Living In a Swift Kontiki Motorhome - My Story

swift kontiki motorhome

Living In A Motorhome - Forget The House, Poll Tax, Water Rates and TV License... I'm Off!

 

Hello

My name is Paul Jenkins and in the last weekend of November 2010 I bought a Motorhome and decided to tell society to get lost, live in it and do some travelling! After a marriage break up and living in rented accommodation for 18 months I needed to do something and this is my choice. If you are thinking of taking this step then feel free to read on. I've outlined each week of my adventure and I hope you enjoy reading it. Please come back and read further as I update it every week ...   

   

 

Week 7 : 6th January 2011 

I'm currently doing some wild camping to save money, been doing it since Monday night when I got back from France. No issues to deal with and No 1 leisure battery is holding up well. Spent Weds night in a pub car park and no problems with landlord. Done 7 nights of the wild camp now and I'm now back into the camping park at Lea Valley to do some important repairs! Rain is coming in !!   

The vans got a leak and it looks like it’s had one for a while, left hand side above the wardrobe and the 2 small cupboards next to it. I can also see a leak dripping down the flu pipe which is inside the cupboard. I head off to a specialist mastics shop to buy some adhesive and sealing compound (German stuff called PUR Supracraft)  

Up on the roof I see the problems (you can walk on the roof no problem but not the bit over the cab!!!) anyway it’s an easy seal up job if you have similar problems to me. First the flu needs sealing as its been sealed before but has lost some of its sealer, next the main problem is the joint at the edge of the roof where it joins the sides, here there is a rubber seal which obviously does not do the job, it’s been sealed before I can see but its cracking and bits are missing so I dig it out with a pen knife, clean it up and apply the new sealer, I run a bead all the way down the seal from back to front and with some washing up liquid on my fingers smooth it in. Both sides of the van are done and it takes no more than 45 minutes. I also clean up and seal around the pop up vents to be on the safe side.   

I also notice the 2 water run off pipes that are supposed to get rid of the water at the rear of the roof are blocked and water is going nowhere! I simply pop a screwdriver into them and instantly all the water flows out of the back of the van. Lots of leaves and crap up there so it all needs cleaning out.  

Oh I forgot this. Happy days! I find 2 alarm key fobs hidden in the side pocket of the driver’s door, out of curiosity I nip to Maplin's and buy 2 batteries for them; low and behold this baby has got an alarm system! I can even set it and walk around the van at night but not go near the cab, any movement from within the cab or if any of the doors are opened it kicks off big time. I'm so pleased.   

 

 

 

kontiki motorhome flu leak  leak on roof kontiki   kontiki motorhome roof water access hole

 

 

Week 8 : 13th January 2011

More work ...More work!!  Now I've sorted out the leaks I can see that the wardrobe is basically rotten, its not a difficult job, I rip off the hardboard from the exterior (main door side), pretty easy really as most of it comes off in my hand, and you can then see the frame which is basically inch by 1/2 inch wood. Although the frame is not totally rotten its soft in places especially near the top and at the bottom, but it looks hassle to change and I make the decision to keep it, but apply a coat of wood hardener all around to toughen it up, but before I do that I also remove the hard board from the inside of the frame, so I get a good chance to rub down the frame a bit and give it a good hardener soak. Next day its time to buy some hardboard and I chose white  ( see later) any way I cut and fit the hardboard for both sides of the wardrobe, apply it to the frame with some no nails and some panel pins and it come outs a treat, all done!! 

Now ....I stare lovingly at my great work and realise the white against the oak coloured woodwork looks the nuts, much more modern than the grey twirly stuff so in a moment of madness I bomb down to Wickes and buy 2.5 litres of white silk emulsion, some brushes and small rollers and go to work!! 2 days later I have totally changed all the walls from boring grey to super white and it looks stunning!!  The van is transformed. (see pic’s) All that’s left to do is the architrave, on some of these bits of paint is coming off, but I'm having trouble trying to match the colour. 

Worried about having my Motorhome being nicked while I'm wild camping I go and buy one of those big yellow steering wheel locks, can't have enough security I say, it costs £40 but makes me feel better. 

Been wild camping since Saturday, quite amazing how you can make your batteries last if you don't over do the need for loads of lights and silly things like invertors, I reckon most of my battery life is spent on my MEOS TV which is 12 volt anyway. 

Some nutter's keep passing the van at 6.50 am in a transit van or something must be builders or similar, I can't react quick enough so can't really tell! They give their horn a good old blast, oh and a jolly old shout from their cab as well, quite funny actually and its 3 mornings in a row now, I must be famous or something and then.... low and behold at 11.05pm Wednesday night they do the same again! Obviously coming home from the pub! 

kontiki motorhome interior re=painted  kontiki motorhome

 

Week 9 : 20th January 2011 

Lordy turns up and we head off down to Seven Oaks in Kent, as I've seen a motorbike rack advertised on EBay, a guy called Dave Cooper makes them down there and at £80 they seem a bargain. I’ve got this old Tomos step thru moped, only does 30 MPH but it's gonna be real handy and it only weighs 54KG. Anyway, we turn up and it’s a nice bit of kit, very well made and can take 110KG, so I may even get a little Chinese 125 scooter to put on their later. It fits where your tow ball goes (you still keep the tow ball as well) and it’s extendable in wheel base length for different bikes. One issue though is I have a Hope Safe-T Bar fitted to the Kontiki's Al-Co Chassis, meaning I’m gonna need extra long 4 1/2 inch M16 bolts to fit the dam thing and I'm gonna need to order special on line. Pic’s below. (I’ll update this next week as a scooter bike rack is an important subject I think)

(Friday) Gone down to Wales by train for the weekend to see Michelle, sometimes doesn't make sense to take the van, high cost of fuel and all that, bridge tolls etc so I've parked it up for 2 days, but it always worries me. It’s alarmed and safety locked so should be ok. The train costs £70 return, I can also work and have a beer so ideal to catch up on blog stuff!!

Watched the worlds most over complicated film "Inception" , about a bloke that does dreams, then he's doing dreams within dreams, and dreams within those dreams still following? Michelle didn't she fell asleep. Get to bed and bloody smoke alarm battery starts bleeping off at 3 am, I end up sleeping worse than I do wild camping in the van!

(Somebody emailed to ask why do we call him Lordy?) Well he's fully loaded with tons of money, lives in a mansion he built himself last year, he's got a Bentley, a Range Rover, a 28 grand pick up truck and now a state of the art brand new BMW touring bike..... Need I say any more!!!!) Like the Stig he shall remain anonymous!    

Arrive back into London Sunday night safe and sound tucked up in the Kontiki. Loads to do this week work wise, personal wise, so I write out a bloody big list to keep me busy!

 tomos moped on kontiki motor home bike rack  motorbike rack for motor home  tomos on motorhome  cozy pub internet  

 

Week 10 : 27th January 2011

After almost 11 nights of wild camping I'm back in the park, it closes for the whole month of February, so I'm here to charge up my batteries and get everything hunky dory for a long hard February. Still thinking of going away somewhere though (subject to money) and I fancy Belgium.

Friday I pick up Lordy and we head off down to the graphics shop to get some new Kontiki stripes! The old ones are fading bad and as the van bodywork is in nice condition I think it will enhance the value and looks. The guy wants £225 to do it but I'm not happy with the colours, so I'm going to do some Internet shopping first, and see if I can get exactly what I want online. We then head off to Hein Gerrick the motorcycle clothes shop as Lordy's BMW arrives next week and he needs the latest designer gear to look the part (it was like shopping with a woman!) see pic

Back wild camping, and I get a visit from the old bill!! Lady copper turns up on foot enquiring if this is my van or not, (I was outside at the time doing a few bits to my car ) apparently a resident had phoned in to say it had been parked there a lot recently and perhaps it was stolen (yeh??) Anyway I assured her it was not and I was the legal owner. She asked me " do you sleep in it?" of which I replied " ..Yes I do sometimes, I'm currently doing her up to travel through Europe and the reason why its parked here is because this is a big wide street, with virtually no houses, and parking here would be ideal considering the size of the van " which she agreed. At this point I did say to her that I know the law and I know that it is not illegal to sleep in a motor vehicle overnight, of which she agreed, whether she new the law or not I don't know. Suffice to say after a good old a chat about travelling she asked to take a tour of the van inside as her husband had always been considering buying one! The last thing Jill said to me was "..I walk this beat a lot I'll keep an eye on it for you when you are away or at work " Bless!! My own security guard !Gets better every day!

Actually managed to paint some bits of woodwork in the van, been bugging me for weeks, and with the nice weather I manage to get them done, looks great inside now!

Lordy arrives out of the blue on his brand new BMW motorbike, (no wonder the residents call the cops), all the boys down at Milky's milk yard have started a sweep stake "what week will he crash it" and they have all chucked in a tenner each. Winner takes all!

Seriously thinking of heading over to Belgium. Camp sites look really good and a lot are open in Feb. Going to Wales on the week end first (by train ) so may go 2nd week Feb. Got a few website jobs to bank first.

 lordys new bmw bike  new woodwork in kontiki motorhome   lordy shopping for motorbike gear 

 

Week 11 : 3rd February 2011

I'm back down in Wales for the weekend to do some karaoke gigs. I train it down but forgot its bloody rugby day Wales v England and the train is mobbed, can't get a seat and end up standing all the way down. Wasn't too bad as met up with a few English lads who were on the beer and had a good crack. Milky and I did the Friday night gig in Maerdy together ending a bit late (can’t stop the Welsh singing!) and I arrive in Newport (in Milky's car) to see Michelle and its gone 1.30 am (who by the way is laid out on the settee fasto sleepo!)  

Saturday night I do the DJ / Karaoke gig around the corner from Michelle’s, good night too, boring adults though, thank god it was a 16 year old party, played all the top 40 and was a success. Was chatting later and some women was coming on to me a bit trying to say I was 39 (little does she know!!)

Sunday leave the lovely Michelle and head back to Maerdy, via Aberdare. (I've been there before and there is a nice Weatherspoons and I fancy the veggie Sunday lunch, but I only just get there as when I come down into Aberdare town the brakes fail on Milky's car and I nearly Shit myself! I dive into Weatherspoons and give him the bad news

If you don't know anything about the Rhondda Valley in Wales click the links below!

Wiki Link about Maerdy HERE

Wiki Link about Aberdare HERE

Then  in Weatherspoons........

I am a veggie! I like Weatherspoons Sunday veggie lunch normally, it’s a nut roast butternut squash thing and its really nice, it arrives at my table but  some joker decides it would be funny to deliver my meal to me with a pork sausage on the plate as well, not funny is it, I don't think so. I get the manager and she insists it’s a mistake, I insist it’s someone in the kitchen taking the piss and I won't accept it. She gives me a full refund and a freshly made meal. Bloody cheek!!

After watching Milky’s beloved Chelsea get stuffed by Liverpool we head off back to London in Ruth's car (Milky's girlfriend) little KA thing bombs along like no tomorrow  (Edit: We later found out it had two totally bald front tyres!!) and I arrive safely back into the peaceful haven of my Kontiki. Number 1 leisure battery is on it's last legs so I switch over to number 2. I'm racking my brains out how the hell am I gonna charge these batteries? Normally I would go to my local camp site for a few days and rejuvenate everything but every where is shut for a month, there must be a way somehow. I sleep on it and bingo in the morning I have solved it FREE ELECTRIC !  Tomorrow is Monday I will tell you more on Weds when I've charged both battery's up !!

Happy days my batteries are charged! 

Right.. I am not suggesting you do this all the time, it's easier for me to book into the site for one night and charge them up, this is for emergency use! This is how I do it.

I frequently visit 3 pubs within my area, and as I'm in the Internet business I tend to spend a good 3-4 hours at a time in them using their free Internet service. Now.. In every one of these pubs I plug my laptop into a power socket. Not one manager has ever objected and in fact has said to me "if you need to power your laptop,  over in the corner there are some power sockets ". Now If you are trying out a new pub for battery charging do this first ,  pop in with your rucksack and buy a drink, confirm with the bar staff or whoever that they have free Internet, then say " Great, by the way, is there anywhere I can plug my laptop in while I'm working as the battery on it is rubbish and only lasts like 10 minutes "  If they say "yes it's no problem" you are in. Make sure you are out of the way in the corner somewhere.

To charge my batteries I use 2 bags. A large rucksack that contains my laptop, and within this rucksack a Ring 8 amp 12v battery charger. I also have a second bag which is essentially a heavy duty tool bag (see pic) with a hard bottom. In this bag I put my 70 amp leisure battery which fits perfect and I zip it up. Its heavy but you need to make it look not heavy when you carry it in.

I normally carry my rucksack in first, secure a seat in a corner out of the way with a power socket and buy a drink. Then return to my vehicle and walk in with the second bag, always on the opposite shoulder of the bar area. Once in the corner I fumble about getting my laptop out, and plug it into the wall, (before entering the pub I have already plugged my laptop charger and the plug of the Ring charger into a double plug). I now have both the laptop and ring plugged into the wall. I then quickly unzip the battery bag apply the positive and negative clamps and zip it back up,( modern batteries don't need ventilation ) showing just 2 small cables coming out of the side. A quick switch on of the charger inside the rucksack and it is done. I always put the large rucksack in front of the battery bag, you cannot see any wires going anywhere. 

The only thing noticeable if it can be seen is the double plug. I have never ever been asked this question but if you are asked why are using a double plug simply tell them you have another laptop in the bag as the one you are using is a bit dodgy, and can fail at anytime.

 

 battery in bag    karaoke gig sat night in Walescharger and battery

 

Week 12 : 10th February 2011

I moved up near the M25 to a lane that is heavily used by truckers and other van users. I kind of over spent my welcome in East London, no hassle but too many nosey neighbours. One old bat was pressing her nose up against my kitchen window the other day, and when I jumped out to ask what she wanted she kindly informed me that the council was here yesterday looking at the van, she suggested some neighbour may have called them, not her of course ( oh ye love??? ) Anyway I am gone and I should be ok here for a while

(Thurs) I drive to Hatfield in Hertfordshire to collect my Piaggio 125 scooter that I bought off EBay! Far too small that little Tomos thing and far to slow, was getting crushed up by car drivers on a regular basis. This baby has only done 4000 km's, does 70 MPH and is like new. Weighs 96KG so the bike rack should handle it, although I was wetting my self a bit coming back home with it strapped to the back, you can't stop yourself looking in the rear view mirror every 30 seconds to see if its still there! (see pic) One major problem though, I pull into a petrol station and can smell this huge amount of asbestos in the air, I get out and find that my nearside front wheel is overheating, it appears the brakes are sticking on it, thankfully it's raining which is probably helping to cool it down, but I'm gonna have to look at this Saturday or Sunday when the rain stops.

I get chance to look at the front wheel and I reckon it's a sticking calliper. I do my best to strip it down and lube it up, but only time will tell f I did it right. I'll give it a good run in a few days time to see if I have fixed it.

An old friend of mine rings late Saturday night, " Do I want to go clubbing?? " ain't heard from him for a year or so, but I've heard rumours that his misses has chucked him out, (best thing ever for him as she was the ultimate witch from hell, smoked 60 fags a day, drank a bottle of brandy every night and never worked ) mate your life after 22 years is about to begin!! ... Anyway the clubbing bit never happened but we did go out and have a few drinks.

PROBLEMS !!!! First the front wheel sticking, now...The water pump has packed up inside the van. I thought it sounded a bit funny the other day when I was having a shower, but now. NO water! I've put a tester on the wires going to the pump and it's getting power so I'm presuming the Whale pump is a gonna, no prob's though, onto EBay straightaway and I find a brand new one for £25.00, will update this if it works!! CAUTION I might be a bit smelly for a few days.

Smelly problem solved, I nip around milky's place and totally abuse his bathroom, Shower... Shave.... Toilet the lot.. Luxury!!

(Sun) In the pub at the moment charging my laptops, feeling a tadge sorry for myself, on occasions it all gets on top of me, I feel so so lonely sometimes, it really is hard. I don't mean hard as in hardship of living I mean hard in the solace I have to endure. Not long ago I had a house, a family, children around me, and now its just me. No one to talk to, no one to watch TV with, no one to laugh or joke with or.. even argue with. Nothing. Just me, and It Fxcks me up.

Cheered up a bit now, the whale pump has arrived I fit it and bingo we have water yeeeeeee! Now I head off down to the ex witch's house as I've had a brain wave! ( I do get them) in the shed is an old Clarke 700 watt generator never really been used, been in there for like 6 years anyway I dig it out it's still got fuel in it and after 6 pulls of the cord it fires up!! I nip off down to machine mart and buy a normal 3 pin plug to Motorhome lead and head off to the van. Plug it all in and it works great...1 problem it hates my electrical stuff too much spiking going on, but I've got the generator bug now so I dive off to machine mart again and buy a Clarke 1KW inverter genny. Perfect, not as quiet as a Honda one but the Honda is £650 this is £255.00.

Also...I wrote about the battery charger in the van being crap a while ago, I've had time to look at it now and even though the light was on there was no 12volt dc output coming out so...spending more money I buy another off eBay £80 new, at least now when I hook up or plug in the inverter genny the number 1 leisure battery will be charging. The old plug in systems one was easy to remove, new one a breeze to fit

Stuck the little Tomos on eBay, loads of interest 4 days to go!

Watched the mighty Yid Tottenham army crush A C Milan this week in the pub... I was so happy!!! Can't wait for the return leg!!

 caliper suck on motorhome  piaggio zip 125 on van  filling up!  new genny motorhome  view from motorhome door

 

  Week 13 : 17th February 2011 

The little Tomos moped is doing very well on eBay I was expecting £100 or something but it's £165 at the moment with 2 days to go and it's got 83 watchers!

Managed to get a game of golf in this week, only the second game since October, need the practise as in March the club competitions start again ( I won it last year! ) not sure though how many I will be able to play, anyway played North Weald with Milky and he beat me on the last hole by 1 stroke!

My son turns up out of the blue, down from uni to see his mate in Wood Green, so we head off to the cinema to see the film Paul, which I have been looking forward to seeing, was a bit disappointed really I thought it would be much funnier, but it's still a good film. Son liked it, and he should know what a good film is as he is studying to be a cinematographer.

I'm still up at the lane in Waltham Abbey, it's a little noisy Mon-Fri but it's excellent no hassles whatsoever, been here over a week now, but once the little Tomos is sold I'm moving on. It's still to cold to do the France Belgium thing so I'm going to tour Wales instead, all down the South and then up the West coast. I've done 23 days of wild camping so far this month and saved a fortune, perhaps I'll spend a bit of it on some Welsh camp sites! 

Update: Little Tomos moped made £290!! Pays for my generator

It's Wed's and I'm off. I'm going to Wales. First stop the lovely Michelle as she needs me bad, she's on a stop smoking course, and today is the day!! I'm driving down to Caerleon (where I used to live) a wonderful Roman village (The Roman Fortress of Isca) all Roman stuff here, remains the lot. Click HERE to read more about this lovely place.

A few issues on the way down!! It's raining and I've got the wipers on, next thing I know drivers wiper arm is parked over to the right and not working! I pull over on the M4 and see the splines on the motor arm are very very worn, I give the nut a good tighten and hope for the best, bloody comes loose 4 times on the way down... No Nails where are you!!  Arrive in Caerleon and meet Michelle in the outstanding Motorhome friendly Priory hotel for a meal. (WAIT!!! It's NOT so Motorhome friendly! MORE NEXT WEEK) anyway its the first time I've ever had a meal with her and she hasn't had to dive out for a fag

BE STRONG GIRL!! Keep it up!

No pic's this week sorry camera problems!!

 

Week 14 : 24th February 2011

 

Ok where do I start? Priory Hotel! The so called Motorhome friendly priory hotel appeared to be not so friendly or just stupidly incompetent. This is what happened... I arrived there Weds night and instantly told the receptionist I had a Motorhome in the car park and was this a problem..   “Can I leave it in the car park over night as I’m using the restaurant and having some drinks with my girlfriend” “...No problem whatsoever it’s perfectly fine”?   So I have a meal and drinks with Michelle and we spend £70.

Everything ok so far, spend the night at Michelle’s and come back next day. Go into the bar restaurant at 12.00 and approach reception, “Just checking that my Motorhome is ok in car park, and it’s not bothering anybody or causing offence, I ate in the restaurant last night and I’ll be using the bar this afternoon”    Receptionist and what appeared to be the manager (mature guy in his 50’s with white shirt) said “no problem whatsoever we don’t worry about things like that this is Wales love, it’s really no issue”.   So I think cool. I spend £11 in the bar that afternoon while using the Internet.

Michelle asks    “are you coming over to see me? “    so I jump on my bike and drive to see her about 15 min's away, I end up staying (as you do) but get back to the priory at 9.00am.   I’m thinking right a bit of work to do, somebody to visit in the morning, lunch in the priory and Michelle will be over later and we can eat.

So I dive off on my bike for approx 1 and half hours max to visit my parents. I come back and there’s a big A4 on my windscreen. Please remove your vehicle it is for the hotel use or hotel restaurant use only ???, (shit I forget to photo this) I could not have done any more?? I checked and checked loads of times it was ok. I dive into the hotel with the A4 in my hand and approach the receptionist and the so called manager, “sorry (says the guy) but my boss did that”, what?? “..Yeh he put that on your Motorhome.”    ???      “..But I checked with you and it was ok?”    Sorry he says and walks off!!    You do your best and this happens.     So not so Motorhome friendly after all, I’ve emailed the “boss” let’s see what he says....

Had the most amazing ride on my bike today, came from Caerleon along Ponthir road and in front of me is a low loader with what looks like a totally scrapped Talbot Express van, I catch it up at the lights and the driver says his boss strips them down and he’s on the Star Estate. (Kontiki Motorhome is built on Talbot Express)    I dive down there and find Paul who owns the place I simply can’t believe he strips Talbot Express vans! I need a few bits for my Kontiki and he’s got them. I just can’t believe it, he’s got engines, glass, interior stuff, and wiper arms the whole lot, so impressed! I buy £100 worth of gear from him, passenger window, passenger quarter light, wiper arms and a new clock / dash interface as the temperature gauge still does not work on mine (despite so much trying).    I’m so so happy

Later I go into the Angel pub still in Caerleon, up the road from the Priory I’ve been here before and stayed in their room’s, when down in my car. I have a chat with the owner and ask can I park my Motorhome for a few days I’ll even pay, “no need to pay” he says it’s not a problem (he knows I will drink there and spend a few quid)    and so Friday night I have a great time as Its Karaoke night and blast out a few number!!!    I also meet a group of young lads similar to my son’s age who were really good fun.

Now whilst staying at the Angel pub and about to get on my bike one morning I meet a great guy called Darren in the car park. He’s coming out of   a very old camper, almost looks like scrap (no offence ), you know the type of thing that looks like it needs a lot of work and ain’t been used for a few years, anyway...   turns out Darren lives in it!!   Been living in it for 3 years.   He does wood sculpture for a living. He goes around all these outdoor shows with his wood and chain saw carving out tables and chairs and even little table top stuff, so so cool. Super interesting to meet him and we are going to stay in touch as he knows fellow travellers who have big gathering weekends up in the mountains!    (Wonder what goes on there then!!!!   I’ll give it a try lol!)

Michelle spends Saturday night with me in the Kontiki hotel but she’s a nightmare and is totally drunk as a skunk. Part of the reason was the local Indian restaurant we went to that night was a total nightmare it was like a Mr Bean sketch! The finally being someone pours a whole jug of water over her by accident!!   We end up getting free wine and not paying for the meal, and she gets hammered.

Remember my mate whose misses has chucked him out?   He calls Sunday “Taff I’m going to be down in Wales this week in Swansea, helping my mum move into her house, fancy meeting up?” So will have the chance to meet up with one of my London mates and catch up with all the gossip

Finally make the move from lovely Caerleon, and head off down the coast, first stop I reckon Porthcawl, used to go there when I was a kid with my parents, was there last year actually in a non Motorhome environment with Milky and the gang at the annual Elvis convention (don’t laugh it’s true Wales has a huge Elvis convention every year)

Arrive in Porthcawl, but only after a few problems, luckily I pull into Tesco for fuel only after a few miles into the start of my trip, nearside front wheel is smoking its head off and red hot, I dive into the car park let it cool a bit and strip down the brake calliper again, I’m going to need to get this done in garage somewhere.

I get a nice spot right on the sea front in Porthcawl, but in the corner of my eye I see a sign   “No caravans or Motorhome's 11pm – 7pm!! I’m thinking…. its out of season, I’ll be ok and I was!

Tomorrow I’m off to Swansea to meet my mate so more next week

 

roman museum caerleon   darrens van   priory hotel which didn't like my motorhome   Mr Bean's Indian Restaurant   no parking over night here in porthcawl in motorhome   St Davids Day in Wales

 Angel Pub in Caerleon  brake fixing on kontiki motorhome  Porthcawl at dusk from my motorhome  Gavin and Stacey Land!

 

Week 15 : 3rd March 2011

Been a great week, had a few beers out with Gary last night in Swansea, even went to the infamous DVLA! Got me car taxed, and Gary is going back to London tomorrow so he’s going to stick it in the window. Cheers mate. This bit is funny, in the pub there was a quiz night, we entered and were total rubbish. They then said swap your papers with people near you, but nobody swapped with us, so when the guy read out the answers I filled them in!! ( to Gary's disgust )   Guess what???    We still lost!!

Arrived into Saundersfoot, and parked right up on the harbour front, no over night-ing here though they give you the clamp, but there's a national trust car park like 400 metres away which doesn’t open properly until April, locals said park there, no issues. Such great weather I am so lucky, I even get the fishing rod out! A couple of Fosters and a fish off the harbour front at high tide. Caught nothing of course but I only had bread for bait. Lordy rings he's pissing himself laughing ..BREAD ??? “...You're in the sea mate not the Fxxxxxxxx canal”

Not feeling too well today I've had this huge problem in the left side of my chest, had it a while but done nothing about it really but it hurts like hell today. I go to the pharmacy and he calls me   an idiot (nicely) and sends me straight to the local doctors surgery. Nice Doc but he can't really diagnose my problem, he says "... I know it’s not a heart attack (oh thanks mate) but I don't know what it is, take Ibruphrophine 3 times a day and come back in a week"  Mmmmmm..   I may be here longer than I thought!

Decide to blast the Piaggio down to Tenby, about 3 miles away. Thought I would take a suss out of the place before I come storming down in the Motorhome.   I've been here before many times when I was younger, last time was about 18 years ago when I was with the ex-witch. Doesn't look that Motorhome friendly to be honest, and the free car park at Saundersfoot is looking a right touch. I'll think about it, but while I'm here I need some proper fishing bait!! Strips of mackerel will do it. Later on it will be "...Honestly mate it was this big you should have seen it!   But I chucked it back...Honest ...Really... You’ve got to believe me... It was massive...Bordering on huge...Were defo gonna need a bigger boat!!! "   Bloody camera packed up that night as well... Typical !

Went out Friday night for a few beers and met a few people in the pub, one bloke called Craig actually knows the lovely Michelle! In fact he was having a drink with her father 2 weeks ago, small world! Anyway we head off at about 12.30 and go to Sands night club...The worlds empty-ist club! 8 people in there including the 3 of us! We head to someone's house for extra beer but they have got no drink! I go and get a nice bottle of red out of the van come back and find I don't have a clue what flat number it was!!  I trudge off back and crash out in the van. Next day I think where's my coat? Yep I lost it!

Leave lovely Saundersfoot, skip Tenby and head down to Pembroke instead. As I come down the hill I see a car park on the right, just under the castle, stunning location (see pic) and I decide to hole up here for a night. nothing to really write home about on this one!!

Right I'm off, I've decided to treat myself to a camp site for a few days, I've been wild camping since 1st Feb! I'm off to St David's, nice site here called  Caerfai Bay  will be nice to have proper electric and get some laundry done. Stunning Stunning views as I drive along the coast and come down into Newgale, it's an amazing site (see pic). Park up in St David's and head of into the village to find a pub with sky sports to watch Arsenal get stuffed by Barcelona, I even get some pancakes! A barmaid called Kathy is sat with a camping stove in the middle of the pub knocking them out! yum yum 

I'll be back again tonight to watch the mighty Spurs play! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I can't believe how windy it is! The bloody van was rocking from side to side, I thought I'm gonna end up in the sea!  It looked liked (from outside of the van) I must have been filming a porn film orgy. Was so so windy! Nice camp side though clean and tidy

 

dvla swansea   saundersfoot beach from my motorhome   no problem parking motorhome here   Kontiki motorhome at Saundersfoot harbour   tenby habour   me playing boxer in the pub and..a top score!! true

pembroke castle in my motorhome   swans in pembroke   pancakes!   badgers!!! Beware ha ha    parked below the castle in my motorhome

 

 

Week 16 : 10th March 2011

I'm out of St David's and heading off to Abereron don't ask me why but it's on the coast about an hour away. Arrive into the Abereron and find a nice car park bang on the harbour, pay and display a couple of quid but no mention of overnight restrictions. Nice little place, but I'm getting to the point now "seen one harbour you've seen them all!" Absolutely nothing really to say about this place except one incident. I'm in the car park fasto sleepo, next thing somebody is banging the big back window, and I here voices , I'm like in a coma I haven't a clue what's going on I lift the black out blinds and it's old bill, I hear the lady copper say " Well the things people will do to save money" and then they clear off  unless I dreamt it but I don't think so.

Arrive in Aberystwyth, this looks more of a better place, I'm staying at the Aberystwyth Caravan Park nice site and a genuine 10 minute walk into town, guy on counter wants 20 a night with electric, he say's " just the two of you " I say " no mate just one any reduction?" and he says I'll let you off the electric 16 a night. See, always best to ask especially if you are on your own. Take a little walk into the town and discover there are 52 pubs there! ( didn't do them all! But gave it a try ha ha )

Saturday is Welsh rugby day against Ireland I'm really up for this one gonna be a great laugh, I head for the Academy a huge pub with massive screens but it's sterile, no real atmosphere, and being a university city the place is a bit young, I  have a wander and find  a nice conventional pub with some atmosphere called the Black Lion ( in Welsh) it's starting to get busy and I'm looking to get a good seat bang in front of the telly, really noisy place as there's a load of girls pissed off their heads on a hen party. Takes ages to get served as the locals are drinking Snakebite ( I remember this drink when I was a kid) It's half lager half cider with a dash of blackcurrant!

Rugby about to start and everybody stands and sings the Welsh national anthem! No kidding, game starts and noise is incredible, lot's of Welsh speakers too. Luckily Wales scrape it and every body is happy. I grab a few more drinks in various pubs and manage to find the local Pizza joint ( god I love a pizza) after a good scoff I head back to the Kontiki by Taxi (I know!! But its all up hill!)

Have Sunday as well in Aberystwyth, one of the nicest places I have visited so far, really good and I end up going back into town to watch the FA cup games. 

One thing I get to do here is a couple of minor repairs and on the site is a huge caravan accessories shop. I finally get to replace the bathroom light unit that has NEVER worked!!

Leave Monday and head North again to Porthmadog a very Welsh speaking town on the coast, about 70 miles away, and I get to drive through the amazing Snowdonia National Park, stunning views as I coast the Kontiki up and down so many hills, really amazing drive and recommended.  Arrive in Porthmadog and yet again find a car park, but it say's no over nighting, and here's a great tip for anybody doing what I'm doing. Go to the Pub. Seriously go to the pub have a beer and chat with the owner barman etc and ask them about the car park and see what they say. In this instance I was told no problem mate, nobody ever comes around to check it and we have the odd lorries park there too you will be fine. I stayed their 2 nights and I was.

Nice little place Porthmadog, very Welshy but nothing to shout home about, watched Man U play in Champions league, even had a game of darts! Saw yet another harbour! Can't sleep as the car park is home to like 100 crows nesting in 2 trees and god they are noisy at 5.00am in the morning!

Today I'm leaving Porthmadog but don't really know where to go, I find a place that's doing free wi-fi and manage to update this blog and a few other bits for an hour. Next to me is 2 lads talking in Welsh so I decide to ask them where to go next, they suggest Blaenau Ffestiniog just up the road 20 min's away very pretty, cute little Thomas the Tank railway station etc etc. Turns out they live there and can I give them a lift!! Cheeky sods. Anyway yes it is a pretty place but behind all this is a community with no work, young lads like Aaron 27 on the dole can't get work,   been in jail for fighting, yet polite doesn't swear and is apparently hard working. I offered to buy him a drink and he refused to take one.

Had a few drinks in the Queens Hotel which is where the Kontiki is parked in the car park behind it. No draught beer whatsoever, you could only buy cans, CANS!!! People where sat in the pub drinking out of cans! Flavour of the day Strongbow ( suffice to say I didn't stay that long)

happy days Spurs win!    new light unit for motorhome shower bathroom    Aberystwyth Motorhome and Caravan Park   The Marina Aberystwyth    mmm.. welsh instructions at cash point

I do actually work sometimes!    seen in a pub!!  

 

  Week 17 : 17th March 2011

I've survived  Blaenau Ffestiniog and I'm back on the road going to Caernarfon, up in North Wales, about 70 mile away. Fantastic drive so much scenery to admire was awesome. Enter into Caernarfon and it's the usual wild campers dilemma where to park but I see a sign for coaches / bus parking and head for that, ( if you are ever in doubt go this route ) anyway, I come down the hill and there's this huge car park called Victoria Dock, right on the sea front and I park up. After a little nose around I find it's free!! ( Oh happy days!) and to top it all it says long stay on the notice board. ( Why don't more towns do this? ) I park up no issues whatsoever and have a great night.

I must say Caernarfon is probably the nicest town I have visited so far in Wales, and don't be put off by those silly comments that when you start speaking English they Switch to Welsh and ignore you etc it's all rubbish. I have had a great time hear and people are so so friendly and I don't speak the lingo. In fact Welsh is spoken here constantly, but if you converse in English you get a warm welcome. Weather is fantastic and not a cloud in the sky

Watched the mighty Spurs fluff another game this time against West Ham Saturday lunch time. 23 attempts on target and not one goal.. Oh Please get it together. Watched yet another Welsh rugby match in the evening in the Crown Inn, absolutely mobbed out. It was a late kick off this one, and the atmosphere was a bit different (most people had been on it all afternoon !) Wales lost but good night was had by all. After a few jars I headed for the local Indian, was so funny, really nice guys but one token white welsh guy worked there! I assumed he was the Welsh to Punjabi translator!

The car park is great, (see pic it does say long stay!) But there's one minor issue.... If you had to go to work at six in the morning then you would not need an alarm clock. A flock of sea gulls ( and I don't mean the 80s band ) meet here about 5 am and shout the place down for an hour ( little sods' ) and they are nasty little buggers too. I've had them up on the Kontiki roof. Shame I left my BB gun at home. See the video below! I think it's the seagull version of the rutting season.

Have a walk around the town and it's so pretty. Really nice pubs, The Black Buoy, Palace Vaults, The Crown and lovely places to eat as well as the Cafe Rock Night club. Decide I'm gonna stay for a while, why not? Got free parking I'm a 6 minute walk into the town and I have a huge Morrison's 1 minute away by foot. Only 1 issue no water tap at Morrison's petrol station other than that it's bliss and I'm parked 10 meters from the sea front.

Get some time to renew the water pipes from the fresh water tank. While in Aberystwyth I bought some piping and new clips, as I still plagued with this water leak inside the van. Hopefully this time its finally fixed!.

Take a visit to  Caernarfon castle, stunning castle right in the middle of town, its a walled town, with lovely arches and small roads. The castle is amazing, very well kept, not a ruin if you understand what I mean but a full on castle. It's a fiver to get in and £3.50 for the book, but you wander round not really knowing where to go, there's no guide and there's no audio, plus inside the various towers there's no info either. Totally the opposite to when I visited the Palace de Pape in Avignon with my girls last year, very detailed tour with audio the lot. Here I really learnt nothing unless I bed down one night with the guide book. The best part of this visit is the Royal Welsh Fusiliers exhibition inside it. A complete history of this amazing Welsh regiment.

After my castle visit I dive into the Crown pub and start a bit of Internet work and after 10 min's the landlord approaches me and apologises if I can't get on his wi-fi, "it's new" he says "and nobody knows how to set it up despite 3 people already looking at it."  " I'll fix it for you" I said " it's my job, give me half an hour and I'll come and look".  Suffice to say I fixed it for him in under 5 min's and now the pub has Internet and I got a couple of free beers. Off topic slightly. I actually fixed the audio visual machine of a Boeing 747 jumbo on a return trip from San Francisco, True!! It packed up shortly after take off and we would have had 12 hours of no entertainment, they gave me a bottle of champers for my efforts!

I've now been here for 6 days! Trying to drag myself away, so I'm thinking of heading to Conwy, very top of North Wales about an hour from Liverpool. The first race of the F1 Season Starts this weekend and as a fanatic I need to ensure I'm fully TV'd and powered up for this great occasion! Had a few calls from Lordy, Milky and Michelle, does get a bit lonely sometimes I must admit, so at some point I'm going to head down South again to Caerleon, park up the Kontiki and grab a train back to London for a long weekend. Just one problem, ain't got a bed to sleep in, any takers?

Home of Thomas theTank   Long Stay Music to any motohome owner!   The Black Bouy   Outer castle walls Caernafon   view from the square   Got my evening entertainment sorted 

parked up on the sea front    view inside castle    nice little street outsdie pub    view from motorhome 

 

Week 18 : 24th March 2011

Can't drag myself out of Caernarfon, and I'm now into my second week it's a wild campers heaven, nothing to pay no hassle whatsoever and loads of sunshine, weather is really great. I'm still in the long stay car park but I move the van every other day just to confuse people!

Sleep is minimum as the F1 Grand Prix is upon me, practise sessions are middle of early mornings as it's in Australia, first is 1.30am next is 5.00 am suffice to say huge bags under eyes on Saturday and the qualifying is at 5.00 am the next morning as well. Ah well the things you do for the love of your sport...Go Jensen!

Saturday is the big Wales v England football match it's like David versus Goliath, but the locals have high hopes and I head to Palace Vaults and get involved in the hype, very quickly Wales are 2 down but the enthusiasm is still there. I go to the bar and meet and old boy called Serl, "I'm a real Welsh man" he says "not like you boy a South Waleian". I've had a few chats with these oldies and they are a great laugh and have some great stories, what makes me laugh is that yes they are living in true true Wales but to me they sound like Scousers! Anyway.. Serl shows me the true Welsh handshake, you shake hands make the fist's together and touch hearts step by step saying " You know what my heart is saying" he's gives me a rendition in Welsh and I get to record him cool.

After some grub ( yet another Pizza, which comes from the shxxtiest grubbiest place ever, but are so so so nice!) and a few more beers I take the mental decision to go clubbing, purely in the name of research for this blog. In the square is the Rock Cafe or in Welsh Cafi Roc. It's £6 to get in and a 10 minute wait. It's 80's night ( huh...They must have known I was coming!) and it's cheesy as Fxxx, but it's a great laugh and it's packed. Prices are sensible and there's no trouble or issues. I pull a couple of stunning 20 year old leggy blondes and take them back to the Kontiki...Shit Shit I'm dreaming again!! Actually I really enjoyed myself, spoke to a few people and had a laugh. If you go to Caernarfon check it out it's cool and cheesy! It ends at 3.00am.

As the sun is shining so much I decide to do some DIY. The rear of the van looks tatty to me. It's got a huge strip of mud flaps that traverses the rear of the van and they are torn and crappy. I crawl under and struggle to get them off but I do it in the end ( see pic), in fact they are simply bits of carpet! Looks a lot better. The Hope SafeT bar where the Piaggio straddles looks tatty as well. Bit's of rust here and there so I head off to a hardware shop I saw in the High Street. Jesus this shop is like a tardis I have never seen anything like it in my life it's spread over 5 floors yet looks tiny from the front. I buy some white Hammerite and some brushes and get to work painting the Hope bar. It now looks the nuts , I tidy up the cable to the trailer board and the rear end now looks better than J-lo's.

Running low on water.. In fact got none at all! My usual trick of filling up in the petrol station is floored as Morrison's doesn't have a water tap! But with a little cash the problem is solved. Inside the store Morrison's are selling 5 litres of spring water ( in 1 5 litre container for 95p ) cheep as chips, so I get 5 lots an fill up the van . That should keep me going for quite a few days. That's why I say this is the ideal place, free camping and a Morrison's 1 minute walk from my door.

Been having the odd "chips in a bap with curry sauce" (mmm..yum £1.80 very tasty)  most days for lunch in Ainsworth's a cute little chippy in town and a really funny guy that owns it. One day was waiting for my food, banter was flying and the owner was starring at some old woman walking across the road, in a moment of madness I said " Oh please mate you don't fancy that do you?? " of which he replied " That's my Mother she's gone to get me a brochure for my holiday in Jersey" People behind said " yep true that's his mother " god I could have died. Me and my big mouth. But he saw the funny side. ( know doubt he still spat in my food! )

Minor things.. Got a veggie Sunday lunch in Weatherspoons without sausage issues! Beat the locals at pool in the Crown ( I was on fire!) Did some fishing ( caught nothing again) Nearly killed myself driving down a one way street on the bike and I lost a 3K website job and I'm totally gutted thought I had it, would have set me up for like 4-5 months

Getting lonely, It's hard on your own. Having some fun times yeh but I reckon most people couldn't do this. It's a lot of mental pressure. Alone 90% of the day. I sometimes wonder about my life.

Finally made the decision to leave Caernarfon ( I'm gonna miss it) and head back down South. Was gonna do the mid Wales thing but once on the road I just keep driving. Drove yet again through the Snowdonia National Park, so lovely. Ton's of places to stop for a few hours or overnight here on the A478 or A470 in the most wonderful places. Kontiki is running great, struggles on the big Welsh hills but it's a total joy to drive, used no oil or water at all and it's just turned over to 70,000 miles, not bad for a 20 year old van. I keep driving and driving and 5 and a half hours later I arrive back into Caerleon, my South Wales base. Would be good to catch up with Michelle and visit various people. I've loved my Wales tour it's been amazing and I'm going back to Caernarfon in the summer without fail.

 old mud flaps on motorhome are gone  new painted hope bar on kontiki motorhome   very very true my dear!!   the famous chip curried bap   24 degrees in the motorhome and no heating on!! luv it   Home sweet home 

stunning weather in caernarfon 

 

  Week 19 : 31st March 2011

Back down in South Wales. Loved every minute of my touring Wales adventure and had some great times. Find a nice big Esso on the way through and get to fill the fresh water tank up to its 20 gallons, lovely one less hassle to worry about. I'm parked up in Caerleon for a few days in Mikes Angel pub, my son is home from Uni which is great and of course it's mothers day. One worry though is Michelle say's she doesn't have the time to see me (?) and has gone very quiet, I called in there on my way through as she was ill and I bought some flowers and grapes but when I left I felt something was up on the goodbye kiss, so I've got the right hump now. Watch this space on that one.

Nice place Caerleon and I have wrote about it before but if you do travel through in your Motorhome, you can park for a night or 2 on the road of the common, or as I was told the other night down by the amphitheatre where the coaches and buses park up, so no excuses not to visit.

Get to see my son which is great, he's doing a bit of film work for his uni stuff, but I meet up with him and his great pals in Ponthir, of which when he introduced me to one of his female friends " here's my dad" she said " Wow now I know where you get your good looks from"!! Take that son, and she was only 19. After a few we all headed to the Star pub run by the worlds most misery guts landlord for a karaoke session, usual Elvis from me and the odd duet!

Had a chat with Michelle on the phone but something's defo up, you kinda now in your gut when things are wrong. Perhaps physco ex boyfriend has finally ground her down.

Sunday I get to visit my Mother who lives in Cwmbran about 5 -6 miles away and I go on the scooter ( been a godsend it has) to give her the card, chocolates and the love! I also take the opportunity to drive " up the mountain" as the locals say, big huge mountain towers over Upper Cwmbran. I used to come up here regular when I was a kid with my twin brother and our friends, we would be gone for hours and hours ,no mobile phone, no parents nothing, funny how times have changed. It's an amazing site and I really enjoyed it.

On my return I head to Weatherspoons ( here we go again!!!!) for my veggie Sunday lunch and yet again I don't pay ( they must lose so much money) ordered the meal, there's no yorkie puds available, (ok no big deal) food turns up veggie roast totally burnt, I get manager, she takes it back, she then comes back "sorry no veggie roast left", so after 45 min's I still have not eaten, we can do veggie sausages...So I had a veggie sausage semi Sunday lunch. I could write a book just about Weatherspoons!

Get to watch Spurs play Real Madrid, I've been like a kid all day waiting for Xmas. Watch it in Minstrels Bar, but it's a disaster. Crouch gets sent off in the first 15 min's and we lose 4-0!! So so sad!!

Michelle sends a txt and say's let's meet Wed's night, that makes me feel better, perhaps I will find out what's going on. Wednesday comes and she doesn't turn up, she goes to a BBQ instead. Now I've got the right effing hump!

Famous poets   My Son and I   Got the retro shirt on   Happy motorhome days in Mikes car park   nice little pick up camper spotted in Caerleon     Virtual Flowers  

 

 Week 20 : 7th April 2011

Still in Mikes car park, nice and cosy here, it's free and the pub is 50 yards away.  Struggling a bit on the loneliness department. I get very lonely sometimes, it's hard being just in your own company, and the Michelle thing isn't helping whatsoever. I get quite a few people that say to me “Oh I would love to do what you are doing; it would be amazing I would love it " Umm.. I don't think so to be honest, I reckon 90% of people could not do this; it's emotionally hard, stunningly hard sometimes. Ok if there was 2 of you it would be perfect, you and your girlfriend travelling around seeing the sites but on your own sometimes its sucks. I really question my future sometimes.   

During a conversation in the pub I discover that Mike is a golfer (of some sort...Just kidding ) and there's a game going tomorrow, I'm up for that I need the practise and I've got my clubs and gear in the overhead bed of the Kontiki. We are going to a club called Dewstow in the pretty village area of Caerwent. Got 2 18 holes courses and its mega pretty. £22 to play so not cheap, very beautiful course and we are playing the valley. Problem!!! The greens are like an inch thick, hopeless, I putted on the first a 15 footer and left it 8 foot short! Not good. It was a great walk I played rubbish on the front (but excelled on the back ) most enjoyable.

Get a txt from Justin, (one of the guys I have met in the Angel) do I fancy another game tomorrow 4.30 on the local Municipal course of Caerleon? Absolutely mate so he picks me up. The most incredible culture shock of my life ever, it's £7.50 to play and it's a decent 9 holes but the clientele!!!!!  As we was queuing up on the first a 7 ball ( that's 7 guys playing in one game ( normal max 4) all bare chested drinking can's of 1664 lager are just finishing up !! Everybody is on the piss, how can you play golf drunk??  Even yesterday in Dewstow Peter the bread man took 4 cans of Carling in his buggy and drunk the lot! Was a laugh though and I won the game!

After a quick wash and change of clothes I head off to the Ponthir house pub, an old mate of mine drinks here Wayne, ain't seen him for a couple of years, we used to have a car sales business together sharing a plot of land, he still has it and is very successful, I give him a big shock as I remove my bike helmet in the pub! About 6 of us then head into Caerleon and enjoy a few jars in the White Hart and Boleros; He can't believe what I'm doing and thinks I'm a complete nutter (probably correct). I didn't have too many drinks though as tomorrow (Sat) I've decided to drive back to London, don't want to over stay the hospitality Mike has shown me and still no news from Michelle despite me texting her

Need to give the Kontiki a once over before I leave, needs a little oil (first time!!) and no water. Quite amazing really how everything works so great on a van reasonably old (tempting fate here!!). Always takes me a good 20 min's before I can pull away from anywhere, I'm a bit paranoid about things falling off, and I must walk around the van about 10 times. Big tip though is to check your bike straps I had an incident where both my bike straps where totally lose and I mean lose probably kids mucking about but take your time before venturing off for 200 miles, ensure its all bolted down and safe. So it's up the M4 and back to sunny London! No issues on the drive up, van is running a dream and I trundle into Wanstead around 6.30. First things first is to find out where I parked the Porker!

I find her sad and disgustingly dirty on a side street sporting her new tax disc but she's stinking!! I get in, turn the key and bang she starts first time!! German engineering for you hey! This baby needs a serious clean so I head down to my local Eastern European car wash for the inside and out treatment. A tenner later and she's back to her wonderful self (if only women were like cars) I whack in a bit of fuel and just simply drive for an hour and its bliss.  After all this excitement I need to visit my favourite bar, BRB for a slap up Pizza and a beer!

Nice to be back, pretty hard sometimes on the road on your own. I'm taking Elsa my youngest daughter out today, haven't seen my girls for 2 months so looking forward to it, she wants to get back playing golf, (she's 13) so we head to the range. Now I have a great tip for budding fathers and here it is... DO NOT teach your kids anything whatsoever! Especially how to drive a car or how to play golf!! Send them to the pros! Was a great day though and we topped it off in Weatherspoons ( it went ok this time!) and later I gave my girls the silly things I collected on my Welsh travels like sticks of rock! Welsh cakes and the normal sea side trinket stuff.

After the aggro of hanging around Wanstead last time by nosey old bats and the old bill I head back to Waltham Abbey to the big lane, never any issues here, it’s a tadge noisy but it’s pretty cool and safe.  

Work is very slow and I'm concerned about money, I've always been a big optimist and I have always believed that the jobs will come, but it’s very very quiet. There’s going to be a lot of belt tightening happening soon if things don't pick up rather sharpish. My chance of heading off down to the South of France is disappearing fast. Can't fault the weather though, it's so so different from the time I spent living in the Kontiki in the winter, this is an absolute joy.

Lordy turns up ( he must have guessed I'd be parked here), ain't seen him for a while and so we head off in the Bentley to Lakeside Shopping Centre near Dartford to do some serious designer clothes shopping, ( not for me! I can barely afford Primark! ) No.. His lordship is splashing the readies in such shops as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren etc, how the other half live hey!! Nice to be out and about though and I get a free McDonalds ( see.. He ain't that posh is he!). On the way back Lordy shows me around the hotel I am parked opposite, we grab a beer and he shows me where all the electric sockets are etc. Its one of these very busy business hotels, laptops every where and constant meetings, and.. wait for it....There's a swimming pool!! Lordy says "follow me I'll show you how easy it is to get in" and we walk straight through directly into the changing rooms without being challenged at all! Happy Days I've now got my own swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and gym right on my door step 100 yards away!!!!

Tomorrow I'm out golfing with Milky and Lordy, will be great to get the banter going again, no doubt I'll get a million questions and a few daft comments thrown my way! See you next week. 

(Update: there's some development in the Michelle department I'll tell you next week) 

 tiny bit of oil needed  caerleon golf club   nice fresh salad rols form Lulu's!!    weapons of mass destruction!   Dewstow first hole   love you Jensen!! 

 

 Week 21 : 14th April 2011

Something that bugs me about Motorhome living is post (mail), if you technically have no fixed abode then this is an issue. I'm kinda lucky as I get any post still sent to the ex witches house and my girls save it for me. But this week the laptop charger blew up and I found one new on EBay for £6.50 ( as opposed to like £30 in PC World ) but....Most EBay sellers will only send to your registered EBay billing address, see where I am coming from? If you are reasonably local to an address then it's kinda ok but if you are touring and 400 miles away you have a problem. Something to think about if you go down my route!  

Got a call from Clive ( my old neighbour in Wanstead ) the Dad's Club is out tonight on the lash, ( ...Dads Club...a group of sad 30-40 year old blokes who's wife's let them go out on the piss once a month ). Anyway.. I meet up in the Nightingale pub and within 2 minutes of being there Clive asks “what’s happening with Michelle, what’s gone wrong?” I ain't seen Clive since Xmas really but I then realise he's an avid follow of the blog! For him my blog is like the online version of East Enders! Took me a bit by surprise really I kinda forget that people actually read it. 

Here's the run down on the Michelle thing. Despite quite a few texts and a few calls for some reason she doesn't want to know anymore? Anyway I managed to get hold of her in the end and had a chat, poor Michelle is under a bit of pressure. She's a single mum, holds down a proper job, has 2 daughters and works hard, but she's struggling with it all, physco ex is sniffing around constantly pressurising her, I'm pressurising her to see me, She's also just had a major operation in hospital and it appears it has taken its toll on her and she's kinda slipped down the "I'm happy living thermometer " and she just wants to be herself. ( Now.. lets get a reality check on real life and see what's probably really happened!!) 

My ex spun me a similar tale about wanting some space away from me "...just for a month or 2 " she said and that was 2 years ago!!..I must be a complete sucker for punishment, but you don't just go from speaking to someone every day to no longer talking at all overnight without a reason, It's a bit obvious to be honest, she's back with her ex boyfriend she must be, the rubbish kiss goodnight, the no texting , the no calling, ain't got time to see me?? ( Own up love! Come on, I ain't that stupid)...Its bloody ignorant though either way. (Answers on a postcard please) Perhaps the whole thing has run its natural cause anyway so if it has then the following paragraph will come into effect

Now....Out of very problem comes an opportunity!!! I am therefore (possibly) holding interviews for Michelle II. (FYI you don't need to be called Michelle!) Anyway here's your golden chance. My requests are very modest and just to note I'm not looking to get married or engaged at this current time! You will need to be slim, sexy, curvaceous, intelligent, funny and very very pretty late 30's early 40's or look that age. You must also appreciate copious amounts of alcohol (any type) and be prepared to put in a minimum 8/10 performance in the sack. Applications via email please (females only! Before I start getting joke stuff from you lot! ) lol!

Can't fault the weather, so great. Its 20 odd degrees in the van every day. I've come up with this great idea, why not live 6 months in a flat for winter and 6 months in a Motorhome, very logical think about it!! Get a 6 month flat rental and enjoy the whole spring and summer out on the road!! 

I'm up and down the golf range every other day got a competition weds my first game of the year. Nice going to the range, takes your mind off a lot of hassles. Just whack some balls and enjoy yourself! 

I'm still up in the lane, free parking and a nice bit of country side right outside the van, I've been looking at the French thing but I'm thinking the weather is stonking here, it's cheaper and it's less hassle plus Milky has invited me done to the Rhondda valley for Easter. I'm gonna stay put in good old blighty I think for another month!   

Spent a little money on the Piaggio, had a puncture a while ago and some bloke put a temporary plug in the tyre for a tenner ( temporary?? I've been driving it around for 2 months!) But I had this conversation with Lordy the other day what happens if your tyre blows on your bike at 70mph ?? Umm that was enough for me to get it replaced! £48 quid later all done and it corners miles better. No issues with the Kontiki, other than something weird, the front overhead cab pop up vent seems to have had its weather proof cover ripped off, how the hell I don't know, good job I spotted it though, as if it had rained I would have been in BIG trouble.   MOT is coming up and I need a new headlamp, seen a pair on EBay and manage to nick them with 30 sec's to go for £104, these Talbot Express headlamps can fetch £100 each ! They are so expensive!!

Played in the golf competition today glorious sunshine and so great to meet all the lads! Played a course called Mardyke Valley not too far away and in excellent condition, got 16 pts on the front nine but the back nine fell to bits was slashing around the last 3 holes to keep my points tally low so I can get some shots back. Milky took the gold prize and he's now gonna drive Lordy and me nuts for the next 7 months!!  

I'm off down to Wales (again) in 2 days to spend Easter with Milky and Ruth up in the valleys so I'll update you all next week

outside the hotel!   in the lane   roman barracks

 

 Week 22 : 21st April 2011

All this sun sun sun has got me thinking solar, solar panels to be exact, never really studied it much but at Maplin's they have what looks like a clever bit of kit, 15 watt solar panels that you join together up to a maximum of 10 and at £50 each they seem good value so I bought one as a tester. I've screwed in down directly on the to the roof, left hand side so as to give me space to fit another 3, so I'll have 60 watts of power. These panels are phase 2 so they need just light not direct sunlight to function. See some pic's below of me and Aaron (Milky's son) fitting them. Simply run the cable down through the main wardrobe and attach to the crocodile clips to the batteries. You can fit 4 of these very neatly across the Kontiki's main roof no problem and 60 watts will be ideal, with a total cost of £200.  

Now if you are wondering about charging power etc this is roughly how to calculate it. Take the size of your solar panel let’s say 60 watts and divide by the voltage so 60/12 = 5. Your panel should generate 5 amps of power back to the battery. To calculate charging time simply divide this amp figure (5) into the size of your batteries. A 100 amp hour leisure battery divided by 5 = 20. Meaning 20 hours of sunlight to recharge back to good. You can also power items directly from the panels, to give you an idea of the power you should easily be able to recharge a mobile phone within say 30 minutes no problem, Maplin's sell a little pack of cables for just this function, could be good if you have kids with Nintendo’s and Itouch gadgets etc

Happy Easter everyone! I'm back down in Wales for Easter celebrations with Milky in the Rhondda valley. Always a good time down here the Welsh really have an excellent social life, been a bit lonely for me lately so I'm well up for it. I'm still planning this trip to France (I know I keep promising!) but with the weather as it is and fuel so expensive £1.40 plus.. It’s taking a lot of thought! I'm saving money anyway with all this wild camping, in fact it’s totally second nature for me now, the last time I was on a campsite was in Aberystwyth about the 10th of March, ( when I mean I’m saving money I'm not putting it away! Saving in the sense of not paying silly campsite fees ) I know this would not be everybody’s cup of tea but you can live on the streets no problem, and even I a complete beginner at Motorhome wild camping seems to have got it right. Just use your head and think!

While on the subject of living on the streets here's a tip.. Hide your keys! Let’s say you've been down the off license and bought a nice bottle of red and drunk the lot with a couple of cans, if the old bill turn up technically they can do you for drink driving even though you are not moving? But you have to be in charge of the vehicle i.e. be able to drive it, if they can't find the keys they can't do you so be careful and hopefully I have saved someone from a ban.  

Got this email the other day from a guy who says I've inspired him and he's leaving his wife to live in a Motorhome! I hope I'm not starting a trend here! Anyway I'm not mentioning any names, but I wish you all the best mate! (And no it’s not Lordy!) 

Have had a great time in the valleys, watched some really nice artists in Maerdy con club, and had a cracking afternoon in Aberdare Monday, cool guy singing some great stuff.

Dropped Milky off in Cardiff to catch his bus home back to London, I'm heading to Porthcawl for a few days for a bit of beach time!! So after I dropped him off I filled up with fuel only to find the van would not start!!!!!!!! Nothing - zip - nada - nothing, turn the key nothing!! I'm blocking like the whole forecourt! Tried to see what it was but no good so I phone the RAC as I am a member.

"What vehicle is it??" she says, so I tell her, she needs a bit more time and asks me to wait, she comes back mmm...Is it bigger than 18 feet or more than 3.5 ton? " Its 22 feet darling what does that have to do with anything" ... " If its more than 18 feet you are not covered you have to take out special caravan camping policy" like bollocks am I! When I cross into Wales and go through the Severn Bridge I pay the same money as a car, when I go through the Dartford tunnel I pay the same money as a car, I tax it like a car!? Don't start this with me when I have broken down. "I'll send somebody she said but if its over 18 feet you are not covered" ?? huh ?? What part of 22 foot do you not understand you dopey mare I told you its 22 feet long. 30 min's later RAC man turns up he's good as gold and gets stuck in without measuring anything, turns out the positive battery terminal which is one of those bonded welded cable in type ones has a fracture inside it, wiggling the positive cable makes it start, we cable tie it up into a position where it starts fine and I just need to find a motor factors and buy some new terminals. Top bloke he was very helpful and I bunged him a tenner. Anyway back to the length thing, he said " I still think you are covered mate for roadside but not recovery as our contractors will not lift anything bigger than 18 foot " so READ the small print guys you may not be covered on a standard RAC policy with your wagon

Having a couple of days on the beach in Porthcawl!! Enjoy the sun while it lasts, thinking of parking up in central London for Kate and Wills wedding! Police would like that one!!

(Oh no...I've broken down yet again !! Twice in 1 week, full details in my next post! )

  motorhome solar panel fitting  fitted solar panel   nice and hot with no heating!!   enjoying my holidays!! view of the valleys     

 

Week 23 : 28th April 2011

 

I had this huge rant all written out about how depressed I was this week, and how I can't understand how people abandon other people. You know.... You have some sort of relationship, friendship whatever you want to call it, and then bang, one half ends it, just kills it dead but to make you feel more sicker they don't talk to you, they just cut the cord with a knife. I've had this twice now and the other night I wrote a big article about it, but it was all in anger, sheer aggressive anger but where does anger get you?? Nowhere. Revenge is a dish best served cold and it is, but that's not the answer either. I spoke with a few of my friends the other day and they inspired me. Anger gets you nowhere and direct action from anger simply papers over the cracks and has a temporary lift to your ego. So...I've ditched the article, it remains on file but I'm trying to look at life through some different coloured glasses.

As predicated by me and every body else in the whole wide world Michelle has gone back to her old coke head boyfriend ( nice guys come last. You are better off being a complete bastard!) But.. All that's now in the past  so lets move on!

Broke down again this week, coming back from Porthcawl, lucky really as I was just past Newport and managed to limp it to Mikes pub in Caerleon, Water was poring out of the front end, it was the radiator so I tried the egg white trick no luck  ( ...if you have a rad leak put some egg white into your cooling system, it seals it up like a treat ) so I had to wait until the morning. It was then evident to me that the rad was a complete mess and totally un fixable, but where am I gonna get one from today as it royal wedding day! So I start phoning around and the first company called Fast Rads about thirty min's away was looking not good until the guy said its your luck day mate I have one!! Brilliant and they agree to deliver it to me to help  me out. Cost £125 with the delivery

Now being a jack of all trades I installed it my self of course, pretty easy, no real problems took about 2 hours. Some dodgy hard bolts to get out but got there in the end (see some of pic's below). Had it all done by 2.30 and was back in London by 8 just in time to meet two of the sad's club members Clive and Ian in the gale with a nice well deserved pint waiting for me.

Saturday I got the chance to go up the range again with my old neighbours Jackie and Liz, in exchange for free golf lessons I get a nice comfy sofa to watch Spurs v Chelsea ( don't start me off stupid Gomez keeper) They live on the top floor, so I get a birds eye view of the Kontiki roof, absolutely disgustingly dirty! Something needs to be done.

Oops!! Just noticed the van tax is about to expire so I do it online £215 for a year, absolute disgrace, I do 6 months instead to save a few quid as the MOT is up in 2 weeks and while I'm sure she will be ok you never now. I can't take it to my normal (good as gold guy) as it won't fit in to his garage so I'm gonna have to have a hunt around wish me luck on this one

Had some times with my girls and went back up the range with my youngest she looks very grown up but she only 13 she's very tall , I don't think people understand how hard a brake up affects a child. My French friend Stephanie went through an horrific time when her parents split and she was the same age, had counselling for years the lot and she still isn't right, hopefully both my lovely girls will be fine. Now. After that quality family time I decided enough is enough ( no I'm not about to do another massive rant I'm talking Kontiki roof !! Lets get her clean.

Near me is a nice big petrol station that has 2 jet washes, so I borrowed my mates ladder from Gaks wines ( See Avtar... You get a mention! ) and I head off. The bit I really want to clean is over the cab so I wedge the ladder up against the kerb and put the top touching the Kontiki overhead bit and get to work. God it was caked on, I've got most off it off but its gonna need another go, couldn't take to long as I was pissing the people off behind me waiting! When I've done it I'll post some pic's

Things keep going missing from the van!! When I was in Caerleon a month or so ago the glass on my near side headlamp just vanished, I've had to put some acrylic glass on there for now while the new headlamps arrive, but yesterday when my mate Gary turned up he said "..what's happened to your light mate?" the bloody cover of the lamp over the exterior main door is missing? I swear it was there in the morning and the van hasn't moved! and.. it's not on the floor. Must be the disadvantages of street living, people nicking stuff!

Lastly it's May 4th. 2 years ago at 10.00pm tonight the ex told me after 18 years together she didn't want to be with me any more

         new rad motohome      golf

missing motorhome light

 

Week 24 : 5th May 2011

I suppose a Motorhome is like any other home, you know.. it's a house. You still have to clean it, maintain it etc and experience the same issues as if it was bricks and mortar in some respect, which in the case of last night was bloody true! ANTS!!!!  Caught a glimmer of an ant in the corner of my eye, then another, another, another, another.. Shit I've got an ant infestation its 11.00pm at night!.  Now I know why hidden in the back of the gas bottle locker was a tub of ant killer. Thankfully its still half full. Where the bloody hell have they come from?

I get the torch out and have a look outside the main door, I'm parked right up against a grass verge, and closer inspection shows hundreds of the little buggers on the kerb, clever little sods they are, they are climbing up my mud flap and getting into the van that way!! I give the whole flap and the ground a good dosing of the powder and whack it in my battery compartment as well, which is where they seem to getting in. Currently on ant watch can't get to sleep....

I'm still wild camping, its totally second nature, weather is great!! Can't remember the last time it rained! I'm not saying its everyone's cup of tea but if you can find the right places its a right result especially on your expenses. I suppose if it was raining everyday it might not be so much fun

Lordy has this sick habit of banging on my window in the morning to wake me up lately. He knows I'm in the Abbey lane so I'm easy prey (in fact he actually goes out of his way to do it) "...Get up you lazy Bxxxxxxxx" he shout's then shoots off on his bike. Surely he has better things to do!! I'm not lazy I just go to bed late.

Got a call from my French friend Stephanie, ".. When am I coming to France " this a tough one. I've been promising to go but things seem to look a hell of a lot better here ( sun is out, forecast is excellent, beer is cheaper, got free parking 90% of the time, ain't got to do £500 in diesel ) ok there are advantages, South of France is so cool and the women are so hot! So I explain and say " ...Look, money is tight, work is down on last year so unless things improve I'm not going to make it or at the best it would be August " to be honest I would love to go, would be nice to have a girlfriend or something to share the trip and have a real good time.

Got MOT coming up this week can't find a garage big enough to take the Kontiki so I'm going to the local council depot, Lordy takes all his building vehicles there, I'll let you know the damage next week, although the good thing about the council MOT station is simply that its an MOT test, they are not interested in trying to repair your repairs.

The new headlamps off EBay have finally arrived via a trip to South Wales . Stupid eBay guy sent them to Michelle's house, and she sends me a txt to say they have arrived, and she forwards them to me. Lucky for me I'm using my new " looking through different coloured glasses outlook on life" as if I had slagged her off I would be two headlamps down now.

Decided to invest in some new bike gear. I'm using the Piaggio more and more. I know times are a bit tough money wise but safety is paramount. If you get a scooter like me and whack in on the back of your Motorhome think about it. Wear the right gear!  I replaced my open face crash helmet with a new full face one one and had it professionally fitted , meaning any decent motorbike shop should test it when you have it on to see if it doesn't slip or slide, on impact you don't want it coming off or slicing your nose and face in two. Wasn't a lot of money £50 that's all but you feel tons safer. I also bought a jacket with proper padding in the arms and shoulders again not silly money only £70 ( you can pay up to £400) but I'm thinking.. If I come off I want at least half a chance. 

Talking of health, remember when I was in Saundersfoot having what I thought was a heart attack? And the doc could not diagnose me. Well here is what happened while on my Welsh travels I was texting / emailing my chums back in London of course and one evening Lordy ( soon to be called Dr Lordy) said " ...Taffy do me a favour and stop drinking coffee see how you get on, I've had problems with it recently just give it a try" well I did. Bloody hell the difference is amazing I have nothing now virtually gone, no pain no nothing , I've seen 2 doctors had the problem for 8 months they could not help me and now I'm cured by a bloody builder!

Lastly... Now the solar panel has been on for a few weeks its given me time to do some tests , I'll post them next week with the results.

Lost my bloody Iphone! I've lost 4 phones in two years, I am so useless sometimes !

new motorbike jacket   missing motorhome light   ant powder party in my battery compartment   more ant powder   golf day out   Motorhome solar power!!

 

Week 25 : 12th May 2011

Yet again I've lost another phone! I’ve lost 4 in the last 2 years I’m hopeless, lucky I backed up all my stuff up especially the photos. Problem is that its taken Orange ages to send me a new sim and its doing my head in, the phone is insured so ‘Ill get a new one but its all a huge pain in the ass, one  trip to Tesco at 10.45pm at night and I lose my phone!

Internet work is very slow so I’m doing some DIY stuff, I'm boarding out the loft of my lezzie friends Jacky and Mandy's top floor flat, doing it with my mate Gary. 50 8 x 2 boards up 4 flights of steps, bloody knackered, anyway there is a good point to this paragraph,  Gary asks me at the end of one of the days " what are you doing tonight"  " I'm going to the laundrette" I said, “ Nah stuff that” he said “give me all your washing and Ill get my misses to do it!”  So he takes it home!! Low and behold I get it back the following day all done and ironed! I dread to think what his wife said when he brought it home!  Saves me the aggro though!

Went out Fri night in my old home town, met up with Clive and Ian from the dads club (sorry sad’s club) in the Cuckfield pub. During our drinks they showed me this interesting picture of earlier that evening when they came across my van parked up in the street the bloody sods were weeing up against it!! They thought it was funny and took a pic ( I suppose it was ) Met some people who find it strange that I live in a Motorhome, also amazing is how people think they know the law of the land, even  though they know nothing whatsoever and tell me I can’t sleep on the street and its illegal blah blah blah amazing how they back pedal so much when challenged!   Was a good night but the ex witch appeared out of nowhere, she was also there and turned up out of the darkness, and decided to say hello for 30 seconds but it gave me the hump and I lost it at the end of the night when she had gone, ( this  weekend 2 years ago is the day that I moved out of the house  ) filling the air with the worst expletives about my hatred for her . It still hurts even after 2 years and I defy anybody to say anything different. My friends were not amused but as I said let’s see how you react when or if it happens to you!

Gary and I have a slight issue on the loft job, we only need to lay 8 more boards but....  Bee’s nest!! The bloody things have bedded down inside the fibre glass insulation, and god they are making a racket, so Jackie rings the national bee keepers association,  and they give us a local number for a bee man. The man says “... Oh yes no problem simply roll up the fibre glass and put it outside, don’t worry pretty sure they won’t sting you, but you may want to wear some gloves!!! WHAT!!  .I said ok let’s do it now, but Jackie said no,  the man said it must be done at night when all the bees return to the nest,! What... all return??!! There sound’s bloody millions in there now and on top of this Gary says “ I can’t be here tonight mate you have to do it on your own” !!  Oh cheers pal ...more to come

I removed the bees nest! I rolled it up like the guy said but it split open and they came pouring out! But armed with a can of RAID I managed to keep cool and get the lot into a black bin bag and job done!

SOLAR UPDATE

Now got 3 solar panels on the roof and I must say I'm really impressed. Haven't had a huge amount of sunshine but they function well anyway. I reckon each 15 watt panel is giving out 0.875 amps so I've got  about 2.7 amps coming through every hour. All lights, water pump and 12 volt items function great, and even my 20 inch MEOS TV functions although I only get 2 hours before the sounds goes and I get picture only. ( Really weird my MEOS if the battery runs below a certain figure the sound goes but I still have picture, in fact I can still have the pic for like an hour or more?) What I need to do is have a good charge electric wise and charge the batteries to the max then live totally on solar and see how long it lasts, I'll do this sometime this week, but anyway I'm impressed and I'm going to get another panel so I'll have 60 watts. Not sure what it will be like in winter probably crap but I suppose in the South of France it must be really good!!  I've also bought a cheap 5 quid voltage meter and wired it up to the batteries so I can see what's happening, quite cool actually you can see the voltage rise when the panels are attached, I've also bought a solar regulator, you will need one of these if you go this route, it stops the panels from over charging and cooking the batteries, if you have a 60 watt panel or combination of panels to that amount then you need a simple 6 amp regulator got them in Maplin's about £16. When my new Iphone arrives I'll take some really good pic's of it! (promise)

Got a small update on the solar I've bought another panel so now I have 4 of them all joined together and 60 watts of power creating approx 3.5 amps and the whole lot has cost me £216 including the regulator that's bloody cheap! And it looks the nuts up on the roof.

Still wild camping as normal, been ages and ages since I've been on a camp site, I've  been parked just up the road from Jacky and Mandy's flat, its a nice big wide road and there's a few big vans parked their to. Won't over stay my welcome of course but if you box clever and keep yourself to yourself you can stay in one place for quite a while. You need to make your Motorhome a parked vehicle as opposed to a living vehicle.

Put the new headlamp on, and checked her out for MOT all looks good, I need to get this new MOT done ASAP as its run out! I'm going to book it in for Friday so lets see what happens.

Work is still very slow, worst its ever been and a bit of a worry, one shining light may be Milky. There is a lot of people off down at the milk yard through illness and various other things he's gonna try and get me a temporary job there, funny hours 1.00am to 6.00 am, but I'll give it a crack.

Played golf in the society Weds and was rubbish, to make it even worse Lordy was in my 4 ball and he won the event. More stick coming my way.

Lastly.... Still waiting for my new phone! 

solar panels on motorhome

 

Week 26 : 19th May 2011

Half a year done!!!! 26 weeks living in a Motorhome and I've loved it. Loving the current weather, living on the streets, freedom to come and go. I may never go back to a house again ha ha.

I bumped into Stevie the homeless guy the other night coming back from the pub, Steve was the guy I sat down and had a chat with outside Tesco the night I lost my phone, and I'm thinking I bet I took it out of my pocket when I sat down next to him anyway I say " Oy Stevie did you have my Iphone the other night? " Well...You know the look people give when they are guilty as shit well this was it " no mate no uhhhh no uhhh I would never do that not to you blah blah blah ". Probably in the hands of some crack dealer now for a fiver's worth of gear or a flagon of cider I reckon

Somebody emailed about wiring up the solar panels together this is super easy. You want to keep the same voltage going into the batteries but you want maximum oommmfff going into them . You simply connect them in parallel. This is a piece of cake.

Take all the positive red wires from each panel( in my case 4 of them) and join them together and place them into a terminal block. Take all the negative black cables and join them together and place them into another terminal block. Take 1 positive wire and 1 negative wire from each of the respective terminal blocks and attach them to your regulator. I actually have a crocodile clip on each of these wires that join my regulator so when I drive or start my engines I can separate the solar panels from the system as its possible to damage your panels running or starting your engine so I now simply disconnect them when I am on the move and when parked up re connect in seconds. You could of course put in a simple solar On/Off switch which I will probably do when I get 5 minutes. There's a big difference between just normal light and the strong sun light, because when the sun is out (proper) for a day the batteries charge super quick. My 2 70 amp batteries were fully charged the other day in no time. I watched a ton of TV, 3 hours of the Grand Prix, Footy everything. As I have said before it must be the nuts if you are in Spain or France. Haven't used the generator for ages

Played golf with Milky and Lordy on Tues and used my electric trolley, I simply wired the battery up to my solar the day before and bingo full battery no problem! 17ah battery charged up in no time! ( oh...and sadly I lost £9 in skins I was rubbish, gone from hero to zero)

I've still had trouble with the engine temperature sensor still not working the temp gauge properly so I took it out and touted it around several motor factors. Not a chance in getting one. Only option seems to be the Internet. There's 2 on my van the larger one is for the engine over heating light on the dashboard the temp gauge one is the smaller one that goes into the water pump housing.

MOT!!!! Checked her over for MOT only one side light out, ( expensive little buggers those small 5 watt halogen bulbs!) anyway I had it booked in to the local council MOT place in Loughton, The Kontiki is a bit big for normal garages, anyway Lordy rung up for me and they said yeh no problem. I duly arrived there at 3pm Weds ( you are probably  guessing the rest) and a bloke comes out with a tape measure?? " Not sure if it will fit" he says? " but hang on my mate rang you the other day and you said no problem?" " I think its ok" he said "there's 4 inches spare". So I drive it on to the ramp and I'm thinking this looks like a normal car ramp? yeh ok its a big building with loads of space and height but why am I on a normal car ramp. Anyway 30 seconds later he says " sorry mate it don't fit you need to find someplace with a pit"  ??? What the fxxx? So I wasted a complete afternoon with these idiots and the Motorhome still doesn't have an MOT. I'm off down to Wales with Milky on Friday perhaps we can find somewhere down there.

Stupid phone insurance people have been mucking me about. I finally got hold of them and they have agreed my claim but have no Iphone's in stock so now they have agreed to pay me £352 to get another one. Cool. Where's the money? "oh we will bacs it over to your bank, please allow up to 10 days, 10 DAYS!!! for a bacs transfer are you nuts I need my phone now not in 10 days. 2 days has gone so far and money still not in account, any bets it will take 10 days? I bet it does.

I'm back up at the lane. Had a week at my old place without any issues whatsoever no old bill no nothing. Was dead handy right near the shops, pubs, Tesco etc but you can't fling your side door open and open up all your windows really, I suppose that's the flip side of street living, keeping a low profile. Here in the lane I've got a garden ( ok a grass verge) nobody to hassle me and I can do what I want!

Pictures may be a bit iffy over the next week or so but I will get some done. I used to use my Iphone to take all these site pic's was dead easy. Off down to Wales in the van tomorrow for more Karaoke ( wedding ) Happy Motor homing!

( oh and I've opened up my laptop to find the screen is cracked big time. Every week there's always a bit of bad news on the end of my blog! got to be something good coming soon)

 

Week 27 : 26th May 2011

I have now finally discovered why there was a tub of ant powder in the gas locker. But first I need to tell you something different. Had a great time in Maerdy doing the Karaoke, but being Wales of course the weather wasn't that great in fact it pissed down for 2 days! Now.. Bank holiday Monday morning I wake up, have a shower and invest in a new pair of socks and pants, I open up the locker next to the wardrobe to get some out and everything is soaking wet. Yes...The leak is back with vengeance. Absolutely soaking it was, worse than last time. I am parked on a slight camber leaning to the left and I'm wondering if this has anything to do with it but its bloody annoying.

We get back to London with me driving, Milky as co pilot and his son Aaron (who both ways has been fast asleep in the kitchen double bed!) Bloody kids for you hey. Anyway.. I have another seal up around the roof with some new gear this time a clear polymer labelled All Weather Sealant (perhaps this is better stuff) I hope so and investigate inside the small cupboard. Its obvious the wood is a bit rotten so I decide to rip out the rot, just like I did in the main wardrobe earlier on in the year. I rip out one side and as I'm doing the other side an ant appears then another and then another blah blah blah, Jesus they are pouring out, there's a huge nest in between the 2 pieces of ply, seriously they are pouring out. God knows how they got there god knows for how long. Lucky I have a brand new tub of ant killer on board, and I whack it in. 1 hour later they are all dead as a dodo. Perhaps it was the damp conditions that attracted them I don't know.

Found this on the Internet, if you have ants but can't find the nest try this...

"..To actually kill them
mix some mashed potatoes with boric acid (easily bought) ants will bring it back to the nest as food. The acid dehydrates them from the inside. Just put small amounts where they can feed on it. Be sure to keep it away from house pets."

 

So this weekend coming I'm re-plying it all out, well actually its easier with hardboard, but the problem with Motorhome living is its not easy to keep all your tools as space is limited, and despite numerous requests to Michelle via Facebook for the return of my cordless drill she still hasn't replied ( I don't get it with that girl she is so ignorant sometimes, at least reply. Whoever buys this van when I have finished isn't going to have any problems at all! ( Edit: She did reply and all is ok just kinda takes her a while lol )

Sadly I'm back down to Wales on Friday for my ex Father in Law George's funeral, been suffering from dementia for the last 8 years now he is free from it at last. Gonna be a huge funeral he was a massive figure in the town of Cwmbran.

Lordy appears to have given up his banging on the van morning wake up calls, he couldn't find me for a week and a half, so its thrown him off the trail! He rang me the other day from some car auctions " ..Taffy there's this huge Chevrolet Motorhome here sleeps like 20 people ideal for you its massive and its only 15 grand " yeh maybe only 15 grand to you Lordy, but way out of my league at the moment plus if its petrol I bet it does 10 to the gallon. I reckon all that American stuff must be dead cheap at the moment. Best thing to do with a Winnebago I reckon is to buy one cheap and stick it on an all year round caravan park and live in it, cheap house for probably £3-£400 a month. If I could find some cheap land, get permission for change of use and start my own park up ( oh and sell my flat to pay for everything ) that's what I would do. In fact get a few of them and rent them out!

I've become a bit of a big women lately! I've got my washing sorted out to a tee! Been down the launderette done all my washing and drying and I'm so pleased with the quality of my whites! Now I know you are gonna laugh but nothing beats getting your washing done really good and all your whites coming out sparkling and immaculate, I'm really into it and can't wait to get down their again! In fact going to the launderette is a good crack, very busy today lots of different characters, if you are people watcher like me its great fun, its like going to the cinema for 90mins! Shame there's no iron there though!

Talking about ironing this is a pain when you live in a Motorhome especially on the streets, I'm trying to find a low watt iron but even these are 1200 watts, I reckon the generator could handle it , as it handles my 1400 watt cheapo Tesco hover ok , but I suppose if you have anything less than 1200 then you may as not bother as you'll be ironing a pair of trousers for like half an hour at a time! Another alternative would be to simply look in your local newsagents in what ever town you find yourself in, always a few Eastern Europeans advertising cleaning and ironing, in fact I reckon you could probably get them to do the whole wash dry and iron bit for not a lot of money say £10-£15, just a thought!!

Lastly got my money off insurance company for the Iphone, got £359 and bought one second hand on eBay for £200. Happy days

   water damge in cupboard   more waterr damage in motorhome cupboard   more motorhome water damage !   neat clean and tidy laundry motorhome style!

 

Week 28 : 2nd June 2011

In Cwmbran Wales for my ex father in laws funeral George Willis, a lovely man who was considered to be big hard and tough by people, but you need to see things in a different light. Yeh he was hard and tough but deep down he was a pussy cat, he loved people and he loved his family and grand children. Was a great service, and my son read a poem that George used to recite, church was totally packed with a couple of hundred and still 40 people standing at the back, and a huge wake in the afternoon at the golf club. Was nice to spend time with my son , ex misses ( not the witch, but the one I was married to for a few years 20 odd years ago) and old family even in solemn times. I've never seen a funeral so big. RIP George.

Had a bit of evening time in Caerleon, at Mikes pub, The Angel, and bumped into Darren, Sid and the boys, ( remember Darren's old van which I said looked like scrap!!) found out that they had just come back from the Isle of White on a Motorhome / Fishing mission for 10 days, they had some great stories really sounded the nuts. Wish I had gone too. After a skin full of lager, my son's mate Woody turned up on a push bike and rode us down the hill back to the house, me on the seat, him in the middle and my son on the handle bars, 12 at night no lights and all pissed, god forbid if we had crashed!!

Just a note...I didn't take the Kontiki down to the funeral, I left it in London, wanted to give the old Porsche a spin, ( and.. The fuel is much cheaper in the Porsche ) hadn't really driven it for a while and it was great fun to drive, was doing 100-110 all the way home on Saturday to get back in time for Britain's Got Talent (I'm sad!)

I'm back up at the lane, near Milky's place, unusually It's been pissing down with rain for 2 days and the leak is nothing like it was, I've got the new sealant in place, but I can still feel a tiny bit of wet. Thanks to all who have emailed about it especially Lee, who also has a Kontiki as well same model. Part of the problem we think is the rear roof bit has a standing area where the top box fits, its like a mini bath come swimming pool when it pours down, whether or not the 2 main drain holes can deal with it quick enough is debatable, Lee has suggested drilling some extra holes and I agree. The problem always seems to be when you are on the streets leaning left on to the pavement. Also gonna get a tube of Sikaflex which Lee sent me advertised on eBay as Motorhome sealant

Still no more work coming in, every self employed person I seem to speak to is struggling big time, I have a few ideas to sort it out, but  thank god I live in the Kontiki, no huge bills, no poll tax, no massive rent or similar. I've got something up my sleeve for next week but can't say on line today but will do very soon!!! ( It's a surprise!)

I've ripped all the rotten wood out of the small cupboard and the left hand side of the main wardrobe and I've re ant powdered it up yet again. Not going to re-ply it out until I know 100% its effing stopped leaking!! Looks a bit tatty but all will be good when done. Do it now while its sunny!!!

Lastly.. Nothing happening in the romance department since Michelle. Been on the dating sites like plentyoffish.com, but its all so clinical, loads of emails, ton's of please meet me etc, but I want to meet someone in a pub, bar, public place you know, where your eyes meet and there's a bit of flirting and banter, plus most of the women on their look like my mother! I'm really young for my age and don't won't some granny!  The internet stuff is so blunt, its like posting your CV. Plus there are women on there demanding total commitment and you ain't even met up yet!!  IE : you must be loyal, dedicated, honest , looking for a long term relationship, not be looking for one night stands, blah blah blah... Do me a favour! 

Pic's to following, and an interesting blog for next week lol!

 

 

Week 29 : 9th June 2011

I'm in Benidorm!! ( but by plane! ) Yes correct, couldn't mention it last week as it was a surprise to my mates. 5 of us went last year but when they booked for this year Milky and I said we wasn't going ( well at that point we wasn't ) but we came to our senses about 2 months ago and booked it. We waited for them to arrive at the hotel (as we got there before them a day early) and burst out from behind the bar shouting OLA OLA!! They loved it. What a surprise.

Love Benidorm, a lot of people knock it but its so much fun. Cheap as chips and tons of evening entertainment, along with baking hot sun! (Solar panel heaven!). Had seven days of absolute mayhem, out every night and falling in at 5.00 am plus, in fact one night I had no sleep at all! Great comic there Tony Scott, very funny and tons of tribute style bands. All the clubs charge nothing to get in and the drinks are still very sensible only 3 Euro, in fact in the pubs a pint of local lager is only 1.50. Was tons of the usual karaoke singing of course, karaoke bars are everywhere, best one is the Black Chicken, cheap beer and great mike system.

Amazingly we met a women that was there last year Lisa, we couldn't believe it out of the thousands of people there we bump into her. Mad as a hatter she is, out of her tree on vodka with her stunning mate Penelope and who was very cloying indeed (of which I fancied the pants off her). Not going into too much details ha ha but hoping to meet up with her soon, she's not far away only a few hours so lets see what happens, I've been down this holiday route before!!

Its funny but in my last post I mentioned about that Internet dating rubbish and said I just want to walk into a bar and meet someone, eyes meet flirt etc, well there you are, It happens.. I must have had a premonition, really stunning women, intelligent pretty and sexy, even had a hand in hand stroll along the beach, I guess you can now tell I'm smitten!

I parked the Motorhome up at my old place on the street, generally very safe there but you never know, always in my mind I'm wondering will it still be there on my return? Or has someone broken in? The good news is that the batteries will be maxed up nicely on my return as the solar will be charging them so no worries about power.

Staying in some cheapo apartments right in the middle of town in " The Square Mile  " sleep is almost impossible and even at 7.00am when it starts to go quiet just 1 hour later the dustbin men turn up and cause havoc. I actually get tons better sleep at home in the Kontiki!!!

I won't rattle on to much about Benidorm as I know its got nothing to do with Motorhome's so I'll leave you with some saucy pic's!

 Penny, me and Lysa   the gang and I   camping it up!   having a laugh   whats in our fridge!!  me looking cool ha ha

 

 

Week 30 : 16th June 2011

Oh my god what a week since I've been back from Benidorm! Anyway before I get into the total disaster that left me in hospital for 2 days (true) I now have guest writers in the blog Yes!!!!! One of my many Benidorm women has written part of my blog for me this week and sent it over here it is below!!

  • This weeks blog has not just been written by me This week there are two of us writing it, I thought I would surprise you all ! What a nightmare of a week I have had , see the attached photo of my gorgeous face! Too much alcohol and too little sleep were the contributing factors plus what's even worse is the young lady I met in Benidorm who has been blown away by me , her body is craving mine and its driving her daft, she is thinking will this distance thing cause major problems can I throw in my old life and just take a chance , time will tell I suppose Its my birthday tomorrow and don't know what the day will hold for me

    She has read a little of my blog about the pretty woman she needs to be and other stuff to meet my strict criteria ! she is a ten out of ten in the bedroom she assures me but is slightly worried her demands might be too much for a recovering alcoholic (cheeky moo!) that is only fed on rabbit food 

    I am thinking of visiting my son at uni and calling to see her to take her for lunch and see if I still fancy her plus I thought a few days in the peak district would be nice she says I can have her dog for a couple of days but that he is not good with sheep.... I am a sheep expert myself being Welsh !

    God Help Me Please! Is this now the future of my blog,  lol !!!!

    Not been that great a week since I have been back had 2 days in hospital. Here's what happened. Got back from Benidorm Saturday at 6.30pm , and went straight to a 50th party, didn't go mad wasn't hammered or anything and had a nice night. Got up Sunday morning drove back home from Milky's on my bike all ok, wrote the blog and did various other things. 1.00pm jumped back on my bike and headed off to my mates shop to check my lottery and buy a toothbrush as I had left mine in Beni. Got through the door, removed my helmet and jacket, picked up a bag of crisps to eat and then........ .............................................................................................................. ............................................ 8 minutes later paramedics are bringing me around! Apparently I just totally fainted / collapsed straight down head first onto the floor, I was out before I hit the floor. No idea why what or anything. Had an ambulance to the hospital, a CT scan, chest x-ray, heart ECG the lot . Nothing wrong. Blood test all ok except Gamma GT is high ( not surprised after 7 days in Benidorm!)

    Not all bad I suppose.. I got a free bed for a couple of nights, some hot girls dressed in nurses outfits, free electric, breakfast, lunch and evening meal.

    Oh and while on the subject of disasters here's another....yes its disaster week!!! The key has sheared off in the ignition of the porker! and I'm thinking Mmmmmm????? did I take out key insurance coz the year before I defo did not, (£15 extra for key insurance fxxx off I'm not paying that) but this year??...Did she grind me down on the phone and get that £15 I bloody hope so! RESULT: YES  I'm covered so all will be well on the porker front, more to follow.....

    Don't bother with the key cover!!!! Company called Boomerang. I ring them up, tell them the score I'm 1 million percent honest and they tell me that they only pay £50 for keys snapped in locks or ignitions? £50!!!! I don't get out of bed for £50 and neither do locksmiths you must be kidding!! Oh and check this out.. If I had lost the keys then they would fork out up to £1500, might as well as bloody told them I had lost the whole lot then! Does my head in. 50 quid what sort of cover is that? Pathetic!! So now I'm going to have to strip down my ignition and try to recover half a key so I can somehow get some key cutter to do me a copy! Lesson...Read the small print yet again.......

    lovely nurses!   broken porsche key   me in hospital after blacking out!    nice bit of hospital grub   I now look like the terminator!

     

    Week 31 : 23rd June 2011

    Its my birthday tomorrow! 49 years young. Last thing I want to be is stuck in the van on the street so its decision time what shall I do? Bingo!!! Go to Sheffield.. Very good reason for going.. My son is in university there and he's only got 2 weeks left so as a responsible father I should go and see if he is ok.. Plus by sheer coincidence Lady Penelope ( who I met in Benidorm) lives 5 min's from him and Lysa (another Benidorm gal) lives just around the corner. Would be very ignorant not to go, ( ha) so Friday pm I jump in the Kontiki and head up the M1 and arrive outside Penny's house about 7.00pm and park up easily on a nice wide bit of road.

    Now...I send my son a quick txt to let him know I've arrived and will be coming over and I get this rather enchanting txt back in return...

    Oi Jenk (that's what he calls me ) don't bring that bird around to the house its a disgusting tip and she wont be impressed, waaaa  (not sure what waaaa means)

    Hummm... Now being the type of father that likes to embarrass his kids I duly turn up with Penny. He's actually miles incorrect in his description, its not a tip at all, you know those American cop films and they bust open some crack cocaine den, well its looks like one of them but worse !! Son you are leaving in 10 days time and your mother and I would like our deposit back!!  After that we all went out on the town, Lewis, his mate Hugo, Penny and I and we all had a nice evening. Eventually the students sloped away so Penny and I headed off to an Indian restaurant (of her choice), not one of those commercial type ones but a real Indian, where all the punters eating in there are Indian as well, was really cool and I really enjoyed it.

    Saturday I got to abuse Penny's hospitality while she was at work and got good use of her bathroom and iron!! ( take advantage while you can!) watched a bit of F1 qualifying and re hooked up with my son again in Sheffield centre for some well needed grub and a trip to the Odeon to watch the film Senna. I thought I had missed this film being on holiday and what, but here it was 17:15 last night to see it still available. Watched it and it was a great film!!! Even if you don't like F1 its worth a look.

    I stayed in town and met up with Penny and Lorraine for a Sat night out Sheffield style! Was a great time loads of clubbing and pubbing and I introduced Lorraine to the finer art of getting rid of leachy gentlemen, It went a bit like this.. I don't know what goes through men's minds sometimes but this big fat ugly guy just parks himself right behind Lorraine at the bar, no chat up lines no nothing, totally invading her personal space it was like " help help", so I said " you want me to get rid of this guy? " " yes please she said" so here' s what I did.. I placed my hands either side of her head and snogged the guts off her for 20 seconds!!! Was really funny and after coming up for air I took one look at the guy he took one look at me and he was gone!! Was so funny, but I must say there seemed to be a determined amount of effort on Lorraine's part half way through! Ended the night watching some crap live band and drinking desperados.

    Got to watch the Grand Prix on Sunday on Penny's nice big plasma while she was out at work, makes a change from the Motorhome, I don't really miss having a house but some simple things activate your brain cells and emotions really quickly like a big telly! Although I do totally love my MEOS TV and I would recommend one to any motor caravaner, they are the nuts, but sat in front of the 40 incher is a treat you must admit. Very nice of Pen to give me all this trust, leaving me in this lovely house and letting me use anything I wanted. Thanks a lot I really appreciated it and I hope I didn't fxxx things up too much. ( edit: Which I now know I have as she's not talking to me anymore! Ah well.. C'est la vie )

    Anyway.. After a nice afternoon with the girls I decide to make plans for tomorrow and plot my route for the peak district. Bakewell I think and by coincidence Penny says exactly the same thing so Monday its off to Bakewell in the Peak District, but not before I stupidly leave the door open for Murphy to bolt out of the house! Got him back no problem but the little bugger bit me big time on the hand! Lovely dog really.

    Bakewell what a lovely place, stunningly beautiful, not an ounce of litter on the floor, great people. You can kinda tell I like it! My first port of call in the Peak District. Found some easy parking thanks to Penny who suggested the following...As you come down the hill into Bakewell with the hospital on your left  there is a lane just before the river on the right called Holmes Lane, no restrictions, right next to a field and a cute walkway bridge that takes you over the river into the town. And that's where I am. Headed into town and was so impressed, very picturesque and very clean. This week is carnival week (don't know why) but lots going on every day and night, and I'm keen to stay another day as there's a duck race on the river 4000 plastic yellow ducks you pay £1 per duck, fastest duck through the course wins x amount of money. 7.00pm Weds night I'm there!! As a bit of fun I'm gonna buy all the women in my life past and present a duck each ( Mmmm...Don't think I've enough money lol or there's gonna be a bit of duck sharing going on!! )

    Even had a game of darts last night in a charity contest 54 entrants and I got to the last 8 , only needed a decent score to get through but had a nasty bounce out on my last dart! Bugger!! I so wanted to win lol. All in all, I highly recommend this place, and I'll defo be back in the summer months perhaps with a bit of company.

    Managed to pull in a couple of web site jobs from Denmark so feel a bit better on the money front, apparently everything out that way costs fortunes even website work so could be a little angle here perhaps?! Denmark here I come!

    Its the night of the big race and I've got just over a tenner's worth of ducks all named after women in my life. The river is a stream of yellow! and first prize is £250. I hope my duck is the equivalent of Sebastian Vettel! As £250 in the old sky rocket will be very handy.......And there off........

    £11 worth of ducks and no winner!!

    Easy parking outside Penny's   F1 Watching in Luxury!   Murphy the Irish Terrier   Nice golf range near by   Parking up in Holmes Lane  Bakewell by Motorhome

        The winning ducks   Cute Bakewell Streams   Draining the swimming pool on the roof!

     

    Week 32 : 30th June 2011

    Still Up in Bakewell, love the place. Had the Thurs night raft race, the Friday night Wellie and Wheel Barrow Race, and Saturday the day of the big carnival float procession! Still parked up in this lovely quite lane and its heaven. For carnival day I'm on the side of the Wheatsheaf pub, been in here most of the week using their Internet ( drinking coke most of the time) and Jason the landlord has been excellent. He tells me this great story about how last year they where beaten by the rival Peacock pub who had a float full of sand basically some semi naked birds in bikinis and some kettle drums they where gutted and have no intention of being outdone this year. So they have made the mother of all floats, a replica of the space shuttle! Really cool it is too, its on a massive flat bed being pulled by a tractor and the guys are all dressed up in spacemen outfits and storm troopers from Star Wars, with the loudest music PA system you have ever seen and heard strapped to it! Now at this point I would dearly love to show you the pictures but alas ...Yet another Fxxxxxxx Iphone disaster, one evening I decided to change the screen because it got cracked when I was in Benidorm on holiday, no problems looks straight forward to do, um no, as I'm taking it apart the poxy thing just completely falls to bits! I reckon its been repaired before and badly. Currently have dead Iphone and lots of spare bits going cheap. When my contract is up I'm get something else as these Iphone 3's are useless.

    I'll find out how the boys got on in the carnival and post the results perhaps Jason can email some pic's.

    Left Bakewell Saturday afternoon to come back down to London. No issues with the van, no water needed, no oil, bloody brilliant. In fact was cruising 70mph most of the way down as my water and waste tanks where both empty so I was riding well light, 70mph even with the bike on the back. Got some major works to do though, still got to re ply / hard board out that wardrobe side where the leak was, and need to get some better water run off points in that rear roof well as they block so so easy (see the pic of last week) was actually spotted by Penny from her bedroom window, "...That's not a very good design she said" and I kinda agree.

    Got back into London ok, and parked up yet again on the street. Honestly can't remember the last time I paid to park? Anyway.. Saw my kids on Sunday to collect my birthday goodies ( haven't had the chance to go around there over the last few weeks with Benidorm and all ) then later in the afternoon I went out on a bit of a date!! I know.. tell me about it! Someone's been pestering me for months via the Internet for a drink so I thought why not I'll give it a go. Very nice too, no names at the moment but an enjoyable day and we sneaked a cheeky ride on one of my mates speedboat's on the Thames late in the evening, good laugh had by all. Not plugging anything here but if you are looking for an excellent London attraction in the city simply head to this website www.thamesribexperience.com these are Rigid Inflatable Boats like the cops and rescue teams use, super fast, you get about 50 min's on the river to see all the sights of London plus a rapid blast down to Canary Wharf with all the twists and turns! Very highly recommended ! (NOTE: don't go with the other guys, the orange boats called London RIB Voyages, the boats are older and slower, you need to be on the yellow and black boats that depart from the embankment (opposite Embankment tube) NOT below the Eye.

    I'm hunting around for Insurance for the little Piaggio, does my head in. Had a renewal quote for £330 fully comp? More than the van! Several other quotes similar so I thought mmmmm...As I'm of no real fixed abode I wonder what it costs to insure it in Wales rather than London ......Answer " A lot bloody less!! " £111.00 fully comp or £122.00 for one with a less excess. Don't know why I say London as I don't live here anyway. I live where ever I want and regular readers will know I spend more time in Wales than anywhere else!

    Had loads of mail lately and I really really apologise if I have not got back to you but I will do it this week, I promise, holiday and hospital etc has put me a bit behind( shitty lame excuse really). Anyway...  I get various types of email sent to me, some congratulating me for living the dream and others telling me of their plight. Me?.. I live in this Motorhome because I want to and my personal circumstances have kinda pushed me into it but some readers they are genuinely forced to live in a Motorhome full time with family and with young children. Reasons why? Unemployment, money issues, mortgage arrears and other things who really knows, who cares, this is all they have to live in at the moment, and to make it worse there no income coming in?  I can't begin to believe how they cope sometimes, and it makes my childish little rants seem totally minuscule. No names, but to those people I wish you the utmost best of luck, I really do, as well as one million percent of respect and the hope that your future will become brighter for you very very quickly. I now this sounds a bit naff but It can only better, I'm sure of it.

    Remember Lordy bought that state of the art brand new 1200cc BMW "all singing all dancing" motorbike a few months ago? Yeh? Well I get a txt out of the blue from him today " Sold the bike " what??  I'm thinking blimey its only done like 600 miles you've only had it 4 months. Anyway.. Turns out its far too big and to powerful for him and he's bought a smaller one... Before he kills himself.... All bets are now off! Ha ha ha

    Yet another Ring product has packed up, the 150 watt converter has stopped working. Lights are still on but nobody's home. There's no electric coming out of it at all. Luckily I find the Halford's receipt and I take it back thinking no doubt this will be aggro, but... No issues at all! And its changed instantly so well done Halford's 

    Need to check my lottery tickets as it Euro roll over day 154 Million! What a Motorhome that would buy!!  ( Hey hey its a rollover again !! )

                    

     

    Week 33 : 7th July 2011

    I've been living on the streets successfully for the last 7 months and can honestly say I've had no aggro at all, a little bit of banter down in Wales when I was parked outside the pub but nothing major, ( what did I expect being outside a pub lol ). I suppose a lot of it is where you park up. Where I am at the moment its very nice, reasonably middle class and very respectable until... Last night, here's what happened. I'm in bed awake watching TV ( ...the film Barbarella, god how seriously gorgeous was Fonda... Phew, ) When all of a sudden 'bang' something has hit the side of the van from the pavement then one second later another 'bang'. I leap out of bed and dive out of the van and there's this guy about 20 yards down the road , " What the fxxx are you doing" I shout at him and he starts to give me a bit of verbal, so then I shouted " Right, I'll have you, you fucker " and then I realised ( THIS IS SO SO TRUE) I'm bollock naked other than a t-shirt! God knows what people must have thought in the flats opposite if they where watching, anyway, I dive back into the van get a pair of jeans on and chase the bastard down the road but he's too quick, I'm bare foot and he gives me the slip but I have an inkling where he might be. Can't see anything wrong with the van, no idea why he did it, from my initial encounter looked like he had a few, but why?  I suppose you need to bare all this stuff in mind if you are street living. Don't let this put you off though, 1 incident in 7 months that's good.

    One thing I do keep in my Motorhome religiously next to my bed every day and night of the year in exactly the same place is my SAM spray, I bought it in France 3 years ago. Its a small can of CS gas, kinda looks like a magic marker, its not pepper spray but actual CS gas. Now, an element of caution required here, this is a serious nick by the old bill, it comes under section 55 (I think) and is classed as a firearm, the reason I know this is because Mandy my lezzie friend is a copper and when she came into the van the other day for a nose around was horrified I had it, she had to essentially turn a blind eye to it. My feeling is this, if someone breaks into the van at night I need some sort of protection, you can't swing a baseball bat there's no room, you can't have a gun obviously, so I reckon SAM spray is the next best thing and I tell you what. it hurts like shit! I know coz I tried it on myself once ! You can buy this stuff in most French service stations, although I have been told its the favourite weapon used by French thugs / thieves when raiding Motorhome's at night on French roads. ( no doubt I will now get a visit from the old bill!! An English mans Motorhome is his castle....Officer!)

    Actually got off my lazy ass and started to do some repairs. I've bought 2 sheets of white hard board to replace the left hand side of the main wardrobe and side lockers. I've removed all the  electrics etc and put in a new white double electric socket to replace the crappy single beige one. I've also installed a solar on / off switch,( totally love my solar!! As you know! ) and hooked up a voltage meter. Looks really good. (see pic's)

    I see Maerdy is famous this week!! Bought a sun newspaper the other day ( ok confession I buy it every day!) and on page 9 some women is having a 'sit in' in the local church because she wants to get married there, ( because her mum did and her mums mum did and her mums mums mum did, ? Yeh I know ) and the vicars of Britain are gonna knock it down. Well bloody hell, no shit, but its only the church that I park directly outside of when I go down to Wales with Milky! I'm down there on the 23rd for a party perhaps I can get the Kontiki on TV!! Watch this space ha ha.

    Moved out of the London street and back up in the lane by Milky's place. Didn't get any hassle Sunday night while I was still there after Saturdays shenanigans so I guess it was an isolated incident. Before I left I got the chance to watch the Grand Prix as I do, do some shopping and I actually cut and fitted the new hardboard on the wardrobe exterior. And despite all this activity I still even managed to find time for a drink out and evening meal ( well, ok a pizza in BRB) with last Sundays date, drinking partner, friend, whatever or however one wants to describe her. Nice evening and she had the pleasure of a late night cup of tea in the Kontiki ( that's all the info you get! ).

    There's a guy parked behind me in a stealth camper, I've seen him here a lot, he's got a long wheel base Sprinter, and its obvious he lives in it. He goes to work in the mornings at about 9 and is back at 6. He always parks it up slide door facing the field (of course), and opens it up for an hour or so. I'm hoping to have a chat to be honest, will be great to get his story on it all, and perhaps get a proper look inside. Don't know how he does it though to be honest with no windows at all. If I was going to make a stealth I would have 2 massive sunroofs put in the roof, would still look like a van but at least you would get some light coming in (Explanation: Stealth Camper - A panel van that looks from the outside like an ordinary everyday normal working van but inside its all kitted out as a camper, so its easy to park anywhere. )

    I've finally bought a 3g dongle, ( its a thing you stick in your laptop for Internet access) was getting a bit fed up tethering the phone and hacking here and there, and now they are sensible money they are well worth it. This one is on the 3 network, just £15 per month and is a rolling 1 month contract. You get 5GB of data which should be enough. I chose the 3 network because when I was travelling through Wales, Michelle lent me her one and it was really really good, no issues at all. I'll report back later in the month and give an update.

    Another technical item which is of real interest and is free is Viber. If you have an Iphone you can download from the app store for nothing and talk to your mates for free. You need to have a wi-fi connection to make it work, but real handy for saving money. Although I did get a call this afternoon from Miss friend, drinking partner, whatever you want to call her, (actually we'll call her Sugar from now on ), who thought she called me on it for 30 min's then texted me and realised it was a normal call and she'd gone over her minutes!  And no she's not blonde ( no offence to blondes before u start having a go just doing the stereotype joke thing! )

    Snippets: Lordy is back banging on the van but I'm up early nowadays mate! - Its a gorgeous dawn chorus of song birds every morning in the lane -I get out of the shower one morning pull back the main curtain and the van is surround by 6 police patrol cars (They had pulled over in the lane for a briefing on a motorway job they were about to do. I nearly shxit myself!)

    cop cars   massive nachos at top golf!!   new wardrobe   sam spray   top golf chigwell

     

     

    Week 34 : 14th July 2011

    Somebody said to me once they call these Swift Motorhome's Konleakies as opposed to Kontiki's. YES its still Fxxxxxxx leaking. I am gonna fix this once and for all. I know exactly why it leaks and exactly where. If I park the van slanting to the drivers side then I'm ok anything leaning left and it pisses in. I've sealed it god know knows how many times, but its a design fault. I'm gonna fix it big time and I'm gonna show you how, (when it stops raining!! ). What annoys me most is I've just totally rebuilt the left hand side wardrobe and the side lockers in brand new hardboard!! No problem though if keep leaning to the right, until its stops raining.

    Weather is crap as you can probably guess. Good news is work has picked up which is great. Pulled in a few nice jobs so perhaps a bit of travelling could be on the cards, easy come, easy go, although I should be saving some really ( ha ha for a rainy day). Lets see what happens South of France is beckoning.

    Nothing to shout home about really this week. Had a nice weekend, spent some quality time on Saturday with my son and my girls (all together for a change) . Sunday nipped into the local church fete, not that I do god, in fact I'm a devote atheist, but was nice to meet a few lads from the sad's club, Matt and Clive, ( I introduced them to Sugar, of cause the banter was flying ). Had an hour there and then hit the golf range, well actually Top Golf not sure if you they have them around you but its a golf game centre. Its like a driving range but all electronic, IE the balls ( which are real golf balls ) have electronic chips in side them and when they go into the holes you get points etc, its really good fun for all the family. I tried to teach Miss S the finer arts of hitting the silly white ball, and although she has the most amazing figure, very suitable indeed for golf I'm not sure she's the golfing type, god bless her, co-ordination issues I think, but she did tried very hard, ( hey it was her first time!)

    Nipped into Lordy's place on the way back to show Sugar Lordy villas and his array of vehicles! Oh and sponge a few drinks. He's home alone this week so I thought it would be a laugh to park my dodgy old Porsche on his drive for an hour and confuse the neighbours! Was a great laugh as he wouldn't answer his door, he was hiding! So when I nipped into his neighbours (who was having a garden party) to see if he was there he came out and sneaked Sugar into the house. That's ok mate, I'm not bothered, just wait until one of your neighbours tells your misses they saw you dragging some sexy brunette into your crib! Man.... Your in trouble! Ha Ha

    Bought an iron! Got this from Argos its a travel iron and when I looked at the 50 odd reviews nobody had a bad word to say about it. I've tried it using the generator and its great. Considering its like only 900 watts its real really good! Make is Hinari and it was about a tenner bargain (see pic)

    Big golf game coming up Weds. Not played in the competitions for 2 months or more so wish me luck I will need it!

    Update on the golf! Didn't play to bad, won the nearest the pin prize but lost a fiver bet to Milky, off down to Wales for the coming weekend so more to come

    pic's to follow

     

    Week 35 : 21st July 2011

    I've been a busy boy this week, but first of all I just need to say that if you posted in my guest book and you thought I have been ignoring you then I'm sorry. When I set up the last guest book it emailed me every time somebody posted, but when it all got corrupted and I had to reload a new one I forgot to do the notification thing, so apologies all round!

    Was in Wales in Maerdy for the weekend at Richards birthday party, doing the Karaoke etc, nice bit of weather for a change and we held it all outside, BBQ, Karaoke the lot, was really good. As I suggested in an earlier post I wanted to see how the save the church campaign was going so I parked 25 yards down the road from it for the weekend. Well loads of banners outside (save our church etc)  loads of bell ringing (little sods, early in the morning) and a group of old grannies inside with the biggest food stash you have ever seen, don't look like they are coming out ! What cracks me up about all this is that over the years I bet that the church congregation has been next to zero and donations zero, meaning nobody has probably given a flying you know what about the place unless they want a christening or a wedding. Now the church want to abandon it and knock it down all hell breaks loose. Kinda makes me laugh (I'm an atheist anyway). Did notice Sunday afternoon as we was about to leave some kind soul has what I could only gather had thrown a pint of lager or something down the nearside of the van, charming (I'm hoping it was larger anway) listen if that's the worse you get wild camping bring it on, no problems.

    Noticed a little issue with the van on the way down, as well as doing an interpretation of a white van man for Milky and his boy ( a table, 4 chairs, levels, tools, barbecue stuff, a gas bottle and more), (actually thinking about it this is my home!! I'm not clogging it up with that crap again for sure) I've noticed a vibration in the engine and gear stick area, it looks like an engine mounting is on the way out, was a lot worse coming back, although at 60 - 70 in top you don't notice it, its when you are accelerating through the gears the bloody thing is shaking like a good un

    Party was good, started at 2.00pm and finished very very late! One important bit of info is this, women in Maerdy and only Griffiths Street have the biggest breasts in Wales. Fact. ( This is not me talking its them!) its like Guinness book of records stuff ( well they are not in it yet but the reckon they could be) and too prove a point Alan encouraged me to take a pic of his lovely 9 month old bride in her summer BBQ outfit (see pic!!) for the blog, was very funny.

    One incident when we arrived in Wales, all the power tools for whatever job Milky's son was doing was put in the toilet, arrive in Maerdy try to open the door nothing, for some reason its totally locked it self, first time ever this has happended, Nothing would work to open it. In desperation we took the door off, and found the lock totally shagged. No idea why what or when. Still doesn't work but I'm gonna fit some basic catches instead, don't need a lock as I'm the only one in it!!

    Went out that night to Merthyr Tydfil ( capital of the world for incapacity benefit) nobody works there (true). Went to some rugby club, was absolutely mobbed, packed to the rafters, great music, loads of birds blah blah blah unfortunately after a 5 hour drive and a hard week I was hanging with tiredness and couldn't get out of the place quick enough. If you are ever there (why I would never know) its Merthyr Rugby Football Club and its like a cattle market.

    Back in London at my old place and I'm nosing through EBay one night, looking for a new front roof vent to be honest when I see an ad for some Motorhome bits, oven, roof vents , grill etc and I'm thinking the look very Kontiki-ish, so I whack off an email and the girl rings me back, yes they are from a 20 year old 640/6 Kontiki and its £30 for the lot. Happy Days I'm down there like a flash its in Surrey like 50 miles max from me. Lovely couple who have bought an old Kontiki and gutted it. They've fitted a brand new floor and they are totally refurbishing the inside, what a great project. I took a couple of pic's (see below) especially the NASA BM1 battery monitor (GOT TO HAVE ONE!!).

    Now remember my mission and quest to rid myself of water leaks. The ultimate challenge between man and Kontiki, well its started. Bring it on biatch, as there is only going to be one champion. The reason why it leaks is this, at the rear of the roof before it meets the raised square thing where the top box lives etc is a bar that runs across the van. Because of the Kontiki design water runs down the roof collates at this bar and the either disperses left or right depending on how the Kontiki is leaning. The water runs along the bar and drips over the side of the Motorhome. There's the problem it drips right over the edge, the join between the roof and the side panel, you can seal this until the cows cows home, it will always leak. Bring on invention number 1 , Kontiki roof repair prototype codenamed  "pleasework1". The idea is this ... Make the water run further off the roof and down onto the floor. See the prototype pic's'. A piece of 8 foot plastic L shaped corner edging. Here's the plan, the water runs down the roof, hits the edging, runs along the edging and over the side of the van, totally missing the side weak spots. Dyson eat your heart out. Rain where are you?

    Now....While up on the roof working away like a good boy I see the odd person I know, I have a little chat, bit of a laugh etc and then lo and behold some old bat about 60 starts shouting up at me " Excuse me is this yours" ......"yes love what can I do for you?" ........." you parked it outside our block of flats for a whole week last month" ...."and?? "........Well I don't think you should park it there" ......."why's that love, its taxed, MOT'd and Insured the same as that car behind me"....... " I'm not happy about it, park it somewhere else," .......... "no love this is the queens highway not your highway I can park it wherever I want"  (here's the the best bit....)   " I don't want it parked outside our flats it's not particularly attractive"...........  " neither are you darling but I don't complain about you standing in the street do I " (SO TRUE!!) (ONE OF MY BEST REPLIES EVER!) of which she made rapid haste. Silly sod, huge big road no problems, not causing any hassle. its always old dears with fuck all to do with their lives except moan, if you was that posh love and that well off you would be living in a house not a block of flats.

    Save this for next week but the all in one crappy aerial has finally packed up and I've bought a new set up. Tell all next week as well as the leak war and a new telephone system that is gonna save u buckets and its not Skype

                     

      

     

    Week 36 : 28th July 2011

    Its the weekend (well Saturday) and believe it or not I've booked into Sewardstone Road Camp site in Lea Valley as the Milk and I are doing a Karaoke disco for our friend Martin tonight, plus Sugar is coming and spending the night with me so I need to make a good impression ha ha. Not been on a campsite for god knows how many months must be at least 4 or 5. Can't believe how busy the place is compared to when I was here in winter, plus the price is now £22 ( phew ) as opposed to £17.50 which I thought was dear then. I'm parked at the back down amongst the trees and stuff, really nice. Can open all the windows, put all the lights on, got full electric cool I'm really enjoying it!

    Get the Karaoke done and fall out at 2.30am. Sunday is a lovely sunny day. Have some breakfast with Sugar at a cafe and spend the afternoon in the site. Get all the laundry done, the ironing, the washing up the lot, sometimes it takes a women's touch to spur you into action! Strange having someone else in the van with you. Was a lovely day oh and my all time sporting hero Jenson Button won the Grand Prix, he was 25/1 on Betfair the day before and I couldn't believe they would offer him for that price, shame I gave up betting 10 years ago!

    I bought a new antenna for the telly. The plastic All In One solution basically fell apart, so I bought a new one from Argos. It cost £50 its a conventional aerial ( you can't beat them )but has a built in amplifier plus its already pre assembled which is very good, as some I saw looked like a bloody jigsaw puzzle to put together. Its not to massive and so far its working really great. Plus I can also lift it out of its holder very quickly and store it before pulling away and driving down the motorway. I do have one of those DTV finder things to get the strongest signal but you don't need it, simply look around, see all the other aerials pointing in a certain direction and point yours the same. 10 second job

    That's enough of luxury living, 3 days in the park and now I'm back out on the streets, did enjoy it I must admit. but total cost £66.00 for 3 days!

    I ran out of minutes this month on my phone basically racking it up talking to Sugar, but....Out of every problem comes something good. I discovered a new way to make calls and for free! I was talking to her for over an hour some nights from my mobile and it wasn't costing a penny. Its so good I introduced it to Lordy as he was off to Spain and wanted to chat to his workers every night. ( Of which his workers are about to kill me when they see me next! ) He was ringing from Spain every night for free. Here's the deal. About 5 or 6 years ago I bought an Internet number from a company called VOIPcheap ( you don't need to buy a number I'm just telling you the story) anyway I kinda forgotten all about it until I was on the net one night. You can actually call any landline number in the world including the UK for free (yep FREE!) and you can do it from your PC or incredibly from your Iphone by downloading their app, and it works with a 3g signal not just a Wi-fi connection. You can also call other mobile phone numbers like in the UK for just 3p a minute, now considering if your minutes have run out and Orange are knocking you 20p a minute 3p is nothing. So in short to refresh, you go to voipcheap.co.uk and sign up, bung a tenner into your account and this will allow you 90 days of free calls, plus you can use that tenner to phone other mobiles at 3p a minute, you need a wi-fi  connection, or a good 3g connection and you can make calls using your laptop with the VOIP software or your Iphone.

    Not had any rain this week in fact its been bloody boiling so I can't give you an update on the new super duper Kontiki anti leak system but as soon as it does I'll be writing.

    Talking of Lordy, we went to collect his new bike this week, had a little run down to Romford in the Motorhome to pick up the new 800cc Triumph Tiger. Cracking bit of kit. Gone are the days of poor built British bikes this is a real gem, stunningly made and very good value for money. Lets see how long he keeps this one!

    Lastly I can confirm that my golf game has gone to shreds, Last years champ is now this years chump, I'm bloody useless. Oh and extra last I've been stupidly naughty! remember the MOT I was going to get done at a station with a pit, Ummm...Well....Ummmm officer I've forgotten all about it! True its still not MOT'd I bloody forgot, I've not been stopped or anything its just somebody asked me the other day about MOT and I though shit!!!! I haven't done the van!

    kontiki motorhome   motorhome ironing   New aerial   in the motorhome park   my super duper motorhome iron   dirty old git!   Milky setting the gear up

     

    Week 37 : 4th August 2011

    I like wild camping and living on the streets, as you know, especially in London but I have to draw a line when the RIOTS start!!!! I'm pitched up sort of 4 miles from Tottenham, plus its kicking off in Ilford down the road a mile away and Leytonstone even closer! Even the boys that own my beloved beer shop closed early for 2 nights and its not like them at all as being Indian they like to keep it open for god knows how many hours. I reckon a nice juicy Motorhome parked up on the road is a right attraction for these mindless nutter's, I'd have it rocked, turned over and set on fire in 5 minutes. So its time to skip off for a few days, (forget all that women and children first rubbish I'm off). Where to go? Easy solution here....Down to Wales  no riots there and probably never will be as everyone is too pissed most of the time, Caerleon I'm thinking and the Angel Pub car park makes a lot of sense. Will be good to see Mike , Darren, Paul and the boys again.

    Ok there's a bit of fun in the above paragraph and I really ain't that scared or bothered living on the streets but why tempt fate? I bet a lot of people couldn't even live on the streets in a normal day let alone a riot day!

    Had a few nice days before the riots started though, had Sugar come over to stay and went for a nice meal at Gioberties in Wanstead (nice place if you are ever in the area) etc, and Sunday I managed to hit a great outdoor store in Harlow called Go Outdoors, never heard of it before but is huge. It does camping, caravanning, fishing, hiking, biking loads of stuff. Was cool rummaging around looking at all the gear but its not cheap, no not at all. Plus most of the gear you look at says things like price: £31.00 with discount card £24.00 ??? What's all that about? Transpires that they sell this membership card for £5 a year which entitles you to discount but £31 to £24? Now I like to think I'm reasonably intelligent so it kinda makes me think the £31 isn't a proper price. Anyway I resisted the offer to buy a membership discount card and went on my way. Take a look anyway, they are nationwide and have big stores but the card thing pisses me off.

    Its finally raining and the super duper mark 1 please work leak system .......Has failed!! Bollocks!! So like all good inventors like Edison and Colonel Sanders (Mr Kentucky Fried Chicken man, hey he got turned down over 500 times before somebody would try his coating) I'm continuing on to mark 2. Now I've decided to nip around next week to see my good old friend Nellie, who I used to play darts with many many years ago, he runs a hardware shop in Wood Street Walthamstow called Colvins, one of those proper hardware shops, you know where you can buy 1 or 2 things as opposed to a whole box like B&Q etc, and get proper professional advice. I'm thinking 2 minds are greater than 1 here! I know why and where it leaks its just the solution! More to come when I see him next week.

    Oh need to mention the blackberry season is out and I don't mean those stupid phones!!! Parked up in the lane next to the biggest blackberry bush ever, out come a tub and its half an hour of being a kid again, had a huge pile, was down the shop in record time for some walls ice cream and I was off. None of that supermarket crap, pure organic blackberry's on my door step. I wonder what other food you can get for free???

    Work is quiet, and there I was saying it had picked up and how it was all gonna be ok, and now everything seems to have ground to a halt, promises are not forthcoming and people have gone AWOL on me. I need to have a serious think about my job somewhere along the line. Ok its great I can travel and live in my Motorhome but when the money is not coming in and you are reliant on it then its a worry and makes me ill. This last year has been total shit work wise, but then I guess its been shit for everybody. The part about coming down to Wales to move from the riots is only partially true, I need a change of scene, sitting around here worrying is no good to anybody and will simply make me worse, lucky I have some nice people around me to give me some hope.

    Arrive down in Wales, and I'm tucked up in Mikes car park. No issues on the way down all sweet. Will be nice to see my son ( we've booked in to see Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Thurs night in Newport at Cine World, we've been waiting for this film for ages so its gonna be immense!), and of course I'll get over to see my folks as well. Anyway...On arrival I get a nice welcome as I enter the pub from the locals! Strange but people really love Motorhome's and caravans, as soon as you mention you live in one its like "wow" and they all want a look!! Currently doing guided tours of my van! ( young, single, sexy leggy blondes or the odd brunette please with a fetish for older men ) LOL!!  Just kidding for certain people who I know read the blog! So don't give me a hard time ..Its just a joke!  (or is it? lol!!)

    pic's to follow

     

    Week 38 : 11th August 2011

    I'm slightly horrified to find out that my mum reads this blog! I went over to see her the other day as I'm only 20 min's away using the Piaggio ( Love my scooter ) Now, my mum is great, 78 years old, not the greatest reader and speller in the world as when she was a little girl she preferred to bake cakes rather than go to school, but she decided a year or so ago to learn how to use a computer, ( the old man bought a laptop used it like once and thought bugger this I'm too old ), so my mum stepped forward. Now considering most people of a similar age have no ambition to embrace technology whatsoever my mum has become the opposite, she's on Facebook, MSN messenger does email the lot, brilliant, chats to my kids via it, the lot. Problem is though she's discovered the Internet and alas my blog! She had a virus the other week on her laptop and my nephew Christopher fixed it for her, who said "..Nan you don't actually read his blog do you?? " " oh yes, I like to know where he is". Anyway, I said " Mum its warts and all, I'm not writing lies or bending the truth, what happens to me happens to me and ends up in the blog ". Will it stop me writing what I really want to write I hope not.

    Still bolted up in Mikes car park its been great, weather's been lovely and had loads of laughs. One issue has sadly arisen, in a few local shops they have some big posters up in the window about a planning application, for change of use etc for some flats and a new retail unit, (Tesco express apparently) turns out Mikes pub is closing down!!! What a bummer, that's my free South Wales parking spot off the menu and what about Darren? His camper van has been in the car park for like 4 years! Sad news indeed.

    I had a look in the estate agents the other day there's one opposite the pub, you can buy an house here for 100-150,000 easy, half decent as well. I'm thinking it may well be the way forward, get rid of my flat in London get the cash,  buy something down here in Caerleon and live mortgage free, will have money over for a new van as well I reckon. With stupid London rates and everything costing bucket loads it could be the way forward, oh and the biggest stupidest and costliest thing ever......THE LEZ!!!

    LEZ..... London Emissions Zone. Now this heap of crap will seriously affect a big amount of us Motorhomer's as well as everyday honest self employed people like  builders, plumbers, removal men and a million more and it comes into effect very very quickly 3rd January 2012. What is it? Its the governments idea to reduce harmful emissions from motor vehicles within the capital (ok that seems fair and good I suppose). Vehicles registered before 2002 that are diesel or bio diesel have to be compliant. Now what's compliant? Well its basically 3 grand! Not kidding 3 grand!!!! Because that's what its gonna cost roughly to have a particle filter system fitted to your engine ( well actually its fitted to your exhaust ) oh and you can't do it yourself you have to take it to a specialist place where they fit it, test it etc and give a VOSA approval certificate. 3 GRAND!!!! And if you don't get it done and enter within the M25 London area the fine is £100 or £200 for heavier vehicles and that's per day!! And for some people it might cost more than 3 grand to have it fitted depending on your vehicle and its weight.

    Now I know Boris wants to clean up the place but come on mate please think about it. Lets look at it this way, you live in London, you own a Motorhome and for 48 weeks of the year its parked on your drive, you load it up and pull away to venture off in to France, you are fined £100 straight away as the camera's will pick you up leaving London and fined another £100 on your return back into London, come on does that make sense? No it does not. Surely there must be some sort of exemption for Motorhome's, we don't use them like cars or vans, our mileage is next to nothing, look at my own van 73,000 mile in 21 years! Its nothing and this idiot is forcing me to pay 3 grand to keep it on the road in London on top of all the other charges, plus......Its not even in the city. If it was for the actually inner city bit itself like the congestion charge I could understand it but London is the size of Luxembourg, how many people are going to be put out here, I feel really sorry for the self employed man already struggling to earn a living and now has to cough up for a new van, or even van's in some cases. What are these pricks doing trying to bankrupt us all? Plus.. there's no help whatsoever, no scheme, no government subsidy, nothing. So be warned guys, step off the M25 and you are a gonna, you've just done £100 in cold blood. You can see if your vehicle is compliant by going here https://lowemissionzone.tfl.gov.uk/b/pb/lezComplianceProvideVRM.faces  to the stupid TFL site and punching in your registration number

    Now, if like me you like to ride the law a little bit then here's an alternative approach to the LEZ which by the way is pure fantasy of course and I would never ever do it Mr Boris Johnson, its just something I thought up for a film. Come off the M25 where you know its zone free, like Waltham Abbey for example (the zone doesn't start until about 3 miles down the road). Pull over on to the side of the road and velcro on a set of French number plates over the top of your own, (you can buy them on line no problems supposed to be for show purposes only, what ever that means) then drive through the LEZ cameras. Pull over half a mile later where its quiet and remove them. Do the same thing on the way out. I can't see any foreigner worrying about the LEZ can you? A bunch of German's in their 1994 Hymer tag axel waltzing around London ain't gonna give a toss, and there's no way Boris can get the money off them, so my answer is be foreign or move to Wales.   

    Left Wales, and all the gang Sid, Darren, Paul, Carly, Colin and the others, also gave my ex and family a quick tour of the van on Sunday which went down really well as Simon wants to buy one, ( he can have this if I don't get the LEZ thing sorted out) and I'm back up at the lane picking black berries again!

    Lastly I've had a mental attack to the head. I've decided to pack in the alcohol, namely the dreaded lager. If I have one I must have 4 or even 6 so considering how much partying has gone on this year and the fact I drink every night its a wise choice but will be a challenge. I'm going to be using EFT ( Emotional Freedom Technique ) which involves the tapping of pressure points on your body which will help me relax and take away the desire for the drink. Gonna be interesting

         

     

    Week 39 : 18th August 2011

    As you can see I've still not put up last weeks pictures! Don't know why as it hasn't been that busy this week. Still on the streets of course and back in the lane blackberry picking! Even more on the bloody bush now than last time, one tip though eat them within a day as they go all mouldy!! True

    Done a bit of work on the porker, nothing huge, just fiddly bits and ordered a complete lock set off a guy on EBay 40 quid, remember I chopped my key off in the ignition, well I can't get the bugger out, so I thought easy option is to change all the locks and for £40 that's a bargain, oh and my time as well. Sad thing is that the tax is up this month, blimey that's gone quick remember I sent Gary home from Swansea with it to put in the window not long ago, and to make it worse the MOT expires on the 25th of this month, although I have a great MOT guy, you can't just take a 30 year old car to any MOT station they will rip it to bits, the inspector needs to consider the age and the condition, ( well that's what I say anyway plus I give him £80!

    Talking of the car I have been missing a huge electric opportunity. Recently my laptops were flat and rather than leave them in the Motorhome charging etc and using up the leisure batteries I thought mmmmm... why not simply take my inverter plug it into the porker plug in both laptops with a double plug and see what happens, I had a good 1 hour drive anyway, so why waste 1 hours worth of free electric....Makes sense!? And that's what I did, came back, opened up the laptops both charged! So the lesson is never miss an opportunity to charge anything up, its exactly the same as when I come back from Wales, I always plug my laptops and other stuff into the inverter for the 4 hour trek home.

    Had Saturday down at Sugars house in Sarrffff London, went on the Piaggio, took no time to get there although I was seriously wondering if the Piag would still be there in the morning! I ain't kidding! Was a nice time and I eased her burdens with some of my superior DIY skills, ( Must be something about damsels in distress! ).

    The no lager diet come stop drinking thing is so so. I went 3 days without a drink, and that includes being in pubs and drinking coke. I succumbed on the weekend with some glasses of wine but I have had a few lagers. Hey its not as easy as you think especially when you live alone plus look at Amy Winehouse they said the reason why she died was that she gave up the booze without trying to wean herself off it first and her body went into some sort of coma (that's what was in the paper and what her father said) Anyway, I'm still gonna give it a go and the EFT thing really does work you can read more about it here, don't knock it till you try it.

    Played golf again this week, and yet again lost more money, these boys are making so much money off me they will have to declare it as income soon!! Did get a go on Lordy's new bike though the Triumph Tiger 800 ,cracking bit of kit it is too, in fact its never gone as fast as when I rode it! I ripped it all the way up and down the lane, now considering I ain't been on a big bike for donkeys years that was pretty good, no doubt when I do get one I'll end up killing myself!

    Work has picked up a fraction, which is good, although I will need a a big increase to see me through the winter months but I have a couple of ideas. I've invented some software to be used in pubs and restaurants for their wi-fi I reckon its a seller and it ain't gonna cost me to much to pilot it, I'll tell you more later. I've also decided that I may try and get some advertising on this site, a client of mine that does splitter buses for music bands has 2 adverts on his site for insurance perhaps I can do the same thing for Motorhome insurance or products etc I'm gonna email a few, with over 1100 visitors to this site each month it must be worth their while! I'll let you all know.

    I've decided to venture off back to Bakewell for the bank holiday weekend, its not too far away and its such a stunning place. I'm also considering nipping down to the South of France to see my friends, would really really love to Motorhome it, but its just not worth it, a return trip with Ryanair with the taxes is like £80, it will cost me that on the ferry alone if not more. Sorry if the intended roaming for this blog is not as roaming as far as it should do! I did wanna go south of France , Spain etc etc but this is the real world and without money it can't be done, diesel is shit loads of money and I dread to think what the cost would be. But.....One thing I do on this website is never tell lies, nothing is invented or made up what you read is the truth, warts and all. I live in a Motorhome and this is my life.

    Lastly my lovely daughter Lydia got 3 A's and a C in her A level results well done !! xxx 

     

    Week 40 : 25th August 2011

    Its Bank holiday weekend and I've decided to leg it up to Bakewell. This time I'm taking Sugar so she can see how wonderful the place is but before we go I've got a battery problem, the leisure batteries are draining fast, so I've charged them up at the ex witches house while she is away on holiday and run a simple TV test, ( put the telly on see how long it goes for!) and its 1 hour, that's total crap it should do 10 - 12 hours easy, it only draws  under 3 amps, I'm guessing I've recharged it so many times its life cycle is ending..... but.....It says on the side 2 year warranty and I've had it 9 months, so I venture off back to Halford's with receipt in hand, tell the girl on the till ( who seems to know nothing about batteries ) and voila!! Its changed for a new one. Well done Halford's, I'll be changing the other one soon as well. Hey 2 year  warranty means 2 years it doesn't say that it will not cover people living in a Motorhome 24/7!

    Anyway back to Bakewell, not stupid enough to leave on a Friday so we drive up Saturday afternoon and get in about tea time. Yet again the gods are on my side as the few parking spaces in Holmes Lane are free and we get to park up nicely. Really is a lovely place Derbyshire, and to be honest I'm going to explore it a lot more, places like Buxton ( where the water comes from) just around the corner and tons of other cute quaint villages. Problem is though I ain't looked at that engine mounting problem and the van is shaking through the gears until I get up to a nice 60, got to get this done

    Nip into the village and give Sugar the guided tour, ( well I was here for a week last time ). The lovely streams the lovely bridges oh and the lovely Wheatsheaf pub where I spent the majority of my time, working of course! Now remember the carnival and the Wheatsheaf entry The Space Shuttle well I'm glad to tell you they won first prize, Jason who's pub it is filled me in on all the details he was well chuffed. Some nice pubs in Bakewell but I don't think the Wheatsheaf was to Sugar's liking (not sure why) so we ended up in another that was a little more classy?! ( funny creatures women but more to come on this).

    Bank holiday weekend and a huge market in the village selling god knows what crap. Seriously I can buy tons of crap, solely on the basis that its a good idea, but with Sugar in tow I resisted the urge ( well actually it was " you sure you need that?" ) about the only thing I did buy was a bottle of Miracle Carpet Cleaner, some guy doing a demo saying things like " gets rid of stubborn stains in seconds... £8.99 on the telly, yours for 2 quid , blah blah blah ok I'm a sucker but I thought I would use it on the porker.

    Stunningly quite in the lane, all you hear in the early hours is the birds tweeting and the odd cow in the field opposite, brilliant. Back into town for the evening and it appears The Wheatsheaf have a Karaoke going, oh... Now Sugar wants to go in there!! " I want to hear you sing " she says ( I don't blame her ha ha ) Was a good crack I blasted out my normal Elvis number  "Just can't help believing " and had the honour of singing the last song of the night " Neil Diamond Love on The Rocks which the Karaoke guy Dave recorded for me and sent it to me via email, nice touch and I sound the nuts! Told you I could sing Sugar.

    Various problems getting home, heavy traffic and a loose belt screeching and howling all the way home, was so embarrassing ! M25 shut ! Had a huge detour but we made it in the end

    Had a look at the fan belt squeak transpires the bracket that adjusts the fan belt tension is snapped, I've made a quick repair, no squawking at the mo but will need a new one. Got the bloody Porker to MOT and tax as soon as possible more cost!

    And finally..... I'm back!!!! played golf with the lads Weds and I'm the man!! give us your money! 7 pars 7 bogeys and a couple of mishaps but I beat them hands down!

         

     

    Week 41 : 1st September 2011

    The dreaded letter has turned up from Boris and his gang, the patronising bar stewards, Dear Mr Jenkins we are writing to inform you your vehicle G275 xxx is not compliant with the new low emissions zone blah blah blah. Now in this letter they go on to say that I am a tiny minority, the huge majority of people will not be affected ( oh yeh?? ) and that I should seek immediate advice about having my vehicle modified to conform ( Oh and if I don't I will be getting a £100 a day fine ) NO help NO money NO incentive just this patronising stupid letter. The French number plates thing is looking good

    Talking of letters I had this gem today, went to the ex witches house as I bought my kids a new Rabbit hutch, well actually not brand new someone was selling one local, big huge thing, only a year old, former resident was little Bertie the Lion Head rabbit, that was beaten up by 6 magpies in his own back yard and is now a house rabbit to keep the little lion safe ( its true lol! ). Anyway after knocking up the hutch in the garden and introducing Pippa and Finley to their new mansion, I opened some mail........

    Dear Paul Jenkins

    ABANDONED VEHICLE

    Make: Piaggio Scooter   Reg Number:  LK54 XXX       Location:  Leicester Road E11      Reported on 26/08/2011

    I have a report that the above vehicle is abandoned. We have made enquiries and you are the owner.

    (this is a cracker!) The above vehicle has been chained to a lamp column at the above address. Please be advised you are not permitted to chain anything around council property, so please remove the chain from the lamp column at the above address at your earliest convenience.

    Russell Ward Head of Environmental Services.  PP C Bacharts  Direct Line 0208708 5053  please ask for Claire

    Now Claire its obvious to me you must blonde and its your time of the month because to send a stupid letter out with regards to chaining a scooter around a post is just mental. All scooter owners chain them up against something because they get nicked that's why the insurance is so high. So why didn't you tell the so called "middle class" moron ( with fuck all else to do in their lives daily) to mind their own business. Now.. I park the Motorhome their reasonably regular and this is just another attempt by jealous prat's to create an issue. Honestly these kind of people do my head in, its a fucking scooter with a chain around it parked by a lamp post, what the hells the problem? And what is causing you so much offence you have to ring the council? Oh and you honestly think its abandoned ( do me a favour), Claire you are a complete twat along with the Muppet that rang you. 

    I had a couple of days in the Motorhome park again, kinda splashing out, (well the rates have gone down as its out of season, and Sugar came around for one night although it took her like 2 hours to get to me. I had to go and find her on the scooter she was lost!! She's the only woman in the world that drives somewhere without a clue where she is going or the aid of a sat nav! ) but I have to tell you about this incident. Couple of oldies perhaps late 60's perhaps 70's,  nice lovely couple where in the motorhome park today, turned up in a seriously old Pilote held together with yellow coloured gaffa tape, but the old man must have had a mental brain storm, here's what happened. I'm pulling out of my pitch and pull up behind them, they are parked in the Motorhome service area, and I need to drop my waste water and fill up with fresh. Nobody in the cab so I head into the office, " ...Sorry Paul you can't get access to that area at that moment, the old boy has just filled up his diesel tank with fresh water!!!!!..."  I found the couple and had a chat, 8 years he's had this Pilote!  Why oh why oh why would you one day fill your diesel tank with water! Felt so sorry for them and such a nice couple. One good thing, the office manager came running out when it all happened and said " for gods sake DON'T try and start it!

    Tony emailed about stealth campers, ( message in guest book as well) and we have swapped a few emails regarding how to set one up. Main issue is.... is it better to have a stealth camper than a classic Motorhome if you are wild camping? My main problem would be light, otherwise I would feel very claustrophobic, for me I would have a big window in the front of the roof and  in the middle a 160 watt solar panel then another big window to wards the rear I reckon none of this would be really visible from street level. So that would be my light and power sorted. I'd still want hot water and heat somehow so a flu will still be required although they ain't that big and people don't really know what they are. But a Carver vent from the water heater will be showing on the side of the van kinda low down mines about 6" x 6" again should not be too much of a hassle, I would resist the urge to put in some side windows even if they were seriously black in colour,  Tony suggest sticking some magnetic signs on the side saying like Jenkins Bros waste disposal services or similar ( nice one Tony ) but I've actually seen this before. When I was in Porthcawl South Wales there was a car park, which was an over night no problem  but NO camper vans and no Motorhome's etc . Now walking back from the pub one day I see a guy opening the side door of a white panel van, I knew it was a stealth as I could see the flu and a very small TV aerial, No windows whatsoever on the sides or on the roof, but on the side in magnetic signs  he had    " Jones and Son  Quality Carpenters and Joiners   Tel 07931 999456 "  I watched as he opened the door and yes it was a full camper inside. This guy had been parked there for the 5 days.!!!!

    Other issues will be TV reception, and where the hell will my scooter go. Tony suggested fitting a small garage inside at the back, but that ain't gonna leave that much living space I don't think. I suppose if I had a van that was the size of a Kontiki with roof windows as opposed to side windows I could get along with it, but its gonna have to be a big panel van! More on this next week or if anybody has ideas please contribute its a good subject

    Lastly I fixed the screeching fan belts, on the alternator the bottom adjuster bracket has snapped clean in half , I managed to double it over, put in a new bolt, adjust it up and all is sweet, blissful peace! Oh and extra lastly I have now officially started to prostitute myself by trying to get some advertising on this site ( well times are hard and things cost money! ) Lets see how it goes!!

      screaching motorhome fanbelts  offending lampost for my scooter 

    Week 42 : 8th September 2011

    Loads of mail this week, thanks a lot guys I really mean it, all to do with the stealth idea! More about this a few paragraphs down.

    I finally got my lazy bum off the sofa and did something about my Motorhome floor. Its well known on these Kontiki's and some others I have been told that the floor gets saggy when you stand in the hotspots area over the years ie in front of the cooker /sink area outside the toilet and the entrance from the main door. I've been meaning to do something about it for ages and finally did!  I strengthened up the weak existing ply floor with some resin and then laid a new 9mm ply floor over the top. Feels superb, no weak spots no nothing. OK I know you can have the old floor removed and a new one put in but its mega bucks, like 2 grand or something, this solution cost me 100 quid!. I measured out the floor and the cuttings required and headed off to my mates place Colvins and had all my ply cute perfectly to fit, that's what you get with old fashioned hardware stores buy a sheet of ply for 30 quid and they cut it for you free of charge excellent. Anyway screwed it all down while resting in Tesco's car park one day and then the following day got 2 packs of value carpet tiles from B an Q, some spray glue ( fitted them there and then in the car park! ) and bingo ...One brand new floor what a difference, I'm loving it. Carpet burns galore! LOL!

    Actually you can stay in loads of car parks during the day I've been doing it a lot lately I've at least 8 supermarkets and industrial parks near me some with restrictions and some without, in fact I would say 80% have no restrictions, wish I had done this earlier in my voyage, get off the street for the day and simply return at night. I also totally forgot about one of my fav Epping Forest Parks,  Hollow Ponds just around the corner, free parking and a beautiful view. Been settling down in too many few spots to regular, need to find new places

    Loads of stuff on the stealth camper from last week. I'm almost tempted to sell this and try a stealth for a year to compare and report the difference. I've not had massive aggro in this baby, not at all, but the stealth must be a better proposition on the streets, its got to be, the Kontiki sticks out like a sore thumb, and you always hear comments from people walking by, even when all the blinds are down, like the other morning when some so called middle class la de da said to his child ".. It comes to something when people are now living on the streets tut tut" directly outside my van. Hey you are the one paying the big mortgage , council tax and the rest of the rubbish mate...

    Anyway on to the Stealth stuff. Got a great email from Phil, telling me all about his stealth, in his own words " its not a living van its a survival van ", I loved it and he's sent me a few pictures which are below. Here's what he's got in his van ( well its like the size of car!) Coleman Blackcat Heater, Porta Potty, Camping Stove, Ring Automotive Power Pack, Endless Breeze Vent 12v Fan, and Wavebox Microwave!  Now that's what I call wild camping and he's in it Mon-Thurs, not my cup of tea of course but....... Imagine this ....... The wife has kicked you out, she just sat you down one night at say... 5 past 10, perhaps in May on a Monday evening around the 16th and said " I don't want to be with you anymore" " oh but don't worry...its only a temporary thing of course I just need some space" (Oh look there's a big flying pig coming over the top of that hill....Lying biatch) ......And then you have to leave your home, you have relatively no money, no where to go, and are pulling your hair out in total shock ......Voila!! Introducing the Survival Camper. Perhaps we should all get together and start a company flogging them to blokes that end up lonely and on their backside for no fault of there own. There we are Boris an idea for you! And it will weigh less than is required for the LEZ. So it looks like we have another camper in our realms not just the stealth and the classic Camper Van / Motorhome but the Survival Van. Sleep, Eat and keep warm that's the requirements of survival.

    Apologies if I have been a little on the "woman bashing front" lately (in the blog of course!!), The bit about being blonde etc etc , I don't mean it, its just poetic license. I do like blondes really,( and brunettes!) but hey Michelle was blonde ,my sons Mother Judy is blonde, Penny was blonde, my lovely daughter Lydia is blonde ( although for a girl that got 3 A's in her A levels she comes out with some real crackers! ( flying back from Spain and approaching the UK she says ) " Daddy look there's Wales down there" ????? "Wales?" Yes Daddy Wales " " Sweetheart that's England " " No Daddy its Wales its the first country we fly over when arriving by plane from holiday " 45 minutes and countless arguments later the penny drops and she finally realises that we are flying from east to west, over France and then...England ! Anyway its all tongue in cheek banter, so lay off the death threats ( ha just kidding not had any yet....But you never know!! )

    Couple of things to look forward to, got a wedding coming up this weekend, golf society comp on Weds and on the 23rd its down to Porthcawl in South Wales for the annual Elvis Festival Weekend with Milky and the gang going to be a right laugh  "huh huh huh" (Elvis style!!) lol

                   

    getting down the first tiles on my new motorhome ply floor  motorhome floor new  new motorhome floor and carpet

     

    Week 43 : 15th September 2011

    I've always thought about getting a little Motorhome companion (a dog) but its a big commitment, but my appetite has been seriously heightened by Milky's sons new dog Max! The cutest little Jack Russell puppy anyone has ever seen, little white and brown thing slightly smaller than my kids rabbits! So cute, I've even had him in the Motorhome for a trial run! I think the best option is to borrow a dog for a week and see how I get on, if anybody has advice on this ( Motorhome dog living) let me know as I won't be jumping in feet first

    Some prat has put a penalty notice sticker on my van, no doubt Mrs la de da middle class's idea of telling me I'm not wanted in the street, what is it with these people? Its not a real penalty notice just a blank envelope yellow one, grow up will you

    I'm at the lovely Tower Hotel this weekend on the river Thames for Dean and Charlottes wedding, lovely venue and directly below the Tower Bridge itself all lit up to the hilt and looking very impressive, and parked slightly down stream is Aviva one of the worlds top Super Yacht's, 70 meters long and some serious monies worth, owned I believe by one of the Tottenham Hotspurs Share holders. Anyway cracking wedding and I wish you guys all the best.

    I've dived back into the Motorhome park for 2 days, I need to do a few bits and pieces, the most important being my radiator fan is on 24/7 even with the ignition key out! I reckon its a sticking relay but I don't know where the hell its located , I changed the thermo sender ( 26 quid!! ) but still the same so its off to Maplin's for some 30 amp 12 volt cable and a switch.  I've by-passed the main wiring and now have a manual switch I can turn on and off in the cab as a temporary measure. Looks like I'm going need a workshop manual which is not a bad thing to have. Also thought a quick oil change and filter might be useful but stupid Euro car parts have given me the wrong filter, plus some idiot has rounded the sump plug off, so that ain't going to get done! Wanted to do this for my trip to Wales but never mind. At least I get to hoover out the van and get it all neat and tidy for Elvis.

    I'm off to Wales tomorrow for the annual Elvies it's Europe's biggest Elvis festival. I went last year and its the nuts. I can highly recommend this to any camper it really is brill, and this year I have the wonderful benefit of the Kontiki to park up on the beach front instead of a stupidly expensive hotel for 3 nights. But first I'm going to spend a night in Mikes car park in Caerleon, to see my son and wait for it.........Michelle! Yes you read it correctly, she's got a few bits and pieces of mine that I need back, but it appears nutter boy has gone awol again, see everybody "the grass may be greener on the other side but you still have to cut it". More about this next week and more about Mikes pub which... Is no longer Mikes pub! I pull up into Caerleon and as I get near I see all the curtains are drawn, I'm thinking shit somebody has died, I pull into the car park and can still see Darren's van so that's ok, go inside and its like a day time night club, transpires Mike has left and there's a new guy taking over, my first selfish thought is.."Is he Motorhome friendly?" transpires he is and his names Dean, reason for the curtains being drawn the transfer of license has not gone through and its basically a private party!!

    Got to see my son of course 22 yesterday, (blimey how time fly's!) What a lovely lad he is and we had a couple of beers in the Goldcroft with his mates 

    Full report on the Elvis festival next week with some nice pic's, huh huh huh !

     

    Week 44 : 22nd September 2011

    Poor Carly The Angel Pub bar maid is sweating on the license issue, she's going back to Bristol Monday, and is having a big birthday party Saturday night, No license no party! Sorry hun, can't make it I'm in Porthcawl for you know what. Also, without Mike in the pub Peter the bread man has lost his playing partner for golf, and despite buying yet another brand new set of Taylor Made Irons, it looks like they will be staying in his shed for a while as mine are stuffed safely in the boot of the Porker back in London outside Milky's house.

    Parking can be a little tricky in Porthcawl, ( about an hours drive from Caerleon its just down the road from Gavin and Stacey's Barry) you can park up on the beach front no problem but get there early! Gets packed out very quickly but...You have to move it before 11pm as its no parking for Motorhome's 11pm-7am,  ( see.. A stealth would get away with it) and the old bill give out the tickets. Saturday night at roughly 1am Milky and I are staggering along the sea front on the way to another bar and we see them in action, handing out tickets like leaflets its a 40 quid fine, so be warned.  No issues for me of course as I'm in the main car park, big sign  " No Camping - No Sleeping - No Cooking well that's not an issue for me as I'll be in the pub watching and singing Elvis for like 14 hours a day with the gang so off I go to find the parking warden which I do " ..Can I park here mate ?"   " ...Yes you can but are you sleeping in it? "   "...No mate, I'm here with my mates in a hotel but need somewhere to park it up, will be back and forth to check on it though ( good job I ain't got some sort of Living in a motorhome sticker on the back! )"        "..... OK no problem just make sure you have a valid ticket"  And that's it! I'm  parked up for 3 quid a day, no issues at all. I'm sleeping in it of course you just need to be sensible, get the black out blinds down and doze off.

    As said before, the Elvis festival is the nuts, thousands of people here, and on Colney Beach is The High Tide Pub, ( well its like a super pub ) massive, so big it has 2 huge rooms with different Elvis's in each room and a huge outdoor marquee with a live band and even more Elvis's or perhaps it should be the plural Elvi?? Who knows! If you plan to come down its the place to be, prices are very reasonable and entertainment is free. With a fresh Elvis on every 30 minutes you don't miss anything, big, fat, small, ugly, foreign they are all here, although the fat blotted mature Elvis seems the rage!! Best one here is GI Elvis he's fantastic. There is also loads going on in the town itself where every pub / bar engages in the fun, and tons of fancy dress going on, in fact I had this great Warrant Officer's outfit ready to wear. My mum got it for me as she's on the committee of the RAFA club in Cwmbran, belongs to one of the guys there, would have looked the business big time but I was worried about damaging it as this guy has had it like 40 years or something, wished I'd brought it now, never mind.

    Got some great snaps of Sunday morning on the beach front where a huge convention of Motorhome's have taken up all the parking! Must be 30 of them, some old some new and mainly sporting Welsh flags and Elvis stickers. I'll be tucked up in mine at 1.00pm for the Singapore Grand Prix, no issues getting TV reception here! After a retune it says I have 153 channels! The High Tide and Elvis can wait! GP is more important!  Now  while parked up waiting for the race to begin I came up with a clever idea. I've always admired those Motorhome's where you can swivel the passenger seat around, but alas the Kontiki ain't got a swivel...But... If you simply remove the 4 screws that hold the seat into the base with a pozi drive screwdriver and this takes all of a genuine 30 seconds you can turn the whole seat around and screw it back in!! Bingo!!..Who needs a swivel (see pic)

    Coming back from Porthcawl I call in at Mikes old pub, well Deans pub now, and get a call from Michelle, would I like to look after Charlie " The King Charles Cavalier Stud " for a week as Kissey the bitch is off for an abortion and the process of spaying. So Monday night I officially took charge of the little rascal and so far I have walked the socks of him or is that off me!) Seems like a good idea, weird having a dog in the van but I'll give it a go, more next week!

    Talking of Michelle yes I did meet her for a drink and had a chat about the past, wasn't easy for her to meet me I don't think. She got taken in a bit by ex lover boys charm and promises of a glorious future together which of course he did not keep and the whole thing was over in a month. Feel sorry for her really, but as I said to her " You did what you thought was right at the time, " anyway I'm still friends with her but that's as far as its going to go.

    Got to get back to London! Porker to MOT and TAX, work to try and find, and of course I'm getting a bit of an earful from Sugar... About Michelle... etc ! 

            

     

    Week 45 : 29th September 2011

    I'm back in London without Charlie the stud, in the words of Michael Jackson I'm a lover not a fighter and that's Charlie all over, forget fighting "I just want to sxxg anything that moves!" Oh, as well as sniff every blade of grass and pee over it. Was fun having him, at least it got me out of the van and walking! Hey and I reckon if you need to meet women then get a dog, amazing how these cute little things attract everybody walking down the road ha ha. Thought 2 days was enough as an intro for now so  dropped him off back with Michelle on my way down the motorway on my way home. Not sure I want a dog , but I did enjoy Charlie's time so I'm gonna have him for a whole week or more from the 8th while Michelle goes to Scotland with her family, bloke whatever . Me and the Stud out on the road. Just wondering..... Who's the bigger stud? Ha ha

    I've got some important decisions to make with the LEZ coming up, plus  my tenants leaving my flat, shall I sell and move to Wales? Re rent? God knows but one thing that is looking evident is that I will have to sell the Kontiki. Now before we all start to get emotional here lets look at the facts. Boris will fine me 100 quid a day to come into inner London where my kids live, but I live here anyway (kinda) so if I continue to live anywhere near here I'm gonna have to be on the out skirts which isn't going to  make a lot of sense. The French number plates trick is ok for every now and again but not full time I reckon.  The alternative is to get a particle filter fitted ( that's if they do one and its like 3 grand ) and I just don't see the figures adding up. So I reckon the Kontiki has to go........ But....A new project can develop...Out of every sad side comes a good side.....Living in a Motorhome - The Stealth! Sell the old girl and buy a panel van and start a stealth project from scratch, its still living in a Motorhome but under cover!  Even better. I know everyone will help on this site. Your opinions are valued so let me know what you think, chuck in some design's, ideas, contributions will be great. I may have to move into a flat / house for a few weeks while doing it but I think it will be a great opportunity to explore the difference between stealth camping and Motorhome camping.  Brilliant idea. The alternative, move to Wales keep the Kontiki but I can't come into London ( well could do on French plates ) or buy something compliant but who the Fxxx has the money to buy a 2003 on wards Motorhome now a days?

    Logic says buy a 2003 onwards panel van and build project Stealth.

    So on the basis that she may have to go, "..One 1990 Swift Kontiki 640/6 Turbo Diesel for sale, 73,000 Miles ,6 berth ( although you would never want 6 people in it!) 16" wheels loved and totally adored for the last 12 months by a nutcase live in tenant, everything works, awning, top box, solar blah blah blah  few marks here and there but she is 20 years old, will have 12 months MOT and some tax. Anybody interested give me a shout.

    I got the Porker Mot and Taxed, kinda light weight MOT to be honest, 30 year old cars can't really go too aggressive on the corner garages as they rip them to bits, so while my mot is 100% legit it was given a kind look over! Lol Remember the 2 quid carpet cleaner I bought in Bakewell? Well I used it the other day on the Porker carpets Fantastic come up like new!! See buying crap sometimes does come off!

    I've also decided that any new woman I meet in my life from this day on is not going to know about the blog. Its to much hassle. I'm simply going to say I'm writing a book, can't be doing with constant questions, plus sometimes I feel I can't write what I want to write and that's simply not me. This is my life, and the blog is a true version of it, its not made up or anything and nothing is  missed out on. People will still get added of course is just they won't know about it!

    Work is stupidly slow again. In fact there is nothing. I'm owed 700 quid from some Danish people and I can't get it. Got one job on the go that's for 800 and that's it! Its pants.  Really need to make some big decisions here on life. Going to do some leafleting on the bike tonight lets see what happens.  

    Depression has set in and I'm not happy. Having one of those moments again, I'm lonely as fxxx. Got motorhome, green fields, open air and depression. I honestly wonder what the fxxx I am doing with my life. Be careful what you wish for ....Could just walk away from everything right now, straight into the sea.

     

    Week 46 : 6th October 2011

    To try and get over my depression patch I've legged it back down to Wales, Michelle's going on holiday to Scotland so I've decided to take Charles the Stud for a week or so, its company and somebody to talk to and I like him! Ok its £120 in fuel or more but if it keeps me sane then its money well spent. Still got that bloody shaking moving up through the gears, looks like I'm gonna have to take it in, will try and do it in Wales as labour costs here are well cheap compared to London. I'm holed up of course in the Angel pub but I get a big shock as I pull in to the car park, Darren's van is missing? Can't remember him telling me he was going away and then I see him in the pub. Turns out the DVLC clamped him for no tax there and then in the pub car park, now... You are thinking, hang on surely its private land ( which is what he argued ) but the car park has public access which allows them to come and do what they want apparently, your only defence is to keep it hidden behind locked doors. So the poor sod is now £260 lighter and has had to move it somewhere else until he can afford the tax, tires and mot.

    Saturday morning is the day of the big rugby match Wales v Ireland kick off 6.00am all meeting in Minstrels Sports bar (opposite the Angel) they really are mad in Wales, so there we are in a pub at 6am in the morning! Drinking a combination of Coffee and Lager! Cheering on the mighty Welsh, which of course as you know by now Wales won. Next Saturday bring on the French!

    My immune system must be low as I'm struggling with a severe case of man flu. Feel rough as Fxxx. I'm never ill, can't remember the last time I had a cold flu etc, I reckon that's the beauty of Motorhome living. I reckon an early night tonight so I can cough my guts up even more than last night! Actually its taken a big grip and ruined my mini holiday, can't sleep. constantly tired and coughing up 24/7.

    Thanks for all your mail trying to cheer me up I appreciate it, plus all the mail about the Kontiki and its possible sale. I'm not quite sure who is gutted more, me or some of you! Anyway I've gone through the Kontiki options and here they are...We know that the old girl needs three grand spent to stay within the M25 and its 3 grand I ain't really got at the moment. In addition the tenants in my flat in Walthamstow are leaving on the 25th of this month. Loads of options, but one key option may be to sell the Walthamstow flat. Get about £210k -£215k for it and release about £150k net. Keep the Kontiki and move out of London say to Wales buy a house there for 100 110 grand and have happy days or sell the Kontiki and buy something newer or better? As I have said before answers on a post card please! Anyway I've chucked a for sale sign on her (for a cheeky £7500) while in the pub car park (as it's parked facing a busy one way main road) and I've already had visitors on it, just thought I would do it to gauge interest.

    ( Just thought of another option!) Sell the old girl and buy a petrol Kontiki! The LEZ only applies to diesels! Just a thought.....Wait....I've been told a new LEZ beating angle, and this one comes from the guy in Ponthir who breaks and sells the Talbot Express Vans, simply change your log book to petrol! Talking of the Talbot Express man his opinion on the cab shaking through the gears drive shaft gone, £170 new or £40 second hand, not got any available but is stripping a few vans next week , I'll get him to post me one.

    Another living option is this. In the Sewardstone Road Camp site they have a load of static caravans, really lovely they are,  bit of a waiting list for them, but they do come up for sale, and they are well cheap to own and run. You can buy one for roughly 18 grand and the yearly site fee is 2100! That's peanuts like 40 quid a week, electric is metered and gas is via big flo gas bottles, but 40 quid a week!? You have to get of the site for the whole of February ( its open 11 months of the year due to no council tax etc ) plus....Check this out.. Its only a bus and tube into central London I reckon you could easy get £400-£600 a week during the summer months renting it out to foreign visitors ( oh and the Olympics is coming up soon as well ). In essence I could have a Motorhome, a static and a house in Wales, then get rental from the two that are fixed and still live in a Motorhome....Just a thought!? Choices choices choices.....

    Despite the above I'm still interested in the stealth idea. From a blog journalistic point of view to live a year in a full on coach built Motorhome then live a year in a stealth will be stunningly interesting, hey I might hate every second but that's the challenge surely? Feedback for everybody. Loads of guys will be reading this blog thinking (like I was) can I live in a Motorhome on the streets ? Well if I go through with it readers will get the best of both worlds and a serious appraisal of the two variations.

    The flu has ruined my Welsh adventure totally, was going golf with Peter the Bread man now that's off, nobody wants me to visit them, I'm like a leper !I'm taking Charlie back tomorrow and heading back up to the smoke, to pass on Welsh flu to the English. If it wasn't for my daughters school presentation day thing I would stay here.

    Was gonna put a load of pictures up sorry but they take ages to do resizing etc and I can barely write this blog being man flu bound...Nurse Nurse!!

                   

    Week 47 : 13th October 2011

    Flu is a bit better, still coughing up loads but feeling healthier in the head! May be a slightly shorter diary input this week sorry, I've loads on my plate and will explain a lot more next week. I've dived back in the Motorhome park up at Sewardstone Road  as the prices have dropped a bit, although its still heavy money. It's amazing when you have a good look around and do a bit of people watching what you can see and deduce in these places. There's a guy here in a Mitsubishi pick up truck he did have a tent last week but it got blown around a bit! I know coz I helped to put all his gear back inside it (the best I could) when he was at work, anyway...He's out of the tent now and he's actually living in one of the small 2 berth wooden cottages they have for rent here, ( I'm thinking why the hell are you living in one of these?) But it doesn't take a lot of working out, his wife has left him ( she left him but he had to leave ..Sounds familiar? ) And he's got no where to go, he tried a tent couldn't hack it and now he's in the lodge. Now......Opposite me is a huge 36ft American Georgetown Motorhome a monster it is with a slide out as well. I get the chance one morning to say hello to its owner James really nice guy. Lets take an educated guess why he is here every week.......... Yep his wife left him! Another one! What the Fxxx is going on? Turns out the best he could do was to buy this on the book for 20 grand and live / park it on the site while things get sorted out. I love finding out why people are in the vans but this is becoming a familiar story ( as well as the emails that I get saying the same thing ).

    Took the van for its very belated mot this week!! When I mean belated I mean it. It ran out in May! Anyway...After a very very thorough 50 minute MOT she passed!! Couple of silly notifications but a good genuine pass, not bad considering she's 21 years old well down girl!.

    My favourite bar (was) in Wanstead BRB ( Bar Room Bar ) has been shut for 2 weeks having a makeover and I manage to get back in time for its opening evening, the place looks great so I head in at about 6.30pm and this prick of an assistant manager Pat who I'm not a lover of comes up and says " U got a VIP Pass?" ummm no " Well you can't come in " just like that. Ignorant piece of shit he is. What is the point of having a re fit then having an opening night but your regular customers who.... pay their way eating food and drinking beer there every day can't come in because ...its for VIP's.Do these VIP's spend their money there everyday? I don't think so. These people have no business sense whatsoever, their thought...." we'll have a refit / refurb and then invite some posh people around" surely your thought should be " we'll have a refit / refurb and then have a grand opening night for everybody. Honestly some people / business's don't deserve to succeed and hiring pig ignorant staff like Pat will make that happen sooner rather than later. Its called Bar Room Bar if your in Wanstead anytime give it a try the Pizza's are great see if you can spot the pig ignorant assistant manager it won't be hard.

    A new static caravan was delivered into the park today, I've never looked inside one, ain't got a clue what they look like, so I asked Mark the park guy to give me a tour. Brilliant is the only word to describe it. Big old thing it is huge, lounge with sofas etc, dining area, fully fitted and fully kitted out kitchen, proper bathroom toilet the lot. One master bedroom with fitted wardrobes and one guest room with 2 beds. Central heating with a proper Worcester Bosch combi boiler, mains water, proper electric and 57kg gas bottles, stunning condition like new and the cost £17000!! Yep 17 grand!! You buy it for that figure and its yours and you pay £2100 a year for ground rent, a year being a full 11 months ( no council tax as its a holiday park ) the park closes for the whole of February and  everyone must leave. Now what a deal that is! £50 a week! For your very own London base. I am seriously seriously considering buying one out of the London flat money. Here's the latest plan ( ha ha ) sell the London flat, sell the Kontiki and the Porker,  buy a small house in Wales a static caravan here and a T4 or T5 camper to spend time in back and for ! Perfect!!

    Played golf Weds it was the last competition of the season, not won anything this year but came a good joint second in the gold, but best of all I sunk a 25 foot off the green putt to take a tenner off Lordy on the 18th green right in front of the club house, he was counting his money and laughing. When the putt went in you should have seen his face ..Priceless!!!!

     

    Week 48 : 20th October 2011

    What a week. Been a very busy boy, where do I start? I've come into the Motorhome park to tidy up the Kontiki, I need space and electric. I've decided to put her on Ebay, it has to be done, Its going to break my heart totally but with the LEZ looming and money tight I'm doing it. Now rest assured just because the Kontiki is going it doesn't mean the blog is stopping, I'll be getting a new van asap, but living in a Motorhome is about the ups and downs of living in one, owning one, affording one, travelling in one, selling one the lot! There's a few bits to do, (as well as a good old vacuum out!) I need to replace the rear seat cushion one of the large ones in the U shaped area its really hard and not up to scratch so after a good hunt around I find a foam place in Islington called foam tech, really nice people and will cut anything for you to shape, could be very handy for the stealth, anyway they cut me a big piece 140cm x 74 x 12.5 and its £65 I thought that was a result! I've also done a little bit of painting here and there and the odd bit of gluing. After a good old clean out and vacuum she's looking really great.

    I've got her on EBay on the auction bit, but with a reserve. I've also included my phone number for a BIN ( buy it now ) price, and almost immediately within a couple of hours the phone is ringing regular. I'm not a huge seller of things on EBay but I know there are some complete morons on there like the bloke that offered me £3000 for a quick sale ( of which he heard those most famous go away words... Fxxx off mate you must be kidding

    Within a few hours I've got 2 so called serious buyers who want to see it asap which is the following morning, so at 11.00am A woman called Addy arrives, (no husband in tow he's working) she gives it a good old look over and has a good 15 minute call to the old man. They will take it at 7 grand, they've seen quite a few lately and this is the best they have seen for the money, needs a few bits here and there but its not an issue. So we do the deal. The Kontiki needs an MOT first so I book it in at the earliest I can which is a couple of days away Fri am. After a good 50 minute inspection she passes!!!!!!!! 2 minor things slightly corroded brake pipes ( well they will be after 21 years) and a tyre close to the limit. I'm well chuffed.

    I call Darren the husband of the women who has agreed the deal and tell him the good news but because of my commitments I ask them to collect the van Sunday as I have to empty the whole thing out and find somewhere to store all my gear, which in this case is my old flat as my tenants are leaving that weekend. All going super smooth. Darren rings me Saturday 2.00pm for the reg number for insurance and would it be possible for me to tax it for them for a year and he will give me the money when he pays the balance. NO problem. I get 60% of the gear out of the van doing two trips to Walthamstow in the porker and when I get back to the park at 7.00pm I get a txt.. " Thanks for everything but we have bought another van, best of luck cheers" WHAT THE FUCK?? I had to read it 3 times to get it in my head. I immediately ring the guy but he wont answer, but I ain't given in so I just keep ringing and ringing until he answers, " .. yeh well my wife saw another van today which we felt was better blah blah blah " By this time I am spitting feathers and the F word cannot come out fast enough, of which the shit cut me off and refused to answer. Unbelievable, I spend all my time sorting things out, tell everybody its sold, spent 4 days in the park at £18 a night coz I wanted to keep the van safe  etc etc and these tosser's do this. Suffice to say I sent him a no holds barred extreme text message expressing my disgust using words that would upset people in a rugby dressing room. God forbid if they ever cross my path again, if you are reading this blog Darren .....I'll be down in Maidstone Kent at sometime ... I'll find you.

    Had another ring up " I'll have it!" 95% certain exactly what I want and want to live in it just like you, been searching for ages, I've got the cash lets do the deal today. He turned up had a nose around then said I don't make instant decisions (???) I'm just gonna go back to my lorry and have a think. 20 minutes later I get a gutless text ( just like Darren) I won't be buying  the van best of luck. If you've never tried to sell anything on EBay give it a go what an experience, you will never forget it!

    I've been over to my flat, its been rented out for the last 3 years to a lovely French couple, Saleem has been giving it a paint over and getting it back to its pre rental condition so he can get his deposit back ( Some people would just leave it in a complete mess and expect their money back), must be a French thing, but it looks great. I'm going to get some agents in this week for valuation and negotiation over selling rates, I could rent it back out pretty easily I reckon and get a grand a month but I think its time for it to go. Had the agents in and they reckon £215,000 so I'm gonna give it a try. I'm not living in it though, I prefer the Kontiki plus I hate leaving her parked on the road at night without me being in it, always have this feeling its gonna get lifted and be in Ireland with 24 hours ( no offence if you are Irish!!). I've left the Motorhome park, only went there to do some bits and pieces and make it nicer for possible buyers and gone back up at the lane, where its free. Had a great funny incident the other day at the shop just down from the lane, some bloke walking his dog, approached me and said " is that your van mate" yep.." Did you know the kids around here think its an old bill van, true, they think you are on some sort of watch " very funny I laughed my head off. Anyway I'll let you know on the Kontiki EBay sales saga this week.

    End of the month I'm off to Butlins with Milky. Butlins??? You are thinking? Yep Butlins it is ..for Big Adult Weekends! 3 days and nights of drinking, dancing and having a right old laugh, this time we are going to Skegness ( up norfff lad) 70's weekend or something, apparently Alvin Stardust is there!( now that will be funny) so should be a right laugh, more to come on that one.

    Thanks to every body for your emails and guest book entries I really do appreciate them  ! And really sorry this blog is late this week, in fact its the latest it has ever been !

                  

     

    Week 49 : 27th October 2011 and Week 50: 3rd Nov 2011

    I've had to put 2 weeks together ! Been either very lazy or very busy, actually I've had a load on my plate but I have finally got around to some writing ( you have to be in the mood you know!!)

    Some sad news to start, up at the lane some guy has gassed himself in his car, all very sad. Pulled up in there the other day and the old bill has it all cordoned off. I know I've been sad and very moody and even bordering on distraught at some times but to take your own life is very sad indeed. There's a big array of flowers marking the spot, and a big marker post with messages written in number plates, RIP in peace mate perhaps your troubles are over? On a very selfish note, if you live in a van on your own and you have a heart attack one night with all your black out blinds down what happens ? Serious, no joke, how long before they find you when you are wild camping? You could be there for several weeks?!

    Now...On to the jolly sort of stuff! Ha!!  I've put the van back on EBay, all very effing annoying when people let you down but we have another buyer. All seems genuine cool guy called Dean who wants to live in it and he's read the blog, so fingers crossed the transfer all goes well this weekend. Selling stuff on EBay is an absolute nightmare, there are so many tosser's on there, if you ever sell your van on it or attempt to the take every body with a huge big  pinch of salt. Now another sad bit..Gonna miss you old girl more than I can ever imagine, I seriously will, 52 weeks of my life holed up inside you...... The Ups! - The Downs! - The Women! - The Wales Adventure! - Maerdy in the Snow! - The Lovely Michelle! - The Ants! - The Water Leak! - All The Grand Prix I have Watched! - Bakewell! - The Angel Pub and Secret Things I Can't Mention! - Cruising Down the Motorways! - Late Night TV Tucked Up in Bed! - My Whistling Early Morning Kettle! - The Take A way's! - Thinking Where The Fuck Can I Park? ! - Looking In The Fridge For a Fosters At 9:00 AM! - My Lovely Gas Heating! - And.. The 2 nights I spent with a 24 year old bar maid!! .         She doesn't leave me until Sunday so I'll get some last minute use of course and I'll report back to everybody via the guestbook the day she leaves

    I reckon if you buy the right Motorhome at the right price and look after it then the year loss is very minimal......For example, lets say like me and others you need to ditch the conventional living of renting a flat and paying out shit loads of money, indeed lets take the case of my Kontiki and look at the actual facts. I bought it last year for £5700 but I've spent some money on it so lets go through it. This list does not include things I am keeping such as the MEOS TV, Generator and Piaggio scooter which in essence are mine for my next van and the normal tax MOT etc ( but even including tax mot it ain't a lot) plus I have not included gas as you would pay that anyway in a flat: Kontiki  £5700 -  Carver heater exchange £200 - leisure batteries £170 Onboard charger £90 - Whale water pump £25 - New Radiator £110 - Bike Rack £90 - Solar Panels £200 - Solar Regulator £15 - Headlamps £90 - Spares from Talbot breaker £50 - Foam for rear seat  £70 - Oven and a few bits from Kontiki on eBay £25 - Hook up lead £25 - Stereo - £40 - Flooring and Carpet £100 - Paint and Hardboard £70 - Replacement Light Unit and Bulbs £40 - Total About £7110. Take away the £6500 and I've lived a year for £600 which can't be bad at all!!

    Just had some fun up at Butlin's in Skegness! Got an invite from a friend of Milky who we went with last year, 5 of us in total, what a laugh! Butlin's is great you can't fault it at all, for £150 each you get your apartment, (Sharing) All your food, All your entertainment which is 4 night clubs, sports bar, swimming pool etc. You can even bring in as much booze as you like, you just cant take it inside to the main arena. So a brief run down of the 3 days... First of all though there are certain childish boys rules that have to be adhered to, The essential rule is this, as there is only 1 double bed in the apartment any guy that pulls get full priority to it and who ever is in it must get out (asleep or not) and its on a first come first served basis, all very funny indeed and if its occupied you have to place some sort of item on the door handle ! We wound Milky up one night  as he was the current single occupier by placing a fez hat on the handle before he came home even though it was totally empty! On the settee you go mate! lol Suffice to say there was some keen competition for the room! Even saw a really nice camper based on a high top Movano in the car park, managed to get a look inside as well was really nice, I asked the guy why he brought it with him and he said he would rather sleep in that than share a room with his mates farting and belching all night! Makes a lot of sense!!

    Now... Saturday morning Mark informs the guys that he is now calling me the Pxxxxx Magnet! "Its incredible" he says "he just stands there and women come flocking around him!" LOL was kinda true to be honest I'm standing in a queue to get into Jaks and within 10 sec's being there some women is thrusting my head into her breasts! ( that's kinda what goes on there!) Saturday day time we spend the day in the sports bar on the drink and watching football, and in the evening we get to see such legends as The Bay City Rollers, Alvin Stardust ( I know!! We walked out after he started singing coo coo coocachoo) and a great tribute band called Too Rex. Saturday is always the BIG fancy dress night every is dressed up a huge amount of weird costumes, our little gang decide to get dressed up as Where's Wally stripy jumpers and bobble hats. The fav costume of most of the girls is the very naughty copper look! of which somehow we inherit a stray one called Lisa who attaches herself to us for the whole night, but being a Scouser I seriously need a translator. Sunday its sports bar time again at 4.00pm to watch the mighty Spurs. Quite a few yid fans in the bar and its great fun, and later on in Reds to watch Kool and the Gang and Ray Lewis with his temptations, where I have this mad moment! ( like I do) Another Scouser bird says to me.." You wouldn't last 5 minutes in these " pointing to her very high 4 inch shoes " oh yeh? What size are you " "size 8" well get em off I'll squeeze in. Was so funny Milky was pissing him self they helped me up into them and I was dancing around on the dance floor  and doing catwalk pony steps for half an hour. Don't know what you women complain about was a piece of cake!! Later that night I get back to the apartment  and end up having to sleep on the settee!! Seemed to be a lot more than 5 people in there now!

    Somebody asked me about Sugar, well she kinda melted! Hadn't seen her for a while but did see her last Sunday for a drink and a pizza, was a nice evening until she decided to create some stupid conversation / argument at like 11 at night, suffice to say that was the last straw. Time to move on again!!

    I had 3 nights in my flat over the last 2 weeks, a few things had to be done for the estate agents etc. Very weird in deed. Didn't sleep at all even though it was a big comfy bed. Everybody said to me that I must have enjoyed it as if to say you must be glad to be in it and not in the van, well actually its the other way around, give me the van anyway. I will have to move back in there once the Kontiki is gone but it should only be for a short while until I can buy something else and arrange my life around regarding Wales and the House sale. Shame I did not get the chance to meet some of you guys this year but defiantly next year we should have a little meet up, perhaps down in Caerleon would be nice at the Angel for a weekend ( free parking!)lol.

    This will probably be my last blog input written in the van, sat here in my kitchen, heater on, with coffee and rich tea biscuits dressed in my dressing gown! But the blog will motor on of course, every week as normal in the quest to find a new Motorhome , house, girlfriend and life. I just want to make this fact perfectly clear as I have said before, living in a Motorhome is about my life, my experiences, my ups and downs and selling it is part of it. I would say though that spending a year in a Motorhome has been one of the greatest things I have ever done and I would like to thank my bitch of an ex girlfriend for dumping me after 18 years and allowing me to do it, despite the mood swings / loneliness I have a great life and are the envy of many many people.

    More next week and I will have a massive photo session day and get some on here.

                           

     

    Week 51: 10th Nov 2011

    I did well I reckon, 51 weeks living in my Motorhome! And if it wasn't for Boris no doubt I will still be in it. The Kontiki is now sadly sold. Managed to have a few last days in her up at the Motorhome park, there was madness behind spending the money as I wanted to ensure she was safe before I delivered her down to Dean who was just down the road, the other side of the Dartford tunnel. Now this all sounds a bit stupidly silly but those three days couldn't go slow enough in fact on the Saturday night ( my last night ) I didn't go to sleep until 2.45 am just couldn't bare the idea that this was my last night!  But alas it was and on Sunday afternoon I drove the Kontiki for the last time down the M25 and over the Dartford bridge and down to Deans place. All sounds a bit weird now as I remember rambling on about little silly things like "..Oh yes she does this sometimes and oh she also does that now and again etc etc, was like I suppose handing over your child!! Silly how you can get all romantic and silly about a lump of metal and fibre glass! ( as he holds back the tears!)

    So where do we go from here? Well Sunday night I came back to Walthamstow and got the keys to my flat, which you know is up for sale. Was really weird and I remember sitting on the floor in the living room (on one of my Motorhome Kontiki scatter cushions ) thinking its just the same thing, looking around me and thinking I have a kitchen, a shower , toilet, heating, a double bed, still on my own, still lonely, still feel the same just in a different place. OK I'm in a place which is bigger but that's it really, that's the difference, oh and the fact is I'm stuck here I cant take it with me and drive off. So it all feels a bit weird. Other problems I can't park the porker out the front, I don't have a permit. Its all bollocks, to get a permit I have to show the car is registered to this address and supply 2 utility bills and my council tax bill, which of course I don't have and I don't want to register my car here so every day I'm on tender hooks watching and waiting for the gestapo parking police to come around twice a day and nick me ( there was no problems up at the lane like this).

    On a lighter note was nice to see my old neighbour Ty ( Tyrone) a good old Welsh boy who has lived in the ground floor flat below me for god knows how many years, ( old man actually rather than boy he's 71 years old!! ) Funny old bugger he is always moaning and threatening to leave London and go back to the valleys but he never does, and I reckon he never will! Still some familiar old faces in the street, but man its changed soooooooo much in the last 15 years here. I went to Sainsburys the other night to get some provisions, fill up the fridge a bit and without a word of a lie I walked all the way around it and did not hear one English voice, all Eastern European that's all I could hear. ( Now please don't call me racist or anything silly I'm just trying to tell you how its changed) I was stunned. The market has changed massively as well, its still as busy as ever, if you don't know Walthamstow it has a huge long market that runs up through the middle of it, in fact I think its something like Europe's longest market or similar, can't remember now but its bloody busy and its dirt cheap to buy anything

    Was a game of golf going this week, a Texas scramble competition, I won the same comp last year with Milky and Lordy, but this year I was teamed up with Bob and Steve (28 and 24 handicappers), was a lovely day out and................We came stone last! Honestly what has happened this year to my golf... Stone Last!!!!! The shame is just to much, That's it now the clubs are going away until March and bloody staying there ( well in the spare room of the flat,) they used to be in the overhead of the Kontiki of course! Ooops I'm reminiscing again!

    Work has picked up so I'm really pleased especially that Christmas is on its way, and on Thurs I'm off to Sheffield to see my sons graduation day ( which is Friday morning), meaning I need to get a hotel room, see... the lack of  the Kontiki is causing problems already ! Bloody £60 for a hotel when I could have parked up somewhere on the road. Never mind  new one will come soon hopefully.

    So current status.... Holed up in Walthamstow and Kontiki less, wish me luck!

     

    Week 52: 17th Nov 2011 and Week 53: 24th Nov 2011

    Ooohhh its all happening up at the lane (again). Remember the Lane which I spent many a night at last year, its the one opposite the Marriot Hotel in Waltham Abbey, its a big wide road with no parking restrictions unless you are over 5 ton, a lot of people park here every day to car share and jump on the M25 as its 1 minute from the junctions...But anyway a development has taken place. I get a phone call from Lordy one morning "Taffy...There are people in your garden! " ( That's what he used to call the grass verge and field next to the road ) " The Gypo's have moved in and there's a dozen caravans on there!". Well I never! They must have been reading the blog ! Anyway I dive up there on the bike and low and behold they have smashed open a gate and parked up! Transit vans , caravans the lot. It's up at the top bit by the roundabout,  where as stealth man and I always parked down the very bottom. Glad my Motorhome isn't there any more, blimmey I'd have attracted some right people! Its still a great place to park for free for a stop over and its safe I never had any aggro there, check it out its called Old Shire Lane, Waltham Abbey.

    In order to amuse myself while I wait to sell the Flat and get a new Motorhome I've decided to do some online dating. Don't laugh its true! Actually I've been on it before in fact that's were I met Sugar despite the fact she would tell everybody we met in a pub. Actually when I was on there before I did meet some nice people and still have a few friends from it. Anyway I'm back on it now, new profile and a slight issue of my age, accidentally knocked 4 years off by pressing the wrong button oh dear, anyway too late now I can't change it, and I can carry it off no problem. In fact when I met Michelle last year in Butlin's and while we was in the pool one morning we played the age guessing game, ( fatal as I'm shit ) of which she told me she was very good at it. I totally balls'd my guess up adding about 4 years to her age! Oh oh , she then said " Your 42 " of which I said "..Wow you are good at this game you are bang on ) I should have been an actor! All true, she thought I was no older than 42 so there we are!

    So in brief -I've had a few lookers, quite a few actually, some average, some below average and some xxxxxxxxxxx anyway before I insult all women and they start having a go at me I've also had a few lookers as well and quite young! ( I'm very shallow! Its all about looks for me!). Not been on a date yet and I had one booked in for last Saturday, really nice girl only 36, slim, really pretty, sort of posh spice look a like and as Milky said I was batting well above my average but alas she cancelled the night before!!! Lets call her Miss T and see if she comes back! ( hopefully, pretty please )

    I came off my sodding bike this week for the first time. Coming back from Wanstead heading to Walthamstow about 10 at night ( and no I wasn't pissed as Lordy suggested) Pulled up at the lights, empty road , they turned green I pulled away 30 yards later banked around a corner and I'm sliding on my arse into the road for a good 20 yards, the bike just simply slipped away from me, left knee took the impact ( thank you knee) and I managed to get up ok. I went straight back to the bend and it was totally coated in Diesel, some bastard had spilt some and quite a lot. If you buy a scooter for your Motorhome watch out for that little bugger, if it looks shiny take it very very easy and wear the correct gear!!

    I headed up to Sheffield last weekend, it was my sons university graduation and I met up with my ex wife Judi ( not the witch ) Me and Judi got married like 20 years ago. I had to book a bloody hotel just for me and it cost me £140!! I know its a killer I could have ambled up there in the Kontiki found a quite street somewhere and it would have been happy days but no, £80 in fuel and £140 in hotels! Oh and £60 for a lunch. Anyway what price do you put on your kids education I suppose. Ceremony was fantastic it was in the city hall and it was wonderful to see my son going up on to the stage to get his degree. 

    While I was up there I messaged Lysa and Penny, some girls that we met in Benidorm this year, In fact their pictures are in the blog somewhere with me and Milky. Actually you already know Penny as she's the one who wrote a small couple of paragraphs in June about undying love blah blah blah and then I kinda pissed her off, anyway all was forgotten and I went out with them for a an evening of drinking and dancing in this packed little dance bar called Christians, absolutely mobbed it was, more of a mature crowd than youngsters which reflected in the music, was a right laugh and it was really great to see them again. Hopefully Penny excepted my offer of an apology! ( I think so!!)

    Work is better which is really great as I really need it, without tenants in my flat the £500 I used to make is nil, and I now have to find £500 myself as well as other stuff. Cash flow will always be an issue of course, its the same for any self employed people, but its bloody tough for everybody

    The blog is becoming a bit more famous!! Got a few emails from a few guys giving me links to other Motorhome sites and forums where unknown to me they have been discussing it, and in general everybody has been writing some nice stuff, ( not that I write the blog to suit people I write it for myself, to inform my mates where I am, to make new mates and to help anybody who may consider doing what I am doing.) This month November I so far have 238,000 hits, 2416 visitors that's pretty good going I think, shame I can't get those bloody advertising people on board and get some money in!! (I didn't and don't do it for the money everybody knows that but a little bit wouldn't half help! )

    I reluctantly headed off to Ikea this week to buy some cheapo furniture for the flat, got to sit on something, got to put the tele on something ( although it looks a bit small in here, looked massive in the van!) got to put he laptop on something! Anyway after they relieved me of like £150 I now have a 2 seater sofa, 2 tables and a roller blind! And no doubt a hefty electric and gas bill coming my way although I am very conscious about turning all this on and off you just get so used to it in the flat in fact I had this great idea the other day why can't you turn your flat into a 12 volt system, get 2 x 120 amp batteries , get a good solar panel say 240 watts hook it all up and run off that. You could do the lighting no problem, the TV, laptop charging, tons of stuff. Get a fridge powered by gas, dump the freezer its all just a thought but I'm thinking it must be a possibility? It must be! A 12 volt home, you do it in a Motorhome why not a house?

    I'm currently loading up some pic's of which I am very slow to do as every body knows, I've uploaded the thumbnails give me a day or two and I will get the links done to them

    Love you all   

     

    Week 54: 1st Dec 2011 and Week 55: 8th Dec 2011

    Met up with Clive from the sads club the other night and he's not happy, Friday afternoon at the bank is read the blog time and the current fortnightly updates are not going down well! So over a few pints I have agreed to try and get it back on track, will do my best mate!

    Decide to check out the local Walthamstow night life this week and up the road from me in the market is a pub called the Chequers, seems ok and I've had the odd pint in there in the day time while using my laptop, anyway one day I notice a big sign that says Amnesia every Fri and Sat night till 2.00am so in the name of research of course I decide to check it out on the Saturday. I arrive at the door about 11 and get a big rub down from the bouncer and I'm thinking this don't look good as a starter, anyway once I'm in it all looks a bit packed out and to be honest a bit of a cock fest ( tons of blokes not that many girls ) anyway I get a pint and persevere. Now..under the Amnesia sign I see something in small writing which I missed the other day ( and no it doesn't say gay night! ) it says Euro night. Euro night they ain't kidding! I reckon almost 90% of the pub is Eastern European and the music...How my god, you ain't heard so much rubbish in your life, Shoot the DJ I was thinking and  at one stage he was playing music from Zorba the Greek. Suffice to say I had 1 pint and buggered off. Will be giving that one a miss on my own or with a future dates.

    Got an upsetting text this week. Actually it was a sarcastic text. The guy that bought the Kontiki has rung a few times asking how to do this how to do that etc no issues and I was glad to help, but one day whilst working with my mate Gary I get this text come through..." Thanks mate: This van has damp in it and also loads of other things that need doing, fair play to the other people that pulled out" now that kind of upset me a bit, and after a while I sat down and thought right. I wont reply to it as I don't do tit for tat its not my style but I did think the following, first of all.. Anybody who does their homework on Kontiki's will know that they all leaked around that age, in fact I wrote about it in this blog, so the chance of it having some sort of damp is pretty much on. The van is nearly 22 years old and for 6 grandish is bound to need some sort of work, also it was bought via eBay on the auction and... He did not even come to see it! Now me I would never buy anything without seeing it. Other than the text the guy has not contacted me, so he knows the score, but it was just a little upsetting to get the text.

    My Indian mates who own the off license in Hermon Hill have bought a new Merc Sprinter, its 59 plate and cost 12 grand and they let me have a tour around and in  it. Thinking about stealth campers or panel van conversions this kiddie is the real nuts. So long inside, bigger than the Kontiki I reckon in length and if you take out the bulk to reveal the cab it really is a big beast. Width wise its no more than barely 6 feet, that's the difference from the Kontiki, I can just about lie down in it cross ways and I'm about 5 ft 9 so it feels slightly claustrophobic ( although I'm being an idiot really as it has no windows so its bound to be ) but I was very impressed and will definitely look at this option for the new camper. The other van I am considering is the Ford Transit Jumbo very similar to the sprinter. After the Kontiki it would be hard I reckon to have a SWB or even a MWB van, I just think I would find it to small.

    Went down to Wales with Milky in the porker on the weekend and had a huge disaster, and within this disaster is a lesson for everyone. Here is what happened. Cruised around the M25 got on to the M4 and was over the Severn bridge within 2 half hours we was absolutely flying, traffic was so minimum, was great and then......We get to Magor and I see the old bill behind me, and on come the lights and its pull over mate.

    Milky and I are thinking speeding No? something fallen off the back? Anyway he comes to the window and says the normal shit "you car sir? do you have your papers sir? ( why do they do that? what pratt would leave all his car papers in his car ) so its then can we have a chat in the back of our car sir. So there I am all nice and warm in the back of this police 4wd BMW thing when he says " ..Our system says you have no insurance" WHAT? can't be as I recently renewed it with a new insurance company a few weeks ago, was with the same company Carol Nash for the last 5 years but I switched after going on to the Go Compare site and found one much cheaper called Premier Insurance, I've paid for it the lot.

    Now by sheer coincidence I was actually talking to them ( the company) that very morning asking them where my insurance paper work was I had not received it. Now the conversation in the morning did worry me slightly as they said the reason why I had not been sent the paper work is that they were waiting for confirmation papers of my second car?? What?? I don't have a second car? of which the women said "...This is a classic car policy to have it you need a normal everyday car for your normal transport" What? I never had this issue with Carol Nash so a dispute erupted. Transpires because I had not sent them this paperwork that I new absolutely nothing about whatsoever and was never asked for by the Go Compare site I was not covered. I got the police to speak to the company on my behalf but no joy. Result a £200 penalty and 6 pts on my license. One good thing they felt sorry for me and didn't seize the car they let Milky drive it off the motorway where by I had to crawl back to my previous insurance company and get them to cover me. Lesson, check your paperwork and make sure you are fully covered! 

    On a funnier side of life I get call a call from Lordy the other day while at Milky's place, saying " Hey Taffy I'm having sky TV added to my new Jacuzzi house!" What new Jacuzzi house? first I've heard "..The one  I'm having built in the garden, I'm having a big glass conservatory put around it with sliding doors for the summer, proper Jacuzzi it is not one of those cheap imitation makes and I've got sky TV in their for the golf and the footy"  ? Honestly how the other half live !  So the Milk and I said "..that's great mate how much room is in there?" After a little pause he comes back with "..Enough for me and 4 women" Lordy you DON'T know 4 women! What a waste!  Was funny tho even funnier than the sign on the bar door in Maerdy Social Club Wales, in big letters MEN ONLY, really! Its a men only bar I thought all that died out years ago, so nice to see these traditions still going ! ( just kidding ladies just kidding! ) but the sign and the bar is true!

    I'm typing this blog on my smaller laptop my Asus Eee Pc 1005 which I bought last year as I've screwed the screen up on my HP, don't really use it that much and being in the computer Internet business I feel I should give some advice about it. Here it is ...DON'T buy one they are shit. Honestly I'm talking about the small net book size 10 inch laptops, around the £200 area, like a mini laptop. They look very appealing and the bumf advertising them promise the world like on my one ....9 hour battery life ( in your Fxxxxxx dreams!!) super fast performance ( honestly I could write 10 times faster with a fountain pen and quill ) latest Windows 7 software ( yeh that's right bloat it up to death so it crawls along ) Think really hard before you buy a laptop for your Motorhome, these are barely good enough for the Internet, and email and I mean barely. Don't get mugged in by the super great battery life because its rubbish. I reckon this thing is lucky to last an hour at the most,( I'm not kidding) yeh they look great but the performance is rubbish ( sounds a bit like me!). Get a proper one or a tablet.

    POF Internet dating update: Number of dates 0: Number of gropes and / or kisses 0: Bedroom activity 0: Boredom factor from answering stupid messages from very UN-attractive women 10/10

    Actually got a so called date lined up for Saturday, lets call her Miss L, only seen some pic's on the site but everything looks like its totally in the correct order! Had a few text messages back and forth and a phone call which swung me a bit, I was expecting this cute girly type voice but it was much lower and huskier! I expressed my feelings about it to Milky the other night and he said ".. oh yeh, I like em like that ?! " Well lets see what happens shall we !! More on this next week !

    And....Apologies for the current fortnightly stuff but I'm well busy with work which is really great  for me for a change, and I really need it bad and to write this blog I kinda have to be in the mood! If I wasn't it would be even worse rubbish than it is now!

     

    Week 56: 15th Dec 2011 and Week 57: 22nd Dec 2011

    Had one of my customers over this week from Denmark, another company that do RIB boats (Rigid Inflatable Boat) like Thames RIB, and we headed off into the heart of London down to the Thames to get a freebie ride on the Thames RIB Experience boat, so he could compare the way they run their business to his. Was a good time out and later we nipped off for some grub and beers. Now when I say beers I mean an effing lot of beers, Christ these people can drink, honestly and its not your Carling or Fosters its the proper stuff the Stella or the Peroni. I was absolutely hammered, but I managed to get a conversation in early regarding Camping in Denmark, which was brilliant. Every thing is totally geared up for it there he said, considering the cold and the snow, its mega popular and is a big family thing. I've been invited over for 2012 and subject to money wouldn't mind hiring for a few weeks but the only issue is everything is big money there, its stupidly expensive, if you have ever been drop me a line and let me know , would be very helpful.

    Talking of invites I've also been invited to Australia how true or genuine it is I'm not 100% sure but I think it is, Maree said "..come over for three months and you can use my Merc" and hit the roads! Now that is an offer! One minor or in my case big issue is I'm shit scared of spiders and all I can think of is.. One of those big buggers the size of blackbird on the van ceiling a night! Can you imagine oh my god!!! I'll have to go for some hypnotherapy sessions to get cured! ( no kidding ) unless anybody knows another way. 3 month trip around Auz would be the nuts and any Motorhomer's dream I reckon. What a mini blog that would make. Write in if you have done it.

    I would like to thank everybody who has joined me on Facebook, I've made some really nice friends (genuinely), and its great to keep up with you. One of them is Del who is currently having a trip around Scotland, parked up in the lochs, he's also started a blog and once he adds all the photos I will post the link. Looking forward to seeing some more great pictures Del, you must be loving your Christmas up there!

    Did the decent thing and took a big box of Roses and 3 bottles of plonk up to Sewardstone Road Camp Site Xmas eve for the wardens, method behind the madness here, first they were super helpful to me last year and secondly I want to be in their good books as I still may buy one of those static caravans next year as a London base. Was nice to see them and them to see me lol but the first thing that struck me when I entered the site was how empty it was, there was no more than  6 or 7 vans parked up, incredible. Last year when I was there you could count 20 easily plus it was bloody freezing as well with all the snow and ice his year what's happened? Had a chat with mark and he's come to the conclusion its money. People just don't have it, never have they seen it this quiet, I suggested perhaps the council should consider some sort of winter deal, I know on the occasions I stayed there this year it was an effort to pay the money, even now at £16.50 a night it would be a struggle to stay for a week. Lovely campsite though and if you ever come to London this is the place to stay.

    POF Internet Dating Update: Dates 1: tonsil action 0: Jumping off the wardrobe dressed as superman 0

    Had a POF drink and pizza night with Lorraine, a 47 year old brunette from Over the Dartford bridge, I thought Lakeside would be a good meeting point and there's a cute little Italian there called Bella Italia and we agree to meet outside Primark. Here is the run down. Slim, lovely figure, long curly-ish brown hair, and reasonably attractive ...but the voice!! Oh and the laugh that went with it. Anyway had a drink and a pizza, nice lady but I just didn't click, and I dread to think what she thought of me lol, so went Dutch on the bill and it was a cheek kiss in the car park and then ta ta!  

    Can't believe the amount of bills and crap flooding into the flat. Water, electric, gas, TV License and to top it all Waltham Borough Council Tax! £400 quid they want in 2 payments, I've only just moved into the bloody thing and not even told anybody ( except the blog ). I'm gonna give them a call when they finally open and give it the old landlord doing it up routine to sell, see if I can get it delayed. Had an offer on the flat though ( if you can call it an offer cheeky bastards ) Its up for 205,000 their offer 185,00 yeh like in your dreams, I know I want to sell it but I ain't desperate that's for sure!

    Merry Christmas Everybody!

    Christmas day is virtually upon me and it could be another home alone job, last year I was in the Sewardstone Road Camping park for the day, eating a chilli and watching Shrek! I'm having a strange feeling of Deja Vu in advance! But after a visit to Milky's place and a nip around to Benidorm Martins house I'm told in no uncertain words that I must not spend Xmas on my own and must come to his, so after seeing my kids Xmas morning and then filling the car with booze and cherry brandy I head off to Martins. Absolutely loved every minute of it was such great fun. Big family they have, was 15 - 20 people there for both Xmas day and Boxing day, tons of food, tons of drink and not one minute of tv ( banned it was ) board games, charades, karaoke. Boxing day we went to the local football pitch to watch the annual Bakers v Chimney Sweeps football Match Massacre! Crazy it was, flour, soot, gung everywhere! So called footballs of every size and shape, they even played with a space hopper! Been going 104 years, great that people keep these things going and all for charity it was with an excellent turnout. So pleased I went and stayed. Thank you Martin and Janette.

    Not sure what's happing for New Year, was looking at a few options, bit difficult when you are Motorhome less! Sheffield was looking good, go and see Penny and Lysa but alas Penny has legged it to Dubai for the new year and who can blame her! Much hotter! Another option is to meet up with Milky in Maerdy ( which I may do for one day ) but a better option is a trip to Caernarfon! Remember I spent like 2 weeks up there in the summer in the Motorhome and loved every minute of it, well when I was there and in Cafi Roc one night I met a really nice woman called Christine, nothing ever happened but we swapped Facebook stuff, and I messaged her the other day and said how's about a visit, which has resulted in a yes. Ok, its donkeys miles away but who cares, I'll take the porker, stop off in Maerdy for one night then take the A470 up through central Wales to the North about 4 hours I reckon. Full update in next blog entry ( will be starting a new page 2012!)    

    Finally whatever or where ever you are for the New Year, in a van or at home, I would like to wish you all a very happy, relaxing and prosperous Motorhoming New Year !!

     

    FOR MY 2012 Diary.... Please Click HERE