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About meadowsweet

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    Over 100 posts
  • Birthday 29/02/1960

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  • Interests
    Caravanning, walking, leisurely cycling, dogs and wine
  • Towcar
    Subaru Tribeca
  • Caravan
    Coachman VIP 565

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  1. Not sure why this is "exciting news" but Broad Lane Leisure, Alcester are closing, assuming planning permission is obtained. Broad Lane Leisure (Alcester) - Aldi Statement Next year is a landmark anniversary for Broad Lane as we celebrate 50 years as a family business. The past thirty of which, we have been retailing out of our Alcester showroom. Another landmark moment, is that our Kings Coughton site, may well be changing its use! There has been speculation so we are writing to provide an insight into exactly what ‘is’ going on. Four years ago, Aldi asked us to sell our land at Alcester. For us a family, we gave it great consideration, yet, we decided the time was not quite right. Twelve months ago, we signed an Option Agreement allowing them to apply for planning permission to build a new store on our site. Subject to approval, they would then have the option to buy. As you will understand legal agreement meant we could not discuss the details, so we have remained silent. Aldi's plans to develop the site is now in the public domain. https://aldiconsultation.co.uk/alcester/ If they succeed with planning permission and go-ahead with the purchase, we will continue to operate from where we are for a period of at least six months, well into 2021, before relocating, which is likely to be twelve months plus, from now. Whilst the land is being sold, the family business is not, and Broad Lane Leisure will continue. Our industry has been changing for some time and opportunities are being created. Our job right now, is to pursue the very best and exciting elements of what we do, and to do them even better! With the right people and products, along with a great level of service and aftercare, the future is very bright for the staycation-based holidays. We are yet to understand the impact of Covid-19, although we are keen to make the very most of the industry that we are a respected part of. As we await the outcome of the planning application, we will review the timings of our next steps. Meanwhile, we will continue to plan where and how we move the Alcester operation. We will continue to operate in the area although we will be unable to commit until Aldi exercises its option to go ahead. We remain extremely positive and welcome the future with optimism, enthusiasm and excitement. Be assured we value our team and the opportunities that they bring to the success of our future, and we are all ready to embrace the ‘new’ norm! Due to the lockdown we are unable to engage directly to answer every question, however, we will endeavour to do so as and when restrictions and time permits. Emails may be directed to Broad Lane at AldiAlcester@broadlane.co.uk To view Aldi’s virtual exhibition https://aldiconsultation.co.uk/alcester/virtual-exhibition/ Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon. Darren and Steve Brown Joint Managing Directors. I imagine they will remain open for a few more months, although not currently open at the moment. They have another branch in Kenilworth so I imagine they will carry out services on new caravans there. Another large caravan dealer in Salisbury, Webbs caravans stopped selling new caravans a couple of years ago. What future does the caravan industry have?
  2. Speak for yourself. Many people have had to stop taking their pensions if in drawdown.
  3. Well, well, well. What a surprise. Mr Gove lied about the emails from the EU regarding procurement being "lost" in the system. How many lives lost? https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/apr/21/uk-coronavirus-live-parliament-returns-government-lockdown-latest-updates Tried to remove non-relevant screenshot but unable to!
  4. Well, I am pleased to no longer feeling guilty driving short distances to nature reserves, forestry commission woods etc to walk our dogs. So drive for 10 minutes and walk for 2 or 3 hours. Very few people around, possibly because nature reserve has to be accessed via several field paths. What people one does come across are unfailingly polite, moving to one side, as do we. Last walk to large nature reserve we met just one individual who was counting the butterflies of which there were many, brimstone, red admiral and copper peacock (too early for the rare hairstreak for which the nature reserve is known). Horror of horrors we also eat our lunch there. So beautiful and so good for mental health. Here is the link to article. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/16/driving-for-exercise-allowed-under-lockdown-rules-police-advised-coronavirus
  5. Unfortunately the income of many retired people IS affected. Those who have drawdown products have seen the value fall by 25% and advised to stop drawing income and rely on savings. DB pension plans were not available and the only options were drawdown product (as annuity rates abysmal). So scrimping and saving and making sacrifices to contribute to DC pension have been wiped out. This is one consequence of the capitalist model.
  6. My son in law works at army barracks in Plymouth (catering) and he said the troops are deploying on the streets starting next week, more to help out with medical issues, not martial law (hopefully).
  7. I popped into Redditch yesterday and visited Lidl, Home Bargains, Tesco and Waitrose. Queues outside Lidl at 8.00am but social distancing was a joke at all shops and standing in the checkout queue and the woman behind me coughing without covering her mouth... I asked the check out lady at Home Bargains why they can't at least put sticky tape on floor for queueing distances, as you cannot do anything about it, and she just shrugged. I guess she was fed up. Tesco were doing strict rationing but Waitrose were not doing any at all. I think they have changed it now, hope so. Listening to the critical care nurse on Radio 4 today was distressing. She was weeping as shopping after her shift there was nothing left. I did feel some schadenfreude in Lidl a man with 12 fresh chickens in his trolley had 8 removed by the staff at checkout.
  8. Isn't it about time someone commented about which way toilet doors opened? It's been 24 hours now.
  9. Camping maisonneuve in the village of Castelnaud la Chapelle. Beautiful location. River runs through campsite with bathing area. 5* facilities, wonderful views and just 18 euros a night in low season. Best campsite we have ever stayed on, enjoyed it so much we are off there again in May.
  10. Vets will be pleased at the increase in revenue. Better start saving. With 2 dogs it will be considerably more than return crossings.
  11. It is a difficult decision. Drive through France or take the ferry. My preference is the ferry because it is less tiring and stressful than driving all the way down through France. I guess the weather conditions would be better than northern Spain but still. I find it tiring and stressful being the passenger so worse for the driver! That is an attractive option although from reading this forum you would have to book the sites in advance. The two facts I glean from discussions is that you HAVE to book sites in advance and that pitches are small!
  12. Ah. I am a member so will diarise earlier! Thanks. I presume, then it is best to book the return as well, in order to get a dog cabin, so there isn't the flexibility available on shorter crossings to France (and, the flexibility to change the booking due to not being able to book a dog cabin).
  13. Jaybug, I read your blogs some time ago with great interest. Lovely photographs! They will be very useful for future planning. Thanks. I will diarise July to book the crossing. It seems odd that BF offer Santandar and Bilbao as they aren't that far apart. Are there any advantages of one over the other if heading south? Or is it simply just another hour from Santandar?
  14. We are thinking of spending a couple of months, January and February 2021 in either Spain or the Algarve. I would appreciate any information on the following:- 1. What would be the latest time of year to book the Santandar ferry (departing early January 2021) in order to reserve a dog cabin? 2. Weather - I have been comparing the weather (BBC website) between Faro and Malaga. There does not seem to be much difference at all in temperature, in fact Faro currently seems a little better than Spain with less rain, although that might be unusual? I realise that due to climate emergency weather stability can no longer be guaranteed. However, it is so godawful here now in winter with endless rain I would like to try it out. 3. Caravan sites. Lots of useful information on this forum about various caravan sites in Spain but not much about the Algarve. The ASCI book hardly has any sites in the Algarve although there may well be other sites. 4. Journey (quickest and includes tolls) - 9 hours 19 minutes (car) to Faro, 9 hours 16 minutes (car) to Malaga. Towing would be longer of course. So journey times comparable - Both journeys through Spain - perhaps there are significant differences in terrain/ease of journey? We have been on a number of holidays, sans caravan, to the Algarve, so know it well, but never been to Spain (other than a coach trip to Lloret back in 1983 which was fairly unpleasant). I selected Malaga for comparison purposes only because a Google search advises it is an area that has reliable winter sun. If Portugal - we would stay in the Tavira region. Of course the Algarve is less sheltered so may well be windier and beaches colder. I also think there would be more places of interest to visit in Spain. Many thanks.
  15. Well, it was 38 degrees when we left the Dordogne in mid June 2019. We left when we saw the following week's forecast of 45 degrees. We bought a gazebo when it started getting hot which helped. We also, rather foolishly, had pitched in full sun rather than in the shade by the river (worried about midges), when in actual fact there weren't any....
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