Le petit dejeuner….

It can’t all be bad….. although the clocks went forward and we lost an hour the sun is shining and we have just gorged on the most delicious (although visually it may not look that appetising) croissants 🙂

Not that we are trying to entice anyone out here … but just as a word of warning I reckon the almond croissants way at least a kilo each!

Croissants

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The Brits have landed

Before we left Lancing we put Mika on a public weighbridge, just to see where we were; not that we want to give her a complex :).  We were fairly well within the Gross weight limit, but were very surprised to see us being close to the rear axle limit.   Some redistribution of kit is required, though we’re going to look into uprating what the rear axles can take (change of tires and suspension) without altering the overall gross weight.  Some food for thought over the next couple of weeks or so…

With an fairly early boat from Portsmouth at 08:15, we didn’t want to be late, but with the very rigid rules of the camp site the gates weren’t opened until 7am.  This turned out not to be a problem as the traffic was OK.

As you may  or may not know we currently have a car and motorhome as we’ll be based at Gail’s parents place in France for 6 months, see the links below to get an idea:-

http://www.normandie-tourisme.fr/articles/bagnoles-de-l-orne-391-2.html

http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/france/FR9761.htm

Keith drove the motorhome and Gail the car on this leg of the journey, though Keith was joined by “Ted” in the cab.  For those of you that don’t know, Ted was given to Gail when she was 12 before her and her family travelled around the America’s in a motorhome.  This time Ted wanted to check out what Europe has to offer…

Unsurprisingly the motorhome was pulled over for an inspection on the UK side before boarding the boat.  It was a fairly routine check, though with a Teddy bear sitting in the passenger seat it could easily have gone another way.

A steady journey of about 2 hours saw us arrive in a drizzly Bagnoles de L’Orne.  The house is as lovely as we remembered it, though getting the motorhome onto the driveway was a bit of a tight squeeze.

Although we’ll be based here for 6 months we’ll be travelling for a few weeks here and there in France when the house is rented out and for part of the time when Gail’s parents come over to give them a bit of space in their own home 🙂

The blog might be on the quiet side over the next couple of months, whilst we study French, do a bit of decorating and play tennis.  Keith’s school teachers won’t believe that he is keenish to learn another language; maybe it’ll be a case of Jack of all trades but master of none… 🙂

We had a slight concern when Keith’s phone  didn’t roam and Gail’s received a text indicating that our calls etc would be charged.  However, a quick call to EE confirmed that this was just a standard message.  We’ll see check online and see when the first bill comes through; making and receiving calls in most of Europe should be included in our package…

Chichester Camping And Caravanning Club Site, Southbourne (25/3-27/3/14)

As we had booked our sailing from Portsmouth for the early hours of Thursday morning, we wanted to be closer the night before…

This was a well run and really smart site (£27.50/night as we were non club members).  We met and interesting couple that are in the process of walking around the whole cost of the UK, but have just converted from a caravan to a brand new VW camper; our van is no longer the new kid on the block.  We definitely need to do the Welsh coastal path when we return 🙂

We had an afternoon trip to Chichester on the train.  It’s got a pretty centre with the cathedral and an old city wall which is about 1.5 miles around.

We’re certainly getting into the swing of living in the motorhome, just ready for when we’re going to lay it up for a while…

Next stop France, oh la la 🙂

The Barn caravan Park, Lancing (22/3-25/3/14)

After speading a few days seeing both sets of parents, staying in the motorhome of course though being well fed :), we arrived at Lancing in West Sussex (£17.50/night plus electric on a £1 coin meter).

Although we had a hard standing pitch, as it had rained the night before there was definitely some sitting water.  With a bit of slipping and sliding of the front wheels we managed to reverse straight onto the 2 concrete strip.

Keith managed to go to watch a Brighton football game with Lee Costin.  The Amex stadium is fantastic, though unfortunately this time it was Ipswich that took the honors 2-0.

We caught up with Lee and Miranda  both on Saturday night and Sunday lunchtime; we were lucky on the sunday as we had just gone inside to Shoreham airport for some tea/coffee and cake when the skies opened for a hail storm which briefly left the ground white!!!

It was great that Sparkie and Roger W dropped  in separately to see us and the van, and we even managed to get to watch the Real Madrid v Barca game 🙂

Next stop Chichester…

Oxford Camping and Caravan site, Abingdon Road (16/3/13 – 19/3/13)

We chose this site so that we could pick up Gail’s dad from one of the Oxford hospitals.  However, it is a great location to explore the beautiful city of Oxford; I’m sure I’ve been here before briefly but didn’t remember anything about it!!!

The site has the main train line fairly close by, and also another Park and ride over the road, but this didn’t seem to interrupt the nights sleep.  The only downside for a motorhome is no positions for motorhome waste water.  Luckily the managers had a spare container that we could use to transport it to the central location; just to clarify I’m not talking about the toilet waste 🙂

We managed to get it a few High intensity short fitness sessions (Jeremy – we’re up to 2:40 on the plank as well :)); I’m sure the strange looks that we got are not going to be the last we get on our travels…

Bath Marine and Caravan park – (8/3/14 – 15/3/14)

1st stop on the UK leg of getting used to the Motorhome.  It was  a very good, friendly and quiet site (approx £21/night). A great location about 2-2 1/2 miles from the centre of Bath; the park and ride was opposite, not that we used it 🙂

It was an easy 1st week as we had a very busy week organized catching up with loads of friends; and the odd game of squash 🙂  We only managed to eat dinner in the motorhome once…

Baking Bread????

Who would be so daft as to think that you could sucessfully bake bread in a motorhome….yep, us 🙂

The first loaf reminded me of a scene in ‘About a boy’ when Hugh Grant witnessed the killing of a duck with a loaf of bread…. however we have refined our bread making skills and have now (albeit with one batch in the middle reminding me of some kind of drop scone…. no sorry, dropped scone) sucessfully made several batches of rolls….

rolls

We are now working our way up to a full roast dinner…. although Keith cooked Bacon, eggs, mushrooms and beans this morning for breakfast and I am sure he used every possible cooking utensil in the motorhome… 30 minutes to cook, 5 minutes to eat and 30 minutes to wash up 😦