As usual this was to be our last year in Wales, a decision that has been taken every year for the last three years.
In our hay day we managed to cram up to 22 people, three dogs, a parrot, 3 Land Rovers, two cars and a caravan into this, the most North Westerly point of Wales. However over the last few years our numbers have dwindled, until this year we were down to a mere 7, peeking on Tuesday to 9, for a few days, with the arrival of Kirsty and Neil. The major change, this year, was the absence of Gromet. For the first time in 6 years Gromet was left at home. Much to his disgust our chosen mode of transport, for our first summer holiday of the 21st century, was Our Range Rover.
Our Range Rover is faster, luxurious and air conditioned, however there is a draw back, his glorious V8 petrol engine uses enough fuel to run two Gromets!
To get over this problem we have invested in a dual fuel system for Our Range Rover. He now has a big black tank in his boot to accommodate LPG, liquid petroleum gas. I spent a couple of nights on the Internet gathering information about the siting of LPG stations around the country but on leaving West Hallam it looked as though most of our driving in North West was to be on petrol.
Our Range Rover Roars Off Up The Road Following the age old tradition Nip and Gill arrived in Alan D'Rover, along with James, Polly and Laura, during the early hours of Saturday morning and as usual we followed the age old tradition of not being ready, however within fifteen minutes Our Range Rover was roaring off up the road towards Wales with the dogs sitting in the back waving madly to Alan as our first summer holiday of the century got under way. There was an audible click and we were running on LPG, almost pollution free, the holiday had begun.
Autogas in Oswestry Unfortunately this year, since Gromet was staying behind, there were no CBs. This reduced our communications dramatically, but at least we both had mobile phones which, combined with the selective use of flashing lights and hand signals, meant that we were not running in total isolation. As we approached Oswestry Nip was leading, there was a flash of light from Our Range Rover and with out further ado we both broke formation and proceeded up into the town of Oswestry in search of LPG. Less than half a mile up the road we found 'Furrows', a big service station with an Autogas facility round the back. This was the second time I had put gas intoOur Range Rover and, just as the last time, it worked on the honesty system. "Here is the key, go and fill up then come back and tell us how much you put in".
The rest of the journey ran like clockwork, the traffic was moderate, the sun, when it appeared was bright, the rain, when it appeared, was heavy and the air conditioning proved invaluable.
Goldilocks Wins Hands Down. We were shattered, we went to bed around 11pm, but by 12:30 every bone and joint in our bodies hurt, the bed was toooooo hard. Bleary eyed we staggered out of bed, took all the bed clothes and made the bed in bedroom two. This bed was very noisy as every link of the chain mail mattress creaked in unison. As we lay on the bed we sank further and further down until we rolled into the middle of the mattress and stuck together. We were unable to move as the mattress continued to sink, with a terrible creaking sound which filled the cottage. Eventually we sank no more. Frantically we clawed our way back to the surface. Totally exhausted by now we held on to the edge of the bed for a minuite or two then, with a super human effort, we pull ourselves over the edge of the metal frame and onto the floor.
We staggered into bedroom three. We lay down on the bed and immediately fell off again, it was toooooo small - so back to bedroom one where we got hold of the hard mattress and dragged it into bedroom two, bedroom two's soft mattress was then pulled into bedroom one.
Totally exhausted we fell onto the hard mattress, from bedroom one, on the chain mail bed frame in bedroom two. By the time the mattress stopped bouncing up and down we were asleep, only waking when one or other of us attempted to roll over, so causing the whole bed to creak and groan while convulsing in a most alarming manner.