D – something. 15 November

A lot to say, not much energy to fill the space.  I have taken on some additional responsibility in our JS.  Rebecca has a boyfriend.  Jennifer’s house mate has moved out, which is a good thing – although how that works only time will tell.  And the Carnival’s in town!  Lots of overweight women on large, environmentally flawed floats dancing to catchy games with gay abandon.  Rebecca and C have gone into town to have a gawp.  Bless.

D- 238 (10 Nov) Email exchange with my mate…

Went out for supper with R&C last night and had an email exchange about where we are with our lives.  I’m 51 and he’s 53.  He’s at a crossroads as to what to do next.  For (my) record here’s my reply to him this morning:
It was great to see you last night.  I wish I could help more with your decision making.  I think most poignantly is the issue of our own mortality.  I know it’s a cliche, but nobody writes on their headstone – “I wish I had worked harder”.  And it’s very easy to become embroiled in the expectations of others, including our close family; but everyone dies alone – no matter who you are.  And, just as important, your children will move away from you and at some point in the future you will become a burden to them.  Your line “down payment for the future” to L (said in jest I know) last night has a very true ring to it.
There's more to life.....

There’s more to life…..

Now is the time.  We have, from a percentage perspective, about 15 years of non-ailment life left.  That’s a long slab of time that will disappear before you know it.  And for some of us (Seymour) it will actually be a lot shorter; and for the lucky few a bit longer.  

We have more than our parents ever had and certainly more than almost everyone else in the country.  We are not stupid enough to throw it away and neither of us are risk takers per se…….  But we have to make the most of what C calls “stage 3” of our lives.  Because Stage 4 includes some dribbling….
It is time to go.

And so it ends

On top of Hellvellyn....a good couple of weeks

On top of Hellvellyn….a good couple of weeks

Did some work on finances this morning.  Without being too stingy, and including accommodation, we have managed to live off around £25 a day.  The maximum allocated is £40 so the trial this half term was a success.  Accommodation proved to be particularly cheap, with 6 nights wild camping (in England) and most nights just over £10.   We did pay £18 for a night on the Cumbrian coast, and I was expecting that short of cost (I guess £15 is the target cost), but with C’s new found sense of adventure we could do well.  Summer in the UK will be more problematic I guess unless we live in people’s gardens.  Diesel proved to be more than the budgeted £10 a day (£13) and with ferries and telephone to pay for it’s an area I need to work on.

But overall not a bad start.  I’ll run this again at Easter for 3 weeks (unless we go to the US to see Phil and Denise) and see how it goes.

Today is mostly a Tudor Day

Today was mostly Tudor Day

Today was mostly Tudor Day

A slow day in almost continuous rain.  We left just south of Knutsford and visited the NT property at Little Moreton Hall, a moated Tudor house that had wobbly legs and its half-timbered walls had sunk in places giving the effect of being drawn up by a very drunk architect.  Small, but now not perfectly formed, it was a delight in the rain.  And in true NT fashion they provided. a small cafe in one corner of the building so we finished off the tour with coffee and cake.

A slow meander south to try and rid ourselves of the rain became pointless and, after a trip to a roadside TK Maxx and lunch by a canal, we ended up in a C&C site (£11) just west of Bewdley.  But we stayed in pretty good humour which is a really good pointer for next year.  Last day of the hols tomorrow…..the good thing being that we are closer to next summer.

Another place……

A couple of cars, including a police car, had us on edge a little, and it took me a good half an hour to get to sleep.  But sleep we did, waking with more cars delivering dogs and owners.  I got up and walked to the beach, catching two sets of oyster catchers skimming along the sand heading for Liverpool.  I went back and bundled C out to see the same sight.  The beach was peppered with dog walkers – it was lovely.

Scary....one of a hundred

Scary….one of a hundred

We headed south looking for breakfast and Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ which is on Crosby Sands.  We arrived as the tide was heading out and, for about an our and a half, we walked and watched as the hundred bronze statues emerged from the sea.  It was unnerving as a spectacle.  Steady, sure bronze heads grew out the sea, exposing shoulders and then the bodies.  Each statue is around 50m from each other at different distances from the shore,  but the unnerving bit is they all face seaward, as though

Ok, so not that scary

Ok, so not that scary

longing to do a Reggie Perrin. Fabulous; to go to another place.

We then made our way to Go Outdoors at Waddington to get some Blu (the disinfectant experiment hadn’t worked well……) and popped into the town centre and filled up with grub at Wetherspoons.  We then popped along to have a quick look at the Manchester Ship Canal, and are now parked in a small touring site (£12.50) just south of the very posh Knutsford – the only small town surely with its own McLaren garage?  Finished the day off with a walk to Hulme Hall, which looked ancient on the OS Map, but by the time we got there is was dark and there wasn’t much to see.

Sleeping on the edge

We left the solitude of Humphrey Head Point this morning and tonight Doris is parked up in a huge NT carpark at Fornby, just north of Liverpool (£0).  We’re in among acres of sand dunes right next to the sea.


Scary night in big car park

Today we pottered through Lancaster (note – looks lovely must stop there next time) and headed for Morcambe with a view to ending up just south of here to see the bronze people statues on the beach.  Morcambe looked posh in a seaside sort of way and we continued south to Southport, missing Blackpool (which we had visited before and didn’t take to).  We had lunch at an RSPB sanctuary just north of Southport, with a couple of other campers.  We walked out to the beach through tufty grass which was peppered with wading birds and gulls.

Next stop was Fornby.  We aimed for a campsite, but it didn’t take tourers, so inquisitively we headed for the beach and ended up in a large, tarmaced carpark.  We togged up and walked into driving wind south along the huge, wide and endless beach towards Liverpool.  The cloud was low, but with no rain to begin with, the wind drove the sand in twirly lines towards us.  In the distance Liverpool stood bolt upright like a mini Manhatten, but it was at such a distance that it looked like it had been silted up.  The only clue that it wasn’t deserted was the odd light and a huge ferry heading into the port.  With the Snowdon massive across the water it was a fab sight.

I’ve been for a run.  We’re not as relaxed as last night – this place feels like it might attract some locals late at night, but we’ll see.