The first VW show I went to with Mark and Sheila must have been somewhere around 2002 I think. Not only was it the coldest I’ve ever been to (camping at Donington in November is not to be recommended) but it also witnessed one of the worst hangovers I have ever experienced. Mark’s home made plum wine was without doubt a key contributor to that. It couldn’t have been a more different day, therefore, when we headed up to Harewood House for this year’s VW Festival. Not only was it an absolute scorcher, we hadn’t been drinking heavily the night before either!
Apparently this May has been the hottest on record. Even in the north we’ve had some awesome weather which has meant a couple of trips away in the bus and some fairly serious rambling. Not only that but there has been a new addition to the group, albeit of the slightly more modern variety.
The middle of the month saw us head back to Cooper’s campsite in Edale to meet up with Darryl and Jo and the Pageant 7. Now I haven’t actually seen the place in decent weather, so was thoroughly looking forward to it. Clarence had even had a decent clean and wax the weekend before in anticipation of some sunshine. Mr Cooper was actually in pretty chatty form when I arrived, although I’m really not that interested in the price of red diesel or the availability of whatever gas he keeps on site.
Here we are in May and we’re already at post number four for the year, which is the sum total of last year’s efforts. This last bank holiday weekend was not only apparently the hottest on record, but also saw me return to Stanford Hall for Leicestershire and Warwickshire VW Owner’s Club annual show. This was the 42nd year of the show and it’s without doubt my favourite – although it seems it’s four years since I last made it there!
It feels like forever since we saw any sunshine, although it does seem as though winter may finally be giving way to spring. Having fallen victim to the snow back in March, this year’s Spring Dub up at the Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate had been rescheduled for the middle of April so Mat and I spent a very pleasant couple of hours up there this weekend. It seems it’s been three years since I last went – I have genuinely no idea where that went!
I’d not seen Mark and Sheila since before Christmas so when I saw an Instagram post advertising the Clique 53 Spring Classics show at Newstead Abbey, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pop down to Scrooby and have a catch up on the Saturday before heading to the show on the Sunday. Due to a little trip to Vienna to see Metallica this weekend, a trip to Sandown Park for the Volksworld Show just wasn’t feasible. As seems to be standard practice these days I had had to pop into the folks’ en route to sort some of their constant IT issues and whilst I was over there they mentioned that Newstead Abbey just happened to be where they got engaged back in the 60s. We’re such a communicative family.
It’s the middle of March and it’s snowing. Again. The snow also dissuaded me from taking Clarence up to Coniston when we went up for my birthday last month. It was probably the right call, although I’m not sure Matt would thank me for making him take his new car down the road from Langdale that goes past Blea Tarn. It’s a touch on the narrow side. We had a cracking few days staying at the Black Bull, although sadly the snow stopped us from getting to the top of the Old Man. There was plenty of delicious beer though!