Sunday, 3 September 2017


The long awaited 'Dethfest" arrives with vans parked strategically in a "French Corale' style
However annoying this behaviour seems to us Brits abroad its time to emulate our nearest neighbours and get the party going..

The Gossip Olympics are underway and there are two clear podium places awaiting for two of this bunch
Me? Surely not...

Gold & Silver medalists πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Mick's done a 'Festbeer' and TBH its damned good!
Keith has dropped out of the talkathon and becomes an excellent barman serving the needs of the thirsty Mohos

Deb as ever on her 'Fitbit'
(Keith is really interested in our new toys but shows defiance and drops in to a downward spiral of self-denial)

Superscout Mick discovers some Boyz Toyz I've casually laid out for the group

Soon he has created 'Fire' and we all look on admiringly 

Not posed for, honest...

The marshmallow bag is found to have a tear in it and soon the girls are prodding them with toasting forks and emitting childlike gasps as they consume the gooey stuff

Chilled (literally) and lubricated, the 'Old Folks' nestle around the fire pit 

Next day its time to stretch our legs off we trot towards Crich

Its not long after this I decide involuntarily to test the cow poo absorption rate of my newly acquired walking shoes
They pass with flying colours amidst much hilarity from my sympathetic companions
(Mick photographs the event for his blog and posterity)

Choices, choices

Half way house at the local in Crich

Later that day back at the Corale a nice Chinese take away is consumed al fresco and washed down with more of the Festbeer

Walking again next day this time up past Riber and down in to Matlock for our obligatory Fish & Chips

Just parked up and looking good

Three Wise Men look down on Matlock Bath

Before the chipfest a mandatory visit to Spoons in town puts smiles on the Girls...

and the Boys...

Last night and the firepit is lit again

Chris serves up all things cheesy to accompany the peanuts and crisps and her apple & blackberry crumble is rounded off by yours truly in proper style

Nina perfecting her toasting technique

We all had a brilliant three days here at Dethick and nice to RV on home soil for a change
I do hope we can make this a regular event for us 

We go our separate ways soon but are sure to meet up hopefully in warmer climes later
Bon Route fellow Vanners!

Monday, 28 August 2017


So let the Beerfest begin...
Liverpool or rather the site at Formby is reached set amongst squirrel infested woodland just back from the sand dunes
An earlier RV at the not so sexy Lymm Truck Stop ensured the adventure seeking couples were hydrated and acquainted once more after a long absence

Its not long before our tour guide Pat has us all assembled on the not so near Formby train station and awaiting our train to the heart of Scouseland
TBH the walk to the station was a good distance for us as our recently acquired 'Fitbits' clocked up the mileage nicely and we were definitely looking to counter the beer calories with those burned off in the next couple of days...
One problem..
Nina's new shoes bought especially for the trip let her down badly and on arrival at the station she found her heels in a right state due to burst blisters!

Tourists let loose..

Whilst the girls go get plasters and tape for Nina's heels Pat spots the first watering hole

A bit later we are guided to 'The Philharmonic' and what a stunning place it is

Even the loos are Royal

Happy Bunnies

Traditional Liverpudlian fayre
Witherspoon's curry

Its at this gaff that we discover with much groaning that our rather expensive smartphone appears to be off on its own travels..
"I think it might be on the floor in the last pub" says Nina
"Oh Great" says I (or perhaps something like that)
Blind panic sets in and Jane rings the Phil up and gets them to to do a search of the pub floor but alas no result
A call to the actual phone however prompted some kind soul to hand it in and a later call had the staff   reassuring us that all was well in Mobile Phone World and "would you like to come collect it"...
Always a drama..

Next day bandaged up and not in charge of the phone..

Pat's new hobby of photography has him shooting anything and everything
To keep him company I've dusted off mine too..

Attentive photographer's wives

Come back Pat!

Today's main event
Squirrel shooting (with an SLR tooπŸ˜€)

The local National Trust look after these characters in the form of feeding stations and public awareness information
Problem is the deal is that they put in appearances for us Public now and again so being told the go 'Sleepies' at lunchtime had Pat the squirrel spotter reeling...

Possibly the best of my shots (unlike Pat I don't have a telephoto lens)
(Now there's a story)

Beat this shot Pat!

We wander in to nearby Freshfield and discover a rather nice micro brewery housed in a former shop

Sorry Jane, had to be done

Back at the van I break out the not so secret weapon
First time for me these barrel contraptions but good value and saves on glass
The 'drink within 5 days' seems irrelevant but 'drink responsibly' advice may need to be looked at

Next day we are back in Liverpool for a proper look round

The Nelson Monument in Exchange Flags

The Nelson Monument in Exchange Flags

Part of 'The Three Graces' is The Port of Liverpool building

Pat's Risk assessment job pays off here as a word with the security staff gets us in to central staircase area for a wander round

The dome from below

The Liver Building

These Clippers are moored up ready to set sail next day bound for Uruguay on the first leg of their round the world race

Nautical Pat discovers a Titanic Trio in the Albert Docks

She has company now

The local 'Stew' is available most places

But not here at the Ship & Mitre as they've run out
Never mind you could always have a liquid lunch

The traditional method of drinking Kwak alas too many wooden holders have been broken so the glass has been changed

The signboard outside the original entrance to 'The Cavern'

The Three Graces
(The middle one is the Cunard Building)

Unforgotten heroes

That elusive shot Mate!

Formby Des Res

Various settings and beers are discussed in the Railway Inn, a drinking emporium strangely missed in the previous days across from the station, Doh!

One of a hundred 'Iron Men' adorning the beach at nearby Crosby created by the sculptor Antony Gormley

The Clippers set sail
Bon Voyage!

Later that afternoon we discover another micro brewery at Hightown
Its here that we have the pleasure of listening to a local guy's rendition of 'Land of hope & Glory"
Bizarrely this guy turns out to be the brother of local boxing hero John Conteh 

So, four days spent full on with Pat & Jane in Liverpool and its affluent neighbour Formby left us as usual exhausted but we had a great time
The girls cooked lovely meals and the evenings were spent 'chewing the fat' in both vans. The real bonus was that the unpredictable weather forecasted turned out just fine and didn't stop us enjoying our Liverpudlian adventure!

Early indications are next time out in the vans will be in London, an area well known to them so we really look forward to that!

Here's a clue as to what's next for my poor liver!

'Dethfest' awaits...