So, here we are in 2018! It is now early January as I write this and in reality the weather has been our main concern for the last couple of months. Apart from a good fall of snow in mid-December our biggest issue is the wind. We have had a couple of bouts of stormy weather and I am glad to report that both the van and awning have escaped unscathed! Obviously we have had to ensure that the fixings have remained in place and luckily we haven’t suffered any damage at all. Our neighbours on this site haven’t been quite so lucky as during one particular stormy night they were up at 2am taking down their damaged awning! They are ‘full timers’ also so are quite used to dealing with emergencies and their replacement awning is already up and in use.
From when we arrived in early November up to and including today we have had a rather relaxed existence. Walking/exercising the dogs three times a day, popping out to the shops for provisions, visiting both Bicester and Banbury for different reasons have all been part of our itinerary.
In early December Irene had an un expected visit to the Hospital in that she attempted to lift something she shouldn’t and something went ‘snap’ in her back. I had to call an ambulance for her as she was in agony and couldn’t move so I couldn’t even get her in the car to take her to the doctor or hospital. The ambulance arrived and subsequently took her to the hospital in Banbury where she was diagnosed with a torn ligament in her back. Thankfully she wasn’t kept in so quite late in the evening I picked her up from the hospital and for the next week our ‘movements’ were restricted to the site only. Thankfully no serious or long term damage done but it gave us both a fright. She will have to be very careful from now on.
The week before Christmas we took a trip to the C&CC site at Wolverley where our friends Mo & Georgie were site sitting in their 5th wheel. It was an awkward visit in that their co-sitter had made a complaint against Mo and we found them a bit ‘angry’ at both the complainer and the area manager who, in our opinion, was being a bit weak minded. Mo is very direct in his attitude, which I appreciate and admire, but for some they find that a bit of a challenge. It was at this time that we met the area manager, Martin, who is ultimately in charge of us. The upshot was that our friends were going to have to move sites early in the New Year, not an ideal situation. Anyway we had a good chat with them and managed to make further arrangements for future visits and rallies and a more lengthy stay in Somerset in April. We left them a bit ‘down’ but satisfied that they would be okay. The journey back to Chipping in the dark and fog wasn’t the most pleasant of journeys.
The Christmas and New Year periods were uneventful for us as we don’t really celebrate Xmas as such, it’s “just another day” as far as we are concerned. The shops only close for one day anyway so all we do to ‘celebrate’ the day is to avoid shopping in the days leading up to it! Our co-sitters partner arrived as planned on Christmas Eve and we found he is just as friendly and amenable as Dennis!! Another co-sitter, Mr. Riddle, has been a bit of a pain which I won’t go into suffice to say that come the New Year he is likely not going to be on this site any longer.
The New Year came and went and we made plans to return to Wales on the 10th January for the postponed tribunal hearing. However we received information that the hearing was to be postponed again as one of the tribunal members had been on the original tribunal panel and that wasn’t allowed. Like most government agencies it would appear they couldn’t organise a ‘p’ up in a brewery. We decided we would still travel back to Wales and take the opportunity to collect some more stuff and get a few jobs done. It’s at least a 3 hour journey each way so an early start is needed and even with some stops we will both be knackered by the time we get back. Whilst in Wales we got 2 new tyres for Irene’s ‘Granny’ and collected the cash from the sale of our Toyota Aygo! The house was fine and we collected what we wanted although Irene’s craft room, the attic and the garage will still need emptying when the house is sold.
It’s now the 15th January and during this New Year period we have visited the site in Lincoln where we will have a permanent pitch, have visited the 5th wheel company in Mildenhall and come to the conclusion that our best bet will be an RV and not a 5th wheel, we have visited Dreams RV centre in Bicester and we have also visited Banbury for some shopping but we tend to stay local for most of the time. I have had to visit the opticians as I was getting minor flashes in my eyes at night time and, although I have had to purchase a new pair of glasses I am told by the optician that there is nothing to worry about with my eyes. We have also had to take Dexter to the vets for a bladder infection but apart from these visits our time here so far has been pretty uneventful. We are in a good ‘routine’ as such and apart from some minor repairs to the motorhome, bulbs etc., nothing much to do. One surprising issue that has reared it’s head is condensation! Not general condensation throughout the van but specific condensation which actually looks like a water ‘leak’! What is causing it is that because it is winter time, we are spending much more time in the motorhome seated in our spots watching TV or reading so that the heat from our bodies gets through to the cold walls at the rear. We have lined the walls and under seats with cardboard and towels to absorb the damp, but it still gets wet. Had we been in spring or summer we would have spent much more time outside or in the awning so I would guess this is a common problem for winter sitters!! I will be asking some questions on the RV forums to see what solutions others have found!
As we go forward we have a few things to deal with. The postponed tribunal hearing is now fixed for the 13th February, the Motorhome’s MOT is due on the 27th February, we are still trying to source a towbar for Irene’s Toyota and I need to source some racking or shelving for the box trailer and we need to make another visit to Mo and Georgie. On the house sale front, we have had one viewing so far and are just awaiting feedback on that visit. We have decided to only sell the house at the moment and will be retaining the land for ourselves which will give us an ‘address’ in Wales to go back to if needed so we are arranging for the one main building plot to have a name for the purpose.
On the site sitting side our ‘tenancy’ runs out at the end of March/early April so we will be back ‘on the road’ after that. We will be attending a RVOC rally at Henley in early April followed by the National Motorhome Show in Peterborough in mid April. From there we will be heading to Somerset where we intend to stay for about 3 months which will give us time to collect the rest of our stuff from Wales and also dispose of what we can at local boot fairs etc.
So far no regrets about our change of lifestyle and looking forward to selling the house, getting the RV that we want and enjoying some more rallies and shows. We now have our passports and we are hoping to travel abroad in the future with the dogs and visit those places we have always wanted to see.
Watch this space.