Saturday, 22 November 2014

I'm Getting Married - Exciting Times Ahead!!!

Well, I'll cut straight to the chase as the title of my blog post says it all - I'm getting married!!!

We both agree that it has felt right from day one, and this is who I want to spend the rest of my life with.

So we have set a date for Easter Sunday 2016. Yes, you have to plan that far ahead to get exactly what you want.

We have found the venue and all being well a deposit will be paid over the next couple of days.

The ring I hear you ask!? Show us the ring? As I have reminded Kiera on several occasions "It was either a ring or a motorbike - so I must love you"!


There are plans for the future but right now we are happy in getting the house ship shape and sorted, and hopefully the down stairs will be done before Christmas.

The builders are in on Monday morning and as we speak the solid oak worktops are being coated prior to installation.

So over the next couple of weeks everything will be upside down, just as well that Kiera is off to Dubai on business (jolly) leaving me with no kitchen!

Oh well, always have the VW to brew up in!

Till later.................

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Micro Gypsy Bicycle Trailer Caravan

A tiny home, studio, or craft kiosk that can be pulled by a bicycle, this beautiful little vardo was designed and built by artist/craftsman Barry Howard. It is the culmination of a lifetime of experience designing and building little nomadic homes. it is easy to tow behind a bicycle and very stable.

I find this very appealing, possibly due to it's simplicity.

To see more about this wonderful trailer click "The Micro Gypsy Bicycle Trailer Caravan"



Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Best Hand Held Portable Hoover For Caravans Motorhomes and Tents

Now Hoovers in a caravan or camper van can be a real pain. Generally too large to lug around with you on a day to day basis even if it is one of those little pull along things.

My experience of hoovers whilst full timing was they get in the way! The hose or lead always manages to get wrapped around your legs as you are trying to hoover in a confined space.

Whilst I was full timing I always had one, but it sure was a pain. I'm afraid that a dust pan and brush does not cut it for me, creating more dust that I started off with.

Also pet hairs, anyone who has ever owned a dog that sheds hair will know exactly what I am talking about!

Now that I only have a VW T25 Camper Van we decided with two kids a mad dog, Kiera and myself who can be the worlds messiest person, we needed a little more than just a stiff hand held brush whilst out with the camper.

We had looked at many different types from the 12v plug in one's that have less suck than an asthma sufferer to the all singing all dancing Dyson Animal Hand Held Hoover.

So on a recent shopping splurge we have now taken delivery of the Dyson Animal Hand Held Hoover.

At £259.90 I want it to make me a coffee and bacon roll as well, but to be honest it is bloody brilliant!


In the house we have a "Henry Hoover" and along with the above mentioned we also have 2 cats living with us. The "Henry" is great for doing a whole room, it is what it is built for.



But for the odd clear up, which in our house is a frequent requirement as the dog has a habit of bringing in sticks and chewing them up, general kitchen mess and with the house in a general state of attack of some form of DIY then "Henry" can be a bit cumbersome.

The Dyson is brilliant in the VW T25, the battery lasts for around 20 mins, long enough to wizz through the van numerous times before requiring a charge.

The compactness of the hoover as well means it is easy to stow away.

It really is a brilliant bit of kit and in my mind worth every penny! A must for all campers especially if you have dogs or generally messy like myself!


As you can see it is not that big and the head unit to the left of the mug comes off. Easy to operate and dead simple to empty, it really is the dogs do dahs!

So much so that you will be fighting over who actually hoovers up!

Till later................

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

More Young People Take To Caravans

I was recently contacted by Luke who penned an article for me which I found rather interesting, and wondered if the stereotypical age of a caravanner was in his later years or as Luke suggests getting younger? His article is below:-

Due to recent austerity making the ‘staycation’ popular, as well as the rise in ‘glamping’ as a fashionable retreat, the stereotype of the older caravan user may be out of date. More and more young people are beginning to take to it for weekend trips, as well as their annual holidays.


 Young bloggers, Charlotte (27) and Ben (33) are firm advocates of the caravan holiday. They recently spent 18 months travelling New Zealand in a 2004 Compass Corona, and said that, “we desired the freedom to set up camp and then explore in a car without having to re-pack our camper.

“For us it was practicality. We wanted a home that was mobile so that we could see the vast landscapes of Australia and New Zealand on a reduced budget. Knowing that we could recoup all or most of our money when our visas expired.”

“We were fortunate in that we had savings to invest in a mobile home which would act as our mode of transport and the roof over our head, whereas most young travellers are travelling for a short period in-between employment of education so choose to rent instead.”

Are you also a young person – perhaps with a young family – thinking about trying your hand at motorhoming? Here are some inspirational tips and insights to get you started.

Popular destinations

The great thing about motorhoming is the freedom it allows to travel wherever you want, whenever you want. Here are some great trip ideas for young people:

Outdoor hobbies

If you have a love for the outdoors then a caravan is the perfect companion: 

take it along to your next big hiking or cycling trip and avoid the hassle of having to put stuff on the roof of your car; 
use the extra space to carry more equipment if you’re going climbing;
drive it to the fishing lake where you have the luxury of being able to cook on a real stove.

Music festivals

If you don’t fancy having to deal with sleeping in the mud and the wet whilst at a music festival, then taking a caravan is an ideal alternative. Typically the festival site for caravans will be just a large field, possibly with a temporary hookup and standpipes for water, etc. but the benefits of a proper bed and a stove can never be overrated after long nights of partying!

Vintage camping 

Alternatively if you want to use motorhoming as a chance to get creative in the outdoors then take inspiration from the vintage trend. Bring along some musical instruments to the campsite and you can feel like Mumford and Sons!

Choosing a caravan

The majority of caravans present an expensive one-off purchase, but once bought, the trips themselves are relatively cheap, with the average pitch price in the UK being around £10 a night. 

It all comes down to finding a reliable vehicle at a reasonable price. Caravan dealers are a good place to begin your search, as you will be able to view a good selection and may receive some useful advice about each model on offer. You will also gain an idea of the prices being asked for caravans based on condition, age, size and specification level to help you decide. 

Used caravans may be a good way to go for those on a budget, but beware of extra expenditure. There may be a whole host of essentials to buy on top of the main vehicle, like gas cylinders, leisure battery, fresh and waste water carriers, plus security locks.

Taking young kids


According to a recent survey from the UK Camping and Caravanning Club, motorhoming with kids is a great for a number of reasons:

91% of all children say spending time exploring the outdoors with their parents makes them happy.

80% of children who camp feel their parents are less stressed when they go camping and three-quarters say their parents shout less!

79% of kids who have never camped say they would like to.

73% of adults suggest camping is something every child should experience and half say it should be on the national curriculum.

76% of kids who camp notice that their parents have more time for hugs than usual

It’s well know that camping makes families feel closer and often young children feel most happy when spending time with family and friends. In a world that is more uncertain – both financially and emotionally – people are finding even greater comfort and support in having their families and friends around them. 

Are you also a young caravan user? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Mitsubishi Pajero LWB 2.8 7 Seater with Tow Bar For Sale

I've finally got around to emptying the Pajero and getting it cleaned ready for it to be put up for sale!

It is a reluctant sale, but she has to go. So below is the full spec and some pictures, if anyone is interested please email me at joolsmauro@gmail.com and we can take things from there. I'm looking for £1200 or there abouts. A bargain, it's a whole lot of 4x4.

1994 "L" registered Mitsubishi Pajero Long Wheel Base 7 seater. 6 months MOT.

To make it into a 7 seater there are two seats that fold up when not in use situated in the boot area. The rear seats when flat make a bed and I have slept/camped out in it on may occasions. Cloth trim throughout with no rips.

It has the ultra reliable 2.8 litre engine which runs sweetly, using no oil or water. The gearbox changes up and down silky smooth and all the 4wd system works as it should do.

You will not get stuck anywhere with this 4x4.

Brilliant for towing, I used it for towing my twin axle caravan and to be honest you had to remind yourself that you were hooked up! The towbar has twin electrics.

A massive electric sunroof which works and does not leak.

Electric mirrors that fold in and are heated which is brilliant in the winter or on wet days.

It has the Japanese "winter pack" which means that all the panels within the vehicle are insulated, the front windscreen is also heated so no scraping ice in the winter and there is a diesel fuel pre-heater.

The vehicle has a Climate Control system fitted, but not only that but the rear has it's very own heating system so you can have the front of the vehicle toasty warm for yourselves but if you have dogs you can keep the rear cooler and well ventilated without the need to open windows and creating draughts.

There is a radio/CD player but the CD bit is a bit temperamental and the radio mast itself has broken off. An easy replacement I just never got around to replacing it.

There is a slight ding to the left hand front wheel arch moulding where I caught a post in a car park, the paint has peeled. Also the rear corners of the bumpers have some marks on them from parking by touch!

It has side steps and window draught deflectors fitted to all four windows. As you can see the back windows have very dark limo glass for security, almost impossible to see in!

The spare tyre requires replacing, and the other 4 have minimal tread left on, enough to get it through it's next MOT but it would of been top of my list of things to do if I was going to keep her.

She has recently had a brand new exhaust fitted, both batteries replaced and new brake pads fitted.

All in all she is a beauty to drive, very comfortable, and still looks good despite her age. If you have owned a Pajero before you will know that they are hard to beat, especially one in this condition.

If you have never ownded one, then you are in for a treat. For the money they cannot be beaten. By now I am sure you looked on ebay at what you can get for £1200. Not a lot, so I am sure this will not hang around long.

I'm putting it up on here first, but it will be going onto either Gumtree or ebay soon after. So be quick. Any questions please email me as above.

Till later.....








Thursday, 23 October 2014

Day Trip To London With The Curry Club 2014

A group of us from work regularly meet up for a curry and a pint and as this grew from once every couple of months to meeting up on a regular basis we some how came to be known as the "Curry Club".

Made up at the moment of 4 couples who enjoy a beer and a good laugh, we used to all work together but recently Richard went off to drive big rigs out of Southampton docks.

We had a simple plan, lets all go to London for the day and be complete tourists. There was another reason for our trip all together and that was to celebrate Richard and Kjersti's 17th wedding anniversary. Why they decided to celebrate with us lot is still a mystery!!

I have to confess that I have been into London countless times but the last time I was there as a tourist I was less than 10 years old!

Brilliantly organised by Robert, Richard and Kjersti and Marc, all we had to do was turn up on the day!

The train tickets were pre-booked, £32.00 included the return train trip and bus and tube whilst in London. Not a bad price at all.

Tickets were also pre booked for the "London Eye" and for a "River Cruise" on the Thames.

As with all our meet ups, unless your working the next day alcohol is involved. So as the train pulled out of New Milton station our first can of Blackthorn Cider was consumed at 0837hrs! Rock n Roll style!



The trip up was "merry" and at the next stop at Brockenhurst Marc and April joined us complete with bacon rolls! Brilliant!

We were on the fast train so with limited stops it took us no time to reach the "Big Smoke"

Once at Waterloo station it was just a 10 minute walk over to the "London Eye" For those who are not familiar with this, basically it is a massive and I do mean massive "Fair Ground Wheel" which was built to celebrate the year 2000 but it has been such a success that it has stayed!

I have not seen it in real life but was taken back by the sheer scale of the construction.


But before we left Waterloo a quick pee, as 4 cans of cider was working it's way through. Here I found to my dismay it costs 30p to have a pee, which takes the piss (excuse the pun) not only that but the old saying about "spending a penny" is well and truly out of date. That's inflation for you!

A quick inspection of the tickets found that we had time to kill and that the river cruise would be the first touristy thing to do.

So with half and hour to kill we had time to locate a pub and have a pint in the Slug and Lettuce.

People always say that London is expensive, food and drink especially. Well, all I can say is you need to spend some time in Lymington to know what expensive is all about! I found the drink to be cheaper in all the pubs we went into, and the food was equal on price. So no, London is not expensive unless you decided to eat in Langhams!


Roll call from left to right Myself - Kiera - Kjersti - April - Richard - Jenny - Rob
Marc was taking the picture

Queuing for the boat trip was quick, probably less than 10 mins but with a few pints on board it was rather immaterial!

A trip up and down the Thames was good, I had never done this before and it was great to see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and loads of other famous landmarks from the water. Well worth it if you are ever in London.











Next was the "London Eye" as soon as we got off the boat it was a 30 second walk up the gang way and straight into the "Pod" on the "Eye".

Richard was not to good with heights but he coped well all things considering, we were lucky with the weather and had brilliant views of our fabulous Capital City!










Once we had landed it was a wander up and over the bridge to take a look at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.


And by this time we were due another pint - We found the Red Lion in Parliament Square and downed a quick pint!

From here we wandered down past the Cenotaph towards Trafalgar Square, where I was amazed to see a Big Blue Cock!


I'm not too sure what it is or why it is there, Trafalgar Square takes it's name from the Napoleonic battle of the same name in 1805 where Lord Nelson kicked France's arse rather convincingly. With the cockerel being an emblem of France it leaves me slightly confused!

Onwards and towards China Town! But a pit stop at Waxy's Little Sister for another pint or two kept us occupied whilst Rob, Jenny, Marc and April spent some time in the M and M Emporium.

From here a wander where we spotted this musical:-


Not too sure what that is all about at all!

From here we took a walk to the Tower of London to see the poppy display, a ceramic poppy planted for every soldier killed during World War 1. I have to admit that I was overcome with emotion, I could not speak and there was a tear in my eye.

Kiera asked me what upset me about it. My answer at the time was "I don't know" but thinking about it a number of things came to mind. Firstly the scale and number of poppies and what each one represents, secondly, the fact that like each and every one of those soldiers I also signed up to protect my Country and took the Oath of Allegiance which I still standby even today.

I wonder if I was around in 1914 would I have joined up? Now 100 years later would I be represented by a ceramic poppy?





After this I was in dire need of a pint, so a swift pint in the "Liberty Bound" where we all composed ourselves but not before having to find the public loo's and being charged 50p to take a leak! What on earth is all that about!? For that I was expecting someone to escort me in, warm the seat and wipe my arse!

Feeling refreshed and relieved we caught a Boris Bus, back into China Town. I liked the new bus, not like our bone shakers. It will be along time before we see anything like that down our way!

Back in China Town and with a massive choice of restaurants we finally found one that would seat all 8 of us on one table.

The food was excellent and once more I was pleasantly surprised by the cost of the meal. We have certainly paid more at home.

In fact the only thing annoying me about London so far was the Big Blue Cock and the cost of having a pee!

Finally we decided to head back to Waterloo, walking over the Jubilee bridge, the one where it wobbled when it was first opened. Here we stopped for a few more pictures.




We had been lucky with the weather, almost to the point of it being a bit to warm! The final walk back to Waterloo was hard work, we were all knackered!


A slow train home stopping at every station meant we got back around midnight!

A fantastic day was had by all, with feet aching and lots of laughs and memories stored away to remember for the future.

Till later........................

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ground To A Temporary Halt!

The conservatory is now completely plastered and dried out, but not before the roof developed a leak, enough to form a puddle on the floor!

This was sorted the very next day, and now we are dry and water tight once more.

Blinds have been fitted to all the windows, with the final one being fitted later today. It was measured up wrongly and did not fit.

The thing that is stopping us at the moment unfortunately is me!

I had a minor operation to remove a mole, just 4 stitches required but right on my side and movement feels them pulling, so lifting and driving a bus for the next few days are completely out.

However, this has given me time to read and catch up on the many blogs that I have neglected to read over the last few months.

Autumn has arrived, the tree's are turning  wonderful colours and we have had some high winds the last few days.

We are hoping to have a night out in our VW camper on Friday night, hoping the rain stays off for the evening as we plan a trip locally just down to Hurst Spit.

A meeting on Thursday at work will reveal if I still have a job or not. Drastic council cuts will see bus routes going or changing, redundancies are expected. So we will see what the outcome is soon enough. Fingers crossed I keep my job.

It is not brilliant, but I would rather find another job whilst having one than be under pressure to find one with no income coming in.

Talking with others, we feel that being as short staffed as we are at present (5 down) and with at least another 4 or 5 to retire the beginning of next year we may be lucky!

Last weekend saw us take a trip up to London for a day of sight seeing and fun with friends from work. I will write a separate blog post for this as there are loads of pictures.

So, till later..................................