Wednesday, 29 March 2017

...and we're home

Well, as hard as we tried there was no missing the flight. We woke up at 5am Monday, beautified with coffee in hand and were out the door by 6am. A quick drive to London Heathrow - too quick. Neither of us wanted to make the flight, the Nav system said there was a 53 minute delay on our route and would we like to take an alternate. No. Turns out that enough people did take the alternate route that ours cleared up. Damn it.

Into Heathrow, bags checked with Air Canada for our Lufthansa booked flight and then it took us 23 min to clear security. A lot of people were getting scanned with the people scanning whatsit machine and I assured Brad that if they put me in that thing, I would be doing a bum wiggle for sure. They didn't, someone must have heard me...

We proceeded to the shops looking for the tourist stuff we hadn't found anywhere else during the 2 week stay and walked right into a sunglass shop where His Lordship finally bought himself a pair. Prada. Yes, well the Devil is known to wear them, so $287 CAD later... we then found some things to bring home to friends and proceeded to the gate where I was handed the credit card and told to go get myself something. No argument here.. Off to Harrod's I went. Just couldn't bring myself to do it but I did find a ring that was ONLY 5550 GBP, thats only a measly $12000 CAD. No.

The flight was relatively quick, something like 5 hours. We were due to land at 2:50 and even though we were an hour getting off the runway at Heathrow, our fantastic pilots managed to get us back on the ground 1/2 an hour early. Never ceases to amaze me how that works... well we were flying at 34,000 ft, that probably had something to do with it.

Snow on the ground here and the lakes are still frozen, can we go back? No.

We have an RV we need to reboot and we still haven't figured out what design we want to go with. We are both jet lagged and our sleep schedule is still on GMT, hope we can remedy that quickly.

Today is Wednesday and Wednesday is Massage day for Hisself. While he is relaxing, I will be going to my previous employer for a conversation. I have retired from this place something like 3 times already, I'm just a sucker for punishment. I told them before the trip that I would be coming back to work when we got home. We are home. Aaargh, why can't I keep my mouth shut. Honestly, I don't mind the job, its the office politics that drives me nuts. They previously told me that they were going to be sorting some of it out, we shall see about that. As I mentioned, we live in the middle of nowhere and it can be quite boring when your retired, so I'd like to go back to work to keep myself occupied. It is still too cold to do anything on the RV anyway and it sounds like they could use the help at work.

Here we are, we have a beautiful home on a beautiful spot and we love it... if only we didn't have to walk out the front door. I so miss England already. When we arrived at our little cottage in England, I promptly went to Sainsbury's for some groceries. We hardly touched any of it as we were eating in restaurants and at Bob & Jane's for the most part. After 2 weeks of sitting in the fridge the bag of spinach was still fresh and the tomatoes were as firm as the day I bought them. Oh, how I miss England. To have a variety of fresh foods both meat and veg is such a blessing that I know I took for granted most of my life. Lesson learned = be grateful for even the simplest of things.

Huge thanks again to Bob & Jane for putting up with us and allowing us to crash their anniversary party. We truly enjoyed our time with them. xxx

Sunday, 26 March 2017

50th Golden Wedding Anniversary

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary, Bob & Jane

Yesterday Bob & Jane had been married for 50 years so everyone gathered for a shindig, as you do.

The meal and the company were phenomenal, though we had only met a few of those gathered previously, we really enjoyed meeting many more friends and relatives of Bob & Jane. And, I remembered to take pictures of the food this time (well, Jane reminded me)..

Char grilled rump of Blackberry farm beef, peppercorn sauce, saute potatoes

Langar lamb cooked long and slow, herb crumb

Vanilla panna cotta, macerated strawberries, earl grey tea sobet

Chocolate Basque mousse meringue,  caramel ice cream

Every detail was meticulously thought through

The entire event at Langar Hall was extremely well done.

Brad even made a new friend to talk Military, Politics and U-Boats with. 

All in all it was a fantastic day and we thank Bob & Jane for managing to fit us into their special day.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Pie n Mash for Lunch?

Right! So, its exhausting just thinking about all that we did yesterday but I shall try not to fall asleep.

Our day began as any other. A couple of hours in the morning just 'fuffing around' as Bob would say, we had plans to get our rental car a day early (we had it booked for today) and drive to London (from Nottingham) for a Pie 'n Mash lunch with my cousin Paula. We had tried a couple of times to ring Hertz and make arrangements to get the car early but could never get anyone to answer, so as its a car rental company we figured they would have a fleet and getting one early shouldn't pose a problem. HA! We did manage to get it in the end but I'm getting ahead of myself...

After 'fuffing around', I beautified myself and while Brad was getting sorted I tried to Uber us a lift - Nope. Not sure if they don't service this area so far out of Nottingham or if they just truly didn't have a car available in the entire hour I tried to book one. Just as well it turns out.

Finally settled to take the bus and hisself realized he could not find his wallet!!! Tore the house apart looking for it with no luck. Where did he use it last? The other night at the Indian restaurant... Perhaps it fell out on his brother's couch or in his brother's car - so off I go to have a look around at Bob's... nothing. Jane very kindly offered to drive me around to the two restaurants we have been to recently, it was not at the 1st and there were no staff at the 2nd... heading back to town Bob rang to say they had found it. Hisself had gone to the cafe for his morning dose and they advised that some kind soul had found it and handed it in to them. WHEW! It is now stuffed safely in my purse.

Wallet found, we quickly pranced off to the bus stop and jumped the red one to Nottingham. Off at Friar Lane from where we would have to walk the rest of the way. Before leaving wifi I had taken a screenshot of the map showing the walk but it was not very detailed and I was taking us off in a wrong direction, so we stopped to ask a woman who promptly began walking us in the direction we needed to go. She spent probably 15 minutes with us and when we were sure we could manage the rest we said our goodbyes - huge Thank You to her and off we went, and went and went. Believing it was at the top of the hill and around the bend I just enquired with a chap at a bus stop as to how much further... we had past it already. Back down the hill, across the park and there it was.

They didn't have a car available... then she remembered having made the booking with Brad and fortunately our car was available so we promptly departed and headed off to London, approximately 140 miles (225 km), no worries a little over 2 hours! EXCEPT we had to go right through London proper.... my cousin (bless her heart) had sent me the address for the Pie 'n Mash shop she frequents so that is where the Nav took us and since I'm just a girl (ha ha) I made a few errors on the wonky English roads and it took us what seemed forever, trying to dodge oncoming traffic and double decker busses going at times 10mph (15kph) the traffic was insanity incarnate. We took a wrong turn and wound up outside Buckingham Palace, we crossed a bridge (not the bridge) down by the Eye, we almost ran over jaywalkers and were almost ran over ourselves by more than a few motorbikes... coming from the boonies as we do this was a lot of mental stimulation which was both exhilarating and worrying.

We made it to the Pie 'n Mash shop but had to park on a double yellow line. Trust me, there was no choice. I left Brad in the car, not that he could have moved it had 'the guy' come and ran across the road to get 6 orders (not enough, never enough Pie 'n Mash) which I figured I would just put on the credit card to preserve our dwindling cashflow... Nope, don't take MasterCard but there is a machine down the road and around the corner. Hell No! Ran back to the car and robbed hisself of all his money. Back to the shop and grabbed my order to go. Now Paula must live close by, right Cuz?!

Arrived at Paula's. I'm telling you it was only 19 miles to her house according to the Nav but it took forever because of the atrocious traffic. We enjoyed a lovely supper there and had a great visit that was over far too soon as we absolutely had to get back last night for Bob & Jane's 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration which takes place today. Paula just had her 50th Birthday a couple of weeks ago (March 5th- yes, of course I know your birthday!) so I was able to get some pics with her and her relatively still going balloons for her birthday album.

Pie 'n Mash available only in London
(can be delivered anywhere in the UK by select Pie 'n Mash shops)

Paula and Brad
(isn't she beautiful?!)

(she is older but sure doesn't look it)

Time to drive back to Nottingham. LB (Paula's son) had checked google maps which said getting to the M1 alone would be 1.5 hrs, however, we managed to do it in 40min. I personally think the traffic fairy thought we had had enough torture for the day and airlifted us out of there LOL. Still though, it was 11pm when we finally arrived back at our little cottage. I sent messages to Paula and Bob letting everyone know we had made it alive and we promptly crashed into bed.

Should anyone out there think you can just drive from Nottingham to London and back in a day... Yes, you can do it. I suggest an earlier start though and you might consider staying the night, although the traffic was definitely lessened in the evening. By lessened I mean more like New York traffic. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Market Day

We have a busy day today, we are heading in to London to have lunch with my cousin. So I put this video together late last night of our time at the local market today and we also went out for a lovely dinner during which I forgot to take pictures of most of the meal. However, in honour of such a meal, I took a picture of the empty plate.

The old red Telephone booths, a cultural classic in England are being refurbished into defibrillator booths and this community has one of each side by side as you will see.

Massage and Massacre

It is still Wednesday as I type this and I have finally managed to get that damn video edited. Knowing how it goes together will go a long way to knowing what/how to take video.

 As I type this I am upstairs in our cottage bedroom whilst His Lordship is in the Livingroom having a massage!!! With his back/neck injuries -- and this bed, he was having so much trouble we booked a massage for him. Generally, he has an hour massage every Wednesday but being on holiday... anyway we found a lady who has come here to the cottage to attempt to straighten him out. Good Luck I say, I've been trying to straighten him out for 12 years!!! And his Mother far longer than that. But I digress... This massage therapist Boryana works at Remedial Touch Works they offer both clinic and home appointments and can be contacted at or by mobile at 07473687676.

Our video arrived this morning. We had watched 'Pay it forward' the other night at Bob & Jane's and we mentioned 'Sixth Sense', which they had never seen... so we ordered it on Amazon Prime and this morning there it is. So, tonight its movie and popcorn night! Love 'Sixth Sense', so quite looking forward to that.

Had a chuckle this morning when we learned that back home they have had 20+cm of snow, freezing rain and are now under a blowing snow advisory. Of course, here it is lovely and warm though it does spit and rain occasionally but we'll take it.

Quite sure I will leave the publication of this post until tomorrow just in case anyone out there enjoys the reading of it with their morning coffee as I do with my own blog list. That blog list is really quite handy because though I have a lot of blogs on it it refreshes new posts to the top. Each morning I simply go through the blogs that I have not yet read while guzzling my Tim Hortons French Vanilla Cappuccino. (yes, I brought 2 cans with me to England)

I have noticed that the email notification for new blog posts takes roughly 12-24 hours to come out. Seems silly to me. Well worthwhile to create a blog page just to have a current blog list even if you don't post anything yourself.

Perhaps today I will try to get some video of us just walking along as some do on their YouTube videos, I find it very intimidating to take selfie's and talk to a camera, I must say. So in an effort to get past that I think we should take some footage even if I don't use it for anything - kind of a warm up and it will allow me to play around with the YouTube editor too. I know there are other video editors out there that perhaps are easier/more functional, but I have not yet had an opportunity to look around. Any suggestions? Leave a comment below.

Take note that from this end it is great when people leave comments because then you get to know who your audience is. Flowergirl for example left a comment yesterday and this morning when I was reading The Bayfield Bunch I saw a comment by her there and so now I know where she came from... Thanks Al & Kelly! (& Pheebs of course -the star of the Bayfield show ;) )

[Time Lapse to the next day]

Good morning, We did watch 'Sixth Sense' last night and loved it as always, I think Bob & Jane will be watching it again LOL In fact, I'm quite sure Bob found it a bit dull until it was over and then he was shaking his head because he wasn't expecting that - which is precisely the point. So I do believe he will be watching that again! We had such a large supper before the movie that we completely forgot the popcorn -- AND the Sticky Toffee Pudding, which I now look forward to for tonight.

Anyone who watches the news will no doubt be aware of the attack on Westminster yesterday from which (currently) 5 people have died. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. We are a couple of hours away from London but it does make you more aware of your surroundings when something like this happens.

Today is Thursday. Market Day. A must do for us -as mentioned earlier we have no shops where we live never mind fresh produce/meats so market day is a real treat for us boonie livers. Also there is a shop we each have a bracelet we wear from which Bob & Jane sent to us since we were here last. Will definitely be popping in to see what is new.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

UK Bus Ride Video

Please keep in mind that I have just started learning how to do these videos...

Bus ride and East Indian Cuisine

It was a busy day yesterday, I began the day doing laundry... yes laundry. 2 loads in fact, whew in England that is a feat. Fortunately this washer/dryer combo has a quick wash/dry mode of around 40 minutes, but I remember years ago doing laundry at my Aunt's and the wash cycle alone took 2 hours then it had to be put out on the line to dry. Somewhere in all this Brad has his 'lids lowered' as his brother would say.
At the Barber Shop

With that done we went for a coffee and hot chocolate in the market square then to Bob & Jane's where we received a message that my Grandmother's ring and my pendant were ready. Brad & I decided to jump the bus and go get them. I took lots of video of the bus ride to give an idea of the speed they go and how close they get to buildings when turning a corner or bend, but I'm having trouble with editing them though I shall figure it out in the end I'm sure and will post a blog of it when I do.

 Me (Katie)
Market Square

 Grandmother's ring

Once we had the jewelry in hand we wandered around the shops of Nottingham for an hour or so to see if I could find a better top for the 50th Anniversary in a few days, no luck there. We went to M&S because, well, thats renowned but unfortunately what they had was straight out of the 60's and 70's. Perhaps its old stock LOL. Surprising to say we didn't find anything there and wandered around the shops to look for some sunglasses for Brad also without luck then hopped the bus home. A return fare was 5lb each.

The 4 of us decided to go for East Indian food last night at The Bridge & Bayleaf  in Gunthorpe which is a fantastic restaurant on the edge of a canal where liveaboards and others dock. Although Jane doesn't eat spicy food and apparently Brad shouldn't either (he had a rough night), the 3 of us quite enjoyed some Tandoori and Butter chicken while Jane had Fish & Chips. The atmosphere is so comfortable in this restaurant and the food was phenomenal but Brad found his Tandoori to be quite dry. We had some Stuffed garlic mushrooms as a starter and they were absolutely fantastic. The service was great and the staff was very attentive, anticipating your every need while not hovering or annoying. High praises for this one. I rate it an 8/10 while Brad said 6/10 due to the dry Tandoori.
 Tandoori Chicken

 Fish & Chips

 Rice bowl

 Butter Chicken

 The pre-order teaser

Naan Bread

At dusk through a window, but this is a liveaboard as seen from inside, also note the outside seating area.

Then back to Bob & Jane's for a cuppa and chat before heading 'home' for the night.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Thoughts on the new RV mattress

We have had a quiet couple of days while Brad is recovering from his bad tooth. The B&B we are renting has an extremely firm mattress and this is also causing us some problems. Brad has military injuries of his neck and back and so on top of the toothache he has been suffering from for a few days now, he has also had to cope with a sore back - and hips. Now I have to say that I do not suffer from any specific back problems but I have also been having issues whilst sleeping on this damn mattress in my back and hips also. I actually stole the down comforter off the 2nd bedroom bed (yes it is a rock also) and doubled it over on Brad's side to give him a bit more cushion and it helps, -mildly.

We will definitely be very careful upon ordering the new mattress for the RV!! RVGeeks have put out information about a mattress they have found and even provide a 10% discount using their code "rvgeeks", and more recently Paddy @ the Paddy Wagon has used their code to replace his mattress. We will be waiting to hear his review of it, but we have decided that the mattress must be a goodun, no matter what.

As to my iPhone: I have received the phone back with its new battery and it appears to be holding its charge now much to my relief. However, last night I tried to take video & pictures with it and I was promptly informed that I did not have enough storage!! Whoa is me. I spent some time last night going through it and clearing some stuff out, but I am unclear about how this works... my iPhone is tied to my desktop back home so when I plug it in to the iMac it correlates info with it... thereby filling up my storage. Anyone know anything about this? Any techy types out there? Would really appreciate some insight into this for future reference because when we get home and I backup the stupid thing, I'm quite sure it will be full once again.

I did manage to get one video (never had so much trouble with a phone in my life) and I will try to edit and post it on this blog before I post it.

AARGH! No such luck with the video, sorry folks.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Day trip to Newark RV lot

Once again Brad was not feeling up to going bootin' around so my Brother-in-law (Bob) and Sister-in-law (Jane) took me into Newark for a little day trip. We stopped at an RV Dealer and I had a look at several RVs for ideas. Given that everything over here is smaller including the RVs I thought I'd find some really good ideas for using small spaces. I asked the Salesman what the largest rig he had was and he directed me to a machine which could be a blend of a Class B and C. It was essentially a Class B with a cab over - they all were except for a few 20' Class A's. There were a couple of good ideas though and I took a few photos.

Most of the RVs (Ironically, there is no class system for Motorhomes here) were 18-25 ft and ranged from 40 - 65,000 monetary lb. and other than 3 small Class A's all that we saw were cab over Class B's as we know them. However, upon arriving on the lot, Jane and I went to what appeared to be the largest rig in sight, suddenly it occured to me that it might belong to a shopper and not one of the viewing rigs. Sure enough as I went to grab the handle a dog inside barked. Thank god for dogs. LOL

Swivel table at end of couch

Class C (the largest, with the dog)

Class B with a cab over

Place sink front to back to save usable counter space

Garbage can attached to door (with umbrella holder, of course)

It was a fun outing and I took a few pictures of Newark-on-Trent while we were out also.

Old Tudor style home

Robin Hood Hotel in Newark which is being demolished despite opposition

Crumbling building large enough to have been a castle in the day. Forgot to ask what it was though. 

Brad was feeling a bit better last night so he came out with us for dinner at The Circle and then we all went over to Bob & Jane's and had a good chitchat for the evening. He had another rough overnight with his tooth but it does seem the medication is making some progress with it. By tomorrow he shall right as rain, I dare say.

I also managed to get my phone back! If you are in the Radcliffe area Tony (07717840688) is your cell/smart phone go to guy. Thank you Tony, so far so good. :) 

Now when we go out and about I will be able to get pictures/video.

Friday, 17 March 2017

A Day at the Dentist

Unfortunately, yesterday turned out to be another quiet day. Brad's brother was not feeling well so Brad & I were going to take a bus to the next town to get my iPhone dealt with but the best made plans... Brad got a very painful toothache so we ended up spending most of the day dealing with that.


While sitting in the waiting room, I was quite surprised when reading some pamphlets to discover that the Dentists over here do Botox!! Now, perhaps I don't spend enough time at the dentist back home, but I'm pretty sure they don't do Botox. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Late afternoon we went around to Bob & Jane's and Brad finished the Lasagna for our dinner and we enjoyed some lovely garlic bread with it. I had picked up some lovely doughnuts (more like an eclair as we in North America know it) but it was a delicious cake type pastry sliced as you would an eclair and stuffed with REAL cream and a thin stripe of a jam substance run the length of it. The local bakery has some really enticing and unique (to us, at least) products, which makes me happy we are here for 2 weeks, allowing plenty of time to try a good many ;)

We enjoyed a nice visit with Bob & Jane but came home early due to His Lordship's toothache and were in bed by 9pm.

Below are some interior pics of the cottage we are staying in. It is a lovely little cottage perfect for 2 people for a couple of weeks. I would not want to LIVE in it, as it is quite small by North American standards but you certainly could and obviously many people have over a couple of centuries since it was built but for a cottage it is ideal and has all the necessities including a washer/dryer combo!

One thing I have noticed over here is that the electrical wires coming into the house are much smaller than we are used to, and of course each plug has a switch to turn the power on/off. When plugging something in back home the power to the item comes on instantly and without delay, here you can almost watch it as it runs through the wires and into the item before it comes on. North America would do well to have each plug on a switch as we all know that appliances still draw power even when the item in turned off. Having an on/off switch at the plug would go a long way to conserving the power which our 'Leadership' is always harping at us about. Just saying, this is a simple solution that at least England has already long ago devised. Perhaps we are so busy being the best (in our own minds) that the 'Leadership' doesn't want to go backwards even when backwards would in fact be forward.

Today, iPhone?!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Quiet day about town

Yesterday was non stop for us, we had a full English breakfast at a local cafe and then walked to the local train station to enquire about getting to the airport from here but this particular station isn't like you would imagine a station to be. You cannot get inside, no ticket purchase, no staff to speak to but a nice lady at a local Accountants did tell us the website to look/book on. Nearly 200lb, so today we will contact Hertz and perhaps we can return our car to London for them :)... we'll see.

We then walked to the shops to get some Lasagna ingredients and that is where Bob found us then off for a coffee and a visit. Brad spent the afternoon making the sauce with his new sous chef Jane. We then went to The Royal Oak for a lovely evening meal and Brad and I both had the Chicken Curry. Fabulous. Highly recommend this place for delicious and reasonably priced grub.

We didn't manage to sort my phone out yesterday but did manage to find a guru that we will be going to see today. Here's hoping that all goes smoothly. It has been very difficult to get pictures for this Blog without my cell phone, funny how we get so dependent on these bloody things. 

Bob & Jane have a stunning back garden and I would love to post some pics of it but as yet have not thought to ask and so it must wait, I will try to remember to discuss it with them today. 

Today is Market day!!! Mama's going shopping!!! I will definitely take lots of pictures of that. Perhaps even one of my stealing Brad's wallet?!

I'm still unsure how to take pictures when other people are in the shot. Not everyone wants their picture put online I'm sure. Anyone have the rules for this? Perhaps I could Google it... Yes, thats the ticket, I shall Google it!

A full English breakfast for our follower Dawn, and I forgot to mention the mushrooms.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Riding the bus

Yesterday we returned the rental car to Hertz in Nottingham. For a small fee (41 lb - I don't have a pound sign on my keyboard so thats how I will do it) we didn't have to go all the way back in to London.

Because my phone is acting up we decided to take the camera so we could get some good pics and leave the phone behind. After dropping the car and jumping in with Brad's brother who I will call Bob (hello Bob) and his wife who I will call Jane, he dropped Brad, Jane and I in Nottingham shopping district so that I could get my jewelry repairs started. However, Brad realized he didn't have the camera which he was in charge of... Jane promptly called Bob who had to pull off and rummage in the back seat to look for the camera. Not finding it, he then drove back to Hertz and had them rummage through the rental car. No luck. We were positive it should be in the rental because we recalled specifically having it there earlier.

The 3 of us walked around to the Jeweller and both my heart pendant and my Grandmother's ring are being repaired. The ring is getting all new diamonds as somehow the diamonds were replaced apparently with very cheap knock off diamonds, so my most wonderful husband agreed to me having them replaced. He said to get real diamonds put in but that would be around 1500lb ($3000CAD) -um, NO... that just seems crazy to me so the jeweller is putting in some very expensive fake diamonds. The ones in it currently are crystallized he said because they are very cheap but these new ones (200lb/$400CAD) will look just like my wedding ring diamonds and will wear far better than what is in the setting currently. Works for me.

Then off to the mall, man there are a lot of people in that mall! A quick perusal there and we were off to the bus stop for our first bus ride in years. Brad hasn't been on a bus since his bus accident in the military some 30+ years ago and I think I rode a bus last in the early 90's just because I thought it would be a novelty. So its been many moons since then. What an experience, so different than we are used to with a stop and go every 200ft. This bus went and went fast, stopping every couple of miles I'd say. Going so fast around corners, remember its the wrong side of the road for us, and getting so close to buildings, walls and other cars it was shocking at first. As I said, they know how to move the masses over here. Anyone who has been on the roads over here will know what I'm talking about. Freaky anyway.

Back to Bob and Jane's house only to find the camera on the dining room table! Brad had evidently put it down when he put his coffee cup back in the kitchen. (Brad always has coffee in hand) So today at least we will get some pics. Jane made a lovely steak pie and mash dinner for us all which was sooo good. Different than Canadian/American steak pie's in that it has meat in it! Large chunks of steak not tiny slivers of steak and the flavour was amazing too. Kuddos to the Butcher she picked them up from to be sure.

Today Brad and I are on our own for a short while as Bob and Jane have things on the go so we will be doodling around in the market square and getting some grocery shopping done, undoubtedly stopping for a coffee at one of the local cafes and watching the people go to and fro. This evening I believe the plan is for us to take Bob & Jane out for a nice dinner, then likely a cuppa at theirs before heading back to our cottage for the evening.. hopefully we can get some good pics through all of this. This is such a lovely town, our cottage is several hundred years old and only a block away from the town square where there is a Butcher, Baker, Grocer, Hardware, Hairdresser, Pharmary.... everything you could need is within a couple of blocks.

Having lived in the boonies for many years now it is lovely to have everything so handy and I greatly appreciate having fresh vegetables/fruit/meat that I can purchase each day for the evenings meal. I believe Brad will be making Lasagna today (his favorite culinary contribution) for his brother and sister-in-law. I (yes, me) may even get a nap in today....

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Surprise trip to England

I was on my computer last Tuesday happily reading my morning blog list when I got a confirmation email for a trip to England! Hubby had booked us a trip to visit his brother and sister-in-law in the Nottingham area. We decided not to tell anyone we were taking this trip in an effort to surprise them. Boy, were they surprised!

Now keep in mind that our home is 3 hours from anything, so we actually left home Sunday night at 7pm. stopping for pizza enroute to the airport. There had been quite a bad storm Saturday and the airport was without power ie. heat, which caused the pipes to freeze. When we arrived we found all the check-in counters closed off due to the dehumidifier fans running and there were a couple of very nice ladies in winter coats, hats and mitts beside the auto check-in machines who were assisting people to get their flights sorted and luggage checked. These poor girls were wearing their uniform dresses or skirts, freezing their whatsits off! Surprisingly, they still managed to be cheerful and helpful - not sure I would have been the same - in fact, I guarantee I would not.

 We arrived in London early, the flight due in at 9:10am but with a tailwind our dear pilot managed to get us on the ground very gently at 8:25. Thanks Mr. Pilot guys. From the gate it was off to Customs and Immigration Division where we joined approximately 300 people in a very long line and slowly made our way around the labyrinth. 70 minutes later we were clear and heading to baggage where we promptly located ours and it was out the door for a smoke. YES, we know!

Anyone notice what we missed? In our rush to get a cigarette while stressing about how to get to the rental car place, we forgot to exchange our money $$$ Whoops. So after taking the handy dandy bus to Hertz (thats another blog), we managed to wrangle a Fiat. When I got in it I realized it was a standard and while I can and have driven a standard in the UK, I was so exhausted by this time that I wasn't comfortable trying to drive standard on the wrong side of the road, especially such a long distance, so then had to get it exchanged for what turned out to be a Mercedes-Benz. So our $355 CAD vehicular object upon booking turned into a $900 GBP Fiat with the insurance and upon exchange to automatic was now $1400 GBP!!!!! For those who don't know, $355 CAD is approximately $175GBP.  For any American readers $3000CAD is around $2300USD. FOR 2 WEEKS!

I think we will be returning the car today and likely taking the train back up here. Its the principle. The UK has such an amazing infrastructure for moving the masses to and fro that it seems absolutely ridiculous to pay what is essentially $3000 CAD for 2 weeks with a car, since we don't plan to go far from our 'home base' here.

So now we have no usable cash and we are driving 2 hours to our destination. We had to stop at one of the many stop-&-go areas to get coffee on our credit card!

We arrived at our rented cottage around the corner from our relatives and promptly went to their door. Noone home. Typical. Try to surprise some people!! Anyway, cutting a long/short we returned to our cottage and had a nap. Then knocked at theirs again. Quite a surprise and after a short yarn we were off for supper at a local pub. Then back to the cottage and a much needed sleep.

I am having problems with my iPhone lately, damn thing keeps crashing on me so until it is fixed, pictures will be limited. I will be going to a local phone guru and inquiring about getting a new battery. Not sure that will work given the electrical current difference between the 2 countries but I think it will, however must enquire with said guru. OH, and we have to get our cash exchanged today also. In addition, I have brought my jewelry to be repaired while we are here so thats another stop to be made. We don't have any local jewel gurus at home so this 2 week trip is a good time to get some stuff fixed and have it back before we leave.

Brad's brother and sister-in-law are celebrating their 50th!! Anniversary while we are here which we didn't realize when we booked our tickets to visit and only found out on Saturday while talking on Skype. Due to the surprise nature of the trip we decided to bring appropriate attire in case we could attend said shindig but not knowing if it was possible at such a late date.

As I sit here now, I am waiting for His Lordship (Brad) to get hisself out of bed so that I can make myself presentable for my public and we can get on with the requirements as mentioned above. Now those who know me might think that a morning beautification would not be required, but I assure you I don't wake up looking that good - it takes me a good 5 minutes! LOL

** [To clarify, I saw only one male pilot and don't know if they both were but I'm not the politically correct type, so one could have been a Mrs but in this and all blogs, I do not segregate by gender or other. If this offends you, stop reading my blog because I'm not going to all the bother of dealing with that. I personally am of the opinion that I'm as good as anyone and do not require self-segregating to make myself feel warm and fuzzy.]

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The RV (before reno)

Here are some pics of our new-to-us 1995 Georgie Boy Pursuit 32'. As you will clearly see she needs updating. I took a video but have been unable to upload it to anything... file too big it tells me, 350mb. I dunno... Anyone?

... Anyone? I'd like to post the video which I took with my Canon camera to YouTube but YouTube tells me "nope, not so much" too big.

*** NVM I have since sorted it and managed to get the video posted on YouTube. Click here

The House

Someone asked about our 'Rustic' house so I thought I'd post a pic or two of that before posting about the 'Condo' (RV).

My plan today is to take video and pictures of the RV as it is now and get that posted so anyone watching will be able to follow whatever it is we get ourselves into with the project.

So our Home (sticks and bricks) is on the ocean. We purchased a little piece of land with a rundown little house on it. We bought it because of the property and certainly not for the house. Its a long a complicated story but the gist is we lived in the rundown shack (after doing renovations to the small space) for a few years and recently tore it down and built our new home which we love.

Before moving to the East Coast we lived in the mountains and both love the wood/rock rustic look so that is what we did. Hope you like it too.

Monday, 6 March 2017

She's a Goodun'

Our new to us RV has passed her safety inspection today!!! Woohoo. We will be going to the local DMV to plate her tomorrow and driving her home. YAY!

Everything checked out. The mechanic said the brakes, tires, shocks - everything was in really good shape. She was well taken care of. This is a huge relief for us as much as we liked the fella we bought her from we were concerned when the roof began leaking a waterfall on our heads that he said had been repaired. So, all we have to do now is fix the roof and then gut her and make her pretty.

Easy, right?!

Probably not - but we have been watching a lot of videos in order to learn how to do this roof repair. Unfortunately, or fortunately... (time will tell) we live a long way from anyone professional-like that could fix the roof, so we intend to do it ourselves... I'm planning to put the reno and roof repair on YouTube so watch for that. However, it seems a certain sustained temperature is required to do this job and well its just not that warm where we live...

Remember me talking about ditching the dinette? Well Eric at Nomadic Fanatic put out a video today of the beginning of his doing just that. If you are considering such a thing yourself, I suggest you watch his posts on the topic, mostly because we haven't discussed it yet and as of now ours is staying....

I just want to get her home. I have a few sewing projects I want to do but can't even think about it until I have proper measurements, etc. Though we still don't know what kind of look we are going for. Our home is Rustic and we both really like that but think we want something different for the RV or 'Condo' as we're calling her. Personally I do not like the 'modern' look especially with our black furball dog, this whole paint everything white business is not my cup of tea...

I am overhearing as I type this that a project that hubby was just working on has come to an abrupt end it seems so perhaps I can get his attention long enough to make some decisions.... gotta go get him while I have the chance.

Next up: Bringing the baby home

Thursday, 2 March 2017

1995 Georgie Boy Pursuit

Well we've done it. It was a long and tiring journey but we finally have an RV.
(I haven't taken any pics yet but this is what she looks like)

We flew out bright and early the other day,  the seller picked us up from the airport (Thanks Mr.) Incredibly, Brad purchased our car from this man's son-in-law just 2 years ago -- which we didn't know until we arrived --small world.

He took us to the RV and we went over it, he then drove us to the local DMV and back then we left for home. Within 1/2 an hour of leaving (and ice melting) we had a waterfall on the driver's side.... Yes, the one thing I didn't want was a leaking roof and wouldn't you know it, that is exactly what I got. Not just a drip either, a waterfall. So that needs to be fixed asap and we pray there isn't too much damage from it. The seller told us there was a problem there previously that had been fixed and I have the invoice of that repair, however that doesn't solve our problem.

For the most part is was an uneventful journey which was great, the rig drives comfortably and is surprisingly quiet considering the dog house between the seats. We were able to actually have a normal conversation while driving which was nice. However due to circumstances out of our control (or the rigs) the drivers windshield wash stopped working - it had been working fine but now isn't- and not at the best time either. Using further spray from passing vehicles we managed to get to a gas station and get it washed, we even got away from the wet roads before we got splashed again.

Fortunately, our route took us right past the airport we left from and we were able to grab our car enroute. Going straight to our local mechanic we dropped her off for a safety... I will write a post of how that goes... Cross everything again please.

We have a lot of ideas of what we want to do to her (yes, its a her), new captains chairs, new flooring, paint walls/ceiling, new sofa, new mattress, remove a/c and vent and replace with 2 fantastic fans, (I want to shorten the dinette to make the walkway more open but apparently that will need to be discussed further ;) ), remove extra chair and replace with desk. I'd like to paint the cabinets myself but this will also require further discussion. At the very least we agree to remove all the tacky faux brass.

At the end of the day we wanted a particular layout and that is what we got. The available renovation funds will depend on the safety. As of this moment, while I am not as ecstatic as I would have been without this roof problem, I'm pretty happy. That might change when the safety is done, but while I don't expect it to you just never know. A safety was just done 6 months ago on her, so...

I posted a short video on YouTube of her shadow on the road, still not feeling warm and fuzzy about the YouTube idea but it might be alright if we aren't putting absolutely everything on it. I would like to do the reno on YouTube at least so watch for that.

Brad said it was basically an apartment -which it is, so I'm thinking of maybe calling her 'the condo' since we will be keeping the house it seems fitting. Not really into calling her Mable or Betsy but any suggestions would be great so write them in the comments below.

Next blog: The Safety.