It’s been just over three months since we got our Motor Home, (or MoHo to use the trendy abbreviation), and yes, still loving the freedom it brings with the ability to set off at a whim.
So far we’ve kept within the West Country, exploring other parts of Cornwall, with the occasional foray into Devon. Due to work and other commitments, our trips have been between one and two nights, staying at sites in Widemouth Bay, Tintagel, Colliford Lake, Minions and Mevagissey in Cornwall and Brixham in Devon.
In most cases we have opted for so-called ‘hook-ups’ which include electricity supplies along with other on-site shower/toilet facilities – in our case the last two aren’t needed, as we already have these on board. We’ve also had limited experience of so-called ‘wild camping’, with no available facilities, though with a gas fuel option and self contained water supplies in our MoHo, you can hardly call it ‘wild’!
The average cost of a site hook-up has been £20.00 for 24 hours but some sites charge more in the busy summer months with a minimum stay of three nights and upwards. Compared to other European countries like France and Spain, this is expensive but some public houses, (for example the ‘Jamaica Inn’ Bodmin Moor), charge £10 to park up overnight with no requirement to eat at their restaurant. Other public houses will allow you to stay in your MoHo for the night as long as you spend some money on drinks and/or food.
However you look at it, the UK has a long way to go to be as MoHo and Camper Van friendly as our European neighbours but with more people opting for this form of travel, I think things will start to change. Meantime, we’ll be heading off to France shortly, travelling from Dover to Calais, and then making our way to South West France to visit a friend in Caumont.
It will be fascinating to see how much the experience differs from this side of the pond and yes, our Bonnie dog is now the proud owner of her very own a Pet Passport. How cool is that?
As for my latest book choice – and with the ‘B’ word continuing to drive the UK crazy – I’ve just finished Jonathan Coe’s novel, ‘Middle England’, which deals with a divided and angry Britain tearing itself apart over Brexit. It’s funny, acerbic, beautifully observed and witty – all the things you expect from the writer of ‘The Rotters’ Club’ and ‘What A Carve Up!’.
Coe is one of our best contemporary writers and his snapshot of Middle England, (literally as much of the action takes place in and around the Midlands including Birmingham), is both affectionate and exasperated. Old friends from ‘The Rotters’ Club’ appear and the main character, Benjamin Trotter, now in his late 50s and living on his own, finally gets his long awaited novel published. With themes of death, marriage, friendship, loyalty, tribal politics and everything else in between – oh, not forgetting Brexit of course – the novel has some laugh out loud moments as well as the more poignant ones.
And the least good bit?
Without doubt the ending, which is always hard to get right. A bit too pat and predictable but overall ‘Middle England’ is a great read. Don’t be put off by the Brexit backdrop – or should that be ‘backstop’? Enough. In future years we’ll look back at Coe’s novel as a time when the UK had a collective nervous breakdown and an identity crisis. How long the road to recovery will take, heaven only knows.
Back in January I joined the Board of a local radio station in West Cornwall, Coast FM. wanting to use my national broadcast experience in a local community way. While there are some obvious overlaps with TV broadcasting, radio is a different beast and mostly in a good way. Things can happen more quickly, interviews are more personable and people are generally less intimidated about taking part in radio chats.
My first experience of helping to get together a live radio event was at July’s ‘Live at the Lido’ pool re-opening party at the magnificant Art Deco Jubilee Pool in Penzance. The weather was kind, the pool packed, and there were talented musicians and dancers. The Coast FM broadcast team did a superb job and we are looking to work with the Jubilee Pool team on some future events. All in all a great community atmosphere and a chance to show off a snazzy new radio Gazebo too!
That’s it for now – over and out…