Thursday, 31 March 2011

Rain Stops Play!

Now its not very often that the rain stops me from doing anything, but as I was due to go off to Ford Market this morning, its now 0330hrs and its chucking it down with rain. Im afraid that the rain has put paid to those plans!

Shame as I was looking forward to it! But Im not good getting all my books wet for nothing! So Im going to write this post up then head back to bed!

Yesterday I did Matchams Car Boot, it was very quiet. Not sure if it was due to the weather, which was very overcast to start with or the fact that there was a serious accident which blocked up the roads not far away. I did ok, so cant complain, but when it started to rain around 1030 I quickly packed up and headed for the hills!

Got wet in the process, then met "M" for lunch, picked up some of the bananna boxes from the guys on the fruit stalls at Ringwood market and headed for Shaston to get yet more books to replace the ones that Ive sold!

On my way through I picked up a new gas bottle from The Forest Camping Centre. A pretty good little camping shop only down the road from us. The price has gone up from £19.50 to £23.00 for a 6Kg bottle of propane! Thats some increase! Mind you they havent put their prices up since before the VAT increase so I guess its about right!?

On my way back from Shaston I stopped off up at Wingreen Hill to give China Dog a run, there was alot of low cloud and you couldnt really see a thing so no pictures this time!

Eventually got back to the van, loo required emptying, water refilled, rubbish done, grey waste done. Then time for a quick cuppa, shower, check emails and back out the door with "M" to get weighed in at fat club!

Good news I lost another 3.5Lbs so something is working, bringing my total now to 19 stone 3Lbs, so 1/2 a stone shed in two weeks. I pleased with that. But I have had a cheeky little 99 ice cream, and a latte coffee this week, oh and a number of G and T's. "M" lost 1.5Lbs but she hasnt been as good as I have, mind you she doesnt need to!

Well, back to bed for me. "M" has the day off today, so no rush to get up early - lovely! At least it gives me the chance to get all the packing done as I had a sale finish on ebay, and unusually everyone paid straight away! So 20+ items to box up ready to get out.

Nearly forgot, sold the brass lizard! £7.00 so a £2.01 penny profit.

What Ill do is mention one of the things that Ive bought along the way, like the lizard and see how I get on with it.

So something I won from ebay yesterday was described as a brass plate with enamel inset with African design. Looking at it (it measures almost 30cm in diameter) and it was under the category of Collectables, Metal, Other. So to start with the technique is called Cloisonne which is the term used for applying enamel to brass/copper. This wasnt mentioned and it looks middle eastern, so I will be re-listing it under Antiques, Middle Eastern, Plates, Cloisonne and see where we go from there, unless of course I sell it first at a market. I paid £22.50 for it including shipping.

Its finding the items that have been described wrongly, thats the trick, I do spend a bit of time trawling through ebay, but I think its time well spent.

Ive also got my eye on a couple of vases which havent got the best description as well!

Time for bed, seems weird as Im dressed and ready for the off, but its howling a gale outside, and the local weather for Ford reads heavy rain for 0700 with rain forecast all morning!

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

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Collecting Antiques To Junk!

I think it was Martin who left me a comment the other day wanting to know how I got into Antiques and how I learnt about them.

I gave a short reply as only you can when replying on the comments page, but it did get me thinking of all the things Ive collected over the years.

To say there have been a few have been an understatement!

I think I must of been a Magpie in a previous life!

As a kid, I collected fossils, anything that looked remotely like a fossil, including a piece of concrete with a metal bar sticking out of it! Glass bottles, which I would go digging for at the various old Victorian tips around Shaston.

I collected stamps, coins, snails, butterflys, old bits from bikes, match boxes, you name it I would collect it.

This was briefly interrupted by spending time in the Army, where it wasnt so much collecting, more of sampling all the wonderful German beers on offer!

Once I left I think my first collection then was of old sewing machines, I must of had around 20 or so, all working, and cleaned up. They looked pretty impressive, but they did take up rather alot of room!

Whilst living up north, I then combined two of these hobbies of mine of collecting and drinking! If you ever look at all the real ales in the super markets, you will see that some of the labels and bottles look pretty impressive. So, I started to collect them! Not only that but the pump clips as well! Which I then attached to the bottle necks.

I had a high ceiling in the kitchen which allowed 3 or 4 tiers of the bottles to be displayed on top of the kitchen cupboards. The tops of the cupboards had up-lighters so all in all with just over 300 different beer bottles it looked pretty impressive! Must say it was hard work collecting the bottles! Not!

Once back down to a warmer climate the only thing that I collect now is anything to do with my beloved home town of Shaston.

All though, I do have a couple of thousand books, loads of sheet music, many, many postcards, plenty of old 78's and enough vintage clothing to cloth a small village in Africa!

Ive always had an interest in anything old, and being ex-forces obviously old military items interest me. I found myself working for a guy who dealt in old military and colonial items. This I found immensely enjoyable and I learnt alot whilst working with him.

I then set up on my own, and working with a couple of other antique dealers Ive found myself doing what I do now!

How do you learn about antiques? well Im a bit of a sponge when it comes to soaking up information, when Im looking at something that Im not sure about, 9 times out of 10 you can find something out about it by hitting google! There is just so much information available.

Unless you specialise on a paticular subject, such as Meissen for instance, then I really dont think you ever stop learning! Its just to greater subject to know everything!

You are helped by the china/porcelain manufactuers, identifying their pieces on the bottom, and they can also be date stamped, some simply by the year or others with a code, which can then be looked up and dated.

Silver and gold can be hallmarked, depending on which country it comes from. British silver is fairly easy to read as long as the hallmark is clear. Chinese and Indian silver tends not to be marked, but you can tend to tell by the feel and the colour if its silver or not, the age usually by the quality! The better quality the older it is.

If you ever have any old silver or gold that you would like to cash in on, please feel free to email me at a picture and the weight of the item would be good. I can bet any money you like Ill give you a better price than any of these TV gold and silver buyers!

Yesterday was spent, describing antiques ready for auction. They ranged from silver tea caddy spoons, tea leaf strainers and dishes, proof coin sets, masonic jewels, Victorian scent bottle cork screws, a miniature painting just to name a few items. Always interesting and you learn something new everyday.

Not sure I could do a job where you dont learn anything!

So dont forget dig out all your old jewellery and Ill give you a good price, the price of silver and gold is at an all time high, so if your going to do it, do it now!

I think that with the love of collecting old and interesting things and the enjoyment of selling which is what I did for a number of years then doing what I do now is the perfect mix.

Mind you if you looked at my resume, you would wonder! Maybe thats for another post!!!!

Till later........

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Doing The Markets!

The alarm went off at 0330hrs on Saturday morning, now thats not nice at all!

Sorted myself out without trying to wake "M" which I failed miserably at! Not easy in a caravan, also I do have a habit of cursing rather loudly, and as my memory is getting worse, I forget to do things which when I remember tends to make me curse more! So there was a fair bit of effing and jeffing as I went about trying to get myself out the door!

I got upto Ford in good time and joined the que to get onto the market site at 0530! I tried to have a bit of a kip but no good, so just sat it out till 0730 when they let us in!

I had to get there that early, if you dont, there is a good chance you are turned away!

I was shown to my pitch which depending on how you view things was either a good spot or a very bad spot, it was good due to the fact that alot of people visited it. But, from my point of view, with an apple, 2 banana's and a container full of salad being next to a F***ing burger bar was not funny! The waft of onions, burgers and chips, nearly drove me mad, but! and this is a big but, I didnt have anything, ok, I had a latte, but no burgers/bacon/chips/sausages for me! I think that deserved a pat on the back!

So Im still on the diet, I hope Im doing ok. If Im not, its not for the want of trying!

Anyway, true to form as I openned up the back door to the freelander, the dealers were in like a pack of wolves. I must admit that at one point a few choice and fruity words were offered as advice to a dealer to get out of my way, the fact I was holding a clothes rail pole at the time helped convince him I wasnt kidding!

I stalled out and it was brisk to say the least! I did very well and really enjoyed it. I packed up around 1200 and drove back home feeling knackered, but a couple of hundred quid up so I wasnt complaining!

Whilst there I did bump into a dealer that I know, we had a chat and he bought a couple of bits from me! He beat me up on the price though!

Back at the van, "M" thought that it may be a good idea as the weather was nice to do another carboot on Sunday. However, this did mean going back to Shaston to get more gear.

So off we trot, back to Shaston, loaded up then popped into to see our old neighbours Herbie and Jo, who lived almost opposite us! It was good to see them both!

Then back to our campsite, but instead of turning in, we drove on into Bournemouth and to the biggest Asda in the world! We bought some more smoked cod, and some steak as a treat, along with mounds of fruit!

Finally back at the van, a swift G and T as I cooked whole sweetcorn and the steaks on the cadac!

30 minutes later I was in bed and fast asleep!

Woke early this morning, thankfully we had remembered to sort out the clocks. Got up around 0830, and had a breakfast of bacon, mushrooms and eggs. All done outside on the cadac. Lovely!

Off we went then into Bournemouth, or more precisely Canford Arena. A fairly big carboot, we set up with plenty of room and no dealers! To be honest we didnt do that well, but forty quid is forty quid, so not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, and on the way back we found a garage which had petrol at £1.27 How cheap is that! So I filled up the Landrover, cant remember the last time I did that!

Sat back at the van now, "M" has gone off to the laundrette, and my only chore is to do the washing up!

Smoked Cod on the cadac tonight, and with a bit of extra light due to the clocks it should be a lovely evening! Time for a couple a Gins as well!

Back at it next week. rough plans depending on the weather are. Shaston Monday, Tuesday at the van, Wednesday Matchams Car Boot, Thursday Ford flea market, Friday at the van, Saturday Ford flea market, and then on Sunday maybe a different carboot!

Looking like a busy week!

Hope you all had a great weekend, and enjoyed the weather and hopefully out camping somewhere!

We smiled as we drove back onto site today, as most of the campers from the DA meet had left to travel home, and we are still here having a long holiday!

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

Friday, 25 March 2011

The World Descends On Our Camp Site!

Last night we noticed a couple of vans pulled into the lower field as you come up the track, didnt think much of it, but today the New Forest DA of the Caravan And Camping Club have arrived! There's a few of them!

Not only that but a couple more vans have arrived on our part of the site! Thing is we have got used to having the site being lovely and quiet, no kids, no dogs, no NOISE!

All of a sudden its gone mad, we can hear engines, doors, voices, and generators. What was a peaceful and tranquil site is no longer.

I guess its only to be expected as the season kicks off. We are here till the 19th, thats our 28 days done and dusted, we know where we are going for our 10 day stint after that, we just havent booked it yet. Then the shows start!

The Cadac is being fired up this evening, the chicken is marinating in some Tandorri mix, oh yes. Shame I cant have a beer, I could just do with a few, but seeing as Im being good, and that Im up at some unearthly hour. I wont!

May need a gin or two tomorrow if I can stay awake long enough!

Went up to Shaston this morning, the car is now rammed to the roof with goodies for the market tomorrow! It will be interesting to see how it works out, and if its worth getting up for and driving the distance.

I know someone who has been going recently and they say its worth it, but, he does have far better gear than me to sell, so Im not hoping for too much, but fingers crossed!

China dog is going with "M" tomorrow! That will be a change, she is normally glued to my side! Im sure Ill be looking around for her wondering where she has got to!

Even if she wanted to come she couldnt, the front seat is packed with gear as well!

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

British Forces - My Opinion!

I just read the report on the Gurkha Sergeant who has been honoured with a gong after beating off an armed attacked by the Taliban. At one point after his weapon had jammed he used the tripod of his machine gun to literally beat off a Taliban solider who was trying to kill him.

Along with all the other countless acts of bravery which get mentioned and awarded! Bravo!

What about all those countless incidents where something happens but never gets mentioned? where lives are saved through luck, or by just simple words such as "keep your heads down lads" or "eyes peeled"

Should we be there at all?

Now there is a question: So lets put it another way. You are walking down the street, its raining, your in a hurry, your cold, your tired, your arms are full of shopping, you have young children with you that are not in any way happy. You have to rush to get home to drop the kids off as you have an evening shift to do at the supermarket because your very short of money.

On the other side of the road, up an alley way, you see an old couple being mugged and beaten by a gang, what do you do. Walk on by, forget you saw it? No, if your anything like me your straight in, up to your neck! I speak from experience here. Yes I did wade in.

Thats what we are doing in these countries which need our help. Of course we cant afford to do it, of course our time could be spent better, we are putting ourselves out, lives are risked and lost. And of course they cant do it on their own!

All those serving in the forces have to put up with so much, poor living conditions, poor wages, poor equipment, and worst of all poor support! Yet they still go out day in, day out, to do the job to the best of their ability with the tools thay they have to hand.

They are not conscripted in, they join with their own free will.

Those folk who say that we shouldnt be there and want our forces brought home really should think about what they are saying. Ok, we pull out, what happens? The Taliban take over, kill everyone who was involved with the coalition forces and take the country back to the dark ages, where women are treated as second class citizens and stoning is almost a sport!

Talk about turn a blind eye! Surely we cannot allow this to happen? Or are you the sort to walk on by the mugged old couple?

When I hear of squaddies being shouted or spat at it makes my blood boil, as I know that those that have just been spat on would instantly sacrifice their lives to protect the spitter!

The other day, when I was at a petrol station, their was a squaddie filling up with fuel, as I walked by him, I said, "your doing a good job boys" his reply, "I havent spilt a bit yet" He knew exactly what I was talking about, you could see him grinning from ear to ear!

Next time you see a squaddie, if you want to see a blokes face light up, thank him, he may not be around for you to thank him again!

As we enter into a new set of problems with Libya, more lives will obviously be lost, but the freedom of a country is surely a small price to pay?

What we need in these dark times is stability. This comes at a cost, and is surely a price worth paying. The alternatives are all your worst nightmares coming true!

Maybe I have a simple view on life, I speak from the experiences that I have had and from what I believe in. Those that disagree with me are freely allowed to speak their minds and can even reply to this post and I will publish it. This is what is so great about living how we do, in a country that is free to speak its mind!

You cant do that in those mentioned countries can you? In my book thats argument closed!

Did you know that facebook isnt allowed in China!?

More caravan nonsense to follow shortly, thanks for reading!

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

Thursday, 24 March 2011

A Great Day In The Sun With Loads Completed!

Its been one of those days where somehow, and I dont know exactly how, but I seemed to of managed to get loads done today!

The sun has been shining all day and its been lovely warm, Ive been in shorts and t-shirt all day which may of helped!

Ive managed to get a whole load of things described ready for auction, and I managed to to get everything ready for the market on Saturday!

Im off to Shaston tomorrow, Im going to take with me on Saturday lots and lots of antique and collectable books. So I need to sort them out into some sort of order. A job which should of been done long ago, but I just havent found the time.

Im also going to take with me a clothes rail and a load of tweed jackets which we bought a little while ago with a view to sell on at a later date!

Lets see if I manage to get rid of my "brass" lizard!
Im looking forward to it, but not the getting up at 0330hrs to be away at just after 0400hrs!

Going back to Driving Lessons and why I gave up teaching folk to drive. Not sure if the google add will still be there but there was a guy advertising your first three lessons for £6.33 a lesson! A lesson is an hour! How the F*** can he make any money out of that? All that does is dumb down the profession that I took alot of time, trouble, sweat and tears to join!

Do you really think he will give a quality lesson for that price? If any one fancies contacting him and finding out how he does it I would love to know! Im afraid Im too hot headed to do so!

So when there are lunatics like that charging those prices is it any wonder why I stopped teaching!

The sky is very red tonight, I cant see the sunset from where we are as there are trees in the way, but can see the glow above them!

Spag Bog tonight! 28g of cheese sure looks small! I like it grated and sprinkled over the top! But, apparently I can have as much pasta as I like!

Wonder if I will loose as much this week? Hope so!

Well enough waffle from me, off to watch a DVD tonight, not sure what it is, but will get me off this laptop for a few hours!

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

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Joined Slimming World!

As a portly sort of gentleman, with a liking in life for everything that is bad for you it has come as no surprise that over the years a few pounds have been added.

Now as I embrace middle age, with so many more things that I want to do and achieve I feel that if I dont shed a few pounds I may not be around to enjoy life for as long as I hoped!

Ive been actively encouraged by Rob who has lost a whopping 8 stone in 38 weeks! Now, thats some weight loss. And he has not skimped on food or drink, just a more balanced diet of the right type of foods.

So, last Wednesday night (16th March) myself and "M" went off to our nearest Slimming World Class! Nervous - was the word. I must admit to feeling slightly uncomfortable with the whole process. Not sure why, Im not the shy retiring type. Ive stood in a room with over 200 people and given presentations, Ive presented to Directors of some of the largest car manufacturers in Europe. So why did this make me nervous?

Probably because its a fear that I have yet to confront on any level. Ive never really been that bothered about my weight. But now as Im getting on, my knees ache and that can only be due to carrying a sack of spuds around with me all the time! And I do mean a sack!

My weight is 19 Stone 11 pounds! What a Fat Ba***rd!

Dont forget that I was in the Army so my fitness levels have been high, well, I say high. I was never a sprinter, but over a long distance I was good. Stamina has never been that much of an issue either, but now I get tired more quickly.

So off we went, "M" says she wants to loose a stone, I think she is really only coming to give me some support which is really sweet of her. As I cant see that she needs to loose weight.

We had our induction, which I must admit went a bit over my head, I found it hard to concentrate with all the other people coming in and milling around behind us.

Then to my horror we sat around in a big circle and the organiser (Emma) a very bubbly and exciteable lady who has lost loads of weight stood and talked to everyone in turn about their weight loss or gain in some circumstances! On the whole, I would say that 99% of people had lost weight since the previous week. Even if it was only a pound, its still a weight loss.

Everyone brings a bit of fruit with them, which is then given to the person who looses the most weight that week, which was a great idea. Considering there must of been at least 40 people, there thats alot of fruit!

After looking through the information thats been given to us and going onto their website, as for normal day to day food, we just need to be a little more careful, but its all the sweet sticky stuff and alcohol that needs to be looked at.

Today is Saturday.
So far Ive stuck to it like glue, with nothing bad for me at all. Do I look any slimmer? Ive no idea, But Im keeping to it. Ive cut out milk and havent had a beer all week! Loads of fruit and nothing sweet/sticky or cake/biscuit looking at all. I havent even had all my allocation of sins either. In fact I think Ive done nothing but what they call free foods. Im hoping that this will give me the kick start and incentive to carry on with it.

Funny thing is Im now actually looking forward to Wednesday night to be weighed in to see if its working! Fingers crossed that it is!

I havent blogged about this yet, as Im waiting till after next Wednesday to see if there has been a change in my weight. If there is Ill be shouting about it, if there isnt ill be wanting to know why!

So Im writing all this in draft at the moment and will publish hopefully next Wednesday.

So far the only thing I miss is having a pint, and cups of tea, but have since discovered that coffee actually tastes better without the milk!

Its now Wednesday late afternoon. Ive been really good all week, nothing bad for me has been eaten or drunk. In fact Ive been very good. Apart from the Gin which I regard as medicinal.

So we will see later this evening if I have in fact lost any weight!

I do hope so, other wise Im having a pint tonight when I get back!

As far as being hungry, to be honest I havent been! With this Slimming World diet its reasonably simple to eat as much of some foods as you want. So its not been that hard work.

What do I miss? A Beer! I havent had one in over a week. However I did have a couple of Gin and Tonics with slimline tonic the other evening, but you cant drink Gin all night. Well you can, and I have, but that was in my bad old days!

So the moment of truth is just after 1900hrs tonight. Will I of lost weight? And then the next question being - How much?

Will find out soon enough -

Back From Fat Club!

Guess what, I lost 4.5lbs and "M" lost 5lbs! so we are doing something right!

So Im now, 19 Stone 6 1/2lbs. Still a Fat B****rd but slightly less of a one than last week!

From what I can make out, Ive been doing things slightly wrong and cut out too many things, which isnt good for you and can actually slow down your weight loss!

So a little readjustment this week, and we shall see where we get to.

Im pleased with that, and "M" is very happy.

Obviously we will keep you updated with our progress.

Pass me an apple - till later.....................

Early Start!

0530hrs and the alarm is going off! I must be mad to want to get up this early and leave my snug comfortable bed.

But, sometimes you just got to give these things ago. So a quick cup of coffee, and off out I go with China dog at my side as always!

We got to the market/boot sale and there was a que to get in, but after a 10 minute wait we were shown in and relieved of £6.00 for the pleasure of doing so.

I set up, but because I was really early the dealers who are normally quick off the mark didnt descend on me like a plague of locusts but were rather sedate and refrained from helping me unpack the car! All set up and the trade was brisk!

In saying that though I really could of gone home by 0900hrs as it soon tailed off after that. I finally packed up around 1100hrs as it was then clear that it was time to go home!

I did ok, alot better than I thought and got rid of alot of china! (not our china dog though) So all in all a worth while venture and Ill be doing a few more no doubt.

Met a few dealers that I know, all looking for that special piece which will make them their fortunes. Dont think they struck lucky today, certainly wouldnt of found it on my stall!

Profit from this mornings work, just over £100.00 so not a bad mornings work.

I then went to pick up the brass lizard, I thought that it may of been bronze and just put down as brass, but, Im afraid to say that it was brass after all. Some you win, some you loose! I still got it at a good price so will try my luck this Saturday at the next market I intend to do.

I popped into see "M" on my way back through at Ringwood. Its market day and they have loads of stalls all through the town centre, which is great to see, but the road is still open and it makes it very difficult to drive through with elderly people throwing themselves in front of the car!

This afternoon, Ive done bugger all. Well, I did have a shave as I was beginning to look like a Yeti again! But thats been it.

Oh I did unload the car. Was supposed to do some work, but I can crack on fresh tomorrow.

The sun is still warm and Im in my shorts, is this the start of the summer? Wishful thinking I guess!

China dog is curled up in a ball on a chair out in the sun fast asleep. She had a busy morning people and dog watching!

"M" home any moment and I havent done all my chores - Ill be in trouble!

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

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

All Day Spent On Site

Today being Tuesday seems like the first day on site in ages! Must admit its been rather enjoyable being here and not having to go anywhere!

Yesterday was spent up in Shaston describing antiques for later on in the year when they are put up for auction. I find it really interesting as you never know what your going to be dealing with.

It can be anything from antique silver to 18th Century Chinese porcelain. Such a varied mix which keeps me on my toes and my knowledge base keeps expanding!

Today Ive been describing antiques for myself for a change! Then I packed up the freelander with China (the real stuff and not the dog) as Im off to do my first market tomorrow morning! Thankfully its only down the road so I dont have to leave here till 0615am. Even so its still early enough! If that goes well Im off on Saturday to a larger one which will mean a very early start!

To be honest even if tomorrow morning is a disaster Im still going to go to this other one on Saturday morning, but will be concentrating at that one on books. Ive got to start getting rid of them. I need the space at the lock-up!

So another new direction for me, in this day and age you have to have more than one string to your bow!

Today the cadac has been used alot. For my lunch I cooked an omlette which was very good indeed, and this evening I cooked a fish curry on it! Bloody brilliant!

The fish curry was so simple to do, just two medium onions, two stalks of celery, a tin of chick peas, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a small tin of mackerell in brine, two teaspoons of madras curry paste. 10 mins later, one fish curry! I didnt bother with rice.

Its a rare treat me cooking fish curry as "M" isnt a lover of it, but seeing that she has gone straight from work to visit her son and have tea with him, Im left to fend for myself!

I havent had the radio or music on all day today, instead I listened to the sound of birds singing! My, are they vocal at the moment! Spring and all that I guess!

Mind you was kept awake by a cockerel early this morning, then the swans doing acrobatics and synchronised honking over the campsite meant that I was awake from around 0400 hrs today!

When I did fall asleep I dreamt, but Im sure it was real, that I was being pinned to the bed and I couldnt speak! I tried to get "M"s attention but I was rigid. However, I did wake her by screaming out! Not a good start to the day for myself or for poor "M"!

China dog then decided to join us! For a small dog she sure does take up alot of room!

I did all my chores today, emptied the loo, refilled water, washed up and then hung the washing out to dry as its been a warm sunny day here. Not a house husband more of a caravan husband!

I should be clear of the market tomorrow by 1200 hrs then Im off into Christchurch to pick up a brass lizard which I won on ebay. Im 99% certain that its actually bronze so worth far more than I bought it for! Will find out when I collect it if Ive made a potential profit or a potential loss!

Hoping to get an early night tonight as that time in the morning is a tad early for me, not looking forward to Saturday as that will be a 0400hrs start!!!

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

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Living In A Caravan Full Time - Top 10 Questions Asked

It never ceases to amaze me the bemused look on some peoples faces when I tell them where and how we live!

I was talking to someone the other day, I must admit that I do try to lead them into asking me the question these days as I find it amusing to see how they cope with the idea.

When Im talking to someone new I always ask if they live local, which usually gives the response and where do you live? I always say, well 6 months ago we sold up and are now living in a caravan full time in the middle of the country.

Some are really great with the idea and you can see the cogs whirring as they think it over, others just have a blank face. You may of told them that you live on the moon! They just have no comprehension of what its like to live in a caravan full time.

You can tell that by the questions they ask, such as, so how do you cook? how do you shower? Where do you go to the toilet? What about electricity and water?

The most basic questions are asked, which when you think about them maybe aren't so daft as they sound. Especially when the people who ask these questions have probably never ever spent a night without four walls and a roof surrounding them.

It would be like me being in discussion with a quantum physicist (cant even bloody spell it - let alone understand it) and him telling me about his work!

So with that in mind Ill address some of those questions of how we live in a caravan full time!

1st question - How do you cook?

We cook on a normal gas oven, complete with grill with a four ring burner. OK its not big enough to cook the Christmas turkey but joints of meat can be easily done. We also have the Cadac which gets a lot of use as you have probably noticed!
A cooker, grill and 4 ring hob
2nd question - How do you shower?

We have a full size shower within our caravan, even for a portly gentleman as myself its big enough. The shower curtain does tend to stick to my arse when I bend down to pick up the shower gel, but that would happen if I was in a house!

A normal looking shower?

3rd question - Where do you go to the toilet?

I told someone I went out with a shovel and dug a hole the other day, you should of seen the look on their face! But, seriously we have a toilet as you can see, not only that but it swivels! Great for optimum foot placement! Bet you don't have that at home! It flushes as well. Back in the early days I wrote a whole post on how it works!

I can even look out the window whilst sat contemplating life!

4th question - What about electricity?

We have an advantage of you house dwellers! When on site we always have electric hook up, which means we run a cable from our caravan to an electric point on the site. This price is included with in the nightly fee and we are not limited on its use. However, if there is a power cut we have back up batteries which will run lights etc.

The heating system is dual fuel, so we can either run on gas or electric, the fridge can be run 3 ways! Gas, 240v or 12v electric!

5th question - What about water?

On every site its a requirement to have drinking water, we use 2 x 29 litre aqua rolls which are easy to fill. They then connect to the caravans water pump and is sucked in when required. There is a hot water tank which heats the water to 70 degrees, and we have 2 sinks, one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, and obviously the shower. Hot and cold running water at the turn of the tap. No different to a house.

6th question - Dont you get cold?

Simply no. We have just survived the coldest winter in ages, with temperatures down to -9.5 on one of our sites! We were a toasty 23 degrees in our van. Was it that warm in your house? We only used the winter duvet one night, we had to change back to the summer one as it was too warm!

7th question - Do you pay council tax?

Not directly but this is reflected in our site fees. The site owners are charged based on the number of pitches they have and this is then passed onto us as a nightly combined charge. Please remember that council tax is based on the property and not the individual! However if you would like to work out the figures based on the price of our caravan as a percentage, you would probably find the council will have to pay us!

8th question - Dont you work then?

Pardon? is my normal response. Just because we live in a caravan full time doesnt mean we are on state benefits. Never have been and never will be! Thats no slur on those that do, but as we all know there are those that make it a professional occupation! We both work full time, "M" is in retail management and I, well I tend to use the phrase a digital author these days. I write descriptions of objects for various antique dealers and myself.

9th question - What about all your clothes?

Its true we are limited to space, but we simply split our clothes into summer and winter. It really is that simple.

10th question - Why live in a caravan full time?

A complex question, but simply we were fed up with paying such a high cost for rent and utility bills. We were working flat out and not living the life we wanted to live. Our out goings at the time meant that our social life was restricted, we couldn't save for holidays or our wedding!

So something had to be done. For 2011 we have a budget of a maximum of £12 per night for site fees and we use on average one 6Kg gas bottle every 30 days at a cost of £20. That is it!

So as you can see you don't need to be Einstein to work out we are vastly better off living in a caravan full time.

Is it such a hardship to wake up to birds singing their heads off, surrounded by wonderful fresh air and countryside. To be almost debt free? To be able to choose where we live with a change of scenery? To be in control of our future with a solid plan of how we are going to achieve our goals?

Its no hardship at all, in fact its a pleasure? Next time your away in your caravan, and you have that feeling when your all set up of total relaxation, peace and tranquillity. Well that's what we have on a daily basis!  That feeling of packing up of going home, slightly down hearted after having such a wonderful break. We never have that. Just onto the next adventure!

For us its like being on permanent holiday! Ok it wont suit everyone but, hey, we are doing what's right for us. With over 6 months passed, and a hard winter behind us. Things are good!

Till later.........

Saturday, 19 March 2011

No plans for us today, so we had a lie in till 0830! A leisurely start to the day, with nothing really being done this morning.

We then took a trip into Bournemouth or rather Castle Point and hit Asda, and did a massive shop. We always try and guess how much we have spent when we get to the check out, but today we were just so wrong! "M" guessed £60 and I went higher at just £65. The bill was £99.79 !!!!!!

The most expensive thing we bought was an £8.00 large bag of bakers food for China Dog!

The cost of living certainly does seem to be escalating at an alarming rate. I wonder when the first food riot will be in this country!? Within the next 12 months I suspect!

The best buy was smoked cod at £2.60 and that was 2 large pieces as seen below! I cooked it on the cadac with some fresh prawns, some mixed veg consisting of courgette, leek, carrot, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, baby sweetcorn, and onions. It was fantastic.
Nearly ready!

Smoked cod, both pieces for £2.60 - Bargain!
Now feeling stuffed as we have just ate! It tasted lovely and not a single bone! Oh, and healthy as well!

The cadac certainly is getting some use, and its amazing what you can cook on it, if you have one then I'm sure you use it loads, if not why not? And for those of you who havent got one, go buy one, they are brilliant!

Tomorrow, we have nothing planned, I've got to get some items ready for shipping, but thats all. So we will wait and see what the weather is like, then decide. It may just be a lazy day around here. That would suit me just fine!

Off to watch a DVD and settle down for the evening.

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

Friday, 18 March 2011

This morning I was up with the sparrows and off in to Bournemouth, I said that I would drive in fill up the landrover with any rubbish that was left at my friends house and take it up to the refuge tip.

As I dont know Bournemouth that well, I checked on the internet for the address, found the website, and yes they had a map which showed you what road its on, but a postcode so I could put it into the satnav? No chance.

So with directions from "M" I found it, but how difficult is it to provide a full address?

Now I dont know what its like around your way, but here you need a copy of your council tax bill to show the polish guy on the gate before you enter. Whats all that about? I didnt know that refuge tips were regional? And, for what purpose.

If I was up north and needed to take something to a refuge centre as the packaging was too large to go in a camp site bin, how would I do it?

I had a copy of my friends bill, as you know we are not from around here so had to do it that way to get rid of his rubbish.

Once in though its a big old place, its horse shoe shaped, you drive around the outside of the horseshoe and chuck your rubbish over a wall and it drops down a good 30+ feet to the ground below. Once a pile is made its scooped up by a digger and sent for recycling.

Im keen on recycling, but with this sort of layout it does make it difficult to get all your rubbish in the right place. My freelander was full to the roof, with all sorts of household rubbish, glass, electrical equipment, books, cardboard, clothes/curtains etc. Trouble was it was all mixed up.

Got a box out, a shout of Oi, you cant throw that in there! That has to go in that other area, back there. Thing is its on a one way system. By the time I had finished I had managed to sort out all the rubbish and get it in the right place, Id spent an extra 30 minutes sorting it, and drove around the site 3 times as its on a one way system! So great, Ive done my bit by recycling, but used 1/2 gallon of bloody petrol in the process! Not sure if there is any logic there or not!?

Popped into Staples to buy some packing tape, now you would of thought they would of had some, but no, none at all! I use alot so its only cost effective if I buy at least 8 at a time. But they didnt even have sellotape in packs! Useless! I bought one roll and ordered the rest from ebay. Their loss!

Got back to the van with the heavens open. It was chucking it down. "M" Luckily had just cleaned out the Fiat 500 as she was off to a funeral this afternoon. Still not back yet, not too sure what time she is due back.

I cracked on and got a load of work done, but I did go out and take a picture of our set-up which includes both our awnings!
Just the two awnings!
The smaller of the two awnings fits over the back end of the caravan. It covers up the bedroom window, but thats no great shakes, and it gives us so much extra room!

We have used the awning on the correct side at our last site, its just big enough to put a couple of chairs in and a table. So just right for the shows and short stops.

I use the windbreak to protect the water containers, I know it looks a bit naff, but it does the job, the cost of the colour co-ordinated ones are to high.

Of course China dog had to be in the picture, but was too interested in the squirrel in the tree's!

"M" has arrived home, its almost dark and the moon is massive!

Off to cook on the cadac in a minute, even though its dark, light from the front windows and a good torch throws enough light to just about see what your doing! So,

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

Why Give Up Being A Driving Instructor?

Its a question I was asked the other day, why give up being a driving instructor?

Well, there are a number of reasons, but firstly Ill tell you the hoops that instructors have to jump through to become qualified.

Now, anyone with a full licence and a couple of years of driving can jump into the passenger seat and take a 17 year old out on the roads with no training or knowledge. In my mind thats like letting a baby play with a loaded shot-gun!

Just plain stupid, and it upsets me to think that grown adults put themselves into that situation!

There are 3 exams you have to sit and obviously pass to become an instructor. The first is a theory test, on the same lines that the kids take, only we have 100 questions and we have to score 98%. Well if you cant walk the walk you cant talk the talk as they say!

So all you need for this is a very good knowledge of the highway code.

The 2nd exam you have to sit is your driving test, and its not the same, it lasts for an hour, it includes motorway driving and you are only allowed if my memory serves me correctly 6 minor faults in total!

The 3rd and final test is regarded as the hardest, however, due to my years of sales and questioning and answering techniques I found this fairly straigt forward. It was the driving test I found the hardest!

The 3rd exam is broken down into 2 parts. The first part is that you are giving a brief by the examiner of an area that he would like to be taught. He plays the part of a student! I was given the chance to teach him how to reverse around the corner from the right! Now this isnt exactly a common lesson that is taught, this is because its only really done if you are driving a van, as its easier to do as you can see clearly due to blindspots. And, because you would never be asked to do this on a test, and is therefore rarely taught!

The second part of the test is fault finding. Again he plays the part of a student, your job is to identify the fault, explain it and correct it to the student.

I can honestly say that they do not make it easy for you!

However, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Firstly that the course is costing you anything from £4000 upwards! The second thing is this:

You only get 3 chances to sit each exam, so you could pass exam 1 and 2 then fail the final exam 3 times. The real kick in the doodahs is that you then have to then wait 2 years, and resit exam 1 and 2 again! No other profession that I know of has to do that! Its just a simple retake!

I also had the disadvantage of being an Englishman living and working in Scotland, not wishing to upset any Scots (Paul) who read this, but when ever Braveheart was on, for the next few days I got nothing but grief! A majority of course, apart from Rugby or Football when its all of them! Id like to think that it doesnt make a difference but having lived there for 5 years I can say that it did. I took it with a pinch of salt, and must admit to giving as much banter as I recieved!

As driving instructors we are also graded, grades 1, 2, 3 are not recognised and you are not entitled to teach. Grade 4 is what 75% of all instructors are, grade 5 is above average, and a grade 6 instructor is as rare as rocking horse shite and the highest you can go!

As I said, I found the driving test the hardest and past it on my 2nd attempt. The 3rd exam I passed 1st time around, which is rare and started off as a grade 4 instructor. After the test was over, the examiner, still not having told me if I had passed or failed. Must admit that I thought I had failed it, due to only something like 12% of folk pass it first time. He then turned to me and said, please take a seat in the waiting room and think long and hard why you want to become a driving instructor! Now that didnt sound to good to me!

So after he kept we waiting what seemed like hours but really around 10 minutes whilst he made himself and not me a cuppa, he called me in. Gave me a full debrief and a number of bollockings! which lasted 10 minutes and then finally said Im pleased to tell you that you have passed! I had a job to know what to say or do. I was totally dumbstruck! I expected to have my trainee licence taken off me not given a pass! I took my test in Bathgate.

And so I was fully qualified and my green badge was proudly displayed on the front of my windscreen! If your driving instructor has a pink badge he is classed as a trainee, not to say he cant do his job, but he isnt yet fully qualified!

Now, every now and again, you are called to do what is known as a check test. It basically means a supervising examiner sits in the back of your car whilst you teach one of your own students. Nerve racking for me and for the student! He then grades what he sees! I must of done well on my last check test as I was upgraded to a grade 5! So I was a very happy chappy!

So why stop teaching, its cost me alot of money, hours of time has been spent on lesson plans and teaching aids, so why?

The simple answer is that there is no money in it anymore. By the time you have taken out fuel, insurance, maintenance, tax, and all the other drains on your hourly rate, your hourly rate is so low that the paper boy is earning more!

How instructors survive is beyond me! Less and less kids are learning to drive due to costs of running a car, have you tried to insure a teenager recently!

Which brings me onto an important area, which we, here in the UK have failed to act upon.

Recently in the news you will no doubt of heard that under European laws, gender cannot be used to work our a premium, this not only concerns insurance but pension annuities as well. Bloody Euro politicians and meddlers should know better. Of course gender plays a part. Its fact. Women live longer than men!

I digress, but, what this means is that insurance premiums as a result have increased, whether its £1500 a year or £2000 a year means no difference to the majority of youngsters. Its still too much.

But the problem is not being addressed from the right angle. This is where Im afraid that Europe has got it right.

The problem being that 17-24 year olds in this country have the highest death rate due to car accidents in Europe, why? We have one of if not the hardest test in Europe. The level of tuition they get from quailified instructors is of the highest quality! Our roads arent any more dangerous. So what is the problem?

In Europe they dont have the death rate that we have or the massive insurance costs. So what are they doing different?

Its very simple. In Europe, you have to sit your theory test and pass before you are given your provisional licence. Then once you have passed that you have to have a minimum number of lessons by a qualified instructor, before you are allowed to sit your test, not enough hours you dont sit your test! Simples!

Here the average amount of hours spent behind the wheel of a car before passing your test is just over 40. In Europe depending on country its in excess of 60 , some even upto 100! Thats of professional tuition, not parents gripping onto door handles for grim death!

Now before you shout and say, thats alot of expense in driving lessons. We dont purely teach people how to drive, we teach people how to stay alive! Can you honestly put a price on your sons and daughters heads! If you do then shame on you. Letting babies play with loaded shotguns?

These extra hours of tuition give the instructors time to teach all sorts of techniques and encounter problems that they wouldnt normally or possibly come across. Im afraid that the figures speak for themselves.

In Europe they dont have the needless loss of life, their insurance premiums arent high!

So next time your instructor says your son or daughter isnt yet ready please dont begrudge him the hours, he is keeping your son or daughter alive!

Oh and please dont say, it only took me 12 hrs to pass my test. Well for one just to put things into perspective, in the late 70's there was less than 12 million vehicles on the road, today in excess of 35 million, thats alot of moving problems to deal with and keep yourself safe! So when you took your test you had it easy.

I would put money on it you wouldnt pass today! Why not book an hour with your local driving instructor and ask him to give you a mock test just to see how well your doing? It could be the best £25 you have ever spent. He could even save your life by giving you a couple of tips!

Being a driving instructor is not easy, you have to be able to drive, teach and be positive and encourage all at the same time, as well as keeping yourself, student and other road users alive.

Its fun, exciting, pulse racing at times, you have to be an agony aunt and have sack loads of empathy and encourgement, but for me, sadly Im not a charity.

Ive been qualified for 8 years now. Ive taught some wonderful and some not so wonderful people and have had many funny moments whilst teaching, some of which I may recite if pushed!

Our Fiat 500 1.4 sport is fully kitted out with dual controls, what a great car to learn to drive in! Its still up for sale if anyone is interested!

The name of my driving school? "Round The Bend" I certainly was!

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

P.S. One other thing, never ask a driving instructor what his pass rate is like. Do you think he is going to turn round and say its crap? Would you ask a dentist how many of his patients fillings fell out? Or how many of a Chefs customers went down with food poisoning? No, its a bit of an insult! Instead simply ask him how many faults do your students normally pass with. My students passed with an average of 6 minor faults (this also included any fails as well), I think the national average for passing is around the 10 mark.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Packing Up For Someone Else!

These last few days have been spent in Bournemouth helping to pack a rather large house, which to say is unorganised with things everywhere would be an understatement!

Finally, this evening, we can see light at the end of the tunnel! Its been a real slog, but must admit that there has been no pressure on me as its not me whos moving! (makes a change)

With the memory of packing our house up still fresh in my mind, it was funny doing it for someone else!

Ive got to go down to Bournemouth one final time early o'clock tomorrow morning to pick a load of rubbish up and take to the tip. We managed to fill a large skip and that is now over flowing!

So next week, I only have the one day away at Shaston, the rest of the time spent on site. Im looking forward to that.

Ive loads of stock to put on ebay, so will be ploughing ahead with that, should keep me out of trouble for a few weeks!

This week, like all the weeks recently has flown by, Ive noticed that more and more buds are forming on the trees and in Bournemouth I saw today some sort of bush/tree with flowers on them. Very pretty to see. Spring is my favourite time of year, everything becoming green and a feeling of freshness all around!

Talking of freshness, we have the air freshner back on again, so far I havent been zapped, but its only a matter of time!

The moon if you have clear sky's where you are looks massive at the moment! Very bright, with loads of detail showing. I guess it helps being here with no light pollution.

I must get around to taking some pics of our new 2 awning set up! I promise Ill do it tomorrow.

Ive rigged the small awning up as my temporary office! So will be spending some amount of time in there over the next couple of weeks!

We still havent got anywhere confirmed for our stay after our 28 days are up here, really should do that, then we wont have anything to worry about till October!

Another thing I have to do is re-new my public liability insurance for the stationary engine! Not only that but considering we printed off the forms for the shows in January we still havent got around to filling any of them in!

"M" off to a funeral tomorrow, has to go to Salisbury for it.

Im shattered, so will finish off for now, as up mega early tomorrow! So,

Till later.......

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Off We Go Again!

We have had our 48 hr break away from Silverwoods and so today we trundle the 2 miles back again! I say we, "M" has gone off to work which leaves me with the help of China dog !

Isnt that a bit of a pain, moving again? Well to be honest no, yes it takes up time, but, we have discovered another very good site which we would like to return to and its been a lovely change!

Even going back to Silverwoods we will be in a different place than last time, so once more a slightly different view from our caravan and awning.

You dont get that with bricks and mortar!

The first night we were here we had the site to ourselves, yesterday another van arrived, my guessing is its another full timer, they were off out early this morning!

The sun is shining and as we havent had any rain for the last few days the ground should have dried out nicely. The plan is to leave here around 11ish, get set up and do a bit of work! Then when "M" arrives home at just after 1700hrs, get the large awning up. The smaller awning is going on the otherside of the van and will be used as my office/store-room! Well, we may as well use it now that we have got it!

Time now for breakfast, and then Ive got last nights washing up to do! A mans work is never done!

Everything now stowed away and ready for the 10 minute drive back to our old site!

Now back at Silverwoods, set up with the the smaller awning on the otherside of the van, at the back and the full size awning on the other side! So a fairly impressive set up. Will take some pics tomorrow if Im back in time.

The move went well with no probs, the ground being lovely and dry.

I got the little awning up on my own and unpacked as much as I could, and as soon as "M" got here we set about putting up the big awning.

After that a few beers were required, and we fired up the cadac and had a couple of chunky burgers and some pork with caramilised onion sausages. Very good indeed!

Up early as Im into Bournemouth for 0800hrs! So,

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

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Moved Location - All Of 2 Miles!

Move day today!

We had a leisurely start to the day, as our only plans were to move. So no rush.

It had rained on and off all night and the ground was a bit wet, so I was a little unsure if we would make it off the site or not without the use of a tractor! But once hitched up we pulled away easily. So no need to worry at all!

10 minutes down the road to our next site. The owners were here and doing some DIY on site, so we pulled straight in and they showed us to our pitch.

I then had to spin the whole lot around and reverse onto a narrow strip on hardstanding, which I managed ok. More to the point the freelander didnt get stuck, as the grass area was again very soft!

Set up with no dramas and we put up the small awning as we are only here for a couple of days.

The pitch itself is very good, water point right next to us along with a grey waste point, a rubbish bin and a picnic table!

Whats more, only a short walk away is a toilet and a shower. Oh and not to forget a small shed full of books!

The grounds are immaculate, the only down side is that we are fairly close to a road, but I dont think that will make much difference to us.

There is a gate on the entrance that is kept locked, so we have been given a key each.

The best bit is though its only £12.00 per night! No extra for a dog, awning or having 2 cars. Why cant all sites be just like this!?

New site, "M" enjoying the sun and tormenting China Dog!

China Dog

"M" has just nipped off to the laundrette, its only 5 mins down the road.

Ive just put two pairs of absolutely gorgeous 18ct diamond earrings up for sale on ebay. They are stunning. If anyone wants pictures and a price just email me at and Ill wizz over some pics!

Off to Shaston in the morning, must remember to come back here tomorrow night and not be on auto-pilot and turn into our old site!

Really should settle down and do a bit of work, but it is Sunday, so I think Ill just read my book instead!

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

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Old Awning Down New Awning Up! And Planning The Future!

As we are moving tomorrow, we took down the large awning, but before we could do that we had to empty it of 28 days of accumulated junk!

It really is amazing how much you can manage to horde over such a short period of time! I put my hands up though as its all me! Ive a fair bit of stock which is boxed up and ready to be dealt with as soon as Ive got a spare day!

Monday Im up in Shaston, then Tuesday we move back here again so thats Tuesday wiped out more or less. Wednesday Im down in Bournemouth then I dont think Im anywhere until the Monday!

We went up to see the site owners this afternoon and booked in all our days either side of the shows through out the summer:

Our plans for the summer look something like this:

Sunday 13th - Monday 14th March - 2 nights at a little site just down the road, (Ill do a review once we have left)!

Tuesday 14th - Monday 18th April - 28 days Silverwoods Farm Three Legged Cross

Tuesday 19th - Wednesday 27th April - 9 days - To Be Confirmed.

Thursday 28th - Monday 2nd May - 5 nights Abbey Hill Vintage Rally (free camping)

Tuesday 3rd - Wednesday 18th May - 16 nights Silverwoods Farm

Thursday 19th - Sunday 22nd May - 4 nights Three Okefords Preservation Society (free camping)

Monday 23rd - Thursday 26th May - 3 nights Silverwoods

Friday 27th - Monday 30th May - 4 nights Selwood Steam Vintage Rally (free camping)

Tuesday 31st - Thursday 9th June - 10 nights Silverwoods

Friday 10th - Sunday 12th June - 3 nights West Bay Vintage Rally (free camping)

Monday 13th - Thursday 16th June - 4 nights Silverwoods

Friday 17th - Sunday 19th June - 3 nights Bournemouth Preservation Society Vintage Rally (free camping) Or Royal Signals Association Renunion Blandford

Monday 20th - Thursday 30th June - 11 nights Silverwoods

Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd July - 3 nights Mosterton Vintage Rally (free camping)

Monday 4th - Thursday 14th July - 11 nights Silverwoods

Friday 15th - Sunday 17th July - 3 nights Portland Vintage Rally (free camping)

Monday 18th - Wednesday 20th July - 3 nights Silverwods

Thursday 21st - Sunday 24th July - 4 nights Netley Marsh Vintage Rally (free camping)

Monday 25th - Thursday 4th August - 11 nights Silverwoods

Friday 5th - Sunday 7th August - 3 nights Norton Fitzwarren Vintage Rally (free camping)

Monday 8th - Wednesday 10th August - 3 nights Silverwoods

Thursday 11th - Sunday 14th August - 4 nights Purbeck Vintage Rally (free camping)

Monday 15th - Wednesday 7th September - 24 nights Silverwoods

Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th September - 4 nights Harmans Cross Vintage Steam Weekend (free camping)

Monday 12th - Sunday 9th October - 28 nights Silverwoods

Wow, now that its all down, thats a few moves! Cant wait!!!!!!

Scarey thing is though that it takes us up to the 9th October! Of course we may add another show or even have the odd weekend away somewhere, so it could change!

As I said, we took the awning down today, so that there is less to do tomorrow. But we thought that we would try out the new awning that we bought from the NEC a couple of weekends ago. It only has 3 poles so fairly straight forward to put together.

It didnt take us long to put up and all though its tiny compared with our full size awning its big enough to have two chairs, our table and the cadac stored in it. So, all in all very happy with it, and it looks ok, just seems a bit strange as we are used to having so much extra space outside!

We talked about having it up on the other side of the van when we are in one place long enough to have the large awning up. This then will become my temporary office!
"M" trying out her new smoking room!
Doors either side and one to the front!
Tiny on our van
China is not camera shy!
With all those moves, I cant see the large awning going up very often!

"M" has nipped out for fish and chips, a small reward for taking down the awning and putting up another one!

Im looking forward to going to our new site tomorrow, I like being here but a change is also good. Even if it is just for a few days.

I just hope it remains dry, I dont really want to be towed out again!

Heres the roast chicken from yesterday! It tasted just as good as it looks!

Roast chicken cooked on the cadac
It didnt burn, and cooked evenly througout! And, it didnt dry out either. So if you can roast a chicken, you can do more or less anything! The picture was taken half way through cooking.

Well, the next post will be from our new site, so,

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