…oh, and one last thing…

Click here to see LOADS of pics of our holiday

and enjoy the gite run through below…

Can’t be bothered to type up the restaurants in the woods, poo2 (the gite got blocked up by Kate’s lady things…) and other adventures, so next time you see me, just ask…

Till next time….

Gwyn, Kate, Jac & Dylan (co-starring Vincent Van Camper)

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FIN

Kate puked up all day on the ferry. Then, when we got in the camper, we noticed we’d left the very small light on that comes on when you open the door.

Battery was flat.

So we got a push off, and immediately the noise started again.

I thought I’d get out of the port and pull over, but as we turned a corner, I got a massive shout from one of the port guys, so I pulled over (but didn’t switch the engine off)

The rear wheel was about to fly off, and four (out of five) nuts had come off…

It could have flown off at any time!!! I fixed the wheel and got another bump start!

I knew the oil was low, but I needed to charge the battery, so I pressed on. I was running out of petrol, so went off course to get some. I wanted to check the oil but I couldn’t do it at the pump (there was a queue – I should have just done it, I know) But the camper started ok!

So I carried on more, and when I thought I’d got enough charge to start the camper again, I checked the oil. Bone dry.

So I filled the oil up, we had a full tank of petrol, four wheels and got home last night just after 11pm

phew….

Gwyn

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OMFG!!

A twenty minute jaunt to the ferry turned into a stressful nightmare when first all the lights were on red in the middle of Bilbao FOR EVER and we’d decided to risk it and bomb over to the Guggenheim this morning.

THEN! OMFG! There was a horrendous noise in the back of the camper. It sounded like the whole of the van was dragging on the road behind us, and we could SEE the ferry.

Kate was telling me to pull over and I was saying what would I do if we did?

It could have been a flat and we wouldn’t have enough time to fix it. It could have been the exhaust.

I just carried on and hoped we’d reach the ferry.

We did.

I don’t know what it is…

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Update!

Struggling to update the blog till I get home!

At the gite, I was too busy relaxing and enjoying myself to blog.

Any spare time was spent keeping up with footy and cricket and angry birds (the best 59p I’ve ever spent!)

I’ve written some stuff but can’t get it all uploaded so I’ll just have to do it when I get home!

Just to say, spent yesterday with Steve and Abby in Montrejeau – they came to the gite as well

Now, I’m laying on a bed in a nice hotel in Bilbao, 500m away from the Guggenheim…

Tomorrow, we catch the ferry to Portsmouth.

Camper going well! Got to post a “poo 2″ story as well. Got 48 (update-47) bottles of wine in the back…

The best of times….

Gwyn xxxxxxxxxx

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Dylan is 3!

Sunday, we picked up Pat & Pete from the airport in the camper and moved into our new home for the week.

On Monday, it was Dylan’s birthday. We’d hid his presents in the spare wheel arch in the boot. This space normally holds the van spare parts and tools, but I’d bought a new tool bag, so we had a hidden stash. Now that Dylan has his pressies, I wonder what we can hide on the return journey…

Dylan got Woody from Toy Story and he decided to share his birthday with Jac which was very nice of him (we’d bought Jac Buzz Lightyear so they could play together, so it all worked out well)

We did a trip to the hypermarket in the camper which is running sweeeet and decided to be adventurous and got steak, scollops and baby squid to put on the BBQ. Out of the three, the potatoes and tomato salad was nice. Ugh! Shows how good Donny Market actually is!

The birthday cake didn’t disappoint though. It was a chocolate Viennetta!

A few fireworks rounded off a great birthday.

I asked Dylan what the best thing was about his birthday, and he said nanny and grandad coming…

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Vite! To the Gite!

Yeehaaa!!!

The Saturday morning at the hotel in Narbonne made us realise we didn’t want another couple of weeks camping or indeed staying in a hotel room.

So I googled gites de France, got about 5 listed and of those, we needed a swimming pool, but most had one or no photos, were expensive or were just a phone number.

One however was massive and had beautiful photos and rather expensive.

I rang on the off chance. This week apparently is end of season, and because the gite was so big, they could close off the top half of it and offered it to me at a reasonable price. And after only spending 10-20€ a night camping, it was the perfect result.

Bingo!

Kate mentioned it to her mum and after serious negotiations, they decided to fly out!

So here we are, in a renovated drapery factory in a massive gite, big family all together.

It’s fantastic!

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The whole thing

Why do we do things? And why don’t we do things? It seems as we get older, we buy into comfortable. In everything. Our friends, our family, our profession.

Yet everything I know about my science, learning, tells me we need to take risks to learn. It’s pretty obvious really, we need to do things we haven’t done before to learn it. This often means stepping out of our “comfort” zones and feeling anxious, nervous, scared, even if there’s really nothing to be worried about, like y’know, nothing REALLY bad is actually going to happen.

And I think theses feelings wear you down a bit, and it makes you not want to do new things.

I read in a book once, don’t do things because of your ego, and don’t not do things because you’re scared, which is a pretty good measure to keep you in check, but why do new things at all?

Well, I for one don’t want to stop learning, and that means taking risks. It’s not that I want to learn French, or motor mechanics, or get my scout badge for extreme camping – I want us to learn to be the best family we can be, and this trip exposes us, and we have to learn to deal with the things that “comfortable” papers over.

That’s what I want to learn.

Because if we are to be together forever, until death us do part, I want my family to be great.

And we are learning, and we are doing brilliantly, discovering what we like and dislike, how to manage as a team, managing emotions, having to be organised when both me and Kate aren’t naturally organised (and that’s being diplomatic), what we need to change when we get home, our hopes and aspirations, communicating better and more honestly with each other, loads of things.

And out of the four of us, two are taking everything in their stride, enjoying every minute of this journey, whether it’s a rough campsite or posh hotel. Jac and Dylan are just smiling and laughing all the way.

So if we have to travel to France in a 30 year old tin can to find out who we really are, then so be it.

So be it.

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Where are we?

Well? I’ve geotagged all these posts but how do you find out where we are?

Here’s a clue!

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Fun sur la plage

Well, we got kicked out of the hotel as it was full.

So we wandered down to the beach and found a nice campsite 5 mins from the sea. Well, that’s a French 5 mins without two hot baby boys refusing to walk in the desert sun – unless there was a football in front of them.

I had to explain to Kate that boys had different kinds of energy. Walking energy is of a premium and has to be used sparingly and only in emergencies. Football energy however is in abundance and can be used whenever you want.

It was a great patch of beach, quite isolated from the hordes, and shallow enough for both kids to paddle in and chase the fish while we took it in turns to swim out into the Mediterranean.

Had a nice dinner on the campsite but when we were recommended the fruit salad and got Fruitini for €8, again we had to stand up for ourselves.

Kate swore blind the owner who was being sacked apparently (he got a waiter to write “dole” on a piece of paper) was going to track us down and axe us up because he refunded us from his own pocket. So she kept guard while I snored the night away.

After three days on the coast, we travelled in land to our last minute destination for the next week, a small village just north of Carcassonne…

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Poo

Oh, forgot to say…

Dylan did a poo on the hotel floor in reception.

He just ran up to Kate and said, mummy! I done poo!

And there it was.

Now I’m not sure what happened then because there was the poo just sat there in plain sight, but no one either saw it or recognised its existence even though they were walking past it and sitting right next to it.

They receptionists were suddenly genuinely all busy, despite me trying to raise the alarm bell, so while Kate dragged Dylan to the toilets to get him cleaned up (apparently the poo had just seemed to have ghostly dropped through his trousers onto the floor), I went to the camper, got a couple of anti bacterial wipes and removed said poo from said hotel floor.

Without anyone noticing.

Apparently.

I’ve not got a picture but I guess you can imagine.

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