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Sunday, 13 June 2021

Weekends away

I had intended to post after our previous weekend away and now I'm waking up on Sunday morning in a different location and it reminded me to write something.

In many ways, for us, our motorhome is a bit like a mobility aid. In the same way as my wheelchair, far from being a negative thing that binds or constrains me, gives me the freedom to get out, explore and enjoy life, so does our motorhome, affectionately named Zerubbabel. 

Family weekend

A few weeks ago, we visited Normanby Hall Country Park with my parents and my sister and her family. We were the only people there, which I was surprised at, given how difficult it can be at the moment to find any sites with vacancies. It was a fairly basic site, but had electric hook-ups and water and waste facilities. It was a big field, a little uneven throughout and with a slight slope. 

Normanby Hall Country Park

For me, there were two highlights to this weekend. The first was on the Friday night. One of my nieces suggested a family game of rounders, before acknowledging that it was impossible with aunty Nicki (not to mention grandma and grandad). However, we decided to give it a go and just be patient with the less able members. I played in my mountain trike and did some catches on 4th base that I was both surprised and proud of. Unfortunately Neil caught me out on both of my rounders. The grass was just too long and uneven to get any speed up! Watching my mum bowling though, was just fab! The game was full of laughter and I think our family competitive spirit emerged for the first time in ages!

On the Saturday evening, we had a family BBQ. Family meals can be a source of stress. I'm allergic to carotenes, which seem to be in so many different foods. My dad can't have gluten or lactose (one or the other seems manageable, but both is a nightmare) and then you've got likes and dislikes to factor in too. We decided, with some advanced prep, to organise an all inclusive BBQ. I made the bread rolls - gluten and lactose free - and my mum made salad stuff (including carrot-free coleslaw). My sister bought the meats, all gluten free and her partner Andy (who is a chef) cooked, with my dad. I also baked some allergy free lemon curd butterfly buns. I thought it was the best meal we could have had. For the first time in ages, we had found a way to have a family holiday and do things that everybody could be part of. I was a little nervous that it wouldn't work but I would definitely do it again!

Multi-generational family sitting round an outdoor table under a red parasol. It is sunny and they are all relaxed.

Visiting family

This weekend, we have been in Scarborough. We're camping on my aunty and uncle's drive, connected to their electricity... the second time we have camped here. We jokingly refer to it as a campervan site, as it's a small cul-de-sac and some of the neighbours also have motorhomes that live on their drives. One of them is reversing out to go on holiday early this morning, as I write. 


I grew up here and always love visiting, whether to see family or  just go to the beach for a walk. For those who have never been, Scarborough has two bays: the North Bay and the South Bay, and they are joined by a long road called the Marine Drive, which goes round the base of the castle headland. The walk between the two bays is very popular and the South Bay is where most of the tourists seem to go. Yesterday, we drove round to the South Bay on our way back to my aunty's and it was packed! I was glad we weren't in amongst all those people! After being locked down for so long, it would have been too busy for me. 

We usually park at the North Bay. Motorhomes can park at the Sea Life Centre. In theory, they are not allowed to park along the Marine Drive, though many do. Either way, you are currently not allowed to sleep there. Zerubbabel is quite long and doesn't fit in a parking bay, so we have to park in a coach space and pay the £10 day charge. It sounds a lot but I believe a day of chalet rental is significantly more, and it gives us a base, a toilet, cooking facilities, etc. It also means I can take both chairs, which was useful yesterday.

In the morning, we took Liggy down on the beach, at Scalby Mills end, where dogs are allowed. Once you get to the main North Beach, dogs are banned from May to September, so we try to go at low tide when the extended beach is there. Yesterday was great, the tide was right out! I took my mountain trike and we went right down to the sea. Liggy was off lead and able to play with lots of other dogs, which she absolutely loves! She also likes to run in the sea, along the sea line. She's not keen on going any deeper than her knees and chest, but loves the feeling of running in the cold water. She also loves running between Neil and me, doing recall practice.

Black labrador running up a slipway from a sandy beach.

After we had played for a while, we walked up through Northstead Manor Gardens, where the Open Air Theatre is, and then back round and along the promenade, back to the car park.

This is where having the motorhome makes life so much easier. We were able to toilet, wash hands, prepare bacon sandwiches and sticky toffee pudding for dessert, and importantly for us, Liggy was able to lie on her bed and rest, safe while we got sorted. This meant we were all well rested for the afternoon walk.

I took my normal chair in the afternoon, and we met up with my aunty and uncle for a walk around the Marine Drive. We got part way round but it was getting busier and felt a little uncomfortable, so we turned around and went back and had a walk around Peasholm Park instead. Peasholm Park is beautiful, around a lake with an island, which used to be one of my favourite childhood attractions. The Glen is a wooded path that rises up from the park into the main cemetery, and is very peaceful. We went a little way up and around a pond where Liggy had a paddle.

A large pond with a swarm of gnats on the surface and trees in the background

A lake with an island with oriental style waterfall and fencing

Once we had walked all the way back doing the reverse route through Northstead Manor Gardens, my aunty and uncle suddenly remembered they were on a 2 hour parking bay and had to leg it back to their car and we went back to Zerubbabel for another pitstop.

Before leaving though, we took Liggy to another of her favourite spots. Right at the end of the beach is where Scalby Beck comes down into the sea. There's a pebbled area with lots of pools and rocks. It is unfortunately down a long flight of steps, but Neil takes Liggy down there to play off lead. I wait at the top of the steps and do an occasional recall to keep Liggy on her toes. It's great exercise for her and it's nice for Neil to get some time playing with her without me being there. I had to laugh though yesterday. She often poos on the pebbles down there (which, of course, Neil picks up) but yesterday, she pooed in one of the pools, still on pebbles though, and poor Neil got his shoes soaked trying to pick it up. She's never done that before.

The day was completed with a delicious dinner at my aunty's. After all the months of restrictions, it was so nice to be able to be in the house and have dinner together and catch up on life.