Good morning everyone,
Afraid I missed the update last night as I was sorting data for the Isle of Wight, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, not an easy task as it had a lot of bits missing and some bits in it for Scotland.
Cracking the screen on my tablet yesterday morning wasn't the best of starts, I do have a backup but its usless in bright light, I managed to miss a couple of turnings as a result of not being able to see the map. An interesting day plodding around Bournemouth, even had a little bit of grief from a lady because I was going to the church. I need now to sort through and rename the images from the last few days, it will keep me quiet for at least a day.
I still haven't found a stop on the West of The Isle of Wight, no replies to the emails I've sent yet, hopefully something will turn up at the last minute.
Good evening eveyone,
Well rain stopped play on Saturday, wet all day, Sunday was my normal day off though I did popto the local church as I was warned it was locked during the week, I was also told that there was aVC holder in the churchyard, a plain grave and not easy to find. The Organist came out after the service and showed me where it was, A common problem and I've been guilty of it in the not so distant past, whilst we were talking he mentioned that they have five war graves, he was surprised when I showed him a list of eleven...
Today normal service resumed, into Christchurch and caught up with some of the memorials I'd missed when I was at Poole and Bournemouth, I'm sure I've mentioned before that these used to be Hampshire until 1974. Anyway, plodded on. the run back was nice, along the the seafront to Highcliff and then back on the road.
I had an interview with the local paper this afternoon, kindly arranged by Charles Fox from Richard Paul Russel, they design and sell the little weather station that I use and I'll be calling in for a cuppa on Thursday morning. Once all finished I headed back to the cats, they really are being spoilt by the staff here at New Milton Tesco :)
Tonight I had a visit from Jaidie Goode and her daughters, Willow and Isla (hopefully spelt right), I met them two years ago and Willow did a video blog with me, the SSAFA and RNLI mascots are named after them as well, they have certainly grom a lot!
Tomorrow weather permitting I head to Bournemouth.
Good evening everyone,
Yesterday was a pleasant run for the most part through the "Donkey Sanctuary", I saw more donkeys than horses I think. I was treated to breakfast at Hokleys Farm Shopin the Forest, thank you for that, I then plodded on to New Milton doing some graves and memorials on the way.
Last night was a bit of a wake up call after the quiet of Sandy Balls holiday resort, work started in the car park at about 2200hrs with disk cutters and pneumatic hammers, I gave up at around 0030hrs and with cats paws in my ears I went to bed.
This morning was a nice bright one, I grabbed a cuppa and having sorted and fed the cats headed out on a long trip, I think it was 36 miles in the end with a very near miss thrown in, another impatient driver forced me on to the edge of the road and an oncoming car off the road, there were a few choice words from both of us, I do have his registration...
One that did make me laugh out loud, I had a sporty hatch back slow behind me as a car was coming the other direction, as it passed he dropped a gear and shot past me wide, as he changed up I could hear was gears crunching as he couldn't get it in gear, guessing his ego was dented by this, if he looked in his mirror and saw laughing it probably dented it some more :)
I had a lot to do today and was thwarted by locked churches again and also by a funeral, on a plus side I did get to see a Mayfly "swarm" behind Sopley Church, I've seen them in small bunches before but never like this.
Tomorrow is forecast to be wet, if it dries up at any stage I'll head out locally.
Good afternoon everyone,
Internet access is none existent at my pitch on the camp site other than through my phone and that isn't lightning fast.
Well I tipped up at Sandy Balls on Monday morning literally with my eyelids propped open, not a good state to be in on busy roads! I hobbled in to the office to book in for three nights, debit card in hand ready to pay when a manager steps in and says”free”, thank you. Elaine Jones can you PM me your email address so I can send the money back you please?
I spent virtually the whole afternoon asleep on Monday, I stirred around 1800hrs had some food and a couple of beers and went back to bed until 0800hrs the following morning.
Having seen the forecast was not so good for today I headed out and did a few memorials and graves that needed to be done locally. I stopped near Ibsley, lot of birds around to have a look at and heard my first cuckoo in two years. It was then back to the cats and the trailer for a nap.
Smudge has been wandering around the place, playing like a kitten at times, Missy was initially off the lead but went into a neighbouring caravan and the couple weren't happy so has been on the flexi-lead since...
It has been nice to swap the noise of lorries (day and night) and the clank and rattle of shopping trolleys for few days, now I have to put up with Blakcaps, woodpeckers, blackbirds, owls etc. I was joined last night by Neil Berryman, fellow dragoon, bit of food and beer and sitting out under the moon, well before the cloud started to build, a good evening nattering about odds and sods.
I head to New Milton Tesco tomorrow, I stopped there nearly two years ago if I remember correctly, then on Friday the 27th May I cross to the Isle of Wight for a couple of weeks, I'm still waiting for the War Memorial data to come through so I can see what needs to be visited.
Argh, argh, argh, I've got a nail in my foot! Not me, the head chef at the Red Rover. This was my start to the day, had to sort out Jake after he stood on a three inch nail with his heel. This had a huge knock on effect for the pub today, chef down, landlady down to take jake to hospital...
I did what I could to help as I do, put paid to my planned forty mile trip though.
Thank you Elaine Jones for your kind donation for my three nights at Sandy Balls.
Another long day, out just after eight this morning, back in just after eight this evening, I headed out thinking I'd have the data downloaded checked etc, no a bit of tweaking and a new pannier rack and spare wheel holder...
I managed to borrow some money so that I can stop at the Sandy Balls campsite (itchy images in my mind!) for three nights, partly to recover and partly to do the Fordingbridge area, as long as there are no hidden costs I'll have a bit of R and R.
Another nice bit to end on tonight, thank you Chris and Jim, met them both at Plain Invasion, they put £20 behind the bar for me.
I'll hopefully move on to Sandy Balls Monday morning.
This is becoming a regular occurrence, it shouldn't be, I'm tired again. I was up early and headed to a burger van that regularly feeds me tea before I head out on the road after 9am. It was wet again over night and not an inspiring start to the day, the forecast was for it to improve, it has said that over the last couple of days and hasn't, I was in two minds whether to head out or not.
I did, I've been looking forward to today, not specifically the 12th May, but today, you know what I mean! A trip out in to and on to the New Forest! I think you al know I love my wildlife, well I got to see and hear a lot, most of you will find the next bet very boring.
Buzzards, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, stonechats, meadow pipits, swallows, screaming swifts (a summer sound for me!), house martins, willow warblers, chiffchaffs, and numerous others. I had hoped to see or hear a cuckoo. I also found Red Campion and Yellow Flag flowering. May is also a time for me to see foals and to my surprise some baby donkeys, not sure what the "baby" term is for these.
It was to be a long day, I averaged 4mph and covered 44 miles, more than I expected and I crawled back into the Red Rover for a much needed cuppa at around 1745hrs. On the rounds today I called in at a large holiday complex called Sandyballs, now I wonder what the tweet would be like? Anyway, I needed a few days to cover the Fordingbridge area, I had previously emailed them in April but not heard anything back, it isn't just to cover the area, I need a few peaceful nights, I'm on the edge of the A36 and traffic runs all night to and from Southampton. The best they can do is £15+10% discount, far more than I can afford. I think I'll havr to find another Tesco so I can cover the South-west of Hampshire.
Tomorrow I head back to Beamer so they can have a look at the data from todays run after the update, Saturday I head out again on a run of similar length I suspect...
Feeling shattered tonight, probably the fact I had a rough night last night with the legs last night, Missy also woke me early wanting to kill everything! A little damp overnight though not as wet as forecast thankfully, some good heavy showers though. I'm heading back to Tramper tomorrow to see if we can come up with a better idea for the mud guards.
Thank you Linda Mercy for the Greene King Gift Card, its much appreciated.
A late update tonight, I've had a few visitors. Yesterday was a day off, ish, I repaired the gate at the pub and then sat inside as the temperature reached 25c, a touch to hot for me and Missy, Smudge was in his element though he will be losing fur rapidly from now own - fur ball warning!
Today was a day of sitting around at Tramper, not making tea and coffee (dire at this!) and trying not to get in the way. I need to get the scooter ugraded and then test the upgrades, this might be delayed as the forecast for tomorrow is dire and Wednesday, well not sure what the weather is doing yet though I may spend the day at Tramper and do some work on the trailer and scooter, I need to do some patching with the paint that Pronto Paints sent me and I need to replace some of the very rusted nuts and bolts on the box that covers my electrics...
It was nice to see Andy and Georgina Wedge tonight, not so sure about the kids :P also Beth Overton-Hore again, Smudge loves her to bits and ignores me totally when she is here, traitor yet again he is ;)
Anyway, more tomorrow, well if I'm dry...
Good afternoon everyone,
I had hoped to get an update out last night, I was shattered and after a posting on Facebooks "Spotted in Andover" I had people coming to see me and the cats, there were a couple of negative comments as normal but generally positive.
I had to cover a lot of ground this week and made the most of the good weather and I clocked up 127 miles in five days, the average again was 5mph, I've no idea how many graves and memorials I've done, I've got a backlog after reinstalling the laptop.
One of the nice things this week has been the weather, its been glorious and has a knock on effect for the wildlife, there have been loads of butterflies on the wing, Brimstones, Orange-tips, Small Whites, Large Whites, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. I was also privalaged to see a Muntjac deer and Brown Hare as well as my first Swifts of the year, a bird that makes my summer, I love hearing them scream around the place.
I'm back in West Wellow for a few days, Tramper want to do an update on the scooter, I want a couple of bits making to help with keeping me going (and clean), these can be done over time and aren't urgent.
Yesterday was an interesting day, I did a run to the south of Andover and got as far as Stockbridge before I headed back up the along the River Test, there is a cycle path that runs from Stockbridge to Andover, brilliant for me, it meant I didn't have to travel along a dangerous road. I'd gone a couple of miles and was brought to an abrupt stop by a tree down and blocking the path! I didn't want to head back and there was no way onto the road beside me. I phoned the council to report the problem, I also mentioned that the trees had been down for a long time, walkers and cyclists had made a new path around the branches to a point where they could get over the trunk, not that easy for me. I sat there wondering what on earth I could do when I heard mens voices, there was a golf club across the road, not marked on the map, they helped me lift the scooter over the trunk and I was on my way again.
After visiting the village of Leckford and the church which had a sign boasting "open daily", it wasn't, I headed back on to the track, no more than half a mile on I was met by two very large trees down and blocking it completely, or so I thought, again walkers and cyclists had made a path around the back of the roots, it was a very tight fit and flippin' awkward but I eventually managed to get round, puffing and panting I phoned the council to report it again, this time I was put through to the department in charge of the trees in the district, when I explained everything the lady thought it was hillarious that I was struggling to get along the track! I was not impressed to say the leaset!
After that I decided at the next possible point I will risk the road, I did and I managed to get back to Andover with three quarters of an hour to spare before I had to meet the Mayor.
Good evening everyone,
Well the web server that hosts my websites is still down, a bit frustrating as I want to get the local press notified and everyting I need them to look at is on there.
Friday: It was a jaunt across the county from West Wellow to Weyhill to the west of Andover ready for the start of Plain Invasion. It was nice to meet up with old friends and to make some new ones. The day itsef was cold and cloudy although it was a reasonably easy run I still had to stop and get a charge in the local pub in Greateley as the cold was affecting the batteries, besides we all needed a warm in front of the fire.
Saturday: Up around 8am, a rough 8am that is, a few beers the night before made the eyes a touch glazed. Once everyone was fed by Dave in the field kitchen it was find your seats in the various vehicles, I was in an Austin Champ but there were Land Rovers of all shapes and sizes, a DAF truck, a four tonner, a Matador and a few civilian vehicles to boot. It was a day for trundling across the plain sticking to the areas that we were allowed, a day of enjoyng the scenery with tea/coffee breaks thrown in, a wonderful if slightly dusty day in the Champ. We also too the time to say a few words about Danny, I never met him though he was a major part of the group by what was said before his ashes were spread at the Bustard. At the end of the day it was back to Weyhill for tea and biscuits - not!
Sunday: A later than planned set off I think, it was to be long day, around sixty miles in seven hours, the usual tea/coffee stops and a lunch stop thrown in as well. Again we headed out across the plain in convoy, a couple of minor hiccups with a couple of vehicles early on, soon sorted and on again, today is the day when, if you want to you can at the end of the day take the vehicles through the rough stuff, not every one does and the area can be bye passed easily. Myself and the rest were treated to muddy, wet and at times deep water on the Valley run, one Land Rover had a very lucky escape when it hit a deep bit of water a bit to quick. It was soon dragged out and dried out and on its way again. On returning to the campsite there was no power to the trailer and a bit of a panic on my part, I had hoped to head out on Monday morning and do the graves and memorials in the north-west of Hampshire before heading to Andover Tesco!
Monday: To add to my problems of not had anything charged the web server was down, not drastic but important. I headed into Andover via a couple of villages so that I could get everything sorted, charged and back to normal. As the server was down I thought I would reinstall the laptop, an easy way of clearing everything that's no longer needed. At home it used to be an easy job, nothings easy in the trailer IT wise, installed Widows, it died, reinstalled Windows, it died, another two times this happened. A bad Windows update was the problem, tell the system not to install it and everything went fine! Luckily it was an easy day, Andover town only, I did have a little bit of grief from the vicar (I think that is her title) at Bridge Street Methodist Chapel, apparantly I should have let here know I was coming...
Tuesday: Today was going to be a long day, the forecast was good and I had a lot of ground to cover, it also turned out to be frustrating day with almost all the churches I visited being locked. In the end I did get most of what I wanted to do done, all be it at an average of 5mph (36 miles covered).
Tomorrow I'll head out south and west covering some of the ground I wanted to do Monday
Its been a day of sitting around waiting for the scooter to be serviced and checked, nothing happened though, where they make the scooter the are overloaded with work and are desperatly trying to find extra workforce to help meet demand! As I'm a low priority I helped with the counting and seperating of cables whilst sitting there.
Yesterday was a busy day, a four car smash at the bottom of the village stuffed things up for a lot of people by the sound of it, not sure what happened and hopefully nobody was hurt. I also had a visit from Neil Berryman with some bits of aluminium for the trailer and a new tablet after my Hudl died, saying that Andy Wedge has managed to revive it, it needs a part replacing, a backup at least...
I've also had some bits arrive from Le Mark and Pronto Paints so that I can patch some of the paintwork and stick things with velro again, thank youi everyone.
Something I realised over the weekend was that for the graves Hampshire includes the Isle of Wight, I've requested the Memorial information from the Imperial War Museum and dropped an email to Wightlink, they helped me a couple of years ago when I was travelling the coast and today they have emailed me to say they would be happy yet again to help me out, so I'd like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has sent eqipment,, helped or donated to the charities.
I had a visit from Beth Overton-Hore last night, just got back from the London area after training people how to shoot a bow from horseback, that would make the front and back of a horse dangerous and now the middle! Smudge instantly was on her knee and purring gently, I didn;t get a look in, he was a traiter for an hour ;)
Tomorrow back to Tramper, hopefully via a shower, I'll try to make myself useful by sitting in a quiet corner and not getting in the way.
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