Saturday, 26 December 2009

Silver Season's Greetings!

In order to get away from the stresses and strains of the pre-Christmas madness, I took a sanity break in my Airstream.

It was just what the doctor ordered. WAY too short, but far better than no break at all.

Merry Christmas one and all.

Christmas; Airstream

Christmas; Airstream

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


I don't mind admitting that after looking forward to going home at the end of summer, I got a little bit down in the dumps. Nothing major, just boring stuff.

Having towed the Airstream for three hours on Monday to a site, I spent yesterday driving a total of five hours to do a job near Manchester. As the miles passed and Radio 2 entertained, I felt calm, peaceful, happy, and hopeful. Being on the road makes me feel good.

My life has wheels.

Monday, 9 November 2009


It's that time of year again. Hibernation time. Well, a lot of us would hibernate if we could, but we can't. So we make do with long evenings snuggled up on the sofa.

But a man has to work for a living.

I had to get off my sofa, collect my trailer, and get back to work.

It was a struggle to leave home. But as I clapped eyes on my bright and shiny Airstream glinting in the strong winter sunlight, my spirits lifted beyond measure. Motorway miles were passed with one eye trained on the object of my desire in the rear view mirror, my tired brain finding somewhere the seeds of ideas for exciting new trips next year.

You don't get this kind of lift, motivation, inspiration, and energy with something that is simply functional. This is why I love my Airstream.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

NEC Meltdown

Last week was the big Caravan Show at Birmingham's NEC.

Airstream Europe was there, as was Sam & Hazel's Vintage Airstreams.


The world and his wife have decided that Leisure Vehicles are the way forward.

By the end of the show everybody looked knackered and deleriously happy. One of the guys at Airstream was smiling so much that if he had two mouths his head would have fallen off.

Meanwhile Sam and Hazel have a veritable procession of interested parties arranging a visit.

One manufacturer alone generated £12million worth of sales.

This truly is a golden time for the caravan industry and it's great to be part of it!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Wales take 2!

After dropping off my Airstream, I overnighted in a press caravan before picking up my home for the following week. For a start, can you imagine exactly what planning has to go in to taking everything you need for a week (including bedding, crocks and cutlery) but not too much so it doesn't fit into the car? It's a headache to say the least.

Anyhow, soon I was at Nottingham picking up my next van, a Dethleffs Campy:

It's a fab little tourer! Only 12ft long yet packs in a fixed bed, dinette, wardrobe, garage space, washroom, kitchen and a wardrobe. It's a bit basic with no hot water or shower, but its low price and low weight reflect that. Best of all I had a 2.0 142bhp VW Golf - in red - to tow it with all week. Fabulous!

First stop was Shaftesbury to do a review. Then it was back to Wales to Aberaeron where I enjoyed doing the touristy stuff.

Leaving there, I headed to Nant-Yr-Arian forest to do some mountain biking on my favourite trail, the Pendam trail. It's only 10k and is challenging enough to be great fun without being too much or too long.

Next stop was a campsite called Tyllwyd in Cwmystwyth, inland from Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge. I have to say that it is my favourite campsite ever. I went there with the Airstream in August and loved it then, apart from being eaten alive by midges. This time I had the whole site to myself and had AMAZING weather... and no midges.

That night I went out to the car just after midnight and noticed that the moonlight was illuminating the entire valley. I had to grab my camera and tripod...

Amazing. The next couple of days were spent doing research and photos before hooning back to Nottingham, dropping off the car and the Campy, then hooning up to Tebay to collect the Airstream.
It was bliss to be back in my trailer and have all my goods and chattels in one place. After overnighting at the depot, it was a LONG 11 hour trip (including breaks) for a brief weekend at home to de-summer the trailer (remove outdoor furniture, second battery etc) and change the clothing and bedding to winter stuff.
And now we're back on the road for the last working trip of the 'summer' season. But there will be plenty of trips over the winter too :-)

Wales, take 1!

Lucky me, I went to Wales not once but twice in September.

Trip number one took me to Snowdonia. Despite having charged through a few times, it was the first time I stayed there for a week and my head soon spun at just how much there is to do in the area.

It was nice to meet up with a prospective Airstreamer, Greg, who was renting a cottage nearby. He came over for dinner a few times and we did a daytrip or two.

One of our trips was to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth. It makes for an interesting day out, and one of the nice things is that some of the ideas presented range from what you can implement that very evening at home to how you can completely replan your life. The nice PR lady explained that they are now suffering a bit of a dilemma. What was ground-breaking environmental technology 5 years ago is commonplace today. So some of the exhibits show what everyone now does rather than what we could be doing. It's good in a way, but of course renewing stuff for the sake of it isn't really green.

Next morning I headed to Coed-y-Brenin which is one of the premier Mountain Bike Centres in the UK. I had a great ride on one of the trails, and as I was there at 7am I had the place to myself.

I also had an interesting visit to a slate mine museum which provided a fascinating insight into the roots of modern Welsh culture. I would loved to have done some more trips like ride the steam railways, but I was 'working' and had to press on to my next site at Caernarfon.

I really liked Caernarfon. Of course, it's always a bonus when the town is a 10 minute stroll from the site. A beautiful little harbour guarded by a majestic castle that commanded fabulous views of Snowdon.

I wanted to climb that hill, but sadly the day after I snapped this pic the clouds rolled in and it didn't seem sensible to do the ascent on my own, and I didn't fancy the £25 on taking a diesel train up there just to stand in cloud. So 'Climbing Snowdon' is now on my to-do list.

From there it was a mad dash to Tebay to drop off the Airstream for its annual service. My next trip to Wales was going to have a different flavour...

Monday, 21 September 2009


Apologies about the inconsistent timeline...

After the Isle of Wight, but before the Airstream rally, I nipped up to Alderstead Heath Caravan Club Site. 'Oh, we've got another one of those on site' said the warden, gesticulating at my Airstream. So. much to the assistant warden's surprise, I passed on my favourite pitch in order to set up opposite the other trailer...

This 1966 Overlander has been shipped over and worked upon by its owner Richard. Together with his gorgeous family, Richard was en route to France and Switzerland to promote his super website It's a website all about ski resorts especially suited to mobile phones and it's pretty stonking.

Naturally, there was a wine-fuelled Airstreaming Evening involved... :-)

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Airstream Meet, Forest of Dean, Sept 2009

After a quick job that involved staying at Bath (at a site where your caravan is valet parked!) it was time to head to the Forest of Dean for the Autumn 09 Airstream meet.

13 units attended in total, including some fabulous old classics.

It was lovely to catch up with friends old and new

The weather was very, very kind

But all too soon Sunday came and it was time for the farewells to begin... at least until next year!

All in all a fabulous weekend. Thank you Pete and Tracey!

Osborne House, Isle of Wight

My last full day on the Isle of Wight, and on the spur of the moment I decided to pay a visit to Osborne House, the holiday home of Queen Victoria.

For some reason I had a very strong urge to go.


After all, I'm not overstruck on Stately Piles and not a fan of Victoriana in the slightest.

But I ended up having a fantastic day. I felt very happy and comfortable there... not at all as I imagined I'd find it. Very strange.

I loved the gardens.

Down by the Swiss Cottage were the gardens where the young royalty were taught real life skills.

Such a pretty yet productive garden made me miss a garden of my own.

The curators throughout were all very helpful and knowledgeable.

I was one of the last to leave.

A wonderful day. I would definitely go again.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Wight Trash

WARNING: This posting contains graphic images of a cream tea. Continue at your peril.

Early this month it was time to head to the Isle of Wight..

So last week I arrived in Portsmouth to get the ferry to Fishbourne. As the ferry drew up, I set up the camera to get a possible stock shot of a caravan disembarking, but instead this was the feast for my senses:

What fun!

Boarding was effortless and drama-free (CalMac take note) and as the ferry pulled out of Pompey I was impressed with what I saw of the Waterfront. It certainly looks an awful lot better than the 60s monstrosity of a city centre that I remember from my last visit.

The weather was glorious and due to break that night, so time was very short to get decent snaps in. What didn't help was getting lost on the way to the site and the SatNav trying to take me down roads with a 6ft 6in width restriction. It wasn't a great introduction to the island. And the signage here is APPALLING! The other day I was following signs to Yarmouth, then suddenly just for a laugh they changed to Totland (where?), then back to Yarmouth...

Anyhow, once set up I went out to snap the site and came across this scene which made me titter (check the car registration):

It was then time to rush off to the last couple of hours of the steam fair.

I managed to set up a feature on a couple the following day, and as the show was finishing one young couple and their baby headed off with their engine and caravan:

It was SO sweet. Lovely young couple, little baby, steam engine, and a 'pig pen' caravan in tow. Just so adorable. Obviously the guy loved his engine, and his partner shared his enthusiasm. Hey ho, moving on...

From there I went to The Needles, an interesting rock formation that leads into the sea off the West Coast of the Island.

As it was nearly 9pm before getting back to the Airstream, I used a little iPhone magic to find and order a curry from the nearest Tandoori. It was, without a doubt, the second worst curry I have ever tasted. The worst was at Ellesmere Port in March. The Dansak was sickly sugary sweet, and the Naan bread like crispy overcooked rubber. The sag aloo and rice were OK though, but I didn't bother saving any for the next day. Ugh, it was horrible.

The next day was less sunny but it was windy! Hurrah! After working most of the day I went to a place called Yaverland, North of Sandown on the East Coast to kitesurf, and it was OK. The beach was nice but the wind had massive holes in it so I was either bobbing up and down in the water or completely and utterly overpowered on my 12m. I came in just before a squall, and as I sat in my truck with the rain lashing down reflected on the the session: 'Well, it's alright, but it's not a patch on the Hebrides...'

So on Wednesday after doing some work I headed for a beach on the SW side of the island hoping the wind would be cleaner. The rain was lashing down and I was suffering with severe motivation issues when I arrived, but some local guys were out and they were very friendly and chatty, so with my confidence boosted I went out on my 12m.


It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Being slightly overpowered, but not too much so, I did some HE-YOOGE jumps and landed them OK. The waves were fabulous and there was just ramp after ramp of the good stuff. I was, as they say, stoked.

I went back and made my own curry which was stonkingly delicious. What a great day!

Thursday I wanted more of same but had some stuf to do first. When I got to the beach it was deserted but I set up anyway. But then a squall came through and I ended up sheltering under the kite like a tent, lying in the damp black sand in my wetsuit with the rain hammering down. It was quite cosy actually...

Eventually I got out and had yet another amazing session. It was absolutely brilliant and eventually came in as everything started to ache, and at this point all the locals arrived after work:

Friday was an assignment I was looking forward to: To find the Ultimate Island Cream Tea. All in the name of research, you understand! And by gum did I find it:

Naturally, I only bought it to photograph it, but once the snaps were done it would have been a shame to waste it...

From there it was back to Brook Chine and again I was the only one out, but it was another great session.

Saturday was the 'Panic' day when I had to go out and do heaps and heaps of research, but sadly for personal reasons my head wasn't in a great place to deal with such banalities. I dreared around nice places like the Ventnor Botanical Gardens whereas usually I'd enjoy such a trip immensely. By the time I got to the beach the tide was so low that rocks were exposed all over the shop. I just went home and wrote copy.

Sunday and it was time to move on to the next site....

To be continued...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Fantastic weekend!

Still waiting for that elusive 3G hook-up, but in the meantime a taster of the fantastic weekend that the UK Airstreamers enjoyed in the Forest of Dean.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Almost the Airstream weekend!

I'm terribly excited. I'm on my way to the second UK Airstream gathering that takes place this coming weekend in the Forest of Dean.

*VERY* excited!

Mobile internet. Ugh!

I've got so much to upload and report about a fabulous trip to the Isle of Wight. But I can't ever seem to get a decent 3G internet connection, and life is WAY too short to try and upload images on 2G. It will just have to wait. This is the problem with mobile internet... 3G is generally only available in densely populated areas, in other words the kind of areas where you won't find a caravan site!


Welcome to my all new and shiny blog about my Adventures with my Airstream. I've decided to dedicate a blog to my Airstreaming life and keep my other one personal. It transpires that a lot of people are interested in the lifestyle (and who can blame them?) and this is one way to keep followers up-to-date without having to trawl through a load of irrelevant tosh.

For reasons of security, postings may be a few weeks 'old' before going live, as I will always have moved on before saying where I was. I'm sure that's understandable.

If I get time, I'll go back some day and link to older blog postings about my travels, but for now this will be the default Airstream Adventures channel.

It's a great life. And it's a pleasure to have your company.