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

bug engine

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.

I hear the sound of breaking glass

Don’t you hate that heart wrenching moment when you hear the crack of breaking glass and the thought of an expensive repair?

I bent down to pick something up off the floor and my phone slipped out of my shirt pocket onto the hard tiled floor. It dropped about half a metre and landed screen down on a hard tiled floor. The cracking sound made me wince.

The result of the fall

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Luckily because of my work, my phone is protected by a silicone skin and has a tempered glass screen protector. I carefully removed the screen protector to reveal an unbroken phone screen

 

The relief

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The tempered glass screen protector cracked.

This screen saver cost £2.99  from e bay and has saved me from having to replace my phone.

With the cost of phones and tablets they are worth fitting and they don’t affect the touch operation of the screen.

As you can see. Its been an uneventful month, work and commitments stopping us getting away.

Puffin past her MOT test without any advisories. We are road taxed and have renewed the insurance, so we are legal and ready to travel.

I did mange to successfully reseal the leaking roof vent, but in all the excitement I forgot to take loads of photos.

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The hole in the roof after I had cleaned the old sealant away.

I took Puffin to the local weighbridge and she weighs in at a lightweight 2150 kg which gives us a useful 500kg payload allowance.

I can highly recommend anyone in the Warwickshire/Worcestershire area to use the Public weighbridge at Simon & Deans Ltd in Brickyard Lane, Studley B80 7EE. cost £3.50

Adventure Overland Show 2016

It’s late September and here we are again driving Puffin to the Adventure and Overland show at the Stratford on Avon racecourse.

On the way we had called into the local clinic for our Flu jabs and returned some clothes to Marks & Spencer’s.

I like to be productive. I did think about dropping a load of rubbish at the local tip as we passed by, but they have height barriers.

I look forward to this show every year. It fuels my dreams, makes me want to travel more and perhaps push some boundaries.

The stands selling natural products made from leather and wood always draw me in.

I can wander the tools and parts stalls all day, trying to stop myself from buying that must have set of spanners.

Obviously the vehicles are the stars here and the mix is so varied.

I will just let the photos tell the tale.

The French made Gazell demount caught my eye. It’s being sold in the UK by SBS

SBS Adventure Campers

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gazelle-4

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There was a good turn out of Ex army conversions

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beetle

beetle-2

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This Unimog is Mowgli as seen on the blog

http://mowgli-adventures.com/meet-our-unimog-camper-named-mowgli/

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Cooking was high on my agenda. I was hoping to find the Hawkins pressure cooker. A simple, but effective cooker made in India since 1959. The small 2 litre capacity cooker would be ideal for our campervan allowing us the cook fresh local produce in a greatly reduced time. If there was one there, I didn’t find it.

Hawkins Pressure Cookers

I was also looking for a silicone mould for our Omnia oven, but it seems that Omnia don’t have any in stock in Sweden, let alone the UK.

 

 

 

 

I am a Cider drinker

This holiday post is a little late. We actually went away on 13th August. Better late than never.

The camp site had been booked months in advance because of the school holidays. Ruby was sleeping over at The feral daughters house.

The camper was packed to its limits with stuff that probably would not be used or required.

The reason for all this extra stuff was? We were going to Chard in Somerset taking our Granddaughter along for a week long camping trip. It’s been two years since she last went away with us and eleven year old girls need lots of stuff, or so I’m told. We will see.

Heading south on the M5 on Saturday morning is never going to be a pleasant affair and the usual travel time of 2 hrs 15 minutes turned into 4 hrs 30 minutes.

We had opted for a well tried and tested campsite. Alpine Grove is an excellent camp site set amongst the trees that we have visited many times before with our grandchildren and it has never failed to keep them active and happy

Alpine Grove

The first day always means a lot of fettling and resetting as I tweak the awning to get it just right. I’ve noticed that I’m not the only man on campsites that does this. The male species are builders of camps and if we were given the go ahead by our wives the next step would be hunting for our dinner. Luckily for the local wildlife we brought our own food.

Yes, the first night specialility made an appearance. Meatballs in a home made tomato sauce.

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Being the gentleman that I am, I let the girls have the comfort of the camper and I rediscovered my wild man roots and kipped in the awning. My back could regret that decision later.

I lay in the awning on the first night listening to a concert in the park blasting out from nearby Chard. The main group for the night were the Wurzels who played into the night. They had three encores and in each one they played “I’ve got a combine harvester” and “I am a cider drinker. Luckily, probably because of their age the concert ended at 11pm. I expect their beds were calling and before anyone calls me ageist, I’m about the same age and my bed had already called me.

The Wurzels

The week was spent relaxing whilst our granddaughter spent most of her time either in the swimming pool or making friends in the play area.

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We did some day trips out, but it soon became apparent that the parking facilities along the Devon and Dorset coast had changed since our last visit. Virtually all the car parks in the various towns banned any motor home/ campervan parking day or night. Our first visit to Lyme Regis was aborted as we couldn’t find any parking. I later searched the internet and eventually found a temporality park and ride for Lyme Regis on the Charmouth Road, which proved to be an excellent service for a later revisit.

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Six nights sleeping on an air bed in the awning was taking its toll on my aging bones and the weather forecast was for heavy rain on the Friday. We decided to leave the camp site one day early to avoid the rain and the Saturday morning traffic.

The rain arrived earlier than forecast and we had to break camp in the rain with a soaking awning.

After a fairly uneventful drive we arrived home and emptied all the stuff that we took with us and didn’t use.

 

Having a Ball

Look away Deb, this is going to be boring.

Just Kampers delivered the gear linkage bushes as promised and I set about changing them this weekend.

Firstly I removed the Swivel head by releasing the two 6mm bolts that hold it to the Selector lever on top of the gearbox.

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Once the Swivel head was removed it was obvious that the nylon ball on the end of the shaft was badly worn. The ball came off the shaft with little effort.

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The old and new ball

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Once everything was cleaned up and the replacement ball was soaked in boiling water to soften it. I managed to lever the new ball into place. (no photos as I needed both hands)

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The Swivel head was refitted with a dollop of grease to aid lubrication.

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A quick test drive around the area was a delight. The gear change was so smooth and easy. Better than it’s ever been.

To do the job properly I should have got underneath and removed all the gear linkage from the gear lever and methodically replaced all the many balls and bushes, but I didn’t have time to faff about with any major work as we are going away next weekend and I was looking for a quick repair.

I had checked the ball and the bush on the opposite side of the linkage rod for wear and it was Ok, so I just replaced the badly worn ball. A full replacement of the other bushes is on the cards for autumn/ winter.

 

Top Gear Cancelled

We were leaving today.

After using the last of our bacon supplies to make sandwiches for breakfast, we broke camp. It’s amazing how after only two days you forget how the awning was folded to get back into its bag. It’s at this point that you consider just wrapping the damp fabric into a big ball and hope to dry it at home.

No I didn’t. I folded it neatly into its bag, only to have to get it out again at home to dry it.

After all the arduous work repacking and two nights camping we perhaps should have invested 20 pence each in a shower or even shared a shower for 20 pence.

Oo!! Ere missus.

 

Puffin fired up first time with gusto using her new battery and it was time to see if my gear linkage bodge had worked.

Ha ha. First gear selected easily and we were rolling. Out the campsite gate and on to the open road. Second gear slipped in silently, then third and fourth. Unfortunately fifth gear was unobtainable. You can’t have every thing and it’s a lot easier driving without fifth gear, just a little slower, as 50 mph was the comfortable limit for the fourth gear.

O the joys of running a twenty year old campervan. If everything went exactly as planned where would the adventure be.