17. Jun, 2021

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THURSDAY 17-06-21

Despite best intentions, today was a bit of a nothing day. We awoke to the usual cloudy sky, confident that it would clear later giving us some lovely sunshine.

First it was a lovely hot shower, and satisfaction from seeing that my quick solution to trapping hair in the shower tray was working a treat. First it was hand washing. I went to do mine first, entering the laundry room to join a fellow camper washing items he shouldn't have been doing so in there and the camp cleaner, neither of whom were wearing masks. It's no surprise this area currently has the third highest covid infection rate in the country.

Back at 'base camp' The Chef had cleaned the bathroom - good girl. I erected the folding airer before pegging out my bits and pieces whilst The Chef made her way down to wash hers. While she was away I did the carpets and floor, so between us we soon had it done and it's always worth making the effort.

I don't know why but the washing is taking so much longer to dry up here. There's no reason for it that I can see. The sun was shining and there was a breeze, yet it took hours. I think that is going to be our defence this evening as we never did get around to going for a walk.

While the washing was drying we sat and relaxed and did a bit of reading, then I did battle with the internet. Our pitch is on a slope and that is affecting our Wi-Fi reception. For the past two nights I've had to go to the top of the hill and sit on a picnic bench to get connected, and that can get a little tedious when you're paying top rate for your pitch.

In my cunning plan we are to visit the Beamish Museum on 23rd June. I've not been able to book the tickets earlier as they weren't giving me the option to book online on that day any sooner. I'm not too sure how many attempts I had at booking the tickets but in the end I gave up. When I finally got in to their website I was required to set up an account, then I had to select the type and number of tickets I wanted to place in the 'basket'. Then I had to select two time tickets to ensure the visitors were spread out a bit, fortunately they were free. So my basket consisted of two adult concession tickets at £14.50 each and two time tickets. Then it was time to pay. Oh dear, not that easy I'm afraid. Their system would not permit me to pay until I agreed to allow my purchase to be subject to Gift Aid, my favourite subject, so I declined that option, only to be informed that if I didn't agree to that I would have to make a donation, so I came out of it.

My next interaction with them was to send an email explaining my objection to not being allowed to buy tickets without being forced to make additional payments directly or indirectly. I told them that as a business they had enjoyed government loans and grants throughout the pandemic as well as having 80% of their staff's wages paid for. Yet here they were trying to get even more out of the government. Money that was needed by the NHS etc. I told them that if I had misunderstood their intentions they were free to enlighten me - I await their reply, but it doesn't ,look as if we'll be going there.

While all of this had been going on my internet connection was continually tripping out, and when I took the laptop up to the picnic table at the highest point, I could barely read the screen due to the glare from the sun.

Back to base camp for a cuppa before attempting to book two tickets to visit Alnwick Castle, which The Chef tells me is the castle featured in Harry Potter films. Having pulled most of my hair out I eventually managed to book two tickets for Saturday. The Chef also wanted to look around the gardens for the castle but when the e-tickets came through it stated that the gardens were a separate attraction and subject to a new application. Sorry but I couldn't go through it again.

Lunch was another cream tea using scones we had bought in M&S back in Bishop Auckland and were borderline regarding their 'best before' date, the last of the Cornish clotted cream ten days past its 'best before' date, though absolutely fine, and the small jar of jam I bought on Lindisfarne or Holy Island. It's ingredients included pectin which is supposed to thicken it up, but I would suggest they increase the quantity substantially. I just poured it on to the scone and cream and then attempted to eat half on scone quickly enough to avoid the jam running off and all over my hands.

So today has not been a great day, the only highlight was an M&S lasagne served with a salad and a couple of glasses of M&S red glug.

Tomorrow we leave here and it can't come soon enough and we plan to park at Seahouses just a few miles down the coastal road. We'll be looking to get there early enough to bag a parking space in one of the public car parks. With so many motorhomes and holidaymakers out and about at the moment getting a parking space gets a bit competitive.