And they’re off….


Well, we’ve finally done it. It took longer than we thought and I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for the first blog entry, so apologies. We’ve got a couple of weeks to catch up on, so grab a cup of tea and settle yourselves down for a long read (unless you are at work, in which case of course, you should get back to doing something more important and leave this until later).

The week of our move was a little more stressful than we would have liked. A last minute planning application from one of our neighbours spooked our buyer and he needed yet another visit to the house, on the day of exchange, before being reassured that he was OK to sign on the dotted line. That meant a tense few hours for us, waiting to hear whether it was all going to fall through. Again. However, he was happy so we exchanged at the end of the day on Monday, with completion set for Wednesday.

Our removal guys completely underestimated what was involved in packing all our stuff and we ended up with threats of notice being served by the buyer’s solicitor for not completing on time – for the first time in the history of mankind, a solicitor did something ahead of schedule and we actually completed at 10am. However, the removal company finished nearly four hours later than they were supposed to and we had to move the last bits out onto the pavement so we could get the house & garden empty for the buyer to move in, although he decided to wait until we had left.

By the time we got to Mum & Dad’s, we were exhausted and decided to spend a few days pottering about, rather than rushing to get on the road. It was time well spent – we had more to do than we originally thought and were able to head off in a more relaxed state of mind.

So, we’re on the road. We struck gold with our first in the Cotswolds – beautiful location, views, surrounded by flowers, butterflies and fluffy bunny rabbits and only £5.50 a night! They also have free wifi and power for D’s laptop in the cafe attached to their farm shop – well, free as long as you buy a coffee! Great place all round and we decided to stay here for 4 nights. We were technically ‘illegal’ last night as the Caravan Club rules only allow for 5 motorhomes/caravans per night, which makes sense on a small site, but in 3 acres I can’t see that it will really matter – as you can see, we are not exactly crowded!

That's us - right at the back. No-one else around.

D worked on Friday afternoon and I did ‘Anne’ duties – those who read Famous Five books will know what I’m talking about. It’s basically housekeeping, although my version also includes a lot of sitting in the sun reading. I don’t remember Anne getting distracted while she made beds from armfuls of heather, or served fruit cake with lashings of ginger beer, but it seemed to happen to me quite a bit!

Yesterday we walked to Chedworth Roman Villa, apparently one of the largest Roman villas in Britain. Unfortunately, much of it (including the best bits with the mosaic floors) are closed at the moment while they excavate more, but it was a lovely walk through the village and surrounding countryside and we joined the National Trust while we were there. My new walking boots did a great job and I didn’t end up with my usual blisters.

Campsites are great places for people watching. Last night, a couple in a BMW towing a caravan drove onto the site at some speed, circled a couple of times and then stopped in the middle. Everything was done in a hurry – caravan unhooked, bikes unloaded. The guy then drove the 50m from the caravan to the fresh water tap to fill their little portable tank and then drove the 20m from the caravan to the disposal point to sort out the toilet. Then he sped back to the van. Doesn’t really look like they are having a relaxing weekend away!

It will take us a while to get into some sort of routine in the van – not the sort of routine where you get up at the same time every day, but the sort which means that you remember to turn the hot water heater on 20 minutes before you want the hot water, you don’t run out of water at 11pm or need to drain the waste water tank before you can have a shower because it is too full and the sort of routine which means carrying more cash than we used to because otherwise we might run out on a campsite with a great farm shop and cafe. Not that any of these things have happened to us of course….. It will also take me a while to get my head around the fact that this is our life now and I have to keep reminding myself that we’re not on holiday.

That’s enough for today – the sun is shining and coffee is nearly ready. We’ll probably update every few days or so, depending on wifi connection. We can add a button for RSS feed to the blog, but I don’t know what it means. If anyone does know and would find it useful, please let us know. And leave a comment, so we can check up on who has actually bothered to read this!

S

STEVE AND JAN
Hello D and S (are you incognito?).
Nice blog – I second all comments about weird campers and that happy feeling of being on a very long holiday; but not.
Love, Dad.

STEVE AND JAN
(Aussie Dad, that is. Honest, it’s not 2.30am here)

ANONYMOUS
So excited to follow along! Misty

LEIGH
I’m loving it already! Can’t wait for the next update. Leigh

MERRI
Hi (are you incoherent or indecisive?).
I liked the beginning of Steve’s comment so thought I would do the same.
It’s great being able to read about your travels. I can see I’m going to become a blog addict.

SARAH H
I hope I can do something like this one day! x

UNCLE PETE
i have never used a blog before

ANNA
I can see this blog taking over from Facebook so I’ll now sit down with a coffee and piece of bran loaf every morning when Alexander goes to sleep and enjoy reading something really real!!
xoxo Anna

ANONYMOUS
Hmmm not sure this will get to you but hope
you’re all having a fab time :o)
Sophie sends you lots of licks
lots of love
m* & m xoxo

D
…Sophie is a dog by the way people.

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