Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The very small campervan goes south

Some of my most faithful readers, knowing that I usually post at least once or twice a week, may be wondering why I seem to have slipped off their radar. There was I, promising Part 2 of my trip to Orkney, and then nothing….. Thankfully the explanation is a simple one – life has just taken over this past week and very enjoyable and/or productive it has been too.

Earlier last week DH and I took advantage of the gorgeously sunny weather to do some clearing outdoors. Our shed has finally succumbed to the ravages of the northern climate and will have to be replaced, so we spent the best part of two days clearing and sorting its contents and ferrying the rejects across the causeway to the conveniently and beautifully sited recycling centre on the shore of the Kyle of Tongue. It’s not often one gets the chance to pause in the process of feeding the recycling bins to gaze at a stunning view of water and mountains.


Later in the week, when the sun disappeared and the temperature plummeted again, it was the turn of my burgeoning social life. As well as church services on Friday and Sunday, I went out to an excellent piano recital in the village hall on Friday evening in aid of church funds (the minister’s cousin is a professional pianist). It was a very varied programme including the delightful “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky and we all relished the wine and cheese offered in the interval.

Saturday evening was spent at a hilarious farewell meal at a local hotel in honour of one of the founding members of the weekly Knit and Natter group I so enjoy. I haven’t laughed so much for a very long time. J Since then DH and I have been busy packing and tidying and preparing to leave this wonderful place and start the long journey back to Mid-Wales. Even the weather has turned wet in sympathy, so we shall be dodging the downpours as we ferry the last items to our groaning little van and set off home tomorrow. See you in Wales……

50 comments:

  1. Hello Perpetua:
    It is always good to hear that it is just having fun which keeps a blogger away from the keyboard!

    You have packed so much in to your time away that it must seem as if the hours have simply flown by. However, always best, we feel, to leave when one really wants it to continue since then one is drawn back again.

    We look forward to hearing reports from Wales and, in the meantime, we wish you safe travelling!

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    1. Thanks, Jane and Lance. I don't think there's any possibility we won't want to come back here. We always enjoy it so much and now have a network of friends who make us very welcome each time we arrive. I shall mull over my second post on Orkney as we travel and hope to post it before long.

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  2. Clearing the shed....could one of you infect Mr. Fly, please?
    The bodega is full....he has, I now discover, started using the pig sty which I had earmarked for an office for myself and it seems unknown horrors await me in one of the rooms of the house in San Jose.
    It seems he has been 'recuperating' stuff thrown out for the dustmen which might 'prove useful'.....

    Glad you've been having such a lovely time...and safe trip.

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    1. LOL Fly! It's a case of needs must where DH is concerned. The shed must come down before it falls down, so unless he wants everything to go, he HAD to sort things. Whisper it not to Mr Fly, but when we were at the dump, I saw someone disposing of a perfectly good door which DH promptly rescued for the new shed. :-)

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  3. Safe journey Perpetua. See you in the (soggy) land of song.

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    1. Thanks, Ray. I gather from friends and fellow bloggers that it has been VERY wet, so I may find myself gargling. :-)

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  4. The blog needs real life for inspiration...we eventually benefit from the absences.

    Y'all stay dry.

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    1. I'll try, EF, but I may not succeed. :-) You're absolutely right about the inspiration thing. Life is our material and we need plenty of it.

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  5. Well, we've got some sunshine down here today -- in fact it's warm and Spring-like -- ready to welcome you back. Will be visiting our friends in the Marches this coming weekend and I believe the weather may actually cooperate, which means you should have some good news weather-wise upon your return to Wales. God bless you both as you travel south!

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    1. Thanks, Broad. I gather from the BBC's weather outlook page that the south and west is due to have rather better weather, just in time for our return, as you say, while the north and east will get the worst of it. Not that I bring good weather with me, you understand....:-) Enjoy your weekend.

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  6. Happy travels and take care. Look forward to hearing about Orkney sometime on your return.

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary. I'm really looking forward to describing my second day there, so you won't have long to wait, I hope.

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  7. I like your camper van as it is just the right size for camping and moving about easily. I guess it would be hard to do a really long trip in it though.

    Your time away sounds like it has been good for you, and I look forward to hearing of Orkney also.

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    1. The camper-van is a great size, Rubye - small enough to go in an ordinary parking bay and very manouevrable. The longest trip we've managed is three weeks, but it's wonderful for shorter trips and overnight stops.

      We've had a lovely time, thanks, and Orkney will definitely be featuring when I get home.

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  8. It had crossed my mind that you were probably having too good a time to have time to blog...particularly when the weather with you seemed to be so much better than most of the rest of the UK ( and much of the rest of western Europe ) Safe trip home, looking forward to hearing more. J.

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    1. i don't know where the last week week has gone, Janice! We've been so lucky with the weather compared to further south, though the wind has been straight from the Arctic, as you'll see from my next Orkney photos. I do hope your weather has improved.

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  9. So happy you had such a great time..your posts have encouraged me to pull out the old atlas and check to see where you've been and where you're going..very interesting. Looking forward to hearing more of your travels when you return. Happy trails to you! Smiles - A.

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    1. Thanks, Astrid. Following blogs across the world is a great way of improving one's geography. :-) I'm always checking to see where it is that one blogger or another is writing from and it's so interesting. A true world-wide web.....

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  10. I was beginning to wonder whether all was OK! Looking forward to seeing you back here ere long! The weather forecast for yesterday (Bank Holiday Monday) proved wrong - it was supposed to be wet and windy for our RNLI Open Day at the Sailing Club, but was actually quite good after all, and it was a reasonably good say, although not as many 'takers' as we'd hoped (probably due to the adverse forecast - grrr!!) Will be praying for a 'bubble' for your travelling - when do you leave (& when will you be back)? If you're anything like as tired as we have been since we got back last week, you'll be out of commission for at least a week (although you are a bit younger than us!!) LOL, & see you soon. God bless.

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    1. THanks, Helva. I kept meaning to write a post, but other things intervened. :-) We'll be home on Thursday evening and I can't afford to take a week off as I have the meeting next Tuesday to prepare for. We'll be camping overnight on the way south, so taking the journey quite easily. I just hope it's not pouring down when we come to unload the van......

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  11. Safe travels to Wales and here's hoping you don't catch the same kind of atrocious weather we had driving up to Edinburgh recently.
    Looking forward to hearing more about Orkney.

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    1. Thanks, Niall and Antoinette. It's been miserable today, but luckily the forecast for the Highlands tomorrow is much better. A long drive in heavy rain is not my idea of fun. Orkney will; definitely follow our return ASAP.

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  12. Dear Perpetua, . . . bon voyage as you take off for Wales. I so look forward to your postings from there and also I hope that you will tell us more about your trip to the island to visit your friend.

    Peace.

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    1. Thanks, Dee. It's a familiar journey now, but always a beautiful one, though we prefer not to have to do it in the rain. I will continue the story of my visit as soon as we're settled at home again.

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  13. Safe travel, Perpetua, and safe home. Some of the richest material for writing comes out of those times of silence, doesn't it? I look forward to part 2 of Orkney as anticipation builds (no pressure, eh?).

    Now, if I can only get Tom to clean out some of the shed, or garage, or, well, anything! tee hee

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    1. Thanks, Penny. Yes, sometimes we need to step back from writing for a bit and let the ideas come. I'm really looking forward to reliving my Orkney visit for Part 2. ]

      As for clearing the shed, DH did it because he had no choice. Throwing things away does NOT come naturally to him.... :-)

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  14. It's so long since I was in Scotland - I had hair when I was last there! I must go back, I really must.

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    1. Oh, you must Mark. The scenery up here is truly magnificent and the wildlife would thrill you. I saw both seals and deer on the way home from church on Sunday and I can't often say that. :-)

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  15. When life interrupts with friends, music and travel, you really have to answer the call...and get caught up on blogging later :-) I love your little camper van. It looks to be just about perfect in size and travel worthiness! I'll be so glad to have more stories right from Wales. I didn't know you last summer and now I can get through this season. It's fun for me to learn a bit of geography along the way! Debra

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    1. Debra, it's a super little van and we're so glad we bought it. We can carry everything we need and still have room to sleep on the road. :-) Once I've done my post on my lovely second day in Orkney it will be good to write about Wales again.

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  16. I so so understand when real life takes over the blogging part - and better that way round, without a doubt. But lovely to be able to travel and think about your posts as you go back to another very real part of your life. I think your camper van looks so cute; inspirational even and I quite envy your long journey (if it's not foul weather all the way, fingers crossed it's not!) back to Wales. Such fun! Look forward to the next post. Safe journey. Axxx

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    1. I know you do, Annie. :-) Thankfully I enjoy travelling, though we do need to stop far more often nowadays to flex our creaking knees or they would seize up completely! We're both very fond of our present van, though a chunk of my heart still belongs to the ancient VW camper we once had. Perpetua, the flower-child...:-))

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  17. Like others here, I too have been eagerly waiting for part two of your Orkney trip Perpetua. However, knowing your DH as I do, I quite understand you taking the opportunity forced upon him by the disintegrating shed, to get him to sort through its contents & actually throw some things away :-)

    Despite my declared intention of writing 52 posts during this fourth year of my blog, I've just had a fifteen day gap between posts because other things intervened - sigh....

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    1. It will come, Ricky, I promise.... You're absolutely right - this clearing opportunity had to be seized and it was lucky the weather co-operated. -)

      I remember you setting yourself your blogging goal. Perhaps you can catch up by doing two posts some weeks? I've always just blogged when I had something to say - much easier on the nerves and conscience. :-)

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  18. Hope you had a good journey Perpetua & DB-in-law and welcome back to Welsh home! Hope we get to see you before you set off again next month to French home.

    Love from PolkaDot xx

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    1. Thanks, PolkaDot, We got back mid-afternoon and have been busy emptying the van ever since. Thankfully the Welsh home has survived the bad weather unscathed and we can relax for a bit, then fall into bed for an early night. :-)

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  19. I love that your blogging silence means that your life is happening in so many delightful and productive ways. Have a great trip and will look forward to postings from Wales!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. It was a good week and a lovely way to round off this spring visit. We're now safely home again, with lots to do once we've unpacked and recovered from the journey.

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  20. Have a great trip. Life is good when it takes all our energies. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

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    1. Thanks, Rosaria. The past week has certainly taken all of my energies one way or another, but it has been fun. Once I've caught up on my sleep, I'll be back....:-)

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  21. Hiya Big Sis,

    We will be in the Welsh House until Monday or Tuesday of next week, then we are off on a flying visit to Herts to cut the lawns and see Our Ma, touch base with the estate agent, etc. Perhaps our paths will cross this weekend if your trip back ti Wales isn't too lazy a meander? If not then, perhaps the following one?

    Yoyr soon-to-be-55-yr-old Baby Sis

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    1. Hi Baby Sis. No meandering this time, as the weather wasn't conducive to say the least... By the time we've finished sorting everything out and tidying up the van/house/garden, this weekend may disappear without trace, but next weekend sounds good. :-)

      Don't remind me how old you are, as I know how old I was when you were born. LOL!

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  22. I think it's great that enjoying life gets in the way of blogging. We all need a bit of this sometimes.

    Safe journey south xx

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    1. Thanks, Ayak. You know exactly what I meant, as it happens to you when you visit the UK. Life is to be lived, then written about in the times in between. :-)

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  23. My husband longs for a classic VW campervan too, though I think largely for symbolic reasons (peace, love and what you will). I hope your present Very Small Campervan has got you safely home to Wales. It occurs to me (randomly) that you could paint a crest on its side, of a Manx-style 3-legged wheel: to represent the three legs of your journeys, Scotland, Wales and Normandy!

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    1. Oh, I loved that van, DB! It was very basic, freezing-cold unless the sun shone (no insulation) but it was fun to drive and there was a real camaraderie of the road between fellow VW van drivers. We sold it at least 15 years ago, but a bit of me still misses it.

      Yes, our trusty newer van got us back safely, though the speedo went on strike halfway home and will have to be fixed. I love your idea of a crest (so much more elegant a word than logo!) and will see what DH thinks. :-)

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  24. Safe journey back to your Welsh fastness :D

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    1. Thanks, Annie. We made it and the fastness is still standing, thank goodness, as are the trees.

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  25. I met someone the other day who describes herself as "bi-homal." She lives and works in my town in Virginia, but her husband still lives in their family home a few hours away. As you know, I live in another state from my family at the moment, too, so I thought "bi-homal" was a great descriptor. But you, dear Perpetua, are Tri-Homal! What a life you lead. Enjoy your time in Wales, but don't forget to write more about that great island trip when you can!

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    1. Penny, your great descriptors made me grin, though they do sound suspiciously like some kind of medical condition. :-) Yes. our way of life is a bit out of the ordinary, but, as the saying goes, it's a great life if you don't weaken!

      It's lovely to be back in Wales, especially as the rain has stopped and the sun is shining, but I won't let that stop me writing about Orkney as soon as I've sorted myself out.

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I welcome your comments and will always try to respond to them. Thank you for reading.