Induction Week

Despite our buyer pulling out of the purchase of our house, things are still progressing and the plan is on track.

The first week in February saw us take a long trip to the wrong side of the M25 to the Caravan and Motorhome Club Headquarters at East Grinstead. They put us up for the week in the Marriott Hotel at Lingfield Park Racecourse where we were very well looked after and constantly fed and watered. It’s a good job there was a pool do try to burn off a few biscuits!

A full on week of first-class training and talks on health and safety, risk assessment, first aid, pensions, customer service and so on. We got a real feel for what it will be like living and working on site and we got to meet the teams that will be supporting us which filled us with confidence that we might actually be able to pull this off. We also got to meet all the other Assistant Site Managers that will be starting at various sites around the UK along with us and it was a real pleasure to meet so many like-minded people and I’m sure we will remain in touch with many of them, in fact there is already a reunion planned!

We rounded the week off with a bit of a bash, a gala dinner and disco where we raised a few too many glasses and had a good dance before departing the next morning to various corners of the country. Everyone is chomping at the bit to get started and we are chatting and sharing tips on Facebook and WhatsApp.

Many of the others have since completed their machinery training as they start in March, we don’t start until May so my first ride on the tractor will have to wait a little longer yet.

Alastair has now handed his notice in and I’m sure the next few weeks will fly by. We’ve got lots of stuff to get sorted at home and loads of packing to do and somehow fit everything we need into a campervan and a caravan. I’m not quite sure where we will put all our new work gear, the photo is only of the kit for one!

Where am I supposed to put this lot?!?!
Room with a view

Devon for the summer

We’ve received confirmation of where we are going for the 2020 season now. The club asked for our top 3 choices then completely ignored them. So given the choice of central London, Bognor Regis or Devon it was a no brainer. It’s about as far from home as we can get but on the plus side it’s only for 5 months, it will give us the opportunity to explore Devon and Cornwall and it’s got a pool and a bar onsite! Hillhead, Brixham

Trial in the park

So on to another trial, this time for the Caravan and Motorhome Club. This is our preferred choice but we’ve got a back up of the Camping and Caravanning Club as we passed our trial at their Scarborough site.

So we are just waiting to hear how we did at Clumber Park last weekend. It was certainly an eventful one. We had to deal with flooded pitches, a power cut and the annual Halloween event which believe me, is a big thing at this site. I didn’t think to get any pics but we, as ‘staff’ had the responsibility for judging the fancy dress (kids and adults!), pumpkin carving and most importantly the ‘best dressed unit’ and boy was there some good ones. We are talking life-sized Dracula, real spiders (ugrh!) and spooky projectors. They really did go to town on it!

Here are a few pics from the weekend.

Norfolk it is then!

Pemrokeshire, we’ve been going to go for years but this was definitely the year. Obviously I was ‘unbusy’ and Alastair had booked the week off at the end of August so everything was set. Or so we thought. Then we got an email inviting us to an interview with the Caravan and Motorhome Club (CMC) at Incleborough Fields Campsite in – you guessed it – Norfolk! Plan B it was then, the glorious coastline of Pembrokeshire would have to wait for another year.

We thought we may as well make the most of the changed route and do a bit of motorhome-window-shopping on the way. So we went to see a ‘couple’ of vans, which of course turned into “Oh, let’s just have a quick look in that one” and “that one right over there looks nice” I think the more we look at them, the more confused we get about what make, what layout we want for our new home. Imagine going house-hunting and looking at 20 different properties in one day – and they are all white! Confused? You will be!

Anyway, after that we went to a lovely site near Rutland Water for 3 nights before heading off to Norfolk. Pheasants’ Roost is a small site with a refreshingly honest owner (“if they don’t like animals, they can f*** off back to the city!”) where you get greeted by a family of peacocks and there are guinea fowl and chickens also roaming round. The friendly cat ‘Tinkerbell’ even brought us a nice present one morning and left it under the van (a dead mouse in case you were wondering!). Their dog had just had puppies so I got a few cuddles with them and we got to see some piglets being born. It was an amazing place. We also got time to cycle round Rutland Water to test out my new bike servicing skills (I’m not dead, so my brakes were fixed ok) and visit Oakham and it’s Beer Festival for an afternoon.

We then travelled on to Manor Farm campsite near Cromer and the weather was still amazing. We walked some of the Norfolk coastal path and went cycling through the beautiful Norfolk countryside. I even saved a rabbits life when it was being chased by a stoat, I got my wheel between the two and they scarpered. Bunny 1 stoat 0. Good deed of the day, oh but what about the poor starving stoat babies? oh well, too late now! I also found a dead squid on the beach which I kindly photographed for you, I’m sure it would have made lovely calamari if it had been a bit … fresher?

We cycled alongside the Bure Valley little steam railway. A feat in itself faced with the choice of getting tangled in the fence or stung to death by nettles. I think it’s more of a walk than a cycle route in hindsight!

Then of course cam the interview with the white socks and sandals brigade. That seemed to go ok but we will have to wait a couple of weeks to see if they found us likely candidates to join their elite. Needless to say Alastair is buying himself a nice safari hat soon.

We headed back on Friday, via another couple of motorhome showrooms and made it back in time to give the Duchess a good send off.

Quick update

The plan is slowly starting to come together. We’ve passed interviews for the Camping and Caravanning Club, despite it being at 10.30am in Derbyshire, the morning after the leaving do. So it’s just as well I didn’t go too crazy on the cocktails! We’ve also got interviews in a couple of weeks with the Caravnan Club so hopefully between them we’ll be ok for the less enjoyable bit of semi-retirement next spring. From speadsheets to loo brushes, how the mighty have fallen 🙂

Nothing doing yet on the house sale front so unfortunately our long awaited travelling still seems a bit too far off. We can’t really start to get everything planned until that happens so there won’t be anything much for me to report until this changes.

I’m struggling to get used to being at home but I’m signing up with the temping agency in September to see if I can pick up some work until the house sells, so you never know, you may see me around the University campus at some point soon.

My first travelog

Welcome to my new travelog where (if you are so inclined) you can keep track on our new adventure. I’m new to this so you might have to bear with me while I get into the swing of it but hey, I’ve suddenly become ‘unbusy’! So hopefully I’ll pick it up quickly and try to make my posts interesting.

This way at least I won’t bore everyone to death with Facebook or Instagram posts although there might be one or two things pop up on there too but at least you can take or leave this without having to ‘unfriend’ me.

So, the plan is to buy a bigger motorhome once our house sells and to travel to warmer climes for the winter and then return in the spring to work on campsites. We’ve got interviews with the 2 big camping clubs lined up so hopefully the plan will start to fall into place soon. I’ll keep you posted when we set off and feel free to keep an eye on where the road takes us. 🙂

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