NZ to Pilning/Severn Beach
Severn Beach Travel Blog› entry 1 of 37 › view all entries
Pilning would not be a place anyone would travel around the world to see but my best mate Darryn had been living here for a year or so as his mother hails from the West Country and still has some relatives in the village. I learned the place is called Pilning/Severn Beach because both places are such tiny villages they don't deserve a name each.
You may be able to work out that Severn Beach is on the muddy banks of the Severn River which cuts into the UK between Wales and England. There is a bridge running across the Severn (The Severn Bridge oddly enough) and Pilning/Severn Beach is a stone throw from the pommy side of that.
Nearby the Avon River breaks off from the Severn and there lies Bristol, which is the most prominent city in this neck.
Being the great mate that Darryn is, he collected me from Heathrow the morning of my arrival. He brought me back to the village and gave me a bed in his campervan, affectionately named Doris., then he left me to catch 40 winks whilst he finished the rest of his day at work. Being on the other side of the world and having been awake for 36 hours I needed that 40 without doubt!
When he returned that evening Darryn woke me and we celebrated my arrival with far too much duty free Glenfiddich, were horribly sick, and didn't get up 'till his friend Rachel swung by at lunchtime -to check out this new arrival she'd heard so much about over the past few months.
I doubt whether I made the best of impressions that morning but I was there for a while yet, I'd still have plenty of time to win over these English lasses.
There wasn't a heck of a lot for me to do whilst Darryn went off to pump gas at the Pilning Garage each day. He'd take off early to open up and leave me to sleep for a while longer before I walked across to the ablution block. Once all that was over I'd wander along to the garage for brunch with the staff then spend the day exploring my new home. I had plenty to discover and was documenting it all with my cameras and in a couple of notebooks; one a journal and the other for my poetry.
I enjoyed coffee and a chat with Rachel in her flat behind the garage at the end of her day.
She'd swing by the camp ground now and then too, which was nice, but we didn't really have the set-up to entertain there in the van, so most of the time we were in at the garage working, visiting or partying -as you do!
We didn't stay too long at the camping ground actually, probably only about a month. The flats above Pilning Garage were empty and in need of some work prior to the establishment being sold. There had been problems with management of the business over the past few months.
Darryn had mentioned to the new boss that I was a bit of a handyman so he told us to move into one of the flats and employed me to prepare the place for sale with a lick of paint and a clean-up of the yard.
The fact that the lovely Rachel was now on hand every evening also meant life was good!
We enjoyed Bar-be-ques with her most nights. Tony, the mechanic, was also "aving trouble at 'ome". He spent many a night crashed out with us, or with Rachel.
Tony and I became great mates due to our shared passion for the same music and beverages; The Clash and a dozen pints of dry Blackthorne cider, heaven!!
That reminds me of another thing they say in the west country, "Cider me up Landlord!"
I got pretty good at that one after just a couple of weeks.
Seems this whole experience was off to a pretty good start. Nice!