Monday, 21 July 2008

Camping with Lola II

It's taken me ages to get round to writing about our camping trip. My first day back, Mr A asked me to do another session on the company accounts. I did that for a miserable day - he doesn't make it easy for me, even though he says he tries. He didn't have half the information I needed, so I've given him a page of 'things to do before I can do any more with the accounts.'

Then I set to on the shower again. Before going camping, I'd scraped out the grout and excised a load of mouldy sealant, then re-grouted and laid down two seams of sealant, covering myself and everything around me with sticky nasty white goo. I couldn't find any white spirit, so I tried to clean up with meths, which didn't work so well.

Since getting back from the trip I've rubbed down the aluminium frame to get rid of bubbling paint, and bought some white spirit, masking tape and a paintbrush. It's nearly ready to paint, and then if the primer looks OK I won't bother with a top coat and can finish the sealant. On target for my first shower on Thursday, all being well.

So I'm taking a break from that back-breaking work to blog our camping trip. After considering south Wales, Disneyland Paris and Jersey, we settled on Dorset, including a day in Monkey World. I picked Lola II up from Wool station on Sunday and we went straight to the campsite. There was a 'Closed' sign and nobody about in the office, but we put up the tent anyway, with a couple of false starts because there are three different length poles and I couldn't remember how it all worked.

Still nobody about at the campsite, so we headed off for Lulworth Cove to do a bit of sightseeing. It's a great cove, the water was clear and the weather fine, and the sedimentary rock layers looking very impressive indeed. We climbed up to take in the view, I took a picture of a bee on a thistle flower, and we decided to have fish and chips for supper.

A close up of a bee on a thistle flowerWe always have a good deal to discuss on the matter of food, and what and when we will eat. Standing in the queue for the fish and chips, we changed our order six or seven times before we reached the counter, accompanied by intricate bargaining and negotiation: shall we get one order of chips to share? shall we get two different types of fish? that pie looks good - if I order that do you want half? if we got some mushy peas will you want any?

Pint of milk, tin of beans with sausages, Aero (mint), Walnut Whip, Milky Bar, Bounty (plain chocolate), Frys Chocolate creamThen, because we're camping, we had to think about breakfast as well. Lola II was very keen to do the full camping experience, and that included cooking. She was already very impressed by some of the aspects of our camping gear - a 'doormat' that stops the tent filling with dirt and mud, the tent porch, the table and chairs, the water carrier (which we didn't actually need), the camping gas stove. We settled on a tin of beans with sausages for breakfast, with tea. Luckily, the shop in Wool was well stocked. Here's a picture of our provisions, laid out nicely on the bonnet of the car: only five types of chocolate turned out to be necessary.

Monkey World opened at 10 am, leaving plenty of time for breakfast. We saw plenty of capuchin monkeys, which were the most active and also played in one of the areas where we had a good view. It was often hard to see the other animals, but they included chimpanzees, stump tailed macaques, orangutans and gibbons. No gorillas, but perhaps that's because it's a rescue centre rather than a zoo, and maybe gorillas aren't caught for the pet trade or bred for experiments.

Dinner was in a pub recommended by the campsite owner, who had turned up on Monday morning. Next day we visited Wareham, which looked very pretty in the sunshine. We had decided to forgo breakfast in favour of a very good lunch at a place I'd been to with Mr A and some friends that overlooked Corfe Castle, the Scott Arms. After lunch we just sat in the pub garden reading for an hour or so in the sunshine. It was lovely. Then we went to Swanage, which had all the classic seaside scenes of people enjoying themselves on the beach on a sunny day. And a lampshade shop. I bought a new lampshade. You can never have too many lampshades.

Always taking care to consider mealtimes, we bought ingredients for a feast, although we'd had so much for lunch that it was unlikely we'd be hungry in the evening. But it worked very well for breakfast: mozzarella, tomato and basil for the starter, then instant noodles with courgette and prawns for the main course.

We had decided to visit National Trust property Kingston Lacy before going home.

View of the house from the lawnsThere were no guided tours or audio guides, just a leaflet, but while we were admiring some carved stonework in the entrance hall, a man appeared from nowhere who started to tell us all sorts of interesting things. He was in charge of the collection or the building or something, but he seemed to like nothing more than wandering about the house interacting with visitors. Whenever we saw him, we loitered within earshot. He improved the visit no end, but it's quite an interesting house anyway. Nothing 'special', no royal connections, just a large family house with some interesting recorded history, and wonderful carved stonework. One amazing stone piece included a fishing net, all carved out of stone.

Wandering round the grounds ended the visit, and the camping trip. I dropped Lola II at Brockenhurst station (traffic in that part of the New Forest is awful) and drove on home.


Amy said...

Wow, we're living a parallel life yet again. I recently handed over all responsibility of the business accounting to my husband, who ran to an accountant. I was noticing the mold on the caulk in the shower and thinking it has been 11 years since we last scraped it off and caulked and we should probably do it again. In a couple of weeks, I'll be setting off for Idaho for some camping. It will be easy, back yard camping, although the house isn't much better.

Never eat mushy peas. Life is too short.

aims said...

I don't think we're living a parallel life - although I have caulked the new shower 2x now. And I see that some of it is coming off yet again. That's all in 2 years....sigh.

Your camping trip sounded like fun - especially all that chocolate for breakfast. You gals know how to rough it!

I love the pic of that house! OMG! People actually got to live in places like that....amazing!

Lola said...

Amy - I wish Andy could afford to employ someone else to do the accounts... And mushy peas are OK, but not very often!

Aims - not all the chocolate made it to breakfast time!