Preparations Part 2

“Haven’t you gone yet?”

14 nights : 11 miles travelled

No we haven’t gone far!

Waving not drowning
Waving not drowning

As much fun as a badly made follow up to a B movie, we have spent the week clearing out a second garage, unearthing older memories and dislodging more ghosts. Decluttering was an essential part of preparation and we are just about finished, with nearly all our belongings safely in storage. This seems like a good time to tell you about other preparations.

We have tried to overcome our reluctance to engage with technology, motivated by our desire to keep in touch with everyone. Still scared of skype and blagging the blog, it’s apparent there is some way to go. We have a WIFI booster so that we can practice on the trail.

Mr Kips is wrapped up and ready to go. Rabies vaccination…tick. Pet passport …tick.  Snuggling in a sleeping bag…tick. He has even converted to Lidl dog food which should be available in most countries we visit. When his digestive tract has adapted and the smell eased off….then he will get another tick!!

Brian has had several modifications to make life easier when travelling. A solar panel, extra leisure battery and new LED bulbs mean that we are able to manage more nights away from campsites with electric hook up.  We have installed a Gaslow LPG system for heating and cooking and a 500 litre box has been bolted onto the cycle rack to store bulky items like ramps and electricity cable, plus all those unnecessary comfort tools that will ease Graham’s withdrawal from the man cave that was his garage!


I have pimped Brian’s interior reusing bedding to make loose covers to protect against Kippers needle like hairs. One duvet cover had previously been upcycled to a tablecloth, and I think the mark where the lasagne dish overflowed makes the whole van seem rather homely.

Tomorrow we travel to the West Midlands for Brian’s final and possibly most important improvement…a new mattress. We have been saving a bottle of fizz for when we feel like we are finally on our way. Maybe we’ll be enjoying our bubbly in Dudley!

M x


Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.    JFK

Well the odyssey has begun. We moved into Brian last Tuesday and travelled…… 200 metres to the campsite behind the pub next door. It’s a start!

It’s actually a lovely little field and we’ve noticed a strange phenomenon of  the same birdsong sounding louder on the field side of the fence than our garden side. The magic of camping!

Kips enjoying the view at the Anvil Inn campsite
Kips enjoying the view at the Anvil Inn campsite

Kipper is very confused. We don’t normally walk to our holiday home from the house and he’ll be relieved when we finally hit the road for real. We three will be.

The move has left the house clear for us to clean and spruce up before the tenants move in later this week. I greatly underestimated the task of moving out….we just have SO MUCH STUFF. Graham has bravely tackled his demons to dispose of useless bits and pieces….you know those things you will need as soon as you get rid of them and will be worth something one day.

Meanwhile we’ve been loading Brian with essential items for the trip….most of which we’ll probably find surplus to requirements within a few days. However I know we’ll be glad we saved a jar of Josette’s damson jam to enjoy during the first weeks, and a Christmas pudding which I hope I’ll be able to resist until  December. These will remind us of the good things to come home to.

Friendship in a jar!
Friendship in a jar!

When the clear out is complete we will spend a couple of weeks in the UK visiting the kids and adjusting to full time travel.   The quote at the top has been written on a post it note on my computer screen for a couple of years.


It has certainly been helpful during the past month but we’re now looking forward to a year of finding out if things can… just happen.

Our kids are convinced that this is what will happen!

I don’t think that will be a bad thing really. M x    IMG-20150530-WA0004[1]

Europe here we come!

“All things are ready if our minds be so”      William Shakespeare, Henry V

Making a decision to pack up our happy lives and move into a biscuit tin on wheels was a process rather than a step. It is one thing to daydream about the freedom of the road with no plan to direct you, no deadlines to return to…. and quite another to make that a reality.

Now the reality of what we are doing is hitting us almost daily as we tick off another item on one of our many lists. (There are so many in fact that there is actually a list of lists!) The house has been scrubbed clean and let. Kipper has been punctured multiple times and is now the proud owner of a pet passport. Brian the motorhome has been modified to accommodate long term living and the crossing through Eurotunnel has been booked.  Eeek!!

Next is the hard part. For me, having to do a life laundry was a major bonus in deciding to embark on our snail trail. For Graham it was the biggest hurdle. Facing up to two and a half garages worth of hoarding is a daunting task but now that most things are ticked off the other lists, the excuses are fast running out.

Harder still, will be saying goodbye to friends and family and that is the purpose of this blog.  “Follow us and keep in touch” is much easier to say and we hope you will!

Mandy x

    Where to go first?
Where to go first?