Dub Lovin’ at Druridge Bay

Today was my first VW event of the summer (I use the word summer loosely). It’s the third annual Mighty Dub Fest held at the very beautiful Druridge Bay in Northumberland. Not surprisingly it was very muddy under foot but I was wearing my knee-length Doc Martin’s and was invincible.

The very first stand we approached sold rustic wrought ironwork, but we had to scarper as Skinny Dog#1 ate the roast vegetables on the wrought iron kebab display. A few stalls along and Skinny Dog#2 squatted down in front of the pie and pickle stand causing a lot of “eews” and “urghs” from passers-by. So we high tailed out of the festival grounds to have a look at the vans in the camping area beside the lake.

We then felt brave enough to re-enter the festival as the dogs had by now shared a Northumbrian pie, snaffled scraps of food out of black bin liners and pooped for England around the lake. (please note we do collect the poo and dispose of it responsibly).

Probably because of the appalling weather not as many vans had turned up this year. So, the following photos are a mix from today and last years event. See if you can spot the difference.

This is Lulabelle, a van full of cakes…..scrummy!

A time for reflection.

Festival boots and paws.

 I talked about herbs in my van in a previous post……so here are todays fresh bunch; oregano, chives and thyme. Not that we did any cooking today.

And finally, the test of a British summer festival; mud proof footwear.

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Campervan tootle to York

I have a great affection for the medieval City of York.  My first taste of freedom from home was enjoyed there while studying on a Foundation Art course….and I met “Tall Man” within the stronghold of its ancient city walls. Actually, it was in the queue at the college canteen and it took nine years for him to pluck up the courage and ask me out.

The last 48 hours have been spent tootling in the campervan to York and back in order to see my father in law and his latest art exhibition. In a modern vehicle the outward journey takes about two hours. In an elderly vehicle that defies the laws of mechanics, well, you’re just delighted to arrive at all. Sunny the Splitty took it all in his stride despite gale force cross winds and, through no fault of his own, no visible form of heating.  This is unfortunate when tootling during the winter months especially as Sunny has many, shall we say, ventilation holes. Why, if you look carefully around the base of the clutch pedal you can find yourself mesmerised by the sight of the road’s surface speeding beneath you. But Tall Man and I know how to dress for such a journey.

We,ve got it all wrapped up!

Many layers for both travellers. Jeans tucked into hiking socks, two t-shirts, cardigan, denim jacket, canvas coat and hat for him. Double layered dress, two cardi’s, coat, thermal tights, thermal knee length socks, Doc Martin boots,woollen hat and travel blankets for her.

My father in law’s exhibition, at The School House Gallery looked fabulous. The gallery’s light, bright, airy space really brought out the colours in his work. Some of the reds and oranges were so vivid I could almost sense heat emanating from the canvas. Although this may have been a halucinatory effect due to my bodily thaw.

Sadly dogs, skinny or otherwise, were not allowed in the gallery, so while Tall Man appreciated his father’s art work I took the hounds for a trot into town. This was no easy task. Skinny Dog #2 always pulls ahead while Skinny Dog #1 trails behind. Add to this the realisation that my thermal tights were being pulled southward by my knee-high thermal socks and you have a recipe for panic. Top of Goodram Gate and into Kings Square and my knickers had slid below my buttocks with the tights in hot pursuit. Fortunately my double layered dress, two cardigans and coat were all knee length, so I risked lengthening my stride toward the nearest ginnel. York has many of these, its a Yorkshire word to describe an alleyway. Discreetly adjusting my underpinnings beneath so many layers of clothing while keeping two dogs from making a dash to the Hog Roast shop, was impossible. I successfully manouvered my socks from calf to knee bunching up the thermal tights into undulating wrinkles mid-thigh. In order to get a good grip on the tights I had to drop the dog leads to the ground and put my foot on them. There was nothing for it. I lifted up all the layers, exposing bare upper thigh, and yanked. Yorkshire folk, and I am one of them, must have a strong constitution (its the daily intake of freshly brewed tea, Yorkshire puddings, curd tart and pomfret cakes), because not one person ambling down the ginnel batted an eyelid. I scuttled out into The Shambles with the dogs and sauntered calmly back toward the gallery.

York was looking lovely. It’s narrow crooked streets twinkled with fairy lights as each shop and coffee-house tried to outdo its neighbour with glowing festive charm. However,it wasn’t long before my hosiery began its southerly descent once more but I didn’t care. I was so hot you could’ve roasted chestnuts on my cheeks. Either pair.