Saturday, 26 November 2011

So Where Have You Been?

The honest answer is no where, we have been here all along, but with one thing and another and being totally honest I just haven't felt like writing.

I always like to think that I'm a positive person, and can see a way through most problems, my life has certainly been full of challenges! But, every now and again, I sort of go into a recluse mode whilst my head sorts and arranges things into some sort of order.

This now being done, and with a few things slowly starting to click into place (fingers crossed). As I've got a job interview next Friday! A proper job, with regular hours and not bad money. So I'm really hoping that this goes well.

As soon as I know, I will let you know, but I think I may keep the fact of how we are living under wraps for a while!

Last week I spent two days working just outside of Shaston with Bob, tapping keys and handling antiques and as always learning a lot. I enjoy the days spent there, always people dropping in and these are all real characters. One guy that comes in on a regular basis, is eccentric, and as mad as a box of frogs! Never a dull moment.

I'm back up there for a couple of days next week, which I'm looking forward to.

If I could do that full time it would be my perfect job, but that is not going to happen.

Here on site, nothing has really changed, I'm busy as we speak doing the washing with our trusty little twin tub, which actually washes better than the machines at the launderette! We have it perfected to a fine art now, it all works out really well!

We have our large awning up and have extended it by putting up the sleeping pod but without the sleeping compartment. In the pod I've laid down two wooden pallets where the washing machine sits along with recycling and a few other bits and pieces.

The awning carpet is down, but as its breathable the damp still comes up through, which is why I put the pallets down to get things off the ground.

We have rigged up another light as the light over the door is just not strong enough to light up the far end of the awning.

One thing we havens used for a while is the cadac. Not sure why not, its not been wet or anything, so will have to get that sorted out soon.

The back door on the Pajero has jammed shut, but after looking on a forum it appears to be a common problem with a fairly easy fix. It does involve removing the inside back panel from the door, so that is a job for Sunday morning.

I've also got to take a look at the light in the toilet, as the bulb started to flicker then went out, changed bulbs over and nothing. Tested the original bulb in another fixture and it works, so possibly a wire loose, or even maybe a fuse as I think they all have small car fuses in line. Will be investigating later today.

Apart from that all is going well with the caravan, the weather is certainly mild and totally different than last year. Looking back we were struggling with snow and freezing temperatures. I'm wearing shorts today!

So that's about it for now, thanks to those who sent us messages asking if we are ok, its really appreciated! 

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

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Wingreen Hill And China Dog!

Today was spent at an old haunt of mine, back tapping keys for Bob just outside of Shaftesbury.

A good day, and China dog enjoyed herself, getting fuss from Bob and Mike, plus anyone else who came in through the door!

Before we got to Bob's China and I took a stroll around Wingreen Hill - a bit drafty and you certainly could feel a nip to the air.

I tried out the video camera on my phone for the first time, they are a bit shaky and there is a bit of wind noise and no where near as entertaining as 007 Herberts, but you can see them below.

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

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

How To Draw Attention To Yourself!

Today was spent down in Bournemouth, from 0900 to 1400 I was gardening in a rather large house in Branksome. I was there yesterday as well.

Whilst kneeling down, weeding I noticed a fox walk by me only 10ft away! He was in great condition and did not bat an eye lid at me. He then walked around in front of me following the hedge line and cut through into the neighbours garden. Around 20 minutes later he walked back again!

Now I like to see them, but it does get me wondering how we managed to end up with foxes that are that use to humans that they really have no fear!

Being a country lad, I do support fox hunting, some say it's cruel, and maybe it is, but it's part of the country and that's what I'm all about. It also kept the fox population down.

Not only that but as far as I can see the fox population is exploding, and with the country foxes becoming so numerous where else is there for them to go but into the towns and cities, where the pickings are rich. Which is where the problems start.

I appreciate that not everyone will have the same view as myself and will look on fox hunting as barbaric and a rich man's sport. We all have opinions, thankfully we are allowed to voice these as and when we want.

Today, after I had finished gardening, I was off to do a bit of work for a guy, helping him build his web presence with the help of social media etc.

As I had been gardening I needed to get changed as I couldn't really go dressed in my gardening gear, covered in muck! So I went to the end of a car park and then covertly got changed. 

This consisted of changing my shirt, no problems with this, the next step was to remove my boots, ok no probs so far. Next step is the tricky part, trouser removal! Firstly the seat is pushed back as far as it will go, then by straightening my legs, my belt is removed and then threaded through my trousers. So far so good! Next removing my trousers, quick check around, no one near, so whipped them off!

Now this is where it all started to go wrong! There I am sat in my pants, place my trousers on the floor of the car and reach down to hold them as I put my leg into the leg hole " BEEP" Shit, who's that beeping, it was close! Has someone seen me? I couldn't see anyone, so with one leg in, I reach down to guide my trousers over my other foot, "Beep" Someone is definitely beeping, which is when I realised that as I was bending down my forehead was resting against the centre of the steering wheel and sounding the horn! I was beeping at myself! - Muppet!

So that is how to draw attention to yourself, whilst having no trousers on, sat in a carpark!

I think I got away with it, but if you were in Branksome and saw a rather portly gentleman getting changed in the front of his Landrover - sorry!

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

Monday, 14 November 2011

Caravan Electric Hook Up

In my recent post I mentioned that we were now on a site where we had no facilities. I should of really clarified this a little better.

We shy away from the large commercial sites, due to the fact we feel like you are packed in like sardines, we both like kids, but don't enjoy them running around our caravan winding up "China" dog so its the small 5 pitch or less sites for us! There is also the issue of cost! These large sites really jack their prices up!

In this economic climate why are they doing this? I came across a site during the summer that was charging £47.00 per night! I can get a Bed and Breakfast in Bournemouth for less!

During the summer we are happy to stay away with absolutely nothing, we do this when we are at the shows, we have a little gene that we run to top up batteries etc. But, under normal circumstances we always go for having an electric hook up point.

This time of year you just use too much gas running the heater, plus you are open to all sorts of condensation and damp issues.

So our site has electric, which we are hooked into and it does have a loo, not that we use it, our caravan loo is better!

Hope that clarify's our situation at the moment.

We do have the gene with us, tucked away in our trailer, just in case of a power cut. We have had several so better safe than sorry.

Christmas is coming!

Christmas seems to be approaching fast, we still haven't sorted out 100% where we are going to be over the Christmas period. We have a rough plan, but we really need to sort it out as sites are becoming booked up all ready.

I'm fairly certain though that Christmas will be held at our caravan this year, with "M"s mum and her son joining us.

As long as I don't have to drive anywhere I'll be happy! Mind you if I have to it's not the end of the world.

Coming up to 1630 and its nearly dark here in East Dorset! I really don't like this getting dark early lark at all! It makes the day so short!

Tomorrow I'm off into Bournemouth for the day, and I've a quote to do, which will give me a couple of days work so fingers crossed.

I went for an interview this morning, they had run out of application forms so are sending me out one, but it went well, I think! They are looking at a quick start so once again fingers crossed that this will come off.

If it does it means a lot of juggling around of other little jobs, but I'm sure I can fit or squeeze them all in some how!

It will be a nice problem to have for a change!

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

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Our Caravan Is Bigger Than 007 Herbert's Hotel Room!

I have just had these two short videos sent to me by 007 Herbert who as you can see is relaxing after a hard day of doing what ever he does whilst out in the far east!

The first clip is of his bathroom, the second is of his actual room!

A warning is issued with the second clip that bad language is used and those easily offended can click here now - TAKE ME AWAY NOW mind you, you are probably safer watching the clips below than following that last link! It could give you nightmares!

They say that space is a premium in Japan, they sure aren't kidding! 

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

Sunday Again!

One of the things I have always tried to maintain whilst writing this blog is that if I haven't got anything of interest to say then I wont bother posting anything up. As the last thing I want to do is bore you all to death.

Hence it's been a bit quite recently!

Mind you that's not to say that we haven't been busy, far from it. Not that I'm making much money out of any of it, but as I said before, if you don't try you will never now. This new venture that I've managed to get myself involved with is a long term project. It may well be 6 months or so before I start to see a return on my time spent on it.

This blog being a classic example, when I first started it we were getting very few people click in to read, but now, we are averaging 12,000 page hits per month, and over 1500 unique visitors drop in now per month! So from my point of view, with no advertising and now being top of the search engines things are looking good for the future.

There is that saying "From little acorns grow the mighty oak" or words similar.

The weather has been kind to us here in East Dorset, with a few damp days but nothing too bad, certainly no where near as wet as this time last year. We were nearly underwater on the site we were at. No sign of the much talked about cold weather either! Yesterday I was dressed in shorts and short sleeved shirt it was that warm! Long may this continue.

Moved Location

Saturday morning whilst "M" was at work, I started to pack up the van and awning as our 28 days were up.

We are due to go to a lovely little secluded site, no facilities, which is just how we like them.

I managed to get most of it done by lunch time, had a problem with the awning zip as the teeth at the end of the zip had managed somehow to become misaligned which meant I couldn't part the zip. In the end with a lot of cursing and threatening the zip to part it eventually did.

"M" got back and we loaded up and went on our uneventful journey to our new site.

One of the things that I did do before we set up was to check the tyre pressures on the caravan. Although they look fine they were actually dangerously low! With our caravan being this long it's not easy to pull into a garage and get to an air line. I had managed to borrow a beefy compressor, my little one is just not man enough to get up to the required psi.

Setting up doesn't seem to take us long these days, the large awning is up and we have the sleeping pod up as well, as this gives us even more room.

Something that we have never done before but it worked a treat was that before we put up the awning, we laid down the awning carpet. Now some of you may all ready do it, it makes perfect sense to do this as it stops the awning getting dragged through wet, muddy ground as its pulled along the awning rail. We have just never thought of it before! So even with countless moves behind us we are still learning.

We haven't got room to try out our new smaller awning which Towsure replaced for us, but I will write out the whole story of that on a separate post.

Where we are, we are sheltered on one side by trees and hedge, and there are clumps of trees dotted around to break up any wind. The water point is not far away, so all in all very happy with our pitch.

I've got a job interview on Monday, which I'm mighty relieved about, its not with the company that I've been waiting for, but my name was put forward by a good friend of mine, so I've got to go and pay them a visit. With Christmas coming I desperately need the money. Things are a little grim to say the least!

"M" is off this morning to spend some time with an elderly friend, who lives just down the road from where we are now, then we should be going to her daughters this afternoon.

Just had a picture sent back to me from our intrepid explorer and part time spy 007 Herbert now residing in Tokyo, his choice of hotel having all the mod cons and a view over looking the water, it even has easy access to the motorway! Perfect for daring escapes. He certainly thinks of everything!

He is due to return to Blighty shortly, and a spot of leave, so hope to catch up with him and Mrs Herbert shortly.

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

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

The days seem to be flying by again, I don't seem to be able to keep up at all at the moment, so today is being spent doing very little!

On Friday I went into Bournemouth to see a new client and ended up staying 5 hours! A bit of a long meeting and it looks like I'm back in the online industry once more! Not sure how it's going to work out, it could either be really good or I spend a lot of time and energy and it gets me no where. But, it's a chance I'm willing to take and it can fit around my other commitments nicely.

One thing's for sure, if I don't do it I'll never know!

I'm still waiting to hear back from a company who told me that I've got an interview but they are not sure when! 

Apart from that, we are plodding along.

Saturday night we went to a firework party, friends who we have met through the vintage rallies were holding a party not far from where we are pitched up at the moment. So off we went to that last night.

A good time had by all, even if we did have a stray fire work head straight for the Gazebo where a few people were sat! It sure made them move fast! We all went home smelling of bonfire smoke and full of food as a BBQ was set up and burgers, sausages and chicken were cooked. Along with the tea urn and cake, a splendid evening.

We left China dog back at the caravan, she didn't seem to fussed about the fireworks going off but thought it best to leave her behind. We came back to find her snuggled into my fleece!

"M" has gone off to see her family today, talking babies and the like, as her son and his girlfriend are expecting next year.

I've stayed here with China dog, enjoying the sun as it hits the backdrop of tree's around us on site. When the sun shines it all looks lovely, but when its overcast, it just reminds me that summer is along way away!

Luckily the temperatures are holding up nicely at the moment. This time last year we were in the grips of below freezing temperatures at night and not rising much above that during the day!

I'm still wearing shorts! Mind you, last thing at night its a bit nippy!

As "M" is out for dinner today, I'm having Bratwurst, with some home made chips and some curry sauce! Memories of Germany coming back all ready! 

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

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Vintage Camper - Camp It Up In Style!

Well, as another year of camping and caravanning comes to an end for some, some of us carry on regardless with a stiff upper lip and blind faith in the fact that what ever the weather can throw at us we will be able to cope (hopefully).

But it does get you thinking that there must be some real bargains around at this time of year.

Now where better to look than an online camping accessory shop - So with that in mind I am proud to present to you  - Drum roll...................................

Vintage Camper an online retailer who certainly "Camps It Up In Style"

Please take a look at all their wonderful and exciting goods, from the modern to the vintage, there is something there for everyone.

You will even find us on their site under "Cool Friends" I like that!

So take a peek, as much as it pains me to say this "Christmas is coming" bah humbug that I am! For the camper in your life there is bound to be a gift with their name written all over it!

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

Request Time!

If any of you out there in the big bad world has ever converted, renovated or rebuilt a campervan or caravan I would love to hear from you!

I'm sure others would love to see how you have got on with your projects, including myself!

I've one post to come soon from Paul who over the summer renovated a caravan he bought from ebay for around the £600 mark and kept the whole cost down to well under a £1000.00, goes to show that it can be done.

I know our first caravan only cost us £157.00 a little Abbey 212 GT 2 berth, we only changed the curtains and gave it a good clean!

So if you are thinking of getting a caravan as a winter project, now is the time to do it, and take pictures of your progress and write up a report and get it to us!

Ill publish all that get sent in to me.

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

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Dead Owl Found Trapped In Chinese Lantern!

An owl has been found dead apparently after becoming tangled up in a Chinese lantern at a Gloucestershire farm.
It was discovered on land at Breadstone near Berkeley on Wednesday.
Farmer Simon Pain said he was "shocked" by the discovery of the barn owl, which he believed had been hunting for food near the grass margin of a field.
Spokesman for the National Farmers Union (NFU) Ian Johnson said: "Whilst these lanterns look very pretty there are unforeseen consequences."
"We've been warning about about them for some time, certainly in terms of livestock," he added.
"Now we can see what a hazard they are to wildlife as well."
'Key bird'
Mr Johnson said the NFU would back any proposal leading to a ban on the lanterns coming into force.
Mr Pain said: "The barn owl on the farm is one of the key birds we have.
"For the last 10 years we've been trying to create the right environment for the birds to live and survive.
"I'd be more than happy to see a ban [on lanterns]," he added.
There have been numerous calls for a ban on Chinese lanterns, which are seen as a fire risk.
The lanterns' metal parts can also kill cows if the animals eat them, farmers have warned.
Barn owl trapped in Chinese lantern
This article was supplied by the BBC news, and I would totally support any ban that was introduced in stopping the sale of these lanterns!
If you know of any shops selling these, get them to take a look at this, and if you have them for the kids for bonfire night, please think again about releasing them!
Till later..........

Colours Of Autumn

When I was out with "China" dog this morning I managed to get a few pictures of the fabulous colours of the tree's with the sun shining.

All spring is my favourite time of year, you cant beat the colours of autumn!

I feel very lucky indeed to live in this part of the world, I've lived and traveled throughout Europe at all different times of the year, but there is no where quite like your home county. Mine being Dorset.

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