Sunday, 19 April 2015


With Sheila Kiggins outside Camping and Caravan Club Offices
Back from an exciting week in London. If there is a down side to any caravan holiday it is most often the journey home. This time was different, though. We called into Camping and Caravanning Club HQ in Coventry for a chat with the lovely Sheila Kiggins. Now, if there are two things I can talk about forever it’s Caravanning and Science Fiction, and you can read all about our talk on Sheila's Club People page of Camping and Caravanning Magazine, scheduled for the July edition.

Before the journey home, though we had a wonderful five-day stay at the CCC site in Chertsey, which we used as a base for coordinating two key things: For Sarah it was the set-up for this year’s SBA exhibition in Central Hall Westminster. (I helped. I carried stuff, and I suggested things like, put the big painting here and the little one there, and the artists smiled and patted me on the back and then did it the other way, the right way, without hurting my feelings.) Then, a couple of days later we were back for the exhibition opening, where the excellent Matthew Biggs of Gardener’s Question time was the celebrity guest.  For me, the big event was my first visit to the London Book Fair at Olympia. I hadn’t appreciated just how big this event was. I had my smart phone step counter switched on and realized later that I’d done nearly seven miles walking around the exhibition space. Seven miles! I kid you not, I got blisters. I went to some of the free seminars and also had a long and fruitful talk with the KDP people, amongst others, and have something interesting simmering away for release in the not too distant future.

The site at Chertsey is lovely. We've stayed there several times in the past, and this time we had a pitch that was only two or three feet from the banks of the Thames. Very restful. Getting into London, though. Sheesh! I hope nobody read my last Travelling in a Box post, because if you did, then I apologize. I led you astray. I claimed the train from Walton-on-Thames to Waterloo was cheap, using an Oyster card. It appears that the train from Walton-on-Thames is neither cheap nor within the Oyster zone. On weekdays there are staff on hand to do the wrist slapping. I won’t go into transport-geek details, but we think the best way to keep the price down is to buy return tickets to Surbiton, online in advance, and use a rail card to get some discount. If anyone has a cheaper plan that doesn't involve a day of cycling, walking or canoeing down the Thames, I'd love to hear from you.

A stay in Chertsey is not complete for us without a meal in the Kingfisher, just over Chertsey Bridge. We went there on our final evening. We love the place. Good food, rustic charm and not too expensive. A successful week, and one that had us on the go, every day. Now we just need to book a site where we can go for a rest.