Welcome to our blog, it is a record of our travels with our two Volkswagen Campervans, Gusbus, our 1973 Kombi and Major, a 1977 Westfalia from Santa Cruz. We are Mark & Michelle, living on the egde of Old Sherwood where three rivers rise (ok from the picturesque Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border).
As 2020 draws to a close, we can safely say its been an “eventful” year and no one could predict the year as it panned out, lock down after lockdown, no one knowing how the virus would effect them. It was a complete shocker.
For us, we have followed the government guidelines and made our own informed decisions on how to remain as safe as possible. We managed to get away camping a few times over summer with friends, sensibly distancing to keep those around us safe whilst enjoying each others company.
As a family, we have been fortunate that our loved ones have stayed safe and well and long may it continue, however, we did lose a good friend and camping buddy, Alan. He passed away after suffering a stroke and the loss left a huge gap in lots of people’s lives, he was a proper character, always pleased to see you, always had a laugh, a tale and, after a night round the campfire, was as fresh as a daisy next morning. He adored Tina, his wife, his daughters and his grand children.
We shall raise a glass in honour of absent friends…
Stay safe now and we can all meet for a beer, a song and a laugh down the line!
With all of the uncertainties going on at the moment, we had doubts as to whether we would get anywhere this summer. Rhodes is postponed. Lots of people face quarantine measures when returning to the UK. It was all up in the air.
Keith announced the dates for Camping in The Cotswolds late last year. Its a great weekend so we kept our fingers crossed for it to happen. Thankfully it did, social distancing measures in place and we had a superb weekend.
We had a brilliant weekend, the weather was great, very hot with a good turnout of friends old and new.
The setting is excellent, sat right next to the charming village of Swinbrook. We got welcomed into the Cricket Club bar (no surprise there) and we even got beat in the classic Oxfordshire game of Aunt Sally. Google it!
I write this post sat watching The Good Karma Hospital, housebound now for some five weeks because of this Covid-19 virus. Not because any of the family are ill but partly due to work putting me on home working and me & Michelle applying a bit of common sense and keeping ourselves to ourselves. We can walk Dougie close by us on a walk with few people passing us, we limit shopping to once a week and Michelle only doing it. I dont think we could do more.
Camping adventures are pretty much on hold for now, we had so much planned for this year, just before lockdown Gusbus passed his mot again with flying colours. Major should have gone for his new engine. One day eh!
Major did come out to sunbathe saturday for an airing.
When will all this end?
To all our friends, family and readers near and far, stay safe, sit this out and we will see you on the other side for a beer or two. We can all do it!
This year has flown by, got lots done on Major and we’ve had some great adventures in Gusbus, who hasn’t been on top form this year. An earth fault led him to some poor starting issues, which I think we have sorted.
We had some great memories, Dent & The Music and Beer Festival, Appletreewick, The Cotswolds, Techenders. Douglas had his first holiday with us and he loved it!
We are planning a three week road trip around the North Coast 500 in 2021, the scenery up there is legendary and looks stunning and will be an adventure in itself! For now, 2020 will hopefully see us visit The Gower Peninsula and tour Wales, we will head to Dent at some point and who knows where!
I thought about trying something different to keep track of all of the places we have enjoyed across the length and breadth of Britain. Google Maps allows you to create a personalised map with pins dropped at chosen locations. Just what I wanted to have!
Looking at the pins dropped to date, 15th April, we have set out on 104 different adventures using either Gusbus or Major. The pinned locations can have images added, I’ll do as I go along!
This past weekend saw Gusbus go for his MOT, which can be a worry but he passed with flying colours.
I do have some bits and bobs to tidy up, the chassis has some light surface corrosion showing, which will be easy to sort and there is a couple of areas which need the paint touching up a bit before he gets a spring clean and polish.
Now with the mot, due to Gusbus’ age he is mot exempt, which I not overly happy with so I will continue annually, for peace of mind sake. I am more than confident in our ability in maintaining a classic vehicle but should the worst happen and I am involved in an accident, I can imagine the insurance companies looking for any excuse and to me, I’d rather have the piece of paper in our hands and valid.
We have another summer to look forward to with Appletreewick and Robin Hood Bay in the pipeline, we like the look of a pub on the banks of the river Ouse, The Half Moon Inn at Reedness and, as usual the Cotswolds, which is always a great weekend.
2018 has flown by, far too quickly. We have survived having moved house (again) and settled down in a home we both love, lots going on, music wise, all around us with the added bonus of having some truly superb weather to get out and about camping. We have had a great year.
In November, this little chappie came to his forever home with us, Dougie the Cockerpoo.
Our plan is to include Dougie in all our camping adventures, he travels really well, settling down in the back seat. He will love it!
Whilst we stayed, something happened which made us sit back and think how fortunate we are, we have just moved house to a new home we both love to bits, have Gusbus and Major where we can head off at leisure and a loving family all around us.
At the end of the road in Hinderwell, where a side road heads up to Port Mulgrave is a bus stop and what could be an old farm having some work carried out, we walked past, waited for the bus and hopped off the bus outside the farmhouse. On the Wednesday, we walked past the house to find four police vehicles and an ambulance with paramedics in attendance, we thought it may have been one of the workmen having an accident at work. How different was the event.
It turned out a guy in his late 20’s / early 30’s took his life and hung himself. It shocked us and saddened us somewhat, we could not imagine what the poor chap was going through.
I guess the point of these few words is to say that no matter how bad things are, talk to someone, ask for help.
Well, 2018’s camping started with a cold one at Dubfreeze. A good fire soon sorted that out and all was well again. Proper camping with no hook ups, just hot water bottles and fresh air, like the good old days!
This year, we hope to get to one or two new areas we have yet to visit in Derbyshire, Dent beckons and Staithes is on our camping holiday this year. We’re gonna see where the road takes us!