#vanlife day 33

Change over day – Travel to the Trossachs

So today is “move site day” or change over day as Catherine calls it. This involves a bit of prep work before the journey to our next destination. Fortunately, we learned from the last experience that it’s better to pack up at least the contents of our tent the night before and sleep in the van on the last night. This helps to cut down on the amount of work on the day of moving.

This worked out well as Catherine didn’t get woken up at “bird o’clock” as she calls it (around 3am!!!) as the van buffered the sounds of the dawn chorus. Also, I opted to not have a beer last night to see if that helped with my supposed snoring! Unfortunately, it did! The number of instances where Catherine was woken up by my “Chewbacca sounds” or “Wookie calls” was reduced dramatically. However, the day ahead wasn’t without its challenges. I’ll only list them here as I’m a bit jiggered tonight and will leave them as placeholders for future blogs.

This is what my Father-in-law would call a “Fred Mecano” job – ie well dodgy!!!! There is good reason for the above setup – it was my attempt at getting sealant to fix in-between rainstorms!!!!
  1. We discovered a new leak in top left window that resulted in a curtain becoming sapping wet. Glad I bought that seal gun the other day to fix another leak that was the result of no seal around the ventilation hatch on the roof(future blog post there – the return of the missing seal )
  2. Packing up the tent in near gale winds – Glencoe appeared on the national news as a weather wet n windy spot. This got the mother-in-law very worried indeed. The campsite owner didn’t help by telling Catherine that if the van were any bigger he would advise going a different route for fear of the van being blown off the road!
  3. On route to the Trossachs (Gartmore to be exact), we got a call from the destination campsite telling us that if we haven’t left already they would advise us to come next week as it was so wet today! Too late, we were being blown towards the Trossachs at a fair ole rate of knots. In Cath’s case 40mph on 60mph roads … 4 by 4s with caravans were wanting to overtake … and they did when she pulled over! (thankfully – although there is a dearth of service stations on the highland roads, there are lots of Viewing points or “picnic” spots where you can pull over and let people pass)…
  4. Shortly after arriving on the campsite, and hurrying to get the tent up asap in a brief dry moment- a friendly camper informed me that Fionnula’s aerial was falling off! He proceeded to tell me how to fix this, all the while I was trying to erect the tent in between torrential rainstorms! See pictures for the advanced repairs carried out. (For future reference this repair job I am going to refer to as a “Marshall job” named after an ex-neighbour who advised me to just dump stuff that was dragging me down – I took your advise Jim!!!

On one positive note though, the advantage of gale-force winds is that we haven’t had any raids from clan McMidgie … phew I can go to bed itch-free!

“Mork Calling Orson … come in Orson … nanu nanu” — this is the last you will see of Fionnuala’s aerial. (Did anyone get the Mork and Mindy reference???)

Anyways that’s it … I’m off to bed now after a few beers and Catherine has treated herself to a glass of wine (or two).

5 thoughts on “#vanlife day 33”

  1. “After a few beers” – hope you’re in the tent then Mark🤣🤣. You have the patience of a saint!!! How’s the swearing going? Tommy needs an early night after today’s goings on!! Hope you all get a good sleep and wake up to that lovely Loch tomorrow xx

    • Yes we were in the tent last night. Unfortunately there wasn’t a kettle for Catherine to cook her normal two hot water bottles so she was a little chilly. I also found competition for worlds loudest snorer … I honestly though it was Tommy in the tent next to us, but no some other bugger can challenge me for that title. Swearing… not too F***ing badly Pam – thanks for asking 🙂 Turns out we are waking up next to a LAKE … the only one in Scotland and is due to a mispronunciation or something according to the Lonely Planet guide. We are off to Gartmore community shop in a mo … grey and overcast now after a brief glimpse of sun. Van watertight as well – I’m a happy Buck! Love to all.

  2. So pleased you’ve adopted my principle for reducing stress and clearing household chores! Very satisfying! You must be near The Lake of Menteith ( only lake in Scotland!- not a lot of people know that!); has a little island called Inchmahome where Robbie the Bruce and Mary sought solace and refuge, great mates of William! Hope weather improves so you can ‘soak up’ the history and scenery!🤣🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿Btw Cam summitted Bt Blanc at noon yesterday… he is over the moon ( literally). PS Gorilla tape is great at sealing stuff 🤣👍Keep blogging….

    • Cheers Jim. Yes you have been an inspiration. I spent 10 mins looking at the damage done and thought … whats the point – we dont even use the aerial! Decision was very easy. Im going to put said aerial on ebay and see what happens.
      Grest news re Cam – tell him well done from us! Also great news about escaping the wage cage – that in itself is very satisfying I can tell you. Who wants the 40-40-40 strategy. 40 hours a week for 40 years to have a pension of £40/week??? Not me!
      I managed to buy some sealant for another job that emerged last week – looks like a good investment as the van is now considerably drier – maybe some shares in evostick will be in order. take care Jim and keep smiling – even though Scotland aren’t in the forthcoming world cup.

  3. Didn’t want to mention the WC but we’ve still got the Nations League…oh no… that’s gone as well!!Steve Clarke is a bit pissed off but what do you expect from a manager who played for St Mirren!⚽️ Then there’s the golf…oh it’s been smashed…would you sell your soul for $200m??probably it’s a god send that your aerial is demised!!!!Keep blogging 👍🤣


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