Category Archives: summer

Making a sunshade

So I tweeted in between our time at Pembrey this summer about needing a sunshade for the canopy and the although liking a certain named brand one I wasn’t willing to spend nearly £100 on something that probably wouldn’t get used all that much in the UK.

When we were down at Pembrey at the end of June the temperature was extreme and I came up with a diy shade consisting of pegs and Decathlon microfibre towels (these are brilliant btw we’ve had them coming up to 10 years, take next to no space or weight and dry super fast).


Yes it worked, after a fashion, but it looked as if we were living in a laundry and the towels became a tad unruly if there was a hint of a breeze.

So my mind got to whirring, I mean I can dressmake, I’ve made covers for caravan seats, curtains, a cover for an inflatable sofa etc so a straight piece of something wouldn’t be hard.

The problem I had was deciding what to make it from. Obviously I needed awning beading, which I bought from Spinney caravans as it’s local to me and they had it available. I used double beaded, because that’s what they had but also so I could attach accessories if needed down the line.

For the main fabric though, what could I use? I trawled eBay, for sun screening and mostly this was available in the gardening section. The obvious place to go and look was our local garden centre and after mooching around Homebase and B&Q I nipped into our very local centre. Lo and behold, sold on rolls by the metre sun screening material. Although they had price labels up for 2m wide there was only 1m wide available and I had a shortage of time, but 1m wide is still plenty wide enough for what I needed – I didn’t need it touching the floor!

So armed with my purchases off I popped back to the house where my tiny sewing room, sewing machines and rip stop nylon awaited.

The first battle was cutting the 2 sides straight to end up with a perfect rectangle that’s almost 4m long.

Next step was easy, sew the beading onto the net. I say easy, the netting is quite stiff and there’s not much room for manoeuvre behind the sewing machine and the wall but with netting wrapped over my shoulder to begin with it was done.

But I didn’t like the raw edges down the sides, so in my wisdom rip stop nylon bias binding was made, because it’s easy to make bias binding – yes, but ironing rip stop nylon which is slippy and has a tendency to melt if you iron too long, not so much. Having some hair left, I used quilt clips to hold the binding in place along the edges before sewing it on.

I added 4 ply squares of rip stop to each bottom corner to strengthen it before adding 2 loops that could be used to attach the shade to the canopy poles.

A voila! A sunshade that cost less than £20 – it could be made more cheaply if you have the time to shop around for the bits. There’s no weight to it, it rolls up easily and is now in the front locker awaiting more sun.



Summer 2017 – Pembrey

Firstly I’d like to apologise for the lack of updates, life unfortunately throws things at us that we have to deal with.

Now let’s get back to some caravan blogging and our summer holiday which seems so long ago now.  Last week in June and first week of July were spent at Pembrey Country Park, Caravan and Motorhome Club site.  This is our favourite site and you may have heard us mention it previously.


Almost ready for the off just before 07:00 on a Saturday morning.


All set up on pitch 47 this time. Time for coffee!

Why do we love it?  Mainly for its location.  Within a short walk you’re on the stunning Cefn Sidan beach, 8 miles of golden sands, backed by sand dunes and with views over the Gower peninsula.  With the addition of over 5 acres of country park to also explore, for us it’s what holidays are made of.

July 2017

Within the Country park there’s a Ski centre, stables, miniature railway, miniature golf course, cafes, a blue flag beach and 2 dog accessible beaches.  When the tide is out I always feel as if you could just walk across to the Gower peninsular although with the areas treacherous tides and the fact that there is still a channel of water between you it’s not possible nor advisable.  The tides move swiftly here and it pays to keep an eye on the times of high and low water.  It is however possible to walk along the beach to Burry Port which we have done in the past, if you don’t fancy a beach walk the Wales Coastal Path also runs through the Country park.

There’s something about the sea that gives me back a sense of perspective, how unimportant things in life really are, how insignificant we are in the scheme of things.  All those little dramas that surround us in our lives, work, the commute, the timetables we abide by, are all washed away by the rolling waves and all that’s really important is the rise and set of the sun and who we choose to spend our time with.  The world will continue to turn, the tides will continue to ebb and flo, the sun will rise and set, regardless of how many hours we spend working.  Everyone of us has probably got that one place that is special to us, I can’t exactly explain why this is mine, but it’s the overwhelming feeling of peace it gives me.

I continue to be plagued with my back and this meant that we didn’t get to walk as far or as frequently as we have in previous years.  In fact, we only managed one walk to the beach this year and no walks along the coastal path at all.  We had some amazing weather again this year as well and although that’s fantastic if you’re happy to sit in the sun it’s not so great for walking the dogs.  A few short trips out to the shops of course are unavoidable, but Jack & Jess are well catered for with gel cool mats and USB fans in the car.  There’s a Co-Op in Burry Port and wherever possible in previous years we have tended to walk along the coastal path and back to pick up the odd bits we need.  There is also a new convenience store on the main road towards Llanelli which boasts a butchery counter, bakery and cash machine.


Burry Port with the Gower in the background.

There was of course the craft vodka “bar” conveniently situated in the awning.  This of course we blame entirely on Dan T following our outing to Bracelands a few weeks previously.


Sour cherry and apple or drumsticks blend?

As an alternative to the CAMC, Pembrey Country Park also has a campsite of it’s own which is in the park itself, you can see the details here.