Saturday, 28 June 2014

Still no name for my new camper.

Hi Guys',

Well I bought one. I didn't think I'd be long, I've missed my trips in Polly soooo much, but for the life of me I can't think of a name. I even toyed with P2. My Sister's reaction to that was -

'What a stupid name'.

 I didn't think it was that bad. So come on guys', get your thinking caps on.

Anyway, the van I went to see, the 300 mile round trip one I mentioned in my last post, was as rotten as a pear. They say not to judge a book by its cover don't they? Well the van and the picture were a bit of a mismatch. It took me over three hours to get there and within five minutes I was heading back, from LANCASHIRE. I bet the guy thought he was going to pull the wool over my eyes, me being a female on my own and all that. How wrong was he.

' The sills have had a new coat of underseal, it looks nice and smart. ' said he.

Hmmmm. His face was a picture when I dropped to my knees and felt UNDER the van at the inner sill, the bit he hadn't undersealed. His face was an even better picture when loads of rust fell on the floor. The grey gunk all unevenly squirted around the back panel was also a bit of a give away. When I asked him if it had had a leak, his reply was -

'No, I think it was just done as a precaution.'

Well of course it was, people always squirt ugly grey stuff all over their camper as a precaution. I don't know WHY I bothered, but I asked if I could see inside. Well I had driven a long way. As soon as the door slid back I could smell the damp. You remember the precautionary sealer on the outside?

The carpets were filthy and stained, the upholstery faded and dingy and when I looked in the bathroom and pulled the sink down, which was all cracked and nearly falling off, it was my cue to exit.

I was a bit fed up on the drive home and VERY HOT. It was a beautiful day, but when you're in a car and feeling a tad pee'd off, it's not good. I was so annoyed that the man had let me drive all that way, knowing the van was rubbish. Unscrupulous comes to mind. Oh well, I still had three more on my list.

The next one was in Kidderminster, another three hour journey. I was hoping the weather was a bit cooler, and thankfully it was. That meant I had some company for the journey, my big sis. She couldn't come on Wednesday when it was hot, because she stayed to look after the dogs. Yep, she's got one too. It's gonna be fun in the camper, 'cos Mickie is a BOY and he's just beginning to feel his feet. He keeps trying to ( ahem ) hump Bella. He doesn't care which bit, head, back, leg, whichever, he won't leave her alone. He's for the chop in August and Bella in September, so all should be well then.

Well, again it only took five minutes to make my mind up. In fact, I don't think it took that long. No under seal to cover rotten sills this time, or ugly grey stuff around the panels. It was lovely. Inside was even better, as soon as the door slid open that lovely camper smell wafted out. For those of you with campers, you know the smell I mean, and for those who haven't, I don't think I can describe it. My sister said that my face lit up.

And without further ado here it is. Yes, I bought it.

What a difference, this is a much loved van.

The interior is spotless.

The couple I bought the van from were so lovely, and very genuine. See the rubber seal that's loose on the oven door, it was stuck in place by the time I went to pick it up on the Friday. They even agreed to meet me half way, so I didn't have as far to travel. Mick was straight with me, he showed me all the paperwork and service history and pointed out the bad bits.

So we went on the bus to Peterborough, then the train to Nuneaton where they were going to meet us with the van. Can't remember the last time I used either mode of transport, it was great fun. Mick and Linda were waiting at the station to meet us when we arrived. The van was parked in the nearby Asda car park and it was incredibly busy, I'd no idea Nuneaton was so big. I consider myself to be a good driver and I'd had two years in Polly, no trouble, but I was a bit nervous of getting into a new vehicle and trying to negotiate in the busy traffic, so I chickened out and asked Mick to drive the van to the outskirts to make the swap.

Anyway, it drove home lovely, took to it like a duck to water. The radio didn't work though, and neither did the cigarette lighter, my sat nav went flat, turned out to be the fuse. Simples.

All my things are now in the van and I've bought a blow up awning, which I think is a must have. I'll be travelling mostly on my own with Bella, but it will still be nice to have the extra room. Especially if  Sue, or my Grand children join me. As it is I've had to trim the things I'll be taking with me, this van is quite a bit smaller than Polly was, but...... I can park it at home.
Here's the awning, a Vanga Airway Kela.  According to the video on you tube, it can be put up by one person. We'll see.

So, the van's clean, equipped and has an awning. It's on charge today, just to make sure the leisure battery is ok, and then I'm off.

Thanks for coming by and do come again and read the continuing saga.



Monday, 9 June 2014

It's been a long time coming, but here's Bella.

Hi Guys',

Well, not one single post last year and this is my first this year. Where did all my good intentions go?
Well I have a little bit of an excuse and she's called Bella.

And here she is.  I decided that it would be lovely to have a little dog to keep me company in the van and to take for lovely walks while away. It all sounded great in theory and it was ok in practice really, except, nobody told me my whole camping experience would change.

She's a cocker-poo and the most adorable, cute little thing you could imagine, apart from being a 'Monkey on a Stick'. I got it sussed in the van though. She was crate trained right from the word go, so I took it with me in the camper and when I got fed up with her jumping all over ( me) in the crate she went. Much to her disgust, I might add.

She looks like lady muck in this photo, all indignant with her paws crossed. She was ok though, honest. She did go to sleep, eventually.

Can you spot the training pad, yes, she was piddling EVERYWHERE, including the van. It was a nightmare, she could squeeze under the seat and piddle, she was so tiny. I had to put barricades up everywhere, needless to say, I didn't have a lot to report in my blog. Unless you wanted to here about a piddling, pooing machine. I was up at six every morning, standing outside the van waiting for her to piddle, then in for a cuppa and over to the field for her to poo. It sounds horrendous doesn't it. IT WAS.  Only kidding.

I kept pretty local last summer, so that me and Bella could get used to the van in a familiar place. Guess where, yup,  Cromer. Don't know how many times I've been there now but I do love it and so does my new buddy. Especially the big meadow, she used to disappear in the long grass, all I could see was this little black and white head bobbing up, as she gambolled in the long grass.  She even met a friend.

Meet Bindy, these two absolutely loved each other. Bindy belonged to Jeff and Madeline, a couple me and my sister met at Cromer. We met up three times that year, twice with Sue and a week on my own. I love camping on my own, but it was nice to share a few drinks at night with some fellow campers. This photo was taken by me. I just loved the cute way the dogs were playing, so I ran in the van , grabbed my phone, and sort of came down the step backwards. My foot slipped through, but my body kept going and I ended up sprawled all over the grass. I even impressed myself at the sheer speed I bounced back up and still took the photo. I felt such a plonker. Sue, Jeff and Madeline roared with laughter. Not nice people.

This next picture shows one of the ways to tame the grand kids and the dog while away. I knew that net would come in handy. ;)   My grandsons love it in the van, even more so, now that they have a dog to play with. 

By the end of the season, Bella was behaving in a much more civilised manner ( that's code for doing as she was told ). We found a routine that worked and all was ( becoming ) well.

Had to finish off with a beautiful sunset. Isn't it gorgeous.

Well thanks for stopping by, I apologise for my tardiness but you see, Polly has GONE.  Boo hoo.  I decided to downsize as it was getting a bit expensive running two vehicles and having to pay storage for the van too. So I sold her a couple of months ago and have been browsing ever since. I'm now LOOKING IN EARNEST,  because I didn't realise I'd miss Polly so much. I'm feeling a bit stir crazy, especially since this lovely weather happened.

Anyway, here's the one I'm hoping to buy, I go to see it Wednesday. I've already seen one, so I know the interior has plenty of room. It's another Auto Sleeper, of course, they are such quality vans, I was really spoilt with Polly.  I'll keep you all posted.

I'll need an awning to make up for loss of space, one I can put up myself. Should be fun learning how, I'm going to get a blow up one. I thought my Daughter was joking when she told me about them, but oh no, they're definitely blow up.

Well thank you for dropping by and reading my blog. Do come again to see what me and Bella get up to in my new van. I need a new name now, any suggestions?



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cromer with the crankies.

Hi guys',

Now I want you all to picture this........

It's one o'clock in the morning and the whole campsite's been in bed since ten. It's very dark and deathly quiet and we're tip toeing along a gravel road, in flip flops, as quietly as we can.  It doesn't help the fact that we've had a couple or so glasses of cider and my best mate is wearing a leopard skin Bet Lynch dressing gown to boot.

Well, needless to say, we were far from quiet. I can hear you all asking what we were doing. We can't have been coming back from the pub, not with Deb in her Bet Lynch dressing gown. I suppose the best place to start would be the beginning.

Deb and me have been best buddies for thirty odd years now and we both decided we were going to have a camping experience, on our tod, no men, just us, so we'd both have to muck in. You could say Deb and me are a bit like two peas out of the same pod, a very odd pod, but never the less, we do like the same things. Now I forgot that three trips already makes me a seasoned camper, so to speak. I had a feeling this was gonna be a strange three days.

There's one strict rule in the van, NO SOLIDS in the loo. I did however mention though, that if it was an emergency, the person who dealt it had to deal with it, so to speak. Well, when Deb actually saw what that would entail, she decided she wouldn't be doing any of that. Hence the one o'clock run. Now I don't remember promising to walk across to the toilet block at whatever ungodly hour it was, at all, but Deb insists I did. Needless to say, there were many more trips to the loo.

She was more than happy to muck in and fill the water tanks and I must admit she was a good reversing director. But could I get her out of her jeans, could I heck. The weather was lovely, a bit cool, but lovely. The sun was shining and in the sun it was hot.

'Come on Deb, get your cut offs on and we'll go for a walk on the beach'

That wasn't going to happen. Oh well, there's always tomorrow. We had a lovely walk, along the cliffs to West Runton then down onto the beach to East Runton, where we'd be able to get back up to the road toreturn to the campsite. About three miles in all, it was lovely.

This is the lifeboat station, with Deb having a quick breather before we traverse the HUGE hill, to get into East Runton.

I love the Norfolk coast, the beaches are lovely and clean and they're all dog friendly. This is the view from East Runton, pointing towards Cromer. You can just see the pier in the distance, that was to be our destination tomorrow. No buses for us.

We had a lovely evening. After our late tea we got snuggled up in our jim jams and settled down to watch a movie. We were going to watch 'The girl with the dragon tattoo' trilogy. One for each night.  I think we got to sleep about two in the morning and Deb was up with the larks at six. OMG. I knew she doesn't sleep much, but four hours!!!!

Next day she decided she wasn't going to be a chicken and actually put on her cut offs. I couldn't resist a photo of her. I think it was the stripey socks with the flowery ballet pumps that did it. 

Bless!!!!!!   ;)

I wasn't going anywhere with her looking like that, so I relented and on went the jeans again. I wonder if she did it on purpose?

It was a great walk, very bracing. It was a bit windier today, but me being seasoned now, ahem, I'd still worn my cut offs. I was to regret that later. We took a few pickies and chatted to people who were walking along the beach with their dogs. I even bent down to stroke a cute little thing and got bitten on the nose for my trouble. Honest. It didn't mean to, as I went down, it came up and its teeth connected with my nose. It could only happen to me.

 We got to Cromer about lunch time, it was a nice walk, about two miles. We were either going to be fitter when we got home, or buggered. On four hours sleep, I knew what I was going to be. So we had a good look around the town, a bit of lunch and a beer on the pier and then decided to head back about three. The weather was changing and we were determined we were going to walk.

By the time we got down onto the beach to head back to East Runton, the wind had really got up. We were walking into a head wind and the sand was being whipped up along the beach, right into our faces. My legs felt as though they were being sandblasted. That'll teach me, eh. Deb was a bit smug at this point.

We got back to the van about six and were absolutley knacked. We felt like we'd walked ten miles, not the five we actually had. We felt invigorated though, nacked, but invigorated. Needless to say, we didn't do much that night. We ached all over and my legs were raw.

We decided not to much the next day, quite honestly we were both too exhausted. So we sat by the van with our kindles ( and a few glasses of pink cider, yum yum ) and had a nice relaxing day. We were going into East Runton for the curry night at the local pub later, so we were quite happy to doss.

Well we had a fab three days. Deb is now a seasoned camper and can't wait to go again. As for me, I go again next week with my two grandsons. They'll love it there, loads of rock pools for them to explore in. Hope it's not too cold. Think perhaps the xbox will have to accompany us for that trip.

Thanks for popping by, hope you're enjoying my camper capers and do come again.


Jools.  xxx