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

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Wet, Wet, Wet

No this is not a boy band appreciation page it is merely a comment on the recent weather. I say recent but it seems that it has been raining intermittently for many many weeks if not months. I have a recollection that whilst we were away in Poland during the summer enjoying lovely hot sunny weather, comments were made about the exceptionally wet summer in Britain. How lucky were we!

A beach in Poland
In recent weeks blue sky has been as scarce as hens’ teeth. The cloud cover has been obstinately low and dark and we have experienced every kind of rain from mizzle (a mixture of drizzle and mist) to unremitting deluges. In fact there was one occasion when every single road out of the village was flooded.  Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour I did not attempt to drive through the deep water and returned home and informed people that I was flooded in. Fortunately this situation was soon rectified though caution is needed as the roads are still very drenched.

Out walking with the dogs is not very enjoyable. Wellington boots are de rigueur. (We have used them so much recently that we have found it necessary to purchase new ones for all the family). Walking over the fields is like skating as the probability of slipping and sliding about and ending up covered with mud is high.

In other fields there is a musical accompaniment. With each step there is a wheeeeze as your foot sinks into the ground and the sodden earth slithers over your boot. Then as you pull the other foot out there is a squeeeelchhhh as the soggy earth clings to your footwear and oh so reluctantly slides off, leaving a thin coating of brown droplets clinging on.  Short walks become marathons and everything becomes coated in mud.

Campsite beside a river
This prolonged spell of wet weather has quenched my desire to go out in the van.  I am a bit wishy-washy in the rain especially in the van.  Space to dry wet clothes is limited and the dogs odour when wet is pungent. In the confined space of the van it is overwhelming and not very pleasant.
I can only sit here and imagine how challenging campsites must be finding this prolonged wet spell. It must be taxing times for them especially those which operate with a proviso “depending on the weather”. Similarly those sites close to a river must be finding these times worrying.
I do hope there is an improvement in the weather in the New Year. I hope that my wish to go away for a few days can at last be realized.

Monday, 17 December 2012

.An Important Day

Whilst walking the dogs this morning I was reflecting on the sad fact that since my return from Poland in September I have not been away in my motorhome. As my eldest daughter is visiting us from overseas for the holidays it does seem inevitable that it is going to be a few more weeks before there is an opportunity for me to go out in the van.

So unequivocally it is going to be 2013 before I am off visiting pastures new.

So another year rapidly fades away.

This train of thought rattled on flagging up the impending years 2014, 2015, 2016. Unexpectedly at 2016 my mind came to a sudden halt and I did a quick calculation.  1976 to 2016 is a span of 40 years.  Astonishingly it is nearly 40 years since my memorable bus trip from London to Sydney.

In a flash it occurred to me that a way to mark this significant event would be to go back to Australia.  I could travel around in a motorhome and possibly meet up with some of the other passengers who were on that amazing trip. It may even be possible to find a motorhome exchange. Instead of renting a motorhome I could find one that belongs to an Australian to use and in exchange they could use mine to tour Europe.

Definitely a proposal to seriously consider. With 3 years to plan and save it could materialize.  
Something special to look forward too.

Inevitably there is much to consider not the least of which is what to do with my trusty companions. No not my daughter who has in the past often accompanied my but the dogs Ruby and Amber. In 3 years time Ruby will be 14 years of age. A great age for a Labrador. Amber wil be 10. A not insignificant age for a Labrador. Whatever their age or the circumstances I will not be able to take them to Australia because of the quarentine laws, even if they managed the journey.

Also it will be strange travelling about totally on my own. On several of my trips in the UK and Europe my daughter has come with me. Whether she has come or not I have always had the company of the dogs. What a great comfort are they. Though I may be the only human on some of our outings when the dogs are with me I do not feel alone. I have no reservations travelling about with the dogs for company. I am not sure what I feel about travelling around just on my own.  A new challenge.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Driving a motorhome

There are many different types of motorhomes. Many of them are bigger than a car for obvious reasons. When it comes to driving a motorhome it can be a unique experience.

I have had a driving licence for more years that I care to count. In fact I still have the old A4 size green one. (How this can be taken as any kind of identification staggers me. It looks like a document that has been cobbled together on an old “John Bull” printing set. Does anyone remember them????)

Anyway according to my driving licence I can drive a whole range of vehicles including quite large vans.
So I can drive my motorhome.
Unfortunately this does not make the driving of it any easier.

When we first got the van my husband just loved driving it. However he did not much enjoy staying in it. As for me I did not especially enjoy driving it but I just loved going away in it. Bit like "Jack Sprat" but not nearly so convenient.
So initially I did not drive it very much, just now and again to get the feel of it.

Gradually it dawned on me that if I wanted to go away more often I was going to have to bite the bullet and go on my own.  This of course meant that I would have to drive the van myself for the whole of the journey.
So one fine day I took the plunge, loaded the van, took the dogs and set off.

I went to a campsite just a few miles away. I carefully selected the time and route so that there would be little traffic.

All the way there my heart was in my mouth. It was such a relief to arrive. I enjoyed my few days stay but then I had the drive back to contend with. That too I managed, but again during the journey my heart was working overtime. Parking outside the house was such a relief. However I did feel I had achieved something exceptional.

My husband too was relieved that I had returned home safely.  I think that deep down he was a bit disappointed.  Now there was nothing to stop me going again.