Saturday, 7 September 2013

Starting in Somerset

We left Phillip's for a two hour drive to Somerset, but never took into account Stonehenge - a ten mile traffic jam - so it was a  four hour journey!

We arrived at Forton House in Chard, Somerset about late afternoon and the owner directed us to a hard standing pitch, and told us where to plug in the electric – great! It was raining and chilly. We got water, made a coffee and sat, with two dogs, in the fully loaded caravan, the awning taking up all of the middle ground, and contemplated our next move. To put the awning up was pointless in the rain, we thought we should put all of the stuff for the awning (camping chairs, table, the awning itself in the car and just settle into the caravan for the evening when we got a knock at the door. Two mobile homes had pulled in and one had no power as we were plugged into the only socket which they could reach…. So we moved! The site is tiny, enough room for 5 caravans, a toilet block and electric and water, the main reason we chose it was for the dogs. The house has four dogs, the site and all of the grounds are dog-proof and the owners were happy for our dogs to roam free. Finally we piled most stuff into the car and settled down in the caravan for the evening. The whole caravan system is computerised – with a wonderful book of instructions, I followed them to the letter about 5 times, we eventually got heating about 11pm – overnight when we did not want it, but I thought I had cracked it, thought the next evening would be sorted.
Sunday morning was lovely, sunshine, once everything had dried up we pulled out all of the awning poles, set it all up, introduced the dogs to their beds in the awning, I set up my computer ready for teaching and all seemed well.  Evening arrived and it began to feel cool, and cooler, and cold, did the heating come on?? No, despite my best efforts, not until 11pm… we began to think there must be a timer somewhere – but no, this is an on-going problem.

We went out looking at areas and for houses, spent ages trawling estate agent sites, I really and truly decided that estate agent sites are very poor. Some we printed off, those of houses we were interested in lacked house names and addresses, not even having reference numbers so that when we phoned it took the agent ages to find out which house we were wanting to see. 

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