Sunday, 30 May 2010

5 Isle of Man (or Mann ?)

A quick 3 hour drive on Sunday night to Heysham from the farm and then a 2 hour wait for the ferry to load.
Once aboard we made a silly mistake of getting out of the motorhome and going up to the passenger deck. All the benches were taken with snoring maggots (occupied sleeping bags) and there were only the most uncomfortable seats in the world to sit on. What a horrible trip. I ended up sleeping on the floor. 3 hours later we docked at Douglas and wearily set off for the Shore Hotel. We arriverd at about 6am pulled into the car park and finally got our heads down. Not in the beds as you would expect but on the benches. The beds were full of luggage and tut. We just did not have the energy to clear them off.

We got up at about 10 and met Debbies sister Julie who had opened the bar. Sounds a bit early I know but the place is a small hotel and does breakfasts etc for residents and passing trade. Debbie and Andy Lagdon, our hosts and skiing buddies were still en-route from Liverpool having had a weekend away themselves. They were flying in to Castletown airport and expected at about 1pm.
This is the hotel from the rear and explains how the place got its name. It has been known for waves to reach over the roof on a real bad day.

As you can see the weather was glorious, however the wind blew like crazy for 4 days, so much so that we did not dare put the awning up. We spent the next few days chilling out whilst doing a bit of tidying up in the MH. I then went out to scout for some more TV type cables to get the new satellite box working.

We met up with some other ski buddies, Andy and Amy Metcalf. Andy is the manager or "squire" of a small hisoric village called Cregneash. The village has been preserved for a couple of hundred years and still has a working blacksmiths, carpenters and wool mill.  It was like going back in time.
This Andy in his "squire" outfit.

Karen pushing Andy and Amys baby, Daisy around. This trio are quite mad (in a good way). They take Daisy everywhere with them. She also went skiing with them this year when only 2 months old. This is the most well behaved and happy baby I have ever seen - lucky buggers.

One of the 4 horned Manx logthan sheep

This is the old church which is still in use today.
This is the old blacksmiths shop that is also still in use. This shop along with the carpenters is used to keep the rest of the village in repair.

Two of the village staff/actors making woolen rugs with raw, as shorne, wool. On top is a very lazy Manx tail-less cat.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

4 A bonkers week

Sunday 23 May 2010 - Ray
A bonkers week where on Saturday, 15th we had the kids around and managed to dispose of all of our possessions that we did not want. Then the clean out started of all our old papers and bits and pieces (Junk ) that we had collected over the years. What a horrible job and we were knackered. On top of this we had to take the motorhome back to the dealer to get a few small bits done. Some were and some weren't. We still did not have the larger garage door that we had orderd on January. I think we were being messed about by incompetents - or it may be: we have your money now and do not care what happens from here on in.
On Tuesday the trailer arrived by Parcel Force and I spent the afternoon learning how to assemble and dis-assemble it. I couldn't even check the lights without the MH.
We finally collected the MH on Thursday evening and on the way home stopped at Halfords, Enfield, to collect our two new pushbikes, having bullied the insurance company into paying out for them. Once home it was a mad panic to get everything sorted out and the motorhome loaded up.
The next day I drove the Fiesta to Southend and collected Steve Wakeling, a ski buddy, to take him with us to Scotland and then on to the Isle of Man. He is well known with the in-laws already having been to the farm previously. He also helped with the final loading - he has got to earn his keep.
We finally managed to escape from the house on Friday at about noon but all was not over. We had tried to get the MH dealer to fit a roof ladder and in the end all they managed to do was draw pencil marks all over the rear panel. We had to go to B & Q and buy a decorating ladder ! (this was to access the roof and assist in putting the attached tent type thing around it.
Next we had to go and drop of our Ford Fiesta at Rosie's (my daughter) flat in Bishops Stortford. This done we drove the 1/2 mile to the M11 only to find it closed. Fortunately while we were inching 36 feet of MH and trailer around the motorway roundabout it suddenly cleared and we were off.  It was now 2:30pm.

We set off with TomTom telling us we had 350 miles to go. It was a long and tedious journey with a lot of traffic, when it was clear I did not drive over 55. At this speed I managed to get about 25mpg but it still cost about £80 in fuel. We did have a giggle at the M6 toll road, the attendant could not see the trailer and Steve just shoved £20 quid at her without saying anything. she gave us £10 change and we drove off. Saved a fiver there and it made me feel a bit better. Childish and petty but we enjoyed it.
We finally arrived at the in-laws farm in Dumfries at 10:30pm and it was all but pitch black. Driving the last few hundred yards along tiny roads was scary but we only scooped up some turf with the trailer with no damage done. Piccy shows the farm house that Sandy - my father in-law built himself.

Finally a picture of the beast with the current Yamaha 660 Tenere hanging off the back. The MH was probably completely overloaded with all our remaining goods and chattels that are now stored in the farm house. The next problem we had was unloading which we left till Saturday and Steve provided the muscle while I dictated operations ;-).
Once the MH garage was clear we then had to load it up again with the Yamaha, the collapsed trailer and the 2 new pushbikes and the canoe.

It was a bit of a squeeze getting the bike in as the handle bars are over wide (being a dirt bike) but with a lot of huffing and puffing we finally managed it. (we did have a ramp).
Funny thing is that the bike itself is too tall to fit in so I took the from wheel off. This makes it difficult to move in tight spaces to I replaced the wheel with a caravan jockey wheel. It worked - just.
 Now for a relaxing 36 hours before the 120 mile ride back to Heysham for the IOM ferry at 2:15am on Monday.
Time to get Sandy's quad bike out for some fun.....

Friday, 7 May 2010

3 The Journey begins

OK, second post:

We would like to send a huge thank you to all the people that attended our leaving do and to all those that contributed to our collection.We had a fantastic time and I think all those that attended did too.
Our extended thanks to the Volunteer Pub who provided great food and a great atmosphere.

We now have the motorhome and it is fantastic. Its bl00dy huge and has taken a bit of getting used too. Driving it due to the size and the fact that some idiot put the steering wheel on the wrong side,  
made life difficult for two highly trained drivers.  We took it up to Mildenhall (a campsite) and we tested it on a site first with electricity and then without (to test the generator etc) and it all performed flawlessly although we didn't. There was a lot of giggles trying to put up the room that fixes to the awning, I decided that the best thing was to cook food, and let everybody else dangle from ladders and learn new swear words, it turned out well, and we came away thinking we'd got it sussed.

 Our next trip was to Peterborough to the Motor Home Show to equip our vehicle.  We stayed in the un booked section and were with some lovely people.  Unfortunately we became victims of crime when our pedal cycles were stolen.  They had been  chained to  the back of the motor home, and all we had left was the padlock, thanks guys......
While I can, I'd like to bitch about insurance companies, because I've paid top dollar all my life without making a claim, and they are treating us outragiously, for less than even a years payment would be, they won't accept we owned our bikes,but don't get me started.....

Anyway, back to the real world, the next few weeks had been taken up with selling off all our possessions , trying to do it within a dead line and also rent out our house, however in the space of  three days we have achieved alot, with the help of a few very special people.  My lovely little hair drying car, Ray's motor bike have been sold and the house has been rented.

We are in the finishing touches and looking forward to being at our friend's house on Saturday, then we are just finishing off for our first trip to the Isle of Man  for the TT races......Photos and blog to follow from then.


What Karen did not mention was the free for all with my kids. We invited them round last Saturday to claim any goods and chattels that they wanted. The rules were: almost everthing was up for grabs and we would tell them if it wasn't, any disputes were adjudicated by us and were final.
In the end the only thing that caused any dispute was a lava lamp !
 Next Saturday we will be hiring a luton van and delivering our worldly goods to the sprogs.

The cat has been of some concern too, he has been sick a lot lately and is currently under the vet, last week, right on cue, whilst we were showing a prospective renter around, as we walked into the main bedroom the cat started doing the fur ball act from Shrek - luverly !
Yesterday whilst I was doing the paperwork with the buyer of my BMW, the cat promptly peed over the exhaust. When we went out and started it up the stench was incredible - how embarrassed was I ?
We still love  him (well Karen does anyway).
The BMW, funnily enough was sold to a lawyer who works on immigration. When I asked him what side of the fence he was on he replied "what side do you want me to be on".