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Sunday, March 1, 2015

So How Did We End Up Buying A Motorhome?

Right now we should be back in Australia, the dogs out of quarantine, me back working and living in our new pad.  Instead we have bought a motorhome with plans to tour the UK and Europe once more.

What happened you may ask......?

Due to some unfortunate events that I don't want to blog about we decided to cancel any plans to return to Australia for the immediate future, but we decided to keep hold of our property over there as the prices in Sydney are still on the rise.  If we sold it we would never ever be able to return to OZ. For the same reason we also had to cancel any plans to live in Spain on a permanent basis.

We were left with 4 choices.....

1. Buy a house in the UK.

2. Carry on renting a house in Bollington.

3. Buy a narrowboat and carry on cruising.

4. Buy a motorhome.

1 and 2 were ruled out for a few reasons ... as much as we love the UK, we don't love the UK winter, We also still have a huge urge to keep travelling in some sort of way.  Plus options 1and 2 are quite expensive.

We seriously considered buying another boat, thinking we could cruise during the summer and run off to Spain for a few months over winter.  It was very tempting and it was the way we were heading.

Then ... a couple of weeks ago we were laying on the grass at Lands End contemplating our future, the sun was out and the view of the crashing waves and surf was sublime ...

As we lay there whispering sweet nothings into each others ears, Elaine said the happiest she had been since we had left Oz was when we were in the motorhome cruising through Europe  and enjoying the stunning scenery, the glorious beaches and most importantly for us ... lovely weather!

Such as ...

The seed was sewn and two weeks later we bought our new motorhome!

So there you have it ... our decision making process and the result!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

We've Bought A New Boat........!!!!!

... but somehow it has morphed into a motorhome!!!

We have spent the last week looking at motorhomes in Burnley, Bury, Rochdale and Newark.

By Friday afternoon we had just about thrown in the towel when we came across a really nice unit at a Newark dealership.  It ticked all our boxes, they agreed to fit some extras we wanted and to drop the price to what we were happy with.

The only problem was that it had no MOT so they did not want me to test drive it - just to accept that it was all good!  I wasn't prepared to leave a deposit unless I could take it for a spin so it resulted with the van being booked for a MOT today so we had a reason to take it out on the road!

Today we travelled to Newark again and took the vehicle out for a good run ... everything worked and she drove perfectly, the result being we left a deposit and will pick up the vehicle in three weeks. The reason we have to wait is that the workshop is chockers with motorhomes being prepared for delivery!  They are really busy after last week's motorhome show.  They are servicing the van, fitting a solar panel, extra leisure battery and a TV for us.

So we are now, or will be in three weeks, the proud owners of a Rapido 996M motorhome.

It is based on a Mercedes chassis and powered by a 163hp Mercedes diesel coupled to an automatic gearbox.

It is a A class motorhome which basically means the cab is integrated into the motorhome thus maximising the  space.


It feels a lot wider in the cab than our last motorhome, probably because it is.


All the upholstery is leather, we may have to call it NB Chance!

Elaine was very happy with the galley it is very user friendly ...

Nice toilet ...

and shower ...

Looking back towards the bedroom in the stern.  There is also a double drop down bed in the bow ...

The garage is huge, which was one of our main criteria ...

Not as pretty as the old Autotrail motorhome in my opinion, but she looks good with the three pointed star on the nose ...

It is a 'gnat's cock' shorter than our last motorhome ...




Our new home! (The dogs approve too!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Kindness of Virtual Strangers.

We are now back living the village life in the Bollywood cottage.

We left Elaine's sisters place in Kent on Monday but  to break up the journey we stopped at my mother's place in Milton Keynes.

We had a delayed start on Tuesday morning as mother tripped over Bombo and went a bit of a cropper!  We stayed for another hour to make sure she was OK, which she was apart from bruising, which Elaine treated with her always-ready-Arnica!

Wearing El's happy hat made her feel a bit better!


We stopped off at a couple of places on the way back to check out some boats motorhomes!

Yes folks, we have changed tack again and are now leaning towards buying another motorhome!  There are various reasons for this but the main reason is simplicity and a strong pull to return and explore Europe (at a slower pace!).

We quite liked this one, but it didn't have a garage ...


We are looking for something more like this one - an 'A Class' motorhome.  The main difference to our last motorhome is that the cab is an integral part of the living space, so we should be able to buy one a little shorter than the last one ...



Now to the 'virtual stranger' bit....
We met Yvonne and Roger from NB Fizzical Attraction a long time ago in Aston Marina, albeit very briefly and we have been in touch occasionally through emails ever since. 

What a lovely surprise we had today when this wonderful Peace Lily, complete in a pot, was delivered along with a box of chocolates for El!

Many many thanks guys ... it was a lovely gesture - you are very thoughtful :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

We Are Family.....

One of the subjects that I very rarely mention on the blog is family ties, yet it is one if not the most important reasons for being in the UK.

Neither Elaine nor myself had close relatives in Australia, yet here in the UK we have many - actually all of our relos live in the UK.

When we were in Spain recently we spoke to a lot of expat locals and often the main reason for their returning to the UK was to go home to the grand kids.  It is a massive pull.

So, after our week in Cornwall with our most fantastic friends it was time to head to Kent to catch up with Elaine's family and to see her new great nephew for the first time.

Elaine and her sister, Julie and the dogs ...

Sisters in the hood wood ...

Elaine holding 4 month old William, who is the son of Elaine's, niece Leyna ...

Sammie licking Elaine's great niece, Connie to death ...

Elaine's other great niece Evie, holding her new baby brother ...


Uncle Paul and Connie ...

This morning we all went for a walk down to the local park ...

... to feed the ducks.


It was great to catch up with everyone ...

Tonight we are having a overnight pitstop at my mother's house before returning to Bollywood. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

More Cornwall....

Our week in Cornwall is coming to a close, but what a fun packed week it has been.

The hot tub has had such a workout it is now broken!

Elaine has been busy massaging the ladies feet!!

The wife swapping has finished and we are all back with our respective partners!

This is our holiday pad, it is slightly larger than the average narrowboat, and can sleep 11 people.



Yesterday  we headed off to St Ives on the shortest railway journey I have ever been on.....4.25 miles from St Erth to St Ives!

It is however a very scenic journey as the line hugs the coast.  



We found a stranded shark in St Ives bay.


There were also few stranded whales!


Nice sharkey.


Scenic shot from under the arches.


Bombo tasting today.....I dont know what he tastes like but his breath sure does stink!


There was a bit of rain about so it was pretty quiet.


Last night dinner consisted of flat breads courtesy of flat bread floozy Sue, Dot rustled up the chicken goujons.

Flatbread Floozy in action.





Last night Elaine and I caught up with some old friends from Australia who now live in Marazion.


Today we all went off to walk across to St Michaels mount.

Silly hats were the order of the day and attracted a lot of favourable comments.


As the tide was out we walked across the causeway.


This amphibious thing takes you across if the tide is in, along with some small launches.


It  was a bit overcast and chilly. 


A St Michaels mount prom walk. 


A very bird.....I thought it was something special, but apparently it is a common old Starling.




We wern' t allowed in the castle because we had the dogs, however I managed to zoom into the others on the parapet.


Lunch was had at the The Godolphin Arms Marazion. 


Tonight we are off to the local pub for Fish and Chips, tomorrow we all head off home and continue out lucky life in the slow lane, we are heading to Elaine's sisters place in Maidstone.