Ah yes, as I recall 'simple and straight forward' were the last words of my last blog post.
T-5 actually was pretty simple. We barrelled up the motorway making great time and rocking out to our Road Trip triple CD. Introducing Tabitha to some '80s classics tho she had Breakfast at Tiffany's on repeat and I soon grew weary of that!
As Google is my friend I called upon the powerful search engine to find a site equi-distant between Hull (pronounced 'Ul' in a short, flat way) and York. We were blessed with FourWays Camping at Fogglethorpe - http://www.fourwayscampsite.com and we pulled into a virtually empty field about 5:30pm.
Parking up next to another van with NZ in gaffer tape under each of the side windows we hopped out and met Greg & Caroline - kiwis not surprisingly as site owner Martin and dog Molly greeted us.
Well, we were home for the next 5 hectic days and these guys were instantly like family including Martin's partner Sue.
We celebrated Caroline's birthday, had a BBQ with incredible meat from the local butcher. Martin fixed stuff in my van. Caroline gave me a brilliant book, Greg heroically shared Tabitha's chocolate.
T-4 was a day of two halves, it started with heavy rain which became the pattern for the next 4 mornings actually!
We headed to O'Leary's Motorhomes and purchased a new skylight for the over cab bed area and arranged to have it fitted. At the same time I asked them to remove the awning.
Delighted with both jobs we pootled off to Right Car in Beverley to get the MOT done.
Happily bunking off their wifi we waited, dare I say it, confidently for the news that Eileen was fit and healthy for another year.
Only that wasn't the outcome at all, she had failed on three items - indicator bulbs not being orange (WTAF?), a split CV Joint gaitor and the high beam tell tale lamp not coming on. Worse, the garage couldn't fit her in till the following Wednesday, well we sailed from Immingham on the Monday so hmmmm......
After going on a bit of a wild goose chase we found a garage, next door but one in fact, who agreed to do the work.
Booked in for 9am on Friday morning we returned to Fourways to be cheered up by our new found friends.
Friday morning dawned grey and wet, pouring rain thundering on the roof and I wondered if I'd need Martin's tractor to get offsite.
For some reason I felt I had to put T's bike back on the rack before we left for the garage, why I didn't just leave at the site I don't know. It was wet and the bungees were very slippy and I was lucky not to lose an eye when one of the hooks hit me square on the nose at high velocity!
As the blood dripped into my hand I surprised myself with nothing but a heavy sigh!
So, Eileen safely ensconced at Andrews of Beverley and T and I were left to wander the town till 5:30pm
Lovely little town, lots of expensive shops to browse but by the end of the day I was worn out and fed up with the spendthrift child who wanted to buy every bit of tat and crap she spotted!
Relieved to hear that all had been fixed, if a little jury rigged as the glow plug lamp had been re-purposed as a tell tale lamp we headed back to Right Car for a re-test bang on end of day. Luckily one mechanic hadn't booked off and was prepared to stay on - so so grateful as it was a Friday after all.
Now I really did sit and chat with the staff with confidence - all was about to be pronounced very very well.
So friendly had we become with the staff that I, at first, thought they were having a grand old joke when Michael announced it was another fail. But no, he was serious. Evidently the indicator lamps were still incorrect - possibly the other garage had replaced the rear ones not the front ones!
Queue my near tears and their running like maniacs finding bulbs and fitting them and at 18:05 we were finally declared legal.
With a sigh of relief I wearily turned Eileen back onto the road and heading once again for our temporary home.
Three sleeps to go, so much to do and my brain really not functioning too well but there was a BBQ tomorrow night to look forward to!
I've enjoyed a recurring and frequent thought over the last few weeks; no more damn nits!!
I wasn't being smug, I just felt relieved we wouldn't be taking the plague of year 5 with us!
i thought way too soon!!
After a sweaty day doing more 'settling' jobs I joined my kid in a bracing swim off the pontoon.
As I raked my fingernails through my hair I considered the heat or some shampoo residue to be the cause.
Later after we showered I noticed Tabitha's neck was livid with scratch marks and I was horrified when I investigated further and found her crawling with nits!!!!!!
Immediately I knew I must have them too!!
What the bloody hell was I to do without an emergency dash to Boots or a phalanx of local mamas to donate hoarded supplies of chemical warfare?!!!
I remembered stowing the nitty gritty comb with the tea tree oil during the unpacking never expecting to need them tho!
Thank god I did!
De-lousing yourself and your child in a campsite shower stall isn't something I'd recommend to be perfectly honest!
However I will admit it was quite satisfying seeing legions of the suckers fall prey to the sweep of the comb!
I sincerely hope that's done it and they are eradicated for good now.
I'm sure the crawling scalp is completely psychosomatic........
Double-tap to edit.
Finally we are underway. When I say this day has hurtled towards me in slow motion I hope you'll understand the peculiar nature of prepping for this trip.
Ar 7pm on July 5th 2016 I closed the door on our rented and emptied home in London. The previous month had been a frenzy of store, sell, donate, pack and junk - consolidating a 4 bed house into approx 60sq feet of long term storage and a 6m Campervan should be a skill I can add to my CV!!!
One bag each, approx 10kg, to last the year.
My wonderful plan to methodically and meticulously pack the van gave way to literally flinging in shopping bags stuffed with toiletries and various random things like spare webbing straps!
No matter!! We were away and the miracle I needed but doubted had indeed come to pass. Not delivered by a team of angels tho, but real life miracle workers in the form of mum and Brian. The final clear down would never have happened without them!
Several friends swung by with last minutes hugs and biscuits of farewell and a few tears were shed.
We drove into the setting sun and headed for our first overnight at the wonderful Waterhouse auberge!
A delicious dinner, a good sleep and a chance to start to reorder the van in the morning.
We set off again mid morning heading for Hull to take care of minor details like the MoT and getting a new skylight fitted.
It all seemed pretty straightforward really, famous last words........
Driver & Author