Counting down the days…

Times ticking by now and its only a matter of weeks before our journey begins, although trust me some days seem much longer and harder to get through than others.

Its been a mad and pretty stressful couple of weeks and I really seem to have been feeling the effects of it all, we’ve arranged for the house to be rented and most of the checks & regulations needed for this are complete and in place so that’s something we can tick off the to do list, Pete sold his car so we are now down to driving one car between us which wouldn’t you know it decided to then start playing up (pretty sure Pete broke it but he won’t  own up) still I managed to get that all fixed up with the help of the lovely people at Victor Barry’s garage Plympton in Plymouth and also with the help of my patient mum whose been driving me around on errands for a couple of days this week.

So yeah it seems to have been a week for repairs to get sorted, cars repair cost £120, my almost new glasses then had to be taken back and repaired due to my own negligence I managed to put a nice scratch upon one of the lenses so yeah leaving me another £70 lighter in the pocket, Pete seems to have been getting on with his own list of repairs he’s painted the workshop and garden walls repointed some bits here and there tidied the gardens and managed to arrange yet another builder to come sort the front of our house out quoted £1,000 personally I wonder if this is a waste of time and money seeing as we have been living here for the past 3.5yrs and never managed to get it done so far, now we are off Pete wants it done, Grrrrrr men… he calls it investment and I guess yeah to be fair we have to upkeep the property, we’ll just have to wait and see if the bloke does actually turn up to do the job as we have had many others promise to turn up and not bother, maybe it’s just our experience but lately trying to get someone reliable in to do repairs such as these seems a feat in itself I think over the last 12 months we must have called on at least that many builders etc to price up the job and no one seems interested in the work either the job is too small a job or not what they want to touch so in all fairness it does seem to have dragged on its purely cosmetic just a small matter of replacing some boarding and re-rendering.

Highlight of the weekend was meeting up at the Crooked Inn with Pete’s sister Karen and her hubby Graham, for a meal and having a good old catch up with them and my god on the menu they had lasagna just so happened I’d been fancying it all week and finally got it, amazing how the little things in life can make you happy turns out Pete left his card behind the bar after forgetting to get it back so we found ourselves having to go back and collect it a couple days later and managed to persuade Pete that we may as well get some food and allow the rush hour traffic to calm down so “yes, bagged another lasagna and a cheeky pint” crikey I’m on a roll this week.

I’ve had the last couple of days off work on holiday and to be honest it’s probably a damn good job I’d had them booked for weeks things were catching up with me and I’d also managed to hurt my leg (won’t bother with the gory details) but half of my mum’s time helping me with errands was trying to find somewhere I could get a full length leg support stocking bandage from to help the leg seem less painful, amazingly chemists round here don’t like to stock them and give them out unless a person has a doctors prescription for them… as crazy as it seems I wasn’t about to go book myself in for a doctor’s appointment to get some support stockings jeez, so we persevered and managed to find a chemist who would check and measure my leg and order what I needed to save me bothering my Dr and even save the NHS a few quid too.

mmmm… The conversation on what colour I would like them in was delightfully entertaining I mean wow who knew they came in a variety of 3 colours? (The chemist told me this but I’m not sure he was telling the entire truth as I’ve heard since you can get them in other colours), anyway the chemist a lovely young man then asks which colour I would like… with me and my smart mouth replying “look bud trust me on this it don’t matter what colour they are it ain’t exactly gonna bring sexy back, its not like I’m about to go publicly display the things is it…” All in all a pretty entertaining week!!!

Well enough of my ramblings for one day catch up with you all again soon take care,

Donna x

 

New Beginnings

15823668_10210420270037053_7884046444589769936_nHow to start a blog? Well, best get the introductions out of the way.  For those of you who do not know us there’s hubby, our dog and myself.  My name is Donna, my husband’s name is Pete and our mad dog is Toffi… (names/descriptions may change dependant upon mood).

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Our travel story started approx 3 yrs ago when “hubster” had a great idea about buying a campervan so we could up and go when we liked.  Ok, I thought, me having had a VW campervan in the past, I was aware of the advantages and was quite open to the idea of going off on little travels… We had limited funds as the idea was new to us, we hadn’t really planned on buying anything of the sorts until now.  So, off Pete set, making it his all encumbering job to find the perfect campervan to suit our needs and budget… “Oh boy was I in for a suprise!”

Now this is where the fun begins.  He’d found what I can only call a “right ole banger” of a campervan. I actually named it “The Beast”.  I’ve gotta admit every time I think of this van I still shudder… Pete being Pete talked me round to viewing the van…

The day came to view the camper, I gotta tell you I was less than impressed.  Pete however thought it was the dogs whatsits and even though I nagged him to go home and think about it he purchased it right there and then. Sighing I resigned myself to the idea of living for weekends in the smelly ole van.

I am informed it was a Talbot Express. We had never even heard of them before, but it turns out they are pretty popular.  We spruced it up as best we could, made it all comfy (or as comfy as a Talbot express could get) and off we set.

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It turned out we kept “the Beast” for about a year, tidied it up inside and out and had in all fairness, some amazing short trips in it, locally and around Devon and Cornwall.

The Talbot did us well, but soon became annoying, having to make up the multicushioned seats into a bed every day. Struggling while driving to go up hill at more than 10 mph also became tedious and to top it all the thing leaked like a sieve everytime it rained.  Going down the steep hill at Lynmouth with failing brakes was pretty entertaining too! In spite of all this we had now caught the travelling bug and soon we were thinking about selling the Talbot (that is after we had had the brakes repaired) and were then thinking of getting something a little more comfortable.

Our next Van was a converted LWB Iveco Daily (with a fixed bed).  How amazing after long walks and a few cheeky ones to be able to just fall into bed without having to mess around for 30 mins making it up.

The importance of van layout became apparent after a little experience, its amazing how much of a difference this makes to life and this now obviously also gained Pete bonus points on keeping the wife happy too.

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Many a happy trip was taken in this converted van.  We nicknamed her “Scampervan”. We travelled locally of course in Devon and Cornwall, on shorter trips and went further when time permitted, touring Dorset & Somerset, Wales, Yorkshire and the Lake district,
again having some fab trips and holidays away.

We then started getting ideas of travelling further away for longer periods and dreamed of travelling to other countries.  It’s been years since I had been abroad on holiday and the more we thought and discussed things the more ideas we came up with.

Pete was considering if he could perhaps think about retiring earlier.  All this thinking started giving us ideas and before we knew it we had practically settled on doing something along the lines of buying a suitable Motorhome and travelling Europe.

We started on working out our finances.  We had 2 properties between us, so we sold one and purchased our next home on wheels, a Rollerteam 265 Granduca.  We’ve now had our RT Granduca for about 6 months.  We’ve had Solar panels fitted and a Gaslow system installed so that we can use LPG instead of having to swap gas bottles.  When the gas runs out now we can now just top up at any LPG petrol station, amazing!

Pete is to take early retirement in August and I applied for a sabatical from work of which, surprisingly, they agreed to, starting beginning of Sept 2017 for 12 months.  The house will be rented out and we will begin our travels on 31st August 2017…

Donna