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New Beginnings 2019
We have been busy making the Celtic Rambler our home. We have to be really mindful of weight in the van as it will be pulled on the road by a Nissan Navara pickup. With that in mind I have been clearing out more ‘stuff’; a bit Marie Kondo style. My Jamie Oliver plates and Zara pasta bowls have been put into my “forever home” box along with my Lakeland enamel stock pot and matching measuring jug. My forever home box will be stored off the van so the weight in there doesn’t count. The plates and bowls we are now using are the acrylic ones that the previous owners left behind. I don’t like the design much and have spent a lot of time looking for a design I do like, which I have not yet found, but the main thing was the weight and this has been reduced. I also replaced a very heavy crock slow cooker with an ultra lightweight aluminium one where you can use the pan directly on the stove top then put in the slow cooker – saving on washing up too.
We have changed some of the furniture. The original tables where the TV stood were wide, heavy and had open shallow shelves which I did not like. This we replaced with a 4 cube storage unit which is lighter, narrower and has more useful storage. Importantly it fits neatly on the slide-out step for when the slide-out is brought in when travelling. We, that is Neil, also created a matching coffee table by using a matching 2 cube unit and reducing the height of the top cube space to the height we needed which gives us one cube with a shelf for magazines. Very useful having a handyman! As a treat in the New Year we also changed the TV and have mounted a flat screen TV to the slide out edge. This weighs less than the original TV, which had been left behind, with the added benefit of being able to be left in place when we are on the move.
We have changed other things too, the shower head so it uses less water but is more effective, the dustbin/recycle bin so they take up less space and added extra plug sockets. Additionally we have put up some of our personal items that we had on Gleda. My hand embroidered floral picture made by Jane is by my bed and Neil’s wooden carving of a yacht is his side. We have put up the clock & barometer which Neil had from his Mum, Dad and brother for his 50th birthday and a shelf with the dolphins sculpture that I bought Neil from Polperro many years ago. The latest addition was a picture for the wall above the TV which I got Neil for his birthday this year – given a few days early.
These may seem small changes/additions but certainly for me, they help make this space our home and more liveable. I think we still have work to do on the weight. Maybe we should drink the wine!
We have had a road test with the van. On a sunny Sunday we prepared the van for travel. It was a test of both the van and the truck and we didn’t go far, just a 3 mile round trip to the main road, up a steep hill, around a large roundabout and then back. Long enough to test that the van and truck are working together. Also a good test for prepping the interior for travel and to see what moves that we hadn’t tied down. The only thing I hadn’t prepared for was the wardrobe door had swung open and shut. The automatic lights that I hadn’t’ yet fixed in place inside the wardrobe had fallen out. On opening the kitchen cupboards, the cans had moved around, just need to be careful when opening the cupboard and the taller glasses had tipped over. These are glass glasses and I will probably replace them with acrylic ones. The wine glasses, although they are glass, are on very short stems and these survived – yay.
I was pleased to see that with the way things can be stowed on the slide out, we can still use the space when the slide out is in. If necessary we could park up and not have to put the slide out in order to sit, cook or sleep. The only thing we couldn’t use properly would be the table.
We are heading ‘up country’ in March taking the van and the truck up to the Fifth Wheel Company near Rhyl for a manufacturers service on the Celtic Rambler and we are changing the Navara for a newer one. This also means that the hitch on the van needs to be changed to match the new style hitch in the truck.
It’s going to be a big trip – our new adventure; travelling by road. We are breaking our trip to Wales with a few days in Leamington and I also decided that Falmouth to Leamington for our very first road trip was a bit much so I have booked in a night near Cheddar Gorge in Somerset so that our first day is not so long.
It will be strange being on the move. I have to say, I didn’t much like our little road test. I was very aware that we were towing an enormous load behind us and I was very nervous. Hopefully though after an hour or so I will feel calmer. I said to Neil as we came back into the park from our test drive that “I think I prefer sailing”. Something neither he or I ever thought I would say. We will see.
As well as our van improvements we have been keeping busy. Neil has been recovering well from his broken heel and although he has had his last physio session, he still has some pain and weakness in the foot which may last a while yet. Neil has bought a standup paddle board, the physio said the balancing on the board is just the thing, and has been able to have a go a couple of times. I prowl the beach with a bucket picking up shells and litter whilst keeping an eye on him. He’s really enjoying it.
I have been going to a couple of Knit & Natter groups locally as I was feeling quite lonely. One at Truro Wool and one with the Moor Knitters Falmouth. I have also signed up for a workshop at Truro Wool to learn to knit socks. I’ve had the first session and the 2nd is at the end of this week. I’ve really enjoyed that and have had lots of fun choosing pretty sock yarns from a new store that has opened in Falmouth, Stitches & Cream. The yarns I have chosen so far have been dyed locally by Demelza Delights. If I don’t become an avid sock knitter then maybe I’ll become a yarn collector.
We have had a few days out too. This is such a beautiful area of the UK, to be so near so many lovely places makes it hard to decide where to visit next. We’ve had great days out to Mevagissey and St Ives and had some stunning walks closer to home. Let week I saw seals on a beach near Godrevy Lighthouse on the north Cornish coast. The first time I have seen seals in the wild. We have a small river running through a field just across the road from where the van is sited. There is a walk we can, and do, do in the fields and over the river. Last weekend Neil saw the flash of a Kingfisher and the week before we watched a pair of Black Bellied Dippers flying just above the water. I’ve just started to hear the woodpeckers hammering at the trees most evenings I can hear the Tawny Owls hooting in the trees around us.
Here’s to new adventures.