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Well, there’s the photographic evidence of the start of our weekend. Pretty heavy rain. Apparently it made a dreadful din on the roof of the caravan, but I slept like a log. It has its advantages, being able to switch off. I let M have a nice lie in due to his disturbed night and took the dogs into the meadow for early morning bouncing around. The buttercups have taken a battering but there are so many different types of grass in that meadow it still makes for a fascinating walk. My grandfather told me recently that one of the things he enjoyed at school was when they were sent off to identify as many grasses as possible. I think he was quite good at it. We did the same at primary school with wild flowers and trees, but I can only remember half a dozen grasses.

The dogs may have bounced through the waist high grasses but they still got soaked right through and spotted with buttercup petals and grass seeds. I’ve got a black sack full of wet towels to deal with, caravans don’t have radiators as such. Somehow Riley dries off so much quicker than Harvey and with less shivering involved.

Friday night was movie night. Wifi was down due to seem unknown technical issue at the site. So instead of selecting a Netflix film we thought it would be a fabulous idea to play a DVD. There’s a random selection permanently in the caravan, none of which we’ve actually watched. It took us half an hour to plug all the cables in the right place and then find the channel that cooperates with the DVD player. Reading a book was becoming an attractive option at this point, especially when M decided he would choose the first film. His choices invariably involve guns and someone blowing someone’s head off with one. Sure enough, ‘Sleepers’ fit the bill nicely. My choice was ‘Wild’ after the book of the same name by Cheryl Strayed. Nowhere near as good as reading the book but M did manage to stay awake for it, which is rare when it’s my choice of film. Riley snored noisily through the whole thing.

Saturday night may well have been movie night part two but a four hour long power cut prevented that. Our lights go over to battery back up when there’s no electric supply and since M was reading and I was crocheting at the time we didn’t realise why the men from the caravans nearby were all suddenly appearing with their rain coats on and torches to examine the electric hook ups. Although we have an electric kettle we also have a gas hob and luckily at the back of a cupboard an old fashioned whistling kettle. I can’t hear high pitched noises at all but the dogs had never experienced this kettle so they went slightly bonkers when it whistled. They turned their heads from side to side and then decided to get up and do a little bouncing around. Who needs ears when you have dogs?

I sort of finished the unfold cowl before I set off on Friday. The yarn ran out nine rows short which is quite a significant amount of cowl given that each row is treble height. This was yarn M treated me to in Wales without paying too much attention to what it cost. I would have ordered an extra ball but it’s quite pricey stuff and the cowl works perfectly well this height. I’m going to weave the ends in, leave it like this and keep it for myself although it probably won’t be cold enough for woollen cowl wearing for quite a while now.

I love the pattern and I’ve totally got the hang of it now without referring to the written instructions or chart for every row. With that in mind I decided to make one for E next. There isn’t a yarn shop close to where we were this weekend but there is a small selection of yarn within a card shop. The choice is a little strange. The nastiest cheapest acrylic you’ve ever seen, floor to ceiling in every colour they make, or a small shelf of nicer yarn. Of the nicer yarn I was pleased to see the very Harrap Tweed range I used for my Grandfather’s fingerless mitts recently. I’ve chosen a mossy, olive type of green for E, she likes green. Is it just me or does everyone start a new project with those little doubts creeping in? I worried about the tweed yarn distracting from the geometric nature of the raised pattern but after a short while I could see that it was fine.

There was no proper hiking this weekend. The weather was terrible and we had supplies to gather which inevitably involved quite long coffee breaks here and there. We also relocated our caravan to a long term pitch which will enable us to use the caravan more often whilst not costing the earth. Having tried to find a holiday let for a week, for four of us and two dogs, in my home county of Sussex recently I’ve come to realise that a twelve week long term caravan pitch will cost us about half of the cost for one week in holiday accommodation in Sussex. I’m trying to interest J in some of the activities available nearby too, abseiling, canoeing, hiking, cycle trails, swimming. OK maybe not abseiling, in fact I won’t mention that one, he’s a boy who likes to make up his own rules, in a stubborn kind of way rather than a rebellious one but either way it’s a worrying trait when it comes to matters of safety. In Barcelona, for example, he decided that bicycles shouldn’t have to wait for red lights. I’m not reminding him that he can apply for a provisional licence later this year either. With a bit of luck he will forget.

It sounds like we had the perfect weekend. I’ve just glossed over the fact that it took me twice as long to actually find the site on my own without a satnav, because M needed it on Friday to find an address he’s driven to half a dozen times before but is incapable of going anywhere without one. Having expressed my low opinion of satnavs in general I thought I’d prove that road maps are just as effective as they always were, after all, I used one the day after I passed my driving test to start a tour of the whole of Devon and Cornwall. How the heck did I manage that or all the trips since that one without a bloody satnav? I can only assume that it was easier to pull over and read your stupid AA route plan due to the much smaller volume of traffic on the roads in general. In my defence M did say that the AA had suggested a terrible route and that there was a much easier one. I may also have glossed over the fact that I did eventually manage to find a McDonald’s, had a much needed wee, bought a calming cup of coffee and sent a not so calm message to M’s phone about how I really could have done with the satnav just this once! Even with the ridiculous delay I managed to have three peaceful hours to myself before M arrived (after his stress free satellite navigated journey) and by then I had banished all negative thoughts and plans to insist we buy another satnav! I’m going to do that journey again and I’m going to do it without technology. So maybe J gets his stubbornness from me?

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