Well, what an eventful week in the life of Lin and Johns Motorhome Adventure! On Thursday we left our campsite in the Yorkshire Dales and trundled down to Carsington Water where we planned to make our home for the next 5 nights - however, what we hadn't expected was getting stuck in the mud - and not just once!
John rocked the van backwards and forwards, he tried it with traction control, he tried pushing while I took the helm - all accompanied by a good deal of swearing and mud spraying- but it was all to no avail, we weren't going anywhere - and worse than that, we were on a huge 'wonk' so there was no way we could stay where we were.
So, first we tried to contact the farmer for a tow but he was unavailable, then we rung the recovery service that we have available as part of our vehicle warranty, and they said 'yes' they could help but as we were a long way from hard standing (50 metres) they would have to sub-contract the job to an expert recovery firm and to expect a call shortly directly from them. The call duly came, but along with it came quite a shock - they wanted £300 to complete the job!
This was a very big OUCH, but luckily, while all this had been going on our saviour arrived in the form of Farmer Paul in his big shiny green tractor. He soon had the T4rdis hooked up and tugged up the field, and from there he directed us across the road into his Rally field where there was a solid drive that he said we could park on - so we did.
Now, the question was 'should we stay, or should we go?' Initially we thought we might be better off looking for a proper campsite, but once we were on solid ground, and with fantastic views from our front window over the Reservoir we decided to stay.
So, on Thursday, after a quick visit to the dentist for John, we pottered out and walked the 8.5 miles around the Reservoir, and as The Miners Arms was still open as we passed we felt forced to pop in for a quick pint.
On Friday we had planned to cycle, but the wind was blowing a hooley, so instead we stayed at home and gave the van a good scrub, both inside and out, ready for selling it on Monday. And it was then that Farmer Paul knocked on the door and told us that rather than sitting in the middle of his field it would be safe to move over onto the grass at the side - he was sure we wouldn't get stuck again!
On Saturday we got our bikes out and set off on our postponed ride from the previous day. We peddled over to Tissington village, and then back along the Tissington and High Peak trails, before dropping back down into Carsington Village, and from there it was only a short ride back to the T4rdis (about 30 miles in all - and only one big hill!)
On Sunday Ben, Louise and Baby Evelyn joined us for Sunday lunch at the Knocker-down Pub, which I would recommend, but only if your happy to wait a very lo-----------ng time for your food!
And then with much excitement came Monday - the day we had arranged to collect T4rdis2 - our nearly new Chausson Motorhome. We were up early, fed, watered and packed up ready to go, then key in the ignition and .....Whizz whizz whizz..... went our wheels, but with absolutely no forward movement - we had sunk again, and all we achieved by trying to leave was the digging of two deep divets with our front wheels. Again, this resulted in a few choice four letter words being uttered by one member of our duo, but I said 'never mind, I'm sure Farmer Paul will help us out!' WRONG - he was on his way to an auction in Bakewell and wouldn't be back until late afternoon.
So this time it was Knight in Shining Armour John who saved the day. He went for a little walk around the field and found a bit of old wood which he used to brace the jack, and then he jacked the van up on both sides and filled the divets with gravel which we had collected form the cycle track in front of the field. Then rev, rev, rev went the T4rdis and all of a sudden we were free and off to collect our new home!
We were collecting our nearly new van from Emm Bee Motorhomes in Bury, so with our little delay we arrived around lunch time. Then it was the tedious job of completing all the paper work and handover information, before we lined the T4rdis and T4rdis2 up and transferred all our belongings from one van to the other - well nearly all - we did manage to leave crumpets and sausages in the freezer - I hope somebody found them before they became too ripe!
Since then we have been concentrating on settling in, and finding places to store all our belongings - but many of them are a bit dizzy at the mo from being moved several times - and now we're not quite sure where anything is! However, T4rdis2 is about a metre longer than it's predecessor and has cavernous cupboards and a ginormous garage so we have plenty of choice. It also has a rear bedroom - so no more making and dismantling beds everyday, a chore I think neither of us will miss! But the bedroom takes up quite a bit of space - so there is a compromise and that is having less space in our sitting room.
It really did feel a bit to 'cosy' at first but we have very quickly become used to it, and all in all, I think T4rdis2 has already become Home sweet Home, hopefully a status that will be maintained for a good few years to come.
On Tuesday we went back to Ridding's campsite (near Ripley) and spent the rest of the day moving things from one place to another, and generally having a chuck out of all the things that are surplus to our needs.
And on Wednesday we went shopping to replace the bits we had chucked out with additional bits and bobs that will be essential to our comfort. Following this we visited Sarah, Paul and Thomas where we were treated to tea and entertained by Thomas as he continued to show his expertise in mud pie making with his new spade, and tent making with the aid of a couple of blankets!
We also felt quite privileged when Thomas came running up to Granddad and presented him with a 'new tow rope' in case he ever gets struck in the mud again!
And that brings us to today - Thursday. Our morning was spent doing a bit more sorting, and then at lunch time we were visited by John's Mum, along with John and Val who brought with them lunch in the form of fish and chips.
We all snuggled into T4rdis2 and enjoyed our lunch, and had a good old chin wag, mostly about the advantages of our of our new home.
Finally, to finish our day we nipped over to see Adam Vicky and Jack where we were cajoled into a game of alien space invaders, and then Jack came and made a very though exploration of our new van and gave it his unique stamp of approval!
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