The last couple of weeks have seen the UK at its best in the winter. Cold and crisp and generally dry with blue skies, however we have had a couple of mornings with freezing fog… which inevitably led to freezing Gail and Keith whilst outside doing exercise but at least we have managed to get back into our routine!
Slightly less manic than the first week or so back in the country we are pleased to report that since the last blog I have only managed to break the tap in the kitchen sink…. which was easily replaced courtesy of Amazon. Hopefully therefore we have got all breakages out of the system and are ready for the road again….. even the snow chains arrived earlier than expected so things must be going our way!
I have now completed two weeks of photography challenges with my nephew. Week one was ‘Take a self portrait to reflect your personality’….. for everyone who knows my 13 year old nephew, I think that it is fair to say that he put a lot of thought into his and it represents him to a ‘T’ ….
As with most teenagers, getting him out of bed is hard work!
Mine was a little more difficult but eventually decided on using my travelling companion, who as most of you also know has been most of the way round the world with me over the last 32 years….
He doesn’t appear to have anywhere near the same amount of grey hair or wrinkles as I do… but he could definately do with a bath!
Week two is all about Composition and Movement, so a little more creativity required….
Zak’s photos are clever, definately showing good usage of shutter speed and movements
And mine was a bit of a blur…. but its good to be forced to do something that I haven’t done for 20+ years as you can get some fantastic effects. We may need to revisit this one in six months time and see what we both do then!
It’s a good little challenge for both of us and hopefully I can use each weeks challenge to bring you some slightly different photos that I may never have thought of adding previously!
We have also had some time to get back into a bit of cooking in Hattie – baking bread, making soups, cassoulets, fish pie and even some brownies, it is lovely to have an oven!
We also needed to check the Bar B Q to ensure that it wasn’t mouldy, obviously the best way to give it a good clean is to burn it off…. whilst cooking some bacon…. yum! Definately a couple of packs coming with us for the journey!
Keith has wanted to learn how to fillet fish for a while – possibly something to do with my hatred of bones – so we had a quick lesson over at Paul and Carly’s (Keith’s brother and wife’s) house last week before eating the produce the following night when there were only a couple of bones found… still plenty of time for practice!
As we were getting closer to leaving and we couldn’t avoid it any longer, we finally decided to actually look at the detail around what may or may not be required should there be a ‘no deal’ at the end of March.
The complications are greater for us as we are going before the 29th and don’t plan on coming back until afterwards. Therefore we have to assume the worst which as we found out this week actually means the following for us: –
- Green Card for the motorhome – not an issue, although needed to pay £20 for the privilege as it isn’t a legal requirement yet.
- International Driving Permits (IDP) – we needed two each @ £5.50 each
- 1949 – covers Spain, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus and Iceland
- 1968 – covers pretty much everywhere else
- Maximum of 90 days out of 180 days travel in Europe without a visa
Well, that makes our life interesting….. Green card is fine although we would need a new one sent out to us when our Insurance runs out in May. The maximum of 90 days travel in every 180 days will be interesting if it happens but we can deal with it if necessary, just means we will be back in the UK a bit more or possibly get a visa. However the Driving Licence for Spain is a bit of a nightmare. If there is a ‘No Deal’ and everything stays as it is currently, we will not be able to drive our motorhome on our standard licence after the end of March in Spain as the IDP 1949 doesn’t allow us to drive anything over 3.5 tonne as it is so old, not breaking the categories down on the driving license in the same way. Therefore if we want to drive anything over 3.5 tonne in Spain we would need to do our Class C license which enables you to drive anything static (not arctic) up to 32 tonne….. this would have been the same for Mika our old motorhome as she was 3.85 tonne.
So….. the current plan is to head down to Spain and take a call on the 27th March as to whether we need to get into France before the end of the month. Then, depending on how long we can be out of the UK for, probably spend a bit more time enjoying France but we will see what evolves over the next few weeks.
We set off this morning and had a good journey arriving in Saint Valery sur Somme this evening, even getting on and off the train with Hattie was a doddle…. although just as we were arriving Keith realised that he forgot to pick up the levelling blocks for our jacks which we left in the field. Thankfully we don’t always use them but it helps if the ground is soft …. heh ho, life goes on, we’ll get them back at some point!
As always, if you want to keep track of our route and progress you can see where we are on a map by clicking here.