So that was summer then, April and May. Endless days of waking up to a view of blue sky and sunshine streaming in through the skylight, no need to don woolley socks and a fleece before venturing out into the awning, hours of reading sitting in a deckchair in the sunny corner of Assistant No;2 compound. June arrived and the nice weather went, almost to the day. We shouldn’t complain its what is to be expected (good old British weather) and we have had an unusually good run of very decent weather, almost to the point where some were wishing for a break from the sunshine and heat- I say almost, but not quite.
We have still managed a few days out between grey skies and showers, and the easing of Lockdown meant we could begin to explore our new surroundings further afield other than the once a fortnight trip driving directly to the food shops and back. We used to catch a glimpse of the sea at Port Solent during these excursions but with a feeling that we ought not to stop and turn it into a sightseeing trip aswell, so a visit to see the sea proper was first on the agenda. I love looking at maps so the green light of Lockdown easing saw me consulting the local area maps to see where we could go. As shops, cafes, attractions were still out of bounds it had to be a scenery day out and I settled on the Chichester Harbour area. Our first stop was Bosham (pronounced Bozzum so im told) a picturesque coastal village situated on one of the small inlets 2 miles west of Chichester. It is a thriving centre for sailing and a favourite haunt for both artists and photographers, and I could immediately see why. On driving into the village it was obvious it was a “well to do” kind of place, thatched cottages with roses around every door, artisan shops, art galleries and tea shops unfortunately closed but available for window shopping as we peered through hoping to see what awaited us should we make another visit later in the year. The short main street lead down to the sea and after stopping at the ice cream shop – yesssss it was open! – we carried on wandering down to admire the view. And how beautiful it was, peaceful, serene and still as a mill pond. The tide was just turning on its way out and puddles of sea water were evident on the road where the water comes right up to the walls of the buildings situated on the front at high tide. There are signs up advising to check the tide times if you leave your vehicle parked there -so be warned! We strolled along the shoreline and around the corner to the small Quay area where sailboats bobbed about and a quaint village green area in front of the church was adorned by people, picnics and blankets, it was just like a chocolate box scene. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts King Harold (of 1066 fame) praying at this Church. The whole persona of the place oozed charm and style, Bosham is a place we will definatley return to at the very earliest opportunity, and not just for the ice cream which was very delicious by the way.
After reluctantly leaving Bosham we carried on our journey around to the next inlet. We were hoping to go to the beaches at Wittering but signs were out saying visitors needed to book a carpark space prior to arrival and the amount of traffic on the roads leading there convinced us to give it a miss. Instead we stopped off at Dell Quay an attractive little coastal hamlet which in the 10th century was a principle landing port for goods being transported on by road to Chichester. Sail boats were pulled up on the shore as the tide was now receding, we strolled along the shoreline pathway for a while and looked longingly at the pub situated on the slipway wishing it was open for us to partake in a long cool drink of something – cider most likely. Not to be this time around though, another thing to look forward to on our next visit.
The next phase of lockdown easing was now looming, 4th July was “Campsite Independence Day” and so we were unfurloughed on the 22nd June in order to prepare for the grand re-opening. I kid you not it was a bit of a shock to have to watch the clock again and get back into a structured daily routine. Weeding, strimming, hedging, grass cutting all had to be done with earnest as it hadn’t been able to be touched during furlough, plus all the additional Covid measures that had to be put in place. Signage, social distancing markers, areas to be cordoned off and just keeping up to date with the latest Government and Club guidelines was taking up most of our working day.
Saturday 4th July seemed to have the whole caravanning/camping fraternity in a frenzy of excitement, beside themselves with sheer joy I could see on social media it was surpassing the anticipation of even Christmas Day. We were as ready as we could be and were full to capacity for the first night. We had preallocated everyone a pitch number and phoned them to take payment beforehand so on arrival all we had to do was meet and greet with a big smile and herd them all through onto site. The day went smoothly and the system worked very well, members were over the moon to be back out using their leisure vehicles again and the atmosphere on site was like one big party, unfortunately the weather was wet and windy but it still didn’t appear to dull their enthusiasm. Members embraced the Covid restrictions in place and praised the efforts of all in enabling them to once again escape in their home from homes. We collapsed into our beds that night happy and content we had played our parts in helping them to once again pursue their dreams. Every day since has been ridiculously busy, the whole UK seems to have embraced the caravanning concept with many new comers to the scene keen to get out there and start making their own memories. Business is booming!
Catch up with us next time as we hit the “silly season” full on and continue our lifestyle change journey.