Hengistbury Head and a chat with Chris Evans

Up and at ’em early doors this morning. Run the hoover round the awning. Give the table a wipe, run a cloth around the bathroom and check we’ve got cold drinks in the fridge. We’ve got company coming. Denise and Jez, fellow first year wardens that we met on training to become assistant wardens way back in February. We only met on the final day of training and instantly clicked. The kind of friendship where you almost instantly recognise bits of yourself in someone else.

Just like ‘The Boss’ would, they arrive on time. Spot on 11am just like they said they would be. Quick catchup, hugs and kisses and it’s off to show them around my garden, the site. It’s strange how I now view the site. I do feel like I’m walking them around our garden, instead of pointing out treasured roses and blooming camellias, I’m proudly pointing out grass that I’ve cut, hedges that I’ve trimmed and showing off the nature area and dog walks like they are my own.

Back to the caravan, it’s far too warm to sit inside. We must now be on our eighth week of glorious sunshine and no rain. The grass is parched and the freshly spruced up awning is too unbearably hot to sit in and be appreciated. Chairs strategically placed outside, boys in the shade me and Denise in the sunshine. A picky lunch, buffet style, quickly thrown together was devoured almost as quickly as the cold drinks that I’d forgotten to put in the fridge, good job I had ice.

Itinerary man, aka ‘The Boss’ has a plan for the day ahead. Sun cream and sunglasses stowed in my bag and we all pile into the car. My car this time as we’ve taken to rotating which car we bring to site hoping that might put off anymore nesting field mice. My car is a tank and just seems to go forever, it drives like a comfy pair of slippers. Unfortunately, today it’s too hot to wear slippers, my air conditioning is in need of attention so we revert to the air con of bygone days and wind the windows down.

We head down to Mudeford Quay, park the car where the machine greedily gobbles up one pound coins like there’s no tomorrow. It’s funny the effect that the seaside has on me. Instantly calmling, it appears it also has the same effect on Denise. Cares and worries melt away as we head along the front, past The Haven House pub to were a small group of people queue patiently. We join the back of the queue, only about a dozen or so people in front of us, we’re going on a boat.

Denise is even more intrigued now as to where we are going. £1.50 each paid to cross the small stretch of fast flowing water across to Hengistbury Head.

A place a fellow blogger, Jackie Lambert, from WorldWideWalkies told us we must visit when she found out we’d moved here. One of the best views she’d seen she said and boy was she right.

Walking along the sand in front of some of the swankiest beach huts I’ve ever seen, we chat. Admiring our location amazed at the whiteness of the sand and the sparkling blue sea. The sun beats down as we find a spot to flop down on and admire the scenery. It’s at this point I must point out that although we brought sun glasses and suncream we forgot the most important thing, water! I’m now gagging for a drink and we’ve headed in the opposite direction of the only place that seems to sell refreshment. We sit on the beach and put the world to rights soaking up the sun and becoming thirstier. We paddle in the sea, and remark that with the sea breeze this is probably the coolest we’ve been in weeks. Wandering further along steps climb the small hill at the end leading to a view point. At the top a small group of people are having a photo taken with the most spectacular view in the back ground. Steve mumbles something about Chris Evans, we aren’t listening and then realise he’s telling us that the guy in the group photo is Chris Evans.

The view before us spans 360°, out to sea, down the spit and over towards Bournemouth. Clear blue skies crown the Isle of Wight and The Needles. We have the viewpoint to ourselves. The Boss and Jez stop to drink in the view and catch their breath.

Denise and I have different ideas. Chris Evans? Really? We don’t believe it’s him. Off we trot behind the family trying to hear his voice. A very distinctive looking guy way back when, now older and the famous ginger hair is now greying, the trademark glasses are replaced with sunglasses, is it him? We need to hear his voice. Radio 2 has been my alarm clock since I realised I no longer recognised the tracks blasted from Radio 1. Chris Evans has started my day for as long as I can remember. Ahead of us he sits on a bench to remove half the beach from his trainers, he smiles as we pass. It’s him. We say hello and somehow end up talking about Sara Cox, Carr’s Pasties and other things to do locally. A small valley drops away to our right with a small lake sparkling in the sun. The Evans family gather around the bench and The Boss takes their photo using Mr Evans’ phone. Imagine the list of contact phone numbers now in his hand. Copying Michael McIntyre’s ‘Send to All’ idea makes us giggle when we talk about it later at the pub. Just before we head in different directions we grab a quick photo with him and say our goodbyes.

The views from up here are amazing, thank you Jackie for recommending it.

Back towards the initial viewpoint at the top of the earlier mentioned steps, it’s time for all of us to admire the vista.

By now we are all really thirsty and the walk back across to the beach is hard going underfoot. The sand is hot and the sun is beating down. We can’t remember how long we had on our parking ticket. Do we grab a drink here or catch the approaching ferry back towards Mudeford? Bums parked on the ferry we reflect on what an absolutely perfect day we’ve had so far. The parking ticket shows we have just less than an hour left on the parking ticket. We grab a table outside The Haven House pub and get the drinks in.

Back in the car heading back towards our local village of Bransgore, we’re starting to feel peckish. Burgers all round in the beer garden of The Crown pub as we talk about running away. Running away from the stresses and strains of every day life. Jez sings the Norah Jones track ‘Run Away with Me’ and we talk of buying a motor home and heading off to Europe indefinitely, with no plan and no return date. Our 50 days in Europe last year gave us the taste for it. One day, one day…

This blog is written for Denise and Jez. Enjoy your travels. One day we will run away and we will meet you somewhere on your travels.

7 thoughts on “Hengistbury Head and a chat with Chris Evans

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  1. Such a small world !! When I was only knee high to grasshopper I used to live in Bransgore, before a Campsite ever existed there, I used to attend the local primary school which was next door to the village church. We have stayed on the Campsite in recent years and the house I lived in as a child is still there, your blog brought back some very fond memories 👍

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    1. Ah, so you are the ‘young rascal Eric’ the older locals keep telling us about. We love the area around the site and the places to see nearby. It will be missed when we move out in November.

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      1. But that is the good thing about the job, a chance to move to different areas and see lots more lovely places 👍😉 Unless like us now, we are happy to stay here for a year or two longer 🙂

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  2. Thank you so much for the mensh! I am so delighted that Hengistbury Head came up to expectations! And sitting in Italy, it is lovely to see such wonderful photos of one of my favourite places on Earth and hear such a wonderful narrative about your experience there.

    Curiously, we once came across Chris Evans! In The White Horse pub in Hascombe, Surrey, although we didn’t pluck up courage to say hello. We were in our socks and covered in mud at the time (we had to leave our filthy boots outside!) and I didn’t realise until I went to the loo that my hair was also sticking up as I had pulled off a beanie. A well-dressed lady with Chris looked vaguely familiar and stared hard at me. I stared hard back, thinking ‘how rude!’ Someone told me later that it was THE Anthea Turner. I wondered if she had been staring at me wondering ‘Is that THE Jackie Lambert?!’

    Anyway, on the subject of taking off somewhere. DO IT! I hope that we meet sometime on our respective travels. We were heading to Spain but it was too hot. We think that we might now be on our way to meet Dracula!

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  3. And now the “ginger one” is once again leaving the BBC leaving a big gap for the breakfast audiences. I was surprised to hear it was the most listened to radio show but it goes to prove that the 70-80’s music generation rules the waves 🙂 I hear his show occasionally but have to admit that I am not that cheery at 6am! My favourite time is listening to Ken Bruce’s Pop Master which starts at the same time as toilet cleaning duties – Oh what a lovely life we lead 😀

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