Monday, 29 April 2013

Army Vs Navy Rugby 2013

I've just returned from the annual Army versus Navy rugby match held at Twickenham.

To say that I am not feeling on top of the world is an understatement!

I went straight up on Friday evening where I met up with an old friend. The last time we had clapped eyes on each other was nearly 30 years ago.

We grew up in Shaftesbury together and have known each other since the tender age of 13 or 14 and it was me who was responsible for him following in my footsteps and joining the Royal Corps of Signals. He went on to do his full 22 years and gain the rank of WO2 and Squadron Sergeant Major.

As you can imagine we had a bit of catching up to do!

That took care of friday night, Saturday morning started as we meant to carry on with a pint for breakfast. It was mostly down hill from here on in!

Photo: Start as we mean to go on! Army v Navy

We had stayed in Slough and we decided to get a taxi into Twickenham rather than take the train. We agreed a price with the driver which was just as well as he then managed to get lost several times! The M25 and A30 (both directions) plus Terminal 4 Heathrow were all visited before we managed to get near and vacate the taxi at "The Winning Post"  pub.

A few more beers were consumed before we made it to the stadium.

Finally meeting up with my old mate Mark, which was just as well as he had my ticket we made it in with minutes to spare!

More beer and trips to the loo's later and the Army beat the Navy 43-26. All though at one stage they did have a 19 point lead, but at half time it was all square.

Photo: Best view of the day!

I reckon we had the best seats in the stadium!

After the game it was back to the Corps beer tent for more drinking and meeting old friends who haven't been seen in years. It was a bit of an emotional days.

I saw someone who I thought I knew, went up to him and said, I know you, but don't know where from, his reaction was to hug me like a lost brother! What made it worse, he remembered my name and it wasn't till this morning when he tracked me down on face book that I realised what his name was!

Even worse, I just had a message from him saying that meeting me had made his day! I couldn't even remember his name! Terrible!

With a crowd of over 72,000 squaddies and matelots a new world record was achieved for the most people watching an amatuer game of Rugby.

All I can say is that the atmosphere was just incredible, there were some unforgettable sites of people making fools of themselves and partying hard.

Another statistic I heard was that more beer is drunk on this one day than all of the 6 nations games held at Twickenham!

It was an awesome day, after a late night curry I finally managed to get the last train back to Slough and to my hotel.

Seeing old friends who you haven't seen for so long was very emotional and worth every penny spent.

Can't wait for next year, maybe "M" will come with me to witness the mayhem and total carnage next year! I for one will definately be going!

Thankfully I have the week off which was just as well, as it is now nearly 1400 hrs on Monday and I'm still not feeling right!

More wild camping in the Pajero from Wednesday onwards, heading to Cornwall for a 40th birthday party on friday night, then a Masked Ball Festival on the Saturday! - You should see our costumes!

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

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Who Else Full Times In Their Caravan?

I have just spent some time catching up with emails from folk that have written to me asking advice on full timing.

This got me wondering, actually how many of you out there in the real world are actually living the dream?

I know of a couple of you that are, but it would be great to hear from anyone who is currently living full time either in their caravans or campervans.

Since starting this blog I have received a fairly constant amount of emails asking for advice, which is great.

When we first started to look into living full time in our caravan I found very little relevant information to hand, which was one of the reasons why I started to write the blog.

So don't be shy, say hello and share your story here with us, what's worked for you, what hasn't worked, the highs and lows so far.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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

Friday, 12 April 2013

More Chinese Confusion

I make no apologies for finding this funny, I have said before that I am not politically correct, never have been and never will be.

Here is another little incident that tickled me and I hope it does you as well!

View Larger Map

Above is a map of a road that I travel down, which will all make perfect sense once you read through below!

I stopped in Christchurch to pick up a Chinese lady, who said in her thick Chinese accent "One Way Weturn Please"

I repeated - One Way (Weturn) Return? well, you can have a one way ticket or a return ticket, which do you want?

She said "Weturn - One Way"

Looking confused I said, lets start again. Where do you want to go?

She said "One Way"

I said "One Way"

Yes she said, "One Way Weturn"!

Then it dawned on me so I said so you want a Return ticket to the Runway?

In an exasperated voice she said "Yes - One Way Weturn - Thats What Ive Been Saying"!

Indeed you have Madam !

All aboard!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Caravan And Camping Season 2013

And so with Easter arriving so do the campers!

It's been a quiet winter here on site, with no one in over the last couple of month, but that is mainly down to the fact that the field has been inches deep in water.

Glad to say it is drying out nicely now and the approach into the field has had new gravel put down as it was a complete bog.

We have been working hard all winter, in fact I've been flat out,  this being my first day off during the week since around January! The rest of the time it has been 6 days a week, having only Sunday's off. Hence the lack of writing on here.

Easter weekend saw a full site, even had some hardy campers in a tent. Now that is just a bit too cold for me as we have been still getting frosts first thing in the morning.

So what have we been up to? Well apart from working not a great deal.

Not strictly true as back in March we took a week off, packed up the Pajero and headed over to Wales.

The plan was to drive over to the South Western tip and then head up the coast and meet up with old friends in Caernarfon for a long weekend.

We set off with a rough location for our first night as we would be wild camping in the Paj!

Not setting off till the afternoon did mean we were pushed for day light, so by the time we got to Haverfordwest it was all ready dark. Heading off along a side road towards the coast we eventually found a spot right on the coast over looking the sea. 

As it was pitch black we could not see the actual coast line, but knew it was down below us somewhere.

We had taken along some Moroccan Lamb stew to heat up on our gas cooker and with some crusty bread we ate listening to the sound of the sea below us.

Settling down for a good nights sleep in the Paj we woke early just as the sun was rising.

What a treat awaited us. It was clear, in fact it was -3 but toasty in our sleeping bags.

We had stopped just before Newgale Beach. A long stretch of sandy beach it was spectacular.

We really had now idea when we stopped that this would be what we saw when we woke up.

The just to finish things off a couple of race horses turned up and pounded their way through the surf! Amazing.

I was still up top when they arrived and by the time we had got down on the beach they were just returning. The owner was watching them with interest and we had a quick chat. We watched them go into the sea up to their belly's. One horse had been in the sea before but for the other it was it's first time. It was evident that they were enjoying it immensely.

Back up to the top and bacon rolls cooked up with hot coffee. Now this is camping!

We set off in a Northerly direction. Hugging the coast all the way up to once more it started to get dark and decided it was time to try and find some where to stop for the night.

Again we relied on instinct and having looked at a couple of places we finally ended up at Barmouth, we travelled down a track to Barmouth then headed out on the spit of land to the place where the Barmouth Ferry leaves, parked up, cooked up and got our heads down for the night.

As it was completely dark when we arrived imagine our delight when we woke to see this!

I've got to say that this is not my picture as the camera died at this point but this was our view!

Once again we had struck lucky!

It was extremely windy, having a pee even facing down wind was a challenge, to the point where I had to change my trousers due to the wind suddenly changing direction! Much to "M"s amusement!

After more bacon rolls and coffee we set off once more.

We hugged the coastline and wound our way out towards Aberdaron and around the peninsula and started headed North once more, stopping along the way for lunch in a tiny pub over looking the sea. The name of which completely escapes me!

Time getting on meant we had to stop to look for another place to park up. After a few places were discounted we ended up just south of Caernarfon, right next to it's airport. I say airport, it's more of a heliport.

Here we cooked again, brewed up and watched the sun set.

I think over the three nights the latest we were tucked up and snoozing was 2100hrs!

Next morning it was even colder, the butane was freezing up on the cooker, so with constant changes of cannisters we eventually managed a brew and our final breakfast before we booked in later that day to the Black Boy Inn at Caernarfon.

This is a great place to stay, 5 mins from the castle and a real friendly place.

Kate and Mark were to join us for the Saturday, it so happened that the Rugby was on and so we watched the Wales game, where we supported the Italians much to the disgust of the locals. The pub was heaving, but some good friendly banter was had.

We were expecting the TV to be turned off once the game had finished as England were playing, but much to our delight it remained on where we were totally out numbered, out cheered but not out drank!

Myself and Mark entered the pub at 1100hrs and remained at the same table till 2230hrs! A good session! Amazingly we both made it down for breakfast the next morning!

Later that day we said our goodbyes and headed home.

The exhaust on the Pajero was by this time blowing like a Trumpet Major's bugle after being run over.

New exhaust bought on the internet a few days later and she is now running sweet as a nut.

Sweet as a nut is not how I would describe our trusty old Landrover Freelander. Not long after we bought it the head gasket went. As it was under warranty all was not lost so we had it done, but it still used water.

For the last few weeks it had started to run a bit lumpy with tick over being all over the place. So as it was well due a service we booked it in. Bearing in mind we had just put it through it's MOT just the previous month at £350.00

During the service it was found that the back drums were knackered and this with the service cost another £300.00 - Thanks!

"M" drove it back from the garage but said it still didn't feel right, so next morning on my way into work I found it to be worse than when it had gone in for the service.

I had this nagging thought in my head that it may of been the head gasket again, but dismissed this as surely during the service, (oil change) etc it should of been spotted? The fact it was still running like a bag of nails after the service would of given it away.

I checked the the dipstick and there it was, enough emulsified oil to replace a jar of Hellmans Mayo!

Back to the garage, where it was confirmed. Now at this point I was a little cross that the garage had failed to spot this obvious fault, then proceeded to have me for the £200.00 for fixing the brakes knowing the gasket was shagged!

So do we repair or scrap it? After much thought, it was decided to scrap the car, a new head gasket, would cost around £700.00 with no guarantees that it would even fire up, as remember this is the second time it has gone.

Sadly she went last friday. Ebay? No, to a local recycler (scrap dealer) who gave us £200.00

It was easy with no fuss, paid in cash and to be honest a good price considering it was knackered!

Being upset about it did not last long as on Saturday "M" picked up her new toy - A Mazda MX5  Eunos 1.8i. A Jap import. Yes, I like my imports due to the fact you get a load of extras that the UK cars just did not have.

We had been looking for one, and luckily came across this little stunner. She was built in 1994, imported in 2004 and with only 2 owners since then, (1 the importer, 2 the enthusiast) has full history with it being serviced every 6 months.

A new Mohair hood, 12 months MOT and 6 months tax for £1400.00 - Bargain.

We have had a couple of days out in her and she drives lovely, even had the roof off over last weekend - glorious!

So there you have it, that's us about up to date. I'm sure I've forgotten loads that has happened, so will try and write more when I can!

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