Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Not racing but getting there

 Thank you for comments, it certainly doesn't feel like we're racing along with the caravan work.  In fact, it is progressing quite slowly.....but the point is, it IS progressing and that's pleasing us both.  The list of jobs I write up for us to do at the caravan every day isn't set in stone, it's more of a 'If we can do, we will' list.  Like today, two of the jobs on the list didn't get done, but no matter, they'll get done tomorrow.

Today we took a box of crockery and cutlery which I put in our new cupboard in the dining area, it's nice to be able to eat our packed lunches from now on off of proper crockery and not just out of a plastic bag.  And we took our new kettle, and had a proper cuppa, freshly made, in our lovely new mugs - so much nicer than a flask!  I had to use a socket in the lounge to plug the kettle in, as we still have no kitchen at the moment, but that was ok - we had a nice cuppa in our lovely lounge and that's all that matters.

Tomorrow I'm taking the steam cleaner and deep cleaning the mattress and headboard, whilst husband finishes off the small area of boarding left to do on the kitchen wall, then lays the vinyl flooring.  His mate has said he now feels fit enough to help install the kitchen units, so that'll be happening on Friday.  That'll be good for husband to have help - I'm not really a lot of help when it comes to DIY.  So hopefully by the end of this coming weekend, we'll have a working kitchen.

The bedroom will be next - it's only a case of decorating in there, so it should be a doddle compared to the lounge and kitchen.  Then once I've deep cleaned the bathroom and we have a working toilet and hand basin, we can start staying there overnight!  

It'll be so much better when we can stay there and finish off the remaining jobs at our leisure.

We met another of the neighbours today, he said we've done a great job as the van was in a poor state before and it's looking so much better now.  That was nice to hear.

Monday, 28 June 2021

Migraine so feeling yuck today

 I had a migraine yesterday, used to get them regularly but only rarely now, it's the first one in a couple of years.  Headache had gone this morning, but have felt washed out, knackered and nauseous all day.  Still, went to the caravan and got on with things.  When husband and I have been there together, the last thing I do before we come home is a general tidy up, bagging up all rubbish, putting all tools away in the small bedroom (husband's temporary shed!), wiping surfaces down and hoovering all through.  So I wasn't very pleased to find that husband and the electrician between them had left the van in a bit of a mess on Saturday - tools and empty packets (from all the new electrical bits fitted) scattered everywhere, mess all over the kitchen floor, dusty footprints and bits of grass (the site owner had cut the grass on Saturday) trodden all over the (new) lounge carpet.  So tidying up was the first thing I had to do.

Wiped all the windows down (beats me how they get so dusty all the time....although I guess it was probably the work the electrician was doing on Saturday) then put up new nets on all the lounge windows except one - ran out of curtain wire, bought some more on the way home so can finish the last window tomorrow.  Velcroed the sofa armrests back in place, having taken them home to re-cover them.  Husband fitted the new uplighter that the electrician couldn't do on Saturday, as it was broken inside the sealed box.  He then put some more hardboard sheets up on the kitchen outer wall, to line it prior to wallpapering.  Had a chat with the site owner re a couple of admin things we're still waiting for him to do (he's definitely on Somerset in 'sometime when'.  Life proceeds at a much slower pace here!).  Ticked off all the jobs we've done today, and wrote a new list of things to do tomorrow.  Don't know what I'd do without lists and my A5 size caravan notebook, which is already a third full.

Traffic was terrible on the way home today, took us just over an hour, whereas on Saturday it only took husband 35 minutes to get home.  Now we're home and I'm having a brief sit down, chicken salad for tea so I don't have to do anything except put it on the plates, and I shall probably have an early night, as my head is beginning to throb again.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

A very productive day at the caravan

 We took Betty with us yesterday and spent almost the whole day at the caravan, we got quite a lot done in the 5 or 6 hours we were there, makes such a difference when we don't have to rush to get back home.

3 drawers in the big lounge unit were falling apart, so husband repaired them all, then I took off the old handles and put the new knobs on.  All knobs in place now and I'm so pleased with them (little things make me happy).  Had a good look at all the Venetian blinds we took off the windows prior to decorating - they're not in very good condition so we're scrapping them, will have nets instead.  I'd rather not have nets at all, but Betty is woofy when she sees anyone outside the caravan, so it'll cut down on her noticing a bit, hopefully.  As the van is south facing, it gets all the sun, so hopefully the nets will help to shield the inside a little bit as well - it's been like an oven in there during hot days.  Must take a fan over.

I made a couple of doormats from leftover lounge carpet - just a case of cutting to size and then binding the edges with tape.  Made one as a splash mat for Betty's food and water bowls too.  Husband made some adjustments to the various bits of pipework in the kitchen, prior to beginning to fit the kitchen units (which will be next week).  Oh, and big news - we have electricity!  Husband wasn't going to use any power tools or anything until the system has all been checked by the electrician (today), but it was lovely just to be able to have the radio on while we worked.  We painted the kitchen walls with the undercoat, just the ceiling to do now, then the lovely aqua colour top coat.

We then moved outside and made a start on the very overgrown shrubs at the front of the caravan:-

Since that photo was taken on the 2 June, it's all grown a lot more, halfway up the windows in fact (most of it is a jasmine, although there's some Rose of Sharon and a couple of other things too).  We pruned it heavily to half the height and breadth, filling 3 large black plastic bags.  I forgot to take an after photo, sorry.  After some discussion, we've decided that eventually we'll have all that shrubbery at the front out completely, will lay paving slabs along the front instead and have pots of flowers and small shrubs.  Having done all that pruning, I've now got several insect bites....funny how you don't notice them at the time, the itchiness woke me up in the night.

Husband is about to go off to the van by himself, he'll be meeting the electrician there and doing some more gardening whilst the sparky does his work inside.  I've got some things to do here at home, including trying to locate a gazebo for the van garden, everywhere seems to be out of stock, and getting caravan insurance organised.  It's good to know that very soon we'll be able to start staying overnight at the van.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Sorry but

 I won't be doing daily updates for a while - too tired and too busy.  I am taking lots of before and after photos, so there will be a pic-heavy post at some point.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Having an easy day

 Being kind to myself today and only doing limited easy stuff - my bowel is being extremely irritable (too many carbs consumed lately, I expect, along with being a bit stressed and overtired).  And my hip is terribly painful right now, going up and down stairs is especially painful.  Waiting in for the fridge to be delivered, also the curtains which didn't arrive yesterday, think the delivery driver ran out of time.  Hope they arrive this morning, so I can get on and shorten them this afternoon.  I've got a couple of doormats to make from leftover lounge carpet, just a case of cutting them straight and binding the edges.  2 loads of washing done, husband pegged one lot on the line, the rest has gone in the dryer, the vacuuming and bed changing will just have to wait a day or two.  I'll deadhead all my roses, an easy job, whilst waiting for the curtains to arrive.

Will eat a carb-free veg and fish based diet for the next few days, and drink lots of water, to give my gut chance to recover.  And, much as I don't like taking them, I'll take some regular doses of co-codamol over the next few days, to get my hip pain under control (that'll help with the bowel stuff too!).

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Yes that's it

 Viv (Wherethejourneytakesme2), I think you've hit the nail on the head:  "It will all be worth it in the end - once the kitchen is in it will all start to feel much better".

Being totally without a kitchen at the moment in the caravan is hard for me, as I do love cooking - it's also a bit of a nuisance having to make and take a packed lunch and a flask of coffee every time we go.  Once I have a working kitchen - cooker and fridge in, sink installed (which means the worktop, and therefore the base units have to be fitted first), then I will indeed feel much better, and it will make things a lot easier.  I can then fill the base cupboards with all my pots, oven dishes and crockery and paint the wall units, which we're not changing, and fit new handles at my leisure.

Cracking on

 Great morning at the caravan, with lovely weather.  The lounge carpet, just roughly cut to size the other day, is now laid properly and fixed down (well done husband) and looks really nice.  The kitchen wall has also been painted with the damp proofing preventative stuff - boy was it stinky, really overpowering, it was the last thing we did before coming home.  Hopefully, the strong smell will have dissipated by the time we go back on Friday.  We didn't take Betty this morning, of course, didn't want her breathing in the fumes.  We met the neighbours on the other side of us today, first time we've seen them, another lovely couple, bit older than us (well, quite a lot older actually, around 80).  They live in Chichester apparently, a 3.5 hour journey away, and come to their van for about 3 weeks at a time.  I'm having to write down the names of every fellow owner we meet, we'll never remember them all otherwise.

We've got the new fridge arriving tomorrow so have to stay home.  The new curtains are due to arrive this afternoon, so tomorrow I'll measure and shorten them with the wonderweb stuff.  I've also got 2 lots of washing and plenty of housework to do, along with loads of deadheading and general tidying up of the front garden.

Friday we'll get the back kitchen wall and ceiling painted, husband can't put the hardboard lining up on the front wall until the electrician's been on Saturday and put in the extra sockets and checked all the wiring.  If we have time, we'll also sugar soap the main bedroom walls, so we can start painting in there too - I can do the painting early next week whilst husband gets on with the kitchen stuff.  Oh and husband can put all the Venetian blinds back up in the lounge, and then the curtains can go up.

I reckon we'll be able to start staying overnight within 2 weeks.....exciting!

And some good news.....the gas man who serviced the boiler a week or 2 ago said that a new part was needed, if he couldn't source the part (the boiler is quite old, although still in working order apart from this one part), then we'd need a whole new boiler 😳.  Fortunately, he's managed to locate a new part, so that's one potentially expensive problem successfully solved.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

There may be troubles ahead....

 My life, head and notebook are full of lists at the moment, and not only mine - husband cannot keep a thought in his head for more than a minute, he forgets things instantly and is terribly disorganised, so I have to keep lists for him too.  It's no wonder I'm mentally (as well as physically) exhausted.

Today, I need to pick up some things from Wilko, do some food shopping, get some menus (for both dinners here at home, and lunches for the caravan) organised.  Betty has a vet appointment, and we have 2 deliveries arriving today, one of which we're supposed to sign for - allegedly - although I've not signed for ANY delivery since the Covid thing has been going on, so doubt I will actually have to for this one.

The next big thing in the caravan will be the kitchen - it's going to be a lot of work and husband is worrying his head off about it.  We have the outside wall (the inside of the outside wall, that is) to prepare - he needs to patch up a few bits, then paint it with the damp proofing (very smelly) stuff, which then needs to be left to dry for I think 24 hours.  He's lining that wall with hardboard once it's dry, then covering it with a PVA solution, then putting up the Contour vinyl wallpaper.  I shall be painting the other walls and ceiling with moisture resistant kitchen & bathroom paint in a nice aqua colour - as it's a small galley kitchen we'll no doubt be in each other's way!  The new vinyl flooring then needs laying.  Once that's done, husband has to fit the new base units, the new worktop and sink and deal with the plumbing for the sink.  No doubt there'll be some problems cropping up with that - anything involving building and installing stuff generally means some shouting, swearing, cuts and bruises and bashed heads! (husband bashes his head regularly, it's a wonder he hasn't knocked himself out yet).  But he'll get it done, eventually, and it will all be fine in the end, I'm sure - it's just fraught with drama, tension, irritability and the odd mistake whilst it's all happening.  It's a pity that a very handy neighbour/friend, who had originally said he'd be glad to help husband with the kitchen, is currently unwell so now won't be able to.  I'll do my best to help him, but I'm no handyman.  The last thing will be putting the new fridge and electric cooker in.

Once that's done, we then need to decorate the main bedroom - there's no way I'm sleeping there until it's done, it's pretty grubby.  Things will get easier after that - it'll be fantastic to actually be able to stay there for a few days whilst we then get on with the bathroom (which will be another big job) and the small bedroom, which will be a doddle.  Having to constantly drive back and forth and spend just a few hours there at a time is both tiring and really limits what we can do, so to be able to stay there and do the remaining work at our own pace will be wonderful, it'll make life so much easier.

We're both at a stage now where we're tired, irritable, aching, sore and a bit fed up - the electricity not being put on until this Friday, and the electrician then coming Saturday to check it all, declare it safe (hopefully!) and install some extra sockets and lighting for us has hampered us.  But we just have to keep pushing on, bit by bit, and keep reminding ourselves how lovely it's all going to be when it's finished, it'll be so worth it.  There's a pub restaurant next door to the park, I think we'll have a meal in there to celebrate when it's all done.

Monday, 21 June 2021


 Been a frustrating and stressful day, for several reasons.  Main one - why don't people listen, REALLY listen and take note of what's being said to them?  I sometimes think I'm totally invisible and dumb, for all the notice some people take of me.  Makes me feel I'm just wasting my breath and time saying anything at all.

Rant over.  On the plus side, the man and van came to the caravan as arranged today and took away all of our accumulated rubbish.  He was friendly and efficient, nothing was too much trouble, he actually took away more stuff than we'd originally told him about (eg the old kitchen units, which we hadn't planned on taking out when he came previously to give us a quote).  He said he could probably make use of some of our rubbish, or get some money for it - fine, we didn't want any of it nor the bother of getting rid/trying to sell, so if he can get something for any of the stuff, good for him.  Another caravan neighbour also got him to take some of his unwanted stuff too, for a price the neighbour was happy with, so smiles all round.

Shaun also took away loads of the old plant pots in the garden, there must have been about 50, mostly cracked and broken with dead plants in them.  Now the garden is empty of rubbish and most of the old pots, so it's more or less a blank canvas.  The 'lawn' isn't in very good condition, but we'll improve that.  I also have the space now to properly prune the very overgrown but pretty shrubs.  There's a climber at the front of the garden which I think is a red jasmine (quite unusual, I had a white one in a previous garden) - it's lovely, covered in flowers which the bees seem to love, but is extremely vigorous and is taking over the front windows of the van.....definitely needs pruning or we won't be able to see out!

I took off all the horrible old fashioned brass handles (all 17 of them) from the lounge cupboards and started replacing them with my lovely new ceramic knobs.  I did about 2/3 of them but then had to stop, as my fingers were suffering - somebody, who shall remain nameless, had assured me he had the right tool for the job in the caravan.  Well, he didn't, so I had to do it by hand, which made my fingers sore and I couldn't do the knobs up really tightly.  Never mind, they'll get finished off and done properly the next time we go.  I do love them, they're so quirky on the somewhat old fashioned cupboards, not what you'd expect to see.  I will take pictures when they're all up.  Husband was busy in the kitchen, doing something or other with the various pipes and starting to tidy up the wall prior to putting the damp proofing stuff on it.

The last kitchen unit is due to be delivered tomorrow, as are my new lounge curtains....I shall be buying a big reel of wonderweb tomorrow, my sore fingers definitely won't cope with sewing up hems.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Busy week ahead

 A very busy week coming up.  After a bit of a slow start on the caravan front, things are beginning to happen quite quickly now and I'm having to make lists every day, and ensure I write things on the calendar so we know what's happening when.  I take photos of the calendar every week (yes I know I could just enter things into my phone calendar, but that's a bit of technology too far and writing stuff on the calendar and then taking a photo of it works for me! 😂).  Every day I make a list of things we need to take to the caravan, things we need to do that day, and then whilst at the van I note down measurements and things we need to buy and what needs taking the next time.

This week we have to stay home 2 days - we have a couple of deliveries arriving, and Betty has a vet appointment (she needs her anal sacs emptying [total yuck!!] for those interested!).  The other days will be spent at the caravan.  Tomorrow is of course man with a van day, Friday the electricity is (finally!) being switched on, Saturday the electrician is coming to give all the leccy systems the once over and fit some new sockets and lights for us.  We have the new vinyl flooring to lay in the kitchen, the kitchen wall to repair and then paint with damp proofing specialist paint, the other kitchen walls to paint with a nice aqua colour, and the damp proofed wall to paper with the Contour vinyl, once the specialist paint is dry.  And then husband can make a start on fitting the new kitchen units.  One, a slim drawer unit, he's built here at home already, another small one (arriving Tuesday) he'll also build here, the larger unit we'll have to take flat packed to the van and he'll build it there - it wouldn't fit through the caravan door if it was pre-built.

I've got curtains for the lounge on order - they're too long (couldn't find any the correct length) so I'll have to spend several evenings shortening them.....sewing is not my favourite job, as we all know!!  But needs must.  And I haven't got a sewing machine so will have to do it by fingers will be like pin cushions 😂😒  Never mind, it's for my caravan so I'll enjoy doing it (I just need to keep telling myself that 😁).  Oh, I suppose I could use that iron on wonderweb stuff.....

Husband's now decided he wants a banana and walnut cake, not a fruitcake.  Might make some cheese scones or biscuits to take to the caravan too.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Another step nearer

 So today we (well, husband actually) ripped out the kitchen base units - what a mess!  Still, they're out now, the floor isn't too bad but the wall needs a bit of tidying up and repair before decorating.  We've decided we'll probably leave the wall units up and just paint them white, to match the new base units.  They're basically ok and it'll be less work (and less expense).  All the stuff we're doing is kind of a work in progress, in that we do have plans but they're fluid - eg they change and adapt to the circumstances.  Which makes it kind of exciting!  Husband also took out one of the 2 twin beds in the second bedroom - I only want one bed in there, to give more room, it's so cramped with two.  And I want another chest of drawers in there.  He then took up the horrible carpets in the kitchen and bathroom.  That's pretty much everything we don't want out now, all ready for Shaun, the man with a van, to come and take it all away on Monday.

Whilst husband was busy ripping all that out, I fitted the legs onto the new dining table (probably one of the first bits of DIY I've ever done 😂 - I normally just read the instructions and hand husband the appropriate bits/screws etc).  Amazingly, they fitted on easily and I even managed to get them the right way round!  I also vacuumed, tidied up, did a bit of titivating in the lounge, kept husband supplied with tea and food, and kept the dog amused.  I also met another of the neighbours (Andy, who is apparently known as Handy Andy as he's very....well, handy!  As in can turn his hand to any kind of DIY and loves to help.  Good to know!).  He actually lent husband a spanner as husband didn't have that size with him.  And had another chat with our lady next door neighbour, who has thawed out nicely and is now very friendly.

So another good day at the van.  We're staying home tomorrow, I've got washing and housework to do, husband has another flat pack to put together.  I found a lovely electric fire on our local marketplace page, just £30 and it looks to be a really nice one, we're going to collect it tomorrow.  I've also got the last few things to order online, for the two bedrooms.  I must make a nice roast dinner tomorrow - we've been eating out of the freezer most of the week.  Husband has asked for a fruit cake too - he deserves one as he's been working so hard.

Raining now, which means the weeds and grass will be shooting up again - we've not done much in the way of gardening for the last couple of weeks - can't be in two places at once!  At least all the rubbish and stuff we've ripped out of the caravan and piled in the garden there is keeping the grass and weeds down.

Friday, 18 June 2021


 Having a day at home today.  Went to town this morning and picked up a few more bits for the van (husband asked if we'll ever stop spending.....I said, don't know, will you ever stop spending on tools? 😂).  We really don't need to buy much more anyway, it's only small things now.....well, unless we find something drastically wrong when we're doing the other rooms.  The things I bought this morning were mainly decorative items and some other bits, such as cushion pads for the new dining chairs, some spare pillowcases and a carbon monoxide alarm.  We also collected the new kitchen units (flat packed, that'll give husband something else to do!).  He's going to build one of them this afternoon, the other (bigger) will have to be put together when we're at the caravan.

For those of you who have asked - yes I have taken photos of every room in the caravan in the state it was in when we bought it, and will take photos to compare every time we finish a room.  I'll put the appropriate before and after photos on here when each room is completed.

Here are my lovely cupboard door knobs:-

There are 20 in total, a few are duplicated.  I love them! 😁😍

My lovely caravan engineer friend came over to the caravan yesterday, to give us a bit of advice.  He also thinks I'm bonkers (but then he knows that anyway 😂), but knows how much pleasure it's giving me and understands why we're doing it.

The site owner sent me an email to say there's a school group camping on site the last weekend in the month, apparently they come every year.  I think we'll stay at home that weekend!

Spending a whole day at the van tomorrow to try and get all the necessary stuff done in one go, rather than going again on Sunday - we need to get the kitchen gutted, one of the twin beds framework and mattress out, and the kitchen and bathroom carpets out, so that the man and van can take everything away on Monday morning.  Obviously we'll have to take Betty with us tomorrow, she'll have her new bed, she's got plenty of food and treats over there and I bought another couple of toys this morning to keep her occupied.

Thank you for the kind comments on my lovely purple sofa - on reflection, I do think the grey fleck carpet probably was the better choice - purple fleck may have been too much with the purple sofa.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Lovely purple sofa!

 Thanks very much for comments.  To the unknown reader (please let us know your name!  I don't usually allow anonymous comments) - thank you for your question.  No, we couldn't live in our caravan permanently, not on this park as it's only a holiday park, it doesn't have a residential licence.  To be honest, much as we love it there, we wouldn't really want to live there through the winter, it's a bit out of the way and our van doesn't have central heating, or even double glazing.  That's not going to worry us or be a problem, for the simple reason that the park is closed for the 4 months of winter.  We do have 3 electric heaters and will have lots of throws, and will consider having secondary glazing fitted.

Anyway, here's my sofa now the cushions have been steam cleaned and covered with new loose covers:-

I've got another 2 cushions (purple lavender design) on order (I do like cushions!) and the padded armrests to be added - I forgot to take them today.  Isn't it lovely, and doesn't it go well with the new carpet?  Oh I love it so much.  Now we can sit comfortably for a coffee break when we're doing the rest of the work.  The base of the sofa will be covered up, with carpet covered plywood.

The kitchen is next on the agenda, we ordered some basic white kitchen units, collecting them tomorrow, also have a few more accessories to collect.  We're going back to the van at the weekend to rip out the old kitchen units, one of the single beds in the 2nd bedroom (I'm just having one bed in there, it's too cramped with 2, and that will create enough space for a bigger chest of drawers), and the yucky carpets in the kitchen and bathroom.  Our man with a van will have a full load of rubbish to take away on Monday, he'll certainly be earning his money!

Betty's new bed arrived today (it's in colours to coordinate with the lounge 😁), along with a load of knobs - cupboard door knobs, that is.  There are 17 cupboard door knobs in the lounge, they're old fashioned horrible brass ones - I've chosen ceramic ones in lots of different flowery patterns.  Husband thinks I'm mad but I love them, they're a cheerful bit of fun.  Photos to come next time.

Husband worked really hard today laying the carpet, it needs finishing off (stretching out with a carpet stretcher tool and securing round the edges), I'm very proud of him, he did well.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

No mishaps today (so far!)

 ....says she, tempting fate! 😉

Rambler, I laughed at your comment - it describes husband exactly, it was a comedy of errors and he certainly is an accident waiting to happen (as anyone who knows us will vouch for!).  He's renowned for being clumsy, bless him.....I think it's to do with his dyslexia and dyspraxic tendencies.  His balance is also poor (he could trip over a leaf) and his spatial awareness is non-existent - he bumps into people in the supermarket constantly, e.g. (thank goodness he doesn't do it in the car! 😱😂

Anyway, a good morning at the caravan.....we took Betty this time, so were able to spend a bit longer there.  The decorating in the lounge is now finished, thank goodness, and it looks so much better - bright, fresh and modern.  A couple of photos (as I know you're all gasping for some! 😁) :-

The new carpet starting to be put into position (Betty approves, she lay down on it straight away) - the difference in colour is partly the light, and partly because that was the end of the roll, I brushed my hand over it and stroking the pile made it all the same shade.  The paint colour looks very light there, colours don't show up very well on my phone, it's slightly darker in real life.  Although it wasn't my first choice colour, I'm actually really pleased with the carpet, it looks fab - or it will do once it's all properly laid.  We were a bit knackered by this point, so left it and will lay it properly tomorrow.

The kitchen vinyl wallpaper arrived today, here it is:-

SO much better than that horrible iridescent tile stuff!  That's my home kitchen worktop by the way, the wallpaper goes really well with it there's a thought for the future 😃

Speaking of worktops, we stopped off at the woodyard on the way home today and bought a lovely offcut of worktop, just what we wanted - cost £20.  I don't mind paying full price on some things when we can get bargains like that to offset the cost of the more expensive stuff.

The caravan next door neighbour lady was really chatty and friendly today, and she kept the yappy dogs inside, so it seems like she's thawed out completely now.  Not met the husband yet, he appears to be disabled and spends all his time inside their caravan.

So it's back to the van tomorrow to finish laying the carpet.  We'll take the sofa cushions with us too, it'll be nice to finally have something comfortable to sit on!  It's all starting to come together now and I'm back to being really excited.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

No purple fleck

 Been a bit of a stressful day today, just one of those days.  Some family stuff going on which has involved numerous WhatsApp messages back and forth - nothing I can do as I'm 150 miles away and the person involved needs to realise we can't just drop everything and fly up there in the helicopter we keep in the back garden!  It's still ongoing, but I've chosen to opt out for a while.

I decided to forget about getting my first choice purple fleck carpet for the caravan - seems there's none around at the mo....well, not in room size remnants, we could easily order one off the roll - at 2 or 3 times the price and with a lead time of several weeks.  Not acceptable, in either money or time.  So we've gone for a grey's an acceptable alternative, and I'm having plenty of purple accessories.  Whilst in the carpet showroom, I also found a perfect vinyl remnant for the kitchen - both colour and size are perfect, and an amazingly good price.

I would have had the carpet delivered, but husband said we could easily get it on the roof racks on our (little!) car.  He then said he didn't have enough rope (he had loads that I know of, but seems he's either used it, given it away or simply can't find it)....he eventually found a couple of bits.  When we came to secure the carpet to the roof, he discovered the 2 bits of rope he'd taken with us weren't enough to safely hold it.  So he had to go off and buy some more.....luckily there's a DIY shop very close by.  We got home safely.  I suggested putting the carpet overnight (we're taking it to the van tomorrow) in either the hallway or the dining room - husband reckoned it wouldn't fit and would have to lie on the stairs.  He struggled to take it up himself, wouldn't let me help, tripped and dropped the bottom fell on the hall curtain rail, knocked it off and broke it, scaring the life out of the dog and me in the process.

Oh, and when we got home from shopping this morning, he dropped the new box of eggs and broke 4 of them.

He is very clumsy - not a new thing, always has been - but some days he's worse than others, and today is one of them.

I've been awake since 02.40 so am shattered, hopefully as it's getting a bit cooler, I might be able to sleep better tonight.  

Monday, 14 June 2021

Yap, yap, yap!!

 Blimmin knackered today, I'm not sleeping at all well - partly because it's just too hot, partly because there's so much on my mind, not only the caravan but some family stuff too which is a bit worrying.

On the caravan front, we finished 2nd coating the lounge walls this morning and did part of the ceiling.  Pleased to discover that the ceiling will only need one coat - thankfully, as just doing that bit killed my neck and shoulders.  

We were going to have a couple of rugs to go over the lounge carpet, but have changed our minds - it's a bit of an awkward shape, because of fitted furniture, so finding rugs was proving a bit of a problem.  I don't like the colour of the carpet anyway, so we've decided to go for a new one, a room size remnant.  We did stop off at a carpet shop on the way home - they had loads of suitably sized remnants, but none in my preferred choice of colour.....oddly, as they do lots of new carpets in the colour I want.  The vast majority of the remnants were in various shades of grey (think I've read that book, it was rubbish! 😂), seems it's the new 'in' colour.  As we've got dove grey walls, I don't really want a grey'll all be too bland and office like.  I want purple fleck!  There are several more carpet shops to look in, I expect we'll get what I want soon.  We also need some vinyl remnant for the kitchen and bathroom floors, we'll have a look tomorrow.

The caravan neighbours' 2 little spaniels absolutely yapped their heads off at us this morning, they were on long leads outside, in between their van and ours, they could see us through the windows and kept yapping constantly, which was a bit of a nuisance - the lady did come and take them inside after about half an hour.  We'll have to take Betty - her loud bark might scare them off! 😁  She's also about twice their size.  I think they've got Little Dog Syndrome.  We don't let Betty bark for ages - she does bark at postmen or delivery drivers or when someone rings the doorbell, but we don't let her carry on.  So I hope they're not going to be a problem.  There's hardly anyone else on site right now, but I'm sure there will be soon, so hopefully they'll keep the dogs quiet(er) then, in case anyone complains.

I put all the new covers on the sofa cushions this afternoon, I'm pleased with them, they look nice.  We'll take them back to the caravan once we've finished the decorating, then I'll take some more photos.

Not going to the van tomorrow, Betty's got a grooming appointment and I need to do shopping, then we'll go to the other carpet showrooms.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Even hotter so not much painting done!

 It's a good job we went early to the caravan this morning, as it was even hotter today.  At least the paint dries quick!  The first coat in the lounge is now all done, and part of the second coat too....well, we still have the ceiling to do, unfortunately.  Going back tomorrow (when it's forecast to be cooler!) to carry on.  By 11 am it was just too hot to work anymore, so we did a bit more measuring up and planning and then came home.   Oh, a good thing - when we arrived the lady neighbour was outside her van......and she smiled and said hello!  So looks like she's got over her sign of her husband though so can't say how he feels.

HH, you mentioned a fan....yes we have an electric fan waiting to go over to the van, but until the electricity is switched on (on the 25th) and the electrician has been to check it all and certify it as safe (the 26th) we can't use it!  We'll also be getting him to install a couple more electric sockets (there are never enough!) and put up some new wall lights - we're getting rid of the existing brass ones as they're too old fashioned for my taste.

So we came home and did some work here (husband out in the garden, mad fool), and I ordered a few more things we need online (whatever did we do pre-Covid?!  Oh yes, I remember, we went to the shops!).

Somebody asked today what's taking us so long to sort out the caravan?!  To be fair, he clearly didn't realise just how much work there is to be done - we're practically gutting it in a few places, and then having to make good where we've taken fittings out, and refit new things.  New flooring (carpets and vinyl) in most rooms, and total redecoration of the entire van.  But first we had to de-cobweb and clean it (we concentrated on the lounge and kitchen first), and that took long enough by itself.  I reckon we have another 3 weeks work, if not longer.  And of course we can't go every single day, as we do have other commitments and medical appointments.  Oh, and there's the garden there to sort out - husband has strimmed it all to get rid of the knee-high weeds and grass, but there are still all the pots to either get rid of or replant, and lots of overgrown shrubs to be pruned heavily.  It wears me out just thinking about how much we have yet to do.  But we're getting there, a bit at a time, and I just know it's going to look so nice when it's all done.  It helps having a clear vision of how I want each room to look.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Shouldn't complain but....too hot

 Another busy day, although not at the caravan.  I was up early this morning and made an apple crumble and a pork and leek pie for tomorrow's dinner, then went off to my lovely hairdresser neighbour for a haircut and a chat.  This afternoon we went to the big car boot sale at Blue Anchor, it wasn't quite as busy as the last time we went, thank goodness.  I had a list of things to look for, caravan stuff, but didn't see anything I wanted at all.  Husband bought a plug!

Now I'm wiped out because it's too hot for me and I'm really tired - had several broken nights, what with one thing and another.  Think it'll be an early night with a book.

Going early to the caravan tomorrow to carry on painting, it's going to be another hot day apparently so the earlier we get there, the better.  We shall be going nearly every day this coming week, I want to get a move on with everything.  It would be nice to think we could get everything done by the end of the month, or the first week in July.

Friday, 11 June 2021

A bit of unpleasantness, and a lovely surprise

 Something not so nice today, but hopefully it can be resolved.

As I mentioned before, a couple of weeks before we bought the caravan, the site owner suddenly told us that another couple were interested in buying the same caravan.  At the time, I wasn't entirely sure I believed him, I thought he might have made them up in order to try and persuade us to part with more money.  Well, it appears they do actually exist, as we met them this morning, they've bought the van next door to ours, as a second choice.  Well, husband met the wife, she was outside their caravan unloading their car, husband was his usual cheerful self and introduced himself - he was met with a decidedly lukewarm response though.  It transpires that they used to have a touring caravan on a seasonal pitch here, last year they told the site owner they were interested in buying the van we've now got - I suspect for the same reason we were so interested.....the fenced garden, as they have 2 small, elderly, very yappy spaniels.  The couple were firmly told by the site owner that they couldn't have the caravan, as he was intending to get rid of it and replace it (on the same plot) with a much newer (for that read much more expensive!) van.  They couldn't afford that, so went away for a few months and reappeared recently asking to buy, if not this van, then another.  They are not at all impressed that the site owner has allowed us to buy this van, having refused them.

As I've said before, the bottom line is that the site owner is a businessman, and will do whatever he wants.  I suspect I know why he agreed to sell to us and not them, the fact that he chose to sell to us is his business, the decision is nothing to do with us.  Later on when I was painting the lounge, I noticed the husband standing in his van doorway, watching me - I smiled and gave him a wave, his response was to glare at me then stomp inside and shut his door.....not very friendly!

I hope it's not going to sour things between us, we are neighbours after all, and I can understand them feeling a bit disgruntled.  Frankly, however, I don't really care much at the moment, I'm far too busy to be worrying about their hurt feelings.  In due course, and when I get an opportunity, I will have a friendly chat with them and see if we can get past their current grumpiness.

So this morning, having got to the van early, I painted half of the lounge.  I would have liked to have done all of it, but we didn't take Betty and I don't like to leave her home alone for too long.  Besides which, by midday it was getting too hot and my arm, neck and shoulder were aching.  I reckon I will need to apply a second coat, so another 3 sessions should see the lounge painting completed, there are a lot of cupboards and edges to paint around.  Husband took the remaining ghastly iridescent tiles off the kitchen wall, apart from a couple of small areas which were proving impossible to remove without some other tool (which he didn't have).  He then sugar soaped the walls, and measured up - we're having a complete new worktop and sink unit, he'll fit them himself.  There's a woodyard not far from us which sells worktops - odd sizes, surplus stock, slight seconds, all at amazingly cheap prices - we bought one from them some years ago for about £15 or £20, so will be able to get another well within our budget.

The replacement covers for the sofa cushions arrived today - I really like them, it's going to look so much nicer.  Obviously we won't take the cushions back to the van until I've finished painting the lounge, I'll take more photos then.

And thank you everyone, yes I am feeling so much better now, this project has really rejuvenated me - well, both of us.  Even the grumpy neighbours haven't dampened my spirits - everyone else we've met has been really nice, and I dare say they'll calm down eventually.

Just had the most wonderful surprise - an unexpected visitor, the partner of my lovely friend Toni who died of cancer last December.  I was devastated when she died, especially since I couldn't visit her in her last days, or go to her funeral.  He was making a delivery in the area and called in to see us and give me a thank you card (thank you for being a good friend to her!!  It was she who was such a good friend to me!) and, totally unexpectedly, a small legacy that Toni had told her partner she particularly wanted me to have.  So kind of her, and D for bringing it, and for coming to see us.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

A good day at home

 Home day today, but just as busy.  Having spent a lot of time at the caravan over the last week, we've obviously not done a lot in the house.  So I had 2 loads of washing to do, a lot of tidying up (bits for the caravan all over the place), made a quiche for tomorrow's caravan lunch, did some menu plans for the next few days - meal planning has gone out of the window lately, but now I'm organised.  Also ordered the van kitchen wallpaper on the internet (thank goodness for online ordering!).  Steam cleaned the 10 van sofa cushions plus 2 arm rests, they dried outside in no time and smell so much fresher now.

Went for my hospital appointment this afternoon, husband called in at Argos to collect the furniture we'd ordered from there.  I found a nice little cupboard in their clearance section, it's to go in the dining area as extra storage for kitchen stuff, as there's not a lot of storage in the galley kitchen.  As it was quite a bit cheaper than I was expecting to pay for a cupboard, I ordered a nice table and 2 chairs as well.  I won't be able to get in my craft room for a while (if I even had the time for any crafts!) as it's fast filling up with things for the caravan.

Going back to the caravan early tomorrow morning to make a start on the lounge and kitchen painting.  We're not taking Betty this time, the damp proofing paint for the kitchen apparently smells quite a lot so I don't want her affected by the least we've got masks to wear!  Then we'll stay home on Saturday, and go back again on Sunday.  Will be interesting to see if any other owners are there at weekends - at the moment, there's only a handful during the week.

We were told by another owner yesterday that one of the other owners is a good handyman who can turn his hand to anything, loves helping out and doesn't charge much, so that's good to know.  He's not in residence all the time though, so it's a case of catching him when you see him.

Very tired today as Betty woke me in the early hours of the morning - think she'd had a bad dream, I suddenly heard her making that loud honking 'reverse sneezing' which sounds like whooping cough.  It didn't wake husband!  I dashed downstairs (well, as much of a dash as one can make with a bad back and painful hip) and calmed her down, she was ever so pleased to see me and rested her head on my chest.  I took her back up to bed with me, she soon settled down but her breathing was very noisy for a while, think it must have hurt her throat a bit.  I eventually got back to sleep, but then woke up again with a dead leg coz she was laying on it.  I didn't mind though.  Hopefully, we'll sleep better tonight.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Bless you!

 Thanks everyone for the lovely comments - this caravan stuff is very exciting to us, but I don't expect anyone else to be!

We've had a really good, if tiring, day at the caravan.  The 'man and van', Shaun, came over as arranged to look at what needs taking away and give us a quote.  He's a really nice, helpful, friendly chap and said it'll be no problem to clear everything, even the old broken pots in the garden, the quote he gave us for the removal was well within what I'd expected, so that's absolutely fine.  It's arranged for the 21st, he's fully booked until then but said he'll get in touch if he has a cancellation.

We sugar soaped all walls and the ceiling in the lounge, so it's now ready for painting on Friday.  Husband then began removing the totally ghastly tiled wallpaper in the kitchen, it's tiny 1" square tiles (thank goodness it's wallpaper, and not individual tiny tiles!  although lots of them were falling off individually).  It's a horrible iridescent blue/purple/green sort of colour - you know how petrol or diesel (no idea which one!) looks when it's spilt on the road, sort of shiny iridescent multi colours - well this wallpaper looks exactly like that.  Awful, certainly not to my it is:-

Yuck!  Thank goodness it's going.  Husband is painting the wall with a special damp proofing product (it's not damp, but as it's the kitchen we're just being cautious), lining it with hardboard and then putting up tiled vinyl wallpaper......I know what I want and have seen some, I'm ordering it online.

Here's the lounge with the sofa cushions removed (half of them already taken home for steam cleaning, the rest we brought home today) and the blinds taken down.

And of course Betty in the photo - she's very good, likes to be right beside us when we're doing anything, but settles down for a quick nap every so often.  She sleeps like a log when we get home each day, all the excitement wears her out I think.

Having a day off tomorrow, things we need to do at home in the morning, and I have a hospital appointment in the afternoon.  Back to the van on Friday to begin the painting in the lounge, I've chosen dove grey for the walls and ceiling.

Apologies if I'm boring you!

 I'm going to be very boring for the next 3 or 4 weeks I expect, will be going on about the caravan, so I'm sorry about that and won't mind if you don't want to read or comment!  It's documenting everything we're doing and keeping a record so that we have something to look back on when it's all done, and can see what a difference we've made to this old tatty grubby caravan that even the site owner thought we were mad to take on.  Although he's pleased that we did and is very intrigued to see what we do to it and how it's going to look when it's done.  I'm sure he'll be pleasantly surprised.

This morning we're back over there to sugar soap the walls and ceiling in the lounge and de-cobweb the places we haven't yet done.  We have a local 'man and van' coming over today to see exactly what rubbish needs to be taken away and give us a quote.  He's actually fully booked for rubbish removal for the next several days, he can't take the stuff away until the 21st, but that's fine, there's plenty of room behind the caravan (it backs onto a tree and hedge lined boundary) to store everything until then.  He and his wife do the rubbish removal together (rather her than me!!), I had several conversations with him via Messenger yesterday and he sounds a lovely genuine family man, he's fully licensed so I'm not worried that he might be a fly tipper.

More later.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Day 3

 Busy today, on the go all day.  Shopping first thing, then when we'd unpacked and put it away, gathered together what we needed for work on the caravan today and I'd made lunch to take with us, we were off.

The caravan lounge and kitchen actually smelt fresh and clean when we walked in there this morning, which was lovely.  The bathroom still doesn't smell so good, but then I haven't really tackled that yet.

Husband ripped out the old curved bench dining seat, I helped him get it all outside....the pile of rubbish to be disposed of is growing daily.  Although it was very cobwebby and dusty underneath (husband dealt with all that!), we were pleased to note there was no damage or damp patches on the floor or walls.  There's no carpet in that corner underneath where the seating was, so we're going to patch it with some spare (new although non-matching colour) carpet we found rolled up in the wardrobe.....the whole corner floor area will then be covered up with a new rug, so the patching won't be seen.  We'll have another matching rug in front of the sofa.

Tidied up in the van, did some measuring up for the small sideboard and table/chairs we want to put in the dining area, had a chat with the neighbours, then went to Weston to have a look in the big furniture charity shop - some nice furniture in there, but nothing suitable for the caravan.  No matter, we'll keep looking, we don't need it for another 2 or 3 weeks yet, and there's always the local FB selling pages.

Speaking of FB, I've found and joined a group on there for the village where the caravan park is - lots of useful info on there, including lists of local businesses we might need.  I've posted asking for a local reliable 'man and van' to come and take all our caravan rubbish away, had several replies already.

I'd ordered all the paint we need for the van online, it was due to arrive Friday, but actually came today.  So tomorrow we're going to sugar soap the lounge walls and ceiling and prep it all ready for painting.

Here's the corner diner unit mid-removal - Betty having a look, she's really interested in everything we do there.

Monday, 7 June 2021

A successful day 2 of the big caravan clean

 I'm drawing a veil over yesterday, thank you to those of you who commented, I appreciate it.

We've had a very good day at the caravan today.  We got there early, around 09.15, the gas man came and set to on the boiler.  I'd been quite worried that he might slap a condemned sticker on it and tell us we couldn't use it, but he didn't - he cleaned, serviced and got it going.  He'd brought a Henry hoover but of course couldn't use that with the caravan elec supply not yet on, so it was a good job we'd got our cordless he could use.  He said the boiler works ok, but one part does need replacing, he'll see if he can source it....if not, then we may need a new boiler in the short term.  He says the boiler is a good make so, provided he can actually get the required part, it should last a good while yet.  We asked if he could disconnect the old gas cooker and cap off the supply, as we won't be using it again - he did, he and his apprentice offered to carry the old cooker outside, which was really nice of them.....saved husband and I struggling to do it between us.  So there's now a space in the kitchen for husband to build a unit for our new table top elec cooker to stand on, which he should have no trouble doing.  We're also getting rid of the existing tall fridge freezer and getting an under the counter fridge with an icebox - as we'll only be staying in the van for up to a week at a time, we don't need a big fridge freezer, and it is a very old one.  Husband will install a new counter top, and that will give me some extra worktop space, as there currently isn't much.

The new Vax cordless works like a dream, it easily despatched the big thick cobwebs.  As husband cleared the cobwebs in the lounge, I followed behind with a bucket of soapy water cleaning all the cupboards, surfaces and mirrors/glass door fronts, the lounge is all sparkling clean and smelling lovely and fresh now.  We've had a good look at the lounge carpet and it's actually not bad at all, other than being grubby - it's a thick good quality one, thankfully a plain colour not a revolting pattern.  Once we've been able to clean it with our carpet shampooer (when the elec is on), it'll be fine, I'm sure.  So that saves us having to buy a new carpet.

We've got a few things to do here at home tomorrow morning, but intend to go back to the caravan in the afternoon.  I want to clean the bathroom, which is pretty disgusting, whilst husband carries on with pruning the overgrown shrubs around the caravan.  Incidentally, there's a lovely clean shower & toilet block on site, which we're currently using until our bathroom is clean and operational.

We're accumulating several bags of rubbish - old floor coverings, grotty scatter cushions, rusty old bakeware which was left in the cooker, filthy old cleaning equipment, lots of broken garden pots, etc, plus of course the old cooker and fridge.  And then there's the current built-in corner diner unit and old table, which we'll be getting rid of, in favour of a new (well, second hand) table & chairs and a small sideboard.  So husband is looking at hiring either a 'man with a van', or simply a self drive van (whichever is cheapest), to get rid of all the rubbish to the tip.  The site owner did say he knows someone who would do it and would get in touch with him.....we've quickly come to realise, however, that lovely as he is, we have to remind him 20 times before he gets round to doing anything!  So it'll be easier to arrange it ourselves, and at a time to suit us.

We've brought half of the sofa cushions home (couldn't fit all of them in our car - pity we exchanged our big 4x4 for our new little one, and got rid of the trailer! 😂😕) so I can make a start on steam cleaning them, before I put the new replacement covers on them.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Answering some caravan queries

 To answer a few queries - the reason the caravan is so cobwebby and in dire need of a deep clean is that the previous owners both died in 2019 (fortunately, from my point of view, neither died in the caravan!).  I think August of that year was the last time it was used, so it's been unoccupied for about 21 or 22 months.  The wife died first, followed a couple of months later by the husband.  Although the husband was the site handyman, I'm guessing neither of them was exactly house (caravan) proud when it came to cleaning!

The caravan is also quite old, probably around 20 years, and we bought it 'sold as seen'.  So yes, in view of the age and state of it, we did get it for a very cheap price.  Hence why we don't mind spending a bit of money on it, although we still want to do it as cheaply as we can as we do have a set budget.  There are several vans on site which are considerably older than ours, so they can last quite a while if they're looked after.

The site owner was considering getting rid of the van (the son of the previous van owner didn't want it at all) and putting a newer one in its place, but knew we couldn't afford a much newer one.  He does seem to like us though - he says we're the exact sort of new people he wants to join the park 'family' (I assume he means mature but a bit younger than the average age, keen gardeners, not afraid of hard work and thus possible new handyman to replace the one who died! 😂).  He also said he's very interested to see what we will do with the van in terms of updating it - he's a bit sentimental about it as he was very good friends with the previous owner.

We know it was a risk taking on the van sold as seen, but we did have a very good look at the structure, which seems basically sound, and tested every part with the professional damp meter loaned to us by our caravan engineer friend, who also gave us pointers as to what possible problems to look out for.  Incidentally, he services touring caravans, not statics, so can't be of any practical help to us....different training schemes and certificates are needed for statics.  He's also ridiculously busy for months to come.

Collected my new cordless stick vacuum yesterday morning and tested it here at home on the rugs covered in Betty's hair (she sheds a lot) once we'd charged it up.  It's brilliant, much more powerful than my other cheapy one, easily as powerful as my Dyson and a lot more manoeuvrable (I find the Dyson very unwieldy and it hurts my back).  So it should tackle the dreaded caravan cobwebs with ease tomorrow.  It's a Vax Blade Pro, if anyone's interested.

Thank you for all the positive and encouraging comments, you're very kind.  Tomorrow the caravan gas man is servicing the boiler and dealing with the water leak, and capping off the gas behind the old gas cooker (which is being taken out, we're having a table top electric one instead).  And hopefully all the cobwebs will be gone and I can then start cleaning, and bring the sofa cushions home for steam cleaning here.  And then I'll feel a lot better and will start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, 5 June 2021


 We decided to have this weekend at home, rather than going back to the caravan, as we have things to do here.  And I need to make more lists and plans and have a general think about things.  I had a terrible night last night, tossing and turning all night with very little sleep, stuff going through my mind and awful pain in my hip and back, no doubt as a result of yesterday.

Marlene, you said half the fun is doing things up - well yes, but it certainly wasn't fun yesterday, quite the opposite - very stressful and anxiety inducing.  Frankly, I am feeling overwhelmed and as if I'm floundering in deep water (and I can't swim at all well in real life!!) at the moment, it's only just dawning on me what a big job we've taken on.  The problems we had yesterday, coupled with the fact that we're hampered by not being able to have the electricity on and serviced until the 25th, and still have the water problems to sort out, is all making me feel uneasy right now.

The thing is, I KNOW it will be so worth it when it's all done, and I have to try and focus on that.

Upon meeting and chatting with a couple of the caravan neighbours (who seem really nice and friendly), it turns out, as I mentioned yesterday, that the previous owner of our van was the park handyman - if anyone needed anything doing, he did it.  One couple said they all really miss him, as he was so helpful and it meant they didn't have to do anything themselves - now they have to get a 'man' in.  The park owner, whilst being exceptionally nice, talkative and very friendly, freely admits he's not a handyman and doesn't know one end of a spanner from the other, nor does he have anything much to do with the caravans - he just lives on site and does all the admin and chats to everyone willing to listen (he talks about cars, mainly - right up husband's street)!  He does have a list of suitable caravan workmen - although we don't have to use his, we can use anyone of our choice - but that's pretty much the extent of his involvement.  So we're more or less on our own.  We did have touring caravans for many years, so husband is sort of familiar with caravan stuff, although a static caravan has some differences to a tourer, it's kind of midway between a touring caravan and a house.  I have absolutely zero knowledge of any technical caravan stuff, that was always husband's department.  And there aren't currently many other owners on site - unless they mostly come at weekends.  So it's all a bit daunting at the mo.

Yesterday I did think how on earth am I going to get the carpets and sofa upholstery cleaned without the electricity being on?  Well, it occurred to me during the night when I lay there tossing and turning that I can bring all the sofa cushions home and use the steam cleaner here.  I've new cushion covers for the entire seating on order, they're due to arrive next Wednesday, but I don't want to put them on the old dirty cushions - I want them clean first.  The present covers aren't removable, no zips or anything, I'd have to unpick them all and that's just another job I don't really want to add to the already huge list.  So bringing the cushions home to steam clean them was a bit of an inspired idea, laying awake worrying does have some advantages!

The carpets will just have to wait for cleaning with the Vax until the leccy is on.  As we'll be decorating, it's probably just as well anyway, although we will cover them with dust sheets.  The lounge and main bedroom carpets seem ok, pretty good quality, just in need of a deep clean (the previous owners had 2 dogs, apparently - and obviously weren't too fussed about housework).  We'll need a new carpet in the 2nd bedroom.  The kitchen and bathroom are both carpeted - erm that's an absolute giant NO!! as far as I'm concerned, they'll be ripped up and replaced with vinyl flooring.  The entire caravan needs decorating throughout - that's fine, I don't mind doing that.

We will get there, I know, it'll all get done eventually, and it will start to be fun once we get going with the decorating and furnishing it with our things.  Right now, I just want the whole place cleaned and free of the revolting all invasive cobwebs - I know I'll feel a whole lot better then.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Day 1 of the big caravan clean up

 Suemn, you asked how far the caravan is from our home - it's 40 minutes drive.  Husband doesn't want to drive long distances anymore, so this is perfect for us, and it means we can just up and go at short notice - if the weather turns out to be unexpectedly fine and we have nothing else on, e.g.  And HH - I will certainly take and put on here plenty of photos.....although, having said that, I actually forgot today, other than a couple of the overgrown garden when we first arrived.

It turned out to be a bit of a frustrating day.  It transpired there was no key for the electric meter box, husband couldn't initially find the tap to turn the water on outside (it was totally covered up with weeds and plants), when he did manage to cut the undergrowth (or rather, very much OVERgrowth!) down and find the tap, turning it on produced leaks from umpteen places underneath the caravan, plus the kitchen sink tap didn't seem to want to turn off properly, and a bit of water leaked out of the gas fired boiler.  Husband got it all under control eventually, but it was a bit stressful whilst it was going on.  It didn't help that the underneath of the caravan is totally enclosed by a makeshift 'skirt' (large tiles all along one side, paving slabs stood upright round the rest), so it was all a bit hit and miss trying to find where the leaks were coming from.  The previous van owner, who died around 18 months or so ago, was apparently the unofficial site handyman - I would say he was a bit of a bodger!

The other problem - well, it's a problem for me! - is that the caravan interior is full of cobwebs, they are absolutely everywhere, and it really gives me the willies - I know it's ridiculous, but I am severely arachnophobic.  We'd taken over our rechargeable vacuum cleaner, it's one of those stick ones not a little car vac thing.  We couldn't take the Dyson as the electricity isn't yet switched on - we can't have it on until it's been serviced and certified safe to use, I don't want to be electrocuted!  Well, the rechargeable, not the most powerful as it is, just wasn't up to the job, and even though I was trying to be brave, I was a bag of nerves trying to tackle the bigger and/or thicker cobwebby bits.  I did start off helping husband with the garden - I raked up what he'd strimmed, but eventually it got too hot for me out there so I had to go inside, thinking I'd take my courage in both hands and make a start on the vacuuming.  I just had to give up in the end though before I had a nervous breakdown.  

I really want to make a start on the cleaning, but can't do that until all the cobwebs are gone.  Husband says he'll tackle the cobwebs when we go back there on Monday, whilst I prune the overgrown shrubs around the caravan.  Oddly enough, I'm not so worried about 8-legged things outside - I wouldn't like it if one ran over my foot(!!), but they don't scare me as much outside.....I suppose because it's not an enclosed space.  Oh, and we're buying a more powerful cordless vacuum tomorrow, seeing as our present one is so feeble.

With all the problems I did have a bit of a wobble today, wondering if we've taken on too much of a big job.  Now I'm home, showered (I was really hot and bothered), just eaten dinner (a previously-made cottage pie so I didn't have to cook when I got home) and calmed down a bit, I feel fine again - yes it's all going to be a big job, but we'll get there, a bit at a time.  I shall feel SO much better once the cobwebs are gone and I can give everything a thorough clean, then we can make a start on the decorating.  I know it's going to look really nice when it's all done.  And, the best thing, it's all ours and we can decorate and furnish it exactly how we want.  

Whilst we were sitting eating lunch there (I'd taken a packed lunch), we both agreed that it's a gorgeous site, very peaceful, lovely views.  We met a few of the neighbours, couples mostly a bit older than us, who all seem very friendly.

Betty - well, she didn't know what to make of it all, she's always a bit nervous and unsettled in new places.  I'd taken a couple of toys and some treats over for her, as well as her water bowl and a big bottle of water, but had forgotten to take one of her beds - must do that on Monday.  Not that she would have laid in it much, she was far too interested in what we were doing, and kept following me around everywhere - she does that at home too actually, she's my shadow.  As soon as we got home, she lay down and went straight to sleep - think all the adrenaline (hers and mine!) wore her out, bless her.

Good day for taming a wild garden

 Thank you for all the lovely comments re our lovely new holiday home - well, it's not lovely at the moment, but it will be, I have the vision!  We spent yesterday getting more supplies - buying a couple of things in the shops, ordering the rest online to be delivered next week.  I was on the phone for ages too, arranging for the gas and electricity supplies to be serviced, that's being done on Monday (fortunately, the engineers are onsite then to do another van, so will come and do ours at the same time).  Trying to get hold of someone to come and do a deep clean of the carpets and upholstery was next to impossible - too busy, or they don't do static caravans, or they've given up due to a bad back!  So we've decided to do it ourselves - we have a Vax carpet cleaner and a hand-held steam cleaner anyway, and it'll save money.

Today, though, we're aiming to get the caravan garden totally cleared.....there is a paved patio area but it's almost totally taken over with weeds, the grass is knee high, and all the pots (there are loads) are more or less buried under weeds and/or dead plants.  It's forecast to be a nice dry day, sunny with a few clouds and not as hot and humid as the past few days, so pretty much perfect gardening weather.

We're taking Betty with us as we're expecting to be at the caravan all day - wonder what she'll make of it all?  If you turn left out of the park gate, there's a path that goes directly up into the Quantocks (big range of hills and a lovely walking area), so we'll all be going to investigate that at some point during the day....I expect we'll need a break from all the weeds and grass cutting by then.

I'm going to be busy writing up measurements and drawing up plans for the couple of alterations we're going to be making - I've got a dedicated caravan notebook 😁.  I need to take note of where all the electric sockets are, and possibly arrange for the electrician to add a couple more - think we'll definitely need at least one more in the kitchen, e.g.

I'm so looking forward to all this - even husband, not known for his enthusiasm, is gradually being infected by my excitement and plans, he's even had a few ideas of his own.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

We went, we saw....

 ...we bought it!

We finally got to view the caravan - in the pouring rain, which at least meant we could see whether it leaked! (it didn't - we also checked everywhere with a professional damp meter, loaned to us by our caravan engineer friend - no damp at all).

It certainly does need a thorough deep clean, and lots of updating, and the overgrown garden getting under control.  But the caravan is sound, with a large, spacious lounge, and in a layout which will work for us.  We're going back on Friday to clear the garden and start on the big clean up inside the van (very cobwebby! *shudder* - but at least they were all dead!).  Fortunately, the weather is set to be fine then.

Here it is:-

I'm so excited I could burst! 

More photos will follow as we get things done.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

More caravan bargains

 We've just been to Minehead - went early to avoid the crowds (there's a big Butlins holiday camp there so it does get busy during school holidays)....quite a few charity shops there, including one I really like, a local hospice shop.  And it didn't disappoint - got a pair of brand new, heavy duty, fully lined curtains, 90" x 72", in the perfect colours for the lounge colour scheme I have in mind - £15 - yes just £15, I snapped them up.  They'll be perfect to go on the 2 caravan doors.  They're Dunelm, I've just looked them up and they would cost £99 to buy in the shop.  I'm so pleased with them, couldn't believe my luck in finding the perfect brand new curtains for that price.

Also bought a garden table for £15, and some lovely dessert bowls, again in the exact colour I want for the kitchen, £3 for the four.

It wasn't busy at all when we arrived in Minehead, although was getting quite crowded by the time we left.

It's a gloriously sunny day again, although is forecast to be changeable from tomorrow, with some showers.  Which is ok, the garden needs it.

We had a bbq yesterday, our first one this year.  It's going to be hotter this afternoon, so I don't think I'll be sitting in the garden - even under our 'grounds for divorce' new gazebo 😂