Tuesday, 30 November 2010

All water on site frozen!

Well, all the water on the site is now frozen solid, luckily "M" doesnt work to far away from the site, so the aqua roll was put in the back of the landrover along with the hose and off I went first thing this morning and filled up there.

A bit of a pain, but, could be alot worse! Now planning on preparing incase there is a powercut, seriously started looking at generators!

The other thing we have finally sussed is the heating in the caravan! We had the problem of being either too hot or too cold, but what we have now started to use is the blown air system, this seems to regulate the heat alot more, so we now have it on all the time and we now have the temperature in the van at a steady 20 degrees, which is a lovely warm temperature. It also gives an even temperature, as before without the hot air being circulated your head was hot but your feet cold, now its roasty all around!

Just as well with all this cold weather going on! We still havent had more than a cup full of snow here in Ringwood, but on my journey upto Shaston this morning they had seen alot more. As soon as I drove past the Larma Tree it was like going from one room to another, one minute it was cold, but green fields, then cold and white fields with snow! A very strange sensation!

We both have new pairs of thermal socks, but my feet were still cold today! But as Ive been mainly sat all day, hardly surprising.

Just checked the outside temperature, and it appears to be warming up, its now zero degrees as opposed to -2! Does that mean that snow is finally on its way here!

Just swapped over the aqua roll and the bottom is like a slush puppie! Not good! will have to look at ways of insulating the bottom of the roll, the top and sides are ok, and its sat on a wooden plinth, but we still need to obviously do more!

Talking to someone today, they didnt know what an aquaroll was, I didnt know what it was till I started caravaning, its something I took for granted when talking about it, so will have to get a photo of one. Now wondering what other caravaning terms Ive used that non caravaners may not of heard of before! What about EHU or hookup? Legs up - Legs down? Grey Waste? Leisure Battery? CL or CS sites? Blimey, there are quite a few, will have to put together a caravaning/camping dictionary!

"M" is just getting the slow cooker geared up for tomorrows dinner, it definately is stew weather!

The stew was lovely, it snowed on the way in to Shaston this morning and whilst I was there, but heading back tonight, all though very white in Shaston, not alot anywhere else.

Stopped on the way back in Ivy Cross Esso garage in Shaston, and once again I was robbed by the garage in plain view of other customers. How much do you think it is to put air into your tyres, 50 bloody pence! For that I want the guy to come out and pump it up by personally blowing into the tyre. Am I being unreasonable or is the garage blatantly taking the piss! 20p is too much in my view, they should provide it free along with decent sponges, clean water, and a please and thankyou!

I would of used tescos but that was out of order, where every penny counts dont you know, yes all bloody 50 of them in this case!

"M" reckons Im sounding like a miserable old git, Im just a bit fed up with todays society taking me for every penny I have! Especially when there is no need, and thats the bit that gets me, As a company, what would it take to provide free air to its customers! Nothing!

My mate Mark who follows on here reminded me of another instance of sleeping in an inhospitable place. A clump of trees on the side of a hill in the middle of Otterburn, in weather similar to what we are seeing now! Out of 30 or so of us, at least half went down with hypothermia, thankfully being blessed with extra insulation myself and Mark survived that one! All we had for cover was a poncho and a sleeping bag each, those were the days!

Its funny that I could put up with that, but paying 50p to put air in my tyre upsets me! Strange!

Anyway, enough from me for now, hope you are all enjoying the snow, will catch up in a couple of days, as its flat out for me for the next couple of days!

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

Sunday, 28 November 2010

This morning I was up with the lark and off to Ashley Car Boot sale, we went a few weeks back and there must of been at least a dozen rows of vendors, today, 2 1/2, shame, but what can you expect with a -1 temperature reading and a stiff breeze!

Got back around 9.30am after having a cup of tea and a bacon roll for £2 and found "M" still in bed!

We had to take China back to the vets for a check up after her Op, but first we went for a short walk along the Castlemanway trail along an old railway track running through the back of Ringwood and across the river Avon, forgot the camera, which was a shame as there were some good photos to be taken, another day!

The vet gave her the all clear, everything healing up nicely. We thought as much the way she has been leaping about, even trying to stop her, but you try stopping a thing on a spring! The vets were really good, this was the first time we had used them, as they are the vets used by Dorset Dog Rescue, which is where we found China. http://ccvets.co.uk/bournemouth Her final check up is next Sunday, when hopefully she will signed off.

We ventured into Christchurch for lunch and found a pub called The Ship,  http://theship-christchurch.co.uk the sign hanging outside said pub of the year 2010, we went inside, and it does look exactly the same as the website, the staff were great, we got a table straight away, in fact alarm bells should of rang as it was suspiciously quiet for a Sunday lunch time, with just a handful of people in. We ordered Roast Beef with all the trimmings, the table was laid for us and both given a linen napkin, always a good sign! or so we thought. The food arrived within around 15 minutes, the veg had been nuked, I had to ask the waitress when she cleared the plates what a certain vegetable was as it was dark brown to almost black, apparently it was swede! The roast spuds were tougher to cut than the beef! No wonder the pub was empty if that is the quality of food they serve up! I did mention this to the waitress, who's reply was at least the veg is fresh, well, fresh it maybe but not if its been reheated several times! But, give them their credit they did give us a free desert each, but the thing is, how hard is it to steam veg or cook it properly!?  its just slackness on the chefs part. And that's the real shame as the location, the decor, the layout and the service is spot on. Oh and £3.70 for a pint of Guinness - a bit steep? I'm in Christchurch, not bloody Waterloo train station!

Talking of expensive pints, once stayed at the Sheraton on the Heathrow strip, it was a company thing, I at that time was the National Sales Manager for a company based in Uxbridge. Went to check out in the morning and my bill came to £150+, no problem as that happened to be around the same as the room rate, with a few beers about right and therefore thought it was OK. Put in my expenses a few weeks later, got a phone call from my boss who queried my bill that day, I said that I paid for the room, no he said, that must of been your bar bill as the company paid for all the rooms in advance! Now I vaguely remember several bombay saphires, ok alot of it, but £150! No way, so I called the hotel and queried the bill and asked to see all the bar receipts that I had signed to my room. Obviously they couldn't check back, so to my utter surprise they refunded me the money! Result!!

Back on the campsite, the mains water has now frozen up! So I had to go around to the farmers house and found a mains tap sticking out of the wall, thankfully this is not frozen, so we still have water, all though its a bit of a trek! Thank God for aquarolls!

"M" has also done a trip to the laundrette, and Ive had a shave after nearly 4 weeks of growing a beard, I no longer look like a yeti, well that's debatable, beard or no beard!

A busy week back up in Shaston, weather permitting, it is a notoriously bad stretch of road that I have to travel, high ground, windy B roads. So fingers crossed Ill get up there ok.

Hope everyone who reads this has a great week, and as Ive said before, please feel free to leave us a comment or ask us anything, looking at our stats, we can see that alot of people read this, but very few leave comments, so come on, don't be shy, say hello!

Till later........

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Places Ive lived! Theres been a few! But Then again, I did it My Way.....

After the other evenings blog where I wrote about the places Ive ended up sleeping in, it got me thinking about the places Ive actually lived!

To say that Ive moved around a bit would be an understatement, its no wonder that Ive ended up living in a caravan!

So I thought I would try and jot down where Ive lived, just to see how many places there actually were and as this format is as good as any it would maybe make an interesting or boring blog depending on what you like reading!

For my first few years I grew up in a little village called Child Okeford, It was the family home, my Great Grandfather, had his business there, he was a cobbler. Strangely enough it wasnt till the house was sold and no living relatives lived in the village that the house was renamed Cobblers Cottage! At the age of 5 or 6 I moved to Shaston, (2) and to a brand new house on an estate. I became a towny! All though 5 mins walk from our house I would of been lost in woods or fields, so not exactly a built up place!

At the tender age of 15 and 11 months I headed off to Newcastle (3), well to be precise Ouston, which is out in the middle of no where, for my basic military training with the Royal Signals as a Junior Soldier! A year later after completing this I moved to Catterick (4) to embark on my trade training.

6 months later I found my self in Osnabruck (5) where I spent a mad couple of years at the infamous 2 squadron 21 Signal Regiment. It was an eye openner for a 17 1/2 yr old! It was full of lunatics, people were either being sent to Colchester nick or coming back from it! From there I ended up in Paderborn (6) then to Rhinedahlen (7) where I then spent 6 months back in the UK (8) Rhinedahlen has many fond memories, if only I could remember them! This is where my Army carreer ended as a Lance Corporal.

I then moved back to Shaston to my parents house (9) before moving to Salisbury (10) as I had found some gainfull occupation. I then moved back to Shaston (11) to my first brand new house! bought if for £52k sold it for £32k oh joy!

Then had a house in Gillingham, (12), then another house in Gillingham (13) divorced, so another house in Gillingham (14).

Decided to move to the other end of the country, Scotland, flat in Glasgow (15), then being a country lad, to a mobile home on a farm near Lesmahagow! (16) After that to a place called Banknock (17).

On my return to a more hospitable climate, ie, parents house yet again (18) then to a friends house (19) then to another house in Shaston (20) then to our last house (21)in Shaston. Then finally found my life in a caravan with multiple moves!! Ive lost count!

So 21 moves! Is that excessive? Perhaps there is a reason for this, if there are any psycho-analysis type of people reading this then let me know, or is the real reason simply that Ive got itchy feet and dont like being in one place too long! If this is the case, then I have found my ideal habitat!

Moving as we have done has its advantages, you dont get bored of the same view, you get to see a variety of wild life. Your surroundings change with the seasons and weather.

The disadvantages, you have to think things through a little more and plan ahead if you want to do something, as you have to work out where you will be! But honestly I cant think of many disadvantages.

We used to live in a house, whereby we would constantly worry about how the bills were going to be paid! We dont have to do that now! The relief of not having to worry is amazing, and for those of you who dont have to worry to much, sit back and take stock, and thank your lucky stars that you dont have to and appreciate the fact!

They say money cant buy you happiness, this is so true, just over 10 years ago I was earning serious amounts of money, had the 4 bed detached house, two holidays a year abroad, wife drove a Mercedes, but where did it get us, no where. Im earning far less these days, but am I happy? You can bet your last shilling I am. This is a lifestyle that you will either love or hate. I dont think there are any inbetweens in this game.

Thankfully Ive found someone who shares the same idea's as me, she is the most amazing women I have ever known. We have a plan, we are slowly getting there, we are not on a get rich quick scheme, it will take us a few years, but it will be worth it all in the end.

Along the way, we will encounter many obstacles, setbacks, dramas, but also alot of fun times and happy memories - the next couple of years will probably be a bit of a rollercoaster, but, thinking about it, that sort of sums my life up!

So buckle up, and hold tight, 2011 is just around the corner, its going to be a fun year!!!!

Tag along if you can keep up - Things are going to get hairy! (this was a strap line I used when I organised the Meatball Rally) A mad dash of cars and people all in fancy dress, from Shaston to Swansea then back again! And yes it was hairy, very hairy! but thats another story for another time.

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

No snow in Ringwood!

Well as usual, after all the build up to snow falling it was a bit of an anti-climax! A light sprinkling which I could of done by scrapping the inside of our freezer box and throwing it around!

It is bloody cold though, its the wind that does it, even at 0 degrees the wind chill factor can be surprising, alot of people can get caught out with that.

Thats it so far!
"M" did a cracking job of making up the aquaroll jacket! It worked a treat with no signs of ice at all!
The bit on the top is an extra I strapped on just to make sure, the pipe is allready fully insulated with grey foam tubing, tie wrapped on.

The wind is picking up this evening! Just checked the storm straps, everything is ok!

China dog, is back to her old self more or less today, she slept all night, and was bright and alert this morning. She has been a bit wingie today, but that isnt anything to unusual. Given up trying to stop her jumping up on the seats. If it hurt Im sure she wouldnt do it! They did key hole surgery on her, you can hardly see the scar, all though they shaved a massive amount of fur from her belly! brrrrrrrr.!

"M" is off to a cousins baby shower in Bournemouth tonight. How American! Yuk! Just an excuse to get presents and call me old fashioned but isnt it tempting fate! I just dont like the idea of  it!

Heres China keeping an eye on the weather, especially with a shaven belly and little legs!
So it was fish and chips for me tonight, I really couldnt be bothered to cook, no cider/ale either as Im picking "M" up later. So an evening of surfing the net, and ebay!

Till later......

Friday, 26 November 2010

Its Snowing!!!!

Its snowin here in Ringwood! So what I hear you say! Well to us its a big event as its our first snow whilst in the caravan!

We woke this morning to a temperature reading of -6 thats the coldest so far. One of the things "M" has done today was make jackets for the aquarolls out of watertank liners and duct or duck tape, They look good and will be fully tested out over the next few days!

Changed over the aquaroll this evening and there was ice on the inside of it! Good job "M" made the covers. Ill add a picture tomorrow.

Its now just after 8.00pm or 2000hrs for the military types amongst us, and its snowing, Im deciding if I need to get up during the night and check to see how much snow has landed on the awning! How much weight can it hold? I wouldnt of thought a great deal, as we use the quick-lock release clips that grip the awning and the poles slot into them. They dont look like they could handle that much. So will be keeping an eye out. However they are pushed hard against the side of the van with no movement at all in the frame, or very little so I may well be mistaken. If I hear a hell of a crash during the night Ill know it cant handle too much!

There was ice on the inside of the awning this morning, which took me back to being a kid and seeing the ice on the inside of the window, mind you, Ive seen that in many places Ive lived or slept over the years! I once had to dig myself out of a tent as the snow had drifted right up over the door! I undid the door and was faced with a wall of snow! I hope I dont have to do that again, it wasnt fun!

Thinking back to some of the places Ive woken up in, its quite amazing Ive made it this far, some of the ones that I can publish are: various cow sheds, woods, fields, hedges, ditches, courtesey of HM forces. Once slept in an old derelict house on Otterburn where you could see the stars through the roof, that was in the middle of winter with snow on the ground. A pigs trough (empty), roof of a lorry, backs of vans/lorries/buses, cars, in my sleeping bag on a service station picnic bench in France! Pub bench in a beer garden, pub bench in a pub! On a beach in Spain all night till I was nearly run over by a tractor raking the beach, a hotel hallway! Strange houses, train carriages in sidings in Belgium (see earlier post) Ferrys, Planes, also all the dodgy bed and breakfasts and hotels Ive stayed in over the years.

Once at least half a dozen of us were sleeping in a tent, I think it was in the lake district, but it was howling a gale, all in our green magot sleeping bags, head inside, the tent actually blew away, we got it back next day from the next field! Not one of us bothered to get up to do anything about it!

During the European Football Championships in 1988 in Germany Jim James and I slept in a Renault 9 for more nights than I care to remember, In Stuttgart as we approached the central train station the front wheel wobbled then actually collapsed in, we ground to a halt with a shower of sparks, calmly we both got out, cracked open a bottle of becks and walked away! There we stayed in the taxi rank for 4 nights! Massive flag over the roof, base camp! How we werent arrested or moved on I have no idea! We also stayed in that car in Dusseldorf and Frankfurt! It was a two week roadtrip from hell and back again! Amazing fun!

I once stayed in this very old pub/hotel in Ross On Wye, my room had about 5 different levels to it, after a sociable drink that got out of hand, I finally made my way to my room, where I had to have a quick pee before getting into my bed, the last thing I remember was reading the sign as I climbed three steps up to the bathroom which said, Mind Your He..... Bang! out cold on the floor all night, woke to my alarm going off. Good night though, shame I didnt even get to sleep on the bed! Hell of a bruise to my forehead!

Which also reminds me of a rather embarrasing stay in Swansea one night. I awoke after another heavy session, to a sticky sensation and a hard, cold, metal object next to me in bed! Well, the metal object happened to be a massive metal platter, which at one stage had obviously contained prawn and mayo sandwiches, which I had pilfered from somewhere in the hotel I was staying in and took to bed with me! There must of been a wedding or something, this platter was about 2ft long, definately not room service! Covered in prawns, as was the whole of the bed I had a shower and they were coming out of everywhere! filling up the shower tray, I had to poke them down the plug hole with my toes! Not good! The last thing you want to see after a skinful is hundreds of bloody prawns, and small triangles of white bread especially coming from what appears to be everywhere!

Climbed into the back of my fiesta courier van one night whilst driving from London to Scotland on a courier trip, shut the back door, settled down for a couple of hours kip, woke up, tried to open the back door, it wouldnt! Im shut in, the security grill was bolted in so I couldnt climb over, an hour later, no skin on my knuckles I had managed to unbolt the security grill and climbed into the front seats! What a pain in the arse that was!

Other places that Ive woken up in, now that Ive had more time to think about things, porches, conservatories, a shed and a garage. I once woke up in a tent after an extremely heavy night, and said, that was the wierdest dream ever, I dreamt that I was in a big circus tent, with a load of hippies, drinking strange potions whilst playing a didgereedoo it was raining and the light bulbs were exploding. The reply that I wasnt expecting was, - Jools that wasnt a dream!

Oh the stories I could tell! The one about the postbike in Copenhagen I cant tell for fear of prosecution!

Well, I digressed a little, but it just goes to show, that if it does snow, and the temperature does drop enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey, personally I reckon I can cope!

The other news of today is "China" dog has been in to the vets and had her bits removed! One sore and dopey dog tonight! She played up a little bit at the vets, "M" has the scratches on her arms to prove it, but its all done now, so at least we wont end up with any surprises, not the sort of thing you need whilst in a caravan!

So there you have another random post, with very little to do about caravaning! But hope it makes you have a giggle, after all, there is nothing more British than laughing at others misfortune!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Cold outside, but warm in here!

Where does the time go!? One minute Im relaxing on a Sunday evening, the next thing its Thursday evening!

So, this week, as Im sure everyone is all aware of,  its bloody cold, but for us full timers it does give us a few problems. Nothing that cant be overcome but you dont have to worry so much about the cold when you live in a house!

Ive lagged the outside water pipe that connects to the aqua roll with special pipe foam, designed for the purpose, tie wrapped on, it, so far, has done the job! Having survived -5, which has been the coldest that its registered since we have started out. This weekend we are going to get a water tank jacket, and make an insulating jacket for the aqua roll with the use of copious amounts of duct tap or is it duck tape? Till then I have bungied an old floor mat around it, which again appears to be doing the job! The aquaroll is also sat on a wooden plinth to keep it off the ground. We also keep the spare full roll inside the awning.

We keep the window blinds down all the time to keep the heat in, we seem to be able to get it upto 20 degrees on only 1000w and without the blown air system on. It does go to 2000w so I cant see us getting cold inside!

Dont leave clothes on the floor, it gets to cold to put on the next day, I also place my dressing gown up against the side of my pillow as the wooden side of the wardrobe is rather cold to the touch during the night!

If we put the heating up too high before we go to bed, it gets really hot, so we sort of try and find a happy medium, but first thing in the morning it drops to around 13 degrees, which isnt unbearable, but as it only takes a few minutes to heat back up, no great shakes. He says, as "M" is first up and I dont get out of bed till coffee is made and its warmed up a bit. My excuse being that I would only get in her way as she is getting ready for work. My excuse anyway!

"M" feels the cold more than I do, probably due to the fact that I have a hefty layer of insulation around me and she doesnt! I havent had to dig my PJ's out yet!

Just been told that the winter quilt is now on the bed!

This weekend, Im also going to be looking at lagging inside pipes, (just in case) and the back of the cupboards with cardboard as the draughts from the outside vents for the fridge are making it a bit draughty. Also noticed that the cutlery is very cold! I dont want to block vents as that is just plain stupidity, but I do want to cut out any unnecessary draughts which there seem to be a few to many!

Apart from that, there hasnt been many changes to how we live, just need to think things through a little.

Its been a very busy week, non stop tapping of keys in either Shaston or Bournemouth. So busy that I havent had time to blog let alone do any listing for my own site! I know slacking, there are after all 24 hrs in a day!

I did list some amazing items, one of which is a photographic account by a Royal Naval officer whilst serving on HMS Bee 1936 - 1938. It shows photographs of the USS Panay which was sunk after an attack by the Japanese airforce, also the bombing of Shaghai, and the execution of Chinese citizens by Japanese soldiers! The photographs are of amazing quality and near professional standard. What I found amazing was the photographers ability to take a picture under extreme conditions. Im not sure that I could focus then push the button as I watched people being shot in the back of the head! These photos also show pictures of the winter and summer palaces along with other temples. They really do make a fantastic collection, so watch out for these as they will be up for sale over the Christmas period!

Talking of China!

China is off to the vets tomorrow to be neutered! She had a special meal of cooked chicken, pasta and veg tonight. Almost a last meal for the condemned! A shame as we would of liked to have pups from her, but just not practical living in a caravan, even if your awning is as big as the Albert Hall! She will be a sorry looking dog tomorrow! We have bought her a fleece which she enjoys wearing, she does suffer from the cold! When we first put it on her she wasnt too sure, she walked as if she was a puppet! But, now she really likes it and gets rather over excited when we put it on her!

The big question now is - Is it going to snow? Weather forecasts being totally unreliable, who knows! Shaston also seems to have its own micro climate, a few flakes were seen earlier this evening, but nothing since. The road I take to Shaston is a B road, 30 miles of windy twisty lanes over high ground! Will be interesting as the road is liable to drifting with only a very light snow fall! Thankfully we have a landrover, so should see me through ok, what ever the weather.

It does make me wonder how we as a country seem to fail so badly with only minor snow falls. The weather when I worked in Germany was far worse, and we had ice rain to contend with, yet, nothing seemed to grind to a halt over there!

So we will wait to see what happens over night, nothing I suspect, just a bit cold!

Nothing much planned for the weekend, apart from the lagging, and looking after a sore dog!

Over did it last weekend on the ale, so may go for a dry one this weekend!

So till later.......

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Talking about the caravan - For a change!!

Toilet Fluid. Not an exciting subject, but its the one thing we use a good amount of. We have tried all sorts of different fluids, but we have settled for a supplier and his fluid which smells good, and works!

We originally found these guys on ebay under the user name of caravanessentials, but we now just go direct to them, this saves them the ebay fees, we still use paypal as thats the easiest way of payment for us.

You can find them at http://macatac.co.uk/ we bought 10 litres of blue and 10 litres of pink, I put the order in on the Sunday evening and it arrived Tuesday. So next time you need fluid for you loo, get hold of these guys. Excellent service, and the fluid does exactly what its supposed to do.

We cleaned the roof of the caravan today! It still had a load of leaves on it from our last site! Strangely enough, they were partly stuck on and in the breeze they flapped around and made a bit of a racket, so "M" went up the ladder whilst I held it and swept the leaves off! Nice view!

We emptied out the trailer as well today, and brought all the items into the awning which looks a bit fuller now, especially as Ive set up a photographic table at the end of the awning, I taped the grey paper to the van with a paper masking tape and rolled it down over the table and then clamped it to the table top. Makes the photos look 100% more professional! I was meant to take it down today, but just didnt get around to it.

Its been a bet of a lazy day today, probably due to the fact I over did it last night, Crabbies Alcoholic ginger beer and Mount Gay rum is not a good idea, or the many bottles of ale I got through as well!

Just had lamb chops and roastie potatoes and steamed veg, very good indeed, and just about to settle down to watch a dvd,so....

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

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Update for Herbie!

Had text from a friend who was on a train drinking cider from a paperbag on his way to Geneva! Complaining that he hadnt seen any new blogs for a couple of days, so this one is all for you!

Had a busy week, back and forth to Shaston, very glad that the weekend is now here as Im knackered!

"M" had the day off on Friday, and spent the day helping out an elderly friend. When I got back we both decided that it would make a pleasent change to go out for a bite to eat. Not being something that we have done often enough recently! So we went into Ringwood, and headed for the Star Inn where they serve Thai food.

It was absolutley amazing, I had hot and sour soup, one of the best ever, with a hot red thai chicken curry, and "M" had butterfly king prawns with a chilli dip and kung po chicken, washed down with red wine for "M" and Blackrat Cider for me! It was one of the best meals Ive had in a long time. You just could not fault it. Ive eaten many a Thai meal and have spent time in Thailand, so if you are close, you need to pay it a visit. Their website is http://thestarringwood.co.uk/ they even have accomodation!

Woke with a thick head this morning, which has taken most of the day to clear! Forgot to mention that before the Blackrat cider, bottles of ale, and several pints of Guinness were consumed! "M" drove!

Went to get my hair cut today, not something that I would normally blog about, but as its been 4 months since my last hair cut, and it was starting to look wild, and making me look more like a scrap metal/horse dealer by the day, thought it best to get it cut. Into Ringwood, and into Lords run by two guys. Only had to wait a couple of minutes, where I was ushered into a chair, and the barber just looked at the birds nest of hair on my head and said simply F**king Hell! What do you expect me to do with it! I calmly said a number 3 around the sides and back and short on top. His reply "Are you sure"? Now where have I heard that statement before!!!!!!

The cost was £7.50 but on giving him a tenner I felt so guilty that I said, keep the change Guv, you had to work for that! cheers he said, see you in 6 months time! I left him sweeping up enough hair to stuff a mattress!

We then went into a little Italian restaurant in Ringwood called Marina's Bettolla for a coffee, best Latte ever! Run by proper Italians. They do amazing meatballs - another place to eat in Ringwood!

After that we headed over to "M"s elderly friend where I had the task of completing a flat packed shelving unit! Im ok with DIY, I once built a complete kitchen, ok, the wiring was a bit dodgy, but its still up and the house hasnt burnt down, which is a bit of a surprise as I ran out of cable for the sockets and ended up using a piece of lighting flex to finish off! That was nearly 20 years ago! For the unit I only had to put the back panel on the back and screw the door on, so nothing to complicated, as "M" had done the rest the day before! As reward I ended up with 4 bottles of Becks and 6 frozen lamb chops! Thanks Daphne! Sunday lunch sorted!

Back at the caravan, did a little bit of work, and here I am now writing this! Tonight, we will be mainly drinking a selection of bottled ales, stored in the outside locker, which is acting as a very good chiller at the moment!

The only other excitement Ive had today was emptying the cassette which was worse than normal, lifting up the lid there was a thick scum of shite which smelt really bad. I have now perfected the art of breathing via my ears! Im going to look on ebay for an aqualung!

Im not kidding it was BAD and thats not a Michael Jackson "bad" more of a Slipknot "bad"

So there you go Herbie, a bit of reading matter for you, just make sure you dont fall asleep on the train and wake up in a train siding in a small Belgian town, like I did once!

Travelling back from Germany, having consumed numerous Carlsberg Elephant Beers, fell asleep, and was rudely awaken some hours later by a cleaner, they had uncoupled the last two carriages and shunted them into a siding with me sound asleep! I missed my ferry as well!

Till later....... When I may even write something about living in a caravan, but doubt it!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Spent Tuesday, tapping keys for an antiques dealer based in Bournemouth, he went up to London and viewed the vase from my last post! He is an expert on Meissen porcelain, and a very interesting gent!

We put the awning up last night, in record breaking time of just under 2 hrs! That also included laying the awning carpet, and filling it with all the paraphenalia we seem to cart about with us! Just in time, as not long after it started to rain! It hasnt stopped since!

So far, we seem to be on the only bit of high ground on the whole site, but 6 ft in front of us is under at least 3 inches of water! Time to dig out the armbands and lilo!

Wednesday, it still hasnt stopped raining! The awning is dry inside, which is a miracle considering the amount of puddles forming around the caravan! The journey back here this evening was rather interesting, so much water on the road, thankfully I was in the Freelander and not the Fiat 500!

Had to empty the loo out this evening, not a pleasant job, especially in the dark and wet! Had to be done though the red light was on! And as I couldnt convince "M" to use a bucket till it stops raining, off I went!

We bought a stove top perculator which is supposed to do 6 cups, well, 6 cups my arse! egg cups maybe but certainly wont fill my 100 yr old King George V and Queen Mary mug!

They certainly made good mugs in those days, this one has survived over a year of going through the dishwasher yearly
They certainly made good mugs in those days, this one has survived over a year of going through the dishwasher daily, and now bouncing around in a caravan! The picture on the front is still clear and a good colour, only the gilt to the rim has rubbed a little. Not bad considering its age and that it was supposed to go in a display cupboard and not to be used!
So we will be having a Royal wedding next year! I wonder what sort of memorabilia tat will be produced for that! And in a 100 years time will there be some bloke sat in his caravan with a William and Katherine mug next to him moaning about the quality of todays china!

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

Monday, 15 November 2010

Catch up!

Saturday, was our 80th consecutive night in the caravan, sounds along time doesn’t it!

So what have we learnt so far?

1. Its definitely not as hard as we thought it would be!

2. Space is not an issue.

3. Its a lot warmer in the van than we thought it would be.

4. There are alot more people full timing than we realised!

5. People are starting to realise why we are doing this.

6. Keep your mouth closed when emptying loo to avoid lumpy splash backs!

7. Don’t try and wind up jockey wheel with legs still down!

8. Make sure a new aquaroll is fitted when taking a shower!

9. It is worth getting up in the middle of the night to check the awning when windy.

Nothing has really bothered us over the last 80 days, its all been fairly straight forward, so for anyone thinking about this, and from some of your messages we have been getting I know there are a few of you, but, if you can, pull all stops out and just do it!

We have just moved after spending 28 days, the maximum you can stay legally in anyone site. It was our third stay at this site and our longest in anyone place. The site was Silverwoods Farm, a Caravan and Camping Club site. Classed as a hideaway. It was a wonderful little place, and we hope to return in the New Year. I only hope by naming the site it doesn’t become too popular and we cant get in!

We are back now the other side of Ringwood at Upper Kingston Farm, we have stayed here before, it’s the one with the tractor graveyard behind it! Only 3 vans on site, but one is empty, the other, another full timer.

When we pulled in yesterday, it was too late to start putting up the awning, so we went off and did a bit of shopping, we went to St Leonards which is near West Moors and Ferndown. We first stopped off at Mcdonalds, haven’t had one in ages, and didn’t enjoy the one I had then. Im sure Big Macs are not as Big as they used to be, more of a medium Mac!

We pulled into Halfords carpark to eat it, and was amazed to witness the place overrun with rats! Heres two cheeky chaps below!
Broad daylight, they definitely were not shy in coming forward! Most were small but there were a couple of big ones scuttling about! Hardly surprising due to the amount of rubbish lying around. I reckon there were more than a dozen in a very small clump of bushes right next to the front door of Halfords! Not a very good advertisement for the shop! Not to mention a potential health hazard!

Sunday, and I’ve all ready posted what I think about Remembrance Sunday (read previous post). Today we were supposed to put the awning up, but its tipped down with rain, the ground is water-logged, so its being put off for another time. We have taken it down in the dark, so tomorrow evening, weather permitting we will attempt to put it up in the dark! Luckily we have a good light over the door which helps, and a torch strapped to my head should do the trick.

“M” went off to the laundrette this morning, so all the washing has now been done and packed away.

So a lazy day, possibly a DVD later, and some good home cooked food!

Another busy week ahead, 4 days up in Shaston, and a day in Bournemouth. So no swanning around the site for me, and Im afraid no time for listing my own books!

Monday, we woke to everything white! A bit of a heavy frost, but by 8.30am it had mostly melted away, upto Shaston for a day of tapping keys. Before I went I filled up an aquaroll, turned on the tap, nothing, frozen! 10 seconds later much to my relief it filtered through. But if that’s what its like now, what about when it gets really cold!?

We were supposed to put the awning up this evening, but we thought it best to give it another day of drying out. So tomorrow (Tues) will the day, as I finish early in Bournemouth, and “M” finishes early as well. Fingers crossed that the weather holds!

Got a good sunset this evening! The sky was just a multitude of colours. Absolutely stunning and the pictures do not do it justice at all. Once again, taken from Wingreen.

This picture was taken last week, just forgot to post it up!

Finally, heres a picture of the vase that sold for £43million pounds! It’s a reticulated double walled vase from the Qianlong period. It stands approx 16” and I’m sure that its previous owners are very happy with the outcome! The present owner having more money than sense!
Till later.......

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Never Forget!

Its Sunday 14th November, Remembrance day. A day when we should all think back to those who gave their lives so we may live free today. As an ex member of the British Army (Royal Signals) this is something that I feel rather strongly about and I wear my poppy with pride. My Grandfather, who happens to be of American/Italian descent, landed on Omaha Beach during WW2, and amazingly survived!

I have read many, many books on both World Wars, and the courage, bravery, and dedication of these people is just mind blowing. Knowing the odds that were stacked against them, they still went and did their duty.

In one book, I read about a WW2 fighter pilot who on being hit, and knowing he would have to ditch in the sea, was only grieved that he had just bought a new pair of leather shoes, and they would be getting wet! These types of stories are not uncommon, along with the acts of bravery such as the WW1 piper who stood on top of the trench and played, unarmed, open to enemy fire, whilst the rest of his Regiment went over the top. This type of courage is as rare as hens teeth!

Thankfully, this courage is still with us today, and our brave lads and lasses still out in Afghanistan, and all the other trouble spots that they find themselves in are still fighting despite our politicians attempts to stuff them with crap gear, and low pay!

But why are they there? Should they be there? These are complex questions. But they are there as our Queen & Politicians have told them to go. And, so they go, no questions asked. Its what you do when your in the forces! Only ex or serving forces will probably understand that.

They are also there because they want to be. We don’t have conscription anymore, they all joined of their own free will, They took the Queens shilling. You don’t join the forces and not expect to get your hands dirty! They are there because the forces act as a family, one which you will never leave, they will always be there for you, no matter what. I personally know that if any of my close ex forces friends asked for my help, I would move heaven and hell to try and help them. No questions asked.

I left in 1990, what seems like a long time ago now, but a quick look at my facebook profile, its full of ex forces mates who I had served with. In fact its got more ex forces people on it than anyone else! How many friends from over 20yrs ago do you still keep in touch with?

Like I said earlier, once youre in, you are in! And, Im very glad that I had the opportunity to meet, work, live, drink, laugh and cry with such amazing people.

My only gripe is that those that are injured either physically or pyschologically have to rely so much on charities to support them. The Governement really needs to sort this out!

So please spare a thought and a penny for those who gave, and are willing to give their tomorrows so that we may have our todays!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Awning Down In The Dark!

We made the brave decision last night to take the awning down, as we move on Saturday!

Trouble being, we are both at work all day, so the only chance we got was Thurs evening. Ive been watching the weather all week, it hasnt been good, the awning held up well, but Thursday morning just as I was leaving, one of the sides lost all its pegs and was blowing in from the bottom!

I went outside to re-peg, but the ground was like porridge due to the amount of rain we have had, so thankfully, I had 4 or 5 boxes of books in the awning, they came in handy as weights! folded the bottom edge of the awning in and sat the books on top - worked a treat!

Getting the awning down in the dark, wasnt too bad at all! Only took us an hour and a half to get it all stowed away! And it stayed dry and it wasnt windy at all!

If you remember I think I mentioned about all the ladybirds we had in the awning, well we found them all again, they were in the edges of the guide rail, and in the ends of the poles! loads of them! On the way to Shaston this morning they had hitched a ride and were in the Landrover as well!

Feels very exposed not having the awning up! And alot less room, as we now have to keep boots/shoes in the caravan! As a result of that the floor gets dirty really quickly! China isnt keen on having her paws wiped each time she comes in either!

We havent told her yet, but depending on the vet, she is off to be neutered next Fri! We got her as a rescue dog, the rescue centre told us she was two and had been done, but, she's now around a year and a half old, (we have had her 6 months)! and has had a season! Pups not being an option living how we are living, Im afraid it has to be done! A shame really as she is cute looking, and with the right cross, would of made some adorable pups!


Not too sure what is wrong with the folk there, but it appears Ive been banned! Well, that is the only conclusion that I can come to! They havent replied to any of my emails that Ive sent them as I cannot leave any replies to posts on the forums, or even edit my profile!

The only thing I can think of is that on all my posts I mention my blog! Nothing wrong with that is there? and if there is, well, they shouldnt be so petty minded! Perhaps they are like some of the folk Ive come across, armchair campers who would like to see us fail in what we are doing, well, Ive got news for you, we are absolutley loving it!

If anyone from UKCAMPSITES is reading this, let me know, and Ill block you! See how you like it! I wouldnt of minded, but to recieve no replies to any emails sent to them, is totally unacceptable in this day and age! Manners cost nothing! Perhaps they should also remember that its people like me, who by clicking on their banners actually make them money towards their website! That old saying, cut off your nose to spite your face, springs to mind!

Well, thats the way it goes, perhaps they became so overcome by jealousy they couldnt bare to hear how well we were doing!

Talking of which, tomorrow night (Saturday) is our 80th consecutive night! It seems alot longer than that! Any regrets? Just the one! Wish we had done this sooner!!!!!!!

Till later.......

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Theres a Nip in the air!

Theres a nip in the air today, and Im not talking about low flying Japanese people! Woke this morning to a clear sky, the sun just rising, it looked lovely but it sure was cold!

Last night "M" being very organised put together a beef stew and left it in the slow cooker, it went on at 7.30am this morning! and now at 7pm the meat melts in your mouth, just time for a bottle of Shepherd Neames Spitfire ale before we tuck in!

Went to Shaston, and as normal, went upto Wingreen to let China have a run around, today you could actually see the sea, which is just over 30 miles away! Even colder up there as it is a bit exposed to the elements.

Tapped keys all day, more Chinese & Japanese items, I think Im turning Japanese! But then again, that was a song by the Vapours, and the subject matter was totally different!

Just filled the aquaroll, emptied the waste, and loaded up the trailer with bits and pieces, checked the temperature and its -1 all ready! Now, if I lived in Norway, -1 would not be unexpected, but as we are only 10 miles from the south coast its a bit much! Are we heading for another ice-age? Some people are of the thinking that we are, well, best it waits another 50 years or so and I wont give a hoot, but at the moment, leave it out Guvnor!

I was almost talking cockney then for a moment, best revert to character, ooarrrrrhhhh, caint be doin with none of that there snow, me wellies are cut off and Ill ave im filled up with a girt load of snow and shite! So if e above think e can take the pissle outer us country folk e can think again! Me ferrets dont like the cold! Thats why we tie binder twine around our ankles, stops them climbing up our trousers. We baint daft sno!

Off now to listen to the Wurzles - Black bird Ill ave e, ows yr father, all right! (Well he was when I saw him on Monday) !

Till later.......

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

An Interesting day!

Woke up to the sound of rain again this morning! It has really thrown it down the last couple of days! The campsite ground is holding up well, there is only 3 of us here, so not exactly loads of traffic going through the site.

Got into Bournemouth this morning and spent the day listing antiques for my new client. He is an interesting chap and also an expert on Meissen porcelain.

Made it back to the van, and it was still light so it was my job to sort out the loo, all went well, with no splash backs or lingering lumps!

The gas finally ran out today after 30 days, which is the longest so far, considering we use the gas for all the cooking and boiling the kettle, its seems to of lasted ages this time.

We still havent got the awning down yet! We are going to attempt it on Fri evening, rain or shine its coming down as "M" is working Sat morning, and thats when we are moving. So its got to happen. Should be interesting in the dark!

I brought our trailer back with me the other night, as we can then sling everything in it, and not have to worry about space in the cars. Two trips to the new site, but its only 20 mins down the road so still worth it.

I tweeted in to Simon Mayo's show on Radio 2 for his 3 word monday, I said "Caravan Toilet Emptied" and he read it out! Ok, it tickled me!

"M" was talking to one of her customers today, and told them we were living in a caravan, their reply was, "Oh what a shame, Im sure you will find somewhere soon"! They missed the point completely! But once explained they did agree.

Back upto Shaston for the rest of the week, more chinese/japanese antiques! You certainly get to see and handle some interesting things in this game!

So all is well in our world....and considering the weather at the moment, no mean feat!

Till later.........

Monday, 8 November 2010

Its White With Red Spots!

Well, what a day!

The rain started around 3am this morning, and didnt stop until 8am! The only way I can fully describe it for those of you who have never slept in a caravan during a storm, is try driving into a car wash/waltzer fair ground ride, getting a continuous wash for 5hrs, then reclining the seats and trying to get to sleep! I got up twice just to make sure the awning was still attached! I half expected to look out the window this morning and find we had been blown across the field!

The wind was very strong last night, you could hear it building up as it came through the woods behind us, then a real thud as it hit us on the back end of the van!

Luckily no damage! Looks like we are in for another night of it, as its chucking it down again! Think Ill sleep soundly though as Im shattered.

After spending the day, listing Chinese antiques, I collected my trailer from my parents house, and drove upto Westbury, as I had won 20 boxes of books off of ebay! The guys house was down a dead end lane, I had to phone him as I couldnt find his house, he came out, and suggested I turned around as the books were actually a couple of miles away in a store. He then said he would go back and get his vehicle and for me to follow. Ok, sounds simple, so I turned it around, sat there, then saw a car drive by, it was dark, so I couldnt see the driver, but thought, must be him, anyway, they sped off, and I had to put my foot down to keep up, they certainly werent hanging around! 10 mins later, and after nearly getting wiped out on a roundabout! I get a call on the mobile, the conversation went something like this! (guy) Where are you? (me) what do you mean where am I, following you in a white suzuki jeep, (guy) but Im outside on the lane and I havent got a suzuki jeep! (me) So who am I following? (guy) dont know, Ive got a white van with red spots on it (me) bollocks! Im following someone, who is driving fast as they think they are being stalked! - Did you just say red spots? (guy) yes!

I then pulled over, gave him my location and he came and found me, yes he does drive a van with red spots on it, something to do with pixies and being in touch with nature! I didnt ask any more as he did look a little elfish and I didnt want to be turned into a goblin! But if only he had told me about the red spots before hand, I wouldnt of frightened who ever was in that suzuki jeep. So if you live near Westbury, and drive one of those, sorry! Oh and the van driver I cut up on the roundabout next to the hungry horse pub and garage sorry!

On my way back I stopped at a garage, to get fuel, £1.16 - bargain, so filled up, went into pay, but,  I spy with my little eye, something beginning with "M" well it should of been a "M" only they changed it to Snickers a few years back due to Marathon in some language is a term of endearment only used by sheep herders to their flock in Backalacka Street - Iraq!

Anyway, I digress, picked up my marathon, the cashier goes, thats £20.69 I thought, thats strange Im sure I was on the dot for £20! So that means 69 bloody pence for a marathon! You should of been wearing a mask, you robbing b~*t%*d, I thought to myself, as he did infact look like a sheep herder from Backalacka Street, and he probably had a big machette under the counter! I did mumble something about cheap fuel, but robbed over my chocolate! Totally lost on him though, he did call me "Sir"

After unloading the freelander back at the garage, drove back over the hills to home, where it started to rain, and hasnt stopped since I got back!

"M" thats my "M" and not a "marathon M" had tea ready for me as I walked in the door, downed a bottle of spitfire ale, almost in one as I was gasping, wolfed my tea as I was starving, and now have the most awful indigestion! And to top it, China dog wolfed her tea down, then yakked it up, but waste not want not, she ate it again! At least it was warm second time around - eeeewwwww!

Just done my chores, of filling up the water, the ground is very wet! squelching when you walk is never a good sign!

Off to see a new client tomorrow in Bournemouth, so should be an interesting and hopefully a better day!

Till later.........

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Oh, Those Were The Days

Through my work, which is either dealing with antiques or books, I came across this little black and white picture in a book called  "The Dorset Coast" a Ward Locks Red Guide, published in 1966. There are only a small amount of pictures in it, looking at the one below, how easy was it then to just pitch up where you wanted! EHU? never heard of it back then! Gas lamps if you were lucky! And dont forget to pack the shovel!

Simple Camping!
 Might of been a bit dodgy if the wind got up! Also just a tad too close to the edge, wander around the back after having a drop or two of cider and it will be the last pee you ever take!
Its at Durlston Bay in Dorset.


Ive been told by my Mum, who reads this blog! that at the tender age of 3 I took a disliking to a mole and bashed it with a shovel! Now, if that was today, I would of been whisked away for physciatric tests, and labelled a menace to society, and rehabilitated with x-boxes, nike trainers and a new gold chain. But back then, well, boys will be boys!

However, Mother thinks they are getting their own back now, and I can see why, look at the size of this mole hill! I put my shoe next to it just to give you some idea of scale!

Its massive, now its getting dark early, there is no way I want to meet the bugger that dug that up! I always thought they were small, this must be the size of a small cat! Thankfully, no new hills, but that one is definately getting bigger! What is their plan?

On twitter today, I recieved a tweet saying that China was the cause behind the shortage of solar panels in this country. Well, our dog has been blamed for many things, but this is a first!

Today has been spent, listing books, and refilling the aqua rolls, as we have been in washing mode. Im sure the other campers are wondering what we are doing with all the water, Ive made 5 trips with two 29ltrs of water! If anyone asks Im filling the hot-tub! That would make them wonder, seeing as we do have an awning that could house the London Philharmonic Orchestra!

All week Ive been handling Chinese antiques, some of which are absolutely stunning. But, the only problem is that all Ive thought about is Kung Po Chicken and Egg Fried Rice! So last night as a bit of a treat we drove into Verwood to a Chinese takeaway called Champagne, a bit of an odd name for a chinese takeaway we thought?

Walked in and met by two young girls running the desk, complete with two computers, its the first time Ive come across a computerised takeaway! Made me chuckle a bit as the kitchen was right behind them! But, I guess it helps with the stock control and the like.

The food, well Ive had better, and had alot worse, all though their hot and sour soup was awful! Very peppery, now, I like it spicy hot, but it just didnt taste good, the crispy shredded beef and egg fried rice was ok, and "M" had Kung Po King Prawns (expensive tastes)! which was pretty good with mushroom rice, total bill £21.00 not bad I guess. So out of a score of 10 I'd give it a 7. Will have to try and find another one for when we are next back this way.

We move next Sat to a little farm site the other side of Ringwood, we have been there before, and looking forward to going back, its not as secluded as this site, but its only 5 mins from "M"s work so good for her, but adds another 12 mins on my journey back to Shaston.

This week coming, Im back in Shaston for 4 days, and then in Bournemouth for a day with a new client, so should be an interesting week. Always something new, and something new to learn! You could never get bored doing what I do.

Now the sun has dropped down behind the tree's its getting a wee bit nippy! But seeing as it could be alot colder and wetter I shouldnt really be complaining!

Received the new book from Caravan & Camping Club this week, havent had a chance to take a good look through yet, but I think there are a couple of new sites added in our area.

We are starting to think about the shows that we do with the Stationary Engine as well, the first one we think is the first bank holiday weekend at the end of April. Ive got to take the fuel tank off the engine and give it a clean out, as at our last show, it became clogged up with years of muck! Got a mouth full of petrol as well, if I remember rightly! Looking forward to doing the shows in this van, we have done two with this van so far.

Well, enough from me for a day, but before I finish, glad you all liked "M"s contribution, hopefully Ill get her to do more as time goes by!

Till later.......

Friday, 5 November 2010

I Love Our Life!!! by 'M'


I thought you might all be wondering about my point of view, and how I see things being of the female species!!

Well, where do I start. Well when I met Jools, I knew I'd finally met my life mate, the man I actually want to grow old with and do a lot of exploring together in the mean time. I told him I would live in a shack with him as long as we were together......not far off it so be careful what you wish for!.

Seriously, I highly recommend it if you want to get out of the renting rut.

So far I can see no down sides, the washing I suppose, some may see as tedious chore as using a caravan light weight twin tub; ( larger stuff my lovely mother and my work buddy Julie have offered to do. Unfortunately, as I see Julie more; she gets the short straw.) Each load takes about 1 hour, consisting of 3 shirts or 1 pair of Jools's trousers!! Which means that we have to sacrafice 1 day at the weekend to washing.

It's my long weekend off this week which comes around once a fortnight.

Jools's turn to go off to work and leave me at home with China.

The first thing I did was to get China in the car and head off to the beach!! We walked from Hengisbury Head to Boscombe Pier and back, it took about 2 hours so I figure it's about 3 miles each way as we don't walk slowly but counting China's piddles....

When we got back I decided to help Jools out and empty the **** tipper (cassette)!!!!!

Well that's a job that has his name all over it. I had to do it to make sure I could do it, Jools tells me that it's heavy and isn't a job for a woman (he's right about that) however I lift heavier things at work roughly every 5 mins, that reminds me of a joke...

Why are women crap at parking?..... 'cause men are always telling us that 3" is really 6". HAHA

Anyway he gets to keep that job! but at least I know I can do it in an emergancy, another job that I'd have to do is tow the van!!!! Not looking forward to that either, but better to do it now when I can bale out.

If I have to be honest the housework only takes about 1 hour and the van is clean from top to bottom even with a dog and Jools!!

Showering; umm, well it took a while to get to grips with as there isn't enough hot water for a girl to do all she has to do. But now I have all angles sussed.. alternate shaving, washing my hair, scrubbing my feet!!

I have noticed that when we both get in of an evening, do our chores and eat dinner then that seems to be us done for the night which is fine as I've always enjoyed Jools's company, even when we have nothing to say to each other. I know Jools occasionally mis reads me and is worried that I'm not happy doing this but truely I am and can't imagine going back to bricks and mortar!!!

I'm looking forward to Christmas, not just spending quality time with my lovely family but also as where we will be staying, a short walk out the back and we will be in open forest. Not to mention the PUB next door!!

In all seriousness, if you are contemplating doing what we are doing; if you are stuck in the rental rut and have a strong relationship then GO FOR IT! I LOVE IT

We have no Television which is great as I've never been into TV, more music and books.

Ask Jools, if you've had enough of my company then just put the telly on and I'll be asleep in 5 mins.

The van is a great model for 24/7 caravaning, has a full size fridge and cooker which was on my must have list. The Island bed was also a 'must have' as a couple of years ago I did my back in and didn't want to climbing over the bed to make it!!!

Separate shower and toilet is an added bonus, not essential, I've seen some new models which are great but I think that Lunar definately tops the chart with their models for full timing anyway. Plus It seems to be the only make that we both agree on.

Well it's Friday night so we're off to treat ourselves on a hard week done, Chinese take away here we come and back to van for my Vino Rouge and Jools's Cider!!!!

Hope you enjoy my part of the Blog!!!

Love 'M'

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Miracles Do Happen!

A little while ago I told you about our friend Kev, who had an unfortunate accident with a garage door. Well, last week he was transferred from Southampton Hospital to Bournemouth Hospital as its closer to his home, today, he was discharged! Still wobbly on his feet, and he's not up to doing too much, but he can get about. All in all, a miraculous recovery, considering the injury he recieved!

Ive been back in Shaston the last couple of days, back up at 700+ foot above sea level it was plain to see that the trees had lost their leaves a lot quicker than those down here! One thing about Shaston I dont miss is the wind, its always blowing a gale! Mind you, we lost alot of leaves last night, the grass on the site is now a yellow carpet!

We are also being stalked by "dun dun daahhhh" (murder mystery noises) Moles! They are currently surrounding the caravan and awning, Not sure what their plan is, but it looks like they are going to dig a trench around us, due to the amount of mole hills springing up, then they can send in their experts to get at my cider! Well, Im not having that, so Ive removed my cider from the awning and its now in a cupboard next to the fridge!

They are crafty little blighters, with a good eye for top soil!, I was on Wingreen hill today, walking China dog, and they even had mole hills up there, which was a bit of a surprise, as the ground is chalky and full of flint, yet, the mole hill was perfect top soil! How do they do that, a bit like Steve Mcqueen, they carry good soil in their trouser turnups and deposit it where no one would suspect. Only Ive caught on to their game, the thing being, where are they escaping from? And why? Is there a hidden conspiracy that we dont know about? But if I see a gymnasium horse turn up at the camp site and a motorbike, Ill start worrying!

This needs investigating! You know when stories are leaked to the press and they say its from a mole who works on the inside, well perhaps it really is a mole! They werent kidding! Perhaps the country is being run by moles, just us daft humans havent realised yet, it would explain alot of things, ie, the short sightedness of the last government!? (and possibly the present one)!

Caught him eyeing up the wastehog!
Off out now to inspect the perimeter, wish me luck, I may be gone some time..

Till later......

Monday, 1 November 2010

Spiders From Mars - Bulls In The Next Field!

Well, Im no expert on Spiders, but is this spider from around these parts? Looks like it should be living in some exotic part, not our bloody awning!

 Any ideas if its poisonous? If it is let me know asap, Ill call in the expert - "M" with a big slipper!

Got the washing line rigged up today, it has a bracket which can be screwed onto a post/tree etc, but I used tie wraps so as to not damage the post! worked a treat!

Two lines on the go, with great planning when we sited the caravan, the pole happens to be right in the middle, so I strung the line to either end of the awning and hung them over the metal spikes which stick out the awning! Tip Top!

The bulls took great interest in what was going on, or maybe the myth that they like red is true, a pair of "M"s red knickers were drying on the line!

Only young ones, but will grow up to be fine joints of beef one day! The one on the left looks rather tasty!

The trees on the site are looking rather splendid, only 3 units including us on site at the moment.
Woods behind our van!

Colours are amazing in the sun


Our nearest neighbour is centre left, you can just see them!

Can you spot the water point?

Me being artistic!
Paypal, playing up all day today, which was rather annoying! Infact it did a very good job of upsetting my Karma! Especially as I had a load of books which needed getting ready for postage! I use paypal to print out the postage labels! Finally got it all done this evening, inbetween washing (4 loads) and cooking a curry in the slow cooker, and I emptied the elsan today! Its not all swanning around and relaxing being a camper! Well not for this camper anyway!

Back in Shaston for 4 days this week! Not to sure what the weather is going to do, so will probably take the freelander, I dont like using the 500 on the rough roads, especially in the wet! With the freelander on the narrow bends, if I meet something at least I can get up in the hedge and not worry, the 500 I'd loose a wheel or the front spoiler!

10 more days here and we are on the move again, cant believe how fast the time is going! It seems along time ago that we lived back in Shaston!

Well, better get myself sorted for tomorrow.

Till later.........