On tour at home and abroad with the Sumpners

The view below is Toad Rock, Tunbridge Wells

Findon – for Cheese making! 20-22 Feb 2015

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So a while back (May 2013) we went to the Foodies Festival in Brighton and I picked a brochure for a Cheese Making Workshop. Looked interesting. I stuck the leaflet in a drawer and promptly forgot all about it. Until December 2014, that is, when I decided to tidy said drawer and found the leaflet again. I decided to book myself on the course and that we’d make  weekend of it. I mentioned it to my friend Anne and she fancied it too, so we had a plan. We would make cheese, whilst our menfolk walked the dog and had a pub lunch and generally found things to do to fill the sad and empty day until they were reunited with us.

As it was fairly local, (in Poling – just past Arundel)) we hitched up and set off about 3.30. We were staying at Charmill Cottage, just outside Findon (near the Cricket ground). It had been raining for a couple of days and we were mighty glad that we had booked a hard-standing as it was very soft under foot (or wheel). There was no-one to greet us and it was pretty obvious where to park but there was no sign of the hookup we had booked. It was about 4.30 and light was beginning to fade so we rang the owner and he said he’d be along in about 20 minutes. No power meant no heating in the van, so we stayed in the car. It got to about 5 o’clock and the heat from the car had fully dissipated. Being February, it  was getting pretty chilly. I got in the van and put my dressing gown on over my coat in an effort to get warm and we rang again. He apologised and said he would be along in 10 minutes.  He wasn’t. The light had almost completely faded by the time he rocked up and sorted out the power situation. I was not best pleased,  but it’s not like we have encountered this sort of problem often, so heigh ho. All sorted.

 

The site looks like this in better weather.

Charmill in summer

Charmill in summer

We had put the kettle on in an attempt to warm the van and it was when the kettle boiled I realised I had omitted to bring any milk. A first for me! So we set the heating to tropical and set off in the car in search of milk. We sought advice and were told there was a parade of shops on the outskirts of Worthing, which was just down the road. We found an M&S food among others and bought milk plus some fresh fruit salad for our breakfast. Then it was back to the van for supper,  a bit of TV and then bed. We were both tired so an early night seemed like a good idea.

We had a quiet night and woke to a sunny morning. This augured well for the boys’ walk on the Downs. After a lovely brekker, we set off on the short journey to the cheese-making venue and arrived in good time. We had coffee and greeted the other people who were attending and started lessons – after a thorough hand cleaning. We learnt many new skills and the bunch that we were with were really good fun. We learnt how to make Brie, Quark, Mascarpone, Ricotta, Feta and Greek Yoghurt. I will never forget all the cheese-making songs (Don’t Leave Me This Whey, My Whey , Let it Brie, – so on).

Adding the culture

Adding the culture

Dubble bubble

Dubble bubble

Cheese ladies

Cheese ladies

More cheese chums

More cheese chums

Stirrer

Stirrer

Cheese!

Cheese!

 

It was an action-packed day and the course over-ran. We had “lunch” about 3.30! Shortly after, the boys turned up after their very muddy walk.

The boys’ walk was obtained from the AA website ( a really good source, where you can search for walks near a particular place name) and it took them from Amberley station. along the river, up onto the South Downs and then back to the car. It was quite an energetic walk and Paul promptly fell asleep on the settee at the Farm whilst Gray avoided sitting down because he was sure he would seize up!

Chaps Selfie

Chaps Selfie

Arch and the pheasant feeder

Arch and the pheasant feeder

View 1

View 1

View 2

View 2

Anne and Gray had a B&B nearby and we had a plan to meet for dinner with our old chums from our  Canada trip, Bob and Barb as they live nearby,  so we temporarily went our separate ways.

The venue for our repast was The Beresford in Middleton on Sea. We had a lovely evening, with good food and good friends making the time pass swiftly. When we left the pub it was quite frosty but we had a warm and somewhat sad last “proper” night in this caravan.

The short journey home was done in no time, the next day. It was actually nice to get home early – we’d had a lovely weekend and also some time at home to start the sad process of “de-cluttering” the caravan,  ready for the following weekend, when we were due pick up our new van. Exciting but tinged with sadness, as we have had some great times and travelled many miles in Mr Munch.

 

 

 

 

 

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