Search This Blog

Thursday, 24 November 2011

3 months of blog...

Just to say thanks for the people that are reading my blog. If no one bothered I would probably lose interest. Then again maybe I would just rant away to myself still anyway..

It is now 3 months since I started a blog, it's quite nice to be able to just 'write' down your rantings and have a diary of events to look back on.

The stats you get on the site intrigue me - I have now had over 10,000 visits from all over the world - some places I had to google (Lesotho?!), as I had never heard of them.

So thanks to the visitors from:-

USA
Canada
Lesotho
Singapore
Hong Kong
Denmark
France
Spain
Turkey
Malaysia
Kuwait
Lebanon
New Zealand
Australia
Ireland
Germany
Italy
Switzerland
Russia
South Korea
Chile
Macau
Philippines
Latvia
India

and of course the UK.

I haven't a clue what is of interest to people in Kuwait, Lebanon, South Korea, Phillipines etc but hopefully many little painted bell tents will now spring up all over the world

Thank you again

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

November Camping, a full year gone

Last weekend was the 12 month anniversary of first meeting some of the characters that now regularly come on the meets.

To celebrate we went back to Hopleys Campsite at Bewdley. The bottom field which I prefer is in the process of being landscaped so we were crow barred into the top field by the new loo block.
Very impressive loos but a strange waft seemed to emanate from it. It was said it was the drains, but I'm not so sure it's not Intents (Leeane) change of diet.

Must admit Intents Relum tent is looking good now (apart from the felt tip run on the side)


With half of Currys stock of fan heaters, radiators, clip on lights we were pretty toasty with EHU for the weekend


I took the Indian Lake as it's warm being polycotton, and the inner can be folded pretty small to keep the heat in overnight


Must admit it's a bit of a b&%^tard to pitch, but is solid once it's up. Flogs gave me a hand pitching it, I'm not sure whether this helped or not. As I arrived late Friday evening it was pitch black which didn't help. After an hour and a half of faffing, the tent and carpets was sorted, so we cleared off to the pub for a pie and chips.

Next day saw the arrival of the rest of the group, I like this bit as you can offer them a cup of tea, then hide back in your tent and watch them through a 1 inch gap in the window

Homer closely inspecting the fire pit, to see if there are any forensic signs of food left


Saturday was a trip to Bewdley. Some nice little shops, and a few charity shops where we bought up the entire book stock. Not ones to turn down bargains, some of the less obvious best sellers such as 'Circular walks around Vietnam', 'Fred West, I am innocent' and '101 ways to cook and prepare Seaweed' were snapped up by us. Snowy bought a nice black coat, which I'm sure in a few years she will grow into nicely


After we had scoured the charity shops, we decided coffee and cake was called for. Now this you would think would be easy.....after walking in and out of 3 tea shops, we found a real gem of a tea shop...with no one in it (warning bells, warning bells). So we settled on Grannystaps Victorian Tea Room

Walking in it was like one of them dreams when you pinch yourself and don't wake up. Anyway we decided to enter the victorian abyss....

Greeted by the waitress, I couldn't help thinking it wasn't exactly Greggs the bakers....(she looks more like Matt Lucas in Little Britain)


We read through the wide and varied menu (complete menu consisted of 2 types of cakes, gruel and kedgeree), spoilt for choice, we debated for all of 2 minutes and ordered 2 carrot cakes and 1 victoria sponge

I had obviously upset the victorian waitress as my victoria sponge did actually have the consistancy on one that had been kept in the cupboard since victorian times. They faired a bit better on the carrot cake apart from the cloves - safe to say they wont feel toothache for the next few years



With the scene perfectly set, amongst old artifacts from bygone days, and toys, ornaments and chinaware that would enhance any victorian parlour, we were totally taken back in time with the whole essence of the room. Enthralled by it all we started discussing swinging, group sex and useless ex partners.

The piece de resistance by far though was the 'complimentary' chocolate fudge!! It was melt in the mouth gorgeous and prompted us all to ask for some as we went to pay the bill. After finding out it was £6 for a 2 inch square piece in a tea caddy I went to the co-op instead and got a Star Bar.

The campfire drinking on the Friday proved to be probably the more 'lively' night. Annie (Tena Lady) protested that me and intents were slightly worse for wear, but judging by this pic (she in the centre) I think perhaps Annie had drank slightly more Vodka than she thought...


Gumball, always willing to join in, does his impression of a serial killer


Intents, with the Vodka goggles firmly in place decides she actually should have been one of the Pussycat dolls. And as I promised I wouldn't post the side profile pic (which is much more flattering), here she is


The nights got disrupted slightly as we were saddos, and needed our daily fix of I'm a Celebrity...Robbing Gumballs gadgets we had surround sound cinema and large flat screen entertainment (a 4 inch tv that made ant and dec sound like they were on helium)


The whole weekend was childless until Ali turned up (with van, dog, 3 month old child and tent to pitch., She's nothing if not ambitious)

So a cute Tom pic to make up for some of the more sleazy vile pics


Sunday morning saw a walk round the Wyre Forest in Blair Witch conditions



If you look really close at this one you can the top of Tena Lady's head peeping through. I think she maybe dropped something behind the bush (her pants) Barley was keeping guard


Over the weekend it seemed fitting to change a few of the nicknames (usually these are the forum names that people have joined the Camping chatroom with)

So now Floggit is known as Cyclops due to the rather image enhancing boil on his face


There was a way round this though, as he turned himself into a furry condom for the rest of the night


After a few observations 'Kite Lady' is now known as 'Tena Lady'


And lastly Intents is now known as 'Camel Toe' for obvious reasons...


After further thought, I think people will be upset if they never see the Leopard Print pj side profile shot...(sorry intents)


Next camping trip is now New Year...slightly scary as the house is blummin freezing as I write this, never mind sleeping under a piece of canvas....

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Started on Mr Men Tent

Finally got round to starting the painting of the Mr Men 4m Bell

As my nosy little daughter has already seen these pics I can post these.

Making a template for the poor pristine white tent


Firstly Mr Greedy on the door


Then Mr Rude...which caused a bit of upset, as evidently he is a newbie Mr Man, and not one of the originals. So we have an imposter guarding the front door (with a nice friendly BOG OFF!)


Then tonight I finished with Mr Bump - the hand lurking will eventually join to Mr Tickle but have got to mix stupid amounts of orange colour, as dylon don't do it. Painting the outline...


Progress so far. Bit of a nightmare manouvering this one as it's a 4m SIG, the groundsheet is always in the way


And close up Mr Bump 'filled in'


So will carry on and take pics as I progress, but won't post till after xmas as sneaky daughter will sneak on here

10th November

On the last panel - hooray! Just have the ironing and waterproofing over the paint to do then. Really like it, I want to keep it though!!!! I may have to do it all again on the 5m Bell....


Painting my 'signature' and all finished!

Looking forward to pitching it and waterproofing it before xmas somehow...

Monday, 31 October 2011

Historical lessons for all, courtesy of the Stonehenge Recce Meet

Just got back from Stonehenge Campsite after a short and sweet weekend to suss it out for our New Year camp.

The run up to the actual camp was a bit interesting in that due to rather evasive communications (phone, email, smoke signal and pigeon all failed miserably to get a response) with the campsite owner, a Mr William Badger Ferret (or some similar feral small animal hyphenated name), we finally got to the actual event date without a clue as to whether we had pitches, electric hook-up or a patch of grass.

The fields we couldn't use were great though...


Arriving in pitch black on Friday evening I drove through a picnic bench assault course and got the 3m pitched. Evidently Mr William Weasel Wormhead also sidelines in selling property, and the camping pitches we had could definitely be described as ‘bijoux, in a popular area (packed), glorious views (back of another canvas tent) with plenty of scope for improvement in a thriving part of the country.

Vacated and not looking quite so busy...


Very intimate...



Actually ignore all my comments above, this campsite is the BEST! Bloody Marvellous! Mr William Gerbil Otterfeet is the most amazing person I have ever met.
(That has taken care of my £5 reduction per night for the New Year, for posting a positive review)

I must admit that first impressions of the area the next day were mind-blowing. The sheep actually live in YURTS! Now that is posh. I couldn’t actually get close enough to park up and look around their glamped up set ups, as it would have meant the berlingo would have got rear ended on the A303. Not sure if they would take the sheepskin mat route with their carpeting, so perhaps have a few humans splashed on the floor that they stomp on to clean their messy little hooves.


As it was Halloween all the kids were bedecked in their evil costumes. I’m not sure if the adults were dressed up, as most have warts on their noses, grey lank camping hair, gaps in their teeth even in the height of the summer.


Annie appeared to have brought the whole costume set from the local theatrical company


Howard (Jerry) decided he didn't need a costume as his dad dancing was more than enough entertainment


Bert also joined in the festivities and accumulated some strawberry lances and fudge bars for his grateful owner (me)



Tents were all bedecked in their Halloween best.

Smoky's lovely Lizzy



Annies little 3m




No stopping Margo with the decorations (if you look closely there is a small pumpkin by the door


Intents looked like it got caught in a fight in the fancy dress shop


My ickle 3m bell






3 of us bought some strange bin bag spiders, which you fill will dead leaves then just pin to the floor. They took bloody ages and needed about 3 small children to fill them. I did scrape up every leaf in the area, but still ran out, so resorted to robbing all the bark from around the shrubs of nice Mr William Rabbit Beaverskins campsite


As I only had Saturday to look round the area we took a drive to Old Sarum (no I’ve never heard of it either, but the choice was this or the co-op).


Having a washed up Historian amongst us (Mwaaahhaaaahhhaaaaa she will complain bitterly now, although in fairness, part of her left boob did have a bit part in Time Team) we all traipsed round this fortress. The usual kind with 6 inch walls of grey stone sticking out of ground and a lot of signs with pictures saying ‘If it existed today it would probably look like blah blah….’ Where someone has made a random guess and got paid loads to do it.

Here is what they think it looked like


And this is what it actually looks like...bloody good imagination if you ask me


Jayne and Intents (famous washed up Historian) stopping to take advantage of ‘A Place to Gossip’


A picture for Nutgone who couldn’t join us, but does like this kind of thing – This was, as the sign stated, ‘The Castles Back Entrance’


Tina in full druid wear (no she doesn’t normally wear this outfit, but it might have proved useful to try and get a sneaky look at Stonehenge if we could convince them she wanted to marry a rock). The Tesco bag didn’t look too authentic though.
I’m sure if they had her standing on the bridge in 10AD (or whenever these history things happen) they could have eliminated the need for armed guards and weapons though


Tina actually has more kids than the Pied Piper, however her parenting skills don’t seem to improve however many attempts she has. Here is Asa, her youngest, rolling down the hill after she forgot his pushchair was perched on top….


As is usual at these educational landmarks there was a storytelling re-enactment duo. In honesty I wouldn’t have let the headless horseman anywhere near a child (who incidentally I didn’t know was supposed to be headless, so asked in a loud voice when I arrived ‘Why has he tucked his head under his cloak?’). He was the stuff of schoolyard wanted posters. The only kid at school that enjoyed drama. His long grey haired side kick wasn’t much better, not sure where they dreg these ‘entertainers’ (used very loosely) from, as they all give the impression that they hate bloody kids anyway. Perhaps it was government ‘back to work’ scheme and jobs are few and far between in Old Sarum

The headless pervert and his grandad


One last complaint, I can see of no reason why someone of 48 years old should not be allowed a kids passport to play the find a pumpkin game in the ruins. It’s ageist. I feel a letter of complaint to the National Trust is required and in recompense at least a voucher for some chocolate, which I was robbed of

Salisbury Cathedral somewhere in the distance (I never went any nearer the roads were busy, so went to the co-op instead), but evidently it is “very impressive…and gothic…and marvellous”….(quote from the washed up historian)


One provision of the trip was ‘DO NOT VISIT STONEHENGE!’, as we were ‘saving’ this for New Year. I felt we should all go together and see this as a group.
So on the way back from Sarum I totally disregarded my suggestion and pulled over and took some cheapo pics over the fence


the signpost


Margo & Jerry finding pennies were a bit short, decided to cash in and opened a fast food oulet onsite selling burgers to the needy




Homer was his usual well behaved and endearing self. He has actually advanced in his palate and decided to wander the campsite and chose his own dinner. He stared off raiding Annies cool box with a nice bag of semi frozen chilli con carne, then onto Smokys tent, where he found quite conveniently a full Victoria Sponge still in its packaging (in fairness he never ate the cardboard). And did try and finish off his set meal with a lump of stilton and crackers off the picnic bench, but ended up with me punching him on his nose
Revenge is sweet though, so he trashed the kid’s football instead


Although I was in agreement with his fondness for the chickens (loads of them on our meets are bloody chicken obsessive, I fail to see the attraction unless it’s in a good curry). He is the fuzzy bit here, chasing the fussy brown thing in front of him


And just so I don’t get sued, here’s the hairy little bastard still in one piece (before we tandoori’ed him)


Roll on New Year, I’m sure there’s another mound of rock somewhere waiting for us to visit, at least 2 chickens left (originally there were 5, one got eaten by a fox and Mr William Chickenhater CrapDriver ran over the other) and can’t wait to see Mr William Hamster Foxhole in the future (that’s another £5 off the campsite fee)

PS: I will try and get a picture of the co-op at New Year

Had to rob and post this pic off the camping forum - think it looks brilliant!

REVIEW: 'Camping under the Stars' 5m Bell Tent

Camping Under The Stars 12 months ago, Tommy approached me and asked if I would like to review one of his bell tents. No problem.. ...