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Keef & Anne's Travel Blog

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By keef and annie hellinger, Nov 10 2020 09:33AM

Just in time before Flash vanishes at Dec 2020 I have remastered all our major holiday websites


Motorhome memorabilia and fun


Why not take a look, thanks, just click on the highlighted links below


2007-8 Our Gap Year after work


2010 Across Canada in a Motorhome


2013 Southern Hemisphere, Our 3rd Holiday of a lifetime ;)


2017 Back Downunder with our Good Friends


Enjoy




Quadruple Fun
Quadruple Fun

By keef and annie hellinger, Nov 1 2020 09:39AM

Motorhome trip No 41 : Oct 23rd- 31st 2020


NOTTS->Waterloo Farm , Great Oxendon, Northants & Surrounds ->NOTTS 271 miles


This was our second trip to Waterloo Farm, partly to self isolate and partly to give Craig & family the house to themselves for a bit. It being only our 1st trip away in the van this year, certainly gave it a bit of a run out, being autumn the weather was very mixed but we were able to get out and about every second day.


Packing up the motorhome for touring is a doddle these days, we are experts


Packed the van Thursday and then it was onto the campsite at Great Oxendon village. We had been there before in November 2018, Blog 132 (CLICK HERE to view) with our dear friends Pete & Joy, a very nice site site indeed, views and 3 services , water, leccie and sewage.


It is definitely a fisherman’s paradise with 3 lakes. Spent a bit of time chatting to the guy next to us who caught a huge fish, 17lbs alledgedly oh and it was this big ;)


We walked both ways along the old disused railway track by the site as far in the Great Oxondon direction as the old lengthy tunnel but as we didn’t have a torch decided to stop at that point. Keef legged it up one of the slippery banks to an old bridge which was totally overgrown and surprisingly had a badger’s set in it with soil very deep probably built up since Beeching in the early 60s. There is also a huge badger set along this track nearer the site.


For the first time we also discovered the village of Great Oxondon and Waterloo Cottage Farm shop, amazing cheeses, chutneys, chocolates and pork pies. Cheese wise Godminster (expensive) and Shropshire blue our faves. Apricot and ginger chutney is a must.


So on the days when it wasn’t lashing down we visited amongst others Market Harborough Wharf, Grand Union Canal, Foxton locks, Pitsford water, Husbands Bosworth, Rockingham Castle, Kirby Hall (again), those two not being open to us as had to purchase tickets in advance. Deene Country park, Great Bowden, East Carlton country park (sadly minor damage to bumper grrr!), Cottesbrooke, Clipston, Kelmarsh, Hasselbach, Holdenby House, Althorp (only in passing), The Bringtons (lovely), Welford and the Kilworths, Lamport, Willougby Waveley,Both Peatland Parva&Magna, big names in Leicestershire, Naseby, Roundheads and Cavaliers, New Model Army, Ruperts views, Fairfax's view and we saw churches, farms, Halloween tributes etc etc


All in all a very relaxing 9 days away in our lovely Wendy house. Looking forward to making and drinking the sloe gin, hic!


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



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 our "where in the world" quiz slideshows with all of the questions you will get, CLICK HERE , note every answer is somewhere on our website but you may have to dig around a bit, good luck, have fun





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