It was 4am last Sunday when the alarm clock roused me from a deep sleep. I had to get up and get ready to catch a ferry to the mainland at 6.45am. But first, the caravan needed to be retrieved from the farm where it is stored, about 12 miles away.
Bleary eyed I showered and dressed, made a hot drink and set about loading up the van with the stuff we needed for our short break. I had catered for our trip with food for our breakfasts, some lunches and some dinners. We would be eating out in the evening on at least one occasion.
So off we went to hitch up the caravan and set off to catch the ferry.
Everything went to plan, the four sets of gates on the farm were still firmly closed. We managed to negotiate all of them, closing them behind us. Arrived at the ferry terminal with time to spare. Feeling hungry now, looking forward to a hearty breakfast on the ferry.
On arrival at the mainland we disembarked and set off for Redhill aerodrome for the first of our planned excursions, a flight over London in a helicopter. The sun was shining, there were loads of people watching the planes and helicopters taking off and landing. There was the danger of low cloud and rain coming in from the west, but that was going to be later on in the day. Our flight was going ahead, but it was going to be the last one of the day as the pilot had to get the helicopter back to it’s home before the weather changed.
The flight was glorious and over too quickly. We flew over the Gherkin, the Shard, saw HMS Illustrious on her tour around the UK before she is scrapped. There were tiny cows in the fields, weeny people playing golf (I never knew there were so many golf courses in London). And all too soon we were heading back to Redhill. The helicopter was flying at 125 mph, but it didn’t feel like it. It was comfortable, enjoyable and I loved it. My husband loved it too, which is just as well as it was his anniversary present from me.
We landed back at Redhill and collected our van and caravan and set off to find out caravan pitch for the next few days. We travelled back to Winchester which was to be our base. The certified site was fabulous. It was a small farm with a few horses, there were five pitches and that was it. We had electric hook up and water. We were set. The farmer and his wife were lovely and couldn’t have been more helpful. They found us telephone numbers for local taxis and made us feel really welcome.
I cooked a roast chicken, roast potatoes and vegetables for our dinner and it was lovely to just sit and watch the horses whilst enjoying our evening meal.
The next day we planned to go to Southampton as we had tickets for the Rocky Horror Show. We left around 11am and took a taxi to the station and got a train to Southampton station. The free bus took us to West Quay shopping centre. We had lunch in the John Lewis restaurant with some wine, since we weren’t driving anywhere. A wander around the shopping centre reminded me how much I dislike shopping. We had several cups of coffee during the afternoon and then set off to catch the free bus back to Southampton Station. Over the bridge and a short walk away is the Mayflower Theatre where we had a table booked for our evening meal.
A lovely meal it was too. It was delicious, presented beautifully and the service was great. Ready now for the Rocky Horror Show. We have seen the film several times, and seen a stage version many years ago. Would it be good, would it the same?
No it wasn’t the same, it was even better. The whole thing was full of energy. There were a lot of the members of the audience dressed up as various characters from the show and a lot of interaction between the audience and the narrator, who was Philip Franks.
Thoroughly enjoyed it, the audience was up and dancing and the atmosphere was brilliant. Then we walked back to the station and got a train back to Winchester and taxi back to our caravan.
The next day we went to the Wimbledon Museum, my Christmas present. A trip around the museum and going on to Centre Court and Court No. 1. Taxi to the station, train to Wimbledon and, because it was raining, a taxi to the Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Of course it rained, as you would expect at Wimbledon. We were taken around a large part of the site, into the covered walkways between Centre Court and Court No. 1. Past the players’ restaraunt, through the players’ reception area. Onto Court No. 1. We were not allowed anywhere near the grass, it had it’s own security guard to make sure nobody touched it. It was of course pristine. The edges were perfectly shaped, the grass trimmed to perfection. We sat in the press seats and could see all around.
Then we went to Centre Court. Again not allowed anywhere near the grass, which also had it’s own security guard. We were allowed to sit in the press seats again, and we could see the BBC commentary box – basically a portacabin – where people like John McEnroe, Boris Becker et al describe the action.
There is a 360 degree pod on Centre Court where you can get an all round view of the stadium. It is removed for Wimbledon fortnight for obvious reasons.
We dined in the restaurant and of course had to have strawberries and cream. Well it would have been rude not to whilst at Wimbledon. A visit to the museum revealed some fascinating facts and showed the clothes women used to wear whilst playing, including their bustles.
Back on the train to Winchester. This time I cooked spaghetti bolognese for our evening meal. Mmmmmm.
Our final trip was to a brewery and winery near Henley. We drove there this time. I agreed to drive back as it was my hubby’s Christmas present. So I tasted a soft drink whilst he tasted the wines, beers and liqueurs.
First a trip around the brewing processes, learning how they mix the hops with the gloop for the beer, and how they harvest the grapes and press them and bottle them ready to sell.
Very interesting indeed and of course there was the tasting of half a dozen wines, several beers and a few liqueurs. A very enjoyable couple of hours. I drove back to Winchester and we enjoyed our evening meal of pie and chips.
Thursday we set off for home.
A very enjoyable few days fitting in our various trips and making use of our caravan for the first time this year. It will have several more outings in June, July and August and it will be going as far afield as Scotland, Henley and Manchester.
I have learned to practice what I teach and coach, and that is to have time for myself. If you find that difficult, then we can work together on that.
I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.
Creedence – Confidence for You
International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author