Wednesday, 13 December 2017

287 Jan to Jun 2015

 In early January 2015, Karen was getting withdrawl symptoms from cats so we decided to fishing for one and came back with these 2 little cuties. They were rescue cats and we strongly suspect that they were feral as they are a pain in the butt to train but we love them never the less.
 Part of the deal was that they would be neutered as soon as we got them so we did this and ended up with 2 seriously pissed off cats. Sadly the operations were both screwed up and both cats ended up with ruptures and had top be operated on again to correct the error. The Spanish vet that did the initial operations was sacked.

 At then end of January 15 we had a trip down to Bill and Sue's place in France. It was a bit cold but incredibly beautiful and a lot of fun.
Just a mile or so from Bills place is a nature reserve and ski area. 

The snow plough operator forgot to turn up for work but Bills 4x4 worked very well and got us anywhere we wanted to go.  
 From here we donned snow shoes and went for a walk. It was knackering. We finished up with an afternoon on skis.

Feb 2015. The cats are over their trauma and are settling down a lot better.

Then it was off for a skiing trip at the end of Feb to Courchevel in France with Andy and Debbie.
 As usual the Alps were completely stunning and the skiing was fantastic.

 Oh, and the girls were on it. This might look innocent but it is laced with rum.

Once back fron skiing, we spent the next couple of moths sorting out getting our house back from the renters and moved back home in early April. It did not take long for the cats to settle in either.

On the 23rd of May, daughter No 2, Trula decided to have a wedding shower prior to her wedding, 6 weeks hence. I could not really figure out the purpose of the shower except an excuse for the bride and her maids to dress up and get drunk.

Daughter No 1, Zoe, grinning at her sisters impending doom.
 And the bride to be getting drunk.

Around mid June 2015 we went on a prearranged river boat trip to Venice with Bruce, Lyn, Bill and Sue. The boat was huge and even the lock keepers were agog at the size of this battleship on their canals. Sadly this idiot did not get one photo of it. Doh! It even had bow thrusters as it was too big to manourvre wiyh just the rudder.

Bruce managed to run us aground and I broke the bow thrusters. A good trip never the less.

This was Bill and my brother Bruce acting like they just escaped from the loony bin.

A better picture of the tribe about to go and eat. I cannot say what they served here!

Once on dry land we stopped in a cafe and Lyn asked for an ice cream sundae. This monster turned up. 

Karen (and I) having a wander around the old city of Venice.

Once back from Venice, Rosie bought Charlie along for a day at the fair that had set up across the road from home.

Rosie is just so good with Charlie and makes a perfect auntie for him. She has developed into a fine young woman.


This is what happens when you squeeze a fat boy into a small car. It hurts when you have a head on with Rosie and your knees are up against the dash.

In the final days of June, Karen took Mum to Tobermory on the Isle of Skye, for a short break.

The village of Tobetrmory, realy is straight out of a story book.

 The scenery on the Isle of Skye is stunning.

Karen arranged for Mum and her to go on a nature watch tour.

 They saw a huge Golden Eagle.

And something I have never seen, an Adder.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

286 Recap Oct to Dec 2014. Caravan sale and Berlin.

Oct 2014. It was now time to sell the caravan. We put it up for sale after filling in all the holes in the bodywork and it still sold immediately to the first customer. We were sorry to see it go as it had looked after us for a long time.

Nov 2014. Then it was time to take on the next project. The build of a campervan that we could use to travel in, sleep in and also take to the shops and park in a normal bay. This narrowed the field down somewhat and pointed to a medium wheelbase, medium height (so us oldies can stand up in it) Fiat/Renault/Peugot van. We found a fiat with hight mileage but the body was in good condition and it was only 5 years old so we bought it for £4500.

At around the same time I had to do some work on Wallace's engine. I needed to change the timing chain and its adjuster. Sadly, without realising it, when I adjusted the valves, some dirt had got onto the valve heads and screwed up the adjustment.  A pig of a job and 3 days later all was fixed and Wallace was back on full song and running a lot quieter. However, the valve problem made Wallace run very lumpy at tickover and I had to do it all again. I wished I had looked at this photo, that I took when taking it apart initially, instead of when it was all back together - Doh!

Dec 2014. We wecided to go and visit the Christmas markets in Berlin and took John & Tim with us. We drove there in the Passat and it just ate the miles up. 

We started out at Charlottenberg, where Karen and John lived as kids.
The tree stooges on the beer.
 We then moved to a more central location where the Berlin wall was still evident, now as a tourist/historical attraction as opposed to a border.

Then it was time to pay homage to the holy grail of German snacks, the Currywurt Museum. It does not get any better than this. 

No trip to Berlin would be complete without a trip to the Branderberg gate.
 ...and not too far in front of it was the Golden Angel, or the Berlin Victory Column.
 Then it was a quick visit to where Mun used to work, the NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institute). A Place for overseas soldiers etc can buy British goods that they are used to. They also have a NAAFI bar in most British barracks.
 Then it's back to the Christmas markets for some final alcoholic beverages.

Once home, it was up to Mums in Scotland for Chrismas that included a trip to Calaverock wildlife reserve.