Monday, 10 October 2011

Pick yourself up and try again!

Hello again, laptop is back... well it never left really, but packing and phoning and sorting isn't very interesting in the first place, far less writing about it as well.

One week today and Archie and I move to France. The van resolutely stays here! He reinvented himself as a storage shed, inconsiderate @^£$! Remember the very expensive key/fob thingy? Well it decided it didn't like talking to the immobiliser after all, that along with all the other iffy bits made me decide to forget it, I cant trust it to even start, far less go 1200 miles. Its not easy giving in but sometimes its best.

Lessons learnt:
1. vans that cost £300 are shit.
2. positive thinking does not apply to mechanics.
3. when things go pear shaped, just wait a wee while and generally all problems are surmountable.

So, I am hiring a van to get me, Archie and my stuff to France. The delightful Adrian is allowing my shed to stay on his driveway for the time being and is even making the trip with me to return the hire van. 17 hour drive, a few days sussing out how stuff works in France, then Adrian makes the return 17 hour journey, and I'm alone in France with Archie. Its not quite the dream I had, but life's like that. I don't get my solo drive into the sunset, I don't get my meandering 3 to 4 week journey through the country, visiting friends and relatives, showing off my newly build lovely van, I don't get my £20K profit from the house to play with... but I do get to go to somewhere..... for now, that will do.

I am saving hard to buy another van, as soon as I possibly can (I'm homeless once the work in France dries up). Hopefully before the end of the year I will be back to playing with bits of wood, losing pencils and swearing at pipes.  Target is £1000 for the base van and I'm recruiting my brother into selecting it this time (hindsight is such an arrogant git!).  Hopefully I can get another Renault Master ambulance, I really like the interior and the parts and fittings I already have can be easily used again. I hate selling stuff, its such a hassle, photographing, advertising, posting etc... There are heaps of good bits on my shed, it would make life much simpler if I could re-use them myself.

Oh, I bought a bike, £10 from the recycling place! Will I ever learn? No, I'm broke....if I want something, it has to be cheap or I just have to keep wanting it.  Unfortunately, the bracket and basket required for Archie will cost me £60... I might just buy the bracket (£18) and rig something else up for the basket. The nearest shop, from my abode in France is about 6 miles away, on the other side of a forest.  I have the use of a land rover discovery in France but with a 4 litre engine, I would be silly to waste money on bombing about in it, besides I'm not entirely confident about driving on the wrong side of the road!  Why the basket? have you tried cycling through the streets of a strange town with a very agile little dog running beside you? I thought not, or you wouldn't have asked.

Am I excited? no, not really... I'm getting all sorts of weird vibes from family and friends about leaving. Of course this may just be my guilt at abandoning everyone or more likely my complete ineptitude at learning French, but its weird none the less.  I've been talking about this for over a decade, I think they all thought I was waffling (not a poor conclusion, I have been known to waffle occasionally) now I'm actually going, it doesn't seem that big a deal to me. Its only France, you can get a train to France, and I will no doubt be back very soon.  It is nice that folk will miss me, but please stop being sad, its scary enough as it is!


  1. How's things doing Annie? I keep looking here now and again to see if you've made an update.
    Hope all is well, Adrian.