And it’s off, it’s like a miracle. The Extreme knitter has finally cast off her boot and she walks again.

Well, walks slowly again, she can now totally weight bear. Her crutches are put to one side and her boot has an alternative function

boot it

She will be able to drive again in two weeks which will be strange as she hasn’t driven for 3 months. I did ask her if she wanted any refresher lessons and she gave me one of those long withering looks. It’s the type of look that most men fear, but hey she’s got to catch me first.

Plans are already a foot (sorry) for our first trips away in Puffin. Lots of short trips and long weekends then a week long break in May touring Scotland, North Devon in June, the list is endless.

Little things mean a lot

Doll was an elderly lady that the Extreme knitter and our granddaughter used to visit a few years ago. They helped with the garden and sometimes cooking.
When Doll died and her family were clearing out her bungalow they asked the E/ knitter if she wanted anything to remember Doll by.
She chose a simple knife that Doll used for everything.
We have Dolls knife in the cutlery draw and we all use it all the time for everything, it’s a brilliant knife. It’s just a simple stainless steel knife with a plastic handle that has always been known as “Dolls Knife”
Its flexible blade helps spreads butter and with its serrated edge cuts salads and sandwiches. Every time it gets used she is remembered

Dolls Knife

dols knife

Fat Saturday

After yesterdays cake disaster I needed to get back on the horse and attempt a successful dish.

I nipped out to Puffin our campervan and returned with the tiny egg frying pan.

mini pancake  (1) (2000 x 1500)

Today’s speciality is going to be Pancakes because I’m celebrating “Fat Saturday”. Yes I know pancakes are easy for most people, but I’m not most people when it comes to cooking.

Instead of the extra large rectangular pancakes that were produced on Fat Tuesday   in the Boatie frying pan. I wanted the smaller, thicker ones with raisins and a hint of lemon. I’m sure I have seen them in Morrison’s supermarket called Scotch Pancakes

scotch pancakes

The Extreme knitter showed me how the make a batter mix (I did say I couldn’t cook) and left me to it.

No raisins in the larder, so I used sultanas and they are juicier than raisins anyway.

mini pancake  (4) (2000 x 1500)

Having been prewarned that adding lemon juice to the batter mix might not be a good thing. The lemon would be added later after cooking.

mini pancake  (6) (2000 x 1500)

I served the E/ knitter my version of a Scotch pancake with a dollop of Mackie’s Scottish ice-cream and to win favour I sprinkled it with chocolate.

mini pancake  (8) (2000 x 1500)

Success, nothing burnt, which is always good for me and she asked for seconds.

I’ve been checking her vital signs on an hourly basis and she seems to have survived the ordeal.

Omnia Oven cake trial

The experimentation with the Omnia oven continues.

With some guidance from the Extreme knitter I set about producing a cake.

I’ve never baked a cake before, so this was a new adventure for me.

I opted for the cheat route and used a Betty Crocker Cake mix; just add oil, water & eggs to the packet mixture to produce a fluffy, light cake. I like coconut, so I added some desiccated coconut to the mix.

P1110898 (1500 x 2000)

Although I was cooking this cake at home I only used implements that I would have readily available in the campervan for authenticity as the oven will be used on our camping trips. I hand mixed the ingredients with a wooden spoon and poured the mix into the greased oven, scattering breadcrumbs beforehand to stop the cake sticking to the pan.

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P1110896 (2000 x 1500)

After about 20 minutes cooking, the top of the cake looked ready and it passed the fork test, so it was left to cool.

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Getting the cake out proved to be awkward and once it was out on to the plate it was obvious that I had set the gas burner too high and the bottom was black

P1110904 (2000 x 1500). P1110905 (2000 x 1500)

Not one to give up I cut the black bits off and offered the extreme knitter a small portion with ice cream for a taste test.


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It was lacking something. It tasted bloody horrible. The E/knitter smiled politely as she nibbled tiny pieces of it trying not to be negative, but the burnt taste had impregnated the whole cake. Uckk!!

Into the dustbin with it and I lit a scented candle in an attempt to cover that lingering burnt smell in the kitchen.

We have decided that the silicone mould would be a great advantage when baking cakes, now if we could just find someone that sells them in the UK.

I did consider not writing this post. I mean, why show your mistakes?

I would like to say that I wrote it because I felt that honesty and true professionalism was the order of the day, but really, it was just too funny not to share.

I shall probably try Pork Chops, roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings next week.


Daydream Believer

Wasting time looking out of the window at life always feels such a guilty pleasure, but daydreaming some of your life away is such a natural thing. It’s were our real dreams are formed.

I spent most of my school days gazing out of the windows, longing to be free.

Looking out of the window is the physical part of the process, but then a meditational state is achieved and you are lost in your thoughts. It not only relieves stress, it lets us search out all those hidden thoughts we carry in our minds.

We should all aim to gaze out of the window more and daydream.

Should it stay or should it go?

Keeping a 20 year old campervan on the road is never a cheap option and there is always the expense of MOT test, insurance and road tax at the beginning of the year before you even turn a wheel.

Because we don’t travel to exotic destinations I don’t think we can fund our travels with crowd sourcing or selling our story to a Travel magazine. I’ve decided to sell our junk to help pay for our future trips. E Bay is due to become our benefactor

Old Beatles vinyl LPs, redundant camping equipment in fact anything I can lay my hands on is being listed. The advantage to this apart from the extra cash is the fact that we are freeing up our lives of clutter. Parting with stuff is difficult. The things that we’ve had for years that we can’t possibly do with out. These are the same things that have been in the loft and haven’t seen the light of day for 30 years. We’ve somehow managed to forget these items for all that time, but as soon as they make a reappearance we can’t part with them.

Discipline and a stout heart are the order of the day. The junk needs to go.

The Adventure Fund ex pickle jar

adventure fund

OK diner


The Sun was out after a frosty start to the morning. The open road was calling, so I shoved the E/Knitter into the campervan and after a couple of buttock clenching attempts to start Puffin she eventually fired up.

Looks like we’ll have to invest in a new starter battery.

Off we went, heading firstly towards Worcester then onward to Leominster. We were just driving around for the sake of it.

An old familiar sign appeared at a roundabout on the A49 at Leominster.

ok diner 33 (1988 x 836)

One of the OK Diner chain of American themed diners that we used to visit back in the 90’s.

OK Diner

They still six sites, but the old ones at Lye in the West Midlands and Weston Super Mare have long gone.

We had to stop for old times sake.

Furnished in 50’s Americano style with menu to match it’s difficult to decide what to order.

Puffin at the Diner

ok diner1 (1418 x 1038)

I’m now an OK Rocker and get a 15% discount with my loyalty card.

ok rocker (1988 x 1104)

Suitably fed and watered we wandered home.


The Walk of Shame

The downside of the campervan way of life is disposing of the contents of the Porta Loo.

Like all the other caravaners & motorhome users on the campsite there comes a time when the Porta Loo needs emptying. That lonely walk to the chemical disposable point carrying a full toilet cassette is “the walk of shame”.

You feel as if you are being watched by the entire campsite, so I try and plan my cassette emptying when most of our campsite neighbours have left the site for the day.

There is an upside to this. Once your proudly sat in the camper smug in the knowledge that your Porta loo is clean & empty, you can sit back to watch others doing the walk of shame.

I restrict the porta loo usage to number ones only for one reason.

I would be like the lady in this video.

I do tend to do the driving as I’m not a good passenger and the extreme knitter is always complaining that I don’t let her drive. Funnily enough I have yet to hear her moan that I never let her empty the Porta Loo.

Fat Tuesday

Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) is the last day of feasting before Lent. Although it has its religious origins, most people today think it’s a celebration of the humble pancake. Who am I to argue with that so, the Boatie frying pan came out of the campervan for Pancake Day and who could resist a rectangular pancake?

Boatie Frying Pan


They just make so much sense. Each one is larger than its circular shaped cousin and the oblong shape rolls up neatly with a filling of choice, mmm!

Let’s use Fat Tuesday to worship our love of the humble pancake and make the Boatie the pancake pan of the future.

Yeah!!!! Go Fat Tuesday.


A Grand Day Out

With a push and a shove I managed to get the Extreme knitter into Puffins passenger seat. Threw her crutches in the back and we are off for a drive around to give both the old girls a run after being cooped up over the last few months. October was the last time the E/Knitter had been out in the campervan.

Puffin needed a good blast on the motorway to clear the cobwebs, which led us to the new southbound M5 motorway services at Gloucester.

This recently opened service area is so different to the grotty services that we usually find on our motorways.

A cup of tea and a cake followed by a look around the on site farm shop, full of local produce.

A blast back up the motorway, then headed home via the pretty way