The sun shone on Saturday which was excellent news; it meant that Amanda would be able to come along to Terry’s local, The Hungry Horse (Rowden Arms) in Chippenham.
The alternative being that, if it had continued to rain Amanda would need to stay behind to look after the dogs – the outside terrace at Terry’s local was the only dog option.
I don’t want to sound mean as I’d rather that we do visit everywhere together, but that aspect of the days promise was merely ‘good’ news and not ‘excellent’ news.
What turned it into ‘excellent’ news was the fact that Amanda would be there to supervise and make sure that Terry didn’t roam my alcohol intake beyond my limit – these days that limit isn’t very much at all; I can’t remember the last time that I had more than 2 or 3 pints of bitter, it was probably around the start of this millennium when I was still contracting in IT.
Also it was Saturday, DCFC were playing Ipswich and I’m usually locked into the ‘Sky Sports Score Centre’ Championship page; I also scoot around other pages and keep an eye out for my divisional favourites. DCFC are my ‘prime’ team so most of the match time is spent on Championship results and doing mental arithmetic on the Championship table based on “what if’s” for the live scores and for the next match or three.
But today was my ‘Terry’ day and sacrificing DCFC wasn’t a big deal (it can be!); I am in contact with only 2 of my relatives, one being my sister, Jill, and Terry is the other. Both are special.
Terry lost his wife, my Aunt Viv, just over 2 years ago. Viv was ‘the calm in the storm’, a lovely, lovely lady and all who knew her wish she was still with us.
When I lived in Bath in the mid-70’s we used to frequent the local pubs and I know that Viv would approve of just about everything that Terry continues to do. You’re always with us, Viv.
Short story – In something like 1956, at the age of 14, Terry rode his cycle from his home in Cambridge to visit his girlfriend who lived in Sheffield. They had been at the same school in Cambridge until Pat’s family moved her up to Sheffield.
At the age of FOURTEEN doing a cycle trip of 120+ miles each way! Can you imagine a 14-year-old being able or allowed to do that today?
The times they aren’t a’changin – they’ve changed and not for the better in this instance!
I can just about remember Terry calling in to see us on his way up to Sheffield. We lived in Kilburn, Derbyshire, I was about 7 years old then and I was in awe! If my memory is anywhere near correct I seem to remember a racing style bike and was it white? Only Terry can answer that!
It was the same when I lived in Cambridge for a while, I would have been 11-12 and Terry 18-19; he was the ‘cool’ one that we all looked up to. Still do, just as long as he doesn’t get me ‘poo’-faced too often!
So what happened at The Hungry Horse?
We met some of Terry’s friends and the time just slipped away in good conversation whilst sipping away at a few beers:
I wasn’t counting but we had at least 7 pints (Amanda says 8), which, as I’ve said is a fair few for me; Abbots Bitter hit the spot – and kept on hitting it!
Terry will want to read this and make sure that I say that I was ‘Brahms’ – I wasn’t! – it’s not my fault the table tried to jump up and attack me when I was loo-ward bound! It must have been an aggressive magic table; all that I did was to hold it in place with my left hand (what you saw as a stagger was actually a ‘get in first’ tactic) whilst getting ready to deliver a fatal right clump to it! That table stood no chance and decided to stay on the ground – but only after I’d held it in place!
You may have seen it differently but don’t forget Terry that you’d had a lot to drink and you’re not as young as you were!
Amanda does support Terry’s version of this event, all I can say is shame on you both. If you don’t believe in Magic Tables just Google it! They’re for sale everywhere and I just happened to encounter an aggressive one.
The only other thing I need to clear up is that Amanda seems to be convinced that whilst telling Dave ‘something’ (according to Amanda), I lost the topic thread and then turned to Amanda and said ‘I’m talking b%££%x aren’t I?’.
You made a mistake AJ, Dave and I had been talking about the graffiti work of Banksy which somehow then wandered on to a discussion on the works of Jackson Pollock.
I distinctly remember you asking me whose works I was talking about and I replied, ” I’m talking Pollock’s, aren’t I?” – The ‘aren’t I?’ was added because I was hoping that you would confirm that ‘Lavendar Mist’ was indeed a piece of work by Jackson Pollock.
After 5 or 6 hours of enjoying good company we returned to Twernt and prepared for our exit the next morning.
En-route to the Ilminster Caravan Club site we stopped off at Westbury to take a gander at The White Horse, apparently there are quite a few of these ‘White Horses’ on hillsides and, whilst not being the most famous, the Westbury White Horse is pushing 300 years old. Wikipedia has a full description for anyone interested.
More by luck than anything else we discovered a gem of a campsite at Ilminster, with something like 65-70 pitches, only about 20 were occupied and this was an immaculate site; very peaceful and Caravan Club sites are fast becoming our favourite anchoring spots.
We were only at this site for 1 night (dates, etc. are on the Location Map) but this coincided with Amanda being ‘nominated’ for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
We didn’t have any ice but we did have a good supply of cold water!
The following morning we headed down to Ladram Bay Holiday Park having booked a couple of nights there knowing that they have sea views.
Well, for us, that’s about all they had!
The weather was not good.
The Ladram Bay complex included log cabins (from £80k+!), static caravans, caravan visitors aplenty and a few motorhomes.
Crazy golf and talent competitions (for children AND ADULTS! – ‘citing!) are not really what we’re looking for (would be different if the grandchildren were with us!).
I discovered that the Ladram owners have a monopoly on wi-fi.
It’s free to use in their ‘3 Rocks’ cafe but it costs to get wi-fi in your van.
No problem, I’ll use my own 3G mi-fi – we have 2 – or I’ll use the i-Boost.
We set up the i-Boost but it didn’t get the 3 Rocks cafe freebie wi-fi; there was a BT hotspot but it didn’t have any FON.
Not a problem, let’s go with our tried and trusted 3G.
So, no wi-fi for 2 days and I suspect the Ladram Bay owners have barred 3G/Other networks as a policy to force their visitors into paying for any wi-fi access.
Not happy, won’t be going back there.
I did manage to have a natter with a few good folk there though.
Hi to the Stoke-On-Trent AutoTrail couple, the ‘police officer’ from the south (sell your caravan and buy a MoHo!) and the lady with the Basset Hound, 2 children and an American RV.
We left an otherwise disappointing Ladram and arrived here at the Oakdown Touring Park and it’s another gem, a bit of road noise but a beautiful site.
This’ll do for a couple of nights and Cool times are coming!