Cornwall Road Trip

The Road Trip Begins

Day one 10.06.2018

With my hair sorted and showered it was time to get this show on the road.

Although I still had a bit of an upset tummy I wasn’t going to let that put me off, I continued packing up my last few item’s into carrier bags doing my best not to forget anything, I knew somewhere down the line there was going to be a list of thing’s but hey I’m used to it!! And yes there was as soon as I’d left I remember that I had a bag of fresh fruit sitting in the kitchen.

Bags to be sorted!!!

Bags of bits

Well it took me 40 minutes to set right out of Southend onto the main A13 heading towards Dartford crossing then it was a nice steady speed to my first stop at Sevenoaks, from there I went to a small village Four Elms, I stopped here for 10 minutes to stretch my legs from there I travelled on to Washington the South Downs where I decided to stop for the night on a campsite so as I could sort the van out, a lovely little site I used my camping and caravan card which got me a small discount on the regular price.

Skylar

First Dinner

Shower and Laundry Block

Stonehenge

So first place I’m going to visit is Stonehenge and man was I supremely surprised with it, the visitors centre was a hive of information with a feast of facts and figures about Stonehenge the whole history of the place.

The Unmistakable Stonehenge

Hiya Everyone!

After Stonehenge I parked up for the night cooked a lovely dinner for myself had a nice relaxing evening deciding my next destination.

Glastonbury

After breakfast I set off for Glastonbury it has been year’s since my last visit but it was just as fantastic!

Found a great parking place (see photo)

Parking place at Glastonbury

Parking place at Glastonbury just through the alley to town centre

Couldn’t get any closer, what a wonderful place to be there was music hippies crystal shops clothing shops it was just fabulous, I think everyone should visit here at least once in their lives!! I must go back soon I love it there such a friendly atmosphere everyone so happy.

Photography by me all copyrighted all at Glastonbury.

From there I headed west on the A39 towards Bridgewater carried on past there ending up at Blue Anchor Bay not far from Minehead.

As I sat there looking across the water I could see in the distance through the haze a glimpse of land, of course it was the coastline of South Wales, Rhoose, Barry and Gileston, then all of a sudden I could hear a familiar sound of #steam, steam from a steam train and there behind me she was in all her glamours glory a lovely old steam engine at Blue Anchor Station I believe it was constructed in the 1870s originally known as Bradley Gate, that’s when I had a sudden change of plan and decided to head for Wales!!.

Road Trip Continues

Along the coast back up to the A39 going North then A38 then M5 past Burnham-on-sea, Weston-super-Mare, Portishead Yes that (Portishead) onto the M49 and finally the M4 and the Seven Bridge into Wales….I was heading towards Brecon Mountain Railway and the Steam Museum at Merthyr Tydfil. By the time I arrived it had already closed for the day, I was hungry and needed to find a place to park up for the night, I ended up at Grawen Caravan and Camping Park.

(CF48 2HS)

Following day I travelled north on the A470 to Beacons Reservoir phor some photos a magnificent reservoir great for my photo session, after spending some time there I travelled north again into the town of Brecon to stock up on supplies Morrisons, the a walk around the town and very nice it was. In the centre of the town just outside St Mary’s church stood a statue of Wellington. The Duke (1769 – 1852) The statue was erected in 1856 by a Brecon resident Evan Thomas as a mark of respect, although Wellington had no connection whatsoever with the town, so I guess Evan just liked him……

St Mary’s church Brecon

After going back to Skylar I noticed a bit yellow Citroen van with a solar panels on its roof a guy was sitting inside typing on his phone as I approached the looked up I gave him a wave went over to have a chat with him and his passenger which was his wife Wendy really sorry if your reading this I’m terrible with names and I can’t remember his…apologies, they had been on the road for 8 months travelling the UK doing boot sales as they went to keep them on the road, and they loved every minute of it, had a long chat it was them that gave me my next destination. Belch Nant yr Arian.

The Following Day.

I set of North on that A470 towards my next point of call a Red Kite Bird Feeding Centre it was situated on a large site of a main building with diner gift shop and wooden outside viewing with seating bird feeders two lakes with I hide and a viewing site on opposite side of lake.

Part two coming soon.

Please leave a comment below and ask any questions.

Thank you.

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The Building Of Skylar

Skylar Continues To Grow

Progress Continues I’m pleased with the way things are going at the moment, and looking forward to my up coming road trip to Cornwall nest month 🙂 .
The new additions to my van
Things are starting to take shape at last I now have my twin gas ring hob installed see (Fig.1) next to that i

Hob 001

s a small sink I have yet to plumb the water in and wire up the water pump, something else on my list of jobs.
No gas yet as I’m still waiting for my gas locker to arrive from https://www.jacksonsleisure.com/ had a bit of a hold up with the delivery due to a computer technical hitch! But should be arriving tomorrow, so once I have it I can see if the space I have constructed for it is going to be right, otherwise I’ll have to re-plan.

Figure 1 New Hob

Moving on 23/05/2018.
Things have progressed quite well over the last few days as the weather has been good, don’t know how long it will last so I’m making the most of it!
My gas-locker finally arrived a week late although it is of good quality a well-made item although I think it was a bit pricey.
When it came to installing the locker it fitted great in the space I had purposely built for it, but unfortunately when I went to drill the hole for the drop-out I couldn’t locate a suitable place under Skylar were the drop-out hole could go, so I ended up having to move it round to the side door where there was plenty of space for it to go.
This is Dan my nephew helping out, he’s painting red oxide on the bare metal where the drop-out hole was drilled (See Fig 2)

dropout 004
Dan Working on Skyler

Hear you can see more photos of the progress made on this day.

Please leave any comments or questions in the box below, don’t forget to like and share.

Little Yellow Bus

 

 

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Little Yellow Bus

Just outside Southend is a village named Great Wakering, it’s only small with a population of about 5500, one of those residents is Heather Laskey the owner of “The Little Yellow Bus” a 1970/71 VW Early Bay window Volkswagen Campervan T2. She hire’s this out for weddings, corporate events, proms and other functions. I arranged to go along to see Heather and find out a bit about her lovely VW Campervan.

As I pulled up outside I could see the bus all covered up in her driveway, this was really exciting as I love the VW Campervans. Heather’s had her T2 since 2011, asking Heather what attracted her to getting a VW she told me “she’d always been around campervans”, some close family friends had bought a new campervan in the 70s that had been passed down through the family from generation to generation. Sadly it had problems with water leakages and ended up needing many welding jobs, in the end it had to go. Heather really wanted to get her own Van but didn’t think she would ever be able to afford the one she really wanted, a Split or a Bay (she really was averse to a T25). She made many searches, but alas they all seemed to have issues, batteries going flat far too quickly, problems with rust, damp or just about anything you could think of. Then Heather heard about an early Bay Window in Colchester, (not too far away from Southend), the vender agreed to sell the van for very nice price, well within Heather’s budget.

Heather drove her lovely campervan around for two years, did a few small repair jobs on it but then decided it was time to go for a full restore. She knows many people in the VW world, after asking around, she was given the name of someone, recommended for their restoration work. Heather left them with the van for two years in good faith. They sent her photos of the progress, which all looked good. The van was supposed to be ready for the VolksWorld Show in the September, so in March, before the show, it had only just come out of the paint shop. Unfortunately the paint work had that horrible orange peel look about it, also it was being fitted out before the paint job had been rectified. Well not to put too fine a point on it Heather was not a happy lady, things went from bad to worse. Heather’s had to pay the bill (under protest) to get her precious VW back. She went down to pick it up on a low-loader and bought her home.

 Yellow Bus -11

When she arrived home, whilst trying to unload it, she was unable to get the van into gear. Heather took it straight to a local garage for repairs. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, OMG it went up in flames. I would have been crying by this stage!

Well it ended up being there for a whole year. Realising that the job was a bit too big for the local garage, Heather once again got a low-loader to pick it up and take it over to her Dad’s farm, whilst deciding what her next move should be. Heathers Father had a friend who he thought could rebuild VW engines, that friend was Harry Harpics, one of the best VW mechanic’s and engine restorers in the UK. What a stroke of luck, (“well about time!” I’d say) a straight forward restore had been a nightmare for the poor lady.

 

Now not the original colour, (orange) that you see everywhere, but yellow (which I think looks fabulous). The Little Yellow Bus took a long, long, time and a many more ÂŁÂŁÂŁ, but the condition it is in today was well worth the cost and the problems that Heather had along the way. The van has been completely refurbished, the original pop top has been taken away, and it now has a rag top instead, as its crowning glory.

So, now I think it looks rather spectacular, it went through some unfortunate issues to get to the stage it’s at today. After all you went through Heather you deserve to have many years of pleasure from your Little Yellow Bus. So good luck! And hopefully I will see you at some shows in the coming years.

 

Thank you very much Heather Laskey for giving me your time today and telling me about your long journey, best of luck for the future.

Below there are some lovely photos of Heather’s T2

You can follow Heather on Facebook and Instagram.

 

https://www.facebook.com/littleyellowbus1971/

https://instagram.com/Little_Yellow_Bus

 

 

 

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©Kirston Tozer

Van Travel Photographer

Van Travel Photographer

As a photographer I meet lots of different people most of the people I meet tend to be young up and coming models some have gone on to be quite famous models and there are lots that have great potential to hit the big time in the fashion/model img_3659.jpgworld,  anyhow with my love of traveling I decided to combine the two and become a Travel Photographer so I thought I’d add a few shots here from a trip to Italy last year to Naples and Pompeii. Here you can see one of the many bodies that were covered in several feet of hot volcanic ash their body preserved for all time.

 

Here we have one of the many streets of Pompeii that has been uncovered alIMG_3646.JPG the ash cleared away, there’s a rumour that 2018 is going to be the year that Mount Vesuvius has a major eruption that will be more catastrophic than the one covering Pompeii all those years ago.

 

 

This is the city of Naples where I stayed for a week in March 2017.  A lovely city the hotel I stayed in was a nice Family run business with still three generations of the male part Grandfather Father and Son, Grandfather was 96 years old, a lovely gentleman who came and spoke to me everyday I was there he didn’t speak any English I didn’t speak any Italian but managed to get the drift of what he was telling me and the bits that I missed his grandson would fill me in with.IMG_3625

 

Lots of Street Merchants

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Long alleyways between the main shopping roadways lots of sidewalk pavement cafes with the Strong aroma of coffee everywhere I went.

 

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I also visited some lovely parks with tree lined pathway and very old statues most of which had their heads missing…

 

The Van Progress

Progress on the van

Well at last I have managed to relocate the two batteries20180320_130732

to the front of the van rewired the split charger and one of the fuse boxes, which is fantastic news as I can now press ahead the next part of the plan/ plumbing in the water and water pump/ putting some running lights on the side of the van (to cover up the drill hole I accidently made) and to install the inverter so I can rung some 230v appliances.

 

Painted the Battery cupboard.

 March 23, 2018 Paint on Battery cupboard

 

 

 

Rear View 002

 

Rear View Camera

So I can see behind me while I’m driving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Retreat Dedham

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This is our group of yogis for the weekend along with Lou Heart the owner

With Yoga Teacher Michelle Bappoo

Well just what I needed a weekend Yoga Retreat I had been looking forward to this for a long time and boy was I ready for it!

Friday Woo-Hoo time to set off for my lovely weekend I was going to Dedham not far away but far enough for the weekend only an hour away Dedham is just on the border between Essex and Suffolk a lovely little town full of local history The beautiful village of Dedham stands on the south bank of the River Stour, on the border between Essex and Suffolk. The High Street is lined with lovely examples of Georgian and timber-framed houses. This is Constable Country, home of one of England’s most beloved artists. Constable was born at nearby East Bergholt, and attended school at Dedham. The scenery in and around Dedham featured in many of his later paintings, including his famous paintings of Willy Lott’s cottage and Flatford Mill, that is just over a mile downstream from Dedham. A very nice path leads across the fields to Flatfford, (was a bit water logged when we went) now owned by the National Trust. Constable’s father owned Dedham Mill, though the mill building that we see today is now a lot more modern with coffee shops and of course is set up for the tourists industry.

I arrived at The Tallow Factory in Dedham at about 15.30.

An Old Candle Factory (Fig 001/15) dated back to 1600 situated behind a house in the centre of the High Street still has some of its walls plastered in what I believe to be sand lime and goat’s hair! Animal hair can be added to lime plasters to give the mix extra tensile strength.  It acts as a natural reinforcement and effective bonding key.

After meeting with Michelle Bappoo from (Yoga Dharma) our host and Yoga teacher for the weekend we settling in with tea cake (vegan) we had our first Yoga session where we all introduced ourselves to each other, then gentle restorative yoga this was followed by an evening meal that was amazing our catering was by Dom and Emma and was absolutely to die for, then it was a sit down for the rest of the evening for some pleasant conversation bedtime wasn’t far away as it had been a long day.

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Day two. Started with fresh fruit juice tea coffee smoothies followed by Yoga Session Two, the afternoon was a fabulous walk along the river Stour along to Flatford Mill.

Saturday evening was a get together by us all for a fantastic Kirtan by Michelle another one of her many talents, this was an amazing evening of chanting and drumming we were joined by the owner of the Tallow Factory (Lou Heart) and a friend.

Sunday morning after a light breakfast it was some gentle yoga this was followed by a Meditation led by Michelle after which we had a chance to say goodbye to our new found friends and hopefully we will meet again at the next retreat.

 

I would like to say a big thank you to Michelle Bappoo for such a lovely weekend and to Lou for having us there and look forward to you next retreat Michelle.

I have put some photos at the bottom of this blog.

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This next review is by Wendy Millard

After doing yoga for a number of years, I was longing to attend a retreat, then to my delight, my eldest daughter informed that she had taken up yoga and her yoga teacher, Michelle, was doing a yoga retreat in Debden. How wonderful! So on 23rd February we arrived at our destination for the weekend. A quaint 500 year old property known as ‘The Tallow Factory ‘ which had been lovingly turned into a yoga retreat by its present owner Lou. On our arrival we were met by our catering hosts for the weekend, Dom and Emma, who supplied us with an abundance of fresh tea, coffee, fresh juices, homemade cake and breads, smoothies and delightful vegetarian dishes. There were 8 of us in the group and it was wonderful to meet and spend time with such lovely people. On the Friday evening we had a gentle class of yoga and introducing ourselves to other members of the group and hearing their own interesting journeys of yoga. Saturday morning however was a full on, high impact class! Which I thoroughly enjoyed. The afternoon was spent taking a walk around the local area and getting to know one another a little better. Saturday evening we all joined together for some singing and playing instruments (forgive me as I don’t know the correct name of this practice) wonderfully led by Michelle. Sunday morning, after breakfast, we had some gentle yoga and final meditation, where we then had our chance to say to our farewells to our likewise yogis. I’ve come away from the weekend feeling relaxed and thankful for the time spent with my daughter, wonderful people and a fantastic yoga teacher.

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