Disaster 101

Disaster 101- a new name for my blog?

No! That would be asking for trouble although it seems to find us just the same.

After a reasonably comfortable seven week stay in a static caravan/single-wide which welcomed us on our first full day in Blighty with a puddle in the sitting room, himself drove 1260 miles to the south east coast of Italy while I alternately argued with and fumed at the GPS.

In hindsight, four days of driving, six days in Italy and a return trip of four straight days of driving was an even more ridiculous idea than the time we flew from Arizona to the UK and set off, jet-lagged to drive to the south of France.

Needless to say on our return from Italy, we were exhausted, grimy, hungry and already in a poor frame of mind when we stepped into the hell that was to be our home for the next two weeks. The curtains hung in loops from the rails, only attached every few feet like sad bunting; it smelled of dog and the carpet looked like he’d made himself right at home. There was a gaping maw where one of only two kitchen drawers had been and the cookware consisted of two small saucepans, enough for a tin of beans each.

We’d begun the tedious but necessary job of disinfecting every surface when I encountered the last straw – the kitchen sink was blocked. I poked at it with a fork and a black Satan’s spew regurgitated into the sink.

After a fourth trip with the various complaints to reception, the maintenance men turned up, disassembled the plumbing, lost a crucial piece of pipe and blamed us for taking it.

FBI Badge & gun.
FBI Badge & gun. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At 10 minutes to closing time we stood in reception, stunned with tiredness and incredulous with our bad luck, to argue our case with an 18-year-old. The manageress had made herself scarce.

We were given no alternative accommodation, no compensation, not even an apology, just a refund.

At six o’clock on a Friday night our car was crammed with suitcases of dirty washing and groceries with nowhere to cook them. We were shattered and we were homeless. Again.

Our only option was to go to the FBI.

Ferry Boat Inn - Outside the Pub
Photo credit: http://www.ferryboatinn.org.uk/index.html

At the Ferryboat Inn (FBI – geddit?), a low-ceilinged, timber-framed seaside pub exuding warmth and comfort, we stuffed our faces with fish and chips and downed large glasses of red wine. On the way to the pub, we’d booked a hotel for the night so felt no further need to molly-coddle the few functioning brain cells we’d left between us.

Dear friends took us in the next day and even offered to put up the marquee for us to sleep in.

We declined the marquee so this is where they made us sleep:

. . . . . to have this view every morning when I opened the curtains:

And this is where they made us eat candlelit dinners night after night . . . .

buxhall 013

. . . .and relax afterwards here . . .

buxhall 015

. . . . kept warm of a chilly evening by a giant inglenook fireplace:

English country house

I had just his tiny garden to play in:

Our friends kindness and generosity kept us from walking into the North Sea – ending our Which Way Now quest forever.

And speaking of the sea, I can feel your sympathy ebbing away.

We are now rested and as sane as we’ll ever be and ready to embark on our next phase – life in a tiny rental house. Our big black Chevy truck is being titivated for the UK roads and our furniture is languishing in a customs shed. We’ve no idea where any of it is other than not at the bottom of the Atlantic.

We have just been emailed and asked to write a review for our “holiday” by the head office of the caravan park – corporate communication being what you would expect. No one thought to question why we had a full refund on the day our “holiday” was due to start.

Trip Advisor here I come!

45 thoughts on “Disaster 101

  1. Never a full moment here, is there?! Glad you guys had such nice friends who came to your rescue. The holiday park experience sounds absolutely ghastly! Good that you gave them a review they deserved (by the way did you call and speak with glen?). Your new digs look lovely. Good luck!


    1. Thanks for your comments, Kan. No I didn’t call Glen. We had a rubbishy email of platitudes from the caravan park. I was so upset at the time I don’t want to have anything more to do with them. I wish I had taken pictures I could have posted. Live and learn. it’s all good now!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It took a long time to even write it down! All better now thanks to good friends. It’s just another story but I don’t think I’ll be going with the disaster title for the blog, just the post!


  2. I have been wondering about you. I’m not surprised that you have had another misadventure but at least this time you had some gracious friends to help you recover. Take care. 🙂


  3. Cuuuuuup caaaaaaaaaaake 🙂 Glad to see you back. That place sounds worse than my home – I didn’t think it was possible. Having said that, the alternative lodgings look lovely – thank goodness there are still spontaneously human people around.


  4. How fortunate you are to have such good and welcoming friends, Carol. I love that ‘tiny’ garden, and i bet that crisp white bed linen felt like heaven. 🙂 Our holiday review should make for interesting reading.


    1. That bed did feel like heaven. Like I was floating on a cloud. It felt so nice I couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm to pick up my book the first few nights and fell asleep with the light and my glasses on!
      The link to Trip Advisor is on the post. I wish I could publicize it more widely. Do you think I should stand at the entrance of the park with a sign? “HORRIBLE PLACE. DON’T STOP HERE!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. oh wow – seeing the pictures at the end made me feel so much better – but we have had a few travel nightmares post the trip too – like being tired and exhausted and then the disaster hits – and whew, they accused you of taking the pipe just shows the little irritants here too – anyhow, glad to hear from ya and have a nice week…


  6. I was just thinking about you the other day, wondering why you’ve been so quiet. I was going to email you and then thought better if it as I assumed things were hairy and didn’t want to add to any anxiety by asking how you were doing.

    So glad to hear your friends were so gracious and accommodating! Hope things go much more smoothly from here on in! xoxo


    1. You should have emailed me Nancy! I thought nobody missed me! I am literally boxed into a corner right now. I found my office chair so I’m exercising my brain for a few minutes before I unpack some more. I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone but it’s slow progress as I’m using the hotspot on my phone for data. How are you?


  7. Lovely to hear from you again Carol, I was beginning to think you had dropped off the edge of the world! Mindst you reading those tripadvisor reviews about your caravan park, I think I may have been tempted to get on a plane back to Phoenix! Thank god for your friends coming to the rescue, it must have been really tough staying with them 😉

    Where’s the rental home then, and did you pay a visit to Lostwithiel? Dying to know! Still looking from Shropshire 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t the edge of the world, just the wilds of Suffolk with no phone or data signal! We’re still in Suffolk for the time being. We’ve had a lot of boring aggravation over furniture, car, truck, decorating, etc. and now the central heating doesn’t work! We’re still hanging on in flip-flops but the puddles were quite deep yesterday. Himself is ready to return to AZ. When I’ve finished unpacking the boxes I’ll plan a trip to Cornwall.


      1. Doesn’t sound as if you have had the best return to the UK. Hope things improve for you now. I know of a lovely place to stay in Cornwall (near Truro, so you can get to places south and north within an hour) where you can book a long-stay in one of their cottages: http://www.bodreanmanorfarm.co.uk/the-trap-house.htm is a nice one, but they are all very clean.
        Instead of going through the booking system though, contact Michele directly to negotiate.


  8. Thanks for the update. I was getting ready to message you for fear you had been lost at sea LOL. As I sit comfortably parked in my home camped at Lake Pleasant (Phoenix) I’ve been wondering if you miss AZ or if the move is exactly what you’d hoped for?


    1. I’m hoping if we stay in one place for a while we can avoid disasters! We’ve had a glorious summer and autumn until yesterday when we had torrential ran all day, but I understand some of that has been going on in AZ as well. I’m loving it here. I just feel more at home here although I have a foot firmly planted in both countries. Himself would come back to Arizona in a shot! Enjoy your ‘winter’ weather!


    1. I posted a link to my Trip Advisor review Sue, but it might be as well to post the review right on my blog. I wrote to the head office three weeks ago and have not had a satisfactory response back, only to ask which park it was when they had just written to me to ask for a review. You’d think they could make the connection themselves, wouldn’t you?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve now got some tiny house pictures to post if I ever get our data package sorted out. It took me several days to cobble this last post together. Technology. Love it. Happy week to you! Mine is getting better, thanks.


  9. Omg!!!! You have now joined the ranks of the likes of me!!! This was our last year…except no nice friend to come to the rescue! Looks like you lucked out in the end at least….hang in there you may not know which way now but there’s nowhere to go but up from the dog shed, huh?…..very glad to have you back!


    1. Glad to be back. Daily communication has been and still is difficult. I may write a post on the difficulties of communicating. I actually had better connectivity all the way down to Italy and back but I wouldn’t want to book a hotel room every time I want to go online!


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