Thursday, 18 July 2013

Another Year Passes Me By

I find myself in the very unusual position of not only having a day off, infact two days off consecutively, but I'm also off on my birthday!

Generally I do not celebrate my own birthday, probably due to the fact that as a kid my birthday fell during the summer holidays, so was never able to invite anyone so ended up not having parties.

This kept going into adulthood where they would pass by unnoticed as the years rolled on.

Milestone birthdays came and went with no fanfares, the last one being my 40th where I took myself off to West Bay and had fish and chips. I hadn't met "M" then so I was keeping myself company.

This year is no different, a quiet night in, tuna steaks on the menu with a couple of beers. The sun is shining and it looks like it will be another warm day and evening. A perfect evening with "M".

We are off to Ireland in a weeks time to celebrate "M"s brother's 50th birthday. Lots of family travelling over from the mainland and he is holding it in a pub, so no doubt it will be packed with friends! Really looking forward to it.

I don't have a problem with other peoples birthdays, just mine!

I guess because I do not celebrate my own birthday, I have serious problems remembering others, parents and sisters, nephews, nieces and friends often get forgotten, ok, I lie, always forgotten!. Not intentionally, they just do not play a part of my way of thinking.

Over the years, have I got any wiser? Probably not.  I've become more cynical and far less trusting which is not a good trait to have. However I worry less than I use to.

Maybe I will surprise everyone one year and hold a big party! Or maybe not..........

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

Monday, 1 July 2013

Getting Ready For Ireland

Over the last few weeks we have been totally undecided if we were going to buy a roof tent for the Pajero or just buy a traditional tent for our two weeks in Ireland.

There are pro's and con's to both, but finally we have come to a decision.

We chose a tent. Why? Well there are a number of reasons:

Firstly through the month of June I only managed to accumulate a total of 3 days off out of the entire month, and I don't think that July will be too much different. So by the time of our holiday, I will be well and truly knackered!

So we have changed the idea of our holiday from being a constant tour to staying put for a two to three days then move on again. I need some downtime to recharge the batteries.

A traditional tent would be perfect for this, as with a roof tent if we wanted to take a drive to the shops we would have to pack everything up and that equals hassle!

It almost feels like we have come full circle, tent, caravan and then back to tent again!

The tent we finally decided on and bought was a Higear Gobi 4, since buying it we have decided to go back and buy the extended awning for it.
It's spacious with a good sized sleeping compartment, the front area with three entry points, and the ground sheet is completely attached. You can also stand up in all areas of the tent.

So even if it is lashing it down outside, we can still sit inside if need be.

When we got home we went out to the camp site field and put it up. It took us 50 minutes to suss out how to do it all, which wasn't bad for a new tent. Realistically, now we know what we are doing and how it all assembles I reckon that will be 20 minutes.

Bugging out took less than 30 mins and we got it all back in the bag!

We also bought a couple of camp beds. I've had some bad experiences with blow up beds, (don't ask) and "M" wasnt keen on the idea of being catapulted out each time I turned over.

Whilst we were wandering around Go Outdoors we came across a rather nifty looking item.

When we have been away in the Pajero we use for cooking a single gas stove like the one below.

It has been absolutely spot on and lasted me for 13 years! On our last trip a foot managed to come off and so it developed a bit of a wobble, so we decided to buy a new one. As they were only a tenner it seemed daft not to.

But what caught our eye was a griddle which sits directly on top of the stove like the one below.

As we were not taking the cadac with us, this seemed like a good idea and once more at less than £7.00 what could possibly go wrong!

I must say after trying it out, it is an amazing bit of kit, if you have one of these types of stoves you must get one. The fat drips into the base tray and the food cooks wonderfully!

The only down side to these types of stove is that it uses butane, and at low temps they simply do not work.

For my trip in April I am hoping to buy a multi fuel stove so I can run on unleaded. I have this horrid feeling that come April on the North coast of Scotland I may well still be camping in the snow! Certainly April this year they still had plenty of the white stuff still around!

We also bought some sleeping bag liners. Our sleeping bags are 3 season and although they were not terribly expensive they are bloody good! Infact too good, so with the warm weather (fingers crossed) unzip the sleeping bag and you still have a cotton cover over you.

In the Army we had liners, but I don't think I ever knew anyone who ever used one!? Not much good when you're in sh*t state and you get in still with your boots on!

We are both looking forward to our trip, the ferry is booked. We are going from Fishguard to Rosslare, from there we haven't decided yet!

The only dates we have to keep is the weekend of the 3/4/5 August as it's "M"s brothers 50th birthday weekend. It should be a good one!

Also hoping to catch up with my old mate Paddy Breadbin who is returning from France with his all singing and dancing motorhome that same weekend. It could all get a tad messy!

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