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It’s all kicking off now

Tuesday 12th September

It’s been very quiet in Frankie world since our last post (11th May) but we’ve had some news today which is very exciting for us, but first things first…

Since we arrived back in the UK we have been almost permanently stewarding Temporary Holiday Sites for East Essex District Association of the Camping and Caravanning Club. Most of the time things have been very calm and peaceful so there has been nothing to write about but we have had a couple of incidents (which I would rather not write about).

We started our stewarding in Lee Meadows just outside of Ilfracombe.

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Here are some of our neighbours barbequing in the rain. It may not look it but it was raining pretty hard so there was little danger of the fire getting out of control. Bad weather was the theme for this meet, our awning blew down after three nights and it stayed windy for the next two weeks. 

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It’s a lovely site, down in the dip is a disused railway line that takes you into Wetherspoons in Ilfracombe. It’s downhill all the way which makes it an easy walk (but a difficult bike ride coming back) and there is a bus that drops off nearby.

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Next stop for us was four weeks in Sea Palling, we’re camping just the other side of the sea defences and the weather was pretty good for the whole month (the awning stayed up all the time). Sea Palling is in Norfolk right on the edge of the known universe. Phone signal is next to nothing, the village has a chippy and amusements arcade and that’s about it. Perfect if you want to get away from it all. To the north is a rare colony of Lesser Terns nesting on the beach and to the south is a colony of 2 – 300 seals.

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Nice flat field, very peaceful. The beach has a Blue Beach rating and at low tide there are some very nice shallow pools for the children to play in.

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You’re not going to see a photo like the one above very often – sunrise (4.56am). For some reason I woke up just in time to take a walk to the front.

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This is one of our paths over the dune.

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Next stop was sunny Clacton situated on the Sunshine Coast. Another four weeks on a large flat playing field within easy walking distance of the beach and pier. Whilst there, Clacton Carnival and Clacton Airshow were on, the photo is of some of our members standing on the mound watching the firework display.

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Not one of my best photos but where the fireworks are is just about where Clacton pier is. These particular fireworks were strapped to four light aircraft who were all flying in formation with sparks flying out behind them – it really was pretty and something I’ve never seen before.

Back to todays news. While we were at Lee Meadows, Pete and Tine Edwards turned up and since we’ve known them for years and years we got chatting. Pete & Tina have been Winter Sun Holiday Stewards for the last six years in Almafra, just to the south of Benidorm. Long story short is that Tina emailed the Club and told them about these two wonderful stewards who would be perfectly suited to a life in the sun.

Eventually Lucy talked me round and we sent in a CV to see what would happen. Email came back, we had an assessment last Tuesday which was one of the most gruelling exercises we have ever been through. Hundreds of questions, all had no correct answer, but lots of wrong answers! There was a written assessment with various scenarios and then we had to make a five minute presentation at the end. All the time there was someone in the background making notes and at the end we really had no idea whether we had done well or completely blown it.

This afternoon the message came through, we’ve been accepted. Still trying to get my head around it all. 

Coincidentally I spoke to Pete and Tina yesterday and asked them why they hadn’t warned us about the assessment, apparently it’s a new thing that they didn’t have to do. Also coincidentally, whilst I was sorting out some photos Pam Gibson emailed to ask about when I was blogging next!! 

On Friday we are travelling down to Porth Beach just outside of Newquay for three and a bit weeks stewarding again. Fantastic site, just across the road is the beach, buses into Padstow or Newquay, two Wetherspoons in Newquay (extra cheap food on Wednesday 20th) and I still have a couple of spaces free. 63 pitches of our allotted 68 pitches have gone, call me quick. £11 per night with electric, toilet and shower block.

There is a possibility that we might just get the ferry from Plymouth to Santander the day after we finish at Porth, spend a week getting to the site we’ve been allocated to and then spend six months sitting in the sun before spending a month touristing before getting the ferry back. I”ll let you know when and where we’re going as soon as we find out.

8 thoughts on “It’s all kicking off now

  1. Clunegapyears

    But Sea Appalling … I had a holiday cottage at Ingram Corner for 6 years and SP was my local beach. Loved the old fashioned quiet of it around there. I still miss the big skies. And Stalham’s best ever fish and chips. Do Debbie and Charlie still run the amusement arcade … a lovely couple?

    1. Mark Post author

      Don’t know about Debbie and Charlie, only went in there a couple of times with our grand daughter. Very peaceful, it looks like we’ll be there again next year just before the school holidays.

  2. val & andrew

    Hello my wandering friends that’s great news you deserve it , but why you going through spain to get to Poland ? see you soon .safe travals

  3. Peter Borthwick

    Stewarding?? We’ve been trying our hand at campsite warden / cleaners for the season. I’m assuming its a similar role, but you seem to move about quite a bit – which is much more appealing. What’s involved? How do you find out about such positions?
    And good luck in Spain. The sun is sounding very appealing after the summer we’ve had here!
    Best wishes,
    Peter and Elaine.

    1. Mark Post author

      One of the attractions of Winter Sun Rally Steward is no cleaning whatsoever. There will be a daily activity schedule which has to be organised such as bike rides, walks, communal bbq, quiz night, etc.
      We went on a rally near Valencia over the last Xmas and New Year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, it’s almost a DA rally but with sunshine. I think it is advantageous to try a Winter Sun Rally first just to make sure it is your thing, we paid £10.80 per night for 26 nights (30 nights is even cheaper) but the cost depends on where you go.
      Benefits include:- free ferry, free diesel and tolls, free pitch with electric and wifi, free travel and health insurance, uniform. Bigger sites will have Rally Stewards and assistants (we’re definitely assistants this time).
      If you visit the club website you will find a link to working for the Club, choose the overseas button and download the CV. I think they have two assessment days a year, there were only three couples wanting to do Winter Sun at ours, the other two were Tour Guides.
      Let us know how you get on.

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