Sunday, 29 March 2020

Major changes.....

Inside Eva the Eriba...(small space living)

A couple of weeks have passed since my last blog post.....
 During that time a lot has changed.

 Over the winter my big complaint has been that due to the weather I have been restricted to the van and not been able to get out much on the bike or even a decent walk.
 Now we have Covid 19 and all the restrictions that that has placed on us all. About 10 days ago due to my age and my medical condition I was advised to stay at home for the next 12 weeks and not go out.
 Since then restrictions for everyone have been introduced and the country is in effect in lockdown.

 Originally there was some confusion about all caravan parks and campsites having to close down.
 Our caravan park is part residential and after a few days some official clarity on the subject of closure was released that stated for those like us whose prime residence was their motorhome or caravan ( full-timers) they would be allowed to stay on sites.

 We have now resigned ourselves to the possibility of being here right round to next spring.
 If the situation is over by the summer then that will be a plus but if it isn't over by then at least we will be prepared for the long haul anyway......

 According to Anne who has had to go out a couple of times for food shopping the police have been stopping people in nearby Yelverton checking people's movements and turning people back if it is felt that their reasons for being out are not deemed essential....

  For our exercise there is a 40 minute circular walk that we can do that follows a country lane and on which we have not met anyone at all. I also have my bike fixed on a turbo which I use with online training programmes ( see the image below).
So currently we are ticking along ok... Not really what we had planned for this year but that is the same for everyone in the UK and most of the world right now....

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Highlight of the week??

Well the weather has still continued to be all over the place with more rain and even more wind... 
I decided that I wasn't going to ride the bike on one good day only to be followed by a further 7/10 days of bad weather when it's impossible to ride.
 Once I start riding I want to be able to work on my cycling fitness every other day or as close to it as possible although I had hoped that by the time we had entered the month of March the weather would have started to be a bit kinder than it actually is...

 Still when I do start to get on the bike again regularly I know that I will be able to get back to fitness quite quickly as I have never had a problem in the past and this year I have been working hard at losing weight.
 Every winter I put on weight and then spend the spring and summer cycling it off.

 This year I have made drastic changes to my diet and by doing so I have been losing 2 lbs a week consistently since the beginning of the year. By the time that we move on from this site in mid April after Easter I will have reached my target weight.
 Getting back on the bike then will mean that I won't be dragging around a lot of excess weight.
 That is the plan anyway......

Not a lot has been happening around the site ...... All is quiet on the western front as can be seen  in the photo's of the site below.....

Highlight of the week? Well it could have been emptying the toilet cassette ha ..ha..

Full time touring is not all about freedom....fun and excitement as a lot of people will try and kid you... a lot of it can be pretty mundane and with the kind of weather that we have experienced this past winter it's been more about battening down the hatches keeping warm and considering identifying as a hedgehog so that we can go into some form of hibernation lol........




Possible highlight of the week??


Sunday, 1 March 2020

Putting everything on hold.....

Three storms in as many weeks has meant putting everything on hold.... 
This time last year we had a really bright spell with warm and sunny weather allowing me to sit out in the sun with a coffee and cake. 
This year has been the complete opposite. 

My thoughts are with all those that have suffered flooding. It really must be awful to have your home and possessions destroyed. 
For us it wouldn't be so bad... 
If we suffered flooding it would be relatively easy for us to replace the van and as we have already downsized and stripped back all our possessions anyway, what we do have would be easy for us to gather together and head off to the nearest Premier Inn or similar... That of course is one of the benefits of a mobile lifestyle...

As I write this the rain has started yet again although luckily the gale force winds of this latest storm 'Jorge' appear to have moved on away from us. 

Normally at this time of year I would be starting to prepare the van for the touring season ahead.... getting all those little jobs done that we need some settled weather in order to complete.. 

Things such as cleaning and polishing the van....sorting out all the summer kit... checking the awning... replacing items that have worn out etc. 
At the moment I have no idea when I will make a start on these tasks although the one thing we do have in our favour is the fact that we are staying on our winter pitch for an additional three weeks in order to avoid the inflated prices of club sites over the Easter holidays.

 It seemed to make sense to hang on here and start touring again when Easter was over... It will save us money but more importantly it will give us some extra time to prepare as due to the weather everything seems to be delayed anyway. .

A couple of weeks ago I bought myself another camera but due to the terrible weather, until a few days ago I hadn't been able to get out and try it ..... 

For this blog most of the images I use are direct from my mobile phone camera with the occasional shot  that I might have taken with my small Sony RX100 111. 
That is a brilliant little camera that can produce very high quality images which is great for such a small, convenient carry everywhere camera...
 The new camera I purchased was an upgrade to the Fuji XE-1 that I have been using for a few years now for my more serious images which are mostly in monochrome.

 I love the retro feel of the Fuji X series cameras and I find that the controls are more intuitive than a lot of other modern cameras including my little Sony...
 It probably says a lot about my old school way of thinking when it comes to camera design in this digital age ... 

Anyway a couple of days ago we had a very cold but almost dry day so I was able at last to get out and try out my new photographic acquisition...... 
The moor is very very wet and walking on it is a bit like walking on a wet sponge but I headed up to the old Harrowbeer airfield which is a short walk from our campsite and for an hour or two I was able to play around with the new camera. 
I took a number of shots in and around The Rock which is a rocky outcrop on the edge of the moor...
 I have posted an image of The Rock below but that photo was taken with my mobile phone camera. I took it when I was setting up the shots with the new camera as I wanted to quickly check the composition of the images I was proposing to shoot... 
 To the left side of the image you can see a couple of walkers sheltering from the bitter wind that was blowing that day...

Eventually you will be able to see the results with the new camera as they filter through to my monochrome photo blog 'Aura of Past Shadows'.
 Currently I am posting images on that blog from my back catalogue of files... If you are interested in taking a look there is a link in the sidebar on this blog. 



Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Cabin Fever .......

 Sorry for this week's posting being three days late but like the rest of the UK last weekend saw the arrival of storm Ciara and our internet connection disappeared..

 We were forced to stay in the van for a couple of days..
 Living in a small tin box is one thing but when you are forced by the weather to stay inside a space that is smaller than a prison cell for more than 24 hours you really do start to comprehend the term 'cabin fever'.
 Our 'Jolly Roger' flag flying on the front of our A-frame was beyond flapping..for most of the time it was blown absolutely straight. 


 As I have mentioned before, our pitch faces SSW overlooking the Tamar valley so we were getting the full force of the storm..
 Luckily with the pop-top roof closed and the aerodynamic shape of the Eriba the wind seems to blow over the van quite well and if the direction of the wind does change we are well protected by trees from all other points of the compass ... 

One morning I was looking out of the front of the caravan when a porch awning came flying over the dividing hedge and started to roll over and over between the caravans in our touring van section ...
 Next thing I saw was the owner of the awning come running around the hedge trying to catch his awning.
 Luckily a couple of of campers managed to catch it and managed to tie it down to a service bollard.
 The strength of the wind was such that the owner found it impossible to get it back to his van and had to leave it tied down in a spare pitch and retrieve it later when there was a slight lull in the wind .
 I managed to get a picture of sorts of the goings on but it is a bit blurry due to being taken through a front window of the Eriba ....You can see the awning being caught and tied down in the lower left of the photo ..

Looking at the forecast for this coming weekend I can see that we could well have a replay of last weekend with another storm coming in so it could be more 'fun' on the horizon.......Maybe next week's posting could be delayed as well..

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Making the most of it......

With the very mixed weather that we are getting throughout this winter we have to make the most of it when we do get a short spell of good weather.

 Last Wednesday was one such good weather day.
 I had never been to Bigbury-on-sea so with the improved weather it seemed like a good day to have a short visit.

 It took about 50mins to drive over arriving just after midday. Bigbury-on-sea is a small  seaside village situated on the south coast of Devon.

There is an island just off the coast  called Burgh Island and during lowtide it is possible to walk across to the island via the sandy isthmus.


You can see in the image above the view from Bigbury-on-sea across to the island. The tracks from one of the Burgh Island hotel vehicles can clearly be seen in the sand.
We had checked the tide times and we knew that we had sufficient time to walk across and have lunch at the Pilchard inn which is near to the wonderful art deco hotel which can be seen in the image above.
The Pilchard inn was owned by the same people who owned the hotel up until last year but is now under new management. The food was very good so there has been no lowering of standards with the change of ownership.
 Interestingly the inn has been there since 1336 according to the date on the wall .
If you do get stuck on the island by the tide you can always get the 'Sea Tractor' (seen above) to get back to the mainland. Apparently it is the only one in the world and it is certainly a very unusual vehicle. 
Unfortunately currently it is out of service due to having some work being completed on it... Not a good idea to try and swim across either as I believe that there is quite a strong current to be overcome ..

The island has only three private houses, the Pilchard inn and the Burgh Island hotel so is not exactly a busy place.

 Over the years it has had a number of well known visitors including Agatha Christie who stayed at the hotel and used it for inspiration for a couple of her books.
 Another famous visitor was Noel Coward.
 I was also told that the Dave Clark Five made a film on the island and also a number of TV dramas have been filmed there as well....

We enjoyed are short visit and happily managed to walk back across the sands before the tide came back in.. 
If you are ever down on that part of the south Devon coast it could well be worth a visit if you enjoy places with not a lot going on other than a sandy beach and an island that has lots of peace and quiet...


Sunday, 26 January 2020

It lasted a week.....

Well...the more settled weather had managed to last a week.
 To be honest I never expected it to last much longer but it did give us a really good respite from all the wet and windy weather.

 Like I said in last week's post everyone on the site managed to get out and catch up on all those neglected tasks.
 I was no exception and managed to clean the lower outside edge of the pop-top roof as well as some fiddly little jobs around the rest of the caravan.

 It was my birthday last week and Anne's birthday three days before so we went out for a meal which was very enjoyable. I was very careful what I ordered as I am counting my calorie intake at the moment in an attempt to lose weight.

 So far I have lost almost a stone and on target for my target weight. When I get back into full cycling mode I don't really want to have to drag excess weight up the local hills...

The good weather did bring most people out but it wasn't quite good enough to fill up all the exterior tables at the café's that surround the pannier market in Tavistock when we were there the other day....
 We also noticed that there was a lot less water flowing over the Weir at Abbey bridge ......
So what is the weather doing right now..? It's raining of course..!!

Monday, 20 January 2020

The worst type of unit to pitch next to....,

Over many years of camping and caravanning I finally have to say it.... I have to name the type of unit that in my opinion is the worst to pitch alongside or even  close to......

Yes....it is the loved by many campervan and it's various variants but only if they have the sliding door along the side..

 The sliding door is the problem for me and why I rate them the worst to pitch alongside.
 The constant opening and closing of the sliding door can be a real pain for anyone nearby...
 The noise as the door slides along the runners followed by the thump when the door hits the bump stops destroys any peace and quiet that other campers might be enjoying.

 Not content with opening and closing it the once campervan owners seem compelled to see how many times an hour they can use it...
 This is probably in an attempt to keep any warmth within the van.

 Most caravan doors only make a noise when they are being closed and even then they can be quietly click shut if you want to be considerate to other campers...
 With the campervan sliding door they make a noise when opening and also when closing so for other campers it's a double whammy of noise...

 The campervan door just cannot be operated quietly because certainly when closing if the owner tries to do it quietly the door will not close properly.

 I think that I am right in saying that the latest campervans have a door system that is a bit quieter so this has obviously been a problem that the manufacturers have been aware of and are now attempting to deal with. 
Hopefully in the future more peace will be maintained on the campsites so it will just be the older vans that will be annoying to be pitched near.....
Currently we are enjoying a spell of good weather...
It is forecast to be the longest dry spell since last September but that is not saying much really as we seem to have had rain every other day for months now.

 Paul who is pitched opposite us woke up and thought that spring had arrived and was out there today cleaning his caravan.....
 Peter the site owner also seemed to have a spring like moment because he was out giving the grass a bit of a high cut as can be seen below....
 However long this weather does last it is much appreciated by all the campers on site.....

Major changes.....

Inside Eva the Eriba...(small space living) A   couple of weeks have passed since my last blog post.....  During that time a lot ha...