We’re still here in Roslin. We booked in for nine nights. Under normal circumstances we wouldn’t consider staying anywhere for nine nights, except perhaps a fabulous Spanish resort with a pool, but things have changed round here. We’ve got six months to do as we like so we can stand still and consider the world from a different angle. Very slowly. We’re enjoying a few days of peace after all the high speed preparations for leaving the house. It’s good being somewhere that is so near home yet so very unlike it. It’s surprising how different a place looks from another viewpoint.

Speaking of views, we are parked on the pitch closest to the cludgie. This is a Certificated Location (CL) so there is only one cludgie and it’s a bit like the old fashioned outside one we had when I was a child. Bare, chilly and with a flush that sounds like the opening of the Thames Barrier. Of course we have our own loo on board but using it constantly means making more trips to the chemical toilet disposal point, which is right outside the cludgie. It makes more sense, when it’s not raining or the middle of the night, to just use the aforesaid provided one and cut out the middle man – I speak figuratively here of course.

The best bit of being pitched right next to the facilities is the possibility of people watching. As the weekend approached we were joined by four large caravans and the potential for observing the behaviour of tuggers (aka caravanners) in their natural habitat presented itself to us.

The first bit of excitement came when a caravan pulled in after dark, pitched up, rolled out his electric cable and plunged us into total darkness. I went outside to find out what had happened only to discover that he was clearly a novice to the ways of electric hook ups and stood wringing his hands in anxious disbelief. So we did what you should always do when something technical doesn’t work. We switched it off and on again and our van lit up like Blackpool illuminations. Ok I’m exaggerating but you’d be disappointed if I didn’t, no?

Watching the gentle comings and goings of other campers is a pleasant occupation… usually.

The second bit of excitement came when another caravan rolled in and got all set up just across from our pitch. I was sitting nursing a mug of coffee and quietly hoping that they were going to put an awning up – that being the absolute best of entertainment a camp site has to offer – when Shirley slammed her coffee down and muttered “That’s it! I hate him already!” I was surprised, nay even shocked. Shirley is generally an easy-going person and I couldn’t see what had upset her. Just out of my line of vision it seems that the wife of the newly arrived couple had been reversing the car around the side of the neatly pitched caravan and her partner had started waving his arms and remonstrating with her because it wasn’t perfectly in line. When she finally got out of the car she just meekly accepted his criticism and came pottering over to fill up their water container. Happy holidays folks!

So, we’ve been here five days and we’ve filled it as follows:

Numerous dog walks, in which Poppy has been driven completely loopy by the sight of young rabbits darting through the woods. She has tried so hard to catch one, even pushing her head and shoulders right into a rabbit hole, but fortunately for all concerned she has failed.

Trips to Peebles and Moffat in search of sunshine when we discovered that we were in the only bit of the UK under heavy cloud. Just to be clear, we’ve still got the car with us – we didn’t take 7.4 metres of motorhome out each time.

By the river in Peebles
In Peebles we had a fabulous walk along the river side followed by ice cream on the high street.
In Moffat we had a fabulous walk along the river side followed by lunch in The Star Inn and then … you guessed it, ice cream on the high street.
In Moffat we had a fabulous walk along the river side followed by lunch in The Star Inn and then … you guessed it, ice cream on the high street.

Never let it be said that we don’t know how to have a good time.

On Saturday morning Adrian and Cara came to visit and Adrian and I set about unpacking the trailer and repacking it with the bikes inside. I had had a wonderful idea to brace them in using a shower curtain pole. Pity it wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped but all was not lost. The amount of stuff we’re carrying in there proved enough to brace them to within an inch of their lives. Nothing is moving in there. The only real challenge will be getting the bikes out again.

Later on Saturday we were joined by our good friends Derek and Mary for a tour of Rosslyn Chapel, a gentle walk along the old railway line and dinner in the local pub The Original. The food there is really excellent and the service friendly and relaxed. The only small issue, and it was small, was the sound of a Ceilidh band tuning up and practising ready for an evening of fund raising. I found it a little difficult to concentrate on our comfortable pals’ chat because the bass player appeared to be in a different key to the rest of the band. The others tried to convince me that I was hearing the bass player from the piped music that was simultaneously coming through the sound system above our head but I was not convinced. Me picky about music? Not at all.

This balloon was floating directly above the motorhome on Saturday
This balloon was floating directly above the motorhome on Saturday

Tomorrow this blog is being transported to a different server. I am leaving it in the very capable hands of Adrian. The plan is to eventually work on the layout of the blog so you don’t have to scroll up and down to read anything other than the latest post. Watch this space.

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