Friday, 17 July 2009

Off to the West Country in a caravan

I have a small touring caravan, and the necessary 4x4, and I've booked three West Country sites to stay at over the twelve nights from next Wednesday (the 22 July). The first (four nights) is at Coombe Bissett, just outside Salisbury in Wiltshire, the second (three nights) is near Lyme Regis in Dorset, and the third (five nights) is near Great Torrington in North Devon. After that I need to hurry back for more laser treatment. These are all farmer's fields with views and electric hook-ups, and they average £10 per night for the pitch. It's an inexpensive way of getting around! The caravan is a 2007 model, an Elddis Avante 362, and although no Tardis is very comfortable and well-equipped. I've owned it from new.

I'm going on my own, and I've got very mixed feelings about that. My former partner M--- introduced me to the delights of caravanning, but she isn't coming. I have no idea how I will feel about caravanning without her. It may be all right, or it could turn out to be a terribly sad experience that I won't want to repeat. I'll just have to see.

I'm hopeful however that that the holiday will be a success. I'm taking both cameras and if nothing else will indulge myself with an orgy of landscape, seascape and architectural photography. The Nikon D700 and its f/2.8 24-70mm lens hasn't had much exercise lately, and is raring to go. This is the same kit that Helena Love - the Girl From Mars - uses. But whereas Helena's little camera is a Canon G9, mine is a more diminuitive Leica D-Lux 4, and I reckon it will do well for evenings strolling around towns, when I wouldn't want to tote the heavy and bulky Nikon. Besides the Nikon says 'mug me' with all trumpets blaring.

I don't know anyone in the South West, except a distant cousin who lives in Exminster, near Exeter, and it would be a bit off to upset her by dropping in on her as I look now. If however anyone reading this (presumably trans like me) wants to suggest meeting up, they're welcome to email me on - I can handle emails on my mobile phone.

I do plan a night out in Plymouth. I see that I could try Hawkins Meeting Place, The Swallow, The Clarence, and Zero's, and although these may primarily be gay (rather than trans) venues, I'm game to check them out. That would be a fair drive down the A386 from Great Torrington, but hey, I'll be missing the entire Brighton Pride Week and need a substitute! As I'd be prepared to motor that far just for some atmosphere, take as read that I'd be happy to come to such places as Taunton and Exeter.

Whatever else I do, one place I must revisit is Kentisbeare, the Devon village Dad lived in when a boy. That'll be a day out from Lyme Regis, and I'll probably take in Exeter as well.

Do I have to mention that I will be packing the full Lucy wardrobe and regalia? For most days out it'll be jeans, top, sandals, and waterproof jacket. But an evening in Plymouth will require something nicer.

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