living in a motorhome

August 30, 2013

for five fantastic, furious nites we flew from london to andover, stongehenge, bath, cardiff, stirling, burghead, edinburgh, buxton and back to london in a hired motorhome.  i loved the trip, i loved my new family that i either met for the first time or got to know more, i loved the places we got to see (albeit very quickly), i loved taking percy and tally (despite some meltdowns) and i loved doing it all with paul.

i categorily did not love doing it in a motorhome!  perhaps if it was your own motorhome and you had tricked it out the way that suits you it might be ok.  but that broken piece of crap that we hired?  no, i don’t think so.

i admit it was convenient to have a tincy wincy kitchen and something approximating a bathroom along for the ride.  however the bathroom was just too small and it stank no matter how we cleaned it and emptied the toilet cartridge.  and driving those suckers is scary!  we specifically got the smallest one we reasonably could that could still sleep the four of us, and it was still enormous feeling.  i can’t really complain on the driving front tho because paul did all the driving.  i’ve neglected to learn to drive a manual transmission. (not that i care; i don’t drive a car for the experience of moving my arms and legs, i drive to see what’s along the way and to get somewhere).  nearly every rental vehicle of whatever sort, in the uk, is a manual.

on two mornings, when we wanted to vamoose quickly to get to the next destination it was nice to leave the kids asleep in the back and drive off.  (illegal i’m sure and potentially very dangerous.)  one morning i climbed in with them and actually fell back asleep until paul pulled up at a roadside stop adjacent to a river, in the lakes district, for breakfast.  it was perfect.  he drove for an extra three hours, out of our way, just because i said i wanted to visit the lakes district.  after breakfast we went wading in the river.  it was quite fast flowing tho, and pretty cool, so no all-in swimming.  this is something you can’t do staying in hotels.  pulling up where you please, when you please…  i suppose there are advantages to motorhome holidays.

motorhomes in the uk are freaky when you get off the highways.  the little byways and lanes are the pretty places… oh my, did we see some pretty places!  postcard perfect views and vistas, old pubs and homes covered in vines and flowers, tumbling streams, fluffy black-faced sheep, steep tree-less hills, mirror lakes, castles, manor homes, follies, stone walls as far as the eye could see…  i’m in love.  but those little lanes are often lined with those dang stone walls, or tall, thick hedges, only a few centimetres from where the bitumen ends.  hence no room for error, or moving over when an even bigger motorhome or truck comes the other way!  i think paul did admirably well not requiring a change of underpants on more than one occasion.

once we’re back on oz i’d really like to take a few months and go round and thru and over our home country.  quite possibly a 4wd motorhome would be a great option to do this in.  even the smaller lanes in australia aren’t hemmed in like the british ones.  plus we could get an auto transmission one more easily i suspect, and hence share the driving.  this is a long term plan tho.  we’ll be well broke once home, and have a house to build…  hmmmm.  plus i’d like percy and tally to be a couple of years older, so they can appreciate our wide brown land and all its myriad inhabitants.  and that getting a few months off school is a big deal!

ok, i certainly couldn’t live happily in a motorhome but perhaps i could holiday in one, in the right circumstances, again.

allergic to allergies

August 14, 2013

i’ve been writing this post in my head for two days now.  everything in my little brain is telling me not to commit it to “paper”.  i’m often slow to listen to good advice, so i’m going to anyways.  i may put the qualifiers at the end.  i may assume you’re smart enough to figure them out on your own.

i’m tired of having the sick minority dictate to the healthy majority.  i don’t enjoy grocery shopping and food preparation in the first place.  having to read every bloody label and always wonder if i’m sending my kids to school or camp or wherever with food that “may contain traces of nuts” is tiresome and wasteful.  you’re the one with the allergy, you deal with it.   blllrrrggghhh.

perhaps i’m just over having a two line piece of paper come home from camp detailing (or not) what my kids will be doing for the next five days and TWO WHOLE PAGES admonishing me to ensure any food they bring with them won’t affect their peers, and the punitive actions that will be taken should they do so.  i’m really tempted to send a bag of peanuts.  why can’t the allergics go and eat in the office, well away from any contaminants?

and seriously, when’s it going to stop?  soon every time you step out your door you’ll subsist on carrots.  (just to check, is there a known allergy to carrots?) i know a girl who is potentially fatally allergic to nuts, eggs, shellfish, gluten, dairy etc etc.  what she can eat stumps me.  are the rest of us supposed to keep her from harm every minute of every day?

i wholly support the social necessity about the stronger looking out for the weaker.  i’m not convinced it applies here.

someone tell me what allergics do in large gatherings?  if just the wiff of nuts in the air makes them puke on living, do they never go to business meetings, funfairs, festivals, concerts, performances, galleries, museums, hospitals, universities, cruises, travel on public transport, fly on planes, anywhere where someone may be eating god knows what?!  if allergics can cope in these situations and places what’s the problem with schools?  and don’t tell me kids often have it worse and often grow out of it.  they also go on excursions and sporting trips and academic competitions held in a variety of locations.  i haven’t looked, but i haven’t heard of anyone dieing from an allergic reaction at a spelling bee held at the town hall.

qualifier warning.  we are, i suppose, fortunate that no-one in our little family is allergic to anything.  i did fall into a bush once when i was about 7 and break out in hives for a couple of days.  must be a fairly rare plant as it’s not happened again.  i’m sure my tune would be different if i was protecting percy or tally from health- or life-threatening concerns.  they do already know not to share their food or their drinks/ bottles/ cups with anyone.  which seems mean-spirited but herpes induced cold sores on my kids lips wakes me in a cold sweat.  perhaps i should look at allergies the same way.  the difference to me is that percy and tally are protecting themselves, and while i hope they grow up to be altruistic and protect others when they see the need, they can’t protect every allergic from themselves.

my semi-apologies for applying a label; “allergics” to people who suffer from allergic reactions.  it’s not nice to slap perjorative labels on people.  it was my little dig at what i see as a ridiculous over-reaction to a small problem blown way too large.  i write for me, hence i’m only a little sorry.

i wonder if schools, primarily because they are state backed institutions or wealthy privately-owned companies, are seen as easy damages payout opportunities?  could this explain why they go so nuts on not allowing nuts?  if they can argue they did everything possible to stop the tragedy of little so-and-so dieing, then grieving relatives can’t hit them up for compensation?  i’m yet to see a museum that says on the front door “this a nut-free environment.”  (might hamper some of the artists!)

it’s now time for me to do some grocery shopping!  while percy and tally are at camp i may actually find the time to read every label before committing to purchase.

uk trip 2013 – home now

August 13, 2013

we had a really good fortnite in the uk.  there were a couple of down moments with the kids behaviour but all-in-all i think everyone got some good things from the trip.

we’ve been home and week and half now and i clearly haven’t gotten back to a post a day.  oops.  this week percy and tally are at summer camp during the day.  i have lots of time to write.  and do the other things that are far easier done without kids about.  for instance, i got my hair cut this morning.  first time in about a year i think, maybe longer.  and i’m going to the dentist in a half hour.  yesterday i cleaned the kids bathroom!  they were in essence using it as a wet play room.  dinosaurs and paints everywhere.  they mostly shower and brush their teeth in our ensuite.  who needs three full bathrooms?  we do because lots of our lovely friends are going to visit and take up the spare space, aren’t they lovely friends??!!

i’ll write more about the trip soon but i’m busy plotting our next one, and still tidying up from the last and am kinda not motivated yet.  besides, in two weeks, the most one can say of a flying trip around england and scotland is, “i need more time!”