It might not seem like it, but barbecue season is almost upon us. I know some die-hard barbie fans will say that barbecue season never ends, but for most of us, it’s time to start thinking about Saturday evenings in the garden, or preferably on a campsite, grilling something tasty over those hot coals.
If your old barbecue is looking a little bit like a health and safety scare story, then maybe this year is the year to go for gas. Gas grills have all the outdoor fun of traditional barbies, but without the warm-up time, the inconsistent cooking, and the argument about who cleans out all the grotty old coals the next day.
The Fyrkat gas grill from Bodum has to be about the most stylish grill I’ve seen. It’s even got a cool name – Fyrkat, which I’ve taken to be Scandinavian for FIRE CAT! It’s made from rather lovely enamel-coated steel, with sturdy chrome-plated steel legs and funky red silicone handles and clips.… Read More >>
The day of the Blackpool Sands Beach Clean Up finally arrived, and we headed off bright and early to the beach to take part. Our beach clean up is one of over 100 taking place this week, all organised by Marks & Spencer and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The idea is to raise awareness about sea pollution, to do something positive, and to collect information on the amount and types of rubbish on our beaches, for the MCS to use in their research.
Blackpool Sands is in the South Hams area of Devon, close to Dartmouth. It’s a beautiful stretch of coast, and this beach is a stunner. Granted, today the weather didn’t show it to its best advantage, but it was still gorgeous.
I guess about a dozen volunteers turned up, as well as two M&S organisers, who split us up into teams, and sent us off to pick over our own stretch of the beach. … Read More >>
OK, I’m the first to admit it, I’m a bit of a mad cat lady. I can’t help myself, and I make cat friends wherever I go. Our travels around France, Spain & Portugal recently gave me ample opportunity for cooing and befriending lots of lovely kitties. Here they all are!… Read More >>
We spotted this little camper at the Shepton Mallet Motorhome Show last week. Boy, is it dinky! It was certainly catching people’s eyes at the show, so we thought we’d take a closer look.
The single most striking thing about the van is just how small it is. It’s just 12’5″ long and a very bijou 5’1″ wide. To give you an idea of how small that is, my Ford Focus estate is 14’7″ long and 6’6″ wide. So the Cutie is very definitely on the micro side of small.
Inside the van, it’s kitted out neatly and it seems like the manufacturers have made the best of the very limited space. The pop-top means that you can actually sit upright in it, although the pop-top is a priced option and not included in the baseline price of the van, which seems a bit harsh. The table concept is quite clever, in that it slots into a metal groove along the cupboard wall, so that two people can sit, side by side, to eat at the table. … Read More >>
Here’s another golden oldie van, spotted enjoying some Spring sunshine down in south Devon last week. I’ve featured a Karmann Gipsy in my van spotting blogs before, so I think they must have a subliminal hold over me. I do have a soft spot/irrational hankering to have a Karmann Ghia car one day too, so maybe it’s the Karmann thing in general.
I’m in awe of any camper that’s still going strong, and still looks fab after the best part of 30 years. And I’ve learned something too…they’re called Karmann Gipsys – with an i and not Gypsys with a y. So now you know! As the price of uber-chic 1970s VW T2s continues to soar, I reckon we’ll see a lot more golden oldies like these becoming really desirable vans.
And if you’ve been bitten by the Gipsy bug, check out the current eBay listings below for Karmann Gipsys on sale right now:
… Read More >>
I’ve been thinking about bridges recently, not least because our next big trip will see us travelling over the mighty Øresund Bridge (pic above) between Denmark and Sweden. There’s something undeniably beautiful and awe-inspiring about most big bridges that makes them a must-do part of our road trips. Of course, they’re often a teensy bit scary too, with narrow traffic lanes, too much to look at and quite a lot going on around you as you gingerly steer your van over the watery vastness below. But it all adds up to a great trip in the end, doesn’t it? Here’s my pick of five great bridges to include in your own road trips:
Øresund Bridge, between Denmark & Sweden
This is currently the bridge of my dreams. When I’m not travelling, I like to be planning and plotting where we might go next. Our plans change faster than we can get to most of our destinations, but currently we are hoping to head to Scandinavia in a couple of months’ time.… Read More >>
Well, we’ve registered today to do the Marks and Spencers/MCS Big Beach Clean-Up in a few weeks’ time. You should too! It’ll be fun, you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside about actually doing something positive about the state of our beaches, and it will make a tiny, but definite difference.
Marks & Spencers have teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society to organise an annual series of beach cleaning events up and down the country. You can find out what beaches are involved on the MCS website, and then you just register to let them know you’ll be coming along. It’s a couple of hours out of one day, and all you need is a pair of thick gloves, warm clothes and a positive attitude. What could be simpler?
We’ve been touring round Europe for most of the last year, and we’ve been to a fair few beaches…Mediterranean, English Channel, Atlantic Coast…and it truly is shocking how much rubbish there is on almost every beach these days. … Read More >>
Writing about Martin Dorey’s wild weekends the other day, I realised that we’d been staying in Devon for two whole weeks, and we hadn’t made it to a single Devon beach. We’ve been busy, the weather’s been rubbish, yada yada…. So today we decided that things had to change, and we headed out to the nearest beach…the glorious Bantham Beach, just a couple of miles from Kingsbridge, where we’re currently staying.
It’s March and last week most of the UK saw significant snow. So we didn’t have any expectations of actually sunbathing or picnicking on the beach. But the sun was shining and it was great to clear the cobwebs and get some fresh air.
Bantham Beach is accessed via a long, long single-track road. In summer and at weekends, this road can turn into a Chelsea Tractor nightmare, with drivers who should know better just refusing to reverse even a few feet back to a passing place, preferring the ‘I will not back down, you will go back a quarter of a mile’ option.… Read More >>