Well I guess it had to happen. Our first spell of foul weather in a very long time. I think just about everywhere in Europe has had it so I shan’t take it personally!! The south east of England definitely gets more light, brighter days and warmer temps than our native Derbyshire most of the time. They are not used to the cold and rain like us hardy Northerners down here! Out come the waterproofs and welly boots. At least Camping in the Forest equip us well. Might not be the prettiest uniform ever but it’s practical and does the job. (Of course I have zhuzhed mine up a bit as you would expect 😉).
We had lots of bookings that simply didn’t turn up on Friday, obviously after having seen the appalling forecast. Fair weather campers, pah! Come on guys, get your big coats on! The rest arrived in droves through the absolute pouring rain and just got on with it, the soggy weather not succeeding in dampening their spirits. Kids don’t care about the weather anyway. The muddier the better for them! You have to hand it to them. It’s quite a joy watching them splashing around in the puddles absolutely not giving a single damn. The sun did come out briefly late afternoon and things started to dry out a bit, only for there to be several more very heavy downpours at teatime . We were working until 11pm. Oh well, on the bright side, the rain would put out any fires!!
It was a pretty miserable night for our poor campers. Some took themselves off to the pubs for a bit of comfort. Others huddled in groups under gazebos refusing to let the weather spoil their fun. The wind really got up towards the end of our shift though so we spent the latter part of the evening rescuing flapping awnings and badly pitched soggy tents. I was very glad to be going back to my lovely, warm, fairy lit van and a hot supper from the slow cooker by the time 11pm came around! Smug zone. I even put my electric blanket on.
Next day was breezy but bright. There were several canvas casualties and lots of stray equipment to find homes for. Stuff that had blown around in the night. It looked a bit like a refugee camp out there. It was soon sorted though. All hands on deck. Team Roundhill set to with gusto, muddy shower blocks were mopped and scrubbed and normal service restored to our beautiful site. The grass was even greener now and the blue sky looked like it had been washed clean!
Tuesday was our day off. We fancied a change of scenery so we packed up the van and headed off to the coast for a bit of sea air. It’s only about ten miles and Waitrose with it’s nice, big Motorhome friendly Carpark just happens to be on the way so we can pick up supplies. How convenient. We park up with a pretty view and cycle into Milford on Sea for a pub lunch. When we get back to the van the wind has dropped so we have a stroll down to the sea. It’s a shingle beach here. It’s lovely but not so great for Dylan’s paws. He is glad of a much missed sea bath though. It’s a super view of the Isle of Wight Needles from the van.
The brightly coloured beach huts are a cheery sight. Some of them at one end of the beach have unfortunately taken a bit of a battering over Winter. I would imagine they are quite difficult to secure on this ever moving shingle. The owners are buzzing around getting them ship shape for Summer. Lucky people, they cost an absolute arm and a leg to buy apparently.
Next day we decide to visit Highcliffe, our favourite beach along this coast and it’s a sandy one. Doggie friendly too. We park at Barton on Sea and walk along the tops until we can pick up the lower coastal path. I’ve acquired the Ring Go App on my phone now so pay the parking fee using this service for the first time. Mark is very dubious about not leaving a payment ticket displayed. The machines here are coin only and don’t take cards so it’s a far more convenient method. A friendly Traffic Warden assures me it’s a fool proof system. The tea room at Highcliffe does wonderful cakes and they’ve pinched my savoury scone idea!!! I have a chilli and chorizo one with cheese and pickle. Yummy! Millionaires slice to die for.
The house and Gardens here are lovely and well worth a look.
Upon returning to the van we were shocked to find we had a parking ticket. What a pain! Not such a fool proof system after all then. I spent 20 minutes on the phone to the Council. They told me I had to either go into Lymington and lodge a complaint form or email proof of payment. It was a real pain in the backside to be honest. Put a bit of a downer or an otherwise lovely day. Annoying!
Anyway, sure it will be sorted. We picked up a curry on the way back to camp so the ticket was soon forgotten about.
We got back to an amazing fiery sunset. Out came the rhubarb gin and some cloudy ginger to go with it. Let’s raise a glass to all the Traffic Wardens our there 😉
I’ll leave you there lovely readers. I need to exercise my drinking arm. Hope you’re all fine and dandy, do visit us again soon. Love and best from the New Forest. ❤️