Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Polishing Off The Day

We  are now all sorted and ready to go (I hope) so I thought I would give the van a good coat of polish.

It took me about four hours.  I borrowed a ladder from the caravan park owner which was pretty handy but by the end of it I was well buggered. 

It was well worth it as it is now super shiny ...

I also checked out how to get the spare wheel out.  It's not too bad - only one bar of the bike rack has to be removed.  One of the 13kg gas bottles was removed.  We will exchange it tomorrow, there is still a bit in it but we are hoping if we go with two full 13kg bottles they will last us two months.

Elaine kept herself busy loading autoroute onto the laptop, which is an off line route planner and GPS tracker. It also list all the Aires (free overnight motorhome stops) plus places of interest and free wifi etc. We also have maps of France, Portugal, Spain  and Europe plus my very old Tom Tom with the European map installed.  Hopefully with all this we won't get lost!  The aim is to avoid paying any motorway tolls, unless the toll route is a lot more direct and will save fuel costs.

If you compare this with Sydney.....If you want to go north you go up the Pacific Highway or inland via the New England Highway south its the coastal Princes Highway or inland the Hume Highway and if you go west its the Great Western Highway......simples!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I don't like to bitch and moan on the blog, I like to try and keep it upbeat and happy but sometimes needs must.

Nobs 1 were a couple of fisherman  on the water point at Poynton, not quite a hanging offence, but a bit dumb, you would get a 40 ft boat on the point but any longer than that you would be buggered.

We were walking the dogs over to Lyme Park which is just over the hill from the caravan site.

Nice sign.

Nice sheep and lambs. 

It was a gorgeous day and starting to border on the hot side!

Only in England...a ladder for the humans, and a gate for the doggies..... 

....Just fab....

Magical scenery

World class

The Lyme Park house is rather grand.


This car belongs to Nob 2, locked inside were two dogs in a cage with no water!! The ranger and staff from the information hut had put a reflective cover over the back of the car, the cone is holding it down.
the windows were cracked slightly and the dogs didn't seem to distressed. I suggested a brick through the window, but they said that they had rang the RSPCA and they had told them to monitor the situation!!
What sort of twat would do that, they had been left in the car for over 4 hours!!! 

On the way back to the boat  motorhome this old girl passed us.

The sky turned so black on the way back but not a drop of rain.

They were repairing some of the dry walls

And to finish off some nice little lambs...ahhhhh

Monday, April 28, 2014

Twin Tub Action

Another riveting blog about washing....yawn...The only reason I am blogging about it is because after spending nearly 3 hours catching up on the washing one of the other residents of the site informed me that there is a u-beaut brand new washing machine on the site albeit hidden away in a derelict looking shed, the cost to use the machine....50p!!!  


Then it was over to Halfords to pick up a new number plate we had ordered, pick up some spare keys we have had cut and finally a final top up shop at Tesco.

The Euro card I ordered has also arrived, this was the one suggested on money market as the best card to use in Europe.

Day of Rest....Not!

The plan for Sunday was to do.....nothing, unfortunately that didn't happen as we broke the bed!! Also unfortunate was that we broke it by lifting it up to put more crap under it!  The bed is hinged but like a lot of things on the motorhome the fittings are very flimsy and light weight. 

I trudged off to B&Q to buy some brackets and screws, the nearest one being in Stockport. Another unfortunate was that hundreds of cubs and scouts were Dyb dyb dyb dob dob dobbing along the the A6 in a march so my quick trip took bloody ages.

Meanwhile Trevor had turned up on site in his moggie, so whilst I was resisting bouncing a few scouts off the bonnet of the Citroen Elaine and Trev sat eating ice creams in the sun.

Once back, with the aid of Trev, the bed was quickly fixed with extra brackets and will now withstand......erm!

Sunday was also Trev's birthday, so we took him to the ever fantastic Maliwan Thai restaurant.

Our host was Blue Wiggle.....he had just came back from entertaining the cubs and scouts!  

All the Aussies know of the wiggles, but to the rest of the world they are a group who specialise in children's entertainment. They were Australia's top earning entertainers for four years in a row, in 2009 they earnt $45 million but by the time the recession hit it went down to $28 million in a year....not bad eh.

After dinner we went back to Trev's for  cuppa and to check out the cat/rabbit situation.

As you can see the rabbit is besotted by Jaffa, I think its love!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Catch up Blog....

It was to be a busy weekend with more running around sorting out little jobs that always seem to take longer than anticipated.

Elaine was saddened that she had to bin her favourite walking shoes - which she had bought from a charity shop in Stone two Christmases ago.  You just can't get good second hand boots these days!!  (They are still sitting outside the door of the van, mind you ... it seems they will actually go in the bin at the last minute).  My good walking shoes had carked it up in Northumberland, but as we are heading to the land of t shirts and thongs we won't be buying any heavy duty walking shoes for a while ...

We also tried out the awning, or should I say sun shade!! 
We didn't keep it up for long though as it started raining !

On Friday night we went to a friend's house in Macc for a 'Hairy Bikers curry night' ... very good  curries they were too.

On Saturday morning we went to see Elaine's brother, Trevor to see how Jaffa was settling in....   

... he is going fine, he has only clouted the house rabbit a couple of more times, so its all good.  Apart from that he has been following Trev around his house yowling at him!  Elaine thinks he is missing is favourite (expensive) biscuits so we took a bag over for him ... hopefully that will stop him whinging at Trev!

This was the first time Jaffa had been out in a garden for over two years - he never liked getting off the boat! ... 

I think he is going to enjoy exploring Trev's garden ... 

We also picked up the push bikes from Trev's house and took them back to the van.  Amazingly both bikes fitted in the back of the Citroen C3 is the Tardis!

It only took a couple of minutes to fit the bikes on the back ...

I already have the striped  t shirt, we will buy the onions and beret when we get to France ... 

Last night it was up to The Boars Head for too many swift ones with some more friends from Macc, who announced that they are going to buy a motorhome and start touring in the not too distant future.  They too have realised that there is a lot more to life than a big mortgage and pressures of work etc.

So now we are up to date, its Sunday morning and we are going to have a bit of a rest day apart from popping to see Burt and Trev later on :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Middlewood Way

We just about have everything ready for Europe now with just a few more bits to collect and sort out before we get on our way!

Elaine had one last appointment in Manchester today so we made a quick trip up there, whilst Elaine's dad, Burt dog sat for us.  As a bonus he made us a very nice Salmon dinner when we got back to Macclesfield!

We had to pick up a couple of parcels from the Post Office, then it was back to the motorhome.

As it was such a nice evening we took the dogs for a walk along the Middlewood Way.  It follows the old railway line between Marple and Macclesfield and is 10 miles long ...

The route is shared by walkers, cyclists and horse riders ...

The old platform at Higher Poynton is still there, and to the left of the pic up the ramp is the dog friendly Boars Head pub, so we had to pop in for one ...

The Middlewood Way was opened by David Bellamy, you can still see the spittle stains!
(Grapple me Grapenuts) ...

We will pick up the push bikes from Trevor's house soon and take them for a blast along the Middlewood Way - what a great bike riding track!

We walked back to the van along the tow path, to get our boat fix.

Hello Mr Heron ...

It was a lovely calm evening at Higher Poynton ...

Then it was back 'home' to the motorhome ... one more stationary week and she will be on her way to adventures in Europe!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Medical MOT (Rego in Australian)

I had an appointment this afternoon with Nurse Ratched ... she was going to give me my yearly medical check up.

But first things first I took the boys for a walk once I dragged them out of the drivers seats!

We also drove down to Poynton to do a bit of shopping.  As we were leaving we noticed that a caravan had left the prime spot in the park, so I checked with the park owner that it was OK to move and that was it - we moved all of 100 metres.  See, you boaters, we can change moorings too!  The advantage is that we are next to a water tap and grey waste drain so we can fill with water and empty the waste tank without moving.   The Macc canal is right behind the hedge.  It is such a luxury to unload the shopping straight into the car, lazy, but pure luxury!

I have a yearly medical as I suffer from high blood pressure, well I would if I didn't take drugs to control it.  I had a blood test a couple of weeks ago, so it was off to the Dr to get the results.  Rather than tie up one of the doctors you get seen by a nurse, who asks lots of questions about your exercise regime, smoking and drinking habits etc.  I suffer from 'white coat hypertension' so I knew my blood pressure would be off the Richter scale, I was right ...165/95!   I check my blood pressure at home so I told her what it normally is ... all the info including the blood test results are fed into the computer and it spits out the results.....I'm alive!! 

The reality was that I drink a bit too much, am a bit of a fat bastard and need to lose a few kilos, but all in all not too bad.  My cholesterol was good, liver function good etc.

We popped in to see Elaine's dad and left him some sheets to wash ... they are too big for the little blue twin tub!  Thanks, Burt :)

We then popped in to see brother Trevor to check out how Jaffa and the house rabbit were getting on ... not too bad is the answer although Jaffa did whack him around his ear whilst we were there.  The rabbit got too close to Jaffa's bum!  You can't really miss when you clip a rabbit around its ears!

Blood pressure when back in the comforts of the motorhome was 135/75, so all good!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting Sorted...

We had an early start as Elaine had an appointment at Manchester.

First it was a walk with the boys to tire them out as they were being dog sat by Elaine's dad today.

So many lambs around and oh so cute.

Then it was off to Macclesfield, drop off the dogs then drive to Manchester. We were in Manchester for a lot longer than we thought and didn't get back to Macc till nearly 15.00. 

We decided to send the money that we got for the boat back to Oz as we are still getting just over 4% on call over there.  So when we were back in Macc off we went to Barclays, complete with laptop so we could do a deal there and then with Ozforex currency traders.  Once we locked in the exchange rate we transferred the cash from our account to the Ozforex account.  You get a much better exchange rate with Ozforex than any bank.

Next stop was the post office to pick up my mega European touring map plus Elaine had to pick up some witchcraft material she ordered from the States.

We had a lot more to do but we were both a bit knackered so we went back to Elaine's dad's house for a chat and cuppa.  Brother Trevor dropped in on his way home from work, letting us know that Jaffa had been very 'vocal' that morning!

Once we got back to the van Elaine settled in for a Home and Away catch up so I decided to take the dogs for an evening walk.

Lovely scenery in these parts.....still getting the bloody canal boats in shots!

Whilst walking Sammie suggested we pop in the Boars Head for a pint of Black Sheep ... so we did!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Washing, Washing and More Washing!!

Hopefully I won't affect  any of the copyright laws that Bruce of Nb Sanity may have involving blogging about washing....

But firstly to this morning where we tried out our new pineapple slicer-corer....

...What a nifty gadget... 

...Perfect rings for our healthy breakfast... 

After breaky we strolled down to 'The Trading Post' (a little kiosk along the canal at  Poynton) where Festina Lente was waiting for water ... 

Whilst the tank was filling we went onboard for tea and cakes/  It was then time to say farewell to our boaty friends ... 

Farewell dear friends, hopefully we will rendezvous daan saaf when we get back from the continent ... 

It was then back to the motorhome to try out the twin tub washing machine that George and Susan (the new owners of Caxton) donated to us.

It only holds about 2 kilos of washing, the complete unit weighing only 7 kilos.  I usually keep it in the garage of the motorhome, but for the washing I put it into the shower as it drains by gravity.  It fitted a treat.

I filled it with hot water from the shower and away we went.  It has a great little spin drier as well.  As we haven't done any washing for about a week it took me a few hours to get through it all.  Rather than move the motorhome to fill the tank with water I did about 12 trips with my 10 litre watering can to fill the water tank!

Next problem was where to dry it as we don't have a drying rack. The washing ended up being hung off the wing mirrors plus open windows etc!  I have now ordered a drying rack plus a peg dryer!

Whilst I was slaving away with the twin tub, Elaine was sunbathing in her new u-beaut reclining chair.  Can't blame her it was rather a nice day!  (El here ... actually every time I approached the twin tub I was warned off ... apparently that is man's work now!  Hey ho ... what was a girl to do!) 

I also tried out the side awning but decided it was a tad too windy, so I have also ordered some tie down straps for that as well.

We then drove to Macc  to see brother Trev and Jaffa.  Trev was going to look at the 12v charging system for Big Bertha as it isn't working.

We are pleased to report that Jaffa hasn't eaten the house rabbit so is staying there for a while longer.  He seems a lot happier in a  house, than he ever did on the boat.  El thinks he and the rabbit are reaching an understanding!!

Geoffrey also went for walkabout earlier today but somehow managed to catch his eyelid on something under the van and ended up in a bloody mess!!  


Tomorrow we are off early to our hopefully final final final trip to Manchester!