Spring Has Arrived !

At last, spring has finally arrived and I couldn’t be more happier :). We survived the winter by the skin of our teeth and so glad it wasn’t as bad as it should have been. We now know roughly what to expect and hopefully we will be better prepared for the next one. Looks like we have a lot more work to add to our expanding list ! I must admit Andy dealt with winter a lot better than me emotionally. I found it a struggle being stuck indoors 24/7 and I was definitely getting cabin fever, Andys ears are proof of that! The boredom drove me slightly nuts, I became very irritable and of course Andy got the brunt of it haha. Once the snow cleared, then came the rain, day after day of bloody rain ! Over a week of solid, unrelenting rain. Within a few days we had gone from a garden covered in deep, white snow, to a brown, muddy quagmire arghhhh ! Yes, I’m now going to vent a little. Two dogs and an extremely muddy garden results in a nightmare. Constantly trying to wipe paws, sweep and mop the floor a hundred times a day just about drove me to insanity. Even worse were the times I forgot to close the kitchen or living room doors before letting the dogs in and before I had a chance to stop them, there were muddy paw prints on the carpet and settee !!! To add insult to injury, when I was trying to Hoover up during one of these nightmare days, my Hoover decided to die a death but not before it blew out a big puff of dust everywhere ! All I can say is I had murder on my mind that day !
Anyway less of the moaning now, we have survived the hardest part of the year and now Spring is here and months of mostly sunshine ahead of us 🙂
These last four days have been exceptionally beautiful, clear blue skies and wall to wall sunshine. There is nothing more exhilarating than to feel the warm sun on your face and the way it make you feel like your bursting with energy. Now that the sun is here it’s time to get back to some hard grafting, which is exactly what we have been doing for the past four days. We have been digging, clearing rubble, pruning, chopping wood ( lots and lots of wood! ), filling in a large hole in the garden, taking down fences and mending fences and moving the caravan. It’s amazing how our garden looks so much bigger now we have managed to clear all the crap.
Next on our list is clearing a patch in the front garden and rotorvating it ready for planting our vegetables. Now that we have been here almost a year, we have a clearer view as to how we want our garden but it’s going to take us a long time to get it the way we want it. In October last year we sewed some grass seeds and that is now growing and there are flower bulbs appearing all over the garden, daffidols, tulips, crocus, hyacinth and some that I haven’t a clue what they are haha. My onions I planted last year are sprouting nicely, as is my strawberries and raspberries. I’m really looking forward to planting the veg and sowing lots more flower seeds, I’m not exactly green fingered so it’s going to be a case of plant them and pray !
So much work ahead of us over the next 7 months and no doubt a few problems and tantrums along the way but we’re looking forward to it now the sun is shining ! 🙂

First stage

Well we finally set off at about 12.30 after a nightmare start. After loading the last minute bits and hooking up the caravan, we realized we were far too overloaded. Panic set in…. what the hell was we gonna do. After a few minutes rushed thoughts I got my daughter to load her car with all the bits we could do without and one thing we could have done with keeping…. all the food we bought for our travels and to tied us over for the first few days till we found our feet. All of it was going to have to be skipped! The van felt heavy as we made our way slowly, making sure the caravan was steady. We could only go 50 miles an hour so it’s taken almost 6 hours to get to Dover but when we got there, they said we were too early as our boat wasn’t leaving till just after 11, so if we paid an extra £60 we could catch the next ferry or we could catch the 9. 25 ferry, no extra charge. Guess which we opted for ! Anyway just enough time to stop, feed and walk the dogs and finally have something to eat ourselves as we hadn’t eaten all day. Now we are just waiting……

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Hellish 3 days

Well what a hellish 3 days its been and are we suffering! Monday was the start of it all. We had already packed the van with a few boxes and secured the rather large dogs cage, so the first job of the day was to gather all the stuff that was left to be dumped, load the van and take a trip to the skip. Amongst the stuff was our beloved king sized bed! Oh how I was going to miss our lovely comfy bed. I knew that from now until we get to Bulgaria we will be sleeping on an inflatable mattress till we depart then it’s the seats of the van and that’s one thing we are not looking forward to.
After we got rid of our junk, it was a trip to halfords to get a few thing we forgot, then off to a few other shops, then home to start loading the van and caravan, this is where the panic started to worm it’s way in. As we loaded the boxes, layer by layer, we also filled all the small nooks and crannies with anything we could find. We knew that every bit of space was valuable. By the time we sat down, the van was only half full, from top to bottom. The house looked like a bomb had hit it as we hadn’t finished packing but we were to tired to do anymore. By the time we went to bed we both felt like we’d been to battle. I was shattered and couldn’t wait to get a good nights rest but that never happened, the bloody inflatable was so uncomfortable. Andy couldn’t get comfy either hence why I found him fas asleep on the settee in the morning!

Day 2 and an early start again. Believe it or not it took us all day to load the van and pack the remainder of our stuff. The reason why it took so long was because we had to keep rearranging it so we could fit everything in. By the end of the day, the house still looked like a bomb had hit it and there was still the back end of the van to fill. We were both walking around like 90 year olds, moaning and groaning because we ached so much.
Day 3 and I woke up early as usual, but god did I hurt, I felt like I’d been hit by a bus! Andy was just as bad and neither of us had the energy but knew we had no choice, so onward and upward and we finally finished loading the van!! But it wasn’t over, as we are in rented and our final handover check is tomorrow, there was the house to clean! So of we went again, cleaning windows,skirting boards, hoovering,polishing tiles etc etc ( why the hell did we have to rent a 4 bedroom, 3 storey house!) well by 8.30 we really couldn’t do any more, our feet were throbbing, our backs were broken and our body’s were screaming for rest. And still we haven’t finished…….

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Last Goodbyes

We went to see Marie’s family today to have our last family gathering before we set off on our Big Adventure in Bulgaria. It was great to see everyone again and was lovely talking about everything family orientated.
It was a good feeling as well to see and hear the positivity from everyone about Bulgaria and what we are doing. It is really good to know that we have got the support of our family for what we are doing and that we will be leaving the UK on good terms with everyone.
The final moments were full of emotion, coupled with hugs and some tears which did make it a little bit hard to drive away, but it just goes to reinforce the fact that we are cared about.
It is going to be a bit surreal once we have gone knowing that our family is no longer down the road but nearly 2000 miles away, and I know deep in my heart that it will pull me and Marie closer together as we can only depend on each other until we begin to make new friends.
It is this feeling that has made me realise that we are not just embarking on a new chapter in our lives but also a new chapter in our relationship. It is really exciting to know that everything we shall encounter we shall do so and experience together, it is a wonderful feeling having someone to share this potentially once in a lifetime experience with, after all how often do you get to live out your dreams with someone you love, care and cherish.
Next week it is my turn to say my last goodbyes before the big journey, which will probably be just as emotional.

On another note my brother in law Mark, has stepped up and provided us with new tyres and a spare wheel for our 1960’s retro caravan. These are definitely going to be essential for our journey as some of the stories we have heard about potholes are quite scary, I don’t relish the thought of having to change a wheel on the side of a motorway in a foreign country, but at least if it did happen I now we are now prepared.
You can find him on Facebook at Treads 2 Go

Our Home On Wheels

After looking at the route we would be taking to Bulgaria, it soon became apparent that a near 2000 mile journey is going to take us at least 3 – 4 days of solid driving.

Because of this we realised that it would be beneficial to have a caravan, not only for the journey but also to stay in whilst we do the renovations on our house.

Now us being us and not always doing things the “normal” way (after all we did buy a house blind off of Ebay), we went back on to the wonder that is Ebay and fell in love with this completely original 1960’s Retro Caravan. Mint condition out of the box doesn’t even come close to its condition, but it is going to be a great place to relax in after a long day, it is inspirational just sitting inside of it.

The only slight downside (possibly) is the looks we might get at border controls as we are going to be towing this beauty behind a LWB high top transit van, we will look like some bizarre travellers, but we will keep blogging as we travel so we can let you know how we get on as we pass through the numerous borders across Europe.

It is going to be one Big Adventure but we can’t wait for it to begin.

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