If it’s not Brock…
If it’s not Brock…
Welcome to the first Blog of 2018. I had hoped to have one up earlier this month when we visited Tockholes Woods, but when we got there it was thick fog with added hail and sleet, so we bailed out and headed to the Farmer’s Market at Hoghton Tower instead.
Friday was forecast to have a rare, sunny and warmer start, so we unhooked Absinthe and set off up the M6 to the M55 and then up the A6 towards Garstang. We stopped at the fabulous Barton Grange Garden Centre to pick up some food from the Farm Shop to eat later in the van. As often happens, we were just getting back in Absinthe when a chap in a delivery van stopped to chat about her. The oft asked question about how much she’d cost, raised it head. I’m never sure what answer people want, but the reaction is usually one of two: “‘Ow much?” or “I’d better start saving”.
It’s a short* drive of about 20 minutes from the Garden Centre to Brock Bottom Picnic Site near Claughton on Brock, with a free car park, no height restrictions and a supply of picnic tables – I suspect it gets quite busy in the summer but at this time of year there was only one other car there. We parked up and took Boris for a walk in the sunshine beside the River Brock.
We don’t often let him off the lead these days. He had his fourteenth birthday earlier this week and struggles to see and hear anything, so often gets lost when we’re out, or follows the wrong people, but today was quiet and we let him trot along after us.
*or even shorter if my navigating was better!
It was good to be out and suddenly, Spring doesn’t seem too far off. There were snowdrops blooming and we heard a Woodpecker drumming higher up in the wood. Bring it on…
A minibus from Kirkham Grammar arrived shortly after we got to the car park and we spotted the students on a field trip and working in the river as we returned along the bank.
Their teacher came over to see us before they left and said that the students had been thrilled to see Absinthe and that it made a change on a Field Trip to see something different. I gave him a card so hopefully some of them will read this Blog. [If that’s you, you’re very welcome (and why not leave a comment?)]
We walked back to the van and had our food and a brew, although the tap seems to have stopped working since we were last out – another job to sort sometime.
There’s a bird feeding area at the site and I saw a Nuthatch, various Tits and a Great Spotted Woodpecker whilst we were there. A lady arrived in a car and put food on the bird tables, then settled back in her car to watch them, which seems like a great plan and may see us return with the appropriate stuff another time.
There are worse ways to spend a day than a walk by a river and a chill in the sunshine – hopefully this is the start of lots more van days during 2018.
Things we’ve Learned:
Grabbing hold of a rotten branch to swing round a tree is not a good idea when you’re nearly 17 st. Cue; hefty adult on his back in the mud and a wife trying to stifle laughter.
Food eaten in the van is more fun than food eaten at home
There are lots of places on our doorstep, still to explore.