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Camp Dream 28th Feb

Published February 28, 2016 by Laura Crean Author

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I know it seems I’m only posting dreams at the moment but I have always had such vivid dreams and they have always  been an important part of my subconscious and spiritual life.  Therefore in the absence of time and inspiration for creative writing, sharing my dreams and my spiritual life seems to be the obvious thing to do.

Last night or rather this morning I had a dream that started out like any other dream but ended with a spiritual dimension which made me wonder about the meaning of the whole dream.

I was going on a trip and at first I didn’t know where I was going and actually there was some strange goings on at the beginning with the transport but I can’t remember that part of the dream.

Then eventually after some travelling and some kind of adventure on the way that I can’t remember, I arrived at a camp site.  It was a family camp site and I had children with me – I think they were my children but I’m not entirely sure.  I know there was some trouble putting up the tent, there was some rain which also made it difficult but I think we had a camper van as well to use as a main area.  Also during the setting up period there were 2 tigers roaming the camp site and we had to stay in the camper van at that point.

Then I remember the children waking up really early, actually in the middle of the night – about 1am and they invaded the swimming pool. All the children took over the pool and turned on all these sprays of hot water.  And the water in the pool went weird, like jelly.  But the children were all having a great time together in this pool.

Then the parents tried to get the children out of the pool but they had no control over them so they set up a large tent outside the pool that the children had to go through to get out and then they all sat around in there and organised bible studies while the children were in the pool.  The adults were having a great old time, sitting around drinking tea and chatting and really enjoying studying the bible together.

The parents also took down all their own tents and set up one large tent outside so that when the children went to go back to their own tents they only had this one large tent to go to.

The bible studies the parents were having were all based on books from the bible that don’t exist.  There were quite a few that I don’t remember but the ones I do remember seeing in the contents page and while people were flicking through their bibles were called ‘America’ ‘Judgement and Retribution’ and ‘Titius’.  I remember saying to the people in the meeting that those weren’t real books from the bible.  And a lady said they were and they were all in the back after Revelation.  I said I had never heard of them but I flicked through my bible and there they were.  then just before I woke up I heard one more book being spoken and it was Habakkuk, the only real book out of them.  As I stepped out of the bible studies tent there was an earthquake which I remember thinking was very strange because we don’t get them in the UK.

After I woke up the first thing I did was write down the strange names and one jumped out at me – Titius – because it made me think of Timaeus and Critias (I think that’s how you spell it but I could be wrong).  It seemed  like a Roman name to me and it turned out that there was a Roman politician called Titius.  Anyway I need to go away and think about this dream some more but if anyone wants to comment, offer interpretation or any observations I would be really interested.

 

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Camping Diary – Norman’s Bay Camping and Caravanning Club, East Sussex

Published August 3, 2013 by Laura Crean Author
norman-s-bay-camping

Norman’s Bay Camping and Caravanning club – Image source -http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g503764-d610723-Reviews-Norman_s_Bay_Camping_And_Caravanning_Club-Pevensey_East_Sussex_England.html 

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Norman’s Bay camping and caravanning Club – image source –
http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t474-normans-bay-ccc-site

 

Day One (Monday)

Day one and guess what? The sun has decided to take a holiday the same time as us. Not only that but we turned up at the campsite and it started to rain. Only a little drizzle but still – rain is rain when you’re trying to pitch a tent! A really sweet old guy cycled us round to show us where our pitch was and finally it was that moment we had been dreading – time to pitch the tent. Yes the tent that has been under my stairs for the last ten years and hasn’t seen the light of day in all that time!

I got it all out of its bag and the wind really tried its hardest to rip the tent out of our hands as we tried to follow the obscure instructions, that might as well have been written in Sanscrit for all we could understand of it! And where were the pictures? I need instructions with pictures!   My dad tried really hard, bless him, to help me with this task, but to us it appeared the colour coded poles were far too long for the slots they were supposed to go into and we were getting in a right old pickle and not getting anywhere fast.

Finally I decided it was time to go and find a ‘man’. Surely there would be a ‘man’ in a tent somewhere that could save the day. Sure enough I found him (just the ‘man’ for the job) in a lovely couple called Laura and Joe, who funnily enough were due to leave that day but loved it so much that they had decided to stay a few extra days.   Joe was an ex army man (so a pretty handy ‘man’ to have around) – perfect!  Basically Joe took the lead and got our tent up in next to no time – bless him!  By the way, Laura’s name wasn’t the only coincidence – their dog’s name was Ellie (my daughter’s name for those of you who don’t know) so I thought that was pretty cool!

Next jobs were to blow up the beds and put the new barbecue together. The first bed blew up just fine and it fit perfectly into one of the little bedroom cubicles in the tent. However disaster struck when I went to blow up the second bed. There was no bung! I couldn’t believe it. And all because I had decided to get it out at home first to make sure there were no punctures. So somewhere between deflating it and putting it in the bag by the front door ready to take away, the bung had mysteriously gone missing! I was slightly concerned to say the least – there was no way on Earth I was going to sleep on the floor without something soft underneath to protect my back and my daughter and her friend, who were sleeping in the other bedroom, were adamant they weren’t prepared to either. Suddenly I had a bright idea and sent them off to the site shop to buy some beach lilos. Second problem solved.

The third problem of the day arose when Dad tried to put the barbecue together. He found that the screws were the wrong size for the holes and the holes themselves had been manufactured the wrong way round! What the? Anyway G.I. Joe to the rescue again. Being an army man must mean ‘good at making do and mending’ because he managed to help my dad adapt what we had and get the barbecue together for me.

After Mum and Dad had gone we sorted the tent out so that we were nice and organised and enjoyed the afternoon. We had been given a pitch next to the playground so little Alice was happy and we hardly saw her for the rest of the day. It was so great to see so many kids of different ages all playing together quite happily and getting on so well.

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Alice enjoying the play area at Norman’s bay Camping and Caravanning Site
© 2013 Laura Crean

As the day wore on it started to drizzle again and I started to worry about how I was going to cook if it rained because I needed to cook outside the tent! The wind was also picking up a bit. But as soon as there was a lull in the weather I quickly set up the camping stove (a single ring with gas canister) to boil the kettle for our pot noodles. Problem number four of day one – the kettle wouldn’t boil!  I think I must have wasted practically a whole tin of gas trying to boil that damn kettle and at best all I could get out of it was luke warm water for a disgusting cup of coffee.  The pot noodles also failed miserably.  So I decided I would have to barbecue something.

Problem number five – trying to light a barbecue with a bit of a breeze blowing out every single match you try to light!  We got there eventually.  It wasn’t cold, it was quite warm still, just a little overcast – so when the sun found an exit in the clouds, it was really quite pleasant.  Eventually I managed to barbecue to a delicious burnt crust two packets of sausages and six kebabs.  Actually it was really nice and the box of strawberries went down a treat too. As the evening wore on we put everything away and moved the picnic table into the tent where we played some cards before snuggling down in our sleeping bags and sleeping compartments for our first real night in the tent.

Day Two (Tuesday)

Well what can I say?  Rain, rain, rain, what sounds like gale force winds and more rain… LOL.  We had a bit of a scary moment at one point in the night when the rain seemed to be dripping into the tent in some areas but it was raining pretty damn hard at the time, so…

So we just relaxed in the tent, playing games, reading etc.  We managed to get the table and chairs up in the central compartment and eat breakfast and I even managed to get a cup of tea out of the gas burner.  Then later on we went into Pevensey Bay to have a meal and play some pool at the Beach Tavern.

the-beach-tavern

The Beach Tavern – Image Source –
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31514768@N05/7190501374/

The rain stopped long enough for the little one to meet all her new friends at the playground late afternoon and I had a really nice and relaxing hot shower.

It was a very relaxing evening and I really enjoyed my pot noodle before bed.  

We only had one little incident in the night – with a moth that refused to follow the light of the torch out of the tent and had to be captured by Shannon, the only one brave enough to get close enough to handle it without freaking out like a petrified little girl.  I have to say it was a bloody big moth!  And of course the girls had to talk about the scariest horror movies they had seen as an alternative to ghost stories because they couldn’t think of any! LOL  I think Kate now realises just how obsessed with movies Shannon is.  At 14 years of age she is a walking encyclopedia of movie information and if you ask her about a movie she’ll tell you who is in it, what Oscars they’ve won, who they have married, divorced, their children’s names – everything about their lives – she is so funny!  She just looooves her movies. All in all a very pleasant day camping was had by all.

Day 3 (Wednesday)

I awoke this morning to sunshine streaming in through the tent and smiled to myself in my cosy camping compartment, with my little angel asleep cuddling up next to me.  Alice was really enjoying her first experience of camping and it didn’t matter  to her that we weren’t far from home – to her it was still a lovely holiday.  I gently pulled myself away from her and snuck out to the loo.  It wasn’t bright sunshine, still overcast, but it was warm enough and not raining, which I was pleased about because it meant I would be able to put the picnic table back outside and we could have a cooked breakfast.  I was so looking forward to my eggs and bacon and cup of tea.  Anyone would think I was obsessed with food, but to be honest with you it is just because I have had to try to plan the food around the weather!

By the time I returned to the tent Alice was waking up, so I began sorting out for breakfast.  It started to drizzle a bit so I decided I was just going to have to try using the burner in the foyer of the tent.  The teenagers got up and went to the toilet block while I got things ready for breakfast.  Finally – a successful English breakfast of sorts – lots of bacon, 2 eggs, bread and butter and tea – mmm…yummy!  Oh my God I am obsessed with food! LOL

We cleared up the breakfast things and managed to set ourselves up on the picnic table in the foyer with puzzle books and the radio (that amazing ancient camping radio my dad had lent us that just never seemed to run out of batteries!)  and Alice drifted between playing out with her camping friends and doing her puzzle book when the rain got too much for her.

My dad nearly scared me half to death when he poked his head round the tent to see how we were getting on mid-morning, bless him, he thought it was funny how we were all huddled up in the tent while it was drizzling outside.  But actually we were absolutely fine and enjoying the whole experience, rain or not. After Dad left the weather started to pick up.  We moved the picnic table and fold up chairs outside, opened up the tent flap and started enjoying the day.  Once again Alice spent the day playing with all the kids at the play area and I am just so glad we pitched where we did as I could see her at all times, and the dozens of other kids all enjoying the whole camping experience, meeting new kids coming on to the site all the time.  They all seemed to have bikes and scooters and one boy even had a cool go-cart and they all just shared their toys and a great old-time together.

As the day wore on more and more tents went up all around us.  It was so lovely to see all the kids enjoying themselves, making friends and all the adults relaxing outside the tents watching the children have fun. Just after midday I decided I would like to go for a little walk but the kids were having so much fun they didn’t want to go, so I left the teens in charge of Alice and had a wander up to take a look at the beach.  It was slightly overcast but still warm and the tide was either coming in or going out (I couldn’t make my mind up which it was) so there was a little sand to walk on.  I braved it, took my shoes off and walked along the surf.

The sea was warm believe it or not and it was so nice just walking along, the warm sea and sand between my toes and a gentle breeze blowing the salty surf into my face.  I walked for a little while, just enjoying the peace – there were only a few lost souls like me wandering along the beach mostly with their dogs running in and out of the water and chasing tennis balls and the odd child!  Soon I cut back up the beach past a look out tower and sat on the wall looking between the sea and out over the countryside – it was just so beautiful!  A really picture postcard view of the British coast.

When I got back to the camp site the kids were still busy in their own activities.  Alice playing bat and ball with two friends and Shannon and Kate playing catch with a tennis ball, making each other explode in girly giggles as they joked and chatted (and I think talked about some rather cute boys they had seen in some of the other tents 😉 )  Ah!  Simple pleasures!

Soon I decided it was a good time to get the barbecue going for dinner.  The girls helped me and in no time at all we had chops and chicken thighs cooking nicely on the barbecue and chicken flavoured rice and veg in the pan on the burner.  The smell was enough on its own to make my tummy rumble and I must say – it was absolutely scrummy! After tidying up and relaxing for a couple of hours I decided to take the girls for the walk I had been on earlier, only this time we walked up the beach for a while then up some country roads, over the railway crossing to the Star Inn.

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The Railway crossing at Norman’s Bay – image source –
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2447373

Alice was delighted to find an adventure playground and one of her campsite friends to play with while we had a welcome ice-cold drink.

Shannon and Kate found a swan with her cute little babies and tried playing poo sticks over a little stream, which didn’t work because the water was too still. 

Believe it or not, it was after 6pm and I was starting to get burnt!  After an overcast morning and most of the afternoon the sun was now out in full force and when I went into the pub toilet I couldn’t believe it when I caught sight of myself in the mirror – I was going to feel it later, I was glowing, bright red from the                                                                                    early evening sun!

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Me – glowing bright red in the early evening sun.
© 2013 Laura Crean

I decided to treat us all to a dessert, Shannon and I had Chocolate Brownies with cream and vanilla ice-cream, Kate had Sticky Toffee pudding and ice -cream and Alice had a kids’ special ice-cream with cookies.  I’m talking about food again!  Anyway, what a pleasant evening it had turned into.

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Shannon and Kate enjoying a nice cold J2O at the Star Inn
© 2013 Laura Crean

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Alice enjoying a nice cold drink at the Star Inn
© 2013 Laura Crean

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Alice enjoying the adventure playground at the Star Inn
© 2013 Laura Crean

By 9pm we were back at the campsite and it was still fine and light, so the kids carried on playing and as I sat watching them all enjoying their holiday I think I felt the happiest I have in a long time.  For once I had not a care in the world, life was good, nothing to stress about, my children were happy and nothing at that moment mattered except enjoying our holiday and each other’s company. The setting sun turned the fine clouds a bright blush pink and in the distance a haziness painted the hills a grey-blue – I felt like I was sitting in the closing paragraph of a great novel waiting to be written.

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Shannon trying to be scary with a torch Wednesday night
© 2013 Laura Crean

Day 4 (Thursday)

After a very late night enjoying the kids’ company and watching the stars on a warm evening I awoke this morning to the most glorious day.  Beautiful blue skies, sunshine and a soft cool breeze in all the right places.  The sun was hot from the off and in no time at all we were all outside the tent, cooked breakfast on the plates enjoying the summer sunshine.

Before long the girls were planning what they wanted to do for the last day and as it was so gloriously hot we abandoned the idea we had of walking across country to find Pevensey Castle (too hot!) and settled for a day on the beach.  However, it was so hot I didn’t think Alice and I would be able to stand all day on the beach, so Alice and I stayed at the campsite for the morning – me reading, Alice playing with her friends.  The older girls wandered over to the beach (with strict instructions from me about sun safety!) for a spot of sun bathing and girly time (without my eye on them I think).

Soon Alice and I decided to follow.  I went prepared, armed with large umbrella, sun cream and money for ice-creams.  My goodness it was hot!! (the hottest day of the year so far).  I joined Alice and Shannon in the sea to cool off for a nice swim (even though the good old English coastline isn’t the clearest of waters in the world and let’s face it – it’s freezing) on this occasion however it was such a welcome dip.  It cooled us right down and we did have fun with the lilos and giant rubber ring. The weather continued to be really fine all day and after a few hours on the beach we returned to the site.

It was just so relaxing to just sit in the sun, chilling and watching the kids playing.  A little later on, just before I started our last barbecue of the holiday the girls went back to the beach for one last swim.  I sat dozing under the umbrella and realised after a while that I had dropped off into a deep sleep when I woke myself up with my snoring – whoops!  A tad embarrassing – goodness knows what my fellow campers thought! After yet another successful barbecue and with the dishes washed up and cleared away the early evening continued much the same, with me reading and the girls entertaining themselves.  I took myself off for a shower to cool off and thankfully it took the edge off the heat as I was really feeling it.  The evening wore on and I suddenly noticed the sounds all around me – children playing and laughing, the waves lapping on the beach, the sheep in the fields – I wanted to remember those holiday sounds and the smells of the sea, barbeques and the early evening dew.  What a perfect holiday memory to take away with me.

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Shannon chillin’ outside our tent
© 2013 Laura Crean

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Our fantastic 4 man tent for the week
© 2013 Laura Crean

 Day five (Friday)

Today we had to be out by noon and guess what?  Yep!  The one day  when I didn’t want it to rain, the day I had to pack up and put the tent away dry – it rains!  I got up once more before the girls and started to tidy up.  We managed to get some selection cereals in for breakfast and between intermittent showers, packed up our stuff.

My dad arrived and gave us a hand, it had stopped raining finally and luckily the tent had started to dry by the time we took it down, although my dad thought it would be a good idea to take it back out at home and make sure it was properly dry before packing it away again.

The girls and I were actually quite sad to say goodbye to the campsite and I have decided we will be definitely returning to Norman’s Bay.

want to learn more about the club?  Click here – http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/

Anyone for Camping? Check!

Published July 28, 2013 by Laura Crean Author

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Hello my lovely fellow WordPressers.  I thought since it is the Summer holidays and camping is on my mind and probably on plenty of yours, that I would share my new camping experiences with you.  So today’s blog is basically a checklist.  I thought it might be useful to some of you to share my own camping checklists with you – maybe there is something on my list that you have forgotten or you can see something urgently that I may have forgotten.  So here we go…

CAMPING CHECKLIST

            TENT

  • Main tent
  • ground sheet
  • fly sheet
  • pegs and lines
  • poles
  • peg mallet

            SLEEPING

  • sleeping bags
  • floor mats
  • blow up bed matresses or campbeds and sheets
  • foot pump or battery operated pump
  • pillows or blow up pillows
  • toiletries and towels

                                          OTHER ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

  • camera and batteries
  • selection of lamps, torches and batteries for them or some wind up lamps might be handy.
  • Image
  • picnic table and chairs
  • folding chairs for relaxing in
  • umbrella for shade and or awning or separate shade
  • windbreaker
  • compass and maps if hiking
  • water proofs and suitable walking shoes

                                          FIRST AID KIT

  • selection of plasters including a couple for larger wounds
  • blister plasters if hiking
  • bandage
  • antiseptic wound spray
  • paracetamol or asprin / calpol for the kids
  • travel pills
  • ice packs for bumps
  • antihistamine for bites / stings / hey-fever / allergies
  • scissors / tweezers
  • insect repelent / mosquito spray
  • sun cream / after sun lotion / sun hats and sun glasses
  • any other essential personal medication

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                                                         EATING

  • cool box and ice-packs (don’t forget spare packs, most campsites will freeze these overnight for a small fee)
  • water carrier (you can even get flat packed ones) / sports bottles for individuals
  • camping stove and or disposable barbeques and spare gas cylinders
  • matches
  • something to cook on i.e a stand or table or portable barbeque
  • kettle / pan / frying pan
  • large fork / sharp knife / spatula for cooking and cooking oil or butter
  • cutlery / plates / bowls / mugs (you can get some nice picnic bags that include all of this and come with a picnic blanket)
  • large plastic bowl for salads etc
  • bucket and tea towels for washing up (or you could just do it under the running water at the campsite)
  • baby wipes
  • tin opener and scissors

                                    BE CREATIVE WITH FOOD

Obviously the amount of food you take is going to depend on your cooking arrangements, space for packing etc.  Here are just a few ideas with space saving and convenience in mind.

  • packet soups and freeze dried meals like dried rice and pasta
  • why not bring a pot noodle and some packet noodles to use in the pot again
  • dilutable drinks rather than trying to take lots of bottles and cans – or be healthy and drink lots of water
  • breakfast bars and trail mixes with nuts and dried fruits (obviously not suitable if you have nut allergies like my daughter – thankfully she’s going away as part of the  National Citizen Service  so I can eat all the nuts I want for the week hehehe!)
  • small individual breakfast box selections for the kids
  • freeze dried oatmeal
  • barbeque selections for the cool box
  • small individual sauces and condiments
  • sugar / salt sachets
  • hot drink sachets eg. hot chocolate / malt drinks / cappachino

ENTERTAINMENT

  • swim gear / snorkling gear (don’t forget the swim aides and goggles for the kiddies) and any other specialist eqipment if you are on an activity holiday
  • reading materials / puzzle books
  • games / cards (pennies and sweets if you are going to gamble or perhaps indulge in some strip poker – naturalists need not apply LOL)
  • battery operated…wait for it…or wind up – radio
  • money for pub / trips
  • some ideas for the kids :- colouring books and magazines / frizbies / bats and balls or a swing ball / bucket and spade / blow up boat / skipping rope / fold up scooter / bubbles / water pistols / kite / paddling pool / pocket money for sweets

So there you go – hope it helps someone LOL I find it useful to have a checklist but I’m bound to have forgotten something really important so if you spot anything please let me know.

Now this list isn’t exclusive and it of course depends on space.  If you are going on a family camping trip and you have a big old family car and trailer, then you can probably take everything including the kitchen sink, however if you are going on a low key cycling or back backing trip then you are going to have to be even more creative with your packing.  Did you notice that’s without the clothes!  And no I am not going all naturale  🙂

HAPPY CAMPING!

Take a dragon down to the beach and you’re sure for a big surprise!

Published July 26, 2013 by Laura Crean Author

Take a dragon down to the beach and you’re sure for a big surprise!

I would just LOVE to think of lots of kids AND grown ups too taking The Realm of the Purple Dragon down to the beach this summer or having it on the bedside table in your hotel.  Just imagine- you are already on holiday having an adventure and then you open up this book and you are transported to another dimension!  Two holidays for the price of one!  And if you are off camping, like me this summer and you have no electicity to plug in the games console – well that’s not a problem – you can just follow Ellenor as she discovers a whole new world inside the game she’s been playing and where there are purple dragons – there are always adventures waiting to happen.  You never know – a dragon could be kinda handy if the barbeque doesn’t want to fire up!

Realm cover.3.2

camping and kids – looks like I’m moving house!!!

Published July 26, 2013 by Laura Crean Author

I know this is the first ever camping trip I have planned with the kids but when you are a single parent and don’t drive, it isn’t the easiest thing to try and do! LOL  Luckily I have great parents who do drive, so for this first attempt at camping, my Dad is going to drive us and all the equipment to my chosen camp site (just down the road for the first try), help me set up the tent – hopefully!  and then leave us to it – Gulp!  Having said that, by the looks of my hallway, you would think I am moving house rather than just going camping for a week.

I would never have thought this sort of holiday option would require so much planning, but my goodnes, I can’t help but wonder how nomadic tribes people have managed in the past to live constantly ready to pick up and leave with all their belongings hitched to a horse and be able to pitch up in a new area and live comfortably with everything they need!  How am I going to be able to manage without electricity for a week?  How are the kids for that matter?  Not to mention planning meals with just a camping burner and a couple of throw away barbeques!  I feel like I am off on an expedition to Mount Everest or something!  There’s only so much one can pack in a cool box too – and with just ice packs to keep it all fresh, I think I am going to have to be super creative with the meals.

The children have their own ideas about how they are going to entertain themselves while they are away, so first of all we have an extra body coming along as my middle daughter is bringing her friend!  I know she doesn’t want to be bored but – really?  LOL Two giggly teenage girls in one tent with just a flimsy screen between us and I’m sharing my bedroom (if you can call it that) with my 9 year old daughter who has just got a Ferbie for her birthday (rolling eyes) – God help me!

Right – I’m off to go and check my list again, see if I have missed anything, plan another pre-camping shopping trip and make sure the house is in order, the washing is up-to-date and the packing is under way.  Think I will need another holiday to get over this one when I’m done!

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