The UK Summer continued….


Life on the campsite has continued pretty much as usual even though September so far has been still quite busy with arrivals and departures as the weather on the whole has been relatively good.

Noting the weather this has led me on to two things.  The first is that I am still going into the sea for a dip most days which I am really quite pleased about.  Although the sea temperature did seem to drop considerably after the storm we experienced here on the south coast in early September.

The night of the storm proved to be quite eventful and tiring.  We had prepared as we knew that 70 mph winds had been predicted, however after some deliberation we decided not to take the awning down.  The reason for this was that we still have until the 1st week in November before we move and it seemed a long time to live without our under canvas open plan kitchen diner with uni-folding doors!   So we took the risk and went to bed……  In summary, the outcome is that we still have our kitchen diner, it is just not fastened to the van anymore as the high winds ripped the attaching corridor.  We actually heard it ‘go’,  a loud material ripping noise woke us at around 1am in the morning and this triggered out reactive awning saving procedure.  So, during the pouring rain and howling winds we had to detach the bikes from the bike rack, move all the items that were attached to the van such as steps, electric hook up cable, grey water buckets and the multiple of bricks and wedges we were using to make the van level just so that we could drive the van a few metres forward to make a temporary wind break to protect the awning further.   After this movement we had a couple of cigerettes and a glass of wine to help us relax and returned to bed.  The following morning, the winds were still strong but we were able to inspect the awning completely to find that two of the storm straps had failed and all the eyelets that are used to peg the awning to the floor had broke leaving simply the pegs in the ground not attached to anything.  We joked that it must have been the weight of the our Calais wine that had kept the awning grounded and we really do now have a ‘drive away’ awning now.

Calm after the Storm

Calm after the storm.

September has also been very sociable.  First off we spent a sunny Saturday at Bexhill’s Festival of the Sea with friends Joy and Tracy.  The festival in short was mainly about food and drink and was set on Bexhill’s De Warr pavilion.   The Angry Whelk had a store there and we purchased some fish for a BBQ which we had later back at base.   This local company has a boat to catch the fish and a store in Bexhill to sell the fish making it a true end to end business.


De Warr pavilion at Bexhill-on-Sea.  It was a stunningly hot day which was perfect for the Festival of the Sea.

Angry Welk

I love the Angry Whelk logo

Next we had visitors from Rutland:  Chris, Pete and Chris’s brother Al.  We had a local pub crawl planned taking in Pevensey castle, but this was quickly superseded by a much better plan of going to Hastings old town for the day as Pete was under the impression he had some distant family connections from within the Hastings area and he had never visited before.  Of course, we still did a pub crawl in Hastings and due to the erratic train service back to Normans Bay we also picked off the few pubs in Bexhill too.

Hastings 2

Outside the Albion in Hastings old town.  All the pubs we visited in Hastings were independent and all had a great selection of beers which made for a semi-bimble-ing day out!

To add a little equilibrium to the visit we took a stroll over the South Downs on the morning post pub crawl.  The weather was quite scwarly with drizzle and gusts of wind but that did not deter us reaching Beachy Head.

Beachy Head

We went for an innocent walk to Beachy Head, only to find a pub at the top!!!  Chris and I.

On the same week I visited London to meet an old friend of mine Rafael, who I had not seen for many years.  He had travelled from Brazil with his friend and colleague Diego on business and we took the long overdue opportunity to catch in the UK capital.  This reunion has proved quite powerful for me as it has validated many things, without going into the details, but in short I can imagine that we will plan a trip back to Porto Alegre within the next few years and that many of the friends I made there are friends for life.

Rafael and Diego

The reunion in London.  Quanto tempo ne?  Um grande abraco pra voces.

Finally on the social side, we made another visit to Alfriston to see Joy at her labour of love, The Singing Kettle.   Again, it was a really sunny afternoon and we enjoyed posh Rarebits for lunch outside the popular café.  Everytime we go there we say that we must walk to the Long Man which is in the hillside near by so hopefully we will be back soon and attempt to walk off the calories next time.

Singing Kettle

We had a great lunch at The Singing Kettle in Alfriston.  Happy Birthday Joy!!!

Finally on a more questioning than social note, we have had many groups stay at the campsite this summer but certainly the most interesting so far were a faction of the Flat Earth society, a group of ‘free thinkers’.  They visited us due to our proximity to the Herstmonceux Observatory where they hoped to witness Jupiter move through Virgo on the 23rd September.   Being slightly intrigued Sharon completed some research into the society and it seems this belief that the earth is flat has been around for some time, using an extract from Wikipedia:

‘The flat Earth model is an archaic conception of Earth’s shape as a plane or disk. Many ancient cultures subscribed to a flat Earth cosmography, including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period, and China until the 17th century. That paradigm was also typically held in the aboriginal cultures of the Americas, and the notion of a flat Earth domed by the firmament in the shape of an inverted bowl was common in pre-scientific societies.’

Flat Earth

An alternative point of view.  It seemed apt that the campsite is on the Pevensey levels.