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Meriden Birthday Weekend

Day 2 & 3

I will put these two days together to save posting too many times and boring my followers.... ;)

Day 2

With the birthday party not until 7.30pm at the hotel in Meriden, we had to day to fill. After the long drive up we had a lazy morning after breakfast.

When we arrived I saw a Crafter based camper and remarked "That looks the same as the Poshcats" van, not realising until we saw its number plate that it was the Poshcats! As we parked up we recognised some other YouTube vanlife vloggers! They were everywhere!

So Day 2 many of them had gone out and Claire had her morning tea in the Poshcats mug! What do do?

We decided to walk into the village centre as it didn't look to arduous for Reggie. He hates traffic. The first half of the walk is on a closed off road and then it meets the busy Birmingham Road. The footpath is narrow and overgrown. maybe the council could run a mower of the edge occasionally to leave room for humans to walk along the path? Wilding this isn't!

We eventually made it to Meriden Green. Here there are two monuments. One is medieval and marks the centre of England as they knew it before accurate measuring equipment. The other is to cyclists that lost their lives in World War 2. With the Triumph motorcycle factory having been a mile or so along the road for 40 plus years until 1983, maybe a better one for the motorcyclists killed in world wars might have been good too!

Claire wanted to go to the pharmacy on the green. There are a few shops, a couple of cafes (both closed on a Saturday afternoon), a Budgen's and a Coop supermarket, plus fish and chip shop and an Indian restaurant. we had a coffee from the machine in the Coop and then decided after checking out the monuments that Reggie had had enough!

Meriden - Centre of England

Meriden - Centre of England

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How to get back? As both of us are retirees, we have concessionary or free travel on buses throughout England (except London?) so we decided to take the bus back to the end of the traffic free lane to the campsite. It was only three stops on the bus but saved Reggie the torture of a walk back again on the narrow path with all the traffic. The X1 was the only bus on this road. When it finally arrived, we touched in. Reggie has never been on public transport before. He prefers to bark at trains and buses.... He was frightened whilst we waited and when the bus arrived he hopped on and sat by my feet, quietly.

This opens up a whole new area for us when we are away! One we have never contemplated before! Of course, in the UK dogs are allowed on buses and trains. It's different I expect in other EU countries! And we can't blame the 2016 B-word for that!

We had lunch when we got back. Then readied ourselves for the short drive to the hotel. It's about 200 yards from the bus stop! Parking was a nightmare. The hotel said to park at the back of their car park. They were quite rude to Claire on the phone - "You can't stay overnight!". Not that we were going to! We couldn't park and after trying a few places we went up to the Green and parked on the road. Van locked with the Milenco steering bar and pedal lock on! Can't trust anyone or anywhere!

The party went off olay. I went back to check on Reggie and he was asleep. He was loose in the van and I expect he would have defended the van had someone tried to get in. The fish and chip shop was very busy and it was quite noisy.

After meeting relatives from her cousin's paternal side, Claire was the only representative from the maternal side, we called it a day at just gone 10pm.

The campsite doesn't have a curfew but we didn't want to spoil the other campers when we got back. It was about 1030pm by the time I reversed back onto out pitch. I learned something here. The reversing lights are pretty useless. It wasn't totally dark but they seemed to illuminate only about 2 feet from the back of the van!

Once parked up we connected the leccy and put the silver screen on the front. Time for a tea and then bed.

Day 3

I was still having a lie in when Claire took Reggie out and I could hear her talking to "Cadac Joe" who was in the Team Vlogger group. By the time I got up they had started to leave on their trip to Scotland. We set off about 11am.

I had the satnav set to take us past the Triumph Factory memorial. I had last been there in 2013 with my brother when we were both on Triumphs. There was no chance to get a photo this time. The road was too busy to park a motorhome.

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From there it was M42/M40/M25/M26/M20 and home. We arrived around 3.50pm. With a stop at Oxford Services for lunch and pretty solid traffic on the M25 for a long way we were still quicker than the trip up!

And that's it. Was it worth it? Yes. For Claire to see her cousins and cousins in law was really good.

The Somerswood campsite is adult only and was really good. Good sized fully serviced pitches and really good clean and modern facilities.

Posted by InvictaMoto 10:58 Archived in England

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