Thursday, 30 September 2010

Ghostly Goings On, China in a China shop! & Campers Toe!

Firstly forgot to mention an amusing occurrence yesterday, on our way back from the South Coast, we happened to have to call in to Salisbury Auction Rooms, as there was a grassy area, decided that it would be a good idea to let "China" have a quick pee break, so off she trotted and did her business. Now being the loyal and obedient dog that she is, when called to get back in the car she made a dash for the open door of the sale room and darted inside!

In hot pursuit I call her name, not that she was listening, however, many of the porters and workers at the auctioneers were, and looked at me as if I had gone off my rocker, I guess a portly chap dashing in through their sale room doors shouting "China" - "China" where there so happened to be an abundance of it, may of seemed slightly strange! I was waiting for some wise crack to shout out its over there on a shelf, but I didnt hang around long enough to listen.

How could I do anything wrong? - And will you please stop putting eye liner on me!

Now then, I think I have mentioned before about ghostly goings on in the van, well last night I am 100% sure of closing all the blinds in the front (all three). If you accidently let go they make a hell of a rattle as they are highly sprung and a bit on the viscious side. So why didnt we hear them popping up during the night - explain that one!

Im a light sleeper, and would wake if a frog croaked, so not sure at all how it happens!? We have some movement sensors, I may rig one up if Im feeling brave enough, Ive got one somewhere, we bought it whilst we were in a last house as strange things happened there. If we put if out in the hall it would go off for a past time! Draughts didnt set it off or vibration, only if you broke the beam! Very strange, but it was an old house in the heart of Shaston, so who knows!

Campers Toe!

I think its welly boot time, my toes seem to be permanently wet. Im not sure if Campers Toe is the correct medical name for it, but it seems apt so Im sticking with it!

Campers Toe!
Travelling back last night, I managed to catch a couple of rainbows, we had had some heavy rain and as the sun was shining - hey presto!

Vew from our awning!
Sunrise this morning! The mist just clearing.
Spider City! Thick with cobwebs!
Off to tap keys again, so dont forget to take a look at the following  lots of lovely items, and always a fresh collection of new items weekly!

Should really mention my own, especially if you like books!

Till later.........

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


An interesting day, spent as a minder to a load of silver!

Went down to Bobs to do some listing, next thing Im off to a location on the South Coast with a load of silver to be sold as scrap! Well it got me out of the office for the day so cant complain!

Ive put Bobs ebay site in the "favourite links" section, please take a look as he always has some amazing stuff on, if your too lazy to hoover your mouse to the right its -  take a look its definately worth it, but if you do buy anything tell him where you saw the link please!!

We bought from ebay (where else) yesterday a portable twin tub washing machine! Ok, its not going to wash a duvet, but it will make life easier, doing shirts and the like. Looking forward to it arriving and having a play! Cost £62.99 including delivery, considering its £89.99 I think in Argos a bit of a bargain. I do love a bargain! So it says just add hot water! How simple can it get. We all ready have a spare aquaroll that we used to use as a waste, so we can use that to pump the water out and into.

Still havent sorted out where we are going to go yet after the 10th Oct, the phones just rang out, and one that I got through to said they no longer did camping as the owner had died - whoops, cheers Caravan Club for still having that in your book! Why dont they produce a yearly or even 6 monthly book, we pay enough for membership - Or is that too much to ask?

Its been pouring down with rain today, lifted all the mats off the breathable groundsheet before we left, wise move me thinks!

Crane flys otherwise known as Daddy Long Legs, or annoying little F****rs! We must of had the whole population of the New Forest in our awning last night, then they managed to somehow squeeze over the top of the fly screens and still get in the van! How can something with such poor flying skills still manage to get in! But what ever you do, dont accidently let go of the door fly screen so that it flys back! - As an insect trap its very good, but oh - what a mess when you pulled the door back, legs everywhere! eeeeewwwww!

I guess it was a bad mistake leaving the light on in the awning, or maybe it was their monthly masonic meeting, instead of rolling up their trouser legs they just leave one or two behind!

So home to the van now to do battle with more of the little blighters, and of course the ever present ear-wigs, oh and delights of delight before I have my tea empty the cassette! Hope we dont have chocolate custard for pudding!!!! ENOUGH!!!

Till later........

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Tues 28th September

Travelled into Poole last night to collect the aquaroll we won off of ebay, and got back to the van just after 7.00pm. Filled it up with water and there it sat next to its mate, waiting to be hooked up in time of need.

Paul Jones on Radio 2 - blues night! Oh yes with a good sprinkling of old and new blues. Followed by Radcliffe and Maconi (?) not sure of spelling! If you have never listened to them, tune in, they have a dry sense of humour, bordering on the bizarre!

Another early night, it seems to be the habit, I used to survive on 5 hrs sleep a night, but now its 8 plus and Im still knackered!

"M" hopped in the shower first thing this morning, and guess what - we run out of water, 2 aqua rolls and I didnt check before she got in to make sure the full one was hooked up - whoops!

Ive been in Shaston all day today, and its been warmer outside than inside my lockup! Ive got a wood burning stove with a length of flue that goes up the chimney, so will have to get some wood cut and get that fired up. Its made out of an old gas bottle, and I bought it from - guess where - yes - ebay! It works a treat. We have even taken it away with us camping as the burner gets very hot and it chucks out some amount of heat, and its a no mess option, just stand it on a couple of bricks and there is no mess at all, and no singed grass - keeps site owners happy and us warm!

Dinky Wood Burner
I burn wood from old pallets, cut up with the jigsaw, they arent big lumps of wood, but they burn well.

Sale on ebay went better than I thought last night, so a few more pennies into the pot!

We have been discussing over the weekend places we want to go next year, top of the list is over to Ireland to see "M"s brother who lives over in the South West of the country, then upto to Northern Ireland, North of Belfast to see an old Army mate. We are not sure whether to drive over and camp using a tent!? (shock - horror) or tow the van, or slum it and stay in B&B's. plenty of time to suss it all out, so no rush yet. We have also been thinking about going over to America, as I have relatives in New Jersey, so only a plane ride away.

Not sure if any of it will happen, but, if we dont start to think about it, it definately wont!

Its coming up for nearly two months since I started this blog - hows it going?

Followers - thankyou all, have reached the dizzy heights of 14! but page views are through the roof, yesterday - Monday, we had over 500 page hits! So someone is watching us somewhere!

Enough from me for now.

Till later.........

Monday, 27 September 2010

Cider, Ironing & A Quick Trip To Hospital!

Now all of that does sound like a recipe for disaster, but, I can safely say this time it wasnt me requiring medication!

"M" woke up sat morning, saying something has bit me on my eye lid, well, it certainly looked like it had, within no time it had puffed up and was sore! By Sunday morning it was red raw and gunge was coming out of it. Only one thing for it, off to the eye department to have it looked at.

But first, after "M" had donned sunglases to hide her new features we did a quick trip around ashley car boot sale, reasonabley large, but nothing but dealers and rubbish being sold at astronomical prices! I think people have forgotten what car boots are all about, a place to get rid of all your unwanted items as cheaply as possbile, hence selling more and making more money, not charging mad prices for things fit for the bin!

So arrived at the hospital, got checked in, but they did make me laugh as they said that we should of made an appointment, oh, sorry next time we will arrange to be biten at a time convenienent  with the nurse shall we!

Is the world going mad or is it just me!?

Anyway got it sorted out and "M" is now bathing and rubbing some sort of gel into it.

Whilst we were at Bournemouth hospital, I took the opportunity to take a mooter on the old porcelain! Ahhh, shame I didnt bring my book, could of happily sat there for a while in total comfort! Only thing was, no coat hook, hat and jacket had to go on the floor!

Well, they charged us £1.00 to park, so I made sure I got my moneys worth!

Eye in a puffy state!
As you can see I am domesticated, this is now our laundry shop - Ill do 3 shirts for a fiver!

Domesticated - 3 shirts for a fiver?
Latter on Sunday, Gully came over as he is looking at buying a caravan, and as there was one local thought Id be good to give it a once over! Off we set, it was parked up open ready for us to take a look around. A 20 year old bailey lunar 4 berth, but make that a 3 berth as the table was missing and so was the bunk bed! Made me laugh as the owner had described it as having two bedrooms!

The legs were up, so gingerly, (excuse the pun as he is) climbed in to inspect. Now we had all ready decided that as the legs werent down and both of us being rather portly we shouldnt stand together for risk of a tip up. So all was well for the first 5 minutes till we forgot our own advice and had the see-saw effect! Hoping that no-one had seen us, or that any one could here us laughing we decided that the van wasnt for him, as it had seen rather alot of action, and at £995 was asking alot, £400 and it wouldnt of been too bad. There was quite a few things wrong with it, couldnt find any signs of damp, but was looking very tired.
Full Set Up
This is us with the complete set up, taken Saturday morning in lovely sunshine. Only 2 caravans on the site, surely this must be Dorsets best kept secret! And as we love it here and want it to remain empty for our next visit will be keeping it a secret as well!

Our Neighbours, Oh there arent any!!!
On the Saturnday we went for a walk through Moors Valley Park, its on the edge of the New Forest with loads of walk and trails to follow, China loved it as she could go off the lead and run around mad!

Moors Valley Park - Walk For Miles
Its been a bit of a boozy weekend, nothing too mad, but enough to make you sleep well, sampled some cider that I hadnt seen before. An aquired taste, had better, but had alot worse, at least there was no bits floating in it which is always a good sign when drinking cider.

Thatchers Green Goblin 6%
Sleeping with her tongue out! A worn out dog!
A lovely relaxing weekend! Back to it today, back tapping keys again, Ive got a few books finishing tonight and they are doing well, so fingers crossed for a good sale later!

We have decided on where we want to go next, so tomorrow we will be planning our next 4 weeks, and we are all ready thinking about Christmas, and where we will be for that. Waiting to hear back from "M"s mother as to what plans may be. We cant leave it too late to book anywhere, not sure if sites will be busy or not? Suspect not, but you never know!

Ive won an aqua roll & handle,  should be picking it up either this evening or tomorrow, this will make my life easier - £9.99 good old ebay! Why would you buy from any where else!!

Till later.........

Friday, 24 September 2010

30th Consecutive Night In The Caravan!

Its our 30th night tonight! The time has absolutely flown by, and so far its all be fairly easy!

So a few stats for you: Total cost of campsites stayed in over the month of Sept is £208.50 and are only outgoing so far has been for a 6kg bottle of propane at £19.00 A bit different from our £550 pm rent plus all the bills!

So have we made the right decision?

We asked ourselves a few questions to find out.

Are we financially better off? - Yes!

Are we more relaxed and destressed? - Yes!

Are we sleeping like the dead at night, due to no late night revellers or road traffic? - Yes!

Are we enjoying life alot more? - Yes!

Are we happy? - Yes!

We havent watched tv once, we both watched a dvd one night but "M" fell asleep within 10 mins and as I had watched it before turned it off shortly afterwards!

We talk, listen to the radio, read, enjoy our food with a little drink, and generally relax in the evenings - bliss!

Travelling back from Shaston on Thursday evening, I had to stop and take this picture, hope you like it! I loved the colours!

30 secs later - the sun had gone!
Well, the weekend is nearly upon us, Im just wrapping things up here in Shaston, then heading back, not alot planned, probably going to Ashley Heath car boot sale on Sunday, so up bright and early, so will be having a few ciders tonight.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Till later........

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Maybe Im mistaken but....

Maybe Im mistaken, but, I thought the whole idea of a ground sheet was to stop you from getting wet feet?

Well after a down pour of rain this morning I squelched my way from one end of the awning to the other and we now have puddles, not so much that it would satisfy a duck, but still a few puddles! Its a breathable brand new ground sheet, I didnt realise it would be taking deep breaths and sucking up water and dispositing it on the wrong side!

So either we have a dud groundsheet or its meant to happen, if anyone can shed any light on this it would be much appreciated!

The tumble drier is now in the awning, the freelander being restored to its rightful purpose of splashing through puddles. (Thats on the road not in our awning)!

Back in Shaston all day today, "M"s long weekend off, so will be having a few ciders tonight as we dont have to get up early tomorrow

Nothing planned for the weekend, maybe off on Sunday to Ashley Heath car boot sale - depending on the weather, just to see if there is any hidden treasure lurking!

If you have any gold or silver you wish to dispose of, let me know, can offer you a better price than anyone off of the tv adverts!!!!

Got to get some more work done today, this blogging can certainly take up a bit of time!

So, till later......

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Awning Hell!

Well, no records broken last night putting the awning up!

We couldnt find the diagram for laying out the poles, so by a process of elimination, scratching heads, and getting wound up, we managed to get the awning up - I was still hitting in tent pegs in the dark, so not terribly impressed!

But, its up now, so worth it in the end!

Daddy long legs, seem to be getting every where, in the shower, in my car, and in my cereal! They appear to have the flying ability of a lama no direction, and no contingency plan if they get it wrong! Evolution must of skipped them by, as I can see no logic in anything that they do!

Ive been at Bob's today tapping keys, he will shortly have a splendid collection of Masonic jewels for sale on ebay.

This Friday will be our 30th night in the caravan! Not sure where the time has gone, it has flown by. So far it has all been easy, lets hope things stay this way!

Tonight Im taking back a few things to fill out the awning like Chinas wicker dog bed, and the bookcase, plus anything else that I trip over in the lock up!

I havent really cleared much out of the lock up yet, its fit to bursting still, but am looking at another lockup in Ringwood which would be in addition to what we have all ready which would ease the situation. However, I dont think it would take long to fill it!

First thing this morning I took a trip in to Matchams car boot sale, it started at 6.00am but I got there around 7.30am, to be honest not alot there, which was a little disappointing, but unless you go you never know. Met another dealer who I know, but that was it, left and went home and had Cherios with daddy longs legs swimming in it!

Tapping keys again now, just for an hour, then off back, so..

Till later.........

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mobile Laundry 20th Aug 2010

Didnt get chance to get the awning up last night, but as "M" had done the laundry run, I brought back the tumble dryer, well its free electricity!

However, before we plugged it in, I did check using an Ohms law calculator, (just google it and you will find it) what Amps it would draw, knowing that we can go upto a maximum of 16 on site, anything less would not blow the junction box.

All you need to know is the wattage of your appliance and the volts, so going on the basis that the tumble dryer was 2200 watts and the site supply was 230volts, then 2200 divided by 230 = 9.56 Amps - So safe to use as long as nothing else was being run, just to be on the safe side!

So now you can work out all your appliances so that you dont trip your ehu box next trip out!

Just one thing not all site supplies run at 16 amp, some are alot lower, so always wise to check with the owners!

Landrover Laundry Version
Dont need to worry about the hose! Venting to great outdoors!
Driving into Shaston this morning, it was foggy in places, but took this photograph from the lay-by halfway between Wingreen hill and Zig Zag Hill, simply magical!

Looking towards Shaston
Magical view, again towards Shaston
Off to tap keys all day today, and putting up the awning this evening, wonder if we will get it done quicker than last time!

Till later........

Monday, 20 September 2010

Berwick St John Country Fair 18th & 19th Sept 2010

So where were you?

What a great show, it was our last of the year, and without a shadow of a doubt the best!

A small show, but it had everything, Tractor pulling, steam ploughing, vintage tractor ploughing, vintage vehicles of all shapes and sizes, steam engines, trade stalls, and glorious weather, not forgetting the beer tent selling Thatchers Gold at £2.50 a pint!

Its only on every two years, but make a point of going if you can! It was free to get in with all donations going towards Dorset Kidney Trust?

We had a fantastic time, our friend Gully made an appearence on Friday evening, one to many ciders wiped him out for a repeat performance on the sat night (thankfully) as I was done in myself, suffering from cider fuzz for most of the next morning!

We arrived here Thurs after squeezing out of Walkford.

Took some photos, so heres the best ones -

Thurs eve witht the sun setting on an empty show ground!
The line of stationary engines
Traktor - Modine Mfg Co USA

International Catepillar plouging up hill.

Douglas All Wheel Drive Forest King
Sawing planks, circular saw driven by steam engine.
OTA 3 wheeled tractor - quirky!
Massey Ferguson - Designed for working the water cress beds.
International Junior Tractor
Bamford Open Crank Stationary Engine
Amanco Open Crank Stationary Engine
Saturday afternoon Cider Fuzz - An Exhibitor Sleeping It Off!
We stayed and watched everyone leave on Sunday evening, "M" cooked roast beef, roast potatoes and parsnips, cauliflower, peas and broccoli, with some rather good gravy! A few beers and we were both crashed out for 9.30pm!

"M" went off to work this morning, which left me with the task of packing up and and moving off to our next stop. We are back at our favourite site so far, not far from Horton/Wigbeth on the way to 3 legged cross. A lovely little secluded Caravan Club site, got set up in record time, and from where we are we have a view across fields, and you cannot see another caravan or house - heaven!

Everything is now becoming like clock work, regarding pitching and packing! We are here now for 3 weeks, awning going up asap, prob not this eve as "M" is off to the laundrette and Im working on for a bit. We are going to run the tumble drier out the back of the freelander tonight, Im bringing it back with me! Good job no one can see us!

Back now tapping the keys, and sorting out ebay after being away for a few days, so,

till later.........

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Thurs 16th Sept - Things are Tight!

Oak Cottage, Walkford, Christchurch, Dorset. Caravan Club listed site.

Well, it was a right old job getting out of that site, but firstly a few things to say about it.

The site was Oak Cottage, Walkford, nr Christchurch Dorset, a Caravan Club listed site, only 5 pitches, and the only good thing about it was that the pitches were a good size and level. However, as I have all ready mentioned, for us with a 7.8 metre caravan it was tight getting in and even worse getting out. I had to unhitch and a friendly caravaner helped me push her back to get a better angle then re-hitched straight to pull through the gateway! No mention of it being tight either in the book or when I called and booked. When I booked I was told it was £9.00 pn incl ehu, thats fine, but when "M" went to pay it had mysteriously increased to £10.00 pn incl ehu, not that its a big deal but with no confirmation letter etc, what can you do!

Filling up with water required donning a rain coat as a hose pipe was connected to the tap and the connection had more leaks than the CIA ! So you were covered in a fine mist depending on which way the wind was blowing, also I wasnt too impressed that the hose pipe was also being used to supply a horse with water and each time I went to refil the hose was sprawling all over the ground!

The elsan point, was a cover in the ground, with no tap nearby, that was situated back next to the drinking water tap! Lifted the cover off, and nearly threw up! It was stinking, it just wasnt clearing away, they must have a blockage somewhere! However, things got worse, swung out the nozel on the thetford cassette, forgot to take off the sliding top plate, tipped the cassette over the edge, and in slid the top plate! There was no way I could lean down in as A) it was too deep, and B) I would of been overcome by the smell! So with the help of two branches used them as tweezers and hauled the top plate out, washed it off, as I had luckily brought a 5 litre container full of water with me to sluice out the cassette. Trundled back to the van, thinking that of all the elsans Ive emptied into, that had got to of been one of the worst!

Now, Im a dog lover, we have one! "China" So am not worried or afraid of dogs, and as a responsible dog owner always have her on a lead, and always clean up after her. However, I do object to the owners dog being loose, therefore, having to keep "China" inside the van, and then their dog crapping in front of our car! Then to make matters worse, this morning it growled and started to bark at me! Very unfriendly, the owner called it in, but not a word of appology to me! If I had been afraid of dogs, I could of freaked out!

They also didnt mention that they had a railway line right next to the site! A tad noisy!

So Oak Cottage, hope you get to see this, as we for one will not be coming back to stay at your site! Personally for 3 nights Id rather find a site with no ehu in a big field!

It took a while to work my way over to Berwick St John Country Fair, but we are in, and settled with a lovely view out over the site and on level ground! Being one of the first in has its advantages, in fact we were 2nd in!

"China" not that impressed as its been recently cut from corn and the stubble is short and just about belly height, she tip toes about! Cant be nice getting spiked all the time!

Went to fill up with water, filled up the aqua roll, went to turn the tap off and the whole lot came off in my hand - honest guv'nor it just fell off! With no way to shut off the water I then had to go in search of an organiser. I did have a half hearted attempt and pushing it back on, but the pressure was too great, and I didnt fancy getting wetter than I all ready was!

I have a mate who's a plumber, I wont mention his name, but the thought did cross my mind if it was him who had installed the tap! Those of you who know us personally will know exactly who we are talking about!

We have also used up one whole 6kg bottle of gas today, not bad I guess, 21 nights of cooking, lots of cups of tea, and running the fridge and heating water for showers for 5 nights whilst off ehu.

This was one of the things that we were unsure, how much gas we were going to use. Not sure if that is good or bad so will keep an eye out over the next 3 weeks, to see if we use the same amount.

We have also sussed the oven not heating up, it was all down to operator error, and physics!

I didnt notice but when "M" was cooking the pork joint it was sitting low in the oven, as heat rises, this wasnt the best place for it to cook. We borrowed an oven thermometer, tried it out and on the top shelf it reached a respectable 200c. At least we now know nothing is wrong with the oven! "M" is concerned how we are going to roast a chicken as it will have to sit low to get it in the oven, my only answer was to run it over first then we could slide it under the grill. "M" not impressed with my humour!

Well back in Shaston today, to tap the keys and get some books listed, we have a guy coming over to collect the fridge/freezer this evening, it went for £82.00 a very good price!

They also came and collected our old caravan yesterday, and took it off to become a kids den! At least it will see some more life, before it finally has to go to the scrap heap!

More pictures of Berwick show later....

Oh and whats your excuse for not attending? Im pretty sure its a free entry, they just rattle a bucket under your nose for donations!

Till later.....

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Thurs 9th - Tues 14th Sept 2010 Harmans Cross Vintage Rally

Thurs 9th. A leisurely start to the day, and in the dry as well. We finally got away around 12ish. I was wondering how it would all tow now that we had the caravan fully loaded and I had the stationary engine in the back of the freelander. It all went rather well for the first 500 yards which is when we heard a grating sound coming from the caravan. The front left hand side locker door had sprung open and was dragging on the ground, luckily no damage, and we hadnt lost anything. The catch appears not to be catching! Managed to get it secured and off we set.

We got to the rally site at Harmans Cross, and it wasnt looking good with not a flat piece of field to be seen! The marshall said, "if you get a bit of speed up you should make it up the hill ok"! I politely asked if he had seen what we were towing and under no account was I attempting to get a bit of speed up over a lumpy old field! So we took a look and found an alternative route and the last levelish spot!

Get some speed up! I dont think so!
View from Steam Train heading into Swanage, we are in the middle with the roof vent up! (also the biggest van on site)!
Finally got her backed in with the clutch red hot! We are roped off from Jo Public on the grounds of health and safety, our tow hitch was only just inside the rope!

We got the engine out and covered and found out from the people next door that it was a three day event. Hope the weather gets better.

Once we were sorted, a quick trip into Swanage to stock up on essential supplies, Cider and red wine for "M".

Woke on Friday to a very overcast day and a bit blowy, but at least it dried the grass off as it was rather long. Not many exhibitors here, I saw 6 tractors and 9 lorries/vans but one of those is a Sherpa van (vintage)? A number of cars are starting to arrive along with motorbikes, and I reckon so far around 20 or so stationary engines.

Sherpa van - Vintage?
David Brown Tractor - Very Classy!
Its a very small show, so small that if we had put up our awning it would of dwarfed the beer tent!

By 1pm we hadnt even uncovered the engine, as we are not allowed to start them up unless the rope is up, I finally gave it a 10 minute run just after 4pm.

Manston 34028

That evening we took the steam train into Swanage, only a 10 minute ride, and had a wander around. The folk festival was on, so off we trotted to take a look, but no music playing and all the stalls seemed to be selling tye dyed hippy gear and silly hats, so left the bearded and hairy women to it and strolled into town!

Upto the viewing point above the town, a bit grey so the pictures didnt come out to good, but you get the idea. Lovely!

Looking West
Looking East
China blending into her surroundings! (its a mural painted on a wall)
"M"s birthday today, perfume, card and tea in bed, thats her not me by the way!

Back at the show, and Sat was busier, had our engine running for 6 hours non stop with no problems at all.

Sunday, lovely warm sunshine and loads more cars turned up, my two favourites were the daimler and the little Austin pickup, Ive also included the Fiat X19 as I didnt think many were around still after being such a rust bucket, this one was in pretty good condition! And a Ferret Scout car.

Austin Pickup

Lovely Daimler
Fiat X19 (Not rusted out)!

Ferret Scout Car
Not alot of room inside!

Our engine ran faultlessly all weekend, here it is in all its glory!

Wolseley WD II Sheep Shearing Machine - running a Lister domestic pump capable of 250 gallons an hour!
"M"s daughter and son in law came over to see us as well, on the Saturday, which was nice for "M" it was the first time they had seen the van or our engine, I think they were a little taken back by the size of the van!

We ventured over to the beer tent to see what the band was like on Sat evening, we didnt hang around long, if you like folk/morris dancing then these guys were for you, but for us, we headed back to the van and the sound of Muddy Waters & John Lee Hooker, washed down with wine and cider.

Woken at 8.30 by noisy neighbours, and then at 9.30 they started their engines up! Didnt get ours up and running till after 10am.

Its our last night here, we are off to Walkford, near Christchurch, for 3 nights its not far from the sea, so looking forward to a stroll down to see it.

We did witness a magnificant site, as the show had closed, we watched as 5 steam engines all coupled up went past whistling, it sent shivers down the back of my spine. Not very often do you get to see that sort of a display!

So all in all a very good show, thank you to Bournemouth Preservation Society for hosting it and making it all come together and Swanage Railway for providing the free passes for us. You can find out more about Swanage Railway at its all run by volunteers, and I must say it is exceptional!

This has been our 6th rally this year, we missed two in August due to having to pack up the house etc, but next year, we will be flat out with them! Just one more to go at Berwick St John Country Fair. Looking forward to that as its my local show.

Being one of the only ones left on the site is a bit eerie, its very quiet! We have been on battery for 4 nights and the meter is still reading 12volts, and thats with two showers a day and the lights. So we are now looking into doing a 5 night stay with no EHU on a site costing £3.50, so saving even more money! I dont mind doing it whilst it is still fairly mild, but not once it gets colder as I dont want the condensation associated with using the gas fire.

Our aqua roll cap has split so leaks when full, luckily Ive a spare back at base, but a bit of araldite will sort out the split so no dramas.

We have also discussed getting a small awning/porch for when we are doing short stays, as it would be handy to have somewhere to hang coats, muddy boots etc. Have seen some that we like so will be looking into that asap!

Our friend Gully when he came over the other weekend, brought some Stagg Dynamite Hot Chilli. It does exactly what it says on the tin! Pretty tasty but not for the faint hearted. Buy at your peril!

Within an hour I was farting flames, "M" not impressed, bad enough in the house, but in the caravan! WINDOWS OPEN NOW!

Monday we woke to an empty field, packed up, legs up, and off we go again! That was our 18th night in our new van and still no serious dramas!

Trundled over to Walkford, and pitched up, a bit tight getting in, not too sure how we are going to get out again, but will worry about that when the time comes! Then back to Shaston to drop the engine off, over to Gillingham to collect more toilet fluid that had just arrived, as we were very low.  Dropped by to see my mate Jim Adams, the best joiner in the world. If your needing any joinery work done and you havent any plans drawn up, then Jim is the man. He can make anything out of wood! We got some thick lengths of wood to level up the van if required and some blocks for the legs. Cheers Jim! Then back down to Walkford, for pasta and wine. "M"s son and daughter showed up and stayed for an hour.

Tuesday morning and Im back in Shaston tapping the keys, and trying to catch up. Our fridge freezer sold for £82.00 and our beloved caravan is off to become a kids den for the sum of £261.00 which we are over the moon with as we bought it 1 1/2 years ago for £157.00 and that included 2 aqua rolls, a thetford toilet, and two gas bottles, which were not included in the sale this time!

Well reckon Ive caught up with myself again, off to Bobs tomorrow for more antique listing then Thursday off to Berwick to set up - its all go!

Till later....

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Stationary Engine Loaded!

Spent the day listing antiques, cheers Bob for the Pork Pie and Dohnuts! We know how to live healthly!

Got back to Shaston and loaded the stationary engine in single handedly, no mean feat, it weights approx 150Kg, its on a trolley but the steel wheels have a mind of their own, and swivel at the front. With a great deal of effort managed to get it into the back with the use of my ramps.

Strapped down well, as you certainly dont want it tipping over as you round a corner! It would make a bit of a mess!

Only two more shows to go this year! This one is being run inconjunction with Swanage steam railway, it should be a great weekend, we also have "M"s daughter and son in law joining us, as its "M"s birthday weekend, so it should be a good one.

We are there from Thursday lunchtime till Monday morning, 4 nights of free camping, with evening entertainment thrown in at the beer tent.

No ehu so we are going to see how long the battery holds out! This is where we could do with a generator to top up the battery. Will have to get one for next year!

Well, all packed here, just need to get a card, my present arrived yesterday, (thanks ebay) so all in hand which makes a real change for me!

Anyway, loads of pictures on my return as we will be off air till tuesday!

Till later.......

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Roast Pork, Wet Awning & Time Wasters!

Weather nothing special at the moment, so in between showers we managed to get the awning down, a little damp but not seriously wet, so we should be ok! We managed to wipe it down as we went, but must admit to it being a bit of a mystery as to how to get them back into their bags again!

Ive never seen so many earwigs before, they were all hiding inbetween the zips!

Roast Pork, last night, talk about a drama, a small joint of pork should of taken 1 1/2 hrs max to cook but in our cooker it took nearly 4 hrs! Whats all that about!? All the jets were on full blast, and it appeared to be kicking out some heat, but it was just a mega slow cook. So we need to get that looked at, not sure what the problem is or even could be, so if any one has any bright ideas feel free to let us know, as thats a tad to long to wait for my roast! Luckily I wasnt having pre-dinner drinks or I would of been lashed right up by the time it was served!

As we have said our old caravan is up for sale on ebay at the moment, a guy phoned me over the weekend, arranged to view it this morning, I travelled over to where we are keeping it, I called him to see where he was and he said he had changed his mind as the price was going up! Not to sure what he meant by going up, but Ive just checked and its at £46.00 so if thats out of his price range all ready, perhaps he should be looking at getting a load of bin bags together a few sticks and making a tent! So my morning had been wasted by him! Cheers!

Actually a bit disappointed with google today, Ive noticed that the adds that google display match the wording that is written in the blog, so when I wrote about the churches, we had a couple of adds by Billy Graham?, asking us to donate to his brand of christianity and how to become a missionary in Africa, so when I wrote about a murder yesterday, I was looking forward to see what sort of adverts that would attract. As you can see, not what I was expecting! Come on google, pull your socks up (here come the sock adverts)!

Better get off to do some work, as its gone 2pm and nothing achieved yet!

Till later.......

Monday, 6 September 2010

There's Been A Murder! And we saw it!!!

More about the murder in a minute! You need to read the other part of the blog first! I know such a tease!

We had on Saturday night one of my oldest and best friends coming over and staying the night with his young lad Thomas! He turned up bearing gifts of chocolate, champagne and some fine ale! His camper van is off the road at the moment with ecu problems which is different from emu or gnu problems, but only just. Having an emu as a problem on a merc van would probably be cheaper! So he drove over in his disco, after we said no probs you can have the annex - once you have helped me put it up!

Out with the annex, poles all laid out, 1 bloody missing! We did manage to bodge it and managed to get it up using only 2 roof supports rather than 3 but as a result it has bent the main pole on the main awning. So not terribly impressed. I have contacted the dealer this morning and they are looking into - phone just went, it was the manufacturer of the awning who are sending me a new pole out today - Well done Durema (not sure of the spelling)!

Lopsided annex after bodging poles to get it up!
A baggy looking inner tent! (note bookcase with fresh basil growing)

Had a good night, and amazingly didnt feel like death the next day! Mikki cooked some wicked chilli chicken fajitas washed down with some fine ale, the champagne and some cider brewed by the devil himself!

Sunday was spent lazing around, Mikkis mum and her partner came over to see our van for the first time, not too sure what Mikkis mum made of it all, her main comment based on nothing was that we will be cold in the winter!

Wonder if that means we wont be getting many visits!

Back to the murder! It happened right outside our door as well! It was around 9.00pm it was dark and the wind was picking up a little, a few drops of rain could be heard pitter pattering on the roof, (with lines like that I should right a thriller)  we were both outside in the awning noticing that we had managed to attract a large amount of spiders in various shapes and sizes. Some had woven webs, others just dangling around, and the some running around over the flooring! By the door was a rather splendid web and sat in the middle was a reasonably large spider with black and white stripped legs, he looked the business, so I certainly wasnt going to mess with him, after earlier in the year being bitten by a spider and my hand going numb! I kid you not, it was bloody painful as well!

Anyway, watching this spider another smaller spider tent - itively (excuse the pun) climbed onto the web, crawled upto the other spider and attacked it, it did this at least a dozen times, resulting in the death of the large black and white stripped spider! We left them to it, with the big spider screwed up in a ball, and the other smaller one, climbing all over it! This morning, the equivilent of a clean up squad must of arrived as not a shred of evidence is left, the two spiders, complete with the web has totally vanished! A bit of a james bond assassination type squad thing going on in the spider world! And its happening out side our door!

Other creepy crawlies are earwigs, and they are massive, at least they are not re-arranging the furniture  - yet, but they are rather large.

I guess if your a little screamish, camping is not for you, must admit as I said earlier, after being bitten earlier this year, am not a great fan of spiders anymore! It would be an endless task to try and get rid of them, so thank goodness for flyscreens!

If it remains dry today the awning is coming down, as we are due to move on Thurs!

Had a bit of a mishap with the car, forgot to close the windows up, so key in ignition, lent in did the windows up, forgot to take key out - yep - flat battery! Gully towed me up the track trying to bump start it, it would start but as soon as the clutch went down the engine died. Quickly solved the problem as it was the immobiliser kicking in, just enough juice to de-activate it and she fired up straight away, took her for a trip round the area to give it a recharge, fired up ok today!

In Shaston today, and when we get back later we will be trying out the oven for the first time by cooking roast pork with all the trimmings! Oh yes!

More on the packing of the awning, roast pork and spider murders later.....

Sunrise 6.30am Monday Morning
Our Fiat 500 1.4 Sport - Rocket on Wheels!
Not sure why I included the car on here, I just like looking at it so added it! Its my blog!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

T-Bone Steaks, Aspall Cider & Churches! Saturday 4th August 2010

T-bone Steaks, Aspall Cider & Churches, but only 2 out of the 3 can I be associated with on a regular basis!

Got back to the caravan last night had a few ciders, one of which happened to be a bottle of (Aspall Dry Cider 7%), we thought we would try out the nearest pub to us which is Drusilla's Inn at Wigbeth. A lovely little country pub which still caters for the locals but does wicked food! Not only that but they have Aspall's on draught at a slightly easier on the head 5.5%. How was that for coincidence! T-bones were on the special board so we both had those and I had a few pints of Suffolks finest cyder! They also do Stowford Press for the lightweights!

You can find them at well worth a visit, we didnt book, but it is a busy pub so booking a table would probably be advisable.

Back in Shaston again, (Sat) via our first camp site at West Orchard to buy more eggs! On the way back I stopped and took pictures of the village church at West Orchard, then at East Orchard. Funny how you go by a place many times in your life, but never stop to take a proper look, well from now on, I'm aiming to do this on a regular basis. Little gems like these, tucked away, right under our noses!
West Orchard Church
East Orchard Church St Thomas
The grounds of St Thomas's church are tip top with not a blade of grass out of place. Whoever looks after this deserves a pat on the back!

Best get on to do some work now - or will do once hooked the coleslaw out of my keyboard!

Till later......