Life at the end of the road

September 25, 2012

Meanwhile in the ‘Village’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:04 am

Well that’s it then, the first day at college out of the way, only another 67 to go Sad smile I’m not going to whine for I’ve got a job, I’m getting paid and I’m quite cosy here in the little caravan Smile A couple of glasses of red wine to help my back pain and a late start tomorrow at http://www.stc.ac.uk/ , things could be a lot worse, I could be in the ‘halls of residence’ Smile 

True to form I never slept well last night, or at least I slept just fine until around 3:30am when the Merlot wore off, after which I tossed and turned until 5:30 before getting up to go and shower in the ‘Village’ shower block.

Of course once I’d encountered the electronic combination lock on the toilets in the pishing rain, dark and north easterly gale my ageing eyesight failed to accurately  differentiate between  the numbers and I had to return ‘home’ for my glasses. Don’t get me wrong ‘the Village’ is probably most folks idea of a swell place to stay and I can’t fault it, clean, well run, central and secure but it’s just not my ‘cup of tea’.

 001

Northumbrian Leisure’s http://www.northumbrianleisure.co.uk/ caravan park almost on the sea front at South Shields is just luvverly, but it’s just not what an ageing crofter with a 26 year old Land Rover and 40 year old caravan needs, especially at £25 per night Sad smile  I wouldn’t even mind the £25 so much but after parting with £500 as a deposit the clowns even asked me for the £1165 balance on arrival !!!!!!! Aye that’ll be right I thought, it’s almost October there’s like three other caravans and motorhomes pitched here in the rapidly diminishing ‘season’ and these clowns want me to part with another grand or so Smile Smile Smile I know Raasay is out in the sticks but I’ve not just landed off a banana boat Smile OK, their normal clientele may well drive new and expensive German marques but from what I can see there are precious few of them about at this time of year Smile

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In fact, from what I saw today there was precious little of anyone around at this time of year, the amusement parks being closed and the beaches deserted.

 

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I know that I said I’d given up swearing but

 

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you’d think that they’d be trying to encourage folk to stay here and not screw them before they’d settled in.

The ‘Hairy Bikers’

They’re not hairy and they are not bikers (at least as far as I know) but our first day at college was ‘eased’ by a pair of tutors that bounced of each other with an almost choral lilt peculiar to the industrial north east and Welsh valley’s Smile Much of what they said (to some of us at least) was akin to teaching ‘granny how to suck eggs’  but it was delivered in such a way as to never seem dull or boring. OK, I now know how to use a micrometer and vernier calliper once more.

    File:Vernier caliper new.png

 

however it was delivered in such a fashion as to prevent the mind wandering off elsewhere Smile

Gosh I fell asleep at the wheel there, it’s now 5:45 and I’m going back to bed for an hour, the wee caravan is rocking in the fierce onshore wind and the rain is still battering the windows. Radio 4 is telling me that there’s been a months rain here overnight but I have to say that it’s nothing compared to what we can normally  receive on Raasay at this time of year. 

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25 Comments »

  1. Stormy here last night as well Paul, did give you a thought or two as i wndered how things where in the van. Yes it is really 7.55am and I am up, had a rotten night and decided at 2am that enough was enough so got up and have spent the last few hours scanning in many of the Thomson Brochures I have so I can at least get them organised for addition to the website. Still missing a few but hopefully these will become available on Ebay or elsewhere in the next wee while.
    Anyway have a good day and keep yer chin up!
    Can’t believe the cheek of the site asking for the balance in full on your arrival, certainly puts me off these bigger sites by their overcharging all year round! Think we may have to start a list of sites that offer a decent pitch and amenities for a decent price!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — September 25, 2012 @ 6:59 am

    • Hi Graham,

      Can’t believe the cheek of the site asking for the balance in full on your arrival, certainly puts me off these bigger sites by their overcharging all year round! Think we may have to start a list of sites that offer a decent pitch and amenities for a decent price!

      This shower at Sandhaven http://www.northumbrianleisure.co.uk/sandhaven_index.php want £25 a night for a single person and refused to give any reduction but Invermill http://www.invermillfarm.com/Invermill/Welcome_to_Invermill.html knocked me £2 off without even asking when they found out I was alone 🙂 so that only cost me £15 and it’s a much nicer site.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

      • and the say the Scottish are tight! (;
        Invermill does look great and having priced it for both Kev and Hazel and ourselves it is one that will be on our list for 2013!
        Kev was looking at Powfoot near Annan for the October break so we may well be heading there for the ‘tattie hols’. We have been out to the site for a look in the past but never actually stayed there, priced at £15 a night for the October month it is worth looking into.
        we are off to Annan to visit family this weekend, Joans cousin who we visit regularly so looking forward to it.
        All the best, Graham

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — September 27, 2012 @ 4:02 am

  2. the whole balance at one go is a massive cheek … a week at a time would have been more realistic

    Comment by cazinatutu — September 25, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    • Hi Caz,
      the whole balance at one go is a massive cheek … a week at a time would have been more realistic

      I don’t even mind paying a month up front, but imagine, I’ve given them £500, that’s twenty nights in advance and they want over a thousand pounds extra, I’m in the wrong job 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  3. Hey Paul, how about sharing the training on the micrometer and vernier calipers, it’s been a while since I was ‘told’ how to use them properly…

    Comment by Tigger — September 25, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    • Hi Tigger, I’ll see what I can do, one thing that the instructor didn’t mention was that when reading a vernier gauge you can get a good idea of what the vernier scale will read by estimating the distance between the .1mm segments. Like if it’s just past then expect a lower reading than if it’s almost up to the next mark. Probably sounds obvious but not to everyone.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  4. You could get a wee B&B for that money. With a good breakfast, think of your back. I admire your courage in this weather in that van. You could end up in the Baltic!

    http://www.anniesguesthouse.co.uk/book-online.shtml

    £25 a night must be better than where you are.

    Comment by Duncan — September 25, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    • Hi Duncan,

      I know I whine greatly about ‘the village’ but it’s far better than any B&B in the toon. I’m surrounded by familiar stuff in my ‘wee hoose’ on wheels and I’ve a ‘sea view’ 🙂 The ‘Old Girl’ is parked just beside me and unlikely to loose her spotlights or wheels 🙂 The college is within walking distance and the only thing I can hear is wind and rain (which I’m used to) and not cars, trains or drunks. I just hate being ‘ripped off’ and I’m seriously thinking of moving to https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF8&cid=16196358278607976410&q=Lizard+Lane+Caravan+Park&iwloc=A&gl=GB&hl=en

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      • how much does Lizard Lane charge?

        Comment by cazinatutu — September 25, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

      • how much does Lizard Lane charge?

        much less than this place but it may mean using the Land Rover as its further away. I don’t mind walking but the weather is pish 😦 Sure I could claim mileage but I hate driving and the ‘Old Girl’ is not the best of commuter vehicles, granted people do tend to get out of my way but she’s a pig to park 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  5. Well you made it through the first night/day mate, and your first weekend is 1 day closer (presume its like school and you get weekends off).

    Comment by mike — September 25, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    • Hi Mike, yup, we get the weekends off so expect a visit sometime 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  6. Cannot believe you are paying £25 a night to stay at that place – and them wanting the whole amount in advance is unbelievable; hope you didn’t pay it! I admire your pioneering spirit, but surely there are other places more welcoming for your stay in the North-East?

    Comment by Sue from Sallachy — September 25, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    • Hi Sue, it’s not so much the £25 I have an issue with but this ‘pay up front’ carry on, for heavens sake I’ve just given them £500, it’s almost October, the place is deserted, I’m on my own and the clowns want an extra grand or so 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have I been living ‘in the sticks’ for too long 🙂 Last I heard was that the north east of England was one of the worst places to be hit by the recession, nay friggin wonder if they’re wanting so much money ‘up front’ for heavens sake you’d think they’d be trying to encourage folk to stay here at this time of year.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  7. A micrometer, eh? That will come in handy later when your laser meter needs batteries. Next week, lessons on the slide rule? How many other “students” are there? Are they living scattered amongst the youngsters in the residence halls? I’m guessing you are busy making a list of valuable supplies to assemble, so the Thomson can carry them home. Any good salvage yards nearby? Surely the typical schedule of a student will leave you with ample spare time.

    Comment by drgeo — September 25, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    • Hi DrG, yup, far too much spare time but at least I now know the difference between a two stroke and four stroke engine and can use a micrometer 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 25, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  8. Got any weekend trips home planned. I hope so, it such a long time away for you. You should take the opportunity to go see Brave at the cinema, it will make you feel very homesick!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_(2012_film)

    Comment by simon — September 25, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  9. Paul,

    I trust that the Thompson has not turned into a boat and you are now in the North Sea. At least this rain is not the horizontal stuff you are used to, we blame you for bringing it down from Scotland.
    I take it Calmac would not put you up in a B&B for your course or did you fancy the adventure with the ‘van’?
    Hope that your back is feeling a tad better having had a rest from work on the croft.

    Michael

    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — September 26, 2012 @ 5:43 am

    • The old Thompson is doing just fine Michael and yes you’re right it was ‘the spirit of adventure’ that too me down here in the Old Girl dragging the thing, though at times I wonder if I’m sane, it cost me £105 to fill up the fuel tank when I arrived 😦 The old tub returning 22mpg which I thought was pretty good.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 27, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  10. Have you seen what happened in CalMac-land yesters?

    The Isle of Mull took seven hours to get from Craignure to Oban!

    Comment by Phil Cook — September 26, 2012 @ 7:14 am

    • Hi Phil, the only thing I heard yesterday about CalMac was that the tendering of the routes has been delayed until after the Scottish referendum on independence, Looks like Serco were a bit premature with their paint jobs 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 27, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

  11. Paul, by comparison with darn Sarf, in Gloucestershire we use a great site with wonderful amenities, etc. Cost is £13 a night paid at the end of your stay. They charge a reduced contractor rate to people like yourself, of £10 a night.
    ‘Nuff said.

    Comment by Lloyd — September 26, 2012 @ 4:37 pm


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