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It only seems like a few weeks have passed by since we unloaded the campervan from the Easter holiday and here we are again at the end of a week’s stay in North Wales. We are only 45 minutes from home but it’s been a real break and respite from the daily grind. The glorious weather played no small part in making this a great week away. Today’s chilly and windy 13⁰C has been a reminder of how cruel British summer weather can be. For 5 perfect days we have lived the outdoor camping life, eating every meal al fresco, having water fights (us adults didn’t so much join in as get caught in the cross fire and then get very mardy very quickly!) and not needing any of the warm / waterproof clothing that you still have to pack for any UK holiday.
We’ve packed a lot as usual into the last week, even though we spent a few days chilling out on the campsite. I did a christening near Warrington last weekend, we’ve been to 2 beautiful but very contrasting gardens – one a more formal National Trust property called Erddig and the other a privately owned garden called The Glass House. Both were wonderful to explore, with many early summer flowers bursting out, no doubt spurred on by the warm weather. I’m a bit obsessed by irises at the moment, as I’ve got a big job on photographing them for a client, along with some other seasonal blooms such as peonies. I’ve always photographed flowers to nature’s timetable and it’s proving challenging to catch them in flower, at their photogenic best in line with the client’s needs!
The kids have had a whale of a time as ever, relishing the rare freedom that being on a campsite gives them and every meal a picnic outdoors. They’ve been swimming each day at the onsite pool and running around wearing very few clothes. But I knew we packed those jumpers and long trousers for a reason – we headed into Llangollen with all the rest of the soggy tourists today, trying to steer the kids away from more tacky toys and me desperate for my fix of Costa coffee. With tacky toy purchased for Sam (remember those little furry worms on a clear plastic thread…) and rather more sensible notepad and pen for Abby, I got my coffee and, even better, a lovely meal later at a pub overlooking the river. We relived some of my childhood memories after tea, jumping across the flat rocks along the river bank. Predictably Nic fell in (unfortunately only up to his ankles) and Daisy was in doggy heaven.
We’re snuggled away in the camper van for the evening, kids up top watching a DVD, us down below with a bottle of red, a few beers and a TV with a dodgy signal. Perfect. The wind is playing increasingly aggressively with the awning (hope Daisy is OK in the pup tent) and the forecast is for heavy rain (severe weather warning for 4a.m.) well into the morning when we will be de-camping. I suppose this is penance for the idyllic weather – what is the opposite of “every cloud has a silver lining”?

By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!

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