Thursday, 29 May 2014

Shops and Sailing Ships

When at home I think the less time spent in supermarkets the better, but I have to admit that when travelling through Europe supermarkets have a strange fascination. Trying to decipher the contents of jar and tins, looking at the wondrous creatures displayed on the fish counter and spotting the rare boxes of PG tips are amongst the most enjoyable activities that can be undertaken in foreign supermarkets. Having said that they seem to be very well hidden in Holland – we drove for two days without knowingly passing one. Yesterday, however, we eventually spotted a Lidl and managed to catch the slip road and park Dickie without any problems – and would you believe it…..next door was another supermarket!
Graham
We have arrived in Harlingen on the North West coast of Holland which we reached by driving over, what looked like on the map, a particularly terrifying bridge over an extremely wide stretch of water.


 It turned out to be less scary than it looked and was rather fun. It’s still pouring and Graham has insisted I wear an entire plastic jumpsuit arrangement as we walk into town…to protect the jeans and over-frock from excessive dampness. I now look like a giant pink and black Michelin Man and will not be popping into any frock shops as I may be arrested for crimes against fashion.
Call the Fashion Police!

We are parked up by the harbour and every so often the bridge is raised to allow the beautiful Dutch barges and other vessels to go through.
Dickie watching Dutch Barge

Dickie in Docks

 There is a race on for rowing boats (which look a bit like gigs) on Friday so we are staying for that. Harlingen is hosting the Tall Ships race for 2014 in July so that should be an amazing event….it’s a very attractive city with a long sailing history. We even found a house with a window full of witches – not sure if that has anything to do with sailing but we’re off to the museum today so we may find out.

K
Witch Window

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Oh dear what can the matter be?

To paraphrase the old folk song/children’s rhyme:

Oh dear what can the matter be
Kerriann is locked in the lavatory
She’s been there from Monday to Saturday (well it seemed like a long time)
Nobody knew she was there.

I can now tick ‘being locked in a toilet stall in a public place’ off my list.

The day started well and I was actually thinking that it would be a bit of a quite blog day. The motorway via Rotterdam was a little challenging to say the least – it makes Spaghetti junction look rather straight by comparison so I would recommend avoiding it if possible. To assist our recovery from the stressful journey we decided to have a quick stopover at a garden centre.

‘I’ll just have a quick slash while I’m here’ I thought and left Mr Fluffy perusing the hose pipes while I popped off to the loo. I noticed a ‘DEFUNKT’ sign on one of the doors so went in to the next loo and locked the door. As I tried to exit the stall the nightmare began…no amount of turning of handle or lock would get the door to open so I proceeded to knock loudly on the door yelling ‘Graham’ in a ‘not very frenzied at all’ screech. As Graham is totally deaf to high pitched noises (he has no trouble hearing farts though) I imagined him wandering around for hours wondering what the hell I was doing in the loo.

Happily, after several minutes of barely contained panic, I heard some dulcet Dutch tones issuing instructions to me in a totally incomprehensible language and a familiar chortle emanating from Mr Fluffy who had come over to check out what all the fuss was about. After much banging with hammers and removing of door furniture it still would not budge and I thought I’d be there for hours, but around twenty minutes later the door was yanked off its hinges and I was liberated to the sight of two very apologetic Dutchmen, a couple of ladies who were there to see the outcome, and a broadly smiling Mr Fluffy, camera phone at the ready, snapping away at the whole incident.
out come the hinge pins

last resort - a big crowbar!

Phew!

It was totally hilarious and the chaps said ‘This has never happened before’. Typical!

We are now at a rather gorgeous campsite at Bloemandaal aan Zee called De Lakens. It is 21 euros a night but tomorrow, as it’s holiday season, it goes up to 64 euros so we will be moving on. It’s a shame as it would be great to stay longer, it’s right near the beach and some lovely bars on the front. It’s absolutely pouring down outside now so we’ve got the tele on and are feeling rather cozy in Dickie. Heading further north tomorrow.


Monday, 26 May 2014

Hooray!

TomTom sat nav disaster rectified! I have managed to reload the campervan settings so we can go back to using just one satnav at a time.
Kerriann driving Dickie


I know that many of you prefer maps to Satnavs and I can understand your reasons, but I have to say that I agree with Anthony and Donna who say that the Sat Nav provides marital bliss – that is to say it stops arguments. Trying to find aires and campsites in far away lands with instructions in foreign languages can be a real pain. Our second-hand unit (a TomTom Start 25 with the Europe Camper maps added) is a godsend. It warns us when we are going over the speed limit, and it is programmed so that (in campervan mode) it avoids ‘lower than Dickie’ bridges and ‘narrower that Dickie’ roads. It also speaks to us when we are near an LPG station so that we get plenty of warning if we need to top up our gas. Having said that there is enough gas emanating from Kerriann’s backside to power the whole trip – if only I could collect it! (Charming! - K) 

The Satnav is also programmed to tell us when we are near an ancient site in the UK – it does however have a problem pronouncing ‘megalith’. TomTom says me-gar-lith with a lot of emphasis on the gar which causes us endless amusement. We now refer to all ancient monuments as meGARliths. We have kept our very old Snooper 2000 (camper edition) as a back up but much prefer the TomTom. The Camper editions of these satnavs already have lots of useful points of interest loaded but we add LPG stations (as already mentioned), Camping Car Aires (for European free wild camping sites), Wildcamping (for UK wild camping sites), and Motorhome Stopovers (similar to aires).

On a previous trip Kerriann discovered that she could download and change the SatNav voice. She loaded an American born-again preacher who kept telling us that ‘by the grace of god you have reached your destination’. I am pleased to say she hasn’t (yet) discovered how to alter many of the settings on this unit. We have toyed with the idea of creating our own ‘witches' directions' – ‘deosil at the next roundabout’ or ‘at the next junction take the left hand path’. What do you think? We currently have a polite female voice on Tommy but I must say my intuition tells me that a male voice would give more precise and accurate directions?  (Harumph - K)

I have resolved one of our other problems with the aide of technology – Kerriann likes watching tele occasionally. I find that when the tele is on it distracts me from reading or doing my many other tasks so I brought with us a tiny fm radio transmitter that can be plugged into the sound output jack on the television. We can then listen to the TV through the motorhome radio speakers – far better quality - or Kerriann can tune into the retransmitted audio signal on the radio in her smartphone. This means that she can listen to the tele on headphones whilst wandering around the van and I can read in silence. Perfect!

The other wonderful bit of technology is our external wifi arial. This is a box of tricks with a long wire that plugs into a laptop usb port. It enables us to easily pick up wifi HotSpots. It is so good that, touch wood, we have managed to get free wifi at every single overnight stop in Europe so far. We are now in our 5th country – Cornwall, England, France, Belgium and Holland.
Strijensis Yachthaven

The roads were horribly busy with massive trucks on our drive around Antwerp this morning but my nerves held out (I don’t think Kerrian’s did) and we eventually ended up winding our way through some tiny single track roads to this lovely stopover in a yacht marina at Strijensas. By the way, if you ever come here in a motorhome please ignore your sat nav (whether you've just rectified a disaster on it or not) and just follow the road signs.  
Feeding the sheep in Strijensis

It’s been raining but now the sun has got its hat on - hip hip hip hooray!

Graham




Sunday, 25 May 2014

Eeklo to Globbendonk

Who can see a name like Globbendonk and not want to visit it? 

After a stroll along the canal this morning, resplendent with a bag of rubbish, we headed off. The rubbish was a bit of a nightmare as there were no bins anywhere in the vicinity of the Aire or near the boats. After about half an hour we came upon a gigantic boat called Ebernhaezer with a couple of British people working on it - well one was painting it the other was flicking her dog's poo into the bushes. We asked them where to put the rubbish and they kindly offered to take it and add it to their own as there were no bins in the area. How lovely people are!

The day started well with Graham leaving the gas ring on for half an hour, thinking he had turned it off, and with me putting our new frying pan on the hob without taking the plastic instructions off the bottom, causing a small fire in the van. All was well as I calmly took the pan, complete with flames, outside to show Graham. He too, calmly, bounced from his chair and dealt with the situation admirably by whacking it on the ground. A lovely way to ease into the day.

Mr Fluffy did a fabulous job manoeuvring around the Antwerp ring road. We seem to have come up with a temporary solution to the satnav disaster - we now have two - yes two - satnavs going at the same time. The Tom Tom has the best screen but the Snooper is set up for campervans so will not take us down any miniscule streets or under any low bridges. They seem to be getting on rather well and have not caused much of a problem with them barking directions.

We have arrived in Globbendonk and it's about 26 degrees. A rather nice place which is big on cycling - we may stay two days and get the bikes out.

Gent to Eeklo

Today is Saturday. Not the best day to visit the headquarters of Tom Tom in Belgium we discovered. As we are on holiday we both have no clue as to what day it is so I can not blame Mr Fluffy entirely for this one. As you will see from the photos the Tom Tom HQ appears to be something of a work in progress. Just a tad of building work is going on in the general area so needless to say we were unsuccessful in our quest to rectify the sat nav disaster.
Look Carefully for Tom Tom HQ sign

'I'm sure this is Tom Tom HQ...no really'
We went on to the aire in Ghent which was hideous at best and likely a dogging spot at worst. There were a lot of truckers in the general area and it was about 10 miles from the attractive town centre. We decided to head on to Eeklo which is a lovely town and the aire has a reassuringly devilish statue at the entrance. There are statues all around us here and we are loving that it is free. Met a Dutch cat that travels everywhere with its owners who were extremely pleasant and explained the aire to us. The kitty litter tray in their teeny van was a bit of a put off for me but the cat was very sweet nonetheless. The parking area is right on the canal and we met a very chatty British chap who lives on his narrow boat and who regaled us with stories of his travels down the Rhine. Some of his experiences sounded quite hairy to say the least.
The Eeklo Devilish Aire Guardian
Walked in to town and dutifully visited the church of St Vincent where we were greeted by, what I can only describe as, a very sprightly Belgian version of Julie Walters playing Mrs Overall. Complete with dowagers' hump and with mop in hand, she happily offered us very tasty boiled sweets as we gazed at the altar, before she went whizzing off to the entrance of the church to grab us some guidebooks in English. Off she went again, back to her mopping, smiling and bowing as she went. A very unusual experience but a very pleasant one at the same time. Despite it being a relatively modern building (late 19th century) it was extremely ornate and beautifully decorated inside – we highly recommend a visit.
 
Dickie complete with narrow boat man in the foreground
We are turning into a techno delight here as Mr Fluffy has worked out a way of sharing a wee fee hotspot with me and I can now listen to the tele (yes I am a tele addict) via my mobile phone with headphones so I don't disturb his non stop download of sat nav updates.


We've managed to control our waffle consumption thus far to nil but we are loving the Belgian bread and custard tarts. Hopefully our daily walks will burn off some of the calories. 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Bruges

Off to Bruges

Slept surprisingly well despite persistent commotion last night but have a rather annoying mozzie bite on the back of my neck due to Mr Fluffy's aversion to insect murder....obviously he was not brought up in Australia as he even feels the urge to let spiders live. 

Graham forgot to put a 'not requested' 5 euro note in Mark's letterbox (I talked him down from 10) and for the rest of the day he has been trying to think of a way to rectify this perceived social faux pas, even suggesting rerouting from Bruges back to Oostende to place aforementioned cash in the letterbox or sending a card containing the money to the neighbour's house in the hope she will pass it on. 

He has obviously been brought up better than me as, when we were popping in to the gas station to fill up with LPG, another van beat us to the only dispensing point and, rather than pull in behind, Mr Fluffy waited off to the side. I obviously calmly asked what he was doing as I pointed out another van could come in behind and take the next slot. " I don't want to take the space as I would be hogging someone else's place at a petrol pump."  I looked around at the remaining 10 pumps and the one car that was filling up. Again I calmly (not getting stressed and frenzied at all) suggested that as there were a plethora of empty spaces at the pumps the chances of him getting in the way of someone's hot pump action were slim at best. Begrudgingly he slid Dickie into position and we duly filled him with LPG after a bit of faffing around with different nozzles and the like.   

We are now in Bruges and it's raining again but we've had a nice day walking around, having lunch and not eating waffles. We even saw some nuns which brought back some horrendous childhood memories but am starting to recover now especially after the Leffe Blonde by the canalside bar this afternoon. 

Am excited that we're taking a trip to the Tom Tom headquarters in Gent tomorrow to sort out Mr Fluffy's sat nav disaster. He's now down to 84 hours left on the download. Will report back. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Mr Fluffy still in trouble

After last night’s storm we have had a lovely day today wandering around Bruges – we are parked up in the Aire - this one is not free of charge but it is convenient for a walk into town and has electric, water etc.
Kerriann is getting annoyed with me because I hate having the television on when it is in a foreign language and is not at all interesting. K sits playing games on her ipad seemingly not watching but when I turn it off she points out that she, being female, can do several things at the same time.  Being a mere male I find it very difficult to read or write when the goggle box is on. But being the technical member of team, I am predicting that I might have trouble setting up the aerial or satellite - so maybe we wont be able to receive any telly some nights….watch this space.

I am still annoyed with myself for messing up the TomTom – I plugged it in to update  the LPG points of interest in Belgium and the TomTom site told me that it needed updating – they did not say that the update would take 8 hours! Consequently the wifi dropped out and messed up the download. I am thinking of calling into their office in Gent tomorrow to see if they can sort it out or give me some advice. 
Oostende

Had a very pleasant stopover in Veurne...stayed by the marina and would recommend it as a stay if you are heading from Calais to Belgium. There is a hose on the pontoon by the boats for water. Went down to Hondschoot which was ok but we decided to move on as there was not a lot going on there. Headed to Niewpoort aire but it was hideous so moved on to Oostende....we pulled up at a site just near the bus station which was a great location - close to the centre and the beach. A very tasty Belgian beer was had on the seafront and we headed back to Dickie for a rest after our excessive 'wandering the streets aimlessly' afternoon activity. I had noticed an 'overnight forbidden' sign which Mr Fluffy assured me did not mean motor homes so we settled in and Graham mistakenly wiped the campervan settings from the sat nav whilst updating the LPG alerts.

I happily played a few games of candy crush saga which I am not addicted to at all, then made dinner. As we munched into our first bite of pre cooked chicken there was a tapping on the door.
"Do you know you are not allowed to stay overnight here? The council has changed the rules and you will be fined 55 euros if you stay overnight. We have a place you can stay if you like." What luck!  Mark and Gwen turned out to be a friendly pair of locals who were annoyed with the council's decision to ban overnight stops for camping cars and in an act of 'solidarity' have decided to start their own aire at a house they are renovating. We moved to the address given as did 3 Norwegian vans and had a good old chat with Gwen and Mark who gave us a shot of calvados and told us their family history, recommending a cousin's cider farm in Normandy, a local warm bakerij and an LPG station. The Norwegians suggested we take warm underwears (sic) for our trip to Norway as it is snowing there. Great! May have to drop in to Damart on our way. Tell me why we are not heading to Portugal again!!?

Despite a forecast suggesting there will be massive thunderstorms all day the Sun has been shining merrily and the temperature is now 20 degrees at 11pm... but now a little rain is falling but we don't mind as we have had free calvados and a couple of Trappist beers down our necks. Day two of the European stint and we are meeting really interesting and generous people already. Don't tell Nigel Farrage.

Ooh there's some rather massive lightning happening at the moment. The thunder is interspersing with the mosquito that Graham would not let me kill earlier. The sky is lighting up with sheet lightning reminiscent of a storm coming in over Bondi Beach in Sydney when Mr Fluffy and I were eating at the Bondi Icebergs and he was being chatted up by the Drag bingo caller Penny Tration.

There is now hail coming in to the van as Graham refuses to close the top vent as he has his wifi aerial on the roof trying to rectify the sat nav disaster via an online download which is now reading 19 hours and 23 minutes remaining. He is currently reading A Parrot In The Pepper Tree and has been describing a scene where said parrot has been throwing scissors and other metal objects at the cat. I can say I am tempted to throw scissors and other metal objects at Mr Fluffy if he does not close the vent within seconds.

Having now closed the vent he is reopening it to adjust the aerial letting in just a few more pieces of hail. Am reaching for the scissors as I write.

Tension averted as vent again closed and hail subsides to a mere pelting of rain. Lightning has set off an alarm in a car over the road. This will be added to mosquito buzzing and thunder to ensure a peaceful night's sleep.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Green Man Carving

Green man in St Walburga Kerk, Veurne

Nous Arrivons

We went out for a full English breakfast with Scotty, Ruby and Suzy – this could be the last proper sausage I get in a long time. France, Belgium, Holland and even Germany – none of them can beat the Brits for sausage making! Arrived at the Channel Tunnel about an hour before we had to depart and everything went smoothly – the machine automatically reads the number plates of approaching vehicles – it welcomed us as ‘Mr King’ – Kerriann had to lean out of the window at a precarious angle to reach the ticket as it was dispensed – if she starts eating Belgium pastries and chocolate she won’t fit through the window on the return journey.
It’s absolutely pouring here which is, of course, fabulous as it will give our English sunburn time to heal. After driving off the train we followed the satnav instructions for around 40 miles and were in Belgium before we knew it. We had wanted to stock up with vino and cheese in a French supermarket but didn’t see one that was convenient – we obviously missed the giant pink shopping centre signs on the way out. We may pop back over the border tomorrow for some massive jars of coq au vin and cassoulet.
We are parked up alongside the canal in Veurne (Belgium) with 8 other motorhomes. There is water available (for a small fee) and a place to empty Dickie’s dunny. Once the rain had stopped we took a walk around town – it’s lovely and retains its charm despite having several direct hits in WW2. Why oh why don’t British towns realise that motorhome owners make good customers and spend money in the towns that welcome them? We (eventually) found a good supermarket and have stocked up on essential food items – mainly chocolate, beer and more chocolate.
We found our first ‘green man ‘ in the church here – Graham will pop a pic up shortly.


Sunny Sussex

A veritable heatwave

Black Robin Farm

Dickie looking bushy

John Hooper and Graham looking masculine

Me looking miniscule

Long Man of Wilmingtin coming between us

Burling Gap
Photos courtesy of Jackie Hooper

Heading off

Beachy Head is lovely! We are staying at a CL near Eastbourne surrounded by the beautiful rolling South Downs. Our old friends John and Jackie Hooper recommended the site and have taken us for a fascinating tour of unknown East Sussex. Knapped flint and brick cottages, churches, the long man of Wilmington, ancient ewe trees … We often forget what a beautiful, interesting and magical landscape we have in the South of England – Thanks J&J for reminding us!

We are now in Deal before setting out for France - It’s lovely to see Scotty and Susie doing so well with their fabulous dining club and Paul in his gorgeous seafront home. Thanks for a lovely night out. 
Graham

Just Before We Go

Had a lovely walk in the New Forest this morning and bought some more of the delicious home baked bread from The Cider Farm shop at the (now my favourite) Brit Stop in Burley. We set out heading East and took a look at a Brit Stop in Peacehaven. It looked nice in the book but not so attractive when we got there so we carried on to another Brit Stop – The Golden Galleon at Exceat Bridge Seaford. It looked ideal but it no longer welcomes motorhomes overnight (they are happy for vans to park during the day but it was extremely busy and quite a tricky junction when leaving the pub. In the end we carried on to the CL which we have booked for tomorrow night at Beachy Head.  For the uninitiated a CL (Certified Locations) is a small Caravan Club campsite – they are usually in farms and this one, Black Robin farm, is in a lovely rural location and there are two caravans and one other motorhome parked in the field with us.
Graham


Day Two
Our sunset walk at Longleat was made even more special when we met a caretaker who suggested a walk through the forest, taking in a few sculptures including a blue plastic uprooted tree, a giant bear and a hare woman. A small deer bopped across our path and there was a mass of wild garlic flowers beneath the trees which added that little extra something to the night.
Next morning, after a leisurely ‘easing into the day’ we set off for Stonehenge. I bravely drove and after the initial panic I settled in quite well and even managed a rather superb reverse park at the Stonehenge carpark. It was great to see so many tourists at the stones – I can’t help thinking this was what it was like thousands of years ago with people from many different countries getting together to have fun, buy and sell stuff and generally have a nice time, although there probably was not the plethora of young Japanese girls in pink tutus and feathery hats taking selfies as there was on our visit. All in all a much better ‘visitor experience’ than on our last trip, the centre itself is more attractive than the previous one and the shop had some relatively tasteful t shirts and jewellery. The staff were very pleasant and we enjoyed the walk back past the curcus. The cafĂ© was a bit of a nightmare so we gave up and scoffed sardine sandwiches in the van.
I bravely (again) drove on to Burley to The Cider Farm where we met Julie who worked in the shop there and was considering buying a van for herself and her whippets. This morning we had a good chat to our neighbours Nick, Melanie and their daughter Fay and did the obligatory tour through each others vans. A very nice Rapido indeed! They like a bit of a travel too and we hope to meet up with them somewhere in the future. As Graham said Black Robin Farm at Beachy Head was fab and John & Jackie Hooper took us out for a great day of sightseeing. 
We're currently visiting Suzi & Scottie in Deal and will be heading off on the Eurotunnel today.
Will put some photos on soon - we're only getting wifi sporadically at the moment so it's a bit difficult at the moment. More soon.



Saturday, 17 May 2014

Britstops R Us

Last night we wandered through the grounds of Longleat and one of the team recommended a lovely walk through the woods. It was beautiful - deer, squirrels, birds and Lord Bath’s works of art. And what a lovely sunset – what more could one ask for?
Kerriann drove Dickie today from the Caravan Club site at Longleat to a very attractive Brit Stop at the Cider farm at Burley. I love this place and it’s free!

For those of you who do not know about Brit Stops, it is a listing of Pubs, Farm shops and attractions that kindly let motor homes stay overnight. There is no obligation on the part of the motor-homer to purchase anything but we always do. I love the trust and generosity of the people that participate in this scheme and am sure that they will reap both commercial and  karmic rewards. This (Burley) Brit Stop has given us a lovely field plot and we have donated £2 for an electric hook-up. We have purchased (and consumed) two bottles of the cider made here along with some very tasty bread, cheese and chutney. Julie from the cider shop is thinking of purchasing a motor home and visited us for a guided tour of Dickie. We hope she’ll get as addicted to this pursuit as we have. I have managed to get online in the field – thanks BT Fon!

Mr Fluffy's Flashback

I remember, as a kid, helping my father pack our maroon Ford Cortina Estate with enough camping gear to support the family for the long trip to Yugoslavia. My parents were teachers who had long Summer holidays – they made the most of them. It was those adventurous trips, with we three kids in the back of an overloaded car, which planted the seed of camping and travel in me. Seeing an old Cortina in the Haynes Motoring Museum yesterday reminded me that those camping holidays were the seeds that are responsible for us setting out on this, the first of our many (I hope) retirement adventures.
This is clearly not a Cortina but I like the car

Day One

Our planned sausage sizzle has been cancelled due to an impromptu lunchtime 'pigging-out' at American diner Route 303 on the A303 - gigantic burgers to be exact..covered in Monterey Jack and fries...aaaah how the other half live. Desert brought back memories of special treats I had as a child when grandmother (aka Nog) took me on outings at the local Orange cafe....a chocolate malted milk and a banana split being my favourite. But I digress.

The red white and blue signage proved too much of a draw car on this the first day of our Arctic road trip. We weren't disappointed when we entered to the strains of 'Rock Around the Clock' and the vision of a well-pomaded quiff on the noggin of one of the guests. A quick glance at the metal plates protruding form his ankle suggested his rocking days were far behind him but he definitely added to the ambiance of the place.

Day One's destination is Longleat campsite. Mr Fluffy stayed here recently and his memories of early morning lion and monkey calls have drawn him back. So here we are, parked up next to 4 cocker spaniels - 2 black and 2 brown - and a very friendly robin who has already partaken of a Marian's brownie crumbs. He's currently bouncing around my toes and, good grief, has picked up a rather juicy worm....not from between my toes I hasten to add. It's 7pm and we're sitting outside IN A T SHIRT!! Unheard of...

Mr Fluffy loving his masculine day out
Along the way, tourist-attraction-space number one has been filled by the Haynes Motor Museum with its brand new facade and its very informative, if a little persistent, volunteer guide. Mr Fluffy spent a lovely afternoon reminiscing about his driving lessons in the Ford Anglian 105E and the accident in the Ford Escort which left him with a broken leg. I'd recommend a visit if you're in any way 'motory' inclined.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

One Day To Go

Thursday 15th May is the last full preparation day before we head off on Friday. Check list is almost complete. Had a hair cut today which I like to think looks gamine but more likely looks like a skinhead as I am hoping this cut will last me for the few months we will be away. Mr Fluffy has taken some pics of Dickie which we will share over the next few days once we're on the road. Booked our channel crossing for next Wednesday...hoorah!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Mr Fluffy Gets Technical

Just turned Dickie’s ignition on to take a mileage reading and reset the trip to zero and a warning light came on. A quick look through the manual reveals that this is the 'bulb failure' warning. Checked all the lights and they seemed OK. Testing the brake lights was more of a problem on my own but I eventually discovered that my glasses case would wedge nicely above the pedal and hold the brakes on. A whiz around the back of the vehicle (before the improvised wedge slipped out) revealed the problem. The off-side brake bulb had blown. I removed the lens and old bulb and discovered that the fitting was quite corroded. A quick clean of all the lamp contacts with fine glass paper worked a treat and may prevent problems ahead.  

Getting close to departure

Now getting excited!
Just going through the technical stuff - cleaned the seals on Dickie's Dunny, and greased the electric step and doors.
House sitters (Nickie & Jack) also getting excited about their free holiday in sunny (today) Boscastle.
Will take some photos of Dickie later.
over and out
Mr Fluffy


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Getting Ready For the Off

Donate Museum of Witchcraft to Museum of British Folklore - check
Assist in transition of new managers to take over museum - check
Leave job at major pharmaceutical company - check
Latest book sent to printer - check
All Occult Art Company stock to Museum - check
Organise Day of the Departed Event for Friends of Museum of Witchcraft - check
Buy campervan cookbook - check
Make list of passport numbers, contacts, bank etc - check

Sort out:
Travel Insurance - check
Health Insurance - check
Home Insurance - check
'Dickie' Insurance - check
Sky - check
MOT - check

Aaaah! Wouldn't it be nice to just shut the door and be off but alas, it is not to be. Luckily both Graham and I have the 'organiser gene' so with lists aplenty and a great feeling of satisfaction as we highlight our completed tasks we edge ever nearer to our exit day.