Monday 21st December 2015

Today we went to Peacehaven to visit Allan's sister Jean and her husband Dan. Since we have been away they have kindly let us store the Honda generator at their house and now as we are beginning to lose power we need it back to get us through the winter. It was so nice to see Jean and Dan and during the course of the morning visit we were joined by their Grandson Gareth and his girlfriend Vicky. Such a pleasure and joy to see them all.

With our Generator back, new petrol and an oil change we are now able to get through the coming winter.

After a light lunch of Macaroni cheese we then went to Eastbourne, the major town in this part of Sussex. We were trying to park in the centre of town but because of the many parking restrictions we were encouraged to leave the town of Eastbourne and shop in the suburbs. Why can't England welcome us like they do in France?

After getting some of the shopping we required, we made our way to North Hailsham and spent a quiet, restful night in the motorhome.

Tuesday

Today we visited W&P in Hailsham where Dorothy used to work, to see her previous boss and some of her colleagues. It was a good visit and Dorothy was able to do a lot of catching up. During our visit we were invited to join her office colleagues at Wetherspoons in Hailsham for their pre-Christmas meal. This was a nice surprise and so, after another shopping trip to Eastbourne where we had to give up trying to find a parking space and Allan dropped Dorothy off to shop on her own whilst Allan took the motorhome a couple of miles away to park!!, we returned for dinner at the George in Hailsham.

Then a later than planned visit to our new grandaughter and James and Frankie on the other side of Hailsham. She is now putting on weight and doing well.

Afterwards we went to North Hailsham and wild-camped at our usual place there, satisfied after a long and tiring day. We started to charge up the batteries with the generator and got the G&T out to charge up ourselves!

Wednesday

Vegetable shopping for Christmas today. First we tried the Sainsburys at Eastbourne. We drove around the car-park twice, trying to find a parking space long enough for the motorhome. Long enough means that we either need to overhang the back of the motorhome across a grass area or use two lengthways car spaces. When we did find a spot in the adjacent shops carpark, with two lengthways spaces, just as Dorothy was outside helping Allan to reverse into it a "lady" drove in from the other end nearly knocking Dorothy over in the process and taking our much needed second space. The only double we could find. Dorothy shouted at her but the "lady" was not very Christmas spirited. Said she couldn't see us !!! and walked off, leaving us nowhere to park (again).

After this we decided that we would give Tesco in another part of Eastbourne a try. Luckily we found a space to park there and after a lot of shopping we were out of there and on our way back to Newhaven.

Into Paradise Park garden centre for some more shopping and Dorothy found a lovely CD of Christmas music and stories with the name Scarlett printed on it and mentioned many times in the story. Guess who that is for, along with all the other things that we have bought for her. It is our intention to buy passports for James, Frankie and the baby so they may be able to visit when we travel abroad.

Back to Seaford to drop of the Christmas vegetables at Dorothy's Mum's house and we also find that the last of the new electric sockets has arrived and so now Allan can renew our EHU power leads.

Thursday

It's Christmas Eve already and we awoke to howling wind but a little sunshine. Allan did a bit of blog writing. Dorothy checked accounts and renewed her Tesco clubcard. Whilst doing this Dorothy had a facebook message from friends in Norway and communicated with her friend's sister whom she had not seen for well over 30 years. And then a message from Liz H wanting the rain to turn to snow. NO! Dorothy messages back and no sooner had she done this than the heavy rainstorm outside turned to sleet. Thankfully it didn't last long.

During the afternoon we went over to Dorothy's Mum's to see how her checkup visit to the surgeon who fixed her arm went this morning. Thankfully both Mum and the surgeon are pleased with the progress.

Mum and Tony both went off to the Nativity Service at St Leonard's Church, Allan had a well deserved G+T, Dorothy caught up with wrapping Christmas presents. Are they sleigh bells ringing in the distance? Santa is on his way...........

Friday

Merry Christmas everybody.

Only four of us for dinner today so its eazypeazy. Had a lovely day with a superb Christmas Meal. A call from James & Frankie to wish us Happy Christmas was really appreciated and to make the day so special, our very first Christmas Day as Grandparents, we had a Skype call with James during the early evening and so we got to see Scarlett on Christmas Day xxx even if she was "sleeping like a baby" along with everyone else it seems!

Saturday

Today is Boxing Day. Today we have the chance to have our big family celebration day. Mum, Tony, James, Frankie and Scarlett, nephew, niece and their partners. Oh and us, that's 10 for dinner and one for milk. Allan is prepping vegetables and Dorothy is cooking. Who is washing up ???

James and Frankie arrived in time for Nanny and Grandad to have their first Christmas cuddle with Scarlett before dishing up the dinner. And then Great Nanny took over the cuddle duty!

Steve, who is to be married to our niece Louisa next year, made the gravy. It was so special to have everyone around the table for our meal. Scarlett was extremely good and slept all the way through the meal so that Mummy & Daddy could enjoy their meal too. Just wait until next year!!!!!

After our traditional "fishy" end to the meal we all left the table feeling warm, happy and extremely full. (Mum always says "has everyone had suffish" instead of sufficient and so the fishy comments start to come out! Dorothy's this year was "I Hake to say this but I've Haddock enough" - groan.....)

We already knew who would do the washing up of course - it's nephews and nieces to the kitchen whilst the new Mummy & Daddy take care of baby Scarlett before she is back for more family cuddles.

During the evening when everyone else had left, we found emails from people we had met during our travels this year. Simmi and Kingsley and Yvonne and Kevin and from Dominique. We will contact them all in the New Year.

Sunday

A day for resting and recharging batteries, ours and the leisure batteries, but first Dorothy is busy at Mum's catching up on the laundry. Allan takes the opportunity to tidy up some of the Blog.

We leave Mum's and head off to pick up gas and fuel before spending the night on the South Downs. We were horrified that this parking area that we have used a couple of times before now has a height barrier across it! Luckily for us they have left a couple of spaces reserved outside for Horse Boxes and so we spent the night in one of these, hoping that no horses would arrive in the middle of the night! As this area was very remote we were able to leave the generator running all night to give the batteries a much needed boost.

Tomorrow we are off to Steyning in West Sussex for the New Year Rally with the East Sussex Centre of The Caravan Club. We always have the most fantastic New Year celebration that lasts 5 nights and is a perfect end to the Old Year and start to the New Year. Dorothy has a sudden tear remembering Auntie Doris who always referred to New Years Eve as Old Years Night!

 

Can't believe Christmas has come and gone already and here we are heading off tomorrow to Steyning and into the New Year......................

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