2017 – diaries

January 2017

Motorhome repairers called Cathy and said they will start on our van next week, that’s great news, we are so pleased that the repair work is starting soon however our touring and rental plans have now gone out of the window. We know we will get on the road sometime in the future! Cathy is still working! The business she works for haven’t got a completion date for the sale still

And so life plods on…. we just want to get away on Tour! I’m, writing a monthly diary in a little book whilst Cathy is working, it’ll help me with this blog.

Taxed Cathy’s Yaris today, we decided to pay monthly as we don’t know when our MH will be ready.

Central heating boiler seems to be making a low rumbling noise, we called a gas man, his diagnosis was its normal and nothing to worry about, oh good as we dont need any bills as Daves not working,  This afternoon we popped out to the cinema to watch Lion, £5 before noon at the new The Light cinema in Bolton, making savings where we can, we thought it was a great film.

Cathy & I visited my parents in Doncaster for the day, had some lunch and a bit of a catch up before heading back home.

Went walking near Rivington as it was such a lovely fresh day with a little bit of wintery sun breaking through, it was busy up there, I think everybody else had the same idea.

To the Fat Pig for a lunch, 2 for 1 meal deal is on and it also includes 2 for 1 on prossecco either by the glass or bottle, go on guess what we had? we had to walk home!

Annual appointment at the asthma clinic today for the regular tests and check-up, nothing to worry about so I am happy. Came home and we chatted about going to a Motorhome Show this year, so we bought 2 tickets on line for the Caravan Camping & Motorhome Show at the NEC in February, we have never been to an indoor show of this size before.

We love films that are based on some true events, we saw Hacksaw Ridge today, we knew it would be gory and bloody in parts and even though you know it’s coming it still a shock when it happens suddenly on the screen. I particularly like the clips of recorded interviews with the people who the films are based on.

Whilst I am not gainfully employed! I enjoy listening to Radio 2 especially Ken Bruce’s Pop Master quiz, those questions are so tough sometimes, I only get about 3 or 4 right but some of the contestants have superb pop knowledge.

February 2017

MRI scan for my knee today; also, typically something else needs repairing in the house… the conservatory radiator has got a drip, you know that green guueeey stuff is seeping down the pipe and on to the skirting board, called a plumber.

Our first ever time to the Caravan & Motorhome Show at the NEC. We enjoyed ourselves pottering around the stands, we didn’t go for the new MH’s, we looked at the accessories we think we might need to purchase, usually there’s discounts to be had at these shows. A few hours later we are a few £’s lighter in the pocket, bought some microfibre towels, sharp knives for veg prep, meat prep etc, Mr D’s cooking pot and a 4G Wifi system (pack 2) from motorhome wifi.com after chatting with Adam & Sophie, they own this company and have traveled through Europe in a motorhome. A good day overall and the motorways were clear for most of the way on both journeys.

Delivered some of our stuff at the Emmaus charity in Bolton and a visit to the tip today. Very windy last night and two fence panels have blown out, that’s my job for today to fix them, not spending our hard earned savings on new ones!.

My NHS MRI knee scan results have come back and I’ve got a torn meniscus in my right knee, I am going for a private consultation to expedite this as well and we will take it from there dependent on what is discovered by the consultant.

March 2017

Private consultation with the orthopaedic consultant at the Beaumont Hospital in Bolton, it cost £225 and confirmed what the problem is and how it can be repaired with an operation, and the operation will be £2,200 if I go private, ouch! hopefully NHS appointment will come through in the not too distant future.

Called in at the motorhome repairers for an update, apparently the wrong wall boards were ordered, so further delays.

That evening we were fed up so we went out, local pub for a meal deal and a bottle of wine, ….taxi home! Chatted about Cathy finishing work and the dates we might have to plan our trip around, seems to be dragging now, may be August before Cathy can finish work, We bought the Van last August! how has a year passed?

A week later we’re off to the Waggon & Horses for tea and to join the Thursday night quiz, we’ll keep our score to ourselves ……

FaceTime’d our son and his wife in Toronto, they moved in to their new apartment last weekend,  we miss them not being here in the UK.

A visit to Mum and Dads in Doncaster who will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary next week, that’s a fantastic achievement, congratulations to them both.

There was an alleged terrorist attack in Westminister  today, such a shock!

It’s our wedding anniversary this month – 33 yrs, and we are travelling to the Lake District today 23rd March might get a walk in this afternoon at St johns in the Vale before checking in at the accommodation, Sally our Daughter and Daniel our son in law came later that evening and  It was a beautiful weekend of walking in the Lake District in glorious weather, did the Ullswater walk to Howtown and caught the steamer back, plus shore walk at Derwent Water and the Cat Bells lower terrace walk as well.


Lower Terrace looking back to Keswick



Ullswater facing Pooley Bridge

April 2017

I repaired & painted the wooden garden tables and chairs, now they look like new again, I’ve got to keep busy whilst waiting for Cathy to be made redundant, who knows when that will be!

The motorhome repairer informed us that we need a new side window, we thought this might happen as we were aware of the problem, we managed to source a new one with help from the Dethleffs Owners Club, it cost 555 euros after a club discount. We had it delivered direct to the repairers.

We went with Cathy’s brothers and sisters to see “Lonesome West” an Irish play at the Liverpool Royal Court theatre.

The next day was a 7 mile walk around Formby beach and dunes, bought some asparagus from the local farm, coffee and cake in Woodies, it was Bank Holiday weekend and the weather was kind to us.

May 2017

Our daughters 31st birthday this month, we feel old suddenly!

A few days later I am doing a 4am airport run for our daughter and her husband, they are off to tour Italy for more than 2 weeks for their honeymoon 6 months after they married!

Later on I cut the grass for the first time this year, it’s been very wet.

We saw the motorhome today, there has been some progress but it is not happening quick enough for us, we would complain but Cathys still working so we couldn’t get off to Europe anyway.

Two weeks later we are back on the Manchester airport run to pick up the newly weds, it’s usually a 35 minute journey especially at 11.30pm, well it took us 2 hours to get there! The M60 was partially closed and a lot of junctions were closed and we were forced towards Leeds which is the wrong way, couldn’t even turn off at the motorway junctions to go back the other way, it was a nightmare!

Part of getting the house ready for rental or possible sale in the future we decided to have the cavity walls insulated by a local company and all for free under the government scheme, we are pleased with that.

Turned the radio this morning 22nd May 2017 and we were upset to hear about the Ariana Grande concert attack on innocent people at Manchester MEN arena and where 22 people mostly young boys and girls died enjoying an evening out, ….this world?

The local garage reminded us was time for Cathy’s Yaris to be MOT’d, took it along and it passed first time without any work needed. Good news on the finance front

June 2016

We heard about the London bridge terrorist attack this morning.

The window doctor came to fix a leaky window frame in the conservatory, slowly getting everything ready for the Tenants when we finally get around to touring.

We advertised our sons old Yaris today which I’ve been driving the money is going to spent on the motorhome insurance and road tax as they are both due next month, we’ve paid this for 1 year already and haven’t even used the van!

Cathy received a positive statement about the potential sale of the company she works for and this means potentially there could be a some redundancy payment, so we might be free to set off on our long-awaited travels this summer. ( that didn’t happen)

Thurs 15th June 2017 was a big day as it is time for my knee surgery, Arthroscopic Meniscectomy undertaken at the Beaumont hospital under the NHS, we couldn’t afford to go private but NHS booked me into this private hospital the staff were great, and they really looked after me during my time there. Cathy drove me home about 7.30 pm, it was a long day, no food intake from 6.30am which is hard for me as I must eat regularly!

Saturday 17th Fathers day BBQ at home with daughter and her husband, I’ve got my leg up resting and everybody looked after me…and a few hours later they were told that their house had been sold today, it was unbelievable as it was only advertised two days ago. We all stayed out in the garden staring at the stars and midnight blue sky until the early hours as it was really warm, the alcohol was just for pain relief haha!

Plenty of rest and doing the knee physio at home, and being careful with all my movements.

Spent time researching and obtaining landlord building and contents insurance quotes, chased up the plumber to what’s happened to our radiator replacements that we arranged a few weeks ago…we are fed up this evening and we nearly booked a holiday abroad tonight! but no must be strong we will be travelling soon i’m sure.

Chased BT to complain about our monthly bill, it is far too high, got it reduced to £37.99 per month from £89.50 per month plus we got £210 funded as they have overcharged us since 2015, to be fair BT spotted it and arranged it, I hadn’t even noticed it on the bill over those years.

Renewed both of our EHIC cards via NHS website, it’s free direct with the NHS but don’t get caught out by other websites offering the same service for a price, avoid them.

July 2017

Chasing up our motorhome with the repairers, is it ready? when will it be ready? what’s the delay? why?  it seems to be taking a long time, it’s very, very frustrating for us.

August 2017

It’s ready, come and pick your motorhome up, yippee!

Off we go to collect Pogo, inspect the work, ask lots of questions and of course we have to pay the rather large invoice.£££££££

We are home a few hours later and we chatted about going away for a few days and Lincoln came up, lets go there, so we did. Click here to read about our first trip to Lincoln.

Cut the conifers back and it looks better, but now I must go the tip with the garden waste.

The kitchen worktop needs oiling and waxing properly so I sand it down with 240 grade sandpaper to remove the discoloured area where Cathy put the hot lid of the Le Creuset  dish and reseal it, looks good now.

September 2017

Watched the TV series, 5 go motor-homing on channel 5, it was interesting if you are in to motorhomes, but certain scenes were carefully planned and edited.

Out with friends Vera and David in Manchester at the Café Istanbul, loved their food and we had a good night, caught the train home.

Pogo the motorhome needs new tyres, so I started researching this, well it’s a subject full of opinion on many of the blogs, forums and websites. I spent a few days on this and decided what to do, you can be left confused and dazed with so much to digest as I was, I have written all about it here.

October 2017

Our microwave gave up a few days ago, we tried to manage without it, but we are off out to buy another one, it’s surprising how often you use one isn’t it? No such luxuries in the motorhome though!

Bought an LPG refillable system today via the classifieds on Motorhome Fun for £180, it’s just 6 weeks old and these systems cost about £340-£350 new, so I bought it but it’s in Lockerbie. Let’s plan a trip to Scotland in Pogo I shout out to Cathy! Upon my research in to LPG systems there doesn’t seem to be much difference between them, once again lots of discussions on the forums etc, here’s my thoughts about our LPG system here.

Thursday 12th Oct 2018

We set off on trip No.2 for a few days to Oswestry, click here for our blog of this trip.

Back home on Sunday 15th October after an interesting and enjoyable few days.

On Tuesday 17th October we set off again on shakedown trip No.3 this time to Dumfries, Scotland. We wanted to have a go at free/wild camping and to see how we got on. We got back home on Tuesday 24th after yet another eventful time, click here.

Friday 27th October is house moving day for our daughter and her hubby, so we all muck in and help out for the next three days, lots of new DIY jobs for me along the way and it keeps me busy for the next week at their new house.

November 2017

Saturday 4th November we are up at 7am excitedly as our son comes home today, this is great and we are really looking forward to seeing him for the first time since December last year when he came home for his sister’s wedding. We all had a lovely time with him before he goes to one of his best friend’s wedding in Preston.

An emotional day Tuesday 14th as we drop our son off at Manchester airport.

Cathy is still working hard and soldiering on, it looks like Cathy will be made redundant in early January next year, at last…… honestly it has taken about 16 months since it was first announced, no wonder Cathy is fed up.

We start shakedown trip No.4 heading towards Weymouth via Oxford, read about it here.

Home on Saturday 25th November

December 2017

Tuesday 5th December off to Aysgarth for shakedown trip No.5, decided to use a Caravan & Camping Club (CCC) Certified Site for a change, it was a brilliant site, read about it here.

Whilst away in Pogo we had the Prakto LPG system fitted professional at Autogas 2000 near Thirsk, John did a great job with a lovely sense of humour.

I have done lots of enhancements, woodwork, electrical work, repairing and installing new equipment and kit in Pogo over the last few months between August 2017 and December 2017.

I decided that Pogo needed a major service before we go to Scotland for Hogmanay, so off to GEP Motors in Bolton we go, all done for £265, happy once again, didn’t fancy breaking down in Scotland in January!

I just had a few DIY jobs to do at our daughters new house before Christmas, so I was busy for two days there.

Well its nearly Christmas time so we started to get the house ready as we usually do.

It is almost certain that Cathy’s last working day will be 31st December 2017, at long last it’s arrived but anything can happen so we won’t believe it until it actually happens, we hope it does, we can then move on and start travelling, our journey with me you and pogo2 started in August 2016 when we bought a motorhome, although we have many delays both with the motorhome and Cathy’s leaving dates we can almost feel the sun on our faces!

Merry Christmas to you all and hopefully we will see you on the road in 2018.

Dave and Cathy