Wednesday, 21 August 2013

One step closer to travel

Plans are afoot...... 

Andy has sorted out his passport and Seb's got his :-) 

For the princely sum of £ 1,600 we will be vaccinated for our trip around the world phew ! Lets hope we will get an extra couple of months work. There's nothing  frugal about that price!  We started having them last night  the first 3  we need about 9/10  In total ! 

Next ...visas and train plans ...oh and a date when to start ! 

23 rd August 
Great news Andy has just been given a three month extension on his contract so that means we will be in Scotland till the end of November, 
At last we can start planning dates,   we now hope to start on our travels early in December heading through Europe to Russia for Christmas  before getting on the transiberian train going through Mongolia to China and onwards. 
Siberia in winter,  a frosty winter land of  snow and ice and minus degrees temp... I can't wait to see Russia in the snow ( hopefully its snowing by then) sleeping in a traditional ger should be interesting ;-) 

We have decided to stay in our caravan till then and weather the scottish winds, ( it should make us a little harder for the forth coming Russia weather) Its also easier as its hard to get a 3 month rental here. And any way the kids and I plan to be down in Milton Keynes for a lot of September and a little of October catching up on friends and family as well as my honours degree ceremony to attention. Alisha will be 8 and alison my sister is a bit old ;-) er  too. Party time ...

Andy I think plans to  make the most of his free time  walking up some Scottish munros, because he's not complaining about us going down for so long ;-) 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The great trip to Scotland 

The first part of our adventures will now start with us going up to scotland, stirling for a minimum of three months for a work contract. We plan on living in our caravan in Alloa, lets not talk about the weather at the moment seems to be creeping up past 2 degrees and we have even had some sunny days I live in hope of not freezing....It has took us two weeks to gut, to take one house and try to fit it into a caravan's amazing how much stuff and crap one can hide away in a house. 

At last That's it all packed up and ready to go .. House gutted and bags either taken to the dump, or bagged for car booty when the weather is warmer, age concern will pick up larger furniture on Saturday. We have decided to get rid of every thing except for some toys and a couple of pieces of furniture. Storing worthless stuff is far to expensive these days. 

I started with the hardest bit first sorting out the kids toys, made all the more difficult by Alisha who hates getting rid of anything. .... Seb was good he wanted to sell stuff so he can have more money to buy other things. 

Namely Lego dinosaur or transformers. 

I took all our clothes halved them then dumped a load more. each has one small cupboard to put clothes in, I've got this feeling when I put the bags in the caravan they still won't fit in, more gutting to come. What joy...

Hello from Scotland, Alloa. 
April  10th wed 

We arrived here tuesday night about 11pm, after a couple of very long days driving and towing the caravan Phew.. Day 1 to manchester. After wondering where Birmingham has vanished to I realised I had missed the m6 turn off..opps don't tell anyone :-/ so i cut through the peak district from chesterfield to Stockport.. easy. ( a good choice I realised when I found out that the m6 had closed because of an accident). We stayed at a caravan club site and it was freezing. i travelled up with my mum and kids. Andy was already in Scotland at this time. 

Day 2 saw me starting of a little late from Manchester luckly again just missing closure on the ring road. after visiting my auntie margaret and uncle Brian. So left around 4.30 and arrived in Alloa 11pm ? don't ask me what happened to the extra extra hour detour to drop mum of in Carlisle doesn't seem to add up to what should have been a 4 hr drive never mind we have arrived and are now settled in our caravan nice and cosy. Weather at mo is good. Alloa is lovely we are right next to the ochills and camp site is very nice. ( Almost to nice for my little caravan, it seems it doesn't look the part and we have been asked to spruce it up..time to Get the scrubbing brushes out. Bet they were afraid the gypsies had turned up :-) though they would have at least had a car with them.....

Kids have spent the day playing in the park despite the cool weather. 

Day 4 Friday

I don't know where days are going they are flying past.. my little caravan got the thumbs up this morning from site manager he said and I quote she good she scrubs up well doesn't she ..phew ... So she should, we were out all morning scrubbing her clean.

Feeling settled now only one more bundle of clothes to squeeze into the caravan, mine of's amazing just how much you can actually fit in a caravan

Caravan basic 

caravan is a small 5 berth. Two double beds and 1 bunk bed, so Alisha sleeps on the bunkbed and seb is on the lower double. We sleep on the opposite bed. 

In our awning I have set up a table, and play area for the kids, with chairs for us. The awning keeps out most of the cold winds its quite cosy.
............ ..I've been checking out home ed website for area 

Home from home....Today we have sun yippee, clothes all washed and drying nicely, veg delivered, dinner on, and now relaxing.. And trying to egnore my inner voice that says I must Finnish of my soon to be overdue open uni TMA!!

After the physical and mental exertions of gutting the House, leaving family, and towing the caravan to Scotland. I was on a high, ready to go forth and conquer Scotland, clean caravan, fix home and get started in homeschooling again which I have to say has been a little lacking ( but then the experience of the move and relocation is an education in its self).

I was all set to go ... but instead i find us in the first week, back in the lowlands. ( figuratively speaking ) to day is Tuesday and andy's second day of work, it's 11am and alisha, seb and i are struggling to get out of bed, my little caravan is being beaten by the wind and rain which has been going on all night, and i have had the flu for the last three days. 

Which is why I'm still in bed for all you out there.. :-) 

I did manage to go swimming ( didn't help flu) yesterday with kids and book Alisha into her lessons. Which start today so at some point I need to get up. :-( make porridge, check my awning is still standing and Start moving.... 

Here's to the good life ....
Makes for an interesting read and they have some great travel info on their blog 

Family Travel Blog for Nomadic World Travel with Kids:

May 10 th 2013 May 10th 

Andy and i are celebrating our 10 year anniversary eek and Alisha has a new bike as she she is growing up fast. so we decide to celebrate by going on a small biking holiday. We biked to the train station in Alloa then took the train to Loch Lomond. We stayed in a lvely b& b in balloch. 

On saturday we visited the sealife aquarium, which I have to say is excellent... then on Sunday we biked 8 miles along the loch shore, Alisha did very well and loves her new bike with Gears. It was a shame it rained all the way around but still good fun and the loch and mountains were wreathed in mist and when we could see them, were beautiful.

 Seb got to play with the ipad as he was enclosed under the rain cover of the the bike trailer for most of the time and couldn't see much but he was happy. All in all a great trip and we are now happy to be back in our caravan vegging out, while warm and dry.

Well we have been living in our little caravan in Scotland for just over a month, and I think we have settled in well we moved after two weeks to another pitch as the first one was to open to the wind that blew across the valley. 

I feel very relaxed here in Scotland and do not tire of seeing the ochills even when it's grey and cloudy in fact they look just as good when the weather is rough, that's the joy of living near mountains/ hills. 

I like the fact that we are involved more with the outdoors now for instance we go out to the washing up area to wash our pots, or to fill up the aqua roll with water, or to walk up the shower blocks. we live constantly with the door open even if its cold, you just put on more layers, its surprising how used to lower temp you get living this way i could never tolerate this in a house my temp was set at 18 plus just to keep warm. The kids are in and out of the caravan all the time they are not limited and have the whole camp site to play in, not a bad size for a garden they even have a big tree to climb and a small play park, no more being closeted up in a house. 

In milton keynes i felt i was just running to the car and back again with out even looking up to see what's around me, I'm afraid the surrounding country side though beautiful did little for me, I love hills, mountains, and the sea, it makes me feel closer to the land, and lifts my spirits, I love the sublime, and the adventure of it all. 

Though if I must be honest I could do with more sun ..give me the french alps or near the sea, with sun and that would be wonderful, I would be complete. Arrh soon enough :-) 

We have packed quite a lot in this month already we have been to Loch Lomond with the bikes, we have had my sister, mum Sean and Luke up to stay.. That was fun 4 kids and 3 adults packed into the caravan, 

Andy disappeared up some Monros for the wekend just to get away :-) the crouachaderain and Ben tullechian monros.

We have also travelled by train to Cheltenham to visit andy's family and grand daughter Emily. 

It's not stopping there, in two weeks the kids and I are off back down to Milton Keynes to stay with my family, Andy is of to climb some more Monros. And then we are into July phew! 

I have now at last finished my open University art history honours degree after 7 years ...yippee .... Wow I have time to think about other things and not feel guilty about not doing my studies, this is going to take some getting used to ;-)....

The kids and I have had some fun home educating we are doing a project on frogs and tadpoles. We are reading lots of books and have completed a lap book about them, we have also found some tadpoles in a pond at the alva glen waterfalls and woodland. ( which are fantasic and so close to us ) so we are looking after tadpoles and observing them daily.

June 13 holidays down south Milton Keynes and beyond 

We had a lovely time in cromer last weekend, the sun came out every time we needed it to :-) at other times we just admired the sea view from our window, which sat on the cliff edge. we even managed to swim 3 time in our outside pool ( it was very warm water) and the kids loved playing in the sea on one particularly beautiful evening.

We had fish and chips by the pier and went on a 2 and half hour boat ride to see a large group of seals, you would have liked it, there was hundreds of different nesting birds all quarrelling for some space on the island . You couldn't miss the smell :-/. we managed to pack a lot into 4 days. It was also nice because i got to spend it with my dad, chris, sister and kids.