Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Late Spring Holiday, 22 May

It has stopped raining!  It woke me up when it stopped in the night, as I am so used to the white noise of rain on the roof!  But it began again, and was still drizzly this morning.

Today was the longest day of skating, starting at 08:35 and finishing at 22:15. We had to be there for the start, as a friend was skating second and we waved tu cheer her on. She was caring a slight injury and not quite sure whether she would be able to skate - we would  have been annoyed had she withdrawn as we could have had another 30 minutes in bed! However, she skated beautifully, adjusting her programme to her limitations, so we were glad to be there to cheer her.

We wanted to watch all morning, but there was a long gap in the afternoon and early evening with nothing of interest to us, and it had finally stopped raining so I went for a walk around the town (they have closed the wool shop!) and the SW went for a 14k walk/run in the mountains, coming back very hot and sweaty so he had to buy a shower token and use the showers in the sanitary block.

We then had supper and went back to the rink to watch for the rest of the evening. On the way, my water-bottle leaked and all the contents of my bag got wet! At least there is some protect of it drying out....

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Late Spring Holiday, 21 May

I was a little worried in the night as there is a stream running through the campground leading to what we think is a hydro-electric generator, and last night it was very, very full!  However, when we left the van this morning, we found a sluice had obviously been closed, and it was empty and in no danger of overflowing. Great relief!

The rain has continued all day - I wore my wellies to the rink and was glad of them. Didn't do much other than watch skating, knit, grab some rolls from the supermarket and watch skating. We had dinner in Zohrans, the restaurant above the rink, and very good it was, too. I had a steak, which was lovely, and the SW had pasta with mushrooms, such I remember from previous years is also lovely!

Tomorrow is the longest day of skating, with the artistic competitions now over and the free skates starting, so we have gone to bed early.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Late Spring Holiday, 20 May

We didn't hurry out of bed this morning, and when we were getting breakfast the Swan Whisperer accidentally knocked his cup off the side when he was about to put tea in it, spilling milk all over the rug. The cup didn't break, and we had plenty of milk, but we were even later than we might otherwise have been because of course the rug had to be scrubbed or it would have smelt.

So we missed the first class we would have liked to have seen, but watched most of the rest of the morning. I did skip out to go into town to buy the SW a pair of shoelaces and me a slightly more waterproof tote bag, but then got the bus on its return journey to the rink.

But it was raining. It has rained the entire day and shows no sign of stopping. After a sandwich lunch at the rink, we watched a bit more skating, but when we had seen all our friends in Bronze Ladies II Artistic (2 of whom finished 2nd and 3rd) I came away. Did a bit of grocery shopping and then curled up in my bed and read (well, dozed) for a bit and got very, very cold. Don't know why as I was dressed and had the duvet over me, but I got so chilled I couldn't even reach out to turn the heating on. The SW, who had wrapped up against the rain and gone for a walk, turned it on when he came in, and soon I was warm enough to make a very lazy lentil curry. Which was lovely, but would have been even nicer with a handful of sultanas in it. Maybe next time I'll chop up an apple... We had asparagus to start with and ice cream to finish.

I decided against going back to the rink and am now curled up in bed with a hot-water-bottle and a rug over the duvet! I might even fish out some bedsocks - I think I packed a couple of pairs just in case.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Late Spring Holiday, 19 May

I set the alarm for 07:00 this morning and we hurried through washing and dressing (and running, in the case of the SW) and breakfast to get to the rink befit 09:00,my to find that they had changed the system and were now doing the accreditation in the office and our help wasn't wanted. We were most unimpressed, particularly as the main reason to volunteer was to get a free pass into the competition. As it was, we had to buy an all-event pass.

So we hung about watching practice and chatting to friends until it was time for the opening ceremony. We were saddened to learn of the death of a friend, who had been seriously ill for two years and more so not altogether unexpected, but still very sad.

After the Opening Ceremony (fizzy wine at 11:00 am, how decadent!), we went back to the van and had lunch. Virgin Mobile had given all its customers 5G of data to use today so I allegedly watched videos on my phone but in fact fell asleep!

We made it back to the rink in good time for the start of competition at 15:30,coming back to the van during Bronze Ladies I, as we didn't know anybody in it. We had an early supper and went back to watch the last couple of classes of the day, only to find that my cowbell wasn't in my bag. I thought i must have left it in the rink and some kind soul had given it to Lost Property, but in fact found it on my bed when we got back, and the SW admitted to having tipped out when getting something earlier, which I do wish he had told me! Ah well, no harm done. In fact, rather the reverse - I couldn't find my folding mac this morning and assumed I'd left it at home, but found it in the bottom of my bag when I was looking for the cowbell!

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Late Spring Holiday, 18 May

Up fairly early this morning to have breakfast with the Niece, which was very pleasant and it was late morning before we got away for the third day's long drive. We stopped for lunch, and then at Memmingen to get diesel and a quick look round DM, and then on to Oberstdorf, where we are parked up for the week. I did a dash to the Norma and got some food, and then there was a nice cup of tea. The SW went up to the rink to see people, but I am not quite adjusted to the altitude (although it's a zillion times better than last year) so stayed in the van, and we decided to have a quiet evening.

Late Spring Holiday, 17 May

Another long drive today, to Mannheim, where our niece lives.

First thing, the Swan Whisperer went for a run while I got breakfast and then we started off by retracing our steps to a very large Carrefour, which made the one at Cité Europe look tiny!  I did a bit of shopping, wincing slightly at the prices of things like tinned veg. However, fruit and veg, which is what I mainly wanted, were reasonable and I got some, plus the cream cheese I had forgotten to get the previous day and ice cream for supper pudding. Plus a tray of olives and sliced salami for nibbles.

We then drove and drove, doing at a random aire for lunch and again for diesel, and arrived here about 16:45, in nice time for a cup of tea and the SW went for a leg stretch while I stayed in the van as it was hot, so we had everything open to air it out, and someone had to be there!

Our niece arrived about six and we had a lovely evening with her, eating the aforementioned nibbles and ice cream with a butternut squash and mushroom risotto in between and killing off a bottle of Mas Alart rosé. It was great.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Late Spring Holiday, 16 May

The worst thing about the trip to Oberstdorf is the drive across Belgium on the first full day! Belgian motorways are dull and slow.

At breakfast it was nice to be able to listen to the radio on our new portable via Bluetooth from our phones.  It doesn't seem to use much data, and of course we should have WiFi in Oberstdorf.

First thing after breakfast was shopping. We were able to get a new mini-jack cable, which works, so we can play music through the new car radio despite the USB connection not working. The Swan Whisperer also bought himself a new pair of shorts so he can run, having decided to use yesterday's t-shirt as the top. He wears ordinary socks, so that's OK.

I forgot to buy cream cheese, though, which is a bore, but easily rectified.

We decided to break the journey at the Strépy-Thieu boat lift, which is always nice, even though the route is a little longer. Not helped by the fact that the new Sat-nav decided we were over 3.5 tonnes so must obey the HGV speed limits.  This didn't really matter in France, where they ate 100 Kph on the motorways as the SW tends to drive at that speed anyway, but was a bit in Belgium where it is 90,as it kept being at its for being over the speed limit. Which we really weren't as we are not over 3.5 tonnes.  I was able to fix this eventually, though, through the simple expedient of telling it we were a light camper, not a heavy one which was what I had originally told it. It still knows our dimensions and will programme routes accordingly.

Lunch was the usual bread, cheese etc, and I bought us raspberry tartlets to celebrate, and also some gariguette strawberries. Then we both went for a breath of air - I had  to wind my wool first as the ball had collapsed, and then  pressed on, stopping once as the SW needed a break. We got here eventually and had a cup of tea and now the SW is going to go for a walk before dinner.