Hello to all you fellow motorhomers and welcome.
I hope you get as much fun reading this as I do writing it.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

How Time Flies

I cannot believe how time flies. It is already more than a week since my last entry. What have I been busy doing in that time? Nothing different and exciting, either as far as motorhoming is concerned or in general.
One of the reasons why the time has whizzed by is daily uncertainly of events. 
I had hoped to go away in the van this week (a continual wish of mine).
Due to commitments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings my trips have to be during the latter part of the week. This Thursday I had to take poor Amber to the consultant vet as she has something in her eye.  This took much of the day. The good news was that it was not cancerous. The bad news was that it did need some VERY expensive treatment.  This information necessitated a period of reflection.
Also the possibility of work in Wales was a factor in when and where I took a break. At the last moment this too came to nothing.  I was left a bit in limbo and as a consequence ended up not doing anything very much.
Next week looks better so perhaps I can manage something then. We shall see.  

Thursday, 18 October 2012


I find going away in the van stimulating. It provides time and space for my imagination to roam freely. This period of reflection often results in the formulation of various projects. I carefully note these down to action when I return home.
During my recent sojourn away I thought long and hard about photography, (a hobby of mine). As a consequence I decided that I wanted to improve and take photographs that are “stunning”. At present I am not bad and have taken some good photographs but I now wish to up my game. To do this I need to take more photographs. Unfortunately I am not the type of photographer who can take photos of anything. I need a reason to take them.
This was why I so appreciated the opportunity to take photographs of netball matches, It was a reason to take many many photos. Mind you lots of them got discarded because of people spoiling the shot at the last moment. If you are interested in seeing some of the photographs go to www.netballreports.co.uk.
Therefore I decided to enter as many photographic competitions as possible. (This would give me a reason to take photographs.)
I have just entered my first competition.
It was organized by the Wanderlust Magazine in conjunction with the Independent paper I think‼! (Not 100% sure about that).

Laying wreaths

I have entered the portfolio category. This consists of a maximum of 5 photographs that are connected in some way. The overarching theme is travel because Wanderlust is a travel magazine.
My five photographs are all about the Celebrations that occur in Warsaw (Poland) on 1st August to commemorate the Warsaw Uprising.
There are huge celebrations all over the city. Some of them involve parades by all the uniformed organizations including youth groups. Some are more formal involving official institutions and some are military.  Some of the tributes at the smaller plaques and monuments are more personal. At this time all over the city flags, flowers and remembrance lights can be seen. I found it very moving, especially as the event happened over 68 years ago. Also it is only recently, since the overthrow of Communism that the Polish people have been allowed to commemorate this historic occasion.
All monuments are decorated.
Police Saluting
Because the order to rise up against the German occupying forces was given on 1st August at 5pm, this is the date chosen to mark the event. At 5pm there is a special city wide tribute. Everyone stops and stands for a short period. All vehicles sound their horns and bells ring so there is a cacophony of sound whilst the population is totally still with all uniformed personnel saluting. It is a truly spine tingling occasion. After a couple of minutes the noise ceases and everyone continues about their business. Indescribable.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


Anticipating that I would finish the Big Clean by the weekend and realizing that September had come and gone I was having withdrawal symptoms.  I NEEDED some time away in the van.
With the inexorable passage of October my time in Poland seemed to recede at warp speed. I had to keep reminding myself that I did not get back to England until the beginning of September. That was only a short time ago.
The balmy September weather lulled me and my feet began to itch to make the most of it and be off somewhere, anywhere.
So I got out my diary and saw blank spaces from Sunday through to Wednesday. Great I can leave on Sunday and return Wednesday in time for my Thursday meetings. So began my search for somewhere interesting to stay not TOO far away. Out came the camping books and on went the computer.
I found 3 possible destinations. I checked them on an Ordinance Survey map for plenty of walks that are easily accessible from the campsites. All of them look suitable. Then I checked the weather forecast.  Horrible. Though the three choices were in different parts of the country the weather forecast was not good anywhere.
OK Sunday (departure day). Steady drizzle on Monday (day 1) Rain Tuesday (day 2). Patchy rain on Wednesday (retuning day). Not especially appealing. With all the rain we have had this year there could be a problem with the ground. The last thing I want is to get stuck. So I decided not to go away. This really disconcerted me as it is an action replay so much of the rest of the year.
As if to endorse the idea that a few days away at this time is not a sensible proposition my diary began to fill up and the final cleaning tasks of the van stretched out and took much longer than expected.  
I still have not quite finished cleaning the inside of the van. Every day during the past week when I went into the van I thought to myself "Oh good nearly finished" only to find something else that I had forgotten to clean. Of course now the nights are drawing in so I cannot continue after tea. This time I HAVE nearly finished and have only a few small tasks mostly related to putting things back in the van like the dogs beds. Will it be done by the next entry‼! Watch this space.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Big Clean

I really enjoyed the long trip to Poland during the summer in my motorhome with my daughter and the dogs. I had a marvellous time.
Now the van needs a really good clean both inside and out. This is a good opportunity to check things and do any necessary repairs.
Motorhome Magazines offer a lot of useful advice but they also make everything look so easy.  Their illustrated instructions imply that all you have to do is follow first Picture 1, then Picture 2, Picture 3 etc. Job done. Everything is clean, neat, tidy and finsihed.  My mobile repairer Mike Smart belongs to the same club. When he is asked his reply is "just do A, B and C" then all finished.
Well either I am stupid or I don't have sufficient knowledge or experience. I like to think it is the latter.
As the end of my trip coincided with summer drawing to a close I thought it would be good to give my van a thorough clean. After all it has been some time since it last had one. Unfortunately much as I wanted to get stuck in straight away I was unable to make a start until the second week back.
Dogs in the van
It took a surprisingly long time to clear everything out
  • remainder of the food
  • clothes
  • electronic gadgets and accessories
  • dog paraphernalia (what a lot of that there was)
  • books and magazines etc etc
I couldn't believe what I found. Was it really necessary to take so much?
The Inside
Anyway I eventually began the task. What a mammouth job. Four weeks later and I am still at it.
One of the reasons it is taking so long is I have been looking for suitable cleaning agents at reasonable prices, particularly for the stainless steel hob of the oven. 
I have been doing quite well and so I am now beginning to re-stock the cupboards.  This is taking almost as long as the clearing out.  Far longer than I anticipated:-
  • do I actually need it?
  • is this the  most precipitious place for it?
  • does it too require a once over?
Me cleaning the outside
I have so nearly finished. Just the stove to clean. (Hope the new product I purchased works!)    When that is done at least I will be able to go away in my motorhome. I can clean the outside later.
The window cleaners offered to do this for £20. Seems a good deal to me as they will undoubtedly clean the roof better than I can, even though I use a ladder.  All I will have to do then is polish it.
Should the weather hold up could all be done by the next entry. Let's hope so!!!