Monday, 28 July 2014

Flat Packed And Painted!

Thank the Lord! I've finished building wardrobes and painting! (for now)!

Three wardrobes consisting of two singles and a double, a shoe rack and a bedside table and a desk.

Painting the sitting room took two coverings and two radiators were also given a couple of licks to make them look like new!

All look good but I'm afraid I got zero satisfaction out of doing any of it!

However to readdress the balance I have started my pickling campaign!

I managed to get a rather large jar of shallots peeled and pickled the other evening. Today I bought more pickling vinegar, shallots and 24 eggs, all ready to be done over the next 48 hrs.

Christmas should be good this year with home made pickled onions and eggs - Now that is satisfaction!  

Photo: 1st jar of pickled onions done - can of fosters to emphasise size of jar! Ready for Xmas!

The can of foster's give's a sense of scale to the size of the jar. The bits you can see is chilli flakes to give the onions a bit of a bite!

We now also have a date for the cabin to be delivered and constructed then 10 days later the extension/conservatory will be started!

It's all happening, but it will be all done before the summer is over which is good.

Kiera and the kids are still away holidaying in Spain, they get back this Thursday. It's been quiet here without everyone.

So, on with my pickling!

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

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

IKEA Flat Pack Furniture And Emulsion

With two weeks off I find myself knee deep in IKEA flat packed furniture and emulsion.

I had intended to get a week away on my trusty old Honda C90 "Lucille" but have had a change of mind and decided with so much to do that I would continue with the building of furniture and start and hopefully complete the living room, and possibly another bedroom.

But at the moment we are still on the building of furniture, or rather I would be but for a flaw in the furniture which requires me to drill a hole.

No problems, but,  both my drill battery packs are flat as a pancake.

Currently building wardrobes with soft closing doors and automatic lights. IKEA furniture is well thought out and to be honest relatively easy to put together. Sometimes it would be better if there were two of you to hold things but other than that, not bad.

Certainly things have come along way since my first experience of flat pack back in the 90's. Nothing lined up and the fixings were dodgy to say the least. Making for a rather unsteady and rocky shelving unit which in the end collapsed after only a couple of months!

The last time I did any painting was just before I left Shaston, and I had to get the house back to it's original colours.

This time it is all being painted white, even the radiators will be having a repaint!

Then the whole of the downstairs will be refloored. This will be done once the conservatory is completed.

Still waiting for the cabin to arrive and be erected, this should be done soon. Without this being done we cannot empty the garage, which has a knock on effect all the way through the house.

The conservatory is due to start being done in the middle of August, before they start, some grubbing out of bushes has to be completed. Thankfully the roots are being dug out by the contractors but the bushes themselves have to be cut down.

So still all go.

Haven't had time to look at campers, just not enough hours in the day.

Well best get back to it and check to see if the batteries are charged!

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

Friday, 11 July 2014

I No Longer Have A Caravan!

Well, things change quickly sometimes, and to be honest on reflection feel that it was definitely the right thing to do.

To cut a long story short, "M" is now in possession of the caravan, lock stock the lot!

Even the cadac!

I have walked away from all of it completely, a shame that things had to end this way, but that is the way it is sometimes when you are backed into a corner.

So what is next? For a long time I have fancied a camper van.

This makes a lot more sense for us, not a big camper but a T4/T5 VW camper which is small enough to be used as an every day car as and when required.

We would also get a lot more use out of it for those on the spur, one night away somewhere moments.

You just cannot do that with a big twin axle, as much as you think you would, you just wouldn't!

So the hunt is on, last weekend we went and had a look at a few to give us an idea of layout etc. But these started at £30,000 and went upwards which was way over budget.

£20,000 is a rough guide, so we should be able to pick up something half decent for that sort of money.

We want a pop up roof, so the kids can sleep up there, and swivel front seats. I would also like it to have a diesel heater and underslung water tanks but trying to find one without galactic mileage is not easy.

The hunt continues....

Other than that bricks and mortar is fine. Busy painting at the moment, this being a slow process due to having no time off and having to do a bit here and there.

In just over a week's time I'm off so I can crack on with it then. Once that is done and wardrobes purchased we can unpack boxes and get gear stowed away. At the moment it's still living out of boxes and temporary clothes rails.

It will all come together in the end I'm sure!

Outside the old shed has been taken apart, the ground cleared for the new massive cabin taking it's place and the fence has been renewed.

A conservatory is going to be going up soon on the back of the house to provide us with more kitchen/dining space.

Once this has all been done we can empty the garage, then the contents of my "Pajero" can be emptied and got ready for sale. Yep, the old girl is being sold!

I'm going to be putting the money towards my bike licence, and then a bike. I'll keep "Lucille" how could I get rid of her? But a bigger bike is required!

The weather in this part of the world is glorious at the moment with loads of sunshine. Great when your relaxing but not good driving a double decker bus with no air con!

But apart form readjusting to living a "normal" life everything is good.

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


Saturday, 21 June 2014

How Things Can Change!

Just a little over three months ago, I was getting myself ready for my trip around the UK on my little Honda C90.

With just two weeks before departure I met someone who has completely changed my life!

Since my return I have spent more and more time at her house and obviously less and less time at the caravan!

The caravan is still parked up and I am still paying full pitch fee's on it, but last week I found a place locally to store it securely for just £8.00 per week. With the option of electric hook up for just an extra £2.00 per week.

So this is where the caravan will be hopefully going as paying pitch fee's is a bit daft when I am spending so much time in bricks and mortar!

I must say that being back in bricks and mortar was a little strange. Not having to worry about the water running out whilst having a shower is rather lovely! I don't miss having to collect water via the aqua rolls or 5 litre containers either.

Moving the caravan to storage and not living in it will give me the chance to do some repairs that are required.

The floor for some time has needed attention, the front floor between the seats and also at the foot of the bed have started to de-laminate. 

Curable by drilling holes and filling with a type of glue, but impossible to do whilst you are living in it.

A couple of the main lights have given up the ghost and a new water pump will be fitted as the current one is on it's way out.

All these jobs can be done given time.

I have no plans to get rid of the caravan, it will give us a great base to holiday from and perfect for weekends away.

Have I missed the caravan? I guess the only thing I miss is the quiet at night. Living in a field in the country with only owls for company is rather special and unique!

Would I change things? Not at all, I can't remember the last time I was this happy and content.

So for now living in a caravan is at an end.

It has been an emotional journey with many up and downs, 99% of which I have shared with you all.

I run another blog which can be found at www.fatblokestravels.blogspot.com  this is where I write about my travels, which I plan to do lot's more of.

This blog, well, not sure where to go from here, I guess as I do the repairs I will update and any trips away. So it will stay active.

Hope you all enjoy the summer with this glorious weather we are having here in the UK.

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

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Caravan - A Group Of Travellers Journeying Together.

For a while now I have been wondering what this blog is all about. I guess some of you long term readers are wondering the same!

It has changed over the last 18 months from full timing in a caravan to having four walls and a roof, back to the caravan, and now I find myself staying more and more within four walls and a roof once more!

But one definition of a caravan is "A Group Of Travellers Journeying Together". Well, are we not all on a journey we call "Life" and all travelling together on "Life's Journey"? It's just a different interpretation of the same word!

So yes this blog was all about how we lived in a touring caravan, but now it appears to have morphed itself into a blog about my life and my journey with others.

The caravan remains a focal point and I am happy to answer any questions gained from the years spent being slightly nomadic within a geographical area.

This blog however will now be more of a life recording adventure, where everyday observations and events will be noted for all to see.

A good part of it will still be based on camping and the outdoors as this is something that is deep rooted within me.

So keep with me folks, life changes and we either adapt and move on or fall by the wayside.

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


Monday, 19 May 2014

Lands End - Dover - John O'Groats - Durness - Lands End Challenge

Well I've been back a few weeks now and all I can say is that after my challenge which you can read at www.fatblokestravels.blogspot.com I still haven't totally recovered!

I came off my motorbike whilst in Glencoe and badly twisted my knee and ankle.

Please go and take a look at the blog it is completely updated with a blow by blow account of the journey I took.

Life here on site is unchanged, peaceful with no other campers yet!

The weekend just gone was spent in a tent camping with friends in the New Forest, weather was brilliant, but I've been bitten half to death! I obviously taste good!

A lot has happened over the last few weeks, Just before I went on my trip I met someone who has completely bowled me over.

During the trip she was always on the end of the phone and a massive support and help to me. 

Now that I am back I seem to be spending all my time with her, which I must say is brilliant.

So life for me is good at the moment and I see no reason why it will change.

I have been reading through some of the comments left and it appears that more and more people are taking the plunge and living full time in their caravans. A wise move and as yet I have not heard one horror story of how it all fell apart for them.

A number of questions have been raised, which over the next few weeks I will try to resolve, but with so many people reading the blog these days, the questions are being answered for me which is great!

This blog was set up originally not only as a diary for myself, but as a resource for others to ask daft questions and not feel embarrassed.

To be able to find out more about living like this and to hear from people who are actually doing it rather than from some web sites/forums those who only go away for 2 weeks of the year and think they know everything!

I used to get so frustrated with those types, now I don't even read the forums!

Asking someone about full timing who only goes away 2 weeks of the year is like asking the person who makes you a cup of tea at work how to run a 5 star Michelin restaurant!

So please feel free to ask questions, either directly via the blog, or to me direct at joolsmauro@gmail.com I'm not the worlds greatest at getting back to folk so the blog is probably better!

Anyway a couple of pictures from my epic journey!















Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Time Flies

It's true - time flies when your having fun!

I had to have a good talk with myself and have certainly changed my out look on life and got myself back on track.

My Lands End to John O'Groats and back again challenge is less than two weeks away now and this has kept me focused and busy.

I find it hard to believe that it was last summer that I started to think about the challenge. A lot can happen in that short period of time as I found out!

You can follow me at www.fatblokestravels.blogspot.com and on facebook to get a blow by blow of my trip! My facebook link is just over on the right so please feel free to add me.

All quiet here on site, the field is still a bit damp, and as I have no desire to chew up the field I'm still parking at the entrance and walking up to the caravan.

 Had the coldest morning of the year only a couple of days ago, -4! Went to bed with it being mild and woke thinking the power must be off as it was bloody freezing.

I have it cool during the night, but with the sudden drop in temperature it was a chilly start to the day. Thankfully it takes the time to boil a kettle to get it roasty warm again. Try doing that in a house!

Now just to warn you that I may not blog for a couple of weeks as my challenge is taking up so much of my time, so as I said you can see how Im doing via my other blog and facebook

till later..............