Positives and Negatives

I do try not to let the cynical / negative side of my nature control my life, but sometimes events just force me down that road.

Saturday morning and we are rushing about loading Puffin in readiness for a weeklong holiday in Chard with our Granddaughter.

We set off in light rain, so I put on Puffins sidelights and a puff of smoke rose from under the bonnet.

I stopped straight away turned everything off and investigated, but could not see any thing obvious. All seemed fine, so we continued with the trip. About ten miles from home we stopped at Morrisons for essentials and I decided to have a closer look under the bonnet.

I spotted a melted cable coming from the side light bulb holder. This was not good and I had to make the very unpopular decision to return home and fix the problem.

Back at home I started the frantic repairs. The two batteries were removed to get access and the problem became obvious. Puffin has a non-standard battery tray designed to hold the starter and the leisure batteries. The cable from the sidelight had been chafing on it and had shorted out. I followed the melted cable back through the loom hoping to find a good section. No, it had burnt straight back to the fuse box. Why hadn’t the fuse blown to prevent this happening? Because the previous owner had obviously had problems with the fuse blowing when turning the sidelights on that they decided the best way to over come it was to replace the 10amp fuse with something bigger, Ah yes, they thought a 40amp should do it.

I worked on until 9pm being beaten only by the lack of light.


Up early on the Sunday morning and I finished rewiring the burnt loom, but it meant we wouldn’t have a front sidelight, as I needed to get a new bulb holder. By 10am all was finished and we repacked the fridge. The trip was back on although for days after my paranoia had me checking and questioning every new smell.


We arrived at Alpine Grove campsite near Chard at about 1pm and were greeted by the owner who showed us our pitch. We have visited this site several times over the years and seem to come back when we are camping with children. It is ideal site with pitches situated in woodland with a small swimming pool and playground.

Alpine Grove Chard

The site owners are very accommodating and flexible when it comes to how you pitch.

They hire out fire pits and logs for the evening along with local sausages.

First job was to erect the new Vango Kela Airbeam awning for the first time. Being an inflatable drive away awning its is supposed to reduce the build time. It took a while to put up, as it was our first time.

Alpine Grove

Once all the fettling and adjustments were finish the awning proved to be ideal for our longer stays.

Vango Kela Airbeam Awning

Ruby was left out of this trip and stayed with our daughter. We realised that if Ruby came with us we wouldn’t be able to visit cafes, shops and attractions, which suited me, but would have restricted our granddaughter’s holiday.


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