Wednesday, 25 February 2015

History Of The Caravan

I was kindly sent the following link, which I found interesting.

It shows a rather shortened and potted history of the humble caravan here in the UK.

So many thanks to Andrew Jenkins (The UK's leading caravan historian) and Salop Leisure for putting this all together and to Luke who sent it over to me!

History of the Caravan
View the full interactive History of the Caravan

8 Places You Can Live In That Are Cheaper Than A House

Recently the "Mirror" ran an article on their website called "8 Places you can live in that are way, way cheaper than a house".

If you click on the link above and read through, we are at No. 6 with a link direct to my blog!

Cool stuff, but I guess they did not read my blog from start to finish to see that my views are not necessarily politically correct!

I'm just grateful for the publicity, especially as I am slack to say the least in writing on here any more.

It is only because I am laid up with a sore back that I am managing to find the time to do all this today.

I'm sure there has been a shortening of time, and hour is 60 mins, but somehow, it is now only 40 mins long!! Does any one else have this problem?

I used to think that I had all the time in the world, but now, I feel that time is a premium, and I only want to be doing the things that bring me joy and happiness.

With so many things that I want to do, I just hope that I find the strength and cram it all in!

Till later.......

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Catching Up With Life!

Well, it sure has been a while since I wrote anything on here, time just seems to pass by so quickly these days that before you know it, another month has gone by!

Christmas came and went, with all the trimmings and we saw the old year out and the new year in!

So many things have changed for me these last 12 months that it is impossible to keep up on a day to day basis, let alone write about it all.

Life is good, new challenges are faced and met and hopefully dealt with correctly.

On the house front, the conservatory is now fully done, floor laid throughout the down stairs. The kitchen has seen a makeover with a new solid oak top and ceramic sink, which makes it look rather posh!

Upstairs the kids rooms are done, and in a couple of weeks our fitted wardrobes will arrive and be fitted.

Several radiators have been replaced with new thermostatic valves fitted to all, which is making the heat of the house easier to regulate.

Just the garden to do, and that will be it. We have decided to wait to do the bathroom till after the wedding.

This is our next big challenge - The Wedding! We are trying to keep it as simple as possible, but this is easier said then done. But, we are working on it, so fingers crossed it will all turn out ok.

On the job front, I'm still driving buses, but to be honest, it is not a pleasant job to do. An easy job yes, but having to put up with people moaning all day and complaining over nothing is a real de-motivator.

Kiera is working as hard as ever and her company is expanding and moving ahead fast. She dearly wants to go full time, so I may yet go part time, as this allows her the flexibility to do her job properly. A job she thoroughly enjoys, which is important. It also pays better than mine so from a financial point of view it all makes sense.

We have spent time away in the camper, the odd night here and there, which has been good fun. We managed to get away for a few nights over the Christmas period, just the two of us. We headed for Wales and spent a night camped up on a cliff top wild camping then a couple of nights in a rather splendid pub.

Currently I'm off work as I've managed to damage my back a couple of days ago. There would of been a time when I would of just carried on, but now, as they think no more of you for working through it I'm taking the time off to recover properly.

My parents who are in their late 60's and mid 70's have bought a caravan and are thinking of upgrading to a newer one soon. It's good to see them getting out and about and making the most of things.

I here that my old caravan has now been sold, so there is closure on that part of my life once and for all.

I was asked recently do I miss the lifestyle. To answer honestly there is parts that I miss and parts that I do not.

I miss the feeling of being so close to nature, watching sunsets, listening to owls, the wind and the rain.

I don't miss running out of water half way through a shower or emptying the loo in freezing conditions in the dark. Or being up worrying that the awning is about to blow away!

So there are trade off's, on the whole it was an enjoyable experience.

Our plan roughly is to see the kids through school and off to university, then we hope to make our escape!

Plenty of exciting times ahead, we just have to get there and make it happen!

So thanks for sticking with me, I will try to write more often!

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

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.