Monday 28th July – Sunday 3rd August
The last Thirteen weeks have just flown by and in just five weeks our first season, albeit a short one, will come to an end and in just seven more weeks we will be heading for our much awaited ‘second’ Winter Adventure in Southern Europe and our first adventure in ‘Big Momma’ in Northern Africa. There are still lots of things happening in this last five weeks though, the parents of my daughter’s boyfriend are on a World Trip from Australia and they have booked in to a local Bed & Breakfast near to our campsite with the sole purpose of coming to meet us. Within a couple of days of their departure we have Part 1 of our LANTRA Assessments, that is where a Club LANTRA trainer comes to our site to put us through our paces on the ground equipment to ensure that we not only know how to conduct pre-use checks on each of them but then go out with each piece of equipment and practically show that we can operate it safely and explain how to conduct daily, weekly and monthly checks on them. I for one would hope that after four months of using all these pieces of equipment that we both pass the Assessment !! We have also just been advised this week that four days before we finish our contract for this season we now have to attend a one day Part 2 LANTRA course, not on our own site but at Culloden site which will involve a One Hundred and Forty Four mile round trip, which involves training on ‘Power Take-Off’ equipment, I somehow think that it doesn’t actually entail flying crop sprayers !! Not only do we not have a clue what this ‘Power Take-Off’ equipment is but shortly after receiving this ‘familiarisation training’ we will then be going away for six months before commencing a new contract next year, which may or ‘may not’ have this ‘Power Take-Off’ equipment so I think we may just require some re-familiarisation training !!
I am still not certain how we will cope next year if we are allocated an eight month contract, we have only just completed three months and already I have got incredibly itchy feet, I just want to be on the move again, the freedom of the open road, no rotas, no routines, no duty wardens, just the choice each day when we awake to either stay where we are or to move on. It isn’t that I haven’t enjoyed my time here for as well as enjoying doing ‘stuff’ on our days off, I have also learnt some new skills and discovered that I actually enjoy the ‘gardening’ side of things, albeit on a much grander scale than my previous three bits of lawn and handful of flower beds !! Working on a two couple site has certainly had its advantages and with Terry & Ennyd keen to get us involved in every aspect of managing a site we are certainly well equipped and confident in taking this knowledge and experience to wherever the Caravan Club wish to send us to continue our ‘Elf & Elfette’ duties.
From a purely financial perspective these four months will have been very advantageous, i am still keen to monitor our expenditure and although we are fortunate to have decent incomes we still work to daily, weekly and monthly budgets. I have just worked out our monthly expenditure over the last ‘three‘ months and it averages out that we have spent just a little over £700 each month which is primarily on our Groceries and Personal Expenditure.
There are always lots of discussions on the Motorhome Forums about the pro’s and con’s of keeping hold of, or selling, your bricks and mortar. In my personal opinion, there is no right or wrong with this, it is purely up to each individual and to what future plans they may have. We certainly feel that by not having a property we do not have a burden around our necks, neither Shazza or I feel tied to any particular area, when we do eventually make the shift back to a more ‘Conventional’ lifestyle we will have the freedom to choose where we want to live, including which Country, albeit the restriction may be on where we can afford to purchase a property dependent on how successful our financial strategy has been, however, one thing is for certain, we will not be returning to a detached four-bedroom residence? We may even elect to start a new adventure and the residence may not even be of the bricks and mortar variety but of steel and one that floats on water on the Canals and Rivers of either the UK or even Europe. But for now, one adventure at a time for as little or as long as each may last.
Being so far North we have had no family or friends visit us, however, a week or so ago Shazza received a phone call from Lorraine, one of her former work colleagues. She, and her husband Steve, were in Glasgow to see some events in the Commonwealth Games and they suggested that they may pop up to see us over the weekend. Well ‘popping’ up to see us is not like living down the street, we are a 5-6 hour drive from Glasgow !! On Friday afternoon I was busy out on site doing some ‘gardening‘ when I heard Sharon call my name, when I looked around she was with Lorraine and Steve who, good to their word, had booked in to a local B&B and called in to tell us they had arrived. They knew we were working and Duty Wardens that night but that we had Saturday afternoon off so they went off to do some sightseeing and I left Shazza to make arrangements for meeting up once we had finished work on Saturday. We could have booked a table at a local restaurant but Steve wanted to take a look inside ‘Big Momma’ so Shazza decided to cook a meal, that way we could relax and just take as long as we wanted and for Shazza and Lorraine to catch up on all the gossip !! After our morning at work and their morning doing a bit more sightseeing we all got together on Saturday afternoon. I had only met Lorraine once, briefly in a pub car park when I collected Shazza after one of her farewell get together’s, I had never met Steve before yesterday !! However, the conversation just flowed and it was as if we had known each other for years. Shazza did us proud serving up a delicious three-course meal and before we knew it a good 6-7 hours just flew by. We said our farewells, not knowing when we would get a chance to meet them again, but they are the sort of people who when they have friends it doesn’t matter the length of time between when you actually see them again, they are friends for life !!
Not a lot more to write about except to report that we have tested out the new heating Element on the Combi-boiler on all the settings, Electric and Gas, and all are now working !! We have just pre-booked our last two campsites in UK for September on our way down to visit the ‘kids’ before making our way to the ferry port, we have just paid the outstanding balance on our Ferry Ticket Yee Hah !! Just need to re-insure the car and Big Momma before we go and then that will be that, Spain here we come, however, there is just a small matter of a little under five weeks of ‘Elf & Elfette’ duties to complete first.