26th June 2021
A Grand Day Out at Stoneleigh!
Warner Shows run a series of motohome and campervan shows up and down the country. We had already attended the largest of these at the East of England Show Ground in Peterborough. This weekend Steve and I headed to Stonleigh Park for the Midsummer event.
This event seemed much smaller than the Peterborough event. Speaking to the organisers we learned that many of the Motorhome Dealers that usually run stands at all the events had pulled out due to stock issues. This is a theme we have heard several times over the last few months. The impact of Covid and subsequent need for “staycations” has created a massive demand for leisure vehicles. Motorhomes and Campervans are now selling in higher numbers than ever before.
All was not lost though, the accessory stands still provided great shopping opportunities, and we bumped in to several familiar faces!
14-17th June 2021
At home in Milton Keynes
Those Weirdo’s are a family of 3 humans; Dom, Missy and Rosie who share their bright yellow submarine themed self converted sprinter van with 2 dogs and 2 cats! The van is a stunning riot of colour and sunshine bursting at the seams with love and laughter.
Steve first met Dom at the International Campervan and Adventure Overland Show and they immediately struck up a great friendship. I’m not entirely sure how someone as super laid back as Dom can cope with Steve’s manic approach to life - but he did and we invited them to come and park up for a couple of days on our driveway.
Steve and I have been talking about reducing the meat in our diet for a long time now, and as they are vegan, we decided that this was a perfect opportunity to join them for a couple of meat free days. Before they arrived I popped in to Sainsburys and stocked up on huge cart of veggies and meat and dairy alternatives.
Monday night’s dinner was all about pizza! I made a giant batch of dough and we all built our own individual pizzas. The wine and conversation flowed as we cranked up the BBQ and tucked in to our own creations.
Tuesday dawned bright and beautiful. It was still term time, so our boys went to school as usual, and Rosie hung out with the adults as we worked in the garden. In addition to my usual business work, we found time to record the first in Series 2 of our “Conversations With…”. I don’t want to share too many spoilers, but Dom and Missy’s approach to parenting and schooling is polar opposite to ours. It was genuinely fascinating to get an insight into their approach and understand why they had chosen such an unconventional path.
At school run time, Steve and Dom picked George up on eScooters! They absolutely did not take the most direct route, and I’m pretty sure they bombed around MK like a pair of delinquent teenagers.
While they were scooting around town, I spent the afternoon rustling up a couple of curries. I made a nobutter, no chicken; butter chicken curry, and my famous coconut dahl. They were both blumin delicious!! After another wonderful evening of chat and fun in the pool, Those Weirdos headed off on the next step of their journey.
Saturday 12th June 2021
A Grand Day Out!
As the boys are getting older, we have promised them that they can have regular weekends at home. This is espeically important right now as Eddie is preparing for his GCSEs and Harry has his end of year tests looming, so, this weekend we had planned to have an "At Home" weekend. But, the boys had all made plans to see friends, and Steve and I were at a loose end. Instead of hanging around all weekend feeling sorry for our housebound selves, we decided to take a day trip to The National Motorhome and Campervan Show.
Held at the East of England Showground in Peterborough, this annual event is the largest and longest outdoor motorhome and campervan show in the UK. This is the first time Steve and I have attended any of the outdoor motorhome shows and we were excited to arrive and explore the "UKs largest selection of new and used motorhomes for sale from a huge range of local and national dealers". Unfortunately, once again, the pandemic had impacted the scale of the event. Of course there were many dealers there, but when we chatted with other visitors many were a bit disappointed especially when thinking back and comparing to previous years.
Even though we explored the whole show in just a couple of hours, we managed to see a huge variety of vehicles. From giant luxury Fifth wheel vehicles, to tiny pop up tents, this show had something for just about everyone's budget. It was really interesting to compare a £57K Airstream with a £57K Fifth Wheel. Both are vehicles you can tow, but the difference in size and features for the same money was... ummm... surprising!
In addition to the vehicles on display I had a lovely time visiting the smaller stalls. The variety of travel accessories was great. A particular highlight for me was seeing Darren from Rainbow Screens, it's always lovely to bump in to a friend! Steve enjoyed watching the professional sales demonstrations, I think the bloke selling super absorbent cloths cast a spell on him!
There were lots of stalls sharing food samples, I particularly enjoyed the cheese and liquour stalls, and the brownies were pretty spectacular too!
But the absolute tip top very best moments of the day were all based around meeting up with our friends. If you have been following our channel for a while now, you will know that we consider Liam the (not so) Terrible to be one of our favourite people. He and baby Phoenix had come for a boys day out, so it was fab to bump in to them and steal the odd baby cuddle! Our lovely new friends the Travel Trolls were staying nearby at Ferry Meadows, and after a morning at the show we whisked them off for a spin in the Tesla, then out to a local pub for lunch.
All in all the day was lovely. It wasn't at all like the International Campervan and Overland Adventure show, this event was more like a trade show with a nice campsite attached.
Thursday 3rd - Monday 7th July 2021
A Festival of Travelling Homes!
WOW! What a weekend!!! I don't think I can express how exciting and wonderful and happy this event was. Steve travelled straight from Hollingworth Lake to Stratford-upon-Avon arriving early ready to film some of the set up days. The boys and I joined him on Friday night ready for a weekend of fun.
The show was sprawlled accross the whole of the Racecourse with exhibitions, rides and catering in and amongst the various camping areas. We loved seeing everything from poptop tents teetering on the tops of landrovers, to huge American RVs, from pristine motorhomes to an incredible variety of self converted vehicles. Each vehicle had a story, and every owner was proud to share their story.
We were parked up in the "YouTube Village" with several other content creaters. Some we knew, and some we quickly made friends with. Saturday was fantastic, we had an amazing time chatting with subscribers then hung out with our friends Liam, Amy and baby Phoenix. Sunday was a quieter "meet and greet" day for us so we took some time to go and explore the show for ourselves.
For many people attending the event this was our first weekend of freedom in over 15 months. I'm not sure if it was a feeling of liberation, or the glorious sunshine, or the shared love of travelling with our homes, but there was an amazing sense of optimism and happiness. A key moment for me was the realisation that George was the very first child to bounce on the trampolines since before covid hit, we were their very first paying customers in over a year.
Friday 28th May - Monday 31st May 2021
Fantastic base for visiting Yorkshire family!
Hollingworth lake is man-made reservoir at Smithy Bridge in Greater Manchester. It was completed in 1800 as the main water source for the Rochdale Canal. From the 1860s the area developed into a fine victorian tourist resourt with the Manchester-Leeds railway bringing weekend and day trippers to the lake. Hotels and Ammusement centres were popular around the lakeside, but small row boats and a couple of Paddle Steamers provided fun on the water. Today the area is a thriving base for water sports and nature walks.
There is a popular campsite right on the lake front, but we were staying with our Motorhomer.com friends at the Littleborough Lakeside Cricket Club. The Rakewood Viaduct elevates the M62 high above the valley creating a stark contrast against the natural beauty of the Pennine hillside.
Steve arrived on Wednesday and helped Phil and the Motorhomer guys set up the camping area right on the edge of the playing field. I understand that before we arrived he at fish and chips twice in the same day!!!
The boys and I arrived on Friday evening. Littleborough is a lovely base for visiting my side of the family. Both Ilkley and Queensbury are less than 20 miles (as the crow flies), unfortunately 20 miles = up to 90 mins of drive time! We really miss our Milton Keynes grid system. While I visited old friends, Steve and the boys spent Saturday exploring the area's cycling trails and climbing mountains.
The weather on Sunday was glorious as we packed up the car and set off to Ilkley to visit Great Grandma. As it has a Bradford postcode, Ilkley was badly affected by the pandemic. Each time we planned to go visit, she would end up back in lockdown, or one of our boys would be put in isolation. To celebrate finally getting to see her, we "smuggled in" fish and chips from a chippy and enjoyed them together out in the garden. YES, Steve really did eat fish and chips again!
Despite Steve threatening to have his post redirected, the boys and I were ready to enjoy a relaxing day on Monday. We played games, climbed mountains, drank tea and spent hours catching up with our friends. On Tuesday morning we packed up and moved on. I took the boys back to MK and Steve headed off to our next stop!