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Keef & Anne's Travel Blog

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By keef and annie hellinger, May 19 2020 07:52AM

During this Coronavirus / Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown why not break up your day by doing my “Where in the World “ motorhome travels quiz…every picture is a place we have visited and can be found here on the website. Answers are applied after a while so you can check back. Thanks for looking


If you want to look CLICK HERE


Below is also my take on whats happening, recorded for memories sake, troubling times, but it sure helps one focus on what is important and what & whom you miss!


In future when this appears in my memories, I will look back on hard times and will hopefully appreciate what are the important things in my life.


Living life in coronavirus times , which could be a while yet!


Prime Minister Boris Johnson started lockdown on the evening of 23rd of March 2020 On the 5th April he was admitted to hospital after 10 days self isolating with the Corona Virus On the 6th April he is in intensive care with deteriorating symptoms The Queen addressed the nation at 8pm on 5th April

Excel now known as NHS Nightingale and will be a hospital for up to 4,000 patients, most of whom are on ventilators. Similar venues being used in cities across the country. Opened by Prince Charles at 11am on 3rd April

Community support groups established, to support the vulnerable, elderly, immunocompromised and people in enforced isolation due to exposure, in their community

Petrol price close to home was less than £1… the first time since 2007, but when there is no where to go hardly surprising

Schools closed on Friday 20 March.Remote learning in place either via Home schooling or BBC Bitesize

Self-distancing measures required Don’t stand so close to me, i.e 2m

Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others to help distance shoppers (2 mtrs) from each other.

Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, line-ups outside the store doors

Non-essential stores, pubs and businesses mandated closed People who can work from home should do, Boris decreed back to work 14 May 2020 for construction workers and folk who can’t work from home

Parks , trails, entire cities closed or restricted to locals only in their bubble.

Entire sports seasons cancelled.

Olympics postponed to 2021 Concerts,tours, festivals etc cancelled

Weddings family celebrations holiday gatherings even funerals cancelled, although relaxed to allow upto 9 attendees mid may

No masses, churches are closed No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, then 10 or more. Now, Don't socialize with anyone outside of your home bubble , but rather confusingly from 14 May you can see 1 person from outside your household in an open space BUT if your parents are your cleaner or buying your house you can see both of them, confuseddotcom!

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and all other TV networks are on in every home daily now Children's outdoor play parks are closed Reruns of the Chelsea flower show. Have I got news for you and just about anything else done via Zoom or Skype. Everyones bookcase as a background is the new Claim to fame, especially if you strategically place Stephen Hawkings a brief history of Time. We are to distance from each other. Shortage of masks gowns gloves for our front-line workers.Both NHS and Care Homes. Care homes sadly an afterthought. At least a 3rd are dieing there. Very worrying. Government main priority to “Protect the NHS” NOT surprisingly to “Save Lives” PPE (new vocabulary along with social distancing) meaning Personal Protective Equipment

Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill in many parts of the world.

Refrigerated trucks for the dead outside hospitals in the USA Italy Spain China and more. Sadly mid May UK becomes 2nd highest number of deaths in the world behind the US and highest in Europe 35k by 18 May although ONS figures show 3k higher (never explained rationally)

Panic buying sets in and we have limits on toilet paper disinfecting supplies, paper towels, staple foods (Eggs & milk become issues, definite supply chain issues as farmers say they are throwing away litres of milk) hand sanitizer Flour is hard to get because the packaging comes from China and borders are closed , interestingly not in the UK until 18 May announcement (and then not for allegedly selected countries Eire & France. Weird and inconsistent)

Manufacturers distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks hand sanitizer and PPE , Multiple hand washes per day becomes the “New Normal”, even allowing post to sit on the door mat for 3 days, the time for Covid19/Coronavirus to go from packaging

Fines are established for breaking lockdown rules Initially £30 then increased to £100 although some debate about whether or not the police can enforce them

Stadiums and recreation facilities overseas open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.

Public Park areas turned into caravan parks for stranded tourists to self isolate

Press conferences daily from the PM and other government officials (Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty becomes bit of a hero, Chief Scientist Sir Patrick Vallance the opposite after his Herd Immunity idea). Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths . Initial idea in March was < £20k deaths good target , by mid May it was £35k+

Government incentives to stay home. Barely anyone on the roads initially by mid May almost back to normal yet the death rate continues to rise steadily

People wearing masks and gloves outside . Mid May advice changes from probably not a good idea to YES it is a good idea. Especially on crowded public transport and narrow shop spaces

Also took months to lock down our borders (mostly) and that was only for airplanes, ferries and channel tunnel still OK… Hmmm!

Essential service workers are terrified to go to work with good reason

Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families , some great folk live in caravans in the front garden to protect their love ones. “Key worker” is another phrase to enter the English language. There is a national clap every Thursday evening 8pm for NHS & Care workers. Sadly teachers who kept schools open o mind the children of Key workers seem to have been overlooked. Also true of Boris’s 5% off for NHS & Care workers buying new homes in what he hopes will “kick start” the economy

A 99 year old WWII veteran Captain Tom Moore raised £33 million for NHS charities walking 100 lengths of his garden before he turned 100. His target was £1000. People from all over the world donated to his cause.

319K deaths globally so far.(19 May 2020)

This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, WHO declared March 11th, 2020.

Why, you ask, do I write this status? One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and not to take the things we dearly love for granted We have so much! Be thankful. Be grateful Be kind to each other - love one another - support everyone , and enjoy your garden and your grandchildren and families and friends everywhere

We are all one! Despite what a US president may think!


To see a "where in the world" slideshow with some of the questions you will get, CLICK HERE





Phase 1 - March to May-Ish
Phase 1 - March to May-Ish
Phase 2 - Mid May
Phase 2 - Mid May
Phase 2 - Reality
Phase 2 - Reality

By keef and annie hellinger, Oct 11 2019 05:55AM

Not the Motorhome trip No8 : Oct 4th- 10th 2019


NOTTS->Dorking, London:- Centre, Raynes Park, Clapham, Tooting, Wimbledon and Kent :- Chestfield, Margate, Sandwich, Whitstable, Meopham->NOTTS 397 miles


Left early on the Friday morning for London, M1 closed so used M42 amd M40 to get down to Surrey to visit Mum in her care home, she was bright and cheery and I fed her lunch. Annie packed away all her winter clothing we had delivered. After that we called back in at Mums house to pick up post, eat lunch, and update neighbours. Then it was off to the Travelodge at Raynes Park for our 2 night stay.


Friday evening I went up to meet Chris in London for his 65th birthday. We went to a blues bar in Kingly Street just off Oxford Circus and then after to a Lebanese restaurant.


Saturday was the 3rd White Horse Bent reunion at initially the Windmill on Clapham Common, then the Spice Village Indian restaurant in Tooting and finally the pub at Tooting Bec with Chris, Allyson and Kev, the rest having to get away to various things. Lovely to see David and Cathy over from Canada. Annie got to finally use her new bus pass as we rediscovered the delights of London travel, over ground, underground wombling free bus pass ;0)


Sunday morning after our mega breakfast for the 2nd day at the Travelodge we went to see Mum again via Wimbeldon where Keef took family residents pictures, then onto Kent to stay with Brian and Gina. Had a lovely time with them visiting initially Margate, Turner contemporary and seeing entrants for Turner prize 2019, weird and wonderful! Plus a Earl of Sandwich sandwich in Sandwich. Nice circular walk around Sandwich,a very interesting place. We had a quick walk around Chestfield the next day and finally a quiz walk around Whitstable, all great fun. Loved Ginas home cooking plus a fab Thai meal in Whitstable. The odd laugh thrown in *smile*


On the way back home we called in at Meopham for Keef to sell some old concert programmes and to see Craig and Leanne, all in all a lovely week away.


If you want to see the slideshow of pictures please CLICK HERE





By keef and annie hellinger, Sep 9 2019 06:51AM

Motorhome trip No39 : Sept 6th- 8th 2019


NOTTS->Swiss Farm Touring and Camping, Henley-on-Thames ,Oxon->NOTTS 290 miles


Almost 260 years around the table and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively , you could call us the Master Campers *smile*


We visited Swiss Farm Touring and Campsing with our dear pals Pete and Joy. A very well laid out site with good amenities, camping ground for tents, café and swimming pool (heated outdoors). If the weather had been warmer outside I would have gone in but on Sunday morning chickened out as 10c but it certainly warmed up later in the day.


We were on hard standing pitches 37 & 29 respectively on the same row but sadly not adjoining as we had rather gate crashed their weekend away and booked later, also we were on a 6m(etre) pitch and Pete & Joy on a 7m pitch. The lady on reception however had done a good job of getting us reasonably close.


After setting up we all walked into town , about a 20 minute walk at my slow pace. A lovely old market town on the river Thames with some amazing architecture. We had a few bevies in the 3 Tuns pub and a good catch up. In between it bucketed it down, just glad we were inside. Henley seems to have more pubs and dogs than people and the dog of choice for how shall I say this , “the somewhat wealthy” is the pug, not the most beautiful dog in my humble opinion. Stands back to deflect hurls of abuse *smile*


We then strolled down to the old river bridge sandwiched between the angel and red lion pubs, see what I mean about the number of hostelries and surprisingly they are all still trading, great views, great stories, great pictures.


We then moseyed back to the site along the edge of the boating Thames, well as best we could. Between Henley and Hurley is the Leander club, home of some very famous rowers. More chatting and supper of lasagne, garlic bread, salad followed by cheese and bikkies and some good wine, #bliss


Saturday we made our way back into town for a slightly longer explore and a bit of retail therapy. Asquiths world famous TEDDY bear shop was a real hit. Amazing animals in there as well as the very expensive Stief bears under lock and key. We then strolled along some of the back streets , half timbered houses, Georgian palatial abodes down to the river and back up to the Angel Inn on the bridge where we had lunch and ale / wine / soft drinks. Pete Joy & I had seafood chowder and very good it was too. Annie had terrine salad and rustic toast. The place was packed!


Bit more shopping as we strolled back to the campsite, sitting outside for a bit until the chill set in. Lovely evening BBQ steak, halloumi, kebabs, burgers salad and cheese and bikkies. Yummy! Thanks Pete & Joy.


Sunday after breakfast of croissants, pack up time and fond good byes until the next time. We went via Beaconsfield in search of Annie’s granddads grave in the historic Jordan’s Quaker burial ground 1688 and with the help of John in the Quaker meeting house found it easily. After that we returned via M25 / M1. All in all a lovely weekend and would recommend campsite and area. We will be back


If you would like to see the slideshow of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks



Friends lunching, Angel Inn on the bridge, Henley on Thames
Friends lunching, Angel Inn on the bridge, Henley on Thames


Portrait time
Portrait time





By keef and annie hellinger, Jan 13 2019 08:37AM

Not the Motorhome trip No7 : 10th December 2018 – 10th January 2019


NOTTS->Gatwick to Singapore to China to Singapore ->NOTTS 19,346 miles


Spent Christmas and New Year with Doug , Phoenix & Charlie in Singapore and China. Wonderful times and so nice to be able to spend so long with them all.


It should be noted that the concept of Motor homing in Singapore (not big enough, but tent camping is possible in East Coast Park) and China (just culturally so foreign to their nature) is unlikely but who is to say in the future whether or not it will happen. When our daughter-in-laws parents visited us in the UK way back when and I showed her father around our Wendy House he asked if English people lived in them. This trip allowed us the opportunity to repay the visit by spending time with them in their home town of Foshan, Guandong province, China and most welcome they made us too. It is fair to say that language is a barrier but Phoenix and Charlie (as interpreters) and a snazzy app on the iPad meant we could communicate just a little. We loved China, what an opportunity, not somewhere I suggest westerners try without some language skills and WeChatPay and Alipay or a whole stack of cash. Most purchases are via the aforesaid app via your phone!

We were extremely lucky travelling with Norwegian from Gatwick to Changi that we got a Premier economy upgrade, the extra comfort and luxury made the 14+ hours journey to Singapore a whole lot better. Top films in my humble opinion – Hoover by Clint Eastwood (way out), Bad times at the El Grande (way back)

We went to Balalaki Greek Taverna in the historic Tiong Bahru heritage area for Doug’s birthday, and very nice it was too, plus a revisit to Muddy Murphy’s for Xmas dinner, although a new venue this time at the other end of Orchard Road.


We flew out to China the day after Boxing day and spent time in Foshan, Guangzhou and Zhuhai (on the border with Macao). Such an experience, loved every moment. We celebrated Annes’ 65th birthday there at a local village wedding and the Western New Year (clearly not Chinese New Year.. 2019 being the year of the Pig).


We returned to Marine Terrace, Singapore on the 4th and made good use of the pool etc at Nora & Michaels at Cote D’Azur near Parkway Parade before sadly saying our good byes and returning home to a somewhat cooler UK. Singapore was 34c, China sometimes 3c and UK 6c


Among the many highlights in Singapore apart from seeing family were the Q8 at SAM , Singapore Art Museum's spin off for new Artists (the old colonial art museum is currently closed for refurbishment for 3 years), this is located at Bras Basah, The Singapore Heritage Museum, Muddy Murphys in Orchard Road, The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in Chinatown, Parkway Parade, the ever wonderful East Coast park, Cote D'azur pools, Tiong Bahru heritage area, Gardens by the bay, Asian civilisation museum, Cavenagh bridge area of the Singapore river and the Paranakan Museum and restaurant in Armenian Street.


Among the many highlights of our time in China I would list shop and chop house establishments, Starry Four Seasons Hotel, Lingnan quarter, Lion dancing, old orange peel, turtle soup, Zumiao museum, firecrackers, Titian village family wedding, Annies 65th, Nanfeng ancient kiln, Ming & Qing pottery, the Canton or Pearl river, Guangzhou south station (so busy), High speed trains, Yuwenquan hot springs resort, Macao boat trip, MGM studios (Macao),Tea, Dim Sum, cantonese food, deep fried scorpion, gooses intestines, worms, beef knuckle, Hong kong-zhuhai-macao bridge, Cold and Warmth, Rickshaws, Paw-Paw & Gong-Gong, straw hats, Air B&B, Chen Clan academy, Starbucks, Guandong museum, Fans & western trade historically, Canton Tower, young chinese girls wanting their photo with me (what an ego boost ;) ), Buddha in many forms, chinese weighing scales, crocodile and goat, buttons and zips.


Looking forward to the next family meet up, “missing you already”

Longer term 2020 Beijing for 600th anniversary of the Forbidden city but hopefully also before then!


If you wish to see the SLIDESHOWS CLICK HERE, thanks



So Guangzhou, China
So Guangzhou, China


Near Tiong Bahru Heritage area , Singapore
Near Tiong Bahru Heritage area , Singapore

Chinese New Years
Chinese New Years


By keef and annie hellinger, Nov 19 2018 09:53AM

Motorhome trip No35 : Nov 16th- 18th 2018


NOTTS->Waterloo Farm Leisure, Great Oxendon, Northamptonshire ->NOTTS 127 miles


258 years and counting and 30+ camping years under our belts collectively ;)


We visited Waterloo Farm with our dear pals Pete and Joy. One of the few adult only sites open at this time of year. Although late on in the year we had 2 very sunny (yet crisp) days and one overcast day on arrival.

We were on grass pitches 53 & 54 next to one of the 3 fishing lakes on the site. An anglers paradise only none of us fish, only eat it! Lakeside hard standing pitches were only £17.50 per night at this time of year, a bargain esp. when the early morning sun rose over the lake a fantastic breakfast outlook. The facilities were not bad but one would guess in high season inadequate in number. The very large shower /loo/washrooms could be converted into a greater number of separate loos in my humble opinion however we were not complaining. I didn’t even get time to read the National Geographic on offer.


Such fun to catch up once we all set up over a few bevies. We had a lovely goulash meal on Friday eve that Pete had prepared earlier and Joy rustled up in the van, fantastic and oh those cheesecakes to die for.


Saturday after bacon butties we walked along the old railway track into Market Harborough past all the sloes and rosehip bushes. The farm seemed to grow masses of winter feed type greens. We crossed the border into Leicestershire (smile) At the outskirts of Market Harborough the Millennium Mile starts and we took that past allotments, Bowden recreation park into the town centre. A lovely place with great architecture, the old grammar school / butter cross, indoor market where Keef bought some black bomber cheese. P&J had bought some from their local butcher, a huge slab, I love it! The church , Crimbo Deccies, River Welland, Old town hall and Everest & West shop were most interesting. We then rested and refreshed in the Old Swan pub and finally caught a cab back to the site for more chat over cheese and bikkies.


In the eve we had a meal up in the site restaurant and very nice it was too in their conservatory.


Sunday after brekkie A&I went back along the old railway line to collect sloes, which were in abundance, for homemade sloe gin. A task to be undertaken with relish! We then all packed up and said our fond farewells. Another fab relaxing weekend with our pals.


If you would like to see slideshows and a video of our fun please CLICK HERE, thanks


the old grammar school, market harborough
the old grammar school, market harborough