This is ‘Pauls Diary 2013’ simply entitled in my name as it’s ‘my’ diary. I have done this so if my wife doesn’t agree with the content then I can remind her that it’s mine and not hers. For earlier entries/lies and other nonsense cobbled together written since April 2012 they are now on separate pages.
As with all previous entries – some of the following may be made up, exaggerated or simply lies! As I do that just to keep you on your toes and to make fun of other people at their expense. I can’t promise to update this everyday as to be honest, as I cant always guarantee getting internet.
30 September – time for a rant about ‘bullsh*t’ green issues. My target this time is ‘wind-turbines’ I have nothing against them ‘per se’ other than the fact that the cost must almost certainly far exceed any money ever eventually saved by the so called ‘free’ electric and they are generally a blot on the landscape. My rant is fuelled by witnessing what had to be the most ironic site in a long time. As we meandered back from the pub over the weekend we noticed that the wind turbine wasn’t even turning as there was – wait for it – no wind (even though we were by the sea). The wind turbine serves a new bus station at Southport’s Park and Ride scheme – presumably showing people how ‘green’ the local council is. The further irony was that some numbskull had left all the PC monitors on – burning electricity with no audience to view the monitors that tell people about the ‘free’ electricity. Finally – if that wasn’t enough of a waste – someone had also left all the outside lights on. Councils are turning off street lighting because they can’t (so say they) afford to leave them on yet these lights are left on each and every night. Well done.
29 September – Well, I had forgotten just how crap car boot sales can be. Maybe the advent of the internet, Gumtree and eBay have filtered all the ‘real good’ stuff out from the real world leaving nothing but the flotsom for those willing to rummage about on a sunny Sunday morning. We wobbled back from the pub and noticed that ‘Car Boot’ signs had been erected (ooh errr missus) whilst we were out (maybe by tin foil sandwich man from Wetherspoons) so we stupidly said ‘lets pop in tomorrow and have a gander tomorrow. Now had we been in the market for a Justin Beiber* lunchbox, rusty old tools or a classical music CD by someone we had never heard of then this would have been the venue for us. Most of this old
shite stuff looked worse than the contents of my car boot when its heading towards the council tip so why anyone would contemplate paying anything for it is beyond me. One ‘trader’ (and I use the term loosely) was offering ‘any item for 50 pence’ yet I was struggling to imagine that even ‘all the items for 50 pence’ wasn’t still tantamount to robbery. We did manage to find a couple of doorway carpet strip thingies for our daughter so all was not lost. If anyone needs a Justin Beiber* lunchbox then I did get the guys number**
*this may be spelt wrong – I don’t care
**I don’t – I’m a liar/lair
28 September – As have spent a couple of days away in the motorhome I thought it appropriate that I wrote a Diary entry or two. We have been to Southport – the home of ‘well to do scousers’ and ‘those that can no longer afford to live in the Lake District’ and home – so it would seem to 74 Honda Goldwing owners who treated us to a late night parade of expensive motorbikes after our belly busting ‘chippie’ tea on Saturday night. I do have just a few rules and one of then is that if you are near the seaside it is ‘the law’ that you have Fish and Chips. We did abide by that law and very good it was. It wasn’t perhaps the ‘rock and roll’ venue most people would opt for on a Saturday night but it served us well. We followed our ‘Seaside Special’ (which included bread and butter and a cup of tea) with a trip to ‘Wetherspoons’ – a pub chain that I have recently grown to favour – a venue which serves good food and with many of the meal options including your drink. That can be a pint or a wine or pretty much whatever you fancy. It is sufficient to say that it is very very reasonable (read CHEAP) and if I tell you that a full mixed grill with a steak, pork chop, lamp chop, sausage, mushroom etc etc is just £9.99 with a pint of Stowford Press cider included then I am sure you’ll get the idea. You can have burger and chips with a ‘pint’ for a wisp over a ‘fiver’ and that makes the burger little more than two quid in my book. None of that stopped the ‘tightest man in the world’ from ordering a pint and then un-wrapping his tin foil encased spam butties and eating them, ironically whilst sat just under the telly, where I would guess is the worst place to sit if you are about to embark on some pub-rule breaking activity. People – you have to wonder what they are thinking sometimes.
26 September – Off to Southport. Speak later 🙂
24 September – I’ve worked out today that I could theoretically fit nearly 1000 litres of wine in the little VW Up! we have however it would be unlikely to move off the spot as that equates to two 28 stone people sat in the back (now that would be an interesting if not unpleasant sight) This was all part of my ‘duty busting’ trip to France to purchase cheap wine. I’ve even managed to find a supermarket over in Calais that will pay for your ferry/tunnel is you spend over £250 with them. Marvellous news.
23 September – my wife has asked me to point out a few inaccuracies about last nights diary entry. I started with the word ‘we’ when referring to ‘packing’ when if fact ‘we’ should read ‘she’ as I just wear whatever gets put in for me (by her). This works to an extent however two years ago I had absolutely no tee-shirts as she had forgotten to pack them’ I was hardly in a position to complain given the level of input via myself. I went easy on her and allowed her to buy me some new ones for our holiday. Much of the clobber sits in the motorhome 24/7 and its just seasonal things usually that we fall foul of. Summer hats in December/Bobble hats in June and that kind of thing. Anyway tomorrow ‘we’ will be climbing onto the motorhome roof to clean and polish it 😉 !
22 September = we are packing up the motorhome for a weekend away in Southport with a few friends. As we’ve left most of our stuff in it there shouldn’t be too much to do. Its been a few weeks since we last used the motorhome so – despite the cooler weather – I am looking forward to a break. I’ve been contemplating a trip to France again as well but not in the motorhome this time. Puzzled? Well I’m planning a trip in the car with the sole purpose of bringing back a load of cheap duty free. And, no we haven’t demolished all that we brought back yet but there is certainly not enough to get us past Christmas and I simply refuse to pay UK prices. I’ve worked out how much I can fit into Alisons little car and how little fuel it will use so we are just shopping about for a cheap ferry. I do need to find out just how much you are allowed to bring back to the UK as I don’t fancy falling foul of the Customs and Excise men and their rubber gloves. Look out Lidl- Riley’s on his way!
16 September – we are recovering from the visit from our new Grandson and we will both admit to forgetting how much (very pleasurable ) work they can be. We babysat on Saturday night complete with bathtime! Best job in the world. We need a weekend away in the motorhome now!
09 September – it was comedy corner just before I set off for my regular cycle up to the canal to blow the cobwebs off after a weekend. I try and get out three times a week to tot up 40 miles (total) in an effort to keep healthy. After pumping a bit of air into the front tyre I reclaimed my (or so I thought) ‘better’ helmet which stayed in the motorhome after we last used it. I struggled for a few moments to get it to fit my head – which is strange as my head hasn’t increased in size as a result of exercise – only to realise that it was Alisons helmet. She obviously has a much smaller head than me. Today I Ventured along the canal tow path towards Marple and popped in to see an old boss of mine. He’s old in two respects – one that I worked for him about 35 years ago and the other being that he has just turned eighty. The term mentor hadn’t been invented back in 1978 but that’s what he was. Not only did the company send me to night school to learn my trade (lighting design) but he used to spent two mornings a week quizzing me over what had been discussed the night before – often challenging what had been ‘fed’ to me. He still takes delight in hearing what I am up to work wise (fairly little at the moment). He wont read this as he doesn’t have internet – but I’ll say it anyway. Thank you Alan Wilson – I’m forever grateful.
03 September – we have spent a few days doing ‘jobs around the house’ including moving my ‘office’ and all that’s in it to the larger spare bedroom. The old office is now a nursery for however many grandchildren our kids want to provide us with. Our new arrival comes back to Poynton on Monday next week so we wanted to get it ready for his visit although he’ll more likely spend more time in with ‘Mum’ than on his own. Still – its finished. We are waiting for the next spell of decent weather so that we can head off in the motorhome again. Hopefully that will be soon – I cant see that there is much of this good weather left.
26 August – Its Bank Holiday and we are still away! Thats mainly because its not worth travelling back with everyone who ‘needs’ to be back at work tomorrow. That, and the fact that the weather is still nice! We may move tomorrow – who knows….?
25 August – We dont usually ‘do’ Bank Holidays as they usually are simply too busy and crowded – we are still in Abersoch an whilst it is undeniably busy it is very pleasant nonetheless. The weather is almost certainly they reason for that. We are doubtlass ‘shoulder to shoulder with fellow man on the beach but we are all happy as the sun is out! It makes up for everything 😉
23 August– We are in Abersoch enjoying the sunshine and the company of friends and relatives. Comedy bike ride which involved as many pints as miles covered. Never a good idea and certainly not in Bradley Wiggins ‘Cycle yourself fit’ book! Several pints of cider and a cornish pastie (even a kid in the shop asked why it was called a cornish pastie) saw us back at the campsite after our ten mile ride.
I know we did ten miles but to be honest the calorie intake was way greater than those burned so tomorrow I am just going to have a lie in – even with a bacon butty I will be fitter after it than a ‘bike ride’ 😉
19 August – We are loading up the motorhome for a short (ish) trip to Abersoch as the weather forecast looks promising. Its Wales so it counts as ‘another country’. We may then venture slightly further south, dependant on the weather, and possibly pop to South Wales to visit ‘the grandson’. Once on the road again I will maintain both the Diary and Good Morning sections.
8 August – I am trying out the iPad to see how easy or otherwise it is to use to input into the blog. So far and so good. I am thinking of getting one myself in preference to the laptop which apart from being temperamental recently is obviously a much bigger piece of kit. I have taken the Up! On its first long trip today and it has proved to be very miserly on fuel indeed. I will top it up tomorrow to see if my estimate of 70 mpg is correct for the 210 mile trip. Once again technology proving its worth today.
4 August – What a weekend – VWNW at Tatton Park with a few days full of VW’s. I have never ever driven a tractor until this weekend where I got the opportunity to drive – wait for it – a Porsche tractor! If I am going to break my tractor ‘cherry’ then it really should be a Porsche 😉 I also got the chance to play in a ‘proper’ band (see my facebook page) with a quick rendition of Johnny Cash’s Get Rhythm. Top stuff. My Grandson has attended his first ever VW car meet too. Life is complete.
1 August – Its time to kick off a new month I suppose. The past four weeks have been a whirlwind of ‘stuff’ and emotions. We returned from the latest leg of our travels, became Grandparents and as of last night with our son moving out we are now left in the house all to ourselves. A lot of people predictably say “oh you’ll be celebrating then” and “you be glad to be rid of them” but such isn’t the case – we were sorry to see our daughter leave when she left for uni and likewise we are sorry to see Chris go. Thankfully he’s gone for the greater good with a move into his and girlfriend Amys new house so like my daughter and the grandson she has presented to us – its a whole new chapter for them too. And surely that’s the reason we have children – to see them grow up into adults that you can be proud of. That’s it – job done.
26 July – Well at 350 nights in the motorhome since we first set off at the end of March 2012 we now look like reaching something of a ‘pause’ in our travels for a little while. We certainly will be UK bound until the new year so we can keep a close eye on the new ‘wee man’ but maybe a trip into Portugal in the New Year. We shall see. Its been a great 16 months for us and I will write up a bit of a summary in the ‘Home’ page later – when its not so dark and I can actually see the keyboard). I cant help but feel that we go the timing absolutely right – Grandchild sorted/our son had bought his house with his girlfriend/the weather suited us – and we will be happy to settle back in the house for a while too. Job done – for now 😉
25 July – We have moved to a CL Site to give Kirsty and Nick time on their own so that they can concentrate on changing Finn’s endless stream of crappy nappies. At least he gives them the odd break from that by peeing on them the minute they take the nappy off! Oh how I remember it all so well yet we wouldn’t change it for all the tea in China (if indeed there is any tea left in China) I spent the best two hours in ages this morning with little Finlay sleeping across my chest – didn’t want to move or disturb him so we stayed like that until he woke up for a feed. Normally I am a fidget and to sit that long is unheard of – yet it was worth every minute. Oh, how our priorities change 😉
24 July – We are experiencing the first rain that we have seen in over four weeks – since our return to the UK we have successfully managed to avoid it until this evening and it is now lashing it down. The forecast for tomorrow is good so it will hopefully cool everywhere down a bit and give he gardens a watering. That should shut up that rare breed of folk who spend all year complaining that its ‘too hot/cold/windy/not windy’ and those who spent the first quarter of the year moaning about the snow only to switch over to moaning about the sun 😉
23 July – Mother and baby got to return home today and we are here for a few days to help Nick and Kirsty ease in to a new routine. So we aren’t under their feet we are going to retreat to a CL site not far away near Cowbridge so we can ‘keep popping in’. Its not the campsite that cant take motorhome but ‘can’ lend us a tent if we promise to sleep in it rather than the motorhome (quite why anyone would believe that you would do that is beyond me) but a quaint farmhouse about 6 miles away – we have the use of her car so that’s just fine. Finlay and I got the chance to watch Top Gear (on Dave) tonight – its a good start for the wee fella.
22 July – We still have grins from ear to ear following yesterdays events. We obviously got a second look at Finlay and I can confirm that he still is as cute as a button. More importantly ‘mother’ Kirsty feels much better today so we all feels a little bit more relaxed. Hopefully both should be returning home tomorrow to start life as a family. Another exciting day.
21 July – A day like no other – We have been through the joy of parenthood and all that brings but I am guessing that we were/are all too young to really appreciate the wonder of it at the time. We were skint and the prospect of having to fend for a baby and then bring her up with half as many employed jobs when she arrived as we had before we started possibly left us unable to appreciate what stood before us. Today however was not that day – we held our first Grandchild, a son, in our arms – he, Finlay, is beautiful beyond belief. We will hopefully be the grandparents that any child would ever wish to have. Both our parents were wonderful participants in the bringing up of both our children and I think if nothing else we owe them that. I am sure it wont be difficult for either of us to love todays new arrival. And today I am going to break with tradition and post a photo in my diary – simply because I can 🙂
20 July – We are heading south again to get that bit nearer to our daughter who is now much nearer to exploding thatn she has ever been – with a bit of luck we might well be Grandparents before the end of the weekend. We have abandoned the motorhome show as a result and are currently back in Upton – home of the lady who has cleared out some 40000+ trays of cat-shite (see 5 July). Its the Upton Blues festival so all is not lost on this perpetual roundabout of twice removed parenthood! I’ll keep you posted 😉
18 July – another week gone then and we are still in Cheshire – however we are at least in the motorhome and at the Motorhome Show at Knutsford in Cheshire. We could well be on our way down south tomorrow as our daughters ‘explosion’ in the baby department is now that bit nearer. She has been a ticking time bomb for a few weeks now and by rights should enter her gestation into the Guiness Book of Records together with her high Blood Pressure readings and other ‘lady’ details. She has been on and out of hospital more than Jimmy Savile on a busy charity weekend so it is about time she presented the goods 😉 So who knows – by the end of the weekend we might well be grand-parents and/of the owners of a new (er) motorhome.
11 July – still at home with the threat of a trip to South Wales real soon. In the meantime we have cleaned the motorhome within inches of its life so its ready to go away again and/or be sold on. we want to buy something with a ‘permanent’ bed at the rear so are looking at some form of replacement for the faithful VW. Now realising that all that I have just typed is actually really dull I am now struggling to find something witty to say. I can’t so until tomorrow – tara. 🙂
6 July – we are home – we are residing in our Poynton mansion with its four bedrooms, two bathrooms etc. But with the motorhome parked on the drive outside I feel a slight urge to go outside and kip in it just one more night. Eight weeks and 3100 miles, with eight different countries and countless exciting stories leave us with plenty to think about. Once again, as with last year we have made countless new friends and seen places we could only dream about. We plan to travel even more – its like a disease (for want of a better word) and how we never ever got to places like Croatia before now baffles me. It is one of the most unspoilt countries I have ever seen. Slovenia was similarly lovely with lots of beautiful places to stay. Austria is stunning and Germany remains to be fully explored. Our 2014 tour is already taking shape. So with nearly ten thousand miles clocked up on the 2012 tour and some wonderful memories banked up I can only thank our many and varied hosts in each and every region and country that we have temporarily settled in for their time and hospitality. And whilst every place that we have stopped has been a pleasure it would be wrong of me to not especially thank our new friends in Rovinj, Croatia – the VW Buba Club – for making our stay in Croatia the most memorable VW show we have EVER been to. We were treated like VW Royalty by the kindest and friendliest people I have encountered in a long time. Until next time – cheers! 🙂
5 July – it is our last night out in the motorhome and tomorrow we travel home to Cheshire for a night in a real bed. I have spent some 19 weeks living in our motorhome this year so have got quite used to ‘living in a box’. My lifestyle has been challenged twice today – once being described by a friend on Facebook as ‘a grand life’ (true) and earlier by the lady that runs the campsite we are currently staying on as ‘a charmed life’. She is right of course although by her own admission and having run this campsite and the attached cattery for 27 years has cleared away ’43,750’ trays of cat shit. With that fact in hand I would suggest that living in a piss riddled ditch as a tramp for half that many years would classify as ‘a charmed life’ The very thought of clearing away 27 years of ‘backwardly directed feline waste’ leaves me shuddering. She has though, for all her ‘cat crap clearance’ got a very nice house in Malvern and the prospect of a ‘charmed’ retirement – I wish her and her husband good health on their intended homage to France – together with a cat-shite free retirement.
4 July – You might get a decent diary entry out of me tonight as I am actually quite sober – well, more sober than last night anyway! I can only say ‘might’ as I am no judge of whether or not what I type here is any good. We are heading home for the moment and have left our ‘about to explode’ daughter with here daily midwife visits on the basis that she probably isn’t going to present us with our first grandchild for at least a week or so and a visit to Poynton is probably overdue. We can sort out a few things there and then when we get ‘the call’ we can head back to South Wales as necessary. It will be nice to get back home as neither of us have tackled stairs or a real ‘sit down toilet’ for ages*. I am fearful that our return to our house may result in me being found squatting in the wardrobe with a toilet roll in my right hand once again.
*this is a lie
3 July – I am going to attempt to post this diary entry ‘having had a drink’ as that is how it is. As a result – some of what I may have to say might be ‘pish’. Having evaluated what I have just said I have decided to sign off. Good Night.
2 July – I was on chaffeur duty again today for Kirsty but I managed to swerve any free meals despite runs to the maternity clinic, the charity shop and a place that they pluck your eyebrows for you in exchange for cash (I do my own but obviously this is a task that cannot be carried out by those that are ‘up the duff’). I had another humorous shopping experience when I visited Cowbridges largest hardware store – it is so large that the back of the shop has a different postcode than the front! Despite its hugeness I managed to search out the small 2 amp fuse that I went in for and presented it to the fellow on the till. He boldly announced that “we don’t have any of those – we only have the 1 amp one”. At this point I was tempted to walk out of the shop with my new found fuse but to be honest if I am going to embark on a new career in shoplifting I’d prefer to up the game a little and nick something better than a fuse listed at 65 pence. On learning that they did in fact stock 2 amp fuses like the one I was holding, and me further explaining that I had taken it from his shelf he announced that it would be just 25 pence – forty pence cheaper than listed. It must be a ‘Welsh thing’
1 July – The first day of another month and I must have been feeling light headed as I agreed to take my wife and my soon to explode daughter to IKEA to explore new storage solutions for the up and coming arrival. The sweetener was the promise of a hot dog and ice cream and given that I was doing nothing else (having washed anything that moves here in Broughton) I took the challenge. I don’t mind IKEA – other than the frustrating way they try and guide you around the whole shop even though you might only want one of their odd-ball light bulbs) – and I was set the task of finding a cake slice after IKEA’s “Employee of the Month” informed us that they didn’t have any. Predictably they did have them – about two dozen of them in fact. Kirsty asked if I had told ‘five star Hywel’ where they were and I said “No – he can find them himself the lazy t*t”- although frankly this was a young man who couldn’t find his own arse with both hands. We left an hour or so later minus about £100 but up a hot dog and ice cream. Who knows where we might end up tomorrow – maybe Homebase are serving slices of pizza to its shoppers.!