Week 1 - Bl**dy Hell - I hope this doesn’t set the tone for the winter!!

I hadn’t left my chair for nearly a week as the arthritis in my ankles was playing up but on Thursday it was necessary for us to go out so, with Sue driving, we set off. The first time Sue put her foot on the brake the noise made it abundantly clear something was amiss. There was the very distinctive sound of metal on metal not the quietness of metal on brake pad. We tried to phone the garage but they were closed for the night.

It looked like our trip would be postponed before it had even begun. We were planning to travel to Dover Saturday how on earth could we get the car sorted before then??

We were at Witham Vehicle Solutions when they opened at 8.30 next morning but told they would be unable to do anything immediately as they already had ten cars in the workshop for completion today and one mechanic had phoned in sick however they would have a quick look to confirm my diagnosis and then arrange a day when the work could be carried out. The service manager came back a little while later and said it was definitely the rear brake pads but they had no stock and thought it would probably be a couple of days before they could get some. Another wait and back came the manager saying they had located some pads. Back she came a while later and informed us that the discs themselves were shot and would need replacing. I said I understood and ten minutes later a delivery driver walked into the office with two heavy boxes with pictures of brake discs on them.

Not long after the manager came back to say the work was complete and she would prepare the invoice. Blimey - not bad after being told less than three hours before that they couldn’t help for several days

Thanks to Witham Vehicle Solutions help we were able to leave as planned and after a night at “The Field” a C&CC Certified Site we took the 10.00am DFDS ferry to Dunkirk and by 13.00 (local time) were motoring towards our first site of the trip, intended to be “Buitengoed de Boomgaard” but realising that we would not be arriving until after 5.00pm on a Sunday we tried to phone. Neither of us speaks a word of Dutch but when we hear a recorded message telling us that “ . . . het kantoor is van maandag tot zaterdag geopend van negen tot vijf uur . . . “ we can work out that it probably means the office is open Monday to Saturday.

We phoned our next option RCN Vakantiepark Het Grote Bos and a gent who spoke excellent English explained that they had plenty of space and that although the reception would be closed when we arrived the staff in the restaurant would be pleased to help.

The following morning my ankle was still preventing me from walking so there seemed little point in staying so we moved on to Vakantiepark Witterzomer near Assen in the north of Holland.

The remainder of Week 1 has been spent very pleasantly, we haven’t done very much but we have spent some time with Dirkje.

Very pleasant.

© S W Ghost 2018