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By keef and annie hellinger, Aug 31 2014 10:22AM


Daily Fail / Male - 28/8/14


Motorhome trip No18 : August 27th - August 29th 2014

NOTTS->WHITLEY BAY->MATFEN ->NOTTS 404 miles


Trip to our beautiful friends Chris and Allyson’s wedding at Matfen High House Farm & Brewery. An absolutely fab time, sadly as Annie had caught a bad sore throat and early cold we came back a day or two earlier so as not to pass it onto the bride & groom before their honeymoon to France.


Weather mixed but considering how poor August has been it was good.


Initially we stayed at the caravan club site at Old Hartley farm listed as being in Whitley bay but it is more Seaton Sluice. Fab views of St Mary’s island lighthouse from our pitch. Nice meal in the eve, bit of reading, prepping speech and up early the next morning to travel across to the wedding venue near Matfen which is I guess between Newcastle and Hexham.


The whole day was fabulous, see the slideshow for a pictorial reminder. So happy for my bestest mate and Allyson. The wedding breakfast (wonder why they call it that?) food was fab and the hog roast in the evening excellent and the band , the shake down band where brill. They even played our requests of Summer of 69 and Sex on fire, what a nice bunch of lads *smile*


I’ve included a copy of the spoof newspaper I did for them and a repeat of my best man speech.

We got up about 10-ish on the Friday, had brekkie, sadly said our goodbyes and made the long journey back with the usual motorway hold ups to vex us. We had lunch with the brides mum and partner, Eve & Norman at the Weatherby service station. Quite a coincidence as we were all travelling back down south.


71 photos in the SLIDESHOW


If you wish to look at our complete set of UK Campsite stays click HERE, thanks




Best Man Speech


Intro self – Keef, for those of you who don’t know me and Happy for those that do. I’ve known Chris since v v young. My mum met dee at FPC back in the early 50s I believe (it clearly didn’t work, we are both here)

Definition of Best Man: - googled a few of these and picked out my favourite 3

1) Noun: an acquaintance with whom you trust a five minute speech that could, potentially, ruin the rest of your life. 5 mins - no chance, far too short! You can’t reveal much in 5 mins.

2) Antiquated expression used to delineate the "best swordsman" by your side as you kidnapped your "betrothed". Remember Vikings & Northumbrians stole their brides.

3) At one stage the best man would stand guard as a sentry to protect the bride and groom from anyone who wished to stop the wedding. He would sometimes continue this vigil outside the newlywed’s home after the ceremony- In today’s parlance that is a Stalker or Perv

Ice breaker: Want to play a quick game? 3 quick facts about Chris. 2 are true 1 isn’t. I’ll take a show of hands once I’ve been thru them

1. We almost missed a once a week bus across the top of Scotland when the warden at the Tongue youth hostel made us complete our chore having spent the night there. The chore may have been toothbrush on urinal porcelain, but I can’t remember. I do remember travelling on the post van with livestock, fruits, vegetables and newspapers however.

2. In our yoof we had very powerful (not) Honda 50 motorbikes tearing up the strip and terrorising the neighbourhood. We eventually progressed to more powerful bikes. Please feel free to visit Chris’ in their garage sometime. We had leather jackets with Harley Davidson written in studs across the back.

3.At many a party armed with Party 4’s and 7’s (basically a bigger baked bean can filled with Watney’s Red Barrel ale or better stuff – Abbot ale/ Bishops Tipple (maybe)) we would prance around energetically to the Motors Airport, nowadays it is called “dancing like your dad” but we thought we were the bee’s knees

Time for some facts-ish: Daily mail handout (35 copies – take one and pass them on please) after I’ve done the paperboy bit…..

At 12 I was a Paper boy, delivering in Clapham (or Clame as we prefer to call it now) to Rodenhurst rd , the posh bit HAND OUTS (lovely assistant) this is where Chris’s family lived

Chris & I were almost foetuses together, 60 years we have known each other, Chris is my longest & best friend, in class we sat next to each other before and after I went to oz as a child, travelled Scotland together when we finished 6th form as well as attempting an early commune in the lake district with a group of friends where we survived almost entirely on custard and oat cakes , we visited Taize (a religious community) vaguely near Cluny in France in our early hippy days. Speaking of Australia Chris & Allyson went in the “modern day” at the start of this year to see Laura & Steve, there they got engaged, what I suppose you could call a bit of a whirlwind romance (larf) they are both v happy and that makes us all here the same, they have now started travelling in their motorhome, my ambition is convince them to travel with Annie & I thru central outback oz or the forgotten world highway in nz by motorhome, perhaps one for the future maybe. We can then all be gray revellers sponsored by Saga, Must mention Chris other passions besides Allyson i.e music, blues, his various bands with Cordell and others,before the Sage it was early day concerts @ the Finsbury Park rainbow, we saw amongst others Pink Floyd, ELP and yes (Chris made a clock from side 2 of TFTOs - pure sacrilege), Chris was also into John martyn ,pete adkin, clive james, strawbs, jonathan kelly, FYC,tom petty, jimi Hendrix, roxy etc etc, and now he and Allyson are groupies or troublemakers for those in the know! Many a beer festival from the 1st great british to the latest, I have so many tribute glasses from these that I needed an extension on the kitchen , only sorry I couldn’t make the latest recent London one with you mate

Mustn’t forget family & friends – this really makes Chris tick and I get that too…..

ENOUGH – your real ale will get cold

One Final category

What about this day in history? 28th August I may add a few quiz questions

Birthdays - born on this day

1749 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, wrote the play Faust (d. 1832)

1828 – Leo Tolstoy, Russian Author

1906 - John Betjeman, poet laureate of England

1917 - Jack Kirby, cartoonist (X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, Capt America)

1943 - David Soul, [Mr Solberg?] Chicago, actor (Starsky & Hutch)

1949 – Hugh Cornwall of the Stranglers

1965 - Shania Twain, Windsor Ontario, Canadian singer (You're Still the One)

1968 – Billy Boyd, Pippin from Lord of The Rings

1969 - Jack Black, American actor

1986 - Florence Welch Flo & The machine

Marriages/Anniversaries

1811 – Poet Percy Bysshe Shelly eloped with Harriet Westbrook to Scotland to get married

1924 - British children's writer Enid Blyton (27) marries editor Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (36)

1997 - British-Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie (50) weds Elizabeth West

Events

1640 - King Charles I's English army loses to a Scottish Army at the Battle of Newburn

1850 - Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" premieres in Germany

1921 - Babe Ruth starts best streak ever of an “extra-base hits” whatever that means

1955 – Rock around the clock by Bill Hayley hit no 1

1963 - Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I have a dream speech" adressing civil rights march at Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

1964 - The Beatles appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine

1965 - Bob Dylan booed for playing electric guiter at a concert in New York's Forest Hills

1967 – For the cricket fans amongst us (Allyson) Asif Iqbal & Intikhab Alam make 190 stand for 9th wkt v Eng

1973 - "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple goes gold

A personal one for me

1982 - "Sugar Babies" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 1208 perfs

1986 - Tina Turner's star unveiled in Hollywood

1987 – Luka by Suzanne Vega no1

And one final one….

2014 Chris marries Allyson, He is my best mate and always will be, it is a real privilege and honour to be asked to be his best man, please join me in a cheer and toast to the happy couple, health and a long fun life together …. “Chris & Allyson, the new Mr & Mrs Langthorne”










By keef and annie hellinger, Aug 24 2014 04:58PM

Motorhome trip No17 : May 14th – August 1st 2014


NOTTS->FRANCE, ITALY, MONACO & SWITZERLAND ->NOTTS 4611 miles


HIGHLIGHTS: Gorges du Verdon, Annecy, Allemagne du Provence, Quimperle, Cavalaire Sur Mer, Burgundy, Loire Chateaus,Blois, Louhans, Chalon Sur Saone, Noyers,Brittany especially Finistere (Eckmuhl), Les Pieux, Cannes Film Festival, Monaco, Alpes & Juras, Lac Leman, Evian, Montreax,San Remo & Meeting Marco,Concarneau&Micamac.


LOWLIGHTS: Probs with the van


Probably easier to document this holiday by showing the calendars for May , June and July 2014. See attached images to see where we were on each day.


To see the overall SLIDESHOWS


There is also a You tube video on Blog 71 Xtra


There is also the consolidation of 26 original photosnack slideshows s creating 3 30 minute long slideshows which show our adventures plus one additional one showing every campsite we stayed at, most of which were via the ACSI book, if you are travelling France then it is a must. For UK folk get membership from Vicarious books in Kent http://www.vicariousbooks.co.uk/ or direct from ACSI online .There is also a book of all the Aires which are similar to the UKs CLs/ CSs (certified location/site) where for a fraction of the price and limited services you can stay overnight (or longer) on your journey. Tip take your own loo seat, paper, soap and towel in France , most sites do not provide these. Also the reverse polarity issue is not as bad as some would have you believe , after checking the 1st 5 sites with my expensive kit I gave up, it is I believe only an issue if your internal electrical items are faulty. Don’t forget your 2 pin convertor – many of the sites are not bayonet fittings oh and most are 6 amp, 10 is becoming more the norm but they will charge you for an upgrade if their system allows it so take that gas kettle else you will blow the fuse!


Most sites have great swimming pools often indoor as well as outdoor so that is a real plus.


The 3 French slideshow areas are


1. Folkestone (UK) to Gorges of Verdon (Provence)

2. Volonne (Provence) to Finistere (Bretagne/ Brittany)

3. Clohars-Carnoet (Bretagne) to Home

4. PLUS every campsite we stayed at


All in all a nice relaxing and discovery type holiday mixed with chillaxing and tourism! Great times, we love our little motorhome.


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD or under these new blogs, thanks, motorhome-travels.

Why not take a look Leave us some feedback here on the blog if you wish, thanks


Summary of commentary posted on Facebook etc during our travels was

Around France in 80 Days - well some of it...

Last slideshow shows where we camped on each of those 80 days

Thanks all folks,Love K&A

31/7 Deauville, Trouville,Honfleur beach – pont de normandie & Dieppe views,Etretat,farm campsite near Yport, Yport, Fecamp, Minnimay(-sp?),st valery sur somme, Calais, densole

28/7 Les Pieux sunset, anneville,saint vaast la hougue, ravenoville, Utah beach, Omaha beach (st Laurent-sur-mer),carhagnolles(flower camping campsite),Bayeux,Arromanches-les-bain(gold beach), falaise, beavron-en-auge , camping deauville

26/7 Breton: pointe de primel (plougasnou), st quay portrieux, dinan, st malo,domaine de la ville huchet, Normandie: mont st Michel, Granville, les pieux

23/7 Eckmuhl / St Guenole (near Penmarche), Quimper,pointe du raz, Douarnenez,Locronan,Chateaulin, Cameret sur mer/ Pointe de Penhir, Pointe des Espagnols, Roscanvel, Le Faou, Plougastel Daoulas, Landerneau, Brignogan-Plages, Plougasnol

Shipping News Update 20/7 Love Bretagne *FACT* Now in Penmarche FINISTERE Wind Blowing ENE and southerly to cool the warmed skin! Visited Concarneau and Benodet today having stayed at Clohars-Carnoet last nite after visiting the wonderful Doelan fishing village (used in films alledgedly). Loved Guerande (old town) when we visited it and the wonderful Martin from the AA (liverpudian) based in Nante who fixed our recurring van problem with brake lights/ engine mgt warning.

Far Bretagne cake is the best yet… crème anglais,almond, black gold plums (or prunes as they are know in French), seriously yummy

Off to discover the coast, Quimper, plus more delightful blue Bretagne fishing villages and head towards Brest 2moro…

Love to all our lovely family & friends

2 new slideshows on the website, one at the end of this page and one on the top of a new page

Update 16/7 Now on the Pays deLoire Alantic Coast – Fab weather (hooray) 33c sunny no clouds and beaches to die for Staying near historic town of Guerande. Stayed at Piriac Sur Mer yesterday , great beaches here and at La Baule. Deserted often. La Baule reminded us of Surfers in Queensland, such a huge curve of endless sand. Also went over the Loire River outlet bridge between St Nazaire & St Brevin, such a huge expanse of water. Bit like Confederation bridge in Canada going to PEI from Nova Scotia, only not quite so long. Have seen some lovely places recently. Recommend Angers, Ducs of Anjou territory. Sadly more minor probs with van so AA / Garage out for us 2moro early. Brake lights stopped, may be tied up with earlier probs and continuous Engine Mgt system light which we had checked out in Switzerland as “minor” wait till UK, so delaying our move onto Brittany for a day or so, no real hardship as weather, area and beaches FAB

1 new slideshow on website

Love K&A xxx

"Not a lot of people know that".... Michael .....but we went from Deaville to St Valery Sur Somme. Normandie , Picardy & Nord Pays de Calais and you can see the pix in the latest slideshow. Only one more to go....Love K&A xxx — with Serendipity Girlsdesignerdresses.

Hard to believe but my photos inspired Monet - 1st 2 the Lieutenancy @ Honfleur, last 2 Port Eval at Etretat (4 photos)

one in the eye for Harald — with Serendipity Girlsdesignerdresses. At Bayeax

les pieux to deauville , normandy - visited all the DDay landing beaches, quite harrowing, les pieux sunset wine with our chairs on the beach just so romantic, william the conquerors home town falaise and a whole lot more see the latest slideshow "les Pieux to Deaville" — withSerendipity Girlsdesignerdresses. (10 photos)

Plougasnol Brittany to Les Pieux Normandie, oh what a beach and campsite - we will be back

Another slideshow on the website — withSerendipity Girlsdesignerdresses. (7 photos)

for all you clapham-ites

went to abbeville (picardy), bonneville (rhone-alpes) , trouville (normandy) and narbonne (langedoc-rousillon)

still working on pixs

One more slideshow on website , Eckmuhl to Plougasnol, All Bretagne and mostly Finistere which we loved

Update 16/7 Now on the Pays deLoire Alantic Coast – Fab weather (hooray) 33c sunny no clouds and beaches to die for Staying near historic town of Guerande. Stayed at Piriac Sur Mer yesterday , great beaches here and at La Baule. Deserted often. La Baule reminded us of Surfers in Queensland, such a huge curve of endless sand. Also went over the Loire River outlet bridge between St Nazaire & St Brevin, such a huge expanse of water. Bit like Confederation bridge in Canada going to PEI from Nova Scotia, only not quite so long. Have seen some lovely places recently. Recommend Angers, Ducs of Anjou territory. Sadly more minor probs with van so AA / Garage out for us 2moro early. Brake lights stopped, may be tied up with earlier probs and continuous Engine Mgt system light which we had checked out in Switzerland as “minor” wait till UK, so delaying our move onto Brittany for a day or so, no real hardship as weather, area and beaches FAB

1 new slideshow on website Love K&A xxx

Update 6/7 Still in Burgundy (just – we are off to Loire in a couple of days) at Lac Marcenay. We really, really like Bourgogne. On the Grand Route de Cremant now. Saw Route de Grand Crus other day. Also we saw the source of the seine yesterday, a trickle in truth. Can’t believe it is so wide in Paris! The site we are on is owned by Dirk (a dutch ex-hippie with a French wife) – it’s so quirky, mostly dutch here. I watched Netherlands Vs Costa Rica last nite with crowds of screaming Dutch (and drank with them, headache!) I asked if I could be an honorary English supporter, they were more than happy bedecked in orange, lions heads and other strange attire, but what fun….We spent a fab 4 days at and in and around the site at Lac Panthier (near Commarin) – best site we have ever stayed at, lakeside pitch such views and our 1st true Burgadian meal out – gammon and parsley terrine with Dijon mustard drizzle (starter), Bouef Bourginone & veg (main), true eglace deux boule - assorted flavours (pud) oh and how could I forget a 1l carafe of local white burgundy, which was better than any white I’ve ever had from a bottle (honest!) plus met a whole host of nice folk of many nationalities. Spent quite a few more days in Burgundy than we originally planned but we love it. Very different to Provence, Cote D’Azur and Rhone Alps. Seen two very different Chateau’s so far (chataeuneuf des auxois & commarin), the 12th century Cistercian Unesco Abbeye de Fontenay, the 12th century Duc of Burgandies wine press (still working) and the canal de bourgogne, so real tourist times with some swimming, sunbathing , reading , chillin and just fun…. Ohhh our times are going too fast, but appreciate we are very lucky to spend so much time travelling ….

1 new slide of pix on the website, 1 to come when I get time later — withSerendipity Girlsdesignerdresses.

Now in Burgundy, just had a fab Pinot Noir from local Vineyard (hic) in Meursault. From Annecy we went all the way around lake geneva / lac leman (swiss & french sides) Loved Evian, Montreax and much more besides , then travelled over the impressive Jura mountains into Franche-Comte and into Cote D'or area of Burgundy, after another minor hiccup with the van we are fully roadworthy again. Can thoroughly recommend Louhans & Chalon...

3 new sets of slides on the website

More probably when we next manage wifi.... love to all our family and friends

Life is a beach.... Love the Med

More pix of Grimaud Ville, so old Provence

great day in st tropez today

saw this yacht in monaco the other day, now in st trop, one of our fellow ferry brits referred to the helicopter as really 'taking the p', hee hee

new pix of port grimaud and st topless now on website

Del Boy and Annie doing cocktails - Hey its officially 34c 93F here today

Thats hot and humid, but ain't complaining

Latest Pix

listening to CSN in the sun on the cote d'azur fab.... my italian is coming on (not really), discussed , just, Mondiali di calcio (football) - world cup with nico next door , smile , off to the beach this afternoon, still someone's gotta do it...

wanna see more of our holiday photos, try here, njoy love us xxx


THE END


Note: Music on "Around France in 80 Days" by Micamac, a band we saw in Concarneau Brittany


Feb 2021: All images from Blogs 68-145 now available in responsive code, click HERE


If you wish to look at our complete set of UK Campsite stays click HERE, thanks





DIARY May , June & July 2014
DIARY May , June & July 2014

By keef and annie hellinger, Apr 6 2014 05:28PM

462 Abingdon Rd, Camping & Caravan Club site, Oxford, Oxfordshire


Motorhome trip No16 : April 5th – 6th 2014


NOTTS->OXFORD ->NOTTS 216 miles


Spent the weekend with our wonderful friends Pete & Joy. Keef working late Friday eve so we travelled early Saturday morning. Site is a little rundown and they fully accept that but it is right next to the Park & Ride to get the bus into Oxford, less than 10 mins and £4.50 return for 2, superb for entry into what is one of England’s premier tourist cities and a world famous seat of learning. Pete once went here to Keble college so we relied on his local knowledge, well pubs really (joke!)


The site is all grass with a perfectly adequate but slightly dated amenities block. After setting up we walked into town via the river tow path, lots of college 8’s,4’s,2’s, single and skullers / kayakers practising on the water, bikers on the towpath and pedestrians, not a bad day with smatterings of sunshine if a little cold and windy.


Ended up at the wonderful Head of the River pub (Fullers) where the boys had 2 pints of Seafarer, a nice light ale and the ladies Peroni & Cinzano & lemonade. We sat right on the water’s edge outside. Had smoked salmon fish cakes, Cajun chicken burger and double cooked chips between us, yummy! A very busy pub with a mixture of foreign tourists, students and gracefully aging motorhomers like us. 240 years around the table, almost *smile*


Caught the bus back to the site where we had some more drinks and a lot of nice chat. Lasagne , salad and cheese & bikkies all washed down with Italian red, NZ Sav Blanc and a lovely Taylors port. Early to bed , its all that fresh air and in Keef’s case waking up at 4.10 am, saddy… It rained quite a lot and heavily overnight.


Sunday morning spent relaxing treading and having a brekkie of croissants. Then we negotiated leaving the vans on the site whilst we took the bus back into Oxford for a mooch around the town, fab architecture and interesting colleges before having roast dinner in the Mitre hotel. Nice times before heading back by bus to the site and saying our fond farewells to Pete & Joy.


All in all a nice relaxing weekend! Great times, we love our little motorhome.


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD or under these new blogs, thanks, motorhome-travels.


64 pictures in the SLIDESHOW


If you wish to look at our complete set of UK Campsite stays click HERE, thanks

Head of the River Lunch
Head of the River Lunch

By keef and annie hellinger, Mar 29 2014 06:26PM

Milestone Caravan Club site, Cromwell, Nottinghamshire


Motorhome trip No15 : March 28th – 29th 2014


NOTTS->CROMWELL ->NOTTS 75 miles


Set the van free from its over wintering by removing the covers on Thursday, was a little drizzly so put the waterproof membrane in the garage and then finished off on Saturday in the sun after returning from our 1st trip of 2014 away. Amazing to note that the motorhome started 1st time after nearly 6 months stored away, bless it. VW engines are just so good!


Packed up and set off early Saturday morning. Reasonably short drive but good to get the engine ticking over again. Arrived at site just before 12. Lovely day, cold but sunny. Lovely site, 2 fishing ponds and a large fishing lake behind it. 3 motorhome filling stations and 2 toilet blocks, both heated. Mixture of hard standing and grass pitches.


Set up and went for an explore in the village. Quite close to A1 so reasonably noisy but lovely old buildings, spring flowers and trees blossoming. Village has farm shop and lovely old church plus a dolls museum but we didn’t go in that. However it does have the milestone micro brewery and we had a look around and chat with the main man. They have lots of awards for best beers especially their raspberry wheat beer. Bought a 3 beer sample box and tried out the stout. Very nice


Cooked lunch of Pukka pies (good meat content), ciabatta garlic bread and muffins, all washed down with lemon & mint squash. Read for most of the afternoon, very relaxing.


For tea the site has the mobile chippie visit so since Keef had left the piazza’s in the freezer at home we had fish & chips, almost the best beer battered chips ever, yummy! We had a couple of glasses of our sloe gin after and watched Line of Duty series 1 on DVD, well 2 episodes anyway before retiring to bed.


Tried out most of the usual motorhome things, fridge, heater, water, fire, blown air etc etc so all looks good with the “home” for the season.


All in all a nice relaxing weekend!


Note: The Index shows ALL blogs already published or you can find Blogs about a specific subject by clicking on a word in the TAG CLOUD or under these new blogs, thanks, motorhome-travels.


35 pictures in the SLIDESHOW


If you wish to look at our complete set of UK Campsite stays click HERE, thanks

Fishing lake @ Milestone CC site
Fishing lake @ Milestone CC site
Pitch 43
Pitch 43
brewery just outside the site #result
brewery just outside the site #result