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18 Jan 2012
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30 Aug 2011
After the shenanigans with the exhaust pipe, which fortunately happened while I was still based at the mammy’s house and not while we were out in the middle of nowhere, Herman behaved himself in exemplary fashion for the rest of our journeying round the west of Ireland. Here are a few miscellaneous photos from the rest of the holiday. As ever they are selected not for their artistic merit, but for the fact that they happen to have Herman’s ugly mug in shot.... [ Read More ]
Pipe Bomb
15 Aug 2011
Well, it had to happen eventually! Remember the shoddy welded repair I made to Herman’s exhaust pipe about a year ago? Well, it had surprised me by actually lasting longer than the ten minutes I originally predicted for it. So much longer in fact that I’d almost forgotten about it. Well, this morning, after a mosey into Belfast to do some shopping we jumped in to set off home again and heard the old “100 chav-mobiles with fat exhaust pipes” thunder coming from under the van once more.... [ Read More ]
Ireland Bound
12 Aug 2011
After my fun earlier in the morning, having to rip Herman’s fusebox apart, the boy knew better than to give me any more gyp for a while. So the drive up to Scotland that night to catch the Stranraer-Larne ferry passed off without any further hitches. Mazza making a cuppa at a 'brew stop' in a layby somewhere in Scotland Early hours of the morning. Coming off the ferry in Larne ... [ Read More ]
Many Are Called, but Fuse Are Chosen
11 Aug 2011
This morning, after the latest spell of torrential rain [AKA “Manchester sunshine”] I found my indicators and hazard lights had stopped working. Initially I assumed it was the troublesome old 191 relay, which has given me gyp in the past. I swapped that for a spare, but no dice. The problem was obviously a bit deeper than that. Annoying enough at the best of times but, with the epic timing for which gadgetry the world over is famed, Herman’s electrics had decided to go into spazzy mode the morning of the day we were due to drive up to Scotland for the ferry over to Ireland for my annual visit home.... [ Read More ]
Lock UnPicking
09 Aug 2011
Today I finally got round to getting rid of that piece of crap steering lock I bought from GSF, which cracked while I was tightening it in place –remember kids “Buy cheap. Buy twice!” I replaced it with a genuine VW steering lock, which cost about twice as much but, strangely enough didn’t seem to be made of silver gravel held together with snot and didnae split in half while I was fixing it in place.... [ Read More ]
Summer Solstice
21 Jun 2011
Off to my mate Baz’s in Anglesey for the annual summer solstice get together with a load of mates from ‘back in the day’. Because of crap like work, we dinnae always manage to have our celebration on the Solstice itself, but the nearest weekend is close enough –and a good enough excuse to burn huge piles of wood and get very wasted! Herman keeping a weather eye on the first night's bonfire Next morning.... [ Read More ]
29 Mar 2011
To Whitby for the spring Goth Weekend. Once again Herman performed marvellously [albeit slowly on those vertiginous cliffs they call roads round those parts] and we got there and back without a hitch. Herman keeping a lonely midnight vigil, outside our rented cottage ... [ Read More ]
Magical Mystery Tour
19 Feb 2011
Another spontaneous “Let’s just go for a drive and see where we end up!” mission tonight, after I got in from work. This time we headed off in a vaguely easterly direction, over the heavily guarded and fortified border into deepest darkest Yorkshire. As with last time we played this game, we just drove in the general direction of anywhere that looked remote and then found somewhere to park up when night fell.... [ Read More ]
Blue John Cavern
20 Nov 2010
After getting in from work on Friday, we decided to go for a spontaneous evening drive and sleep out in Herman. With no fixed destination in mind, we just drove vaguely southwards until night fell and it got so foggy, we could barely see. Then we pulled into a handy layby and crawled in the back of the van with a bottle of whiskey and a few beers, to keep out the chill.... [ Read More ]
31 Oct 2010
Off to Whitby for the Goth Weekend and Herman’s biannual challenge of climbing the dizzying heights of the hills leading into and out of the town. As ever he made it surely but s-l-o-w-l-y. Checking Herman's hallowe'en decorations, on the way home from the pub Checking Herman's hallowe'en decorations, on the way home from the pub Next morning. Even Herman looks hungover ... [ Read More ]
15 Aug 2010
A couple more random photos, from our travels round the west of Ireland, which are included here purely because Herman managed to get his ugly mug into shot. Coral Beach, Ceathrú Rua, Co. Galway Writing in the diary. Coral Beach, Ceathrú Rua, Co. Galway On the open road in Co. Sligo ... [ Read More ]
The Burren
11 Aug 2010
Off to The Burren in Co. Clare for today’s camping fun. No problems at all with Herman, although I did nearly cause one myself by reversing into a rock, while manouevring to park. Luckily no damage was done, it just scraped the back axle, but my heart was in my mouth when I heard the crunch noise. Herman at The Burren Food always tastes so much better out of doors, said Lucy-Ann Watching the sun go down over The Burren.... [ Read More ]
Holiday Snap
10 Aug 2010
After spending some time with the mammy, it was off on our camping mission to the wild west coast. On the first night, we stopped off on the way at Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh Herman relaxing by the Loughside Next morning we got up and went for our semi traditional cycle ride round the forest park, which borders the Lough and which features tracks so steep they would make Sir Edmund Hillary weep.... [ Read More ]
Labourers' Reward
05 Aug 2010
Well, after all the frantic work over the past week or so, getting Herman knocked into shape, it was time for his first outing as an [almost] properly completed camper. Off home to Ireland for a couple of weeks, to visit the oul’ mammy and then head out west and put Herman through his paces in the open countryside. Off to Ireland. Herman is snoozing below decks after his long drive up to Scotland to catch the ferry ... [ Read More ]
Sink and Carpet
03 Aug 2010
This morning, we finished off building the sink cupboard and fitting the sink into place. Here is an action shot of someone who looks almost completely not like Mazza having fun with the silicon sealer, as we put together the slatted worktop area beside the sink. As you can see the sink has already been fitted into place by this stage. I seem to have forgotten to photograph that historic moment.... [ Read More ]
Panelling and Preparing to Sink
02 Aug 2010
Now that I had the new bed base built, I was able to remove the huge pile of junk things which might come in handy, stacked up against the driver’s side wall and stash them under the bed. This freed up that section of wall for boarding up. Another several acres of wall to panel out! So it was was out with the saw, the drill and the remains of our stash of Pergo flooring and another several hours of monotonous measuring, cutting, drilling and screwing [not the fun kind!... [ Read More ]
Bed Base Basics
01 Aug 2010
The next job on the never-ending list was to improve on the sleeping arrangements. The attentive reader will remember that the previous arrangement basically consisted of the frame of an old sofa bed, bolted across the back of the van [see this post to refresh your memory]. Although that worked OK, it was a bit annoying, having to step over the edge of the bed frame, every time you wanted to get in or out of that area, when using it in ‘seating mode’.... [ Read More ]
Burst Pipes
31 Jul 2010
Well, it never rains but it pours! Ready to embark on the next round of interior decor, I went off on a mission to the local B&Q for a few bits’n’bobs, this morning. Starting Herman up on the way back I was decidedly ‘undelighted’ to hear his usual tractory rattle replaced by the sound of a million chav-mobiles with fat exhausts. In other words the distinctive racket that tells you your exhaust has either fallen off, or snapped in the middle.... [ Read More ]
28 Jul 2010
Having got the roof up and the floor down, it was time to turn attention back to the walls and start filling in the gaps there. We decided we’d use up the rest of that Pergo flooring we’d got first and then take it from there. Another marathon session of measuring, cutting drilling and sanding ensued. That Pergo stuff is as hard as iron and eats jigsaw blades for breakfast. Slowly but surely, however, Herman is starting to look a bit like a hovel-from-home these days.... [ Read More ]