Good Friday morning

Good morning all.  Well I am back at home after my week away in the Rendlesham forest and were we ever blessed with the weather it was wall to wall sunshine.  However, there was a cold wind blowing which meant it wasn't very warm but what do you expect in April.  The nights were particularly cold and we did feel very sorry for those in tents as the temperatures dropped down close to freezing at night.  We however were fully centrally heated and kept the van at around 20 degrees which was nice and comfortable.  One thing is now without doubt and that is that I am allergic to pine pollen as within 12 hours of arrival I was completely breathless.  Fortunately the vans medical box contained a packet of Piriton and I started taking one every 4 hours, they made me a bit dopey but at least I could breath.  The first morning we drove into Framlingham and went to a country fair but sadly I was very under par so I didn't really make the most of it however things improved as the Piriton kicked in.  Having Shiona, a very well qualified nurse, with me confirmed what was going on as she observed what was happening to me and realised that I was obviously suffering.  Anyway once on the antihistamines I was fine though I did do lots of sleeping.  Our routine was to go somewhere in the mornings and then have lunch out then back for a sleep for me and a couple of hours of reading for Shiona.  Supper was had in the van and Shiona had brought some delicious stuff with her which only required heating up.  The first night we were tired so it was fish and chips from the local chippy.

One day we had lunch at the British Larder which was truly stunning and we are hoping to attend one of their cookery demonstrations later in the year.  As part of our meal we had some celeriac which was the nicest I have ever had and not in the least watery.  We asked the waitress if she would find out how it had been prepared and she returned from the chef to tell us that it had been baked in a salt crust - this is something I must try as it made a big difference.  We also had a meal at the Butley in Orford where I had a dozen oysters followed by grilled squid with garlic mayonnaise.  It was nice enough to eat outside if you could find shelter from the siberian wind.  In fact now I come to think of it we ate fish or seafood of some kind everywhere except the British Larder.  

The dogs got their legs walked off and had a wonderful time.  Her two little Westies started the week white but came home a gentle shade of brown having discovered rolling in the sand as a great pastime.  One morning we went to shingle street which is a lovely beach with miles of shingle which was dotted with sea kale and sea peas.  The kale was just in bloom so we picked a small amount to have for supper one night and once cooked it looked just like purple sprouting broccoli but with much more flavour.  There is nothing like a bit of foraged free food is there?

Our journey back was uneventful until we reached the approach to the QE2 bridge where there was the usual 10 mile tailback because of the toll booths.  Needless to say I have a monumental amount of washing to keep me occupied as I have all the bed linen from the van as well as clothes and towels and tea towels to wash.  I also brought home the big bed cover which is too huge for my machine to cope with so I will take that to the local laundry and get that done there.  The island bed is a bit on the hard side so I had bought a memory foam topper to put on it and that made it much more comfortable.  The outside of the van is very dirty so I will take a couple of days some time and go and wash it down with a pressure washer.  Though it is stored in a barn it is still open to some elements and birds.  This is the one disadvantage of not storing the van at home I have no time to clean and polish it except on holiday and who wants to spend their holiday washing a caravan!!!!

The boys have taken very good care of Mike and he looks quite well so now all we are waiting for is the hospital to get their finger out and get on with mending his hernia so that he can mobilise again. The fridge is full and all the stores have been kept up to date so I only have a very small shopping list for today and I am assuming that Tesco will be open even though it is a bank holiday.  Ok the sun is now up so it is time to get the washing started but at least I can get it all dry outside and safely stowed away for our next trip.

I hope you too are enjoying lots of sun and have a really lovely weekend with whatever you have planned.
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