We come to the end of our three and a bit weeks away; we catch the ferry on Tuesday. As is always the case it does feel as though we’ve been away forever – which is good. Both of us feel relaxed and fir, but we’ve both had that feeling that we wish we were now heading south to find Mrs Sun, and maybe chase her around the Mediterranean rim until the Spring. Doris does that to you. She has been fab. Other than the ‘will, she, won’t she’ start, which is now fixed, she hasn’t missed a beat in every department. When we get the trike fitted, she will be the complete long-term package for us. Don’t worry friends and family, we will be keeping the 2-up, 2-down in Bristol, so you will be able to differentiate between us and ‘other travellers’ – I’m not so sure what I’m allowed to call Gypsies nowadays.
Doris’s intermittent electrical fault tells a story for everyone. They’re v difficult to fix. I was up for replacing the alternator (£250) and the earthing strap (£100), and would have been no better off if I hadn’t stumbled upon one of the main Fiat live leads coming off the battery to Doris’s heart somewhere – which was loose. Just goes to show. And of course, if I’d have sent it blind to a Fiat garage, who knows what they would have replaced – especially as the fault only appeared when you were least expecting it. A new CPU would have been my bet (£800).
Actually, we’re really looking forward to going home. Other than being ‘at home’ with the additional comforts that affords, we have a lot to look forward to. Let me elucidate.
First, Doris will become my writing studio, including all mod cons. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying book 5 – 23,000 words in and motoring. Much quicker and much earlier than hitherto. If I carry on like this I’ll be done by the end of October, which is when I normally start. I’m loving the plot: Sam, Frank; Jane and Gareth – especially Gareth. He’s going to raise a few eyebrows I think. But he’s got a good role. I’m about to introduce a new bloke, name not yet known, who will tell a side story that will add depth and colour to a tricky time in the world. Can’t wait!
Of course I have Jen’s business to help with, and she and I have been talking a lot about that. She and James are off to Canada for their belated honeymoon in 10 days time. V excited. When she gets back we shall start in earnest. I’d hope to spend about 2 days a week (across the week) helping out. Then I’ve got some leadership work with the school I’m helping out in. I reckon only 3.5 days between now and Christmas, but it’ll be fun and I’ll get paid.
We have a list of jobs as long as an orangutan’s arm with regard to the house, Doris etc. And all of those will be fun. And, of course, we have people to see – and some to look after. With no full-time work on the agenda, we can do all of that without stress. Fab.
And we intend to get away. We have Cassie (Jen’s dog) for the next three weeks and hope to pop away in the van for a couple of days. We’re taking Mary to Paris towards the end of next month. We are looking at a last minute deal to the Med, possibly at the end of October, for a week. And we are hoping to go skiing in January for our usual 12 days.
Are we the luckiest people alive? We think so.