Caravan Diaries

Caravan Diaries 24th August cont’d


We potter around the caravan getting the toilet system up and running with the required liquids blue and pink, and get off for a walk around 4pm. Down on the beach we set off in the direction of Bempton Cliffs. In the distance we can see Gannets spiralling around the cliff face. Bempton Cliffs is a wonderful RSPB reserve atop a 300 foot chalk cliffs. Quite spectacular. At the right times of year you can see Gannets, Fulmars, Razorbills and Puffins. On the beach I make some images of old concrete structures gradually sinking into the sands and being eroded slowly by the sea. Apparently concrete never sets ! This coastline is steadily being eroded by the tides. There’s little anything can be done. Second World War pillboxes hastily erected from which we’d have shot at the Nazis as they stormed up the beach to buy their buckets and spades from the beach cafe are now sinking into the beach. Up on the cliffs and in the fields  more pill boxes wait their fate. Time is an abstract concept.



Not an Anthony Gormley !
Harry my faithful Border Terrier rolls in something decomposed. Last time we were here he managed to sniff out a dead seal with which to sweeten himself up for the ladies with. This time it’s something similar but less recognisable. He stinks to hell and back.
When we get back my caravan neighbour from Preston has been in to Filey and had a new tattoo done. This one is on the front of his neck over his adam’s apple . It looks bright and fresh but without looking closely I can’t make out what it is. I might pluck up the courage to ask him If i can take his portrait. Since I would have thought most people have tattoos with the intention of them being seen by others I can’t see why he’ll object. Nothing to lose by asking except maybe a few teeth ? Now we know his name is Phil we find ourselves sandwiched between two Phil s. A Phil sandwich.
Later Phil on the other side kindly comes round with his TV and lets us test our aerial and booster box to confirm that we do need an updated digital setup for our own caravan.


The wife wishing she was in Rio for the Olympics !


Caravan Diaries – 23rd August

Caravan Diary 23rd August 2016

We walked on the beach all the way round the bay to Filey. I left the cameras back at the caravan. I knew that i’d regret it because there’s always images to be found out there. I wanted a hands free day though, just me, the wife and the dog. Was it Winogrand said in an interview something like ‘ there are no pictures when I don’t have my cameras’ ?


Over at Filey the Lifeguard Station was quite busy. Two youngsters were sat on the front with their feet in the ‘Weaver Fish Bucket’. I was stung by a Weaver fish in the sea at Scarborough back during the weekend of August 16th 1977. I remember this because a weaver fish sting is extremely painful and the death of Elvis Presley the same time will always be associated by me with the sting of a weaver fish. Apparently they came over from the Continent during the hot summer of 1976 and it appears they’ve been on our shores ever since. Funny that we’re on the East Coast which voted overwhelmingly for Brexit. Is it me who sees a little irony here ? Weaver Fish Out. The lifeguard told me they’d had ten that day  ! …………..ouch !


This little bastard burrows in sand waiting to sting unsuspecting children paddling in the sea !

The wife thought I’d put a fiver in my pocket and I thought she had. Neither of us had but fortunately I had just enough change for two mugs of tea. The Cornettos would have to be missed.

We’ve got some neighbours now to the right of us. They’re from Preston and probably a little older than us. He’s heavily tattooed, on his legs, all down his arms and back with blue stars on his bald head. He’s been struggling to get a signal on the caravan TV, the wife likes her TV he tells me.


24th August 2016

The heavily tattooed man from Preston, Phil has spent the best part of the last two days trying to get his TV working for his wife who looks to have had a stroke so can’t move around much. The telly is her lifeline. I’m a helpful person so I get involved. I’m a little bit reticent because I don’t want to get in above my current understanding of caravan television setups. Besides my man from Preston looks like he could get a bit fierce if I unwittingly punch a hole in the side of his caravan. Maybe it’s the tattoos ? In trying to solve the problem he’s been off to Filey and bought a TV off some bloke in a house for forty quid and a new Universal Remote from the supermarket. All I suspect somewhat unnecessary. After a bit of prodding and poking not to mention some thought I find the booster box in the cupboard of his caravan, switch it on and suggest they coax connect their outside aerial into their TV via the booster box. Hey presto it worked and ten minutes later Phil’s wife comes round to thank me profusely, her face lit up like a Christmas tree. They were unaware of this booster box in the cupboard.



Caravan Diaries continued….. Six Degrees of Separation Theory

Caravan Diaries 22 August 2016 contd ……..

I see no ships ? ………


The night before we came out in our caravan we were at the Sister in Laws to celebrate our niece’s A level results. There’s something dodgy about her English Literature mark, or rather everyone else’s in the class. They’ve all been given the same blanket mark of a ‘D’. How is it possible that all the class have got the same mark ? I smell a bureaucratic rat ?
My niece’s boyfriend is at the party too and his parents have been invited along. Chesterfield can be a bit of a village at times and as soon as I walk in I think I recognise boyfriend’s father.Turns out we went to the same school together and although he is older than me I was in the same class as his sister Jane. A feisty character she was but I got on quite well with her. As the night wears on we reminisce about some of the teachers we were taught by. Some of the teachers were quite vicious, quite violent, overseen by the Headmaster Squadron Leader Norman Crookes DFC. There was Mr Buckley who’d been a boxer. One time I witnessed him thump five boys around the history class. There was ‘Rat Wells’, you didn’t wanna mess with him. Mr Windle ( whose wife and father successfully won Bruce Forsyth’s Generation Game ) called his means of corporal punishment ‘Abigail’ apparently; ” you boy it’s time to meet Abigail’. Headmaster Squadron Leader Norman Crookes DFC liberally dispensed the cane. He saw it as a means of some much-needed trans-formative power, boys into men kind of thing. One of my mates got the cane and I remember him showing me the two red stripes across the top of his backside. Having shot down a number of enemy bombers in the Second World War I suppose Norman he felt entitled.
Perhaps William Rhodes Secondary School’s main claim to fame though was being the school attended by Paul Burrell ( a few years older than me ) the Butler to HRH Diana Spencer. Her who provided Prince Charles with an Heir and a spare only to lose her life in a nasty car accident in a Paris underpass while on a night out with Dodi Fayed the son of the bloke who owned Harrods. Burrell wrote about his time at William Rhodes and Norman Crookes DFC in his memorable critically acclaimed auto biography called ? ………..erm I forget !!  Not long before this seismic event in our history, Diana and Dodi visited ( as reported by the gutter press ) a medium Rita Rogers who lived  the other side of Chesterfield directly across  the road from my father in law. When the press got wind of this Rita Rogers medium story they were knocking on my father in law’s door wanting to know what he’d seen ?  He’d seen the Harrods helicopter and that was about it. I love these haphazard connections !!
Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

Today I don’t think we’ll be doing much at all. We don’t need to go anywhere and we don’t need to be anything.

The wife not needing to go anywhere or be anything….


Caravan Diaries

Caravan Diaries – Monday 22 August 2016


Our very first caravan trip in our little Bailey Ranger 380/2. My goal was to tow it to Filey without mounting any curbs, hitting any bollards, knocking over any old ladies etc etc. I set off a bit too quick down Newbold with Kate pressing the imaginary breaks on her passenger side and clinging to the passenger door. By the time we’d got to the M1 I’d managed to slow down a bit and thus started getting used to the correct towing speed, breaking distances and slow accelerations. My passenger settled down and stopped shrieking instructions at me as well, bonus !

We got to Filey in about two and a half hours which was surprising as Kate pointed out that normally we get stuck behind caravans and it’s about the time it normally takes, probably because this time we were in front and cars were stuck behind us !


The view

We’re at a small site at Reighton Sands, just around the bay from Filey itself. We’ve got a good view over the sea and today there’s a wonderful light summer breeze. Just right. Out neighbours in a Peugeot Motor Home are Phil and Sandra. They’re from South Wingfield just down the road from Crich Stand ( a few miles from our home ). Phil used to be a Textile Engineer and Sandra worked in a Benefit Office. Latterly they’ve worked for the Camping and Caravanning Club as site wardens. Now because of health reasons they cover for other wardens who need a break from the season. Phil has a ‘dodgy ticker’. They’re as nice a couple as you could wish to meet and I feel somewhat reassured that there’s an expert next door only too happy to share some hints and tips to this fresher.

Brenda the site owner is pleasant; we’ve stayed here before. When I phoned to book I told her we’d been before and she remembered Harry our Border Terrier. Her private garden has a largish Carp pond and an eclectic mix of character planters. Round the back she keeps hens and a couple of Indian Runner ducks which she tells me aren’t good for much at all. Nevertheless there’s an Indian Runner Duck Association based in Wales. Round the back there’s some large outbuildings which in the times I’ve been there I’ve never seen open so they might be some kind of weapons storage or drugs factory but are most probably caravan storage. Brenda’s not in the best of health. Managing the site since the death of her husband has not been easy and this could well be her last season.


Brenda’s planter.

I didn’t have a brilliant night’s sleep. My back was aching and my bed is about 5 inches too small. Worse, Harry spent the night on and off scratching his belly with his back leg drumming on the caravan floor. I had to apply some Sudacrem on him twice to get him to settle down. Kate has put him back on the Piriton today. She’s a bit upset I didn’t sleep too good in my first caravan night and has set about thinking a solution. It soon happens. By using the seat backs we can build an extension up from the floor and I can stretch out. I think it will work. I wake up at sunrise for a piss and as we’ve not got the cludgy water system working yet I step outside. The sun coming up over the sea is fabulous, all pinks and oranges and blues. I love these sea views.