Although the weather had a major part to play in the weekend, it didn’t once stop us from having a great time and enjoying a trip into the town of Southport. There were 5 caravans on the site including Jim & Elizabeth’s’ huge outfit which we used as our base camp for the weekend. They pitch their van up for several weeks during the summer and Jim erects a massive awning which virtually doubles the size of their accommodation. His skill as an engineer is in plain view for all to see with his geodetic additions to the awning frame, increasing its strength many times over by clever use of angles and support brackets. No longer will strong winds and gale forces blow his awning away.
Friday was spent setting up caravans, filling water buts and topping up toilet fluids. It really is great fun. England beckoned later in the evening and we all retired to watch the match on the awning TV. Elizabeth prepared a fabulous meal for all 10 of us, on what can only be described as a small kitchen oven, an amazing culinary feat, which was well received by hungry campers. We continued to enjoy each other’s company late into the evening with lots of fun and laughter and the consumption of plenty of wine and the odd Gin & Tonic.
We had a full activity plan for Saturday arranged, including the company of our new candidate Ian Duxbury and his wife Lynette for the evening bar-b-cue. The morning started wet with a trip into town so the ladies could do a little retail therapy and stock up on bar b cue food for the evenings get together. Jim’s dogs, two beautiful Weimaraner’s had a well deserved run on the beach whilst Bob & Bryan went in search of a few accessories for the caravan.
Elizabeth convinced us all that a spell in the swimming pool was a good idea and that the water temperature was guaranteed to be more than comfortable. Initial impressions suggested all would be well with the changing room temperature being well above the norm, however the truth soon revealed itself and the swimming pool water was decidedly chilly. So much so that most of the time was spent in the jacuzzi which was very enjoyable and certainly more welcoming than the rain outside. Riverside operate the spa on the basis of only 30 people per hour using the facilities, this ensures the pool is never overrun with kids and there is always room to swim and enjoy the facilities, it meant booking a session prior to your swim but it seemed to work rather well.
It was decided that rather than leaving site the following morning we would all extend our stay another night and stay over until Monday. This allowed us to enjoy the sunshine forecast for Sunday, and enjoy it we did. The morning was spent strolling around Southport and window shopping whilst the afternoon turned into a sunbathing session on the grass.
It really was a great weekend among friends and one that will certainly be repeated. Special thanks to Jim & Elizabeth for hosting the weekend.