Archive | November, 2014

One year on and counting

21 Nov

It’s about one year since we went up to Drivelodge near Keighley to pick up the Kamper. Touch wood, it has been faultless. It has to be said that David and his team did a great job in screwing it all together. Nothing has worked loose or failed to meet our expectations. So a big thank you to them !
The base vehicle itself has also been trouble free. I knocked off the interior mirror (my stupid fault…) and I put a small dinge in a rear door where the caravan gas box kissed it whilst getting free of a soggy quagmire at Prescott Hill Climb. (Get your “campsite” sorted, you naughty Bugatti Club People. Please… I would like to try again!) Also some person ran a heavy duty shopping trolley into an alloy wheel, causing some marks. So overall , not at all bad. Congratulations to our Spanish cousins who made the base vehicle NV200 in the huge factory in sunny Barcelona. The doors slide true and close correctly and with full servicing, everything is tickety boo.
I have got through a set of tyres pretty quickly for such a slow driving old codger, but then they were not premium brand. I think the next set will be from Michelin, Goodyear or Avon if I can get the correct size.
Overall a great result. As ever for Dinkum , bigger intentions for the next 12 months. I just do not want to tempt fate……….. A Church school childhood leaves a legacy of superstition. LOL.


Internet access in the Kamper and customer service

20 Nov

Some years ago, I used one of these with my laptop for mobile internet access. It was useful, whilst on holiday to find out opening times of leisure destinations and the like. It did take several attempts to close the account and a lot of frustration.
My current (LOL) mobile phone is an ancient Nokia which has withstood “Time Team” type conditions and has been invaluable for it’s basic durability and economy. I have just been given one of these ,above. A very generous gift which gives us the internet access we desire whilst out and about.
o2 cat
Orange failed completely when I ordered a new micro-SIM for my new phone. Three weeks (!) on and several phone calls later, it still has not arrived. So, when I had an offer from Talk Talk to add a mobile to my “package” I jumped at their very good offer and it’s going through.But a subsequent offer from them to reduce my recently increased package costs and give me more of a TV “bundle” etc etc made me wonder if I should have been more “dog” and tried 02 or others! I started a call with Talk Talk with a high opinion of them and ended it with a strong feeling of having been given the hard sell. We shall see.
Remember to never use your phone whilst driving. Don’t end up like this fella. Seems a lot of trouble to load a van with the contents of that bedroom. Thanks to Daily Mail for the pic
van crash

Craven Arms, Shropshire. Land of Lost Content (Museum)

17 Nov

Had a wet drive out to Craven Arms today. Despite the terrible conditions we had little drama until we reached Church Stretton (which is fast becoming one of our more frequent ports of call). A low loader HGV had broken down right across the main exit from the village onto the A49 Shrewsbury road at the busiest traffic lights in the area. There were blue lights everywhere and manual traffic control was keeping things moving.
We had an early lunch at a great cafe in Market Street, Craven Arms then went into the Land of Lost Content (National Museum of British Popular Culture) just over the road.
It was a bizarre experience. Bombarded by multiple exhibits dating from Victorian to present times, we found our minds almost overwhelmed by long lost memories of items from our childhood and earlier times. Stella and her husband have done a great job in preserving so many items for everyone to examine and enjoy. We stayed for ages, lost in our nostalgia. When we came out, the weather had turned so cold that we actually boosted the van’s cab heater with our gas fired propex blower! It soon got too hot and by the time we returned to a now traffic jam free Church Stretton we exited a very cosy , greenhouse of a campervan!

television display

Elfyn Evans achieves Great result on Wales GB WRC Rally

17 Nov

elfyn evans
Apologies for going “off piste” a little with the subject matter, but could not let this result pass without a salute to the young Welshman, Elfyn Evans. He has finished a superb 5th in the Wales GB Rally!
Just 1.24 s down on the Winner Sebastion Ogier (VW) and just in front of Citroen’s Kris Meeke. Meeke had terrible last minute issues with punctures. Elfyn  driving the incredible WRC Ford Fiesta. 300bhp + from 1.6 Turbo, 4 wheel drive……….. Mouth watering!  Managed by Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport supremo.
Elfyn is one to watch. I predict a great future for him and wish him all the Best! Well done!

Awning suitable for Nissan NV200

15 Nov


I saw this awning and thought it may help other NV200 owners with their camping. You can find it for sale at around £150 here:


It makes our tunnel awning seem a bit cumbersome !

although our’s does offer a massive covered space.


An afternoon trip to Castell Powis. (Powis Castle, Welshpool)

9 Nov

powis castle
powis castle two
With the ceremony of Remembrance Sunday over (see below), with the Sun shining, we headed off to Welshpool in Powys to the National Trust property, Castell Powis. The domain of Welsh princes for about 300 years from 1250 something,it has been continually occupied for over 700 years. A real medieval fortification in a beautiful hilltop setting, it is awe inspiring. We passed a herd of deer on the approach which was undisturbed by the very heavy rain storm which suddenly threw itself at us as we drove up to and then around the Castle perimeter.
We had enjoyed lunch in the campervan on our way there and we were quickly out and zapped into the castle, flashing our orange NT membership cards.
Another informative and inspiring visit. The son of “Clive of India”, Edward married into the Herbert family to eventually take control of the place, which is stocked with exotic items from Bengal and Madras.
A magical Autumn afternoon out, combining our passion for travel and historic properties.

Remembrance Sunday November 2014

9 Nov


The scale model above was made for us by a dear family friend and neighbour from one of the old families of Dresden. It is the Cenotaph which stands at the junction of Queen’s Park Avenue and Trentham Road in Dresden , Staffordshire. He painstakingly made it for us from matchsticks.
I believe that he made another which is gifted to the British Legion.
We shall be out today ,later, in our campervan. Free to go where we wish. Remember those who gave their all for their country.

A quick review of the year so far.

8 Nov

Like last year, we unexpectedly had to spend too much valuable Campervan Time filling skips and refurbishing properties. Oh Hum ! Be thankful for the work Dinkum…….
cutty sark
Thats more like it ! Four trips to London. Great place, just avoid Thurrock Services. Poor access!
A lovely holiday in Cornwall amidst the surfers. Fabulous!
Loton Park Hill Climb, Shropshire. A Z cars Mini. What a car ! Over 200 bhp in a MIN ! I want one.
Tour of Britain cycle race. This shot in Wrexham
Got some shock and awe from a Eurofighter, riding our bikes around Lake Vyrnwry, Wales.A magical place.
anglesey south stack
A holiday in Anglesey. Caravan Club: we love it !
national trust
We visit National Trust properties frequently. At least one a week. Some are on the Blog below. It recharges your internal battery. Want to judge it yourself? Visit Little Moreton Hall and enjoy James’ introductory talk. Sensational, funny and educational
dagfiled antiquesdagfields
Antiques Emporiums . This one is Dagfields near Nantwich. We visit so many on our day trips out in the Campervan that they rarely get mentioned on the Blog.
All these visits are enhanced by Dinkum’s Kamper. We even brought a heavy marble washstand home from Cornwall in it! It really does give you a room of your own in every village, town and city. Now…. where’s that road map?

Annoyed tonight by a TV presenter’s comments.

4 Nov

henry cole

The gentleman pictured above is Henry Cole. Tonight I watched with great interest and pleasure as he tours Australia on a KTM as part of his TV series “The World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides.” At first I was absolutely captivated by the 110km long “Shell” beach, made up of just bi-valve shellfish shell remains. The result of very salty sea water only allowing this one culture to dominate the sea bed. I was also impressed with the history of 20,000 years of aboriginal co-existence in the surrounding deserts.
Having been a motorcyclist myself and having ridden pretty long distances in bad conditions, I felt some tangible link with Henry and his adventures.
BUT, when at ” Monkey Mia” resort, Henry commented on the differing strata of people staying there, it just made me a bit annoyed. Henry pointed out the holiday apartment blocks saying that “the well to do ones stayed there” and “the LESS FORTUNATE in their camper vans” with “backpackers in tents.”
Come on, Henry, I thought that you were a “true biker”. Please don’t put people down. I hope that you were dehydrated and not thinking straight or perhaps just churned out some verbal bias from an unthinking script writer.
Disappointed in you Henry.

November. Where do we go from here?

2 Nov

October has come and gone. We had hoped to visit Scotland within the month but once again our plans were dashed. This time various family events conspired against the will to head North of the border. So what could tempt us out winter camping?
Well, we have not been completely homebound. We have visited several National Trust properties all over Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and part of Lancashire. Most recently Little Moreton Hall, our local country “pile”. But, for a more demanding time, do we still head for Scotland or perhaps watch the World rally championship in Wales? We have watched this event since it morphed from the great RAC Rally from the early 1970’s and enjoy braving the cold winter nights, especially with a 2 kW blown air heater “up our sleeves” in Dinkum’s Kamper. Or, do we return to our comfort factor favourite destinations and head for the familiarity of the West Country? Watch this space.

wales gb 2014