‘Where art thou Rosie?’ I hear you ask.

This retirement lark is so busy. I thought that once retirement came I’d have ‘time’. Time for what I hear you ask.

Well, I wanted time for sewing and crafts and I certainly do that, but maybe not as much as I’d like.

I wanted time with my grandchildren and children. I get that but perhaps not as often as I’d like. The one on the right is an honorary grandchild-in-law (that’s probably not a word!)

I wanted to give something back to the community and I do that by volunteering at the community library and the church, but maybe that takes up a bit more time than I’d like.

It’s been a difficult couple of years with family illness and funerals (13 in all). So I’ve made myself some promises and hoping for more Rosie time in the future.

All I want to do is sit by Rosie, our campervan, reading a good book and watch the sun setting over the ocean. That would be heaven.

So to get me started we travelled to Yorkshire parking up on the North Yorkshire Moors at Egton. The site was the Lady Cross Plantation Camping and Caravanning site. It was a quiet, pretty site set amongst a tree plantation and was ideally placed above Grosmont where we were to meet our friend Barbara. Hi Rosie 🤗

Barbara is someone we met in Florida and is a friend of my best friend Pauline who lives out there. Anyways Barbara was over visiting family and friends and then she was doing the coast to coast walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. A total of 192 miles.

What you need to know about Barbara is that she just goes for stuff, real adventure stuff, nothing by halves; sometimes with a friend, but sometimes on her own. She’s a bit of a dare devil in my book and I admire that she can just go off and do this stuff even if she’s just a little mad crazy (and sometimes gets lost) – and I mean that in a sincere heartfelt way. And best of all she makes me smile.

Anyways we met her and her friend Anne when they reached Grosmont with one last stretch to go.

We shared dinner with them at the Geall Gallery where a new cafe has opened and where they were staying. The plan was we’d be their Sherpa van to Robin Hood’s Bay and we would be there to clap them in. As you can see from the map the last few miles were on The Cleveland Way so we walked along there to meet them.

The views were stunning over the bay, and the wild flowers were abundant as was the sunshine.

We were having a glorious walk.

The other thing that was important to Barbara and Anne was that it was the 4 July, so we had a little plan.

They were so excited, firstly to see the sea, then to see us and lastly to hear the Star Spangled Banner playing.

And some of the friends they made along the way also arrived so we took this picture. Happy, proud of themselves and exhausted. And actually we weren’t yet at the end! We all walked on and showed them their B&B where we had left Rosie.

We waited in the van whilst they showered and then we spotted one of Billypops’ heroes, Martin Carthy, helping someone park a car. I said to him go and say hello, but he wouldn’t. So I did. A very nice man, happy to chat and Billypops finally got out of Rosie and said hello in a starstruck (or was that dumbstruck?) sort of way.

After a while we walked with the girls for a well-earned pint at the pub in the bay which has the official sign marking the end of the coast to coast, where you can dip your toe in the water if you wish.

Very pleased girls that we contributed and celebrated your achievement.

And also gave us a taste of what we had missed all these months – Rosie.

Rosie’s Rural Retreat

An opportunity arose to pack and go for a night with two of the grandchildren so we headed off to South Leicestershire and found a small but perfectly formed campsite near Medbourne.

Rural Relaxing is a hidden gem, off the road that runs through to the village and neighbours a field of sheep. When you arrive you have to master a number of gates – there is some over-zealous notices reminding you. Must have had a lot of bother previously.

Anyway it has small, eco-friendly facilities – ladies is the left bunny and gents to the right bunny. There is a welcome cabin where there are lots of things for you to borrow plus barbecue, fire pits and sun chairs and tables. Washing up facilities could be better – just the cold tap – but we were the only campers so we nipped in the loo for hot water.

Yes we had the whole campsite to ourselves – well not quite – some young people stayed in the cabin but we hardly knew they were there. The campsite also has glamping facilities with two safari tents and six bell tents. It was very peaceful.

Camping with kids is fun if you get them involved. We had ‘tent peg boy’

And interiors were arranged by ‘interiors girl’ who was happy putting food away, laying carpet and setting table for dinner.

After a fantastic burger made by the kids and cooked by Dubber we toasted marshmallows and ate them as s’mores getting very sticky in the process. There was an amazing sunset then it got dark and chilly quickly.

Inside our heated awning I introduced the kids, now in their onesies, to the card game of Old Maid which they found funny. After a game of Uno (I won, I won) the kids settled themselves to bed, one in the hammock and one in the pop-up. Dubber and I settled down for what became a really frustrating game of Skipbo.

Morning came after interrupted sleep – there were three in the bed and the little one said I want more bed than anyone else!! Cereal and bacon butties satisfied the appetite that comes from being outside then we packed up ready for our son and daughter-in-law to reclaim them.

We all travelled about 20 minutes away to Foxton Locks Inn for Sunday roast which was excellent from the carvery.

Then we wandered by the canal helping open and close the gates on the Locks as boats went through.

Foxton Locks is a great place to take kids. There’s the watching and helping of boats through the 10 Locks plus a really interesting museum, (here’s tent peg boy as a canal boatman)

plenty of footpaths, ducks to feed and the canal shop to explore.

We had a really good trip and the fresh air is always good for wearing kids out.

If you take kids out in the van:

-have plenty of jobs they can do or help with

– take plenty of snacks

– take plenty of games – some of the old ones like snakes and ladders and Old Maid are the best fun

– prepare for bed sharing particularly if the night is cold

– if they are your grandkids get lots of hugs and kisses in – love ’em 💕