cycle path

Water feature on River avon/Cycle path

We found this fascinating water feature just off the Bristol/Bath Cycle path. Sadly it wasn’t working

Bath Marina

Bath Marina

Beans on toast for supper and as I wasn’t driving this weekend the Bacardi made an appearance.

Saturday morning and after a lie in followed by bacon baps we walked the short distance over the road to the Park & Ride to catch the number 21 bus into Bath. The £2.50 each bus ride took only fifteen minutes and dropped us at Westgate Buildings in the city centre.

We have visited Bath so many times before and it never fails to intrigue. The City is famous for its Georgian architecture and as a water spa. We wandered around the many small shops in the side streets, back alleys and small shopping arcades. Bath is a city that buzzes with many shoppers, tourists and some very talented buskers. After all this retail therapy we needed tea and coffee to sustain us for the day. Suitably refortified in a little Deli/coffee shop we carried on with the shopping extravaganza.

Bath

Bath

Bath Cathederal

Bath Cathederal

Although the e/knitter purchased some fabric I actually managed to come away with a new coat and a gillet.

As the day progressed the Bacon baps were wearing off and we needed food, so we popped into Café Rouge for a late lunch. The food and ambiance is great.

We carried on shopping and sightseeing until we could take no more.

Totally tired out we boarded the bus back to the Park and Ride and then walked to the campsite where we collapsed in a heap back at Puffin.

We took a small television with us for the first time ever on our camping trips. The pitches on the marina site have a TV aerial point and it worked quite well. We intend to use the camper right through the winter and when the nights get dark early, so it may be good to be able to watch TV or a DVD.

 

Sunday morning and we were due to leave the campsite, so bacon baps for breakfast again and we stowed everything away into the cupboards. We had another place to visit before we headed home.

Bath Marina & Caravan site

Bath Marina & Caravan site

Just popped in for a nimble

Just popped in for a nimble

The American Museum on the outskirts of Bath is always worth a visit and we hadn’t been there for 12 years. The main reason for our visit was to see the exhibition of work by Kaffe Fassett who just happened to be the extreme knitter favouritist knitter. His knitting style is rule breaking and original. We later wandered around the rest of the museum that gives a fascinating insight into the American life through the ages.

American Museum Bath

American Museum Bath

Wooly Lamp

Wooly Lamp

Wooly Tree

Wooly Tree

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

Ships Figurehead

Ships Figurehead

After a busy and totally enjoyable weekend we slowly made our way home.

We have been chatting about a possible trip to Poland next year. That should give us something to look forward to.