Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Off Out Again In "Duckie" Our VW T25

Bank Holiday weekend and what plans do we have?

None - I'm bloody working all weekend including Monday!!!!!!!

However, all is not lost. Saturday night saw us at a Retirement Party for one of the drivers from work. A good evening was had by all, with plenty of food cooked on the BBQ.

It was at Boldre, not a million miles away, but we thought that if we had a couple of beers we could "Pop" the roof and stay over in the hall car park. So this is what we did and it was a lovely quiet night as Boldre is in the New Forest and it is a bit out of the way!

No one bothered us, and next morning we were up fairly sharpish as I had to go to work.

Kiera dropped me off at work, and then picked me up in the evening where once again we set off to cook supper in the forest.

Our chosen location this time was Hatchet Pond just outside of Beaulieu.

A great spot for supper! During the day this car park is heaving, but come evening we had it almost to ourselves!

We both agreed that buying the VW T25 was a brilliant move, as we appear to be getting a lot of use out of her. Not only that but on the day's I take her to work, during my breaks I head back to put the kettle on and get some quality down time before I hit the road again.

Conservatory Update.

As it is now Tuesday, Vic our builder has laid the membrane and is currently filling up the base of the conservatory with cement. The only problem is that the heavens have just opened and it is quickly becoming a paddling pool half filled with cement. As the cement has been delivered and is laying out on a tarp on the grass to the front of our house, I think he has no option but to carry on all it could turn into a catastrophe.

As there is a bit of cursing going on outside, I feel it wiser and safer to stay out of the way and scuttle off to work before I'm enlisted to help!

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

Friday, 22 August 2014

Conservatory Build Update - Foundations

Old Victor our builder has been cracking on single handedly with our conservatory.

The foundations are now laid, the base wall built and he has now nearly completed the infill of hardcore so that sand followed by the waterproof membrane and finally the cement can be poured.

Also the waste pipe from the kitchen sink had to be rerouted and a new drain laid.

It's all coming together slowly but surely, considering he is doing this all on his own he is making really good progress.

Today the sand and membrane is laid all ready for concrete to be poured on Tuesday.

Still a lot of work to be done. One of the good things is that Vic has managed to source the same bricks as the house for the new brickwork. The house was built in 1979 so it will all look the same once completed.

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

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Supper Cooked In Duckie VW T25

It had been a lovely sunny day and we had both been at work, so what better way to spend an evening than looking out over the sea and cooking our supper in "Duckie"

We are so lucky that just a 10 minute drive away we are at the coast, with many places to park up.

This evening we decided on Hordle Cliffs, which is just West of Milford On Sea.

We parked up and popped the roof and watched the sun go down as I rattled some pans.

I managed to cobble together a chicken tagliatele which tasted awesome if I do say so myself!

We watched the sun set and it grew dark as we sat watching the sea, finishing up with a hot chocolate before we headed home. It would of been rather too easy just to fall asleep in the back but yet again I was on early's so not really practical.

Oh well - always another day!

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

Not Another Puncture In the VW T25

Monday morning and it's early o'clock. A puncture is not what is needed, but that is what I had.

The 2nd in a week! Surely I cannot be that unlucky.

Thankfully with a choice of cars I made it to work ok, and left "Duckie" on the side of the road till I returned that evening.

Managed to get some air into the tyre, enough to get it back into our parking bay, but by the following morning it was flat once more.

I finished work early that day, so swapped the tyre over with the spare, and made arrangements to get it repaired the next day.

No visible screws or nails could be seen and this was confirmed by the Tyre Shop who said they couldn't find the cause of the puncture either.

So a new inner tube, and yes our T25 has inner tubes, I thought that they stopped putting them in, but talking to the Tyre Shop owner it depends on the size of tyre and rim used.

Well, £15.00 later we were back on the road. At least the tyre did not need replacing as that cost us £78.00 last week!

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

Visitors From Holland

At short notice we had word that Kiera's Dad and Step Mum were over from Holland and would be staying with us for a couple of nights.

Good job the kids were away, or they would be sleeping either on the floor or in "Duckie"!

They arrived on Saturday and after I had finished work headed home to meet them for the first time.

A bit daunting even at my age meeting your girlfriends Dad for the first time! But it all turned out well.

Sunday we took a trip to "Molly's Den" a big industrial unit full of antique stalls, had a good browse and bought a couple of postcards. Kiera spent rather more than me and ended up with bags and cups and saucers!

Then we took a trip out to Blackfield which is where Peter  (Kiera's Dad) was born to find the actual house he was born in. This we did, but there was no one in when he knocked the door as I think he would of liked a look around his old house.

On then to Lepe beach, now a nature reserve but during WW2 it was an important area. This is where the pipeline left the main land before heading over to the Isle of Wight and then onto France. Without this pipeline, fuel would of been in very short supply if not impossible to get hold of and the invasion would of failed. Not only this but here is where a lot of the Mulberry Harbours were built and it was a major embarkation point.

We had lunch in "Duckie" with four adults sat around the table, followed by  ice cream.

On our return it was a quick change as we were off out that night for a curry with some of the lads and their partners from work. At the end of the evening as we were all settling the bill, Peter became very insistent that he was going to pay for Kiera and I. So much so that he threatened to stuff my card up my arse if I didn't put it away!

A late but enjoyable evening was had by all.

Monday night I cooked a Lasagne, not my best by far, but it went down ok.

Tuesday night we headed out to "The Haven" at Lymington Marina. Here they cook the best Mussel's ever!

Peter (Kiera's Dad) - Kiera

Another late night, not helped by the fact that the following morning I had to be up at 0400hrs for work!

Peter and Annamarie left on Wednesday morning to catch their ferry back home armed with large jars of pickled eggs and onions!

An enjoyable few days, and now back to the grindstone of work.

Till later.........

Friday, 15 August 2014

2nd Night In T25 VW aka "Duckie"

I had a late start at work and Kiera was off to London for the day. The plan was that we both roughly would be home at the same time and we would shoot off for another night in "Duckie"

However, Kiera's train was some what delayed so we took all of 30 seconds to decide that all though late we should still head off.

Quick change at home, a stop at the local kebab shop and back down to Keyhaven Marsh again!

It was lovely just sat in the back looking out through the front towards the Isle of Wight and watched the sky being lit up by the lightening way out at sea.

Another very peaceful night and a very lazy start once more with tea and bacon rolls, the sun shining warming the van up nicely.

Our view from our door this morning, you may be able to make out Hurst Castle and the Lighthouse with the Isle of Wight in the background.

A few things that need to be added to the shopping list is:-

Gas spanner - I haven't found one in the van, either that or I make sure there is an adjustable spanner handy. I have all ready decided that we will be changing over from butane to propane.

Porta Potti - A bit of a cumbersome item, but we feel that it is a requirement when wild camping, there were a lot of dog walkers around this morning at 0700 hrs, rather too many for Kiera's liking!!

Levelling Ramps

Hand Held Hoover - Too many crumbs!

Electric Hook Up Cable - Complete with fused sockets. The camper van does not have 240v hookup built in.

So still a bit to do, plus we also need to take a look at how the curtains work, well, really how they hook onto the square clips in the runners. There must be a better way, so we will be looking through the forums for ideas but open to suggestions!

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

1st Night In VW25 aka "Duckie"

With the kids at their Dad's and Kiera off, myself on a late start, it would be an opportunity missed if we did not spend the night in "Duckie"

So to save on a bit of time, that afternoon I rustled up a spaghetti bolognase so all that was required would be to reheat it and cook a pan of pasta later.

Living in this part of the world we are very lucky to have a choice of where to stay for the night. No campsites for us now we have "Duckie" - just wild camp where it is safe to do so!

Wild camping or freedom camping is when you pull into a secluded or out of the way spot and spend the night. Generally the authorities turn a blind eye as long as you are not causing an obstruction or doing anything stupid.

We decided on Keyhaven Marsh, looking out towards Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight.

We finally pulled in around 2000hrs and within seconds we were opening a beer and relaxing. A bit different than pulling up in a caravan! Handbrake on and the jobs done! We did "pop" the roof up though!

We had pulled in front of a Hymer camper leaving plenty of space, and apart from them, there was a handful of cars parked further along.

Not long after parking up as I was getting the tea on a guy walked up to us and said "Are you planning on spending the night here"? quickly I replied no, just chilling. I didn't want to give the game away!

However, what I didn't realise was that he was from the Hymer! He told me that the tide comes in and up and over the road so unless we move around the corner to higher ground we may end up with wet feet!

Realising who he was now, I thanked him for his kindness in letting us know. Flooding "Duckie" on her maiden voyage would not of been a good start.

So once dinner was had, we drove around the corner and parked up on level ground.

Time then for a quick walk out on the spit with a blanket and a bottle of wine. Here we spent an hour watching the lights of boats pass between the spit and the Isle of Wight and also the moon rise up over the spit. Glorious, and a wonderful way to spend an evening!

Back to the camper for a mug of hot chocolate and set the bed up which took all of 3 mins!

With the curtains pulled round it felt snug and cosy.

A good nights sleep followed and a lazy start to the day with tea and bacon rolls!

Three camper cans stayed at this location, this included us. If anyone wants the precise location and directions to it, please feel free to email me and I'll guide you to it.

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