While we were away on our two concurrent caravan rallies, there certainly was plenty going on. We arrived at Esk Valley Camp to find the ground wet and very boggy after a lot of rain. New members Peter and Ruth got bogged down well and truly so a group of of good keen blokes pushed and pushed trying to get the motorhome out of the holes it was digging itself in. That didn't work, so Robin was called in to tow the van out onto (hopefully) drier ground.
Robin to the rescue
Luckily the warm and cosy club room was available to our group, as the rain continued to come down all weekend. We enjoyed a tasty meal of three varieties of home made soup and bread rolls on Friday night, then scones served with jam and cream the following day for morning tea, didn't we do well.
Desma with soup and scones provided for the hungry campers
This camp had quite a selection of home made jams, chutneys and sauces for sale, so I purchased two jars of apricot jam. The proceeds help with the ongoing maintenance of the defibrillator, funding batteries and pads as required. A great cause, and there’s no doubt about it, I love home made jam. Desma’s family own an orchard, and she brought in a box of tasty apples to share with us all, so kind.
Before we moved to Hastings Race Course in the city, Robin’s help was needed again to tow several more motorhomes out of the mud. No problem, he enjoys this sort of thing. Once settled down at the race course I climbed up in the grand stand to get a good view of the vans all parked up.
Parked at Hasting Race Course
There were things to do in Hastings. We visited my BIL Dennis at his Rest Home, my late sister Kathleen’s husband, then spent time at the laundromat. Close by is the cutest little sweetshop in the country, Birdwood's, with an amazing selection of sweets in an array of glass jars. We were after Blackballs for him and Acid Drops for her, which we like to keep in the car as a pick-me-up while we travel.
Boiled sweets from Birdwood's
The highlight of the rally was the “Big 0 & 5 Celebration Dinner” to celebrate with those members who have a big birthday or wedding anniversary during the year. Dressed in our glad rags, we made our way to the Ellwood Function Centre and enjoyed a lovely catered meal. Baked ham, roast veggies, followed with tiramisu. And a wonderful large carrot cake with cream cheese icing to follow.
Celebration cake cut by “bright as a button” 90 year old Bev
The birthday people were called up to collect their hand made cards – ages from 75, 80, 85, and 90 year old Bev. Three couples celebrated their 60th wedding anniversaries, including Bev and her hubby Scotty. Robin did well, after collecting a birthday card – 75 years old this year, he also had a special award, the Benton Recovery Award for his help in towing out those members stuck in the mud.
Thanks to Robin for towing those stuck in the mud
The following morning we fare-welled these friends and travelled down to Dannevirke to join in our caravan club weekend. There was a lot of mist about as we departed Hastings, I always find this type of weather rather spooky! Later the mist cleared and we got a great view of the snow topped Ruahine Ranges, looking wonderful with the mist glistening in the winter sunshine.
Lovely rural scenery
It was great to meet up with our caravan club friends at Dannevirke Motor Camp and plug into power – our previous 5 day rally in Hastings was non power, a bit chilly this time of year.
Staying at Dannevirke
There was a bit of an adventure on Saturday morning, we drove into Norsewood and said hello (again) to the trolls. These strange Scandinavian creatures are dotted all over the small town, and are considered good luck by the locals.
Sitting in the sunshine with Father, Mother, and Baby troll
Although we had visited Norsewood several times, we had never set foot into the small museum. Stepping into the old house was like stepping back in time, rooms were furnished just the way they would have been years ago. I was delighted to find several vintage sewing machine and lovely old linen. I love looking at these sort of items.
Aren't they wonderful
Another wonderful item on display was a wedding dress, made in the Channel Islands. Stitched with gold thread, and believe it or not, those little dark flower shapes are actually iridescent beetle wings stitched on to the fabric! Strange but true. A pair of lovely gold shoes and an Edwardian seed pearl neckless were also part of the wedding finery.
Embroidered wedding dress with beetle wings!
While we were away the only hand work I managed to do was graft the toes on a pair of socks. Here I am with my feet up on the sofa, cozy socks and slippers keeping my feet warm, with Gemma keeping me company. What a life!
Finishing off a pair of socks