Lenser. Let there be Light

I rarely review equipment, but when a product excels my expectations I need to pass it on.

I had been using my LED Lenser P7 torch and a Lenser P3 in the course of my work to carry out safety inspections on machinery for many years. Perfect to illuminate those dark recesses.

When I saw a new Lenser P7 in a sale I purchased it and put my original work P7 torch in our campervan.

It has always been a reliable torch and when you run a 22year old campervan it is invaluable especially when trying to keep the old girl mobile.

Recently it had started to flicker, so I opened it up and a battery had leaked, causing corrosion on the terminals. These torches aren’t your usual throw away items. They are built to last, so much so that a quick look on the Lenser website showed that they offer a 5 year warranty with all new products.

That shows confidence in their products.

For obvious reasons an old leaking battery isn’t a warranty claim. I really should have changed them before it got to that state.

In this throw away society I can’t get out of the idea that if a quality product is manufactured, it can be repaired if parts are available and I begrudge throwing anything away.

I had the opportunity to experience the Lenser after sales service. After a quick e mail to them asking if replacements for my corroded parts were available, they sorted out my problem without a quibble that day.

If you want light use a Lenser. Well worth the long life investment.

Lenser website

Lenser Sales website

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Scarborough

Scarborough was a place we had visited briefly a few years ago and it hadn’t impressed us then. You have to give a place a second chance, so the following day we wound our way down to North Scarborough which turned out to be a vast expanse of beautiful beach with parking along the promenade. Elsie loved the beach, but still wasn’t keen on the sea, even when the extreme knitter went paddling. I can’t see her being a rescue dog, but we will persevere you never know she might end up loving it.

North Beach

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We then drove on down to the town of Scarborough and seaside resort. The town centre was a large pedestrian shopping street with lots of the big named stores. Elsie and I stood outside many of these shops, just waiting until I spotted a sign for a cliff railway, I didn’t know Scarborough had a funicular and my heart missed a beat. When the extreme knitter reappeared I dragged her to the cliff top station, all aboard and down the side of the cliff we went.

I love a funicular me, especially when I find a hidden one.

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The carriage doors opened and we were on the south beach promenade complete with all the seaside tat and amusement arcades.

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The bright lights, bells and whistles let us know we were outside Coney Island. Not the real one obviously, just an amusement arcade of the same name. If you’ve ever watched the movie “Big” with Tom Hacks you will remember that he was transformed into a 13 year old boy by Zoltar the fortune telling Wizard in a penny machine, well low and behold outside Coney Island was the same machine. When I looked at the wizards face it was apparent that he was cross eyed. Now excuse me for being cynical here, but if the wizard couldn’t look me straight in the eye, how was he going to tell my fortune.

Tom Hanks and Zoltar

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After a hasty wander up and down the prom we were back on the funicular heading back up to the main part of town. Elsie and I took our usual positions outside Marks & Spencer while the extreme knitter just popped in to buy food.

It was at this point that the reality of town life reared it’s ugly head.

As Elsie and I were stood outside M & S along with all the other waiting husbands I noticed a guy arrive and stand by me, No problem I thought, until after a while I realised he was slowly edging his way nearer towards me to the point I was starting to be wary. Then across the other side of the walkway a girl appeared and waved a purse at him and he shot off with her up a narrow alleyway. Then a policeman came running out of M & S giving chase. I really believe I was going to be a target for a pick pocket.

Undaunted we returned to the campsite with all the nice goodies the E / knitter had bought from M & S for our evening meal.

 

 

Adventure Overland Show Sept 2018

Saturday morning and I’m making my annual trip to the Adventure Overland Show at Stratford on Avon racecourse.

Adventure Overland Show

The weather forecast wasn’t good, predicting rain at 4 pm. Well they lied, it rained at 12 pm. In typical British spirit, a drop of rain wasn’t going to put me off, especially as I paid an entrance fee.

I find it difficult to judge whether the show is bigger or busier than the previous show as the layout varies each year.

It’s always a good show with a laidback feel and some interesting characters. I must admit after a long conversation with an overland travel writer he showed me places off the beaten track in Spain that were stunning and accessible in our campervan.

There is always something in the car park that catches the eye and this VW T4 Doka certainly did.

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I managed to meet up with fellow blogger Mike Brailey the director and editor of the Overland Journal European issue.

Overland Rover

Overland Journal

Overland Portal

The Overland Journal is a massively popular publication in the States and finally the UK has its own edition published 5 times a year and edited by Mike.

It’s easy to think of it as just another magazine, but it is a journal in the truest sense, imagine an oversized paperback book and you would be nearer the mark.

It’s not all about size though; the content gives a fascinating insight into travelling the world by various means of transport with superb photographs.

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The Overland Journal Landrover

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I’m a glutten for teardrop trailers and this example made by Boondock Trailers was perfect. Comfortable and rugged.

Boondock

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The Mercedes Sprinter 4 x 4 van has really taken off here and in the States as the must have campervan.

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This Ford Transit by Lifes Adventure Overland had the best Raptor paint finish I ever seen and their bespoke fabrications were top quality.

Lifes Adventure Overland

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Gull wing side door, a powerful BMW engine and large split rim wheels make this Renault Traffic van a jaw dropper

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Unimogs galore this year

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The Camper Van Culture Managon

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And finally the arse end of the post A bumper dumper and a rifle case, just what every camper needs.

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Overland Wild Party

Come to our Wild Party, the Face book post said, so we did. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we are open to something different.

The Wild Party/Festival was being held at a farm in Ailsworth, Peterborough which is the headquarters of Nene Overland, the suppliers of all things cool and adventurous.

Nene Overland

Nene Overland had organised the event to Coincide with the Land Rover show at the Peterborough show ground.

picasso no claims 2018

The long drive on Friday afternoon to Nene Overland led to the campsite in a field beside their offices and workshop.

We were the first to arrive and had the choice of pitches in the vast camping field. A Big top marquee hosted the entertainment along with the obligatory beer tent and Kids zone tent which I was barred from as I was rubbish at colouring in.

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In the evening we dined on our usual Meat balls in home made tomatoes sauce then tottered over to the beer tent to sample the beverages on offer, well it would have been rude not to.

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Saturday was the main festival day with food, drink served all day and entertainment in the evening. We had a very chilled out day just lazing about reading and eating. Elsie had a massive field to run around , so she was in her element. We had a wander around the Nene Overland displays and their 1st Class workshop facilities predominantly catering for the Land rover owner. The Land rover sales pitch was full of stunning vehicles and the showroom displayed their range of overlanding equipment. The list of vehicles that I would have happily driven home in was vast, but I particularly wished for the Ex Army ambulance as they make an excellent off road camper. Sadly it had the sold sign on it. One day perhaps.

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Sunday morning and most of the campers headed off to visit the Land Rover show. We had leisurely drive home.

This was the first time the festival had been staged and it’s pretty obvious that the future ones will be a popular venue once the word is out there. We are certainly looking forward to next year’s event.

I will probably meet up with them again next weekend as Nene Overland will be attending the Adventure Overland show at Stratford on Avon racecourse on the 22nd & 23rd September 2018.

Adventure Overland Show

 

Dubs in the Middle 2018

This was our second visit to Dubs in the middle. Our feral family consisting of me, the extreme knitter, our feral daughter, equally feral granddaughter, Ruby the Yorky and Elsie the Cockapoo were loaded into the campervan and we sped off to Evesham.  This years show seemed busier than last year, helped by a break in the wet weather that provided us with plenty of sunshine. We highly recommend this show. The camping area was massive and there was a good turnout of day visitors. With the entrance fee only £5 each and children free it made a cheap day out. There were plenty of trade stands and live music

Puffin holding her own in the car park

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VW Crafter conversion

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Crafter Interior featured Copper piping and reclaimed wood

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VW T4 cab interior

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VW Golf engine bay

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Rat look

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VW T3 Gypsy motorhome

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Dubs in the Middle

This trip is out of sync with my other posts as it happened today. Normal service will be resumed.

They never tell you when you’re a teenager that when you become, shall we say “more mature” that although your body is sagging and aching, inside your head there is still an eighteen year old trying to get out.

Well they probably did tell us, but when your eighteen you never think your going to grow old.

We decided to release our younger selves and go party. Saturday morning and we drove Puffin up to the posh end of town pulling up outside the house we affectionately know as the “Crazy Shack”. We were picking up our feral daughter and our equally feral granddaughter.

The sounds were blasting from the camper stereo as we started our family road trip. Fifteen minutes later we pulled in to our destination.

http://dubsinthemiddle.co.uk/

Yes, we were getting down with the kids at our first ever VW festival and virtually on our doorstep. This was a day visit to break us in to festival life gently.

The Dubs in the Middle VW Festival at Evesham

We took the posse of younger people with us just in case we were turned away at the gate for being too old.

My first wrist band

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The vast array of VW vehicles kept me busy while the rest of the gang bought various items of clothing from the trade stands.

Toyota engined Doka Bay

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Toyota Engine

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Splitty with barn side doors

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Immaculate Beetle engine

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There was a Foam pit, but sadly only for the little ones.

Live bands were playing in the two Marquees.

One of the advantages of taking a campervan to a festival is being able to have a cup of tea, a piece of homemade cake and an afternoon nap to rest our weary bones before we party on with the kids later.

Unfortunately, early evening and our energy levels started to wane and we took the unanimous decision to head home.

Sadly the Extreme knitter and I would have to miss one thing we wanted to experience as it didn’t start until 11pm. “The Silent Disco”

I found the concept of the silent disco fascinating. I presume my younger reader will know all about it, but for the more elderly reader I will explain. You walk into a marquee with a mass of writhing bodies, strutting their stuff on the dance floor and the DJ is spinning his sounds, but the room is silent. Everyone is wearing a pair headphones that connect them via Bluetooth to the sound system. Not only that there are three separate channels, so you could be dancing to Abba, your partner might be jiving to Buddy Holly and your drunken mate would be head banging to AC/DC. How weird is that.

If this technology had existed back in the fifties it could have caused problems. Imagine asking your date for the evening to step up onto the Tower dance floor at Blackpool. Headphones on and your date selects the tango and you select the waltz.

I think the gang enjoyed the day

feral kids and e knitter

We all highly recommended The Dubs in the Middle Festival. We could have rolled up at the 8am start and stopped until midnight all for £5 with loads of entertainment, food, shopping and loads of cool VWs to swoon over.