Friday, 28 December 2012

Happy Christmas To You All

Well, I hope that Father Christmas came and visited you all and left something special for you?

As we now get ready to see out the Old Year and welcome in the New Year, looking back, 2012 has been a busy year.

In fact, so many things have happened that towards the end of the year I have been literally overwhelmed, and of course when this happens something has to give.

The blog copped it!

I have also been wondering if I should continue, but must admit I do enjoy writing, so in the New Year I will try harder with updates of what is happening here on site.

Writing a blog is an interesting experience, through the blog you get a glimpse of others lives that I bet in most cases not even their own family see!

You get to build up an image of those people, their likes, dislikes, habits and the way that they live.

And, as strange as this may sound, you regard them as friends, even though they maybe in New Zealand or Norfolk.

Earlier in the year we met up with Jim and his Dad Kevin. We had a lot in common, all ex services, had a caravan and liked Warsteiner lager! All through this blog!

So for 2013, the site here is open every day, shower and loo on site and there are electric hookup points, right in the New Forest. 

Your welcome to book a pitch and share a beer or two. Just contact me for more info.

It's a funny old game this blogging lark!

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

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Time Fly's!

I'm really not too sure where this year has gone!

I guess becoming a bus driver has taken it's toll on my time as when I get in of an evening I'm usually knackered and in need of a brew and a bite to eat.

Since moving into our mobile home in July, we have done many things to it, such as completely redo the garden, painted inside, and the latest thing to happen was too have a new shower unit fitted.

We have recently spent a week travelling up through Wales with the intention of kipping in the Pajero, but that didnt quite work out as we found some rather nice hotels and pubs to stay in.

The final part of the trip was weekend with my old army mate Mark and his wife Kate and two daughters who put us up. This was just outside of Liverpool. Saturday was spent in town, "M" went shopping and myself and Mark found a few pubs to occupy our time!

Back now to the run upto Xmas, Im flat out with work and driving right up to xmas eve at 2000hrs two days off then back again till New Years eve. It's all go.

Many things I would like to write about on here about my days driving, as no two days are the same and you get to meet all sorts of characters. However, we have a social media policy which does not allow me to express opinions or tell the many funny things that happen to me more or less on a daily basis. This I personally think is wrong, but if by some miracle it were to get back to my company then I may well be for the high jump!

However:- only yesterday I was asked by a woman "What time does the 1628 leave"? my reply with a straight face "1628 Madam"! "Do you think it has left yet"? she asked. I replied "As it's now 1645 what do you think"? Some folk are bonkers!

Now, this is a story about a Chinese man, he got on with three stacked trays of eggs, covered over with a bag. He carefully left them on the luggage area just inside the bus door and went and sat down. I didnt think anything else about it, other than I hope I dont have to brake hard!

The thing with the Chinese and I hope I dont offend anyone is that when they speak English there is a slight mispronunciation. As an example, rake sounds like wake,  right sounds like wight. Hope you are getting my drift!

The bell rings and it's time for the man to get off, the bus, up till this time it had been packed, someone had obviously not seen his eggs and placed something on top of them!

All I heard was aaaarrrrrhhhhhhhh, so I turn around to see a runny goey mess oozing from his bag! he said "All eggs quacked (cracked)"!  - look he said pointing to the eggs - quacked quacked quacked quacked" he said. My reply was "What - duck eggs" The whole bus shook with laughter! The Chinese man said "Oh you funny man - wife kill me"! and got off the bus leaving a trail of goo behind him!

And on that note take care and will post again soon - promise!

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

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Chinese Whispers!

Today a bus broke down in the next town, and I was asked to take a spare bus to cover the trip.

Understandably I was around 20 minutes late getting to where the bus had broken down.

After transferring the passengers onto my bus I set off, and got to my next stop right in the centre of town.

A que of elderly folk were all eagerly waiting to get on, so as I do, I pull up and open the doors and wait for the barrage of daft questions to start.

Not a hello or good morning, it was like a rugby scrum as 20 or so old folk all scrambled to be the first on the bus with shopping trolleys, walking sticks and an assortment of carrier bags flying in all directions!

Why are you so late! was bellowed in my ear to which I replied, I'm very sorry madam the other bus broke down and I am the spare bus.

This I thought was an adequate description of what had happened, I also thought that I had spoken clearly and concisely  - Obviously not!.

The old girl turned around to everyone waiting outside and shouted out "This bus has broken down and there is no spare bus"!

How I contained myself is a miracle! The uncharitable thought of, you won't be needing a bus you will be needing an ambulance if you say anything else like that as I sat on my hands trying to stop them from reaching her neck!

I then had to pacify the remaining travellers that in fact the bus had not broken down and it was ok to get on.

Old folk, don't you just love them!

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

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Outside Our Home

When we first moved in to our mobile home, the garden was completely overgrown.

The bushes and tree's had not been touched for a long time and everything was trying to compete for light, this made for some very odd shaped plants!

We cut everything back and grubbed out a lot of the bushes as they had outgrown the place they had been planted in.

There was also decking laid, but walking on it was like trying to walk on ice due to the amount of slime and general crap that had built up on it.

A good blast with a pressure washer soon got it back to it's original colour!

You can see the difference it has made, it was black with grime!

What we also discovered was a gravel path had been laid at some point, and that in the middle of the clump of bushes was a rather splendid Magnolia tree.

We also discovered that all the borders were edged from the path with old railway sleepers.

We cut everything out accept the Magnolia tree, and even this did not escape getting a good pruning. Funny thing was as soon as we did this it came into bud and flowered!

The plan was for a 9ft x 8ft shiplapped shed to go behind the tree and the very back of the garden to be used as storage.

It had to be raised on a plinth higher than normal which brought it up level with the sleepers as it's footprint was just bigger than the ground space available. This not being a bad thing at all, at least the base won't rot through!

The people that we bought the shed from also put it up for us, so all in all a good deal and it saved me cursing and getting splinters in my fingers!

So all we have to do now is put wood chip around the magnolia tree and it's done.

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

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Our Mini Adventure - The Story

Well, before I start I would like to suggest you get a cuppa and get comfy, this could be a long post!

Ready? Then I shall begin.

Sunday afternoon and we set about loading and packing our Long Wheel Base Mitsubishi Pajero.

The double set of rear seats fold flat to form a double bed. With our sun lounger/reclining chair seat covers laid over the top it makes for a comfortable bed.

Parked up at Brixham having a cuppa

In went the duvets, a couple of bags of clothes, brew kit, bottled water, frying pan, small saucepan and our trusty single ring gas cooker we were more or less packed.

We had no real plans of where we were going, other than  South West.

The idea was to Stealth Camp, which basically means parking up somewhere where you can camp for free!

Monday morning and before we set off we decided to get a full English breakfast inside us, so we could then spend the day getting some miles under our belts.

This achieved we set off around 1000 hrs. We headed through Bournemouth, Poole and Wareham and headed for the coast road which took us through Weymouth and then along the coast to Bridport.

Still keeping on the coast we headed down through Lyme Regis and onto Seaton where we stopped for a coffee. In Seaton they still have an electric tram!

Photo: Seaton tram station

From Seaton we headed around the outskirts of Exeter and then back along the coast to Teignmouth, Paignton and Torquay.

Paignton and Torquay is supposed to be the English Riviera, but in my opinion it looked run down and squalid! We did not hang around, all though we did manage to get lost in Torquay and we found ourselves in the centre of town, trying to negotiate some rather tight and narrow roads.

On to Brixham, now I had read that this was rather a good place to spend our first night, so I we went in search of the road we had been given, we found it with no problem and also found another 5 camper vans all parked up for the night!

We drove back into town and had a good walk around and decided to dine in the Blue Anchor Pub. The food was very good indeed.

Back up to our spot on the hill and make camp for the night!

It took a bit of setting up, being our first night, but once in we were comfy and very warm, so the windows had to be vented.

I had strung out bungys all around the grab handles of the roof, which we hung our towels over which blocked out the light, a small blanket was over the back window and the same stretched between the front seats. We do have blacked out limo glass tints on the back windows but this was just to make sure!

China dog had her bed on the front seat as there was not enough for her with us!

Tuesday we woke fairly early and made our way back to the car park by the sea and brewed up.

China had a walk on the beach then back into town for breakfast at "J's Cafe" 

After consulting the map we decided to head up towards Dartmoor. Our first stop was Buckfast Abbey. I wouldn't of minded seeing where they made the famous Mead, but all they had was a selection in their shop which was full of the usual tourist over priced tat!

As it was raining monsoon style we didn't take a walk to the Abbey but decided to press on. The good thing about this place was the parking was free, and the loo's were new and clean. The only down side was they do not allow dogs at all within the grounds so China couldn't even get out for a quick pee!

Up on to Dartmoor and we headed for Princetown, this is where the Dartmoor Prison is located and what a bleak, remote and desolate spot it is! The mist was down so visibility was very poor, so our view was extremely restricted.

We spent an hour here walking the moor with China, but the weather really was poor so we retreated to the nearest cafe for refreshment.

China dog not impressed after sinking upto her chest in Dartmoor's finest peat bog!

Another look at the map and we decided to try and circle the moor in a clockwise direction so headed North and through the lanes eventually ending up at Bovey Tracey.

As we had spent a 1/3 of the day peering through mist with visibility being down to less than 100 feet we made the decision to speed on and head for Bodmin.

We had heard so much about the Jamaica Inn and it's hauntings that we decided to pay it a visit.

Before our trip I had gone on line and looked at it, and the price of a nights stay was £105.00 a bit steep, but if you had the chance of being woken by a ghost then I guess not too bad.

Mind you, we are so glad we did not stay there! Talk about cashing in on the tourist trade, the pub had no character with its fast food cafe style dining system! Imagine a Tesco's cafe put in an 18th Century coaching inn. Just wrong!

We did want to eat there that evening but decided against it and set off in search of a pub then somewhere to pull over for the evening.

We spotted a good couple of layby's which were right off the beaten track which we decided would be the spot for the night, so our next job was to find a pub with food!

We were on real narrow country lanes with very few passing places, so there was no chance of us ever getting our caravan down here, which is when we came across a camp site. Being nosey we decided to pull in and take a look.

What a hidden gem! Trenant Caravan Park is small 5 pitch site with hook up, loo's and showers. It is absolutely spot on! It's approx 2 miles from St Neot

As you can see we had the place all to ourselves

Parked up next to the showers and loos

A covered area for the BBQ

And our very own haunted graveyard attached to the campsite!

If you have a big unit I would suggest you go somewhere else as getting to it is very tight from all directions, but if you tow light or camp then this is a must stop site with a babbling brook and a graveyard right next door!

We spoke with the owners, who said we could stay the night, use the showers/loo's etc and all for £5.00 so a deal was struck! Well, it beats staying in a layby.

About 2 miles up the road is The London Inn at St Neot, we had a fantastic meal and was made to feel very welcome by the Landlords Keith and Jeannette who even offered a lend of a hair dryer to "M" who after her shower still had wet hair!

It was quiz night at the pub, so we decided that we should enter, well it made up the numbers as including us the number of teams were four!

We could of predicted the result, we came last! However we did win two bottles of cider for having the best team name which was "Lost From Lymington"!

The winners were not local either but a couple from Windsor, so the locals lost out all together!

Wednesday we were up bright and early and after a cuppa and a shower we were off again.

Heading back towards Helston and straight down to the Lizard. Here we stopped for a brew after walking down to the shore by the old life boat station.

The Lizard

After walking down to the shore and back again a hot chocolate was required

A word of warning, as you approach the Lizard at the top there is a short stay car park, best to pull in and use it, as the next carpark down is just a pull in where car's park all over the place. We had to reverse all the way back up a narrow lane with no passing places as it was full!

From here we made contact with Sharon and Thomas who were putting us up for the night.

After being given wrong directions from Sharon we found them, sorted ourselves out and then headed out in their camper to Porthleven where we went to The Ship for a bite to eat and a pint. The food was very good although my taste buds were on the way out as I was suffering from a cold! Well to be precise Man Flu!

An enjoyable evening as it was good to catch up with old friends.

The next day, Thursday, Thomas took time out of his hectic schedule to show us around. We went to Lamorna Cove, this place is right off the beaten track, the sort of place which only locals or well connected people know of.

The previous night it absolutely lashed down with rain making the rivers and streams heading into the sea very swollen.

We went through Penzance and a host of other small villages till we ended up at St Ives where we met up with Sharon and had lunch in the Sloop Inn. Once more the food was very good. A quick look around the shops and then we said our farewells and off we went again!

Now heading up the West Coast it was a good few degrees cooler and the wind had picked up considerably. We kept on till we hit Tintagel, pulled into a large car park next to a pub and found that we could park there for £3.00 for the night.

The first pub we tried was called "Ye Olde Malthouse Inn" looked good from outside but as welcoming as leprosy once inside! There was even a notice behind the bar that stated that drinks may only be consumed seated!? What is all that about. No standing at the bar then?

So we moved swiftly to the King Arthur's Arms Inn for a pint. We didn't eat here but the food looked good, instead we caught the chippy just before they closed for a bag of chips.

Another night in the Pajero, and we have now got it all sussed and we both had a good nights kip.

Friday, once up and after a brew we heading back to the pub for breakfast, which wasn't brilliant but wasn't bad either.

One of the things I can never fathom out about an English Breakfast is the quality of the sausages used. Now I would say that for around 90% of the time the cheapest sausages are dished up. Whats wrong with a good quality sausage? Not as if there is a shortage of them!

The other thing that annoys me is when a cheap tomato or brown sauce is used. You know the kind that is thin and vinegary! Or worse still it comes in a sachet! Just use a decent sauce and stop skimping and annoying me. I could have the best breakfast in the world, but use a naff sauce and I get upset!
Now this is what I'm talking about!

We headed up the Atlantic Highway to Exmoor where we crossed through it and then headed South to Tiverton. The heavens had opened and many parts of the road through the Exe Valley was flooded.

Thankfully having the Pajero and loads of ground clearance we didn't have a problem, I certainly wouldn't of wanted to do it in a normal car!

A quick brew in Tiverton and then we decided that as it was only lunch time and we had covered everywhere we had wanted to go we decided to head for home.

We got back home around 1800hrs after travelling 840 miles in 5 days.

A good break, we sussed out what worked and what didn't in the Pajero regarding sleeping and living for a short period.

The Pajero behaved as it always does, that's without fault and the fuel consumption was not outrageous either.

Now for our next mini adventure and more stealth camping!

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

Sunday, 7 October 2012

A Mini Adventure

Once again I find that I just run out of hours in the days!

So a quick recap on what has been happening on site and what we are doing.

Firstly "M"s op went well, and as expected it wasn't the op that caused the problem but the anesthetic. They kept here in over night just to make sure every thing was ok!

 We ended up buying a 8" x 6" shiplap shed which has now solved our storage problem, and it is in our garden which has been scrubbed out, cleared and made to look half decent (photo's to follow).

We ended up throwing a lot of things away, two reasons for this. Rats had got into the barn and decided to nest in amongst our gear! Then we decided that if we hadn't used any of the things we had stored in 2 years what was the point in keeping them.

So we now have a massive load of gear to go to a car boot sale and hopefully make a couple of quid and free up some more storage space!

I'm not sure what was going through our heads when we packed up the house, but why any one wants to keep hold of battered old frying pans is beyond me. It probably was me who decided to keep it as I'm terrible for throwing anything away. You just never know when that frying pan may come in handy!

Work, is good, still doing lots of hours, making for long days, especially as the nights are getting darker earlier and earlier!

But the main thing is I'm still enjoying it. Although it has it's moments. The amount of complaints you get is unreal. I wouldn't mind so much if they were genuine complaints, but to complain because the floor of the bus was wet after we had driven through a monsoon rain storm and flooded out roads is a bit much!

I asked the gent if he had dissolvable feet, to which he answered no, my reply was, thats ok then so if you would like to take a seat we can move off! That shut him up!

I'm sure people just like to moan because if they didn't they wouldn't have anything to talk about!

Now on to our Mini Adventure:-

We have a week off, starting as of today (Sunday)

Do we take the caravan and head in any direction, well that would be an idea, but we wanted to travel light and tour around, so today we are kitting out the Pajero for a week of wild camping!

We have the long wheel base version of the Mitsubishi Pajero (Shogun) 7 seater. Both sets of rear seats fold down flat to make a double bed.

With our recliner garden chair cushions placed on top, covered with a duvet makes a very comfortable bed!

A one ring gas burner, frying pan (see told you it would come in useful)! kettle and various odds and ends we are set to go, well, we will be once we are packed!

We are heading South West, no main roads or at least we are trying to avoid them. But the general plan is to head down the coast till we get to Paignton then turn right and spend a couple of days around Dartmoor.

Then down the coast again till we hit Bodmin Moor, we have friends in Cornwall (Sharron and Thomas) so we will probably pop in to see them. (Sharron you always said you only needed 3hrs notice of our arrival, lets see if you read this in time)!

Once fed and watered by the best host in the world, we will heading back up the Cornish and Devon coast to Exmoor. 

A long old slog around a wonderful part of our world. We are both really looking forward to going and trying out wild camping. With no fixed plans and not staying on sites it will certainly be a bit of an adventure.

"China" dog is of course coming with us, she will be in her element, as her bed is at the bottom of ours!

We have only ever done one night at a time in the Pajero, so a full week will be interesting.

If it all goes well, next year we may end up going to Ireland to see "M"s brother as it's his 50th birthday, and her other brother is getting married in France and I feel a road trip to the other side of Nice coming on!

Flying would be the no hassle, easy option, but when have we ever done that?!

Anyway off to start organising and pack my gear,  - socks, pants, shirts, packed and ready - hurry up "M"!

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

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Still Alive!

Hi folks!

It's been a while since my last post, nothing wrong this end at all, in fact the complete opposite!

Work is flat out and I am currently working up to my maximum amount of days and driving hours. Financially this is very good, but it is completely knackering.

Any of you who have driven trucks or buses/coaches for a living will know exactly what I am talking about. The roads around here are narrow and twisty, so imagine having to concentrate that hard for 4.5 hrs at a stretch. The only thing I can roughly translate it to is to try and continuously thread a needle for that amount of time.

Hence the lack of blogging, when I get in of an evening, it's a bite to eat and fall into bed!

Next weekend, I will actually be getting three day's off on the trot, but I will be putting on my nurses outfit and looking after "M" who goes in on Friday for an operation. She is hoping to be out later that day or early the next depending on how things go. Strangely it's not the op that's the problem, she has a reaction to the anesthetic! So it all depends how she copes with that.

Summer down here on the South coast is starting to come to an end. It's getting a wee bit nippy first thing in the morning, certainly is when I'm up at 0500hrs! Not only that but it's starting to get dark a lot earlier in the evenings.

Still plenty of holiday makers clogging up the roads though, since the kids have gone back to school it seems to be busier than when they were off! I guess that really does show the true demographics of those who caravan for a holiday?!

I've noticed on the comments that there seems to be a few more people taking the plunge and taking to life in a caravan! I really do hope it all works out for everyone of you.

You just have to have a positive outlook on life, easier said than done sometimes, and I will be the first to admit that!

We have now been in our static caravan for a couple of months now, all is well and we are finding our feet with our new way of living.

Do I miss the caravan? Yes, I certainly do, Would I go back to it? Yes, like a shot if this does not work out.

I cant put my finger on exactly what I miss, maybe it's the smell, the fresh air, just can't seem to put it down to anyone thing.

The one thing I don't miss is filling aqua rolls and being able to have a long hot shower without worrying about the water running out.

The loo emptying never bothered me, nor did the moving. Must admit it is also nice not to have to worry about the awning on windy days!

Thanks to all that have emailed us to make sure we were ok! The world really is a small place when you come to think of it!

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

Thursday, 23 August 2012

August Bank Holiday

So the big question is - What will the weather do this coming weekend?

The forecast is for heavy rain and gales, perfect for camping! The site is expected to be full up, which means loads of mud in the loo and shower! Not too sure how it gets in there, as even on a dry day like today the floor of the loo was covered in mud!

As experienced caravanners, we always took care to leave the loo's or shower's where ever we were pitched in a clean and tidy manner.

I can only assume that some of these campers live like animals at home and really don't give two hoots what they do on holiday!

Which brings me on to recycling. We have three bins here, clearly marked:

1: General Waste
2: Glass Only
3: Paper Plastic Tin Cans

Now how simple is that? Beyond the capabilities of most, as I spend too much time picking plastic out of the General Waste bin, bottles out of the Paper bin and General Waste out of the Glass bin, including a shitty nappy thrown in loose!

Oh well, you can't educate Pork!

I'm working all weekend, including Sunday and the Bank Holiday Monday. Next day off is the following Sunday! I'm taking it whilst it's going, we could certainly do with the extra money so I for one am certainly not complaining about it.

As far as the job is going, it's great, with a good bunch to work with, the routes are varied and I get to see the sea nearly every day.

Such a relief not having to drive for an hour just to get to work, my fuel bill has gone from £60 per week to just £10 per week! That in it's self is a big saving.

So how many of you are going away? I hope most of you will be!

Well, off to do battle around Tesco's in a bit as soon as "M" get's home, I've done the rubbish, the loo's and showers. An early finish for me today, but a 0600hrs start tomorrow morning.

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

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Camping Books

After reading through a recent magazine which I'm sure a lot of you will be familiar with I thought I would just give you a few links to how you can easily get hold of these books.

I will be totally honest with you all, I earn a few pennies from each sale as well, so go on and treat yourself!

Family Camping Cookbook: By Tiff and Jim Easton
Price in mag £10.99 - Our Price £7.69

On Your Bike - Hampshire and the New Forest by Mike Edwards
Price in mag £8.95 - Our Price £6.79

Price in mag £16.95 - Our Price £11.86

Price in mag £14.99 - Our Price £8.84

The Camper Van Coast by Martin Dorey
Price in mag £16.99 - Our Price £10.53

Our Price £10.36

52 Weekends In The Country by Brigid Benson and Craig Easton
Price In Mag £20.00 - Our Price £9.87

Cool Camping Kids
Price In Mag £16.95 - Our Price £11.86

The Rough Guide To Camping In Britain
Price In Mag £16.99 - Our Price £11.16

Hope that has wetted your appetite, as you can see we have managed to save a bit on the published prices!

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

Monday, 20 August 2012

Why Blog?

So why continue to blog?

After all we no longer live in a touring caravan, having made the decision based on finance that to become part time site wardens and live in a static caravan was the best choice for us.

The other simple reason is purely selfish, I enjoy writing, and this is the closest thing that I will ever do to keeping a diary of sorts.

I looked up the word caravan in the dictionary, apart from it's obvious meaning it also refers to a  group of people journeying together for safety in passing through hostile territory.

Sort of sums it up well as long as you don't take it too literally! Our journey is through life, "Our Life" and along with others that we have met and heard from as we go and hopefully pointed in the right direction.

This blog was also meant to show all that it can be done, and that after struggling with debt, worry and sleepless nights that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

So along with others in "The Caravan Of Life"  we are working away at our long term goals, they have been very distant for some time, and they are still far away, but not out of sight and we are slowly travelling towards them.

Thanks for all who have been following us for some time, I hope you stay with us on "Our Life In A Caravan" as we continue our journey. 

The blog title will remain the same, it is just as apt now as when we started.

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

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Flat Packed Fun!

We recently went to IKEA is Southampton to buy another stainless steel worktop unit with a cupboard/draw unit to go with the two others we all ready have in our kitchen. The kitchen sink is of the same design (see here) and next to it we have the same as above.

Of course it came flat packed! One of the benefits from my point of view of "Living In A Caravan" is no bloody flat packed furniture to construct.

So I now find myself assembling the unit with the help of "M" and "China". Eventually we got it all up and running and it does look pretty good.

But why does everything seem to arrive where by you have to assemble it? We bought a new hoover yesterday, a VAX Power 8 Pet. Even this I had to slot together and it came with 3 screws I had to secure bits on with!

Don't even get me started on packaging! Why does everything need to be put into individual plastic bags? The hoover had around a dozen individual components which slotted on, why does a little brush adapter need to be bagged. It's going to be pushed into all manner of dark and dirty places when in use, do they think it's going to get manky secured in a box on its way from the manufacturer to our homes?

 In these times of trying to save money and being environmentally friendly, I think manufacturers should take a hard look at the way products are delivered and ask themselves how they can cut down on all this unnecessary packaging.

It's just the same when we go food shopping, we come home, and unpack and peel layer after layer of paper and plastic off of our items. A complete waste of resource and money.

Most of it can be recycled,  we do our bit, but a lot of it you can do nothing with. A crime in my eyes as all it does is fill up landfill sites, at some stage this planet will become full up!

I never had myself down as a "Save Our Planet" veg loving hippy, but something has to be done  soon or we will suffocate in a sea of plastic milk bottle lids and yogurt pots!

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

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Return To Shaftesbury - Briefly!

Saturday, I much to "M"s dismay I worked, not usually a problem but we were due to be at a wedding reception back at Shaftesbury, a good hours drive away.

We were going to stay over as the last time I went to a party at the same venue I woke in a middle of a field in a duvet! So driving home was not an option.

Taking the caravan was also not a good idea as the journey from Lymington to Shaftesbury is 50 miles of winding lanes. So the seats in the Pajero were laid down, the reclining chair cushions laid in, with a duvet to lie on and one to cover us. It was very comfy. The vast amount of cider consumed obviously helped!

The journey up took us 45 mins, it certainly gave the Pajero a good clear out! It is not usually given such harsh treatment, but "M" says it drives better as a result of it!

Several of us were camping, and thanks goes to Sharron and Thomas for providing brews, not that I remember the one we had around 0230hrs!

The wedding reception was brilliant, being held in a barn, with lots of friends that we haven't seen in ages. All in all a very good evening was had.

Team GB

Now none of us can escape the fact that the Olympics have been held in Great Britain. I for one am now glad that it is over!

The reason for this is that I find myself getting rather emotional and have found myself shedding the occasional tear! When I say occasional, what I really mean to say is, every time we win a medal, every time I saw another athlete weep regardless of nationality, every time our National Anthem is played and those constant reruns that the BBC do of the best bits always do me in! Don't even mention the interviews of the winners and losers!

Years ago I used to pride myself on the fact that nothing really moved me, I've seen and done things that now I would be a complete mess if I had to encounter them again.

Funny as you get older how certain things change your outlook.

These last two weeks have been brilliant for sport, not only in this country but world wide, I just hope that we can build on this and encourage youngsters to do more sport instead of roaming around in packs causing trouble.

Too many athletes to mention, but my favourite images of these games is of Mo Farrah winning not only the 5000m but the 10,000m his look is just priceless as he crosses the line. Closely followed by the Dominican Republic gold medal winner who sobbed his heart out as his National Anthem was played.

So before I get emotional again Ill finish off.

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

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Our Life Is Busy!

This is my 3rd week of working out of my new bus depot. I can't even begin to tell you all how different it is from my last place!

The atmosphere is a million times better, the location is superb, and the routes are good.

So far I have managed to keep to the routes and not get lost, if only my passengers could read my mind and see my trying to work out which way to go!

Life in the static caravan is good, we have fixed the roof leaks with some special treatment stuff that you brush on really thickly. It's full of fibers and bonds quickly creating a water tight seal.

We have cut back the garden (I do have photo's - just not got around to loading them up)!

This did take a bit of doing, it's only a small garden but it was completely over grown. I have another skip run to do on Friday to get rid of the remaining rubbish.

This evening we are off to IKEA to buy another stainless steel worktop unit and draw for our kitchen. This will give us a greater working area.

I've got the day off on Friday, so will be assembling it and no doubt will find a piece missing!

Working all day on Saturday, then hot footing it back up to Shaftesbury to a friends wedding reception.

As it's only the one night and the venue is a farm, we have decided not to take the caravan, but to spend another night in the Pajero.

If I wasn't working we would of taken the caravan, but time is against us. So our caravan will spend yet another weekend laid up and resting!

On the campsite it has been fairly busy, with lots of tents, but now the caravans are out numbering them.

I still can't get over how some people struggle with recycling. The bins are clearly labelled up, so  I fail to see how wine bottles can end up in the paper bin and chicken bones in with the glass!

Oh, and the grotty gits who just through babies nappies straight in the bin without bagging them first! I dread to think what they are like at home!

Well, enough grumbling, as to be honest life is pretty good at the moment!

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

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Selling Out!?

When we set out on our adventure in August 2010 our main goal was to cut down on our monthly expenditure.

This we achieved with great success.

If an opportunity presents itself whereby you are offered a chance to save even more money, still live on a camp site and enjoy the benefits of this, then would we not be foolish to let this pass us by?

Nothing is for ever, we make mistakes, learn and move forward. This we feel we have done.

Our time in our caravan was special, it was a real learning curve, we made plenty of mistakes and now in this period of time we are in, it is for us time to move forward onto another stage of our lives.

We may not remain where we are, our caravan is packed, ready and waiting.

But, whilst I settle into my new job, and enjoy having our new born Grandson just 5 minutes down the road, this is where we want to be.

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

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Getting The Hang Of It Now

I think it has taken me far longer than it has "M" to adjust to living in something with walls.

It is still a strange feeling not having to go and fill the aqua rolls or empty the loo, instead we have running hot and cold water and a flushing loo!

We can see our caravan sat at the top of the field from our new home, it looks sad and lonely, but until I get my shift patterns confirmed we cannot make any plans to get away.

There seems to be an endless list of things we want to buy to either replace and put back in the caravan or to have here at our new home.

The caravan looks very bare at the moment!

"China" dog loves here new home, and has settled in extremely well, as I am on day off and it has just gone 0900hrs, "China" dog has yet to leave her bed even for a stretch!

The site is more or less full, with plenty of tents and campers, which means plenty of rubbish to empty!

We appear to get through an amazing amount of loo roll here on site, as I pointed out to "M" there are a lot of arses out there in that field! Take that however you want to!

Recycling still seems to be a mystery to most on site. I cannot see for the life of me that a bin clearly marked with plastic/metal/paper could end up with such an assortment of general waste!

Which also brings me neatly onto to the kind person who managed to smonge a Jamaican ginger cake over a pair of seats on the top deck of my bus yesterday and for the individual who stuffed two banana skins down the side of the seat! You dont' deserve a bus, you need a cattle truck!

I was out yesterday with another driver learning a route into Bournemouth, the bus was packed! I drove back, and it was really good to drive not only a comfortable bus but also one that worked properly. I got out of the bus feeling refreshed instead of getting out and being unable to walk due to the circulation being cut from my legs.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the week and driving.

Today I will be mostly sitting in the sun, and relaxing, but, as with most plans, I doubt if that will happen at all! "M" is home around 1500hrs today, so an early finish for her. I expect there will be plenty of little jobs that should only take 5 mins but actually take 2 hrs to complete lined up for me!

So off to make the most of it before her return!

Till later.................. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Another Chapter Ends!

Yesterday, (Saturday) was my last day driving for "Damory". In a way, it is sad to leave, as I was driving around an area I grew up in and knew well. Not in a million years did I ever imagine that one day I would drive a double decker bus up Shaftesbury High Street! Funny how things turn out

But, on the other hand, I'm pleased to be joining a company who pay better, have decent buses and are local to where I am now living.

I now only have a 10 minute drive into work, instead of an hour! That extra 2 hrs of driving was a real pain. Just to put things into perspective after a 9 hr shift plus the 2 hrs, a total of approx 11 hrs behind the wheel a day. I could drive from  Lymington and be in Aberdeen in that time in a car!

Driving older buses, is nice when it's a one off, as they can be a bit of a challenge. Brakes being either on or off, the accelerator being all or nothing with often a delay of several seconds before the power kicks in, and the suspension being no better than a hay cart with everything rattling including your fillings. But the sound of a Gardner diesel engine at full pelt is quite something.

Below was my last day of driving an Olympian double decker bus pictured in Shaftesbury, my home town where I was born. Good of them to put all those flags out for me!

Now, off to drive newer buses, I grabbed this picture below off of the interweb, taken in Lymington, where I will be based. Not me driving!

As you can see, a bit of a difference in the buses!

I'm looking forward to starting, I've been down to the depot a couple of times now and it all feels and looks good.

So Monday morning I have my short drive to the depot and away I go route learning.

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

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Still Raining!

When will it stop raining? This is the question that everyone seems to be asking at the moment. The answer to this is not for a while yet.

The Jet Stream which should be sailing right over our little island is firmly embedded below it bringing in all that the Atlantic has to offer.

Sunny days sat outside with the BBQ, forget it, instead stews and roast dinners indoors.

We just have not been able to get outside to do anything yet, I wanted to start cutting back the rather over grown garden that we have. I may just get on with it a little later.

Every day, I'm driving my bus through massive puddles, no wonder last saturday the electrics packed up on the bus! This week I have only broken down the once, well I say broke down, an alarm for a low battery came on, but after an hour of driving with a high pitched tone I could take no more and pulled over and sat there until another bus came out to me.

Only 5 more duties with my present company, and to be honest it's 5 too many. Every morning it's a lottery if your bus will start or on a couple of occasions even at the depot! This week I had one none start due to flat battery and on my walk round inspection in the morning I noticed that my bus for that day had the back bumper seriously damaged!

My new company has buses that are a lot newer, I drove a bus the other day with over 600,000 miles on the clock. Now, they were designed for high mileage but this was in a little Optare Solo with a 4 cylinder diesel engine! I could walk faster up hills! Even by taking it out of auto and using the 3, 2, 1, gear shift it made no difference! It was a long day!

Well, off for a wander with "China" dog, she does not like the wet! Then we will do a bit of tidying up before I attack the garden!

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