Tent or Awning?

I have managed to copy my A-Z blog posts and put them under the A-Z page which you can find at the top of my blog.  They are supposed to be posted every day except Sundays during April.  I forgot to do Saturday’s so I did it today.  They won’t be sent automatically any more as they are posted as pages rather than posts.  This was the only way I could keep them separate from the rest of my blog and in the correct order so they can be followed easily.  There’s a link here too  https://lookingforaview.wordpress.com/a-z-blog-challenge/  Please keep looking I’ve been encouraged by the number of people who have found them interesting.

Now Edna hasn’t been out on much in the way of adventures recently.  The weather hasn’t been great and the children have had birthday parties to attend, but we’re planning two trips during their Easter holiday.  One at the beginning and one after the Bank Holiday hopefully.  The night time temperatures seem colder than last time we went away, but hopefully the new sleeping bags will save the day or night.

I mentioned before that Edna sleeps 4 people, but with a boy and a girl that gets a bit awkward as they don’t particularly want to share.  The solution is an awning or tent to go with the van.  I have been looking around at camp sites for a couple of years now and the awnings seem to be either small and porch like for a table and chairs and extra storage or massive.  Coming from a camping background I have always fancied a bell tent, so I thought that if I have to get a tent or awning why not get one I really want.  The big down side of a bell tent is drying the canvas, but if I use it with the camper van I can just get it out when it’s warmer or when we need extra space with the four of us.

I was hovering between the 4 metre and the 3 metre, but then I saw the new 3 metre without a centre pole from belltent http://www.belltent.co.uk/bell_tents/3_metre_ultimate_bell_tent   It seems big enough to sleep a couple of people or even 3 on a hot night.  I’ve gone for a zipped in ground sheet so I have the option of rolling the sides up if it’s warm or zipping the bottom off if it gets muddy.  I’ve dithered quite a lot about this decision and I’m hoping I’ve made the right one.  I think only time will tell.  Maybe I’ll regret not having an awning that physically attaches to the van, but I just had this vision of me driving off without unattaching it properly, or not being able to park in exactly the same spot when I came back from the day out.  What about anyone else?  Any thoughts on awnings and tents?  Hopefully it will come some time this week.




Sleeping Bags and the Roof

First of all thanks to the new people who are following me (waves).  And thanks to those who have wished me well.

We got back on the Monday from Edna’s little adventure and the sleeping bags had arrived.  I also ordered a new folding chair and a folding stool with a top so it can be used as a little table.  I’ll let you know if the chair and stool are any good in the future when the weather is good enough to sit out and use them.  The sleeping bags look good.  My son’s looks very warm and cosy it’s a four season mummy shaped one.  I got envelope ones for my daughter and myself and when they arrived I realised they were two versions of the same sleeping bag, one green and one blue except one is the extra large version.  I got that one thinking of myself, as I’m quite tall and some sleeping bags won’t allow me to stretch out fully and still have the sleeping bag up around my ears.  My daughter would have rather had pink or purple but unfortunately they didn’t do them in those colours.  When we actually saw them in the flesh I went immediately for the green one with a tartan inside and a cotton flannelette feeling to it and my daughter preferred the blue with the geometric pattern inside and a slightly more crinkly noisy feel to it.  Guess what?  She’s got the longer one.  We’ll see how we go that way round, maybe we’ll swap in the future.

We definitely chose the right weekend to go.  According to my probably not very accurate weather on my phone we had night temperatures of about 7 degrees when we were away, but it’s been around 1 and 0 since then around here, with a couple of 2 and 3s.  The good news is more camp sites open up towards the end of March and April, but I’m sure that will mean it’ll get busier.  I need to plan busier places for quieter times and head for smaller sites during busy times.

I took the camper van back to where we got her from on the Friday.  I explained about the roof and was really relieved that the problem wasn’t me.  There was a problem with the catch so they replaced it completely.  It works even easier than before now.  They were very quick to remedy the problem and it’s reassuring to know that they would always deal with problems efficiently.  I definitely feel safe in their hands.  Apparently, it’s very unusual to have a problem with the roof like that.  I kind of guessed I might be unusual.

So, Edna is raring to go.  I had a lot of washing to do and I’ve stored some of the lighter sleeping bags for Summer.  Oh, and of course the other big news is that my Dad and his wife have just bought a big motor home and are planning on visiting France and maybe Italy next week.  I think how long they’ll go for will depend on how they find it.  This is a first for them.  My Dad used to camp in France with us as children in a big orange and brown canvas tent, but he’s never had a camper van or motor home.  It’s gold and pretty big and it’s called Les ( Les Cargot).  A very clever name.

I haven’t forgotten the Lake Vyrnwy photos.  I’ll post them soon.

Camping and Forgetting Things

So after some set backs earlier in the week I found another camp site and booked it.  Since then we’ve had these foggy colder mornings, so I’m hoping it’s not going to be too cold.  It’s a bit of the unknown though.  I’m not sure how warm the camper van will be and I keep writing check lists in the hope that I don’t forget anything.  I probably will, but most things you can get around.  I think I’m just a bit worried it won’t be as great as I hoped.  I just have to remember that I loved it when we rented the camper van and I’ve forgotten a lot of things before whilst I’ve been camping but it’s never been a failure because of that. 

I quite often forget night clothes when I go away and have to transform some tracksuit bottoms into pyjamas or a t-shirt into a nightie.  I usually remember to check the children’s though, so it’s only normally me.  We once forgot the tin opener and had to ask some people at another tent to borrow theirs.  They were ever so lovely and actually came past our tent the next morning and asked us if we needed it again for breakfast.  When we first started camping we didn’t have chairs and we just sat on picnic blankets the whole time, and early on I once forgot to pack cups and the children had drinking chocolate out of bowls, very continental.  Have you ever forgotten something really important?

I have never forgotten the tent or the pegs though, or even the sleeping bags or air mattresses/sleeping mats.  I’m just a little bit nervous, but excited too.  Nearly everything is ready and hopefully our new sleeping bags which are a bit thicker will arrive before we go tomorrow.  I ordered them on Monday next day delivery and they didn’t arrive on Tuesday.  So I rang them up on Wednesday and they said they were out of stock on one of the additional items I’d ordered.  I asked if I could have the order without that and they said certainly and told me I would have it the next day, Thursday and promised not to charge me for next day delivery.  Nothing arrived today, but on their website it says my order will arrive tomorrow between 06:30 and 19:00.  Well, we’re hoping to leave by 5:00pm so you never know.  We can still use our older sleeping bags and take some extra blankets and things anyway.

So, work tomorrow and school for the children and then we’ll see how quickly we can get away.  It’ll be a proper test because it does take a while to strike camp in a tent so we’ll see how quickly we can get ready in Edna.  I’ll report back next week with some pictures.