Countdown to our winter escape – 25 August 2014

Mission Control: 72 hours to launch- Countdown has begun!

Mission Control: ‘Twernt, are you ready?”

Twernt: Not quite, you need to set my ladders up and wash me down with a feather Trevor and then empty, sort and repack everything in my garage. When that has been completed you must batten down everything from my head to my ass, switch off my powered vitals and then I need diesel and an LPG fill-up. Don’t forget to fix those bikes to my ass and don’t leave my power line, levels and chocks behind. Oh, and if you don’t want a riot at every site we visit don’t forget to uproot the dog-lead ground anchor and stow it in a place where the curly bit doesn’t spike your own ass.

Mission Control: “We can accommodate most of your demands Twernt but on the washing front you’re asking a lot; it’s raining and the forecast isn’t good, your vanity may have to be sacrificed, the mission takes precedence”.


Mission Control: “Shakey, are you ready?”

Shakey: “No”

Mission Control: “Why not?”

Shakey: “I want to stay here and watch for falling apples”

Mission Control: “In your bed, NOW!”


Mission Control: “Tilley, are you ready?”

Tilley: “YES, ready; let’s find new people that I can annoy. Can we call it the ‘Million Barks Mission’?”, “I need a calculator and the incentive of a project achievement award”

Mission Control: “Stop it, stop it, STOP IT!”, “Upon hearing these words, you will NOT bark, got it?”


Mission Control: “Amanda, are you ready?”

Amanda: “Stop bothering me, I’m busy on Facebook”

Mission Control: “I’ll take that as a yes then”


Mission Control: “Bloggerlugs, are you ready?”

Bloggerlugs: “First, Twernt’s demands have to be met, the last VAT quarter return has to be done, Tuesday’s a wipe-out helping Ed/Nicole/Will to move house plus I want to set-up a bloggable spreadsheet for camping spots visited, update the blog costings and you won’t even let me have a Lumix aspherical zoom lens. I don’t believe it!”

Mission Control: “Crack on, lad, the mintoes are on-board”


That’s pretty much a status update – motorhome life, retirement, wintering in France, Spain, Portugal, pension boosting around the corner, it’s all coming together with little or no dissent in the ranks.

The only thing of note (apart from the tedium of prepping for departure) was an observation about the two nearby apple trees.

Apples are supposed to grow on trees (or so I’ve heard – I know money doesn’t because my parents educated in this phenomena when I was a child).

Apples are supposed to stay on trees until someone comes along and picks them at whatever is determined to be their peak readiness point.

Well, the apples on these two trees simply don’t play by the rules.

They just keep falling to the ground.

Thumping to the ground, thumping onto the cabin roof, they pollute the overnight silence with their all too frequent attempts to indent the earth.

They are just far enough away to miss Twernt but Richard, our neighbour, has had to undertake the drastic action of lopping off some apple tree branches.

Richard has also been observed using a long pole to persuade more elevated apples to obey the laws of gravity once freed from their parents shackles.

Before Richard did this, those apples didn’t care that instead of falling to earth a more attractive destination would be the roof of Richard & Sue’s newly acquired caravan.

Then there’s the side that messes with Shakey’s head.

The promise of an apple about to fall causes Shakey to sit in wait for the inevitable event. He then rushes over to that errant apple, sniffs right on it and then circles around trying to find the track it appeared from.

Once satisfied (or rather that must be dissatisfied as he can’t climb trees) he returns to his on-watch position in readiness of the next apple appearance from nowhere event.

I wasn’t prepared to put up with this apple behaviour so I decided to commandeer one in an attempt to discover if apples had any common sense.

The evidence so far being that they don’t have any common sense.

The chosen test sample was given respect and placed on the boom table in Twernt.

I decided to start off with a simple leading question and had the above arguments ‘at the ready’ depending on the reply I was going to get, “Do you apples have any common sense?”, I asked.

Well, guess what?

That’s right, the apple didn’t reply!

I considered this to be disrespectful and ignorant.

And this led to me taking that time honoured route that’s used for treating all disrespectful, ignorant, common sense lacking matters – I ate the bugger!

So, my test conclusions are that if something in your life is disrespectful or ignorant and lacks common sense, EAT IT!

On the football front, all fears of what London clubs could inflict on DCFC were quelled by that 5-1 scoreline, looked like it could be tricky for a while though. Amanda’s Nottingham Forest are off to a flying start but we’ll be there when the Brian Clough Trophy is at stake (and they know it!); Could be a good year for the East Midlands clubs; I also watch out for Burton, Sheffield United (Nigel factor), Notts County and York. As for Louis van Gaal; are you about to unleash a new Ronaldo, van Nistelrooy or maybe even a Beckham? Looks like you need something ………… and soon. I would also like to see the Arsenal build on last years cup win. Then, of course, there’s Mickleover Sports, W1-D1- L1 so far, a return to the Northern Premier would be good, get stuck in lads!

It’s now 70 hours to departure!

Spain needs to be warmer than August in England for this young lady

Spain needs to be warmer than August in England for this young lady

This little guy is looking out for the snow. Rob, my man, it's August, now clear off and bring back the Swallows

This little guy is looking out for the snow. Rob, my man, it’s August, now clear off and bring back the Swallows

'Swallows? I see no Swallows' - neither do I chum

‘Swallows? I see no Swallows’ – neither do I chum

All I can see are apples behving badly!

All I can see are apples behving badly!

Shakey: maybe those apples bounced into the walled garden from the lane outside

Shakey: maybe those apples bounced into the walled garden from the lane outside

Tilley: 'Shouldn't we be moving on?'

Tilley: ‘Shouldn’t we be moving on?’

Did I hear you say MOO-ving?

Did I hear you say MOO-ving?

Meanwhile it's a good job there's one sane person on the plot. Literally.

Meanwhile it’s a good job there’s one sane person on the plot.

19 thoughts on “Countdown to our winter escape – 25 August 2014

    • Thanks Lyssa and Steve! 13 hours until we roll, all prepped and raring to go. One last blog to kick out this evening and the long wait is over. Your blog site seems to be down but I think I remember you saying you’re off to italy this year but I’m sure there’ll be a point in the future when ours paths cross. Cheers, Roy & Amanda


    • Thanks both, we’re tunnelling (because of the dogs) but also read about ‘dog’ cabins on the Santander crossing, maybe we’ll do that next year. We’re fised up with sites thanks – as we’re just starting out we decided to push the boat out and do the bigger sites in England and then it’s back down to earth once we hit France! Hope we get to meet sometime over the winter.


    • Nervous? Excited? Hmmmm, too jiggered to know after the last 2 days of non-stop!
      All that’s left to do is a final blog, sleep some and then it’s breakfast and GO – It seems like it’s taken a long time to get to this point!


  1. Bon voyage :0)
    In sunny Holland at the moment , Germany next week then a slow meander to Italy .
    It would be great to meet en route , but not sure of your plans ????
    Will look into the site , are you signed up ?? If not you may have missed the move to
    http://Www.adventuresofbigbird. co.UK
    Enjoy the journey ,its all part of the adventure
    Steve & Lys xx


    • 25 minutes to go and we’re gone. It’s raining here but really it’s just Derbyshire crying because we’re leaving!
      We are signed up to get emails when your new website is updated but it’s been down and non-existent for a few days now. Either that or my porn blocker has kicked in! What have you been posting!!!
      I’ll pm you our loose itinerary dates to you for the next few months and see if we’re anywhere near each other.
      Next stop = Cotswolds! ciao now


  2. Hi Roy, you have Lyssa worried about her blog site !! The last post she did was on the 15th Aug shortly after we got back to the UK , as the UK was so hectic she hasn’t had time to do any more , written notes are up to date but nothing on the blog …….yet :0)
    Hope its a tad dryer in the Cotswolds for you .
    Can you confirm back that the last blog you got was the 15Aug one please ..
    Looking forward to seeing your itinerary
    S&L x


    • Sorry S&L but your website is definitely down – ‘Can’t find server’ – so can’t check when your last blog was, 15 August does sound about right though but your blog host server is currently down & out. All we get is a revert to google which then only lists your wordpress site. R&Ax


  3. Interesting, I can access the new site from Google as can a mate in the UK .
    I will ask a few more mates and see what happens , strange you cannot ??
    I know it not really your first night , but have a good one whatever you get up to ??


    • I’ve been testing, will give results on your latest message.
      It feels like our first night!
      The last time we stayed on a CC site was about 1988 and they have changed!
      Washing cubicles with lockable doors? It was stand in a line back then!
      Very clean and very peaceful.
      A big part of the peace being the quiet, so late night/early morning crescendic wailings are off the menu!


    • No joy Steve. I’ve tried Win/7 – Firefox and Win/7 – Google Chrome browsers. I thought it might be my firewall but I’m getting all other sites.
      I then tried on our Android tablet which also uses Google Chrome browser and no joy there either.
      The ‘chrome’ message on both Win/7 (Sony Vaio) and on the Android (Nexus 7) is ‘This webpage is not available’
      When you click for further info it states
      ‘The server at can’t be found, because the DNS lookup failed. DNS is the network service that translates a website’s name to its Internet address. This error is most often caused by having no connection to the Internet or a misconfigured network. It can also be caused by an unresponsive DNS server or a firewall preventing Google Chrome from accessing the network’
      I don’t have Win/7 IE browser so can’t try that.
      Not getting problems accessing any other website on either platform.
      Firewall on Win/7 is AVG and whatever Android have on their system but I doubt if that is AVG.
      We have 2 internet connections, have tried on both with same results and both are working fine for everything else.
      Can only therefore think that it’s the server?


  4. Lol , I have two “experts ” on the case , they say its the persons set up NOT the server ??
    When I click on the link in your last message I go straight to the blog
    , as do twenty plus on Face. Book , but a few like you cannot get in , strange .
    The guy who set up Lyssa’s domain is going to look tonight so it may be sorted by the morning ……we hope , get back to your wine/beer/g n t and get a good night kip.


    • Just tried again and still no joy Steve. It’s the only website we get this message on and we’re using 2 platforms (different operating systems and different browsers), the only thing that’s common to both is the isp. Each device has it’s own Mi-Fi but both Mi-Fi’s are on the ‘3’ network. Funny thing is, it was working fine on both just a week or so ago and, although there have been some o/s updates performed I don’t think android and win/7 would both produce an update at the same time that could cause this. ‘3’ may have done something. Do you know which isp is used by others that are getting a fail? – DNS = Domain Name Servers and it/they translate the url name (e.g. into an ip address (e.g. 123.456.789) so it’s just like a telephone book really (name/number). There may well be settings that can be changed on each user device but that doesn’t explain why it has been working fine and suddenly doesn’t. It could have something to do with using Google to do the look-up, that’s another common on our devices.
      Can I whisper ‘copy/paste’ back to wordpress!!!!!!


  5. Morning, wow you have put a huge amount of time in on this prob , thanks , strange and sad thing is that you and one other are the only people who cannot get in !!!
    The guy out in Spain who set us up says all is fine at the server as 158 people have got in ???
    Not sure where to go from here , Lys is going to send out the blog about the UK trip today so let’s see if you get that ,fingers crossed
    S& Lx


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