Friday, 29 July 2016

What Have We Been Up To?

It has been a crazy few weeks, just as the end of the school year always is, quite a bit of admin to finalised.  I have also taken on a new role, visiting new learners in their homes, doing the initial interview, risk assessments etc and then finding a teacher to match the learner's needs.  That has been really interesting. I am still only doing a couple of days a week and a lot of the admin can be done from home sitting in my lovely wheelhouse.

Pete has converted his work van into a micro camper van.  We planned on touring the West Country in our tent but we saw some similar campers on Pintrest and thought it was a great idea for an overnight stay somewhere.  We could have bought a kit ready done for about £500 but Pete said 'I'm not paying that!' so out came the tools.  We reckon, including a new futon mattress, that it has cost about £100 all in, so quite a saving.

It actually gives us more room for camping gear too using the van, as my poor little car was packed to the rafters last year.

So we have now left for our holidays.  The first site we stayed on was near Brighton and we had booked and paid for three nights.  At first it had great potential; it had great reviews, was behind a country pub that served wonderful food (and it did, we tried it) and it looked so pretty and well maintained.  Unfortunately it was also under a flight path for Heathrow/Gatwick and on a main road.  For country bumpkins like us, that meant three nights of no sleep.  Also the toilet and showers were not cleaned at all for the three nights, so we won't be going back :(

Now we have found a real gem of a campsite in Wiltshire.  The toilets and showers are beautifully clean, there is no noise (not even from military planes).  We have friends in the area and have managed to wangle ourselves an invite to a BBQ tomorrow afternoon which will be fun.  Look at our views from the front of the tent.

And today the sun has come out, a real bonus!  We do like a quiet life and are quite happy to do a bit of exploring and then back to the tent to BBQ a simple meal and enjoy just lazing around listening to the radio or reading.  More about our trip to follow ......


  1. Thanks for the share! Love reading your blog!

  2. How lovely to be off and camping, Fran! I think Pete's camper van is brilliant too. Do you use it to sleep in or is that the tent? The views of where you are in Wiltshire are too lovely. Have a wonderful holiday and I hope you can relax for a good spell in good weather!

  3. It must be so disappointing to find a place that looks nice only to find it isn't.

  4. It has been several years since I went camping, probably more fingers and toes than I have ;-) Well yes, I used to sleep in a tent and breakfast in a hotel thus having the best of both worlds.
    Enjoy yourselves Fran.

  5. Oh, it's nice to be gypsies for awhile, isn't it? Leaving our daily chores behind and hitting the road for an adventure. I like how you built up your van and when it rains, I am sure it is cozier than a tent. Now you don't have as much setting up and taking down either. Not only did you save money, but as all handymen know, they don't build the ready-made as well as you build it yourself. We wanted to get away this weekend, but our temperatures are up there . . . today it is 101 degrees in the shade. My sweet hubby is napping in his chair with the A/C going, LOL.
    Happy Camping!
    Connie :)

  6. The van reminds me of how my dad fixed a truck to be a camper. We bought the shell on the back, but he built wooden storage boxes at the front and two sides. Lids let us put things away, but have easy access. There were drawers at the back on both sides for cooking items and food storage. A table on a pedestal dropped down in the middle to make a bed and the cushions my mom made for the seats created the mattress at night. The camper was prefect, but the marriage wasn't as good. But no worries, I married his best friend and we've been together now for 35 years. - Margy

  7. Fran !
    You must tell Pete to put a crane on the Barge
    so that You can do little excursion into the country
    side in Your camper van while boating the seaside.

  8. Val - we only use the van to sleep in if we stay just one night somewhere, other than that we are getting very quick at putting the tent up - forty minutes from arriving to sitting drinking tea is the record so far! Xxx

    DC - it was disappointing but the two campsites we have been at since have been real gems xxx

    Mel - you cannot beat being out in the open on a summer's evening, bbqing and watching the stars, heaven xxx

    Connie - now that is hot! The weather has cooled down a little here which is actually quite nice when you are sightseeing xxx

    Jo - thank you xxxx

    Margy - 35 years is amazing congratulations. We celebrate our 11th anniversary this week xxx

    Ib - great idea! Especially when we go over to Europe xxx

  9. Your camper van looks so much nicer than anything you could buy and it is unique just like your boat. I have enjoyed reading about your travels around England. I too haven't been to Bath for ages, I love that colourful art display! Peterchurch made me smile what a shame the pub wasn't open! Sarah x

  10. Sarah - that's a lovely compliment, thank you, I do like things to be a bit quirky xxxx