“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Bee's rescue

We have pretty much completed the house now, only the carpets left to clean. Which meant Ant could have a weekend down here in Sussex in front of the fire. It also meant he could finally move Bee off the lawn where she was slowly being buried under falling leaves! She is now back on the driveway again where she will spend the winter.
Ant also took the fridge out again which we discovered wasnt working and bought it indoors to test it as per the manufacturers suggestions, and in typical sod's law fashion, the fridge worked fine when plugged into the house Grrrr.
Clocks went back last night, making the nights nearer and the days shorter but also makes us another milestone closer to the big day. Yippee!!!
Unfortunately my self defence class was cancelled last week though, (not enough attendees) and typically we are already booked on a first aid course on the day they have rescheduled it for. Will have to start hunting for another.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Paint, Paint and More Paint

We are getting there with Alfred Street, bathroom now completely redecorated with new floor and fresh paint, more paint going on other rooms each evening and most weekends (under the close scrutiny of the Tilletts' perfectionists eye!!! lol). We have an EPC assessor coming in a couple of weeks to rate the energy efficiency of the property which we understand is a new legal requirement from 1st October, and some letting agents visiting to evaluate the rental potential and gather data for advertising; So fingers crossed we get what we need.

The aim is to have it available to let from 1st November; so put the word out - it's a perfect family town house, dogs and cats welcome, easy staggering distance from the Racehorse and to top it all the landlord is awesome. :-)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

House Clearance

We have been busy clearing out Ant's house ready for decoration and ultimately renting out. Attended a car boot a couple of weeks ago and made £160!!! shocking what some people will buy. Was good fun though and despite the money made and items sold, we still have a really long way to go. It doesn't appear to have made any difference to the amount of junk I still have in my house! Definitely another one needed this year before it gets too cold.
We are taking Bee camping this weekend, (yes... in the rain!) but should give me, (the leftie) a chance to try out the right-handed cooking facilities and Ant a chance to practise washing up in our new sink! lol. Of course I shall also have to test the wine fridge out and Bee's fairy lights. Can't wait. x

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Dad will be pleased.

Have just booked myself on a self defense class for women; watch out Europe (or should that be Ant!?). We are all set to do our first car boot sale this Sunday too; The big clear out begins. :-)

Monday, 14 July 2008

another week off 'work'

Ant took leave from his day job for another week and came East to work on Bee in preparation for the Newt Beer Fest. I ended up also taking most of the week off to help. All curtains including the tie backs are now completed which has made Ant's dodgey ceiling paint stand out even more!! lol. definitely gonna tackle that when we get to Cyprus. I painted Ant's star sign on the spare wheel cover, and then painted it over again (decided wasn't keen on enamel paint). Ant fitted our ingenious fold-away waste bin and the iron cross gear knob he bought on ebay (yes, the one I got has been replaced already lol!), whilst I painted the Taurus again.... and again, and once more before deciding enough was enough and the slightly patchy look will have to suffice, and I now detest enamel paints. The scorpio which is going on the back will just have to be painted with something else (or stuck on!).
We drove her down to Taunton totally trouble free and packed her up ready for our first weekend in a field with her at the festival. Tried measuring the fuel efficiency too on the way down and much to our amazement discovered two things; 1) the fuel gauge sensor still doesnt work! and 2) she does 26 miles to the gallon. Gawd bless her and all who ride in her. :-)

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

I love my Auntie Pearl. :-)

Despite her ultra busy camping life, and some really oddly shaped foam pieces, Auntie Pearl has done an absolutely amazing job on the new cushion covers - I can't believe it, they look fantastic! And she still makes one of the best roast dinners around. Thanks Auntie. xx

Monday, 23 June 2008

Bought the fridge!!!

Now just awaiting its delivery with baited breath (and fingers crossed that it fits!) The 2-ring electric hob has arrived too and Auntie Pearl rang today to say the cushion covers are finished, going to collect them tomorrow - yippee! So think we could be all set for the Newt Beer Festival.
Bee is looking a little dirty at the moment too, think will need to find time to give her a little TLC this weekend. Am also hoping to take her for my first drive now that my road has been rebuilt and I dont have to go off roading to get her out! that is of course if the boss gives me permission. :-) lol

Monday, 9 June 2008

Stonor Park

Not written in a while but things still progressing (amidst weddings and VW meets) - Ant fitted the new sink and waste pipe before becoming an E-Bay addict in search of a tap. He took out the Rock n Roll bed for me to paint, which I think now looks much better than the royal-blue-with-a-turquoise-tinge it was before. Trouble is the matching fabric holdall thing that hangs in front of the sink unit now doesn't match anything and I'm not really itching to get back on the machine to make a new one; the 'cottage-industries' interior will have to do for now.

Last weekend we went to Stonor Park to one of the most established VW rallies and got a new hot plate (thick stainless Steel 8" VW badge), a new handbrake handle and a new (but very old) knob for the gear stick. :-) not much else there and couldnt find the specialist insurance man, but Ant managed to add me to the existing policy and drop the cost down quite a bit... must be my most excellent driving ability -lol. We did, however, see a number of Red kites circling above which was impressive, as was the sheer number of campers in the park, all lined up in the long grass at various stages of rework. Roll on next weekend... Isle of Wight music festival!!! Sorry Bee, you cant come this time, from what I hear, you will need to rest ahead of the Newt beer festival in July :-)

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Bank Holiday Week

Well we couldnt have asked for better weather - and what a week - we havent stopped; Ant fitted the new brake hoses, which solved the veering problem (and he even allowed me to drive half a mile up the road to my house as a result!). Matt did the MOT for us on Tuesday and apart from some minor headlight adjustments, Bee is in tip-top shape. :-)

We bought some new wood and spent a large part of the week making all new worktops which look amazing; Ant cut, carved and sanded whilst I stained and waxed each piece. The new sink is now in and has a proper posh matching wooden surround.

The curtains are now all hanging and to my surprise fit beautifully! however we did decide, (for health and sanity reasons) to visit my Auntie Pearl who is kindly going to make the matching cushion covers for the bed foam as I dont think my patience with the sewing machine will stretch that far.

The spare wheel is mounted and just needs a cover, the new under dash tray is fitted and the sink waste pipe is connected, but unfortunately we still cant find a suitable 3 way fridge.

Yesterday we went to 'Bug Lovin' at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, but didnt find anything we needed; quite a disappointing meet to be honest considering the £10 each entrance fee! But we did see a splitty which had been taken back to bare metal, laquered and done out as if it were a hawaian beach bar inside - was my fave out of the bunch. We have now come to the end of our week off and the Captain has agreed to let me repaint the wooden bed and seat frame, to get rid of the royal blue which no longer matches anything!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Retro Metro

I think we are all agreed the sewing machine and I are never going to be a match made in heaven, but thankfully we are now at least tolerant of each other. After all my hard work this week; getting the measurements wrong, the cutting wonky and overcomplicating the method, Ant finally came to the rescue. After a bit of frustrated discussion, some teamwork (and a couple of lengths of unpicking) we finally have one half of the front window and one half of the back window covered! we both think it looks pretty good, which is always a bonus. Ant has also cut the lenths for me to do the two long side pieces so I should be able to finish them all this week. The new back window rubber has been glued in place and the dashboard lights are all now working. The spare wheel holder is bolted onto the front (only one bolt still missing!), and Janet is on the case for our spare parts list. So Bee is almost all set for our week off next week when we can put her on a ramp and have a look at the brakes and tracking.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Open Heart Surgery...

The sun came out, so too did the large drill... The hole needed to fit the 240V hook up was a lot larger than we had first thought and was painful to watch (especially as the aging drill gave up shortly afterwards!). 2 hours of manual metal filing later and the box was snugly in place. the perfect colour too which is a bonus.
I have started on the curtains and have only fallen out with the sewing machine once, (although 3 hours work has only managed to get the hem sewn on the lining material!) gonna be a long task, which needs to be completed by July when we take her to the Newt Beer festival for a couple of days. :-)

Sunday, 6 April 2008

April Snow Showers!!

240v hook up and indicator switch arrived this week. :-) but what a bizarre weekend weather wise; gorgeous sunshine on Saturday so we went out and chose the fabric for the curtains and seat cushion covers - 15m of beige, cream, orange and brown retro 'metro' and 15m of beige lining material.
Ant fitted the new indicator switch only to discover the left indicator wasnt working so it came straight out again for some tinkering... but today we woke to snowfall, and by lunchtime the ground was covered in 3 inches of it!
Relieved to say though that Mr Fix-it's fiddling, cleaning and soldering looks to have done the trick and we think the switch is now working.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Found one!

Ant spent Sunday afternoon 'tinkering' whilst I spent it 'pottering' and as a result the fuel gauge is now working correctly (he discovered the adjustable level meter needed adjusting), the curtains, indicator switch and dashboard panel are out and ready for repair / replacement and the veggie patch is now planted up and full of seeds.
After emailing a load of online parts shops Sunday night, we finally ordered a chrome indicator switch yesterday from - fingers crossed its the right one, at £50 its going back if it ain't, or I will have a paddy instead!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Volksworld, Sandown Park, Esher

We spent the day yesterday at the Volksworld VW fest at Sandown racecourse and although we searched every trader and breaker stand looking for the secondhand indicator switch (that Ant broke whilst having a paddy) we didnt find one. So we collected web addresses off other potential sources and ordered the 240v hook up and under dash tray from 'Just Kampers'. I also bought my first VW T shirt (and yes mum, it IS largely brown).

They had some truly awesone buses there, including this black and red one which was immaculate in every way. The attention to detail was astounding, the interior was all made from old oak wood fireplaces. I was also introduced to the 'rat look', which is where the mechanics and all other unseen parts of the vehicle are top quality, all made from high performance parts, but the outer shell is made to look worn and tatty. We saw this mad rat-look 'square back' which I must admit was kinda cool. also noticed a trend for old box suitcases on roofs and retro coolboxes. One thing we may have to rethink though is the 3 way fridge, since we now know you have to have proper ventilation when using the gas option. That means making the fridge easily removable from the van, not really what we wanted.

We bought what looks like an american sheriff's badge for the rear bumper which you wire into the brake lights to provide a third red light at the back, albeit tiny they are sold as a 'safety' light. Not sure why they are so expensive (£45!!!) but put a smile on Ant's face, so I guess they must be worth it. We also managed to find some dashboard bulb holders on someone's stand which we paid £2.50 each for, but at least we wont have to drive in the dark with a torch pointed permanantly at the dials.

Our only other purchase was some new rubber for the tailgate window to stop the condensation. Genuine VW (alledgedley) means it should last a fare while.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Bee goes East

Pleased to stay Bee made it down to Sussex from Taunton with no problems whatsoever. Took the opportunity to test Ants fuel tank welding which thankfully held fast ( never doubted it for a second!). The long drive also gave us a chance to work out what the fuel consumption is gonna be, we have 10,000 miles to cover and a rough idea of the cost will help me work out how much I have left for wine :-).

Passed a few other VW campervans en route, but all going west in the opposite direction - not one of them failed to wave though which was impressive.

Hail stones and wild winds have meant we are not feeling brave enough to tackle the clear out in preparation for the work that needs doing, so maybe get started next weekend.