Category / Caravan Blog September 2020

A caravanning, cooking, baking and travel blog from our September 2020 road trip to Malvern, Fareham and Brighton

Caravan Blog September 2020 Visits

Final Day, blogging off!

Well as promised this is the last blog of the current run. We have had such a great trip away and writing this blog each day has made me stay motivated to get the most out of everything. Today we have stayed onsite most of the time bar a bit of grocery shopping. I have got up to speed with some admin, remember a caravan can be lots of things and today it has been office.

Teardrop
Campers
Teasels onsite

I took a walk around the site here at Brighton. There are so many different styles of leisure vehicles around. Here are a couple of pictures of two that took my eye. The teasel shot was the hedgerow up on the top level where there are some gorgeous glamping pods. This site has three different styles of glamp to choose from, the new glamping ones here

The new glamping pods
inside view

These pods are very new and are very modern and well equipped, designated parking bays, bike shelters too. There are two of the more traditional wooden pods near reception plus two beautiful airstreams.

Brighton is a very popular site as the town has so many attractions on offer. Its such a brilliant idea to be able to hire a unit, excellent value too.

While I was walking about someone called my name. It was Tom that does the filming and what have you got for the Caravan and Motorhome Club, he was onsite with Bill from the online publication Caravan Times. We had a good old catch up, he is operating a zoom call for me with Matt Allwright next week so he was able to tell me a bit about how that will work out. Such a small world is campsite life.

The campsite has a playground for young children and a dog stretch leg area too. Didn’t see any children this time as its back to school now but plenty of great dogs, most of them just watching the world go by.

Boules

John and I had a quick boule off! I actually won, must be a fluke that as I am normally rubbish. This was a set of boule I bought for birthday boy as he was embarrassed playing with the plastic coloured ones we had in the van. So good to spend a day pottering around. Just one more sleep and one more dinner before we up legs, hitch up and go back to Wakefield.

Here is the last supper. Modified from a Rick Stein recipe its a Croatian casserole. I made it in the slow cooker, beef in balsamic vinegar with red wine, lardons, apples and dates, sort of a European sweet and sour.

So its home sweet home tomorrow, a journey of about six hours will just about do it. We have had the most fantastic touring trip and already planning the next one. Thanks for following my shenanigans and look forward to inviting you along again soon. Thanks to the Caravan and Motorhome Club wardens we have had the pleasure of meeting, some for the first time some from previous trips, Heidi Hi!

Caravan Blog September 2020 Uncategorized Visits

Double Day Blog. Brighton

Silke

If you read my last blog then you are up to speed with the makeshift cake we made for Silke’s birthday. When we brought it out on the birthday itself it had actually shifted, if you look you can see it is sloping. Fortunately the rainbow propped it up so we just told Silke the unicorn was having a snooze. She was of course delighted with her cake, which is all that matters. Four year olds can easily HATE things if they take against things!

Ribbon Dance

With a slice of sugary cake inside her Silke had plenty of energy that needed to be spent. A swift ribbon dancing session did the trick and then we sat down to a game of pass the parcel. After a few tears initially when the parcel didn’t stop with her every time she did eventually understand the concept and enjoyed us all getting a chance to unwrap a treat, I got a temporary tattoo (2 days later it still is firmly in place, so pleased I didn’t go with her wish of sticking it on my forehead). Of course by some miracle the final unwrap landed on her lap and she won the prize.

Armful of babes

With the birthday celebrations finished we made our way back once again to the campsite. As I said before the buses in Brighton are so frequent and in all directions we never wait more than a couple of minutes and then the ride up towards the Marina where the campsite is takes about ten minutes or so.

Once off the bus there is a very pleasant ten minute walk over the park to get back to the campsite. Look what we found this time, on the tennis courts there appeared a pop up Covid Testing tent!

sdr
Just a walk in the park!

The next day the weather looked very good. We needed to go back to see the family again as this time it was Silke’s dads birthday and we were going to look after her so they could go out for a spot of lunch. We togged ourselves up for a brisk walk from the campsite into town. The sky was what I always call Brighton Blue and everything looks so cheerful and like a proper seaside with that sky as a backdrop. The walk takes about three quarters of an hour and its along the front pretty much all of the way. There is a little train that runs from quite close to the Marina down to near the Pier. It is called The Volks Train. https://volksrailway.org.uk/ The train was originally opened in 1883. It was invented by Magnus Volks and is the worlds oldest operating electric railway. So if you fancy taking the weight of your legs on the walk perhaps you could try this.

Volks Train

We carried on shanks pony and the next thing on my radar was this statue, who is it? this fine athlete?

Steve Ovett

We finally made it to the Pier. Not too busy today but everything was open and it is free to have a stroll along. Here is the link for you.https://www.brightonpier.co.uk/

of course this is not the first pier in Brighton. The original pier was opened in 1866. It is opposite The Grand hotel and was the first pier to be Grade 1 listed. It became derelict and was closed in 1975. The bad storms in 2002 caused lots more damage and then fires destroyed most of the remaining structure. Its framework still remains and we love to watch the massive murmuration of starlings at sundown.

My all time favourite funfair ride is the galloping horses or as it is properly called, a carousel. As we walked along I spotted it was up and running. The cost was three pounds so I hopped aboard. Everything was wiped down before you take a saddle and then the music fires up and off we went. I loved it, big kid!

Giddy Up!
Eye 360 Selfie

Almost at our destination just two more photo opportunities to squeeze in the walk. The British Airways Eye360 can be seen from miles away. I have still not plucked up the courage to take a ride but it is on my list of must do things. On a bright day like today it must have been fab up there.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_i360 I decided today a selfie would have to do.

Wedding Bandstand

This photo is of this gorgeous bandstand that is registered for weddings. Underneath it there is a cute café with inside and outside seating. I have yet to see a wedding taking place but sure it would be so romantic, perhaps if I get married again lol!

There is so much to see and do in Brighton. It has its very unique vibe. I really love to visit and the Caravan and Motorhome Club site is tucked away in a hollow just behind the Marina. This site also has glamping pods and airstreams that can be hired too, here is the link to the site.https://www.experiencefreedom.co.uk/locations/regions/south-east/east-sussex/brighton/

It is our last day of this caravan trip tomorrow and we are staying on site. I shall take a few pics and post them on my last blog. We intend to have a game of boule, a few drinks and a gentle day doing nothing in particular, see you tomorrow!

Baking Caravan Blog September 2020

Blog Day 15, Unicorns

Day 15, getting there readers, this blog is drawing towards its end, we have only a few more days then we head home once again. The weather did exactly what had been forecast and it hammered it down. There is something rather nice about being tucked up under a tin roof with the sound of wind and rain gusting about outside, I am not even kidding, it is cosy! I talked about September birthdays yesterday and how there seems to be an abundance of them. Our granddaughter Silke is four on September 25th. Each year I try to make her a decent cake, having been on The Great British Bake Off it is to be expected of me. Every year I fail. Its always because I am away from home, in the caravan. This year I forgot all my tools bar some nozzles. Due to the rule of 6 she cant have a party so we only needed a little something. Challenge was on to make something out of shop bought cake and icing using whatever I could fashion as tools!

Kit piping

Birthday girls mum is my eldest daughter Katharine aka Kit. Here you see we have bought a red velvet and vegan lemon cakes from the supermarket. Paul Hollywood detests even a shop bought sprinkle lol! We split the cakes and stacked them and then we start to cover them in buttercream from a tub.

Skewer as a paintbrush

We needed to smooth the buttercream around and an top of the cake. To do this I found a bit of laminated cardboard with enough flexibility to cope. Normally I would use a turntable but not one to be had or a lazy Susan so we just had to cope. If I had longer to chill the layers in a fridge it would have been better but birthday girls was only out of the house a short time and the cake is a surprise (surprise to me too as to how it will look in the end). For the eyes and mouth I just dragged a skewer with edible colour on the tip and hoped for the best. Lopsided if you look closely!

Beautiful happy Nicu performing on cue

With the help of my nozzles that I had packed we frosted up a mane and tail. Trusty glitter sprays are always with me so they glam things up a bit. I had made the horn, ears, rainbow and letters at home using edible modelling paste and had sprayed and hand painted those so they make it look a bit better.

2 of my beauties!
Its OK

So that done we hid the cake in a cool place ready for the next day. We wrapped up some presents and John and I made our way back to the campsite. Fortunately in Brighton there is no shortage of buses and we only had to wait a couple of minutes with the rain thrashing down everywhere.

A quick gallop over the field in the park once off the bus and I was warm and dry with a glass of plonk once again.

Cheers

Remember the Elkie Brookes song, Sunshine After the Rain? well within ten minutes of the last photo we had a double rainbow!! Quite apt since we are in rainbow Brighton and I had just done the rainbow unicorn cake, all well with the world!

Here endeth day 15, thanks for reading and same time same place tomorrow!

Caravan Blog September 2020 Visits

Day 14. Birthday 1 Blog

Birthday Benedict

Day 14 of this caravan blog off is all about John. John my husband of thirty years looks forward to his birthday. He tries very hard to discover what his presents are and for sure would be trying to guess what they are. He was 73 yesterday…… unbelievable, how could that be? It seems the third week in September has the most birthdays, something to do with it being 9 months after Xmas, too many tipples maybe! Anyway, we have three birthdays in this one week and Johns comes in first. Last week you might remember that Terry cooked an eggs benedict when we were still in Malvern. I decided to do the same dish for birthday breakfast. It worked perfectly and we both ate every scrap.

After John had opened his presents and his six cards (as you get older you get less cards not more, unless you are Sir Tom lol) We got ready to go out for a couple of hours. Our daughter Kit, her partner Finn and the baby were collecting us to go out for a spot of lunch. The weather was blustery and showery so we got our cagoules on and out we went.

Birthday Blue!

Our carriage collected us from outside the Caravan and Motorhome Club site here at Brighton and we drove just a couple of miles to Rottingdean. After trying to find a country style pub but failing to find parking we settled for a Greene King chain pub called The White Horse. It was perfectly fine. In fact it had a commanding view of the choppy sea. All Covid measures in place and fab people looking after us. John loves fish and chips so I gave in once again and had the same. We did discover they do a decent vegan menu too.

https://www.greenekinginns.co.uk/hotels/white-horse-hotel-rottingdean/

After such a big breakfast and lunch the next thing on our agenda was a snooze! We were dropped off at the site and got settled down for a couple of hours rest. John started to have a look at his presents. We call him Mapman sometimes as he is very keen on maps. Our girls had ordered an ordnance survey jigsaw of where we live for him, hours of fun ahead!

I needed to reset myself as I had volunteered to cook for the last of this seasons run of cook a long live with Great British Food Festivals. Normally I work with this company and do live cooking and baking demos at their food festivals up and down the country. With everything scrapped for this year they decided to do some fun cook a longs on YouTube. As it was Johns birthday I said I would demo my take on beef stroganoff. This involves setting my phone up and zooming using my tripod, here you see me setting up. below the pic you can see the link to take a look.

https://cookalonglive.com/info.php?id=45

The recipe worked out for everyone and we had a good laugh along the way. You can still view all of the cook a long sessions on the Great British Food Festivals Youtube. We set the table and opened a very good bottle of Burgundy that our girls had given to John and tucked in once again.

Table for Two

After we had cleared away John started on his presents again, thank goodness not the jigsaw. I had bought him a book that Matt Allwright (him off telly) had published last month. Matt and I did a little forum together at the NEC caravan motorhome club show back in February and he is so lovely and I felt confident John would love the book. He does, glued to it! Look here he is… I bought it through Amazon, here is the link

So there we have it, for once a blog that is not all about me 🙂 Now I need to get myself organised for the next birthday looming, Silke turns 4 on day 16 blog, I need to sort a cake!

Caravan Blog September 2020 Visits

Day 13,blog, sea swim!

Day 13 started with a quick radio interview with BBC Radio Sheffield. All Bake Off chatter as the new series starts tonight. It is much heralded due to the filming conditions around a Covid bubble. Well done to Love Productions for pulling it off.

After that we needed to get some groceries. There is a big Asda close to the campsite here at Brighton or a Lidl, plus lots of small shops. On the way back into the site we spotted something new, hire bikes! Then lo and behold an Air Ambulance landed at the side of us. Very exciting for a Tuesday morning.

Park at entrance to the site
Morning practice

We had made plans to go to the beach today as it was forecast to be the last warm day of the current good spell. It is also the Autumn equinox so it seemed a symbolic day to have a dip in the briny. Our daughter suggested a quiet beach close to the campsite at Ovingdean. It was perfect as we had our little granddaughter Silke and baby grandson Nicu with us. We timed it so that we got there when it was low tide and we could have a poke about in the rockpools.

Then we found a patch of sand on the otherwise pebble beach. It was time for a bit of sandcastle building. Silke was determined to go it alone.

We had a snack from the very good small cafe and a cold drink and we waited for the tide to come in a bit so we could have a dip. The weather changed very suddenly and became over cast and cool. Autumn arrived, just like that. We stripped off and in we went. I must admit I took quite a bit of cajoling but once in it was perfect. There is something called grounding apparently which is best done in a body of water, good for the soul and all of that. I must admit it was very exhilarating, I loved it.

Silke

After we came out of the sea it was time to head back to the caravan and have a good hot shower in the facilities block and freshen up. The facilities here on the Caravan and Motorhome Club site are spotless, warm and even have piped radio playing! We had a cuppa and then headed into town on the bus. Remember it is Bake Off tonight and we were going to watch it at our daughters flat. We ordered in a takeaway, a very rare treat and settled down to enjoy. Silke went off to bed but baby Nicu stayed up a while, he is the most smiley baby ever.

Arriving to watch Bake Off
Nicu

We all thought the first episode was very good. The bakers were very relaxed and they did look to be having the best time. It is a very unique experience and the show is very special, iconic really. After we had dissected the show and had a couple of drinks we headed back home (caravan) ready for day 14, which will be Johns birthday, so more high jinx to come!

Caravan Blog September 2020 GBBO

Day 12, on we blog!

Hook up and away

As you can see from the photo we are on the road again. Sun is so bright you can see Johns shadow there. A cracking morning weather wise and a smooth pack up and hitch up. We are heading 50 miles or so along the coast, we are Brighton bound! The journey did take about one and a half hours but we didn’t get stuck in traffic and it was all straight forward. We have been to the Brighton Caravan and Motorhome Club site lots as our oldest daughter lives in Brighton and we visit often.

We arrived and were checked in without fuss. The covid guidelines were talked through and off we went to find our pitch. Hit the jackpot and found a large grass pitch and quickly it was legs down and look in (bingo parlance)

Arrived

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/south-east-england/east-sussex/brighton-caravan-club-site/

We were very keen to get into town and say hello to the family. We had a bit of lunch and then set off the ten minute walk over the next door park to get to the bus stop. parking is a bit of a problem in Brighton centre so we always hop on the bus. The buses run every ten minutes or so and John has a bus pass so its relatively cheap. We quite often walk it, it takes about an hour at a steady pace along the sea front. We passed the amazing Brighton Pavilion so I took a pic through the window, look!

Pic from the moving bus

We spent about an hour having a quick catch up with the kids and then retraced our steps to the bus stop back. We called at the shop for a pint of milk and in quick sticks we were back on site.

We had a few sausages and a couple of lamb chops and as the weather was fab we got out the Cadac. We have a Safari Chef 2 and it is perfect for us. In no time at all our tea was on the table and we settled down for another great evening in the caravan.

rbt
Sausages of course!

We have lots to fit in this week including a dip in the sea tomorrow as the forecast is set to change so I need to get that experience under my belt , Brrrr! watch out for tomorrows blog. I also need to be up early for an interview on BBC Radio Sheffield in the morning to chat about Bake Off!

BBQ tea with garlic, brandied mushrooms.

So thanks for following the blog so far, bit of fun to come the rest of the week. Dont forget to tune in to watch the first episode of GBBO tonight!!

Caravan Blog September 2020 Uncategorized

Blog, 11th day, chilling!

This trip we have been out somewhere everyday, unless it is a travel day. Today is our last day on this site at Rookesbury Park near Portsmouth. It is a Caravan and Motorhome Club site and is FabUlous. What makes it merit this description? Well its rural but close to everything you need, it is pretty, it is open and plenty of space. The facilities are so clean. modern and Covid secure. The natives are friendly and the wardens are top notch.

Now if you are reading this and are not of the camping mindset you might think this bit of blog is not worth reading, however I try to add a bit of something to hold your attention so lets hope for the best.

a quiet 5 minutes

I spent the morning writing blogs and articles that were due in. Our caravan makes a great portable office, some people have one in their drive as an office!! After I got that admin done we had a stroll around the site to take some photos and then a bit of a sit down!

Outside Reception

The sites are looked after by wardens. That sounds a bit officious and Dads Army ish but fear not, all the wardens we have ever encountered are great folk who do this job because they love the lifestyle. On reception today we were welcomed by Paul and Libby who are in charge here, with another pair of couples to support them and share out the duties with.

Paul and Libby

Everything onsite is clean, well very very clean and well organised. The sanitary blocks are spotless and beautifully equipped. In the shop on this site there was a great supply of groceries. In addition to this a fish and chip van (see day 9, we sampled) and a burger van visit each week.

The site has a designated area for customers heading to the ferries. It means you can get offsite at the crack of dawn should you need to. This site is very well appointed and organised, but not in a structured way, nothing seems formal, it is all brill!

hello!

So there we go, I have taken a walk around the site and taken those few pics. Next thing it is dinner time once again. When we are due to move sites I try to run down the contents of my fridge and food cupboards. I wanted to stay on site all day for a change so was determined to make something from siege stores. I found a roll of puff pastry, a pack of lardons, a few sausages, an onion, mushrooms, 1 leek, a few shavings of parmesan. This was fridge stuff. In the cupboard I had Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, garlic powder, ketchup and salt and pepper. I also found a tin of potatoes and mushy peas! This is what I made.

A savoury plait! I just cooked up all the ingredients, oh I took the skins off the sausages and squeezed out the sausage meat first! Bubbled down in a frying pan then importantly cool it before wrapping it in the puff pastry. Brush with beaten egg and bake! the tinned potatoes were sliced and sautéed and it was gorgeous. Some left over for breakfast too.

Dinner is served

So that’s a wrap for Hampshire. It has been fantastic. Hitch up and away tomorrow…….

Caravan Blog September 2020 Uncategorized

10th Day Caravan Blog Off!

Yesterday was intense we went out for a full day. Today has been a bit more low key. That is fine by me, a different day and different pace. We have a friend Janise who lives quite close to this area, we are still in Hampshire! We met her years ago when we were out in France and we try to visit each other when we can. It is very easy to let friendships drift, especially where there is distance involved. Anyway we agreed a day and we drove over to where she lives with her husband Chris and a new puppy Star.

Jan and I

Look we even were wearing the same colour outfits! The new puppy is a year old so not so new but we had not met her before. She is a Rottweiler. Now these dogs sometimes get a bad press but Janise had a pair of dogs (a brother and sister) until recently and they were as placid as can be. Star of course being a puppy was full of beans and quite big already. We made friends and she settled down quite quickly and we relaxed and had a catch up.

We had a walk into Eastleigh and had a bite to eat in a lovely cafe called Kats. We had a massive breakfast each, it kept me going all day. We hurried back to the house as I wanted to catch a special something on YouTube going live at 1.00pm. What is was was a white wedding! Someone we know was getting married and because of the Covid restrictions had had to downsize the guest list. They had given out a link to enable the service to be viewed at home. That’s fantastic eh? What a Godsend! Janise soon sussed out the technology and cast the YouTube from her phone to the large TV screen. You have to be careful doing that though, last week I cast something to the wrong TV and it started playing over the road in an elderly couple’s sitting room! The service was so beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We both felt we should have worn a hat or a fascinator to join in properly.

We had to rush back to the campsite straight after the wedding as I had yet another online date, this time with Howard Middleton, the charismatic baker from Great British Bake Off a few years ago. We were doing a cook a long live, I was host and Howard was leading the event. We made the most gorgeous apple toffee puddings with a caramel sauce. We handed a few around to our caravan neighbours as we had too many to eat ourselves. This Wednesday coming I am leading and we are doing Beef Strogonoff. I will be cooking it live from my caravan at 7.00pm. My husband John’s birthday meal! Here is the link should you wish to join in or just view: https://cookalonglive.com/

Well I think that about wraps up day 10, another week to go, tomorrow we are having a day onsite. Need to do a little housekeeping and some admin. Catch you then!

https://cookalonglive.com/

Caravan Blog September 2020 Visits

Caravan Blog, Day 9.

One of the reasons I decided to blog this trip was to ensure we got out and about and saw local attractions. It is very easy on this type of holiday to get into the groove of staying around the site and putting off venturing out. You get into the relaxing vibe, which is great sometimes but does mean you can miss out on things. So here we are on day 9 and we are heading to the Historic Dockyard at Portsmouth. I last visited in the 1960s when I was a youngster, we have photographs posing by HMS Victory but of course back then the Tudor warship Mary Rose was still resting at the bottom of the Solent. So hold on to your hats off we go!

Hello Sailor!

Wow, when I spied this massive sculpture it reminded me of The Kiss by Rodin. Very passionate. Can you imagine all those sailors docking into the harbour after a stint away and their loved ones waiting to welcome them home? Its not the first thing you see when you get into the Historic Dockyard though. the first thing is HMS Victory, in all its pot bellied splendour. Fantastic, utterly breath taking. This warship was one of the most successful of all time, leading fleets in historic wars such as as The American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars. Nelson died on board too, another iconic moment in history. He was fatally shot on 21st October 1805.

HMS Victory

We had booked ticket to go in to see the Mary Rose. Mary Rose was a Tudor warship. It was built for Henry 8th in 1510. She fought battles for over thirty years against the French. She capsized off the coast of Portsmouth during the Battle of the Solent in 1545. Almost all of the 500 crew were lost to the seabed along with all of their possessions. For centuries she lay there and after 400 hundred years a complicated salvage operation commenced. The Mary Rose rose again in 1982 and a collection of over 19000 items were recovered and these are all on display in the Mary Rose museum. The full skeleton of the ships dog is there too, possibly a whippet, used on board to catch rats! The name for the ship was chosen by Henry 8th. Mary for his sister and the virgin Mary and Rose for the Tudor Rose, I thought that was very touching.

Mary Rose

After that we sat and had a bit of lunch watching and waiting! We had been told that one of the aircraft carriers in the harbour was due to sail at 1.00pm. We knew this would be a sight to behold so waited and waited and waited. There were crew on board and signs of things about to happen but after a couple of hours rumours came that the mission had been postponed, ah well it had been grand sitting in the sun.

Prince of Wales Aircraft Carrier

I just love a boat trip. Last year we had a cruise on the Norfolk Broads for a couple of hours (yes I know literally know how to push the boat out we do!!) So this year it had to be a ride around Portsmouth Harbour. We were on the last sailing but I am so glad we did it. The commentary was very good. We were told lots of history about pretty much everything we could see. warships, banana boats, ferries, tugs, the Spinnaker Tower and such a lot more. Worth every penny of the ten pound per head ticket.

Ship Ahoy!
Selfie, No I am not water skiing!

After a very full day we headed back to our Camping and Caravan Club site near Fareham. This site is as usual fab in itself but there is a section reserved for folks needing an overnight before setting sail to France or Spain. Brittany Ferries sail from Portsmouth, so that’s worth knowing about! The campsite has a fish and chip van visit on Friday teatimes. It came highly recommended so we decided to have treat and a rest from cooking for me. However I couldn’t resist making a starter, not something we often bother with. the words Mary Rose had been playing in my head all day. Prawn cocktail it had to be then. The pink sauce that you get on the classic retro starter was developed by the chef catering for the restoration of the Mary Rose. The cocktail has been around for years so I don’t know how true that is. What I do know is how easy it is to make. A combination of mayo, ketchup, drops of Tabasco and a squeeze of lemon and that is it. So tangy and delicious! The fish and chips along with bread and butter and mushy peas were fantastic.

Plenty of salt and vinegar!

I did manage a tiny bake before we set off out for the day. One of my facebook/Twitter friends Brendan Kailer Lieb had offered me a recipe for apple topped biscuits. I still have Elgar’s apples to use so I gave them a whirl. Quick and easy and now all eaten, they were smashing, thank you Brendan.

Elgar’s apples once again.

Quite a hefty days blog but I hope you have enjoyed it. Here are a few links if you need more information

https://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/southern-england/hampshire/rookesbury-park-caravan-club-site/

https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/

There we go , signing off for another day 🙂

Caravan Blog September 2020

Blog on! Day 8. Caravan Tour

Day 8. Well it is incredible that a week has been and gone already. Hey though, we are just having the best weather, so lucky! If you remember back to yesterday, I know that is hard sometimes, even I am losing track and I am writing it all down in this blog/diary, we are in Hampshire. Our first day of exploring and we initially set of to have a look around Fareham. However my oldest daughter called while we were trying to find a parking spot and distracted us. She was asking about part worn replacement tyres for her car, a subject I do in fact have some knowledge of as it happens! Anyway we ended up driving off and away. I saw a sign for Porchester Castle and thought OK, lets go there, bit of spontaneity in the mix.

Porchester Castle is a medieval castle built within a former Roman fort and was taken under royal control in 1154. The monarchy controlled the castle for several centuries. It occupies a commanding position at the head of Portsmouth harbour. It has seen much action over those centuries, plenty of scrapping with the French and dastardly doings. Today the castle is a scheduled ancient monument, a grade 1 listed building and it is managed by the English Heritage.

Taking in the view
Double Selfie

We had a really good time browsing around. We took in a bite to eat in the sunshine and just watched folks come and go. Very well worth the small entrance fee, which was about six pounds each I think and free parking too.

We headed back to the campsite via the supermarket, we need some more groceries. For our had I had my mind set on that bag of apples still, remember those ones from Elgar’s orchard. I know I keep going on about them but we have loads. I decided to make an Elgar Tarte Tatin. A french upside down apple pie. I made the puff pastry from scratch but I do quite often use shop bought. It worked out beautifully as you can see from this glossy photo!

For our main, well I concocted again. This time I wanted to use up the wobble juice I bought at the farm shop in Malvern. Cider pressed from their apples. I cooked off some onion and mushrooms in a bit of butter, added cubed pork, threw in some thyme and Dijon mustard. I doused it all in a splosh of the cider and reduced it down. then I added a leek, a sprinkle of flour to thicken and finished it off with cream. OMG, it was wonderful!

dav

So there we go. day 8 done and dusted. We watched a bit of telly and had a couple of drinks and settled down for a good nights sleep. Another busy day planned tomorrow, ship ahoy!!