Monday, 2 July 2018

A busman's holiday?

Attributed to Einstein, although he probably never said it, and a favourite of mine is:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

However, a more personal definition could be my latest holiday.  I spend a vast amount of time when at home working in the garden, and when I'm not in the garden I am thinking about plants, reading about them and researching horticultural stuff online, therefore, it could be considered mildly insane to spend my precious holiday time . . . in gardens?  But this time it is other people's gardens and I don't have to do a thing, no weeding, no watering, no heavy-duty building, no long mental list of tasks which I might (or might not) eventually get to, just the relaxing joy of wandering around in the fresh air, looking at lovely things growing 😊.  And other people's gardens are a delight, even if I don't like them because I learn something from every single one I visit.

The other delight is being away in the campervan.  Overall it does not really matter whether I am in Bill or the caravan, but being away in a tiny home on wheels seems to be the one way I properly relax and find myself able to just sit, and "just sitting" is not an activity I have ever been terribly skilled at.

I was terribly disappointed at missing my trip at the end of April, but with Management's mum now well on the mend from her broken hip it was safe for me to arrange to be away and leave Daisy in the care of her Daddy (and I am increasingly of the opinion that since he retired and made himself available to her 24/7 she has switched allegiances and I am now merely Staff and Provider of Food, which makes going away without her much easier).  Another pitch was booked at New England Bay and I set off for a week of gardens and chilling out.

Before editing and severe culling the number of images was in the hundred's, so the display of holiday snaps, which I expect to be as boring as hell for everyone else, will be split over a few posts.

First, the chilling;  whilst campervans are ideal for touring, or even wild camping, I based myself at the same site for the whole trip.  I was not planning on travelling very far and it is a lovely, convenient site.  Even when busy there is a feeling of space and the pitches are mostly level - just pull up, handbrake on and this is the result:



Visibility was rather better on this trip than during my first visit, and from the back of the van a glimpse of the lighthouse (tiny white mark on horizon to left of house).





Walking north out of the site you can see around the headland all the way to the southerly tip of the Mull.



There was a good amount of sitting around,



and wandering around with binoculars, and Epic Fail when it came to trying to photograph some of the many birds I saw.  This is my wildlife list for the week, not all at the campsite, but the best site view was one evening watching gannets diving into the sea to feed.  First time I've witnessed that, a definite "wow" moment.



(not a Gannet!)

Not all the sitting around happened at the site, there was even more chilling & doing nothing at Ardwell.  I cannot explain this place - it is small, merely a parking and picnic site just outside a little hamlet but it is a joy.  I spend hours parked here just looking at the sea.  That in and of itself is unknown:  I don't like the sea, I swim very poorly and am frankly scared of it.  I will only go on a boat if I really have to but this area is the first place where I have ever enjoyed looking at the water.  If only there were some decent hills around, then it would be perfect . . .












I read on a forum recently someone saying when they are on a campsite it's a beer and some pot noodle because they hate to cook in their van.  Stuff that for a game of tiddly-winks!











20 comments:

  1. Don't ever think your holiday snaps will be boring as I for one love being an armchair traveller. Don't worry about Daisy missing you while you are away, she'd be perfectly content with M, I'm sure. The campsite and surroundings look perfectly peaceful and your meals look delicious. I'm looking forward to your garden visits :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thanks Eileen. I love being a vicarious traveller through other blogs too :-)

      M. reported that after a couple of days sulking and looking for me Daisy was eating properly - that's a sure sign she is perfectly OK!

      Delete
  2. Life is fun in a camper van, as for beer and pot noodles, I’m with you, with clever planning we eat really well when away. We tend to park the van and leave it there, walking and cycling around the area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right Marlene, it is very easy to eat well in a campervan. I take pre-made things from our freezer like chilli, and curry, or bolognaise - and a salad like the couple I photographed take very little effort to prepare. But the person who wrote that comment probably eats badly all year, not just when away!

      Delete
  3. I'm already loving your trip and the sky in some photos is beautiful. One of the reasons we go caravaning is so I can cook for us, though if we need to do a lot of travelling (large place is Australia), our meals are on the easier side, but still basically with fresh veg & meat or fish. Isn't it supposed to be a small home on wheels? Have a good week & take care. BTW, look forward to seeing more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan. One of the (many) reasons for having our 'recreational vehicles' is so that I can eat the same as I do at home. I don't want my pre-diabetes to develop into much worse, and it is still the case that most food available when travelling is carbohydrate heavy. Like you, it is often some fresh meat or fish wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven with fresh veg or salad - doesn't get much easier :-)

      Delete
  4. I really thought you would have Daisy with you, or wouldn't she have been allowed in some of the gardens you went to? I could never imagine going away camping and leaving my two behind, it's their holiday too :) I'm really looking forward to seeing more of your holiday photos, I'm sure they won't be boring - and the more I see of the New England Bay site the more I like the look of it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daisy absolutely does not enjoy travelling in any vehicle, although she seems to find the campervan less miserable than anything else we own. Going "on holiday" with me is not the great pleasure it was for our previous dog, or the fun that your two clearly enjoy.

      She would not be allowed in some of the gardens I visited, and even though it was not as hot last week as it is today I would not contemplate leaving her alone in a vehicle for even a few seconds, let alone the many hours I want to spend wandering around.

      It is best for all of us to do things this way :-)

      More photos to follow but they will(nearly) all be gardens.

      Delete
    2. PS: I think we have already had this conversation, but no tents allowed at N.E.B. The first night I was there it was so windy I lay awake wondering whether a panel-van conversion could be blown over?

      Delete
    3. Photos of gardens are fine, I love looking at other peoples' especially if there are lots of bright flowers. I'd forgotten you'd said that there are no tents at N.E.B but living in the van, although maybe a bit cramped long term, would be fine for a few days - and I've slept in it more than once when it's been rocking in the wind! A shame Daisy doesn't enjoy travelling but you were right to leave her at home in the circumstances - and I'm sure she enjoyed being with her dad while you were gone :)

      Delete
    4. Photos of gardens are fine, I love looking at other peoples' especially if there are lots of bright flowers. I'd forgotten you'd said that there are no tents at N.E.B but living in the van, although maybe a bit cramped long term, would be fine for a few days - and I've slept in it more than once when it's been rocking in the wind! A shame Daisy doesn't enjoy travelling but you were right to leave her at home in the circumstances - and I'm sure she enjoyed being with her dad while you were gone :)

      Delete
    5. The daft thing is that although they don't allow tents, they allow caravan awnings AND motorhome driveaway awnings. So if you could rig your tent up to make it appear like an attachment to your van then you might get away with it :)

      Delete
    6. Well quite coincidentally, buried somewhere in all the c**p in the garage, is a driveaway awning. I stopped using it after it had sustained a bit of damage along the bottom (not done by me either) but if I can dig it out and repair it with Gorilla tape or similar I could use it on the van again :)

      Delete
    7. Never take the van anywhere without a large roll of Gorilla tap :)

      Delete
  5. Oh my goodness it looks absolutely beautiful Jayne. What a totally fab thing to do. I love the description of a tiny house on wheels and the peace of your whole trip is just so appealing. I think we might have to buy a camper van xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just think how useful a van would be on race days! Somewhere to warm up afterwards, get changed, have a brew - if it's not too hot you could have the dogs with you . . . we use ours as a day van just as much as for going away, but I should warn you - it completely ruins going out in the car. No fridge? No kettle? No comfy sofa? No private Loo? Sacre bleu chaps, what's the world coming to??

      Delete
    2. 😂 I have said that to M who agreed 😉

      Delete
    3. Oh, Ted & Pops would love that so much. xx

      I saw the loveliest thing at the Galloway campsite - there was a chap in a van similar to mine, accompanied by a lovely Westie. She had her own car seat - one of those beds which clips to the seat, and a harness that secured her to the seatbelt. One afternoon we drove past each other on a very quiet (narrow!) road and stopped for a brief hello. There she was sitting proudly in Her Seat, smiling out of the front window - she Owned It!! Haven't seen such a happy 'car travelling person' since I used to drive Ollie about. :)

      Delete
  6. You're making me envious, dear girl. Those wandering days are the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I am extremely envious of your gorgeous sewing studio, so we're just about even. You might have enjoyed the birding though :)

      Delete

So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you.

Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day 😊

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}