Damn... I thought it would make it to the end of the Summer holiday... I got so close too... Here's the first fill shot!
Just over two months ago (2 months and 12 days to be precise) I bought this monster. Driving home with the fuel needle embedded firmly way past the 'F' I was convinced that the fuel guage didn't work. It did, and since then it's been very slowly heading towards the 'E'. I had a can of petrol on board, and so I took it as far past the 'E' as I dared before putting some fuel in. Thursday I had decided that I would take my two little monsters out for the day to Dorset, and as the fuel gauge needle didn't even move from it's resting position when I started it up, I figured it was time to put my hand in my pocket and fork out for some petroleum spirit! When I picked it up, it must've been absolutely brimmed, the fuel tank holds 15.83 UK Gallons, or 72 Litres for you younger folk, which means that as much of a bargain that the Daewoo was, it was an even bigger bargain than I had thought as I got about £92.88 worth of petrol for free, and as it was brimmed, it was probably closer to £100 of free petrol! Fantastic! Better still, working out my miles per gallon on what I suspect was a fuel tank filled to capacity it would appear that I have been getting on average about 32 miles per gallon. This includes some school runs, and towing the Trans Am on a trailer... TWICE!! It would appear that this Daewoo 4x4 powered by its 2.4 litre Mercedes engine just sips at the fuel!
I cannot emphasise enough how impressed I am with this thing, it really is far better than I ever imagined it to be! Anyhoo, Petrol put in, and off we headed to Dorset for the day. Why Dorset? Well I planned to take my tow little monsters to places that I liked to go to when I was a child, and I havn't been to these places since I was a child. For my first stop I planned to go to The Blue Pool at Furzebrook.
The Blue Pool is set in a deep clay bowl, where steps lead down to the waters edge or up to views of the Purbeck Hills. The Pool is surrounded by 25 acres of heath, woodland and gorse interlaced with sandy paths. I loved it here when I was little, and to watch my two little Monsters wandering around I would say that they quite enjoyed themselves too.
By late morning we had pretty much walked all around The Blue Pool, and although we probably hadn't seen everything, we felt that it was time to move on. I must admit though, I am not done with this place, I think that I would quite like to come back here late in the Autumn and have another look around. My feeling is that by then it will look quite different... I'd actually love to see this place in the snow, I'll bet it looks epic!
Jumping back into the Daewoo we headed for the Railway station at Norden, about three miles away. Before long my two little Monsters were asking me why I had brought them to a car park in the middle of nowhere! I told them that it was because we were going on the train! This was met with much protesting about how they don't want to let the train take the strain, they'd rather go in the car! I must admit that I can't argue with them, as a rule if I don't have to take public transport, I wont take it! If my destination is near I'd rather cycle, or walk, but if it's far, I find that as a rule its cheaper by car, not to mention more convenient! It's fair to say that as a child I didn't want to be a train driver (I wanted to be a farmer). As a rule I don't like trains, and I hate buses! Anyway, as we stood on Norden station my girls suddenly realised that this wouldn't be a regular train.
As much as I'm not all that into trains, I do kinda like steam trains. Or atleast, I enjoy the engineering of them. Anyway, I'd never been on this train before, and soon we were chuffing through the countyrside on our way to our next destination.
Corfe Castle, much like The Blue Pool is a place that I have fond childhood memories of, and a place that I've not been to in maybe 35 years.
It hasn't changed much in the last three and a half decades since my last visit, I would've thought that by now they'd have fixed it up a little! Like the Blue Pool my little monsters were soon roaming around all over it. My littlest Monster is getting into photography, and at just nine years old she was finding loads of things to photograph. We wandered all around the ruins, and had a little picnic in the grounds before climbing once again onto the train.
Leaving the iconic remains of William the Conqueror's Corfe Castle behind we headed to our last destination of the day, Swanage. As I child I remember my Grans tales of holidays in Swanage when she was young, and it was somewhere that we went to once or twice when I was a child. My two little monsters quietly stared out the window, as the train puffed it's way through the countryside we passed a sign that said "Youre In The Strong Country". For me, this suddenly jolted a memory from my childhood of sitting in my Grandmas kitchen looking at an old steel tray from Strong's Brewery company of Romsey, Hampshire. The steel tray was an advertisment, and featured pretty much exactly the same picture of the advertisment by the railway, an old steam train. Awesome... Damn, I wished I'd got a photo of it! Not too long after passing the sign we pulled into Swanage railway station.
Like me, my two little monsters love the beach, and actually could pretty much be considered beach bums! We headed into Swanage for a walk round, and to look at the shops full of tat. The last train out of Swanage was quite early, 18:00 hrs. This gave us just over an hour to wander around. This, by all accounts was not nearly enough time, and at 17:45hrs I found myself alone on Swanage railway station waiting for the last train of the day.
While Mrs Clint and our two little Monsters continued to wander around the shops and buy all manner of tat, my mission was to head back to Norden, collect the Daewoo, then return to Swanage for dinner. We could've caught the bus back later, but like I said before, I'm really not a fan of the bus, besides, I wanted a photo of that Strongs Brewery sign that was by the side of the railway! As we approached it I hung out of the window, remember when you could do that on a train? Camera at the ready, and just at the crucial moment... My damn batterty went flat!! Still no photo of it! The best part of an hour later I was pulling into the station at Norden, and heading for the Daewoo.
Climbing in, it was still quite cool inside as I had left it parked under a tree all day which I thought was a good idea. Until of course I had to spend about ten minutes trying to clear the bird poop from the windscreen! Right then, windcreen clear, finally, and off I went the six or seven miles back to Swanage. In the car it was far quicker than the train, and before long I was parking up, and going to get a ticket for my parking. Expecting to be heavily stung for parking like you are in the town where I come from. I was pleasantly suprised to find that after 18:00hrs, parking in Swanage town center is free. I was even more pleasantly suprised to find this on the first parking ticket machine I parked next to...
While I quite like the fact that somebody has taken it upon themselves to advertise my little blog by making a label and attaching it to a parking ticket machine, I don't condone it. It probably is still vandalism, and thats a bit naughty! I do wonder however how many people (if any) have seen this, then tapped the address into their phone to see what it was all about. I wonder how many people (again, if any) have read it after seeing this? Anyway, whoever you are that stuck this little label to the ticket machine, naughty, naughty! But thanks for trying to spread the word! But don't do it again, and besides, you don't need to print out your own little labels...
I have stickers!! You could stick one on your own car should you so desire! Hmm, I think I may be getting away from the point, so after photographing the ticket machine (people must've thought I'd gone mad!) I headed off to meet up with my family for dinner at Harry Ramsdens. I stuffed myself with fish and chips, the portion was huge, and although I managed the lot, I was a bit uncomfortable aftewards. However a nice long stroll along the beach sorted that out.
I know I've said it before, but I love the beach, and miss living by the sea. If it wasn't for the fact that Mrs Clint is tied to her work, and hates the idea of living in our secret hideout in Wales full time I would move back there and live there again! But as the sun started to dip beneath the horizon it started to get a little bit chilly, and it was time to head for home again.
I hate that the days are getting shorter again, but more than that. I hate that the school Summer holidays are almost over. It really doesn't seem that long ago that I said Schoooooool's out for summer... Schoooool's out forever!! Finally, the school Summer holidays have arrived. Then all of a sudden all the shops have Back To School in their windows, like it's a good thing! For me as a child, the Summer holidays were just not long enough, and it seems that as an adult, they're not long enough either.