What a great Summer!

We had a few of the traditional downpours but these were, as usual, restricted to the school holiday period and were brief and sporadic.  Mainly my memories of this year are of warm evenings with everyone sitting outside having barbecues while drinking wine and cider so this might be a good time to bring up EU Directive B3012 Para 5a (Outdoor Cooking) which states:-

“All meat cooked outside on registered campsites shall be approved by a nominated member of staff of said campsite after inspection and tasting.  Exceptions are;
a) cheap sausages that taste of nothing
b) ‘vegetarian’ burgers (indeed – anything bearing the label ‘Lynda McCartney’)
c) anything that has more black than brown on its surface.”

See also EU Directive B3012 Para 5b (Beer, Cider and Wine Approval)

This has kept me fed and ‘refreshed’ for most of the season.  I am currently working on a refinement that makes it illegal to overcook steak and compulsory to serve cider with all barbecues.  Sorry – I meant that I am hoping that this amendment will be passed by Brussels.

All the staff at Woodovis have motorhomes (the theory that this is so we can flee at a moment’s notice is mistaken) and we all occasionally take a few days off and stay on other campsites.  This is really a ‘bus-man’s holiday’ as we can’t help observing and learning from what others do.

One thing I’ve learned from staying with others is that my impression of a site is formed during the first minute of entering Reception.  A warm welcome makes us ready to like the site from the very start.  The opposite is also true.

I realised just how true this is the other day when I stayed overnight at a site.  What were the warden’s first words as we entered?  Were they, “Good afternoon – what can we do for you?” or “Hello!  Nice to see you.  Do you have a reservation?”


His opening salvo was, “Are you booked?  You know we don’t have a toilet block?”

Evidently, he told us at some length, he had booked “some woman” in a few days ago and when she found there was no toilet block she didn’t want to stay, so he had to cancel all the stuff he’d typed into the computer.  He rolled his eyes in disbelief that anyone could cause such grief and aggravation.

I wondered if we should try this approach and greet guests with a list of stuff we didn’t have.  “Hello!  Before I book you in I must ask if you realise that we don’t have a funfair/ a Burger King/ a landing strip for light aircraft/ a pack of wolves here?”

Having established that the lack of a toilet wasn’t going to drive us away and involve him in any unnecessary computer activity he told us where he wanted us to pitch.  He also told us HOW he wanted us to pitch (he drew a diagram and everything).

Evidently we had to reverse onto our pitch and end up with our nearside corner right next to a marker.  Evidently there were dire penalties for not complying although his explanation for why we had to do this was slightly confusing but I suppose “Because I say so!” summed it up.

I spent the remainder of our stay in a state of mild grumpiness.
(No, Mrs Warden, that is NOT my default state!)

So here’s what we’ve learned.

Being welcoming and asking people about how their journey has been seems to make them happier than listing our shortcomings in the amusement/ catering/ wildlife areas.

So we’ll keep doing that and when people ask “How would you like me to pitch?”, we’ll conitnue to reply, “Anywhere on the pitch with your wheels pointing downwards/ groundsheet at the bottom will be just fine.”

It seems to make people smile and that’s a good start to any holiday isn’t it?

2 Responses to “Hello, good morning and welcome!”

  1. Bob says:

    Gotcha !!! I happen to know for a fact that the B3012 is not an EU directive but a minor road between Frimley and Pirbright on the Hampshire/Surrey border. You, sir, are a scoundrel and I believe that you have invented this ruse to obtain free food and drink at the expense of we poor, overtaxed, under-appreciated, fun-loving, ecologically appreciative, anorak wearing, real ale drinking, moustachioed campers. Shame on you. Despite the heavy disguise you used on your first blog, I happen to know exactly who you are and I intend to confront you and demand satisfaction when next we meet. Which will probably be when we next stumble out the back door of the Brunel on a Saturday night – LOL ;-)

  2. Andy Harding says:

    I understand that our blogger may have, as our American cousins say, “mis-spoken” – or, as we English say “lied”. However it must be remembered that Wardens have a hard and impoverished life (“Man cannot live by toilet fluid alone”) and often are reduced to subterfuge to cajole much needed sustenance from campers – although I understand they avoid “moustachioed eco-friendly anorak wearing” campers in case they turn out to be the love-child of Freddie Mercury and Bill Oddie.

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A Warden's Life


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