If I could turn back time

Puffin the camper van was fired up and off we set to visit some of our old haunts from the past. 50 odd years in our past to be precise.

Destination Kinver,  Staffordshire, where I grew up and spent my childhood creating havoc. If i hadn’t left when I was eighteen, I’m sure I would have been run out of town by a mob with pitchforks.

Kinver Edge

Kinver Edge was the the reason for our visit. In particular the Rock houses on the Edge. Now owned by the National Trust who restored the site having been gifted it in 1967. It was opened to the public in 1997. The Holy Austin Rock houses were cave dwellings carved into the sandstone that had been occupied from 1617 until the final residents were moved out in 1964.

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Yes you are reading this correctly, I lived in a village were people lived in caves. I went to school with cave dwellers. Once the caves were empty they became our playground. Being soft sand stone all the walls had names carved in them by generations of kids including mine, but I couldn’t find them.

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This is well worth a visit if your in the area. The restoration is amazing.

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As dogs weren’t allowed in the rooms we took it in turns to walk around. Of course once the Extreme knitter got into the the room with the sewing machine she was gone for ages.

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The Extreme knitter resting with Elsie and in there somewhere is Ruby.

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The trip was completed with a visit to Bridgnorth and a ride on my favourite funicular.

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Spooky duvet cover

We have a duvet cover in our camper van with a very nice tie & die pattern. I’ve just noticed this image, can you see it?

 

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It appears that everyone is seeing a mad axe man,  Am I the only one that sees this

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Ha ha ha

Scarborough

Scarborough was a place we had visited briefly a few years ago and it hadn’t impressed us then. You have to give a place a second chance, so the following day we wound our way down to North Scarborough which turned out to be a vast expanse of beautiful beach with parking along the promenade. Elsie loved the beach, but still wasn’t keen on the sea, even when the extreme knitter went paddling. I can’t see her being a rescue dog, but we will persevere you never know she might end up loving it.

North Beach

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We then drove on down to the town of Scarborough and seaside resort. The town centre was a large pedestrian shopping street with lots of the big named stores. Elsie and I stood outside many of these shops, just waiting until I spotted a sign for a cliff railway, I didn’t know Scarborough had a funicular and my heart missed a beat. When the extreme knitter reappeared I dragged her to the cliff top station, all aboard and down the side of the cliff we went.

I love a funicular me, especially when I find a hidden one.

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The carriage doors opened and we were on the south beach promenade complete with all the seaside tat and amusement arcades.

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The bright lights, bells and whistles let us know we were outside Coney Island. Not the real one obviously, just an amusement arcade of the same name. If you’ve ever watched the movie “Big” with Tom Hacks you will remember that he was transformed into a 13 year old boy by Zoltar the fortune telling Wizard in a penny machine, well low and behold outside Coney Island was the same machine. When I looked at the wizards face it was apparent that he was cross eyed. Now excuse me for being cynical here, but if the wizard couldn’t look me straight in the eye, how was he going to tell my fortune.

Tom Hanks and Zoltar

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After a hasty wander up and down the prom we were back on the funicular heading back up to the main part of town. Elsie and I took our usual positions outside Marks & Spencer while the extreme knitter just popped in to buy food.

It was at this point that the reality of town life reared it’s ugly head.

As Elsie and I were stood outside M & S along with all the other waiting husbands I noticed a guy arrive and stand by me, No problem I thought, until after a while I realised he was slowly edging his way nearer towards me to the point I was starting to be wary. Then across the other side of the walkway a girl appeared and waved a purse at him and he shot off with her up a narrow alleyway. Then a policeman came running out of M & S giving chase. I really believe I was going to be a target for a pick pocket.

Undaunted we returned to the campsite with all the nice goodies the E / knitter had bought from M & S for our evening meal.

 

 

Whitby

The campsite we were staying on was clean and regimented, but not the type that we would normally stay at with its neat pitches in straight rows and lots of “do not do” signs. When you’ve been staying off grid for a while it rankles being told what you can and can’t do, especially when the commands are just common sense things you wouldn’t dream of doing. One even said “do not wear walking boots in the shower” I can’t remember the last time I showered on walking boots.

Anyway we were there and that was that. Nice, but It lacked a soul.

It was bright sunshine when we set off to visit Whitby; by the time we had found somewhere to park it was pouring with rain and blowing a gale. Luckily a man just leaving the car park gave us his ticket with six hours parking left on it. We were hardy tourists and we all wrapped up in our rainwear including Elsie. Touring the town proved difficult, looking in shops and trying to keep upright at the same time. It was that windy it was a struggle to cross the bridge to the Scary part of Whitby.

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To get some relieve from being battered by the wind, we shot into a dog friendly pub that served local fish and chips. We found a table and ordered our food just before the rest of Whitby descended on the pub all with the same idea.

I was going to run up these steps. really!

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Back on the harbour and the Extreme Knitter saw a sign that brought back traumatic memories of one holiday we had in St Ives, back in the 1990’s. She had just purchased a clotted cream Ice-cream, when a rogue seagull swooped down and snatched it from her hand before she had even licked it. Was she livid that day? You bet she was and she still has flashbacks to this day. She even reckoned that if she saw it again she would recognise it. The seagull that is, not the ice cream.

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When we left Whitby I gave the parking ticket to another happy parker with three hours still remaining.

Puffin’s wiper blade decided to start shredding itself in all the torrential rain, so a trip to the local Halfords was called for and a pair of new wiper blades were purchased and fitted in their car park. Luckily it had stopped raining long enough for me to avoid getting soaked while fitting them.

The rain had set in for the rest of the day, so we spent the remains of our time in the camper reading, eating and generally lounging about until bedtime.

On Top of the World

The wind and rain had died away in the morning and what a view to greet us.

It doesn’t get any better than this. Well, I suppose it does, but not at that particular moment.

Our Overnight Spot

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As always when we are on tour our morning starts get later and later. On to the A68 and heading to Bishops Auckland, in particular the local Morrison’s . We needed fuel, Propane gas and the use of their facilities. After getting lost in the one way streets of Bishops Auckland I eventually found a Calor Gas depot  behind Morrisons to get a replacement bottle of gas.

After our fourth night in a row of staying off grid we were starting to stink. It was becoming obvious that the Extreme Knitter was getting tired of washing with wet wipes and a flannel and my suggestion of a hospital type bed bath didn’t go down well.

Ohh er Matron !

“We’ll not have any of that malarkey ” she said.

With a swarm of flies following us down the road we headed in a sea ward direction.

We found a campsite just south of Whitby near to Robin Hood bay and booked ourselves in for three nights. The showers were clean and hot. It’s amazing how hot water can make you feel invigorated

I looked at a map in the evening and realised how close we had been to ” High Force Waterfall” the previous night. I could kick myself for not visiting. I really must start looking in more detail when doing my research.

 

 

 

 

We hit the Wall

Morrisons at Hawick was our first port of call in the morning to use their facilities yet again. I like to think of Morrisons as our version of Walmart in the USA, although they don’t let us stop over in their car parks as Walmart do.

I had a plan. not a good one, but a plan all the same.

We needed to be beside the seaside and on our way we stumbled across Hadrians Wall.

Hadrians Wall

A section of Hadrians wall at Cawfield

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Apparently Hadrians wall took six years to build. I imagined that after 2 years Mrs Hadrian was losing her patience with him taking so long on his DIY project

“Hadrian”.  “you had better get that back wall finished before my mother visits”.

I set the Sat nav for a seaside destination and followed the back roads that she suggested. (yes, I do call my Sat nav a “she”) which isn’t normally a good thing, but this time she surprised us with a fabulous trip. It was obvious we weren’t going to reach the seaside before nightfall, so we scouted around for somewhere to pull over for the evening. After inspecting many places that neither of us could agree on, we eventually found a large parking area at one of the highest point of the North Pennines called Killhope Cross on the A689

Killhope Cross

We parked up just as the sun was setting. The beauty of places like this is the dark sky. As night fell it was pitch black and the cloud less sky was awash with stars.

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The only thing the extreme knitter was concerned about was that the strong wind might blow us over.

About 10 pm the gas ran out, so in the pitch black with the rain and wind lashing down on me, I ventured outside the camper van to swop over to the spare gas bottle.

Why doesn’t the Gas ever run out during the daytime.