Sunday 28 February 2010

Show and Tell

We treated ourselves to a day out yesterday; we went to the Caravan & Boat show at the NEC, an excellent way to spend a rainy February day. Several thousand other people thought so too. Remembering Firkin Freezin when we spent the night at a jaunty angle, with the heating on full; we bought some thermal window blinds and bigger wheel ramps for the Kontiki and, wishfully thinking for the summer, a new awning.

The show itself was gob smacking, there were motorhomes, caravans, mobile homes, tents and awnings. Yachts, narrowboats, dinghies, canoes and a whole host of other stuff that has nothing to do with caravans or boats. There even seemed to be some stands left over from November’s Good Food Show but who can complain at another chance for some free sausages & toffee vodka?

We had a look round a brand new Kontiki, it was very sleek and curvy with a fixed bed and a garage, a whole world away from ours - as was the price tag! It was a great day and the piece de resistance was Ann-Marie’s fab new hat.

There were a few stands with electric bicycles, we first considered one when we saw them at Shackerstone Festival last September. We think a couple may be invaluable as cycling will be our only means of getting around when we’re on the boat. Also, it’s feasible for us to use them for getting to and from work at the moment, or at least when it stops raining – we just have to look into the funding as they don’t come cheap.

This weekend’s clearing out job was the little bedroom which we’ve used as an office and store room. We managed to reduce our bookshelves to just 4 boxes which we’ve packed up ready for storage and a small collection of novels and guides for our travels. The rest is ready for the yard sale at Easter.

We came across the slide projector and reunited it with the long lost screen which we found in the loft last week. Inevitably this led to a slide show of Dave’s RAF tour in Belize back in the 80s. We hope to have a return visit on our long way home from Oz.

Also this week we ebayed the Panda and Freecycled 4 old doors, little by little we’re moving towards our goal.  This week’s scores: Added to lists = 2, Ticked off list = 4, still winning!

Thursday 25 February 2010

The Cat Came Back

Wasn't that a 70s cartoon/song thing? The Swiss cheese in my head has little flashes of a small cartoon cat in a house on a hill ripping the stuffing out of a sofa.  I digress.

Much to everyone's delight and relief (and, if I'm honest, surprise!) Bailey has returned. Or to be more precise, has been returned. Ann-Marie's tear ducts have had the sort of work out that soap opera starlets dream of.  Her Mum, as well as posting flyers all around the neighbourhood, had the brilliant idea of putting a "Lost Cat" notice in her car with his picture on it. Someone recognised him and he's now re-united with his food bowl. No doubt he'll spend the next few days telling everyone about his adventures as loudly as he can, and no doubt it will be interpreted, along with everything else he's ever said, as "Feed Me"

The world is certainly a happier place when you know there's a cat in it, especially when he's everyone’s best mate.

Welcome back Bailey

Click Here  Don't you just love the web?

Sunday 21 February 2010

The Waiting Game

Well the ‘For Sale’ sign has been up for over a week and we’ve been inundated with no phone calls, e-mails or visits from anybody. The plan is to give it 6 weeks and then, if we haven’t sold, to drop the price - so we did sort of expect a period of calm. It’s a blessing really, this weekend we tidied up the veg patch, ruthlessly thinned out the wardrobe and emptied the loft, oh we know how to live! The loft has been a mess ever since we had the roof re-slated; with bits of mortar and old slate everywhere, now it’s empty and clean and we never have to go up there again.

We have some sad news this week, unfortunately one of our cats, Bailey, went adventuring from Ann-Marie’s parents and hasn’t found his way back yet.
Mum & Dad have been brilliant and done everything they can. He’s a gregarious chap and we have no doubt he will charm his way into a new home but it hurts that we may not see him again.

Dave started renovating one of our 3 remaining ‘A’ Series Citroens this week. Even if someone were to make an offer on the house tomorrow he should still have time to finish. It makes sense to get both 2CVs sorted if we can and sell them with MOTs. We’re keeping the Acadiane, Poubelle, our tiny camper which is beautifully barge painted and fitted out like a little narrowboat inside.  Here she is in Denmark, taken on our way to the 2007 World Meeting in Sweden.

In our effort to become listless we thought we’d keep some statistics so we could tell if it’s working, so this week’s numbers are: Items added to lists = 3, items ticked off lists = 4, this week we’re winning!

Sunday 14 February 2010

Firkin Freezin

We took our new home for a trial run this weekend, and what  better place to go than a pub campsite in the High Peak - especially when the pub is full of your mates.  Here is our Kontiki camper at the top of the Cat & Fiddle road.

Firkin Freezin is an annual 2CVGB camp organised by the 'Derbyshire Firkin Flyers'. Taking a camper van with heating and hot water on tap was very cosy but we felt like we were cheating. We have served our time under frozen canvas though so we didn't feel guilty for too long!

For those new to us, a love of the Citroen 2CV is what brought us together, membership of the owner's club, 2CVGB, has been a part of our lives for the past 20 years and has given us many good friends across the country.

We took a short, frosty walk in the sunshine on Sunday morning,
something we hope to be doing a lot more of in the months to come, and not just on Sundays! The scenery was breathtaking with snowy peaks and a beautiful blue sky.  Our Fenland legs aren't used to such gradients but we took them in our stride and came back feeling exhilarated.

On the way home we popped in to see the newest member of the family, welcome to the world Leila Grace, you are adorable!

Thursday 11 February 2010

Logic Problem

Dave & Ann-Marie are selling their house. They arrange for four Estate Agents to come and value it. Use the clues to find out when the Agents came, what colour their Blackberry was and how much they thought the house was worth.
  •  Mr Green came the day after the Agent with the white phone, and two days before Ms Black.
  • The Agent with the green phone suggested £120,000.
  • The Agent who suggested £170,000 arrived on Thursday.
  • Mr White arrived on Monday but his phone was not brown.
  • The lowest quote was not given on Tuesday.
  • Mr Brown had a green phone and suggested £20,000 less than the Agent who arrived on Wednesday.
Once you have worked out who came when with what, you will realise - as we did - that no one has a clue when it comes to house prices!

Our House

We're going to miss it.

Today the Matiz is in for an MOT, the Panda's wheel bearing is getting deafening and last night the exhaust fell off the Berlingo...

... This we will not miss.

Sunday 7 February 2010

For what it's worth.

And so it begins …

Last week we had our house valued; a host of Estate Agents trooped up and down the stairs, got their shoes muddy up the garden and promised they have books heaving with potential buyers desperate to buy our house. It was hard to choose between them but we had to pick one, a friend's recommendation was the decider in the end.

This weekend we took our cats to their new home with Ann-Marie’s parents. Hard as it was to say ‘goodbye’ to them, the 3 hour car journey proved life in a camper van would not be to their taste and that we’d made the right decision.

It’s rather spooky that about five years ago, when we rekindled our dream of early retirement and life as water gypsies, we picked Valentines Day 2010 as the date we’d put the house on the market, an unimaginable date in the future at the time, yet here we are almost to the day, the ‘For Sale’ sign goes up on Friday!

New Haw Lock to Boveney. River Wey. River Thames.

After pulling the pins at New Haw we dropped down the last four locks on the Wey... Cox's Mill Lock Town Lock The final stretch of the W...