So… we left you having just completed Scotland’s epic North Coast 500 route and, contrary to popular opinion, haven’t fallen off the edge of the world, got lost in the mountains or been eaten alive by midges.
In fact it’s much more boring than any of those.
One of the purposes of the Scottish trip was a test to see if we could live for extended periods in the close confines of the van before commencing our actual plan of living, full time, in the van for a year (at least) by spending the winter abroad and then coming back in the spring to find some seasonal work to tide us over the summer months (Europe, we feel, would be too hot in summer – especially for Jack)
So the boring bit entailed returning home to prepare the house for renting out to give us some income to fund, partially at least, our trip.
Well, we’ve heard many people say “…so we rented the house out and went (wherever)” and it all sounded so simple.
It took us the best part of three months, admittedly not working all day, every day, to empty the house of all the things we just didn’t need any more. We’ve never considered ourselves to be hoarders but the amount of stuff that came out of the loft, cupboards, boxes, the shed… In the end we were on first name terms with the guys at the local tip and most of the charity shops in the area!
Coincidentally Hannah (daughter), having finished uni and with miraculous timing secured herself both a job and a flat – ooh, sorry “apartment” – in London was the lucky recipient of as much stuff as we could
dump on her give her, albeit taking 3 trips to London in a very full car!
Finally, having cleared the house, cleaned the house and secured some tenants we moved out on September 1st to begin our self-imposed exile.
Thankfully, we have no fixed agenda or timescale to work to as, with everything that’d been going on with the house we’d completely forgotten about getting jack furnished with his Pet Passport so for 3 weeks we still had to be around home waiting for the various jabs to be administered.
At last though, we bade a final farewell (for now) to the Midlands and headed down to London. London??! Yes, unbelievably there’s an amazing campsite right near the centre called Abbey Woods and it is indeed a little oasis of greenery right in the middle of the urban sprawl of south east London. The reason we were here was for Annie to catch up with Hannah for a birthday meal and with the train station only 5 minutes from the site getting into the heart of the metropolis couldn’t have been easier.
Unfortunately, as dogs aren’t allowed on the Underground and generally aren’t welcome in restaurants (unless they’re on the menu) I had a lad’s night in with Jack whilst Annie and the girls had a great night out at the Flat Iron restaurant in Covent Garden.
From London it’s onwards to explore Kent for a while before tunnelling over to France for the real adventure to begin…