Collection – and the first costly caper at Clumber

I feel a bit like Cap’n Turbot with all this alliteration, but children’s TV references aside, I shall proceed.

9am Saturday and we arrived to collect the behemoth of a vehicle (relatively speaking) and there was much joy and wonder. Having seen so many updates over the course of the month it wasn’t really a surprise, but it was so shiny! Guided tour was complete, paperwork dealt with and by 10.30 give or take, we were on the road and surprisingly calmly taking the whole business in our stride.

33 miles on the clock at collection, and by mid afternoon we had slung some kit in random cubbies and headed out. I called the Clumber caravan site to check they had a free pitch for the evening and nearly choked on the 12 quid surcharge for not being members of the Caravan Club, but by that time we were set on a night away.

We arrived just before 6, and the reception was closed, but Mrs Woman was expecting us and booked us in very cheerily. Both she and the little mester were most helpful, particularly in the area of interesting occurence number one – electric issues. (More in a sec).

We drove around aimlessly, struggling to match numbers on the beautifully coloured in map to the pitches, mainly as their rules state you have to back your “unit” up to the pitch marker, so it’s not right easy to see. Apparently, if you’d like to configure your set up in a different manner, you have to consult site staff (!) The site was quite open, with row upon row of caravans, but nicely kept.

We took a spot between two large caravan/awning scenarios, nice and flat and handy for the bins. Obviously all the other campers found our spot handy for the bins as they kept cutting through, which is not cricket really.

So, we proceeded to unpack, and all was well until we hooked up. Nowt happened. Someone else had already plugged in to our allocated socketry, so we suspected that one was maybe duff, and called upon Mrs Woman, who accompanied me to check the relevant bollard was in working order, which it was. We switched our switches indoors, checked the coupling of our plugs and scratched our heads. There was no 4G, WiFi only by previous arrangement (I suspect another ‘club’ thing) and not a single biscuit on the mobile signal front. KB ambled over to actually use a payphone to call the garage man to check it had all been tested, but then the little mester appeared, and with the flick of an overlooked switch on the power console, all was resolved – cold beers had now become a possibility!

We settled in, unpacked a few items and perused the conweniences- code needed to access the lavs. Mother would have approved had she visited around the time of our arrival, but by bedtime they were not so clean, and remained on the grim side in the morning.

The children were v.giddy but compared to some of the resident youth they were relatively quiet. They were late to bed and barring a bit of initial shenanigans and the need to count to five once or twice, settled down to sleep in their roof bed and -stop the press – both slept all night! (I knew camping was a good idea!) The grown ups enjoyed a bit of peace sitting in comfy, if slowly deflating chairs, and some actual cool breeze over a few cold drinks, which was nice.

This morning, when we eventually surfaced (after 7.30 by some sort of miracle) we took a leisurely approach to the morning, which cost madam a late mark at pony club, but even so, we were all fed, washed, dressed and packed away in round about an hour.

Home then, now with three times the mileage since Saturday. Plans are to play campervan Tetris with our hoard of camping gear ready for the next adventure in a couple of weeks’ time (at the absolute latest!)

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