Dinner’s ready

One of the most enjoyable times for me in the caravan is meal times, it’s funny how at home this becomes a chore, trying to think of things to cook everyday to keep everyone happy.  But when we are away it’s so different. There’s no “I don’t want that; can I have or yuck” we simply seem to agree on what we want to eat. 

When we first got our van two years ago, we purchased a Cadac Safari Chef, one of the little ones, when we got it its was simply to do barbeques on, you know good old burgers and sausages, nothing fancy here! We used it happily for the first year and loved it. However, we never used it to its full potential.

Then last year a friend of ours did a vlog the Trudgians showing what he cooked on his larger Cadac and it looked fantastic. Now hubby had been nagging me for some time about getting the larger Cadac, but I had always shot him down, saying we didn’t need a larger one, and that ours was just fine. In fact, if memory serves me I think he wanted the larger model when we first bought it, but I felt that the smaller one would serve us. After seeing Dan’s Vlog, I had rapidly changed my mind, I had never thought of cooking the sorts of food that he had cooked. So, a couple of weeks later we went out and bought the Larger Carri Chef. Well we have never looked back.

Every time we go away we use it, in fact I would say we cook almost all our meals on it now, even the obligatory fry up is done on it, including the fried eggs.

But possibly my favourite meal so far has to be the pan-fried Mediterranean veg, with chicken goujons in a garlic and herb marinade. It was so simple, just pick the veg you like, we had corn on the cobs, courgette, red onion, peppers and mushrooms, spray with a little olive oil and bung on the hot plate. With the chicken, we simply covered with the marinade and left it for about half an hour then when ready, spray a little oil onto the hot plate and bung the chicken on, turning occasionally to ensure they cook right through. Then serve with potatoes of your choice. We cheated here and got some pre-prepared ones, so just had to bung in the oven. I have never seen plates cleared quite so quickly, nothing left for the big fluffy pooch this time.

It doesn’t have to stop there, its possibly the most universal cooker I have ever used. I can’t wait to use it again on our next trip, thinking of trying out the paella pan, just have to convince hubby as he is not a big fish fan, but I’m sure if its cooked on the Cadac he will love it.



cropped-bertie-sq.pngI’m sure that many of you have suffered a night in the caravan being kicked or thumped by your partner, had to listen to them huffing and puffing in your face, laying there thinking why did I get a caravan! Well I know I have. When we bought our caravan, we had hoped that we would be able to sleep on the front seats as singles, but unfortunately, I can’t. And so, began our two years exploits to find the optimum sleeping position.

First, we tried sleeping with the girls at the back on the double, top and tail and their own sleeping bags, and us on the front benches again with our own sleeping bags. This did not work as the girls fought all night for space and I had the dog trying to get on top of me, we went home and had a rethink about how to sleep next time.

Second trip out, we decided that the girls would have to lump it as they had plenty of room.  You may ask why we didn’t use the bunk for one of them, well neither of them wanted to sleep on it and we thought that it might have been too small for them. We thought we would try the double at the front with the sleeping bags. Well that was the first mistake neither of us could get on with the sleeping bags and so again spent the night feeling trapped. The girls well they still couldn’t find a comfy position with them both sleeping on the back double.

So back to the drawing board. What about if the girls slept on the front benches with the sleeping bags and we slept on the double at the back. Yes, that’s it we were sorted that had to work. Along came our next trip and ready and armed with all that we needed to make up our beds, sheets, duvet and sleeping bags for the girls, off we went, certain that we had finely sorted the sleeping situation for the final time. That this would be how we would sleep for the rest of the time owning this van. oh, how wrong we were. Night time came and we made up the beds, we all settled in and it felt good, for about 2 minutes, we don’t like it came the outburst from the girls, and once the hubby had found his spot in the bed, I was getting squashed into the wall. I didn’t like it either. So, after yet another horrible night in the caravan, the next morning I just wanted to get rid of it wasn’t going to go caravanning again, and to be frank was ready to go home.

But after a coffee and a talking too from hubby, I persevered and we decided to give the front double another go, but this time we would use the duvet and the girls decided that Lulu would sleep on the bunk, giving Grace the double underneath.

Along came bedtime again and we set up the girl’s beds, both jumped in and we had big smiles, we like this they say, and sure enough with a few minute’s they were both fast asleep. A short while later we make up the front double and both settle down for what we hoped would be a good night’s sleep, as I had made it quite clear that if I don’t sleep tonight we were going home the next day and selling the caravan. Well needless to say we did sleep, not the best night I have ever had, as the hubby is a fidget in bed and likes lots of room, so I was getting kicked a bit and he was a bit to close with his snoring, so close that I could feel my eyelashes moving with each breath out. But I eventually got off to sleep.

Until recently this is the way we always slept, until one day while away hubby said, why don’t we sleep on the benches but with the middle made up and have single duvets, I gave it some thought and though yeah that could work. With the draws, in between us it meant he wasn’t going to be breathing all over me all night and we had plenty of room in between us to put our legs out. So, we gave it a try. Why oh why had we not tried it before. It’s the best night’s sleep I have had in the caravan, and even the dog had somewhere to go that didn’t get in the way. Waking up feeling refreshed, I now had a reason to look forward to going to bed in our caravan.


Our Final day.


As a child, I loved nothing more than exploring, my favourite times where the days when Mum and Dad would pack up a pic-nic and we would set off for a day out at a stately home. For me seeing how they used to live, and imagining all the scandal that went on behind closed doors, was amazing.

We wanted this for our girls, so  we became  members of both National Trust and English Heritage. We joined under the Family pass as we thought it would be a good way of exploring our history here in Britain. When  deciding where to go in Bertie, we always have a look and see what the two organisations have to offer in that area. This time we found a place called Hanbury Hall in Droitwich Spa, so we decided that  would be one of our days out while away.

As My Mum and Dad used to do, we packed up at pic-nic, I always find it funny how when you pack a pic-nic its basically your lunch and a brilliant way of saving money, ensuring that you do not need to pay the high prices charged at these family attractions. However why do we find it necessary to pack enough food to sink a battle ship. If we were at home we would have a sandwich and maybe some crisps, but when we do a packed lunch, we have 3 or 4 four rolls each, crisps, cakes, chocolate biscuits and of course not forgetting a piece of your five a day. we never eat it all and end up taking it home and having it for dinner as well. Maybe next time I will only pack what we will eat! After packing our mammoth lunch in the car, we all bundled in  and set off for our day out. Within half an hour drive from Chapel Lane Club Site, we arrived at the hall.


The car park as with many of these places it’s a fair walk from the main attraction, however the main reception is only a short walk from the car park and for the elderly or infirm they provide a free transport service to the main house, via golf buggy. Dogs are welcomed at Hanbury Hall there are signs advising you where dogs can be walked and must be kept on sort leads (so not on the extendable ones).  As mentioned before we are members so we show our cards to the assistant at the reception, he scans them and confirms we are members! He then books us on the last guided tour of the house at 2pm, advising us that there is only 4 spaces left (there are 5 of us) we explain that this possesses a problem as we do not want to leave anyone out. To which he advises us, oh that’s ok we can add another one on it will be fine. So why tell us that there is only 4 spaces when adding one on it not a problem. Think he just wanted to look good!. He hands the 4 tickets to our youngest and we leave the reception building for the walk to the house and gardens.

As usual I am busting for the loo, so it was a bit of an accelerated walk to the stable block which housed the toilets. We had about 45 minutes before the guided tour and decide to have a walk around the gardens adjacent to the house. The Gardens are in the process of being restored to their original  design, and being winter they are a little bleak but pretty all the same. You could imagine that in the spring and summer they are a sight to behold.  Originally designed by royal gardener George London. There are many sights to see, including a Orangery and Mushroom House, Ice house, walled garden and more. We take a walked around the formal gardens, known as The Sunken Parterre, which is laid out like so many of the gardens at these stately homes, with low cut box bushes creating a symmetrical pattern divided into four with paths through to allow a person to walk around and view the splendour. This was followed by the Fruit Garden again meticulously laid out, not a leaf out of place, possibly because there are no leaves on the trees this time of year, but you know what I mean.

Time was getting on so we make our way back to the main house for our tour.  We enter through a very normal looking door, what I mean by this is as with many other houses that I have visited over the years the entrance to said house is normally very grand, big oak double doors with Colom’s around and lion heads looking down at you. Not this place though, it looked  like an afterthought, like they had built this grand looking house and then thought oh we forgot the door, However once entered through the door you are greeted with a rather grand entrance hall and staircase.

As mentioned before we are on a guided tour which if I’m honest I prefer not to be on, I like to walk around myself and take it all in.  but on this occasion, we do not have the choice as the house is being cleaned over the winter. The guide calls us all over to being the tour, he spends some time telling us about the legacy of Thomas Vernon, wall and ceiling paintings that adorn the entrance hall and staircase, that he commissioned Sir James Thornhill to create. These depict the story of Achilles and, having been recently restored, and are Hanbury’s crowning glory.

After this we are moved into a smaller room, which was used by the last lady of the house as a day room. This is the most modern room in the house as it was used up to the sixties and is also being currently restored. From this point, we all started to lose interest I’m afraid and although the gentleman doing the tour seemed to know his stuff it was more about the people that lived there than the actual house its self.

We shuffled our way round the rest of the house, which was only 3 more rooms and ended up where we had started. The girls where getting bored, so we decided to make a move. Not a bad day out, but I think you would be going there more for the grounds and gardens than the actual house, but it got us out for the day and with our membership didn’t cost us anything either.


Day 3 – Cadbury World


After what can only be described as a very pleasant evening, we will leave it at that. We awake later than we had expected and feeling a little worse for wear, well me anyway, bloody hubby starting to really annoy me now, nothing no headache, no dry mouth just full of bloody joy, grr! We have our morning fry up, minus the black pudding and get ready for our day out at Cadbury World. Time to jump in the car again, approx. 20 minutes’ drive to Bournville the site of Cadbury World, everyone is looking forward to the day. We arrive park up and make our way to the attraction. It’s a short walk to the rear entrance here we found a large play area and their 4D experience. Also, the entrance to the history of the Cadbury brothers and what they did for Birmingham. We pass this to get to the main entrance. You have to book in advance to get in and we had booked and paid for our slot at 2:40, the time was around midday. So, we decided we will go back round to the play area where there is a beverage outlet, selling tea coffee etc. this is where the first of the disappointment’s start. Myself and Mrs T go to the hatch, only to be told by a very mardy assistant, you can only have speciality tea or filter coffee as the machine is broken and we can’t make hot chocolate. We relay the message to the others and we all decide on coffee, back we go, sorry you can’t have tea or coffee I don’t have any cups, is the reply. We are asked to take a seat as cups are on their way and he will call us when they arrive. So, we dewily sit down, only to turn around a few minutes later to see a massive queue and people being served hot beverages. Ah! Guess the cups have arrived, we queue up to get our filter coffee, only we don’t get filter coffee we get instant coffee at filter coffee prices, which to be frank, was bloody horrible. The time know is around 1pm, so we decide to go on their 4D experience. We walk around the corner only to be greeted by a queue with a approx. time of waiting being at 40 minutes. Not knowing how long the experience will be we decided we will not have enough time to do, so we will come back after the main experience. We are now getting cold, so decide to go in to the main building and have a look around. Well basically its spend all your money in the shop or send all your money in the restaurant. So, after a quick look around the shop, which is absolutely packed, we decide to get some food. This was the only decent thing about the day. It was now time to queue up for main experience, when we booked we were advised to be there at least 10 minutes before entry. We were booked to go in at 2:40pm so, we got to the main foyer at just before 2.30pm, as instructed only to be greeted with a huge amount of people, all waiting for their turn to enter. A member of staff is calling all the people for the 2.30 slot, we are then asked to start making another queue for the 2.40 slot.


Well there was barely enough room to move let alone make a queue, but we managed. Our time slot has now passed and we are still waiting, it’s now approaching 3pm and they are still calling for people for the 2.30 slot. we are starting to lose the will to live, the kids are getting bored, bored! We are at Cadbury World surly they should be a happy as a pig is the proverbially, but no they just want to go home. The hubby is also starting to lose his patience, as all we can see is people coming through the doors and straight through to the experience. And we are all standing there like dummies’. So, he decides to ask the lovely member of staff what’s going on, her reply was just amazing, it’s really busy sir we have a lot of schools coming in today, and we didn’t know that half the country where on half term. Well surely, they should, being one of the largest attractions in the country they should make it their business to know. A lady standing behind us, said when she booked, Cadbury’s sites said there was only 350 places available for that time slot. so, let’s do the maths. Let’s say that they open a 9 am and the last tour is 5pm, the tours are every 10 minutes, that’s 5 per hours, they are open for 8 hours so that’s 8 x 5 = 40 tours per day. Each tour has up to 350 people, so that’s potentially 40 x 350 = 14000 people per day. Maybe Cadbury should have done the maths and they would know what to expect and make provisions for it.


Anyway, we finally got it to the experience at around 3:10 pm, it started out with a display of how the Mayan’s had discovered the coco bean, then on to displays and shows about how Cadbury had made their chocolate. You then go into the actual factory, the bit we were all waiting for, seeing how they make the chocolate into their famous bars. Well what an experience! We walked and walked along endless corridors looking at nothing. We went up several flights of stairs in anticipation, with the promise of seeing the machines they use in actions, showing us how it’s poured, shaped, filled and wrapped. Instead once reaching the top floor, we saw a room with machines that had been half dismantled. A sign on the wall told us that they had closed this exhibit, as it was being moved to a different site, but nothing about it being replaced with something else. We finally get to the tempering room. Here we had 6 members of staff, 3 giving out melted chocolate with sprinkles on. One melting chocolate and filling moulds with the said chocolate, who had just done a show and was waiting for the chocolate to firm up, so he could do it again, so we couldn’t see that happening. Then there was a lady behind some glass, she was decorating by hand, chocolate teapots and shoes, for the shop downstairs. This was probably the most interesting part. And lastly there was a young lady filling Easter egg moulds with chocolate and putting them on a machine that spins them around to cover the inside of the moulds. We stayed in this area for approx. 10 minutes. Back down all the stairs again to where we started and here we found a queue! Being British we decide to join it, not really knowing what it was for, 30 minutes later we get to the end of the queue to find out it’s a fairground ride, and possibly the lamest ride I have every been on. This was advertised as new, we jump in a car which is attached to a rail on the ground. This then takes you round at the slowest speed possible to look at coco beans is various scenes. We are reminded all the way round to smile at the camera, you know like when you go on a roller-coaster they take a picture of you all dishevelled at the end, smiling and laughing. Well we got to the camera and not one of us had the were with all to smile.

This concluded the end of the experience, totally deflated and just wanting to go home and have a coffee, we exit the building. However, one of our party had decided that it just wasn’t on, and went back in to complain. She got absolutely nowhere with them, they did not give a toss. Now you may remember we didn’t do the 4D experience at the beginning as we didn’t think we would have time, and that we were going to do it after. It had taken so long for us to do the tour, that the 4D experience had closed. The member of staff behind the desk radioed down and managed to get the staff to keep it open so we could go and see it.

A short walk to the back of the building to were the 4D experience was, we went straight in. It turned out to be around 10 minutes long and was basically a film with the characters from the Cadbury adverts, going on a journey in a roller-coaster ride. You get tossed about a bit in a seat and some air blown in your face, whilst wearing 3D Glasses.

Finally, we can go home, totally deflated, after we were all looking forward to what was supposed to be a very enjoyable day. if you ever decided to go to Birmingham, I would not recommend Cadbury World.  


A trip to Chapel Lane – Day 2


After what had been a fantastic evening with the Family T, we had all slept well and were awoken by our fluffy mutt needing a wee. Hubby got up first and took the dog for a quick walk to relieve herself. The girls up next full of the joys of spring. Then me well I was not in the best of ways, it must be said, “never gonna drink again “being the first words out of my mouth, closely followed by “coffee”. The hubby returns and to my annoyance feels fine. I managed to drag my sorry body out of bed, to get that coffee.

Today was going to be a day mainly at the site, as we were expecting some more people arrive. Maybe just pop to the local shops, to get some food for the next couple of days, and possibly some gin! oh no that’s right I’m never drinking again.

Coffee had and I am starting to feel a little bit more human, so after getting washed and dressed, we decide to go get that food. It has been decided Grace and Lulu’s new friend Miss T, would come with us, and we would get some lunch out. So, all in the car and off for a sort drive to Maypole, a local suburb of Birmingham, here we found a large Sainsbury’s, Aldi and some smaller shops, two of which were fast food outlets. We park up and decided we will go for the healthier option of Subway. Food purchased we sit down to enjoy our meal, only to see Mr and Mrs T walking up for the car park, which the girls found highly amusing.  We opt for Aldi for our food shop as we use them at home, we got most of what we needed, however much to my disappointment we could not find any black pudding for our morning fry up, which for me is an essential part of any fry up. A little more faffing about, we take our purchased items to the car, we all pile in, for the sort drive back to the site.


Back and un packed, we pop the kettle on, I’m still feeling the effects of last night’s shenanigans, so think maybe a little afternoon nap is on the cards. This was not to be as the first of the people who we were expecting have arrived. This is the part where I tell you we have never met these people before, thankfully they turn out to be lovely. Deb and her husband Steve have come along to join us for a couple of days. The family T have met them before and come over to introduce everyone to each other. Deb writes a blog,In Pursuit Of A Dream , about their journeys in their Bailey Pursuit Caravan, well worth a read. Ever the host MR T makes them coffee and we have quick chat as they still have to set up their van. We all leave them to it and return to our vans, for a brief time only as the last but by no means least member of our little group arrives. Mr Andrew Ditton and he smashing little dog Dougal, who is quite the star, don’t you know, pull up. To see Andrews adventures with Dougal click the link here Andrew J Ditton So, all out of the vans again to say hello. More tea is made and this time we bring out the cakes.  More chat is had and as before we allow Mr Ditton to get set up.

The evening promises to be a good one, with some very interesting people, its arranged that we shall all meet at the family T’s caravan, once again for drinkies, not me though, coz I’m not drinking ever again!

NADT8847       IMG_1359


A Trip to Chapel Lane


Day one!

It’s a cold snowy Sunday morning in February and we are up with the lark. We are getting ourselves ready to go on our first trip of the year in Bertie. We have booked five nights at Chapel Lane Caravan Club site just on the out skirts of Birmingham. After packing up the car to almost over flowing, you would think we were going for a year the amount the girls want to take with them, and doing all the lock down checks on the house, we all pile into the car for the short journey to my parents’ house, where Bertie lives.

Once arrived we hitch up Bertie to the car and have our last wee’s before we embark on our drive to Birmingham. Last checks done to ensure that lights etc. are all working ok on the van, we finally pull away from the parents at around 9:30 am .

The drive up was pretty uneventful. A few games of eye spy played and a little bit of singing to the radio, ensured the girls didn’t get to bored. Chapel Lane site was easy to find with plenty of road signs showing the way.

We pulled on to site at 11:40 and where greeted by a very friendly warden, who told us that they were just swapping shifts over, and would be with us in a few minutes and invited us to wait inside the office. With the pooch and the girls in the car, we popped inside to get out of the cold wind and snow that was occurring outside. It was only a short wait and soon after the usual brief, we were back in the car and looking for a pitch. The site was not busy, but at the same time it wasn’t empty either. Now if I hadn’t mentioned before we had arranged to meet friends on the site, bearing this in mind, we looked for an area that had plenty of pitches available so that the others had a choice where to pitch.  We found what we thought was a good area, right by the dog walk which was handy, as all bar one of us had a dog. The hubby being told that’s the one we want, pops the car in reverse and manoeuvres the van on to the pitch, ensuring that the corner of the van is in the correct position of the white peg! Pretty much spot on we jump out the car and un hitch Bertie.


Now to start the setting up… we don’t really have a regimented routine for this. But as it was very cold, we got the electric on first so we could get the heating working, as we knew it was going to be a cold one setting up and needed a warm place to go once finished. In general, myself and the hubby set up outside, sharing the jobs between us and the girls set up inside, putting away clothes etc. The awning went up relatively easy this time, we had the 390 with us so only takes about thirty minutes to erect. Once up we can get the furniture out so there is room to move around in the van. With the water on and the kettle out it was time for a coffee to warm our hands, did I mention it was snowing!

Our youngest Lulu was eagerly waiting for our friends to arrive. Here I should tell you that we hadn’t actually ever met these people before, but the hubby had got friendly with, what should we call him? Mr T! through Twitter and Facebook, but that’s another story. So, from this we had arranged to meet. Back to the story, Lulu is waiting for them to arrive and we are busy setting up, when they pull around the corner. They decide to pitch next to us, and we are asked by Mr T not to watch him reverse on to pitch, so we all stand there and watch. There was really no need for him to worry as he did a very good job. After introducing ourselves to each other we go back to finish setting up.

Tummies rumbling, our eldest Grace gets out the sausage rolls and pork pies we have brought with us for a quick lunch, and we all sit down for a bite to eat.

All set up, which took longer than usual, possibly because there was quite a bit of banter between us and our neighbours, we sit down for a well-earned rest.

Time ticks by and we are now at around 4pm, so we decide to pop next door with a giant Reese that Grace has made (for those not in the know a Reese is a peanut butter and chocolate cup) for Mrs T, who we had found out has a liking to them.


We are welcomed into their van, coffee is made and Reese eaten, much chat is had. Mr T then suggests a Gin and Ginger Ale. After some persuasion, you see the hubby doesn’t like gin and I didn’t think I liked ginger ale, we accept the kind offer, this turned out to be more than just one drink as we carried on until the wee hours and managed to finish off the bottle of gin. The girls meanwhile where happily getting to know each other in Bertie.  We then start on the Amaretto, which probably wasn’t the best idea as this finished us off. Now the early hours of the morning, we decided we have all have enough and we call it a night.


Why our caravan?


2005 Bailey Ranger 500/5

So, we have been asked on a few occasions why did we choose the layout in our caravan. Well as previously mentioned in our back story, we spent many hours walking round local and non- local dealers, much to the dismay of the children. To be honest I’m not sure that this is a good plan, as you look at so many different models you forget what it is that you first saw. The one thing that I had decided was that I really liked the end wash room design, as we thought we would like to make use of the many CL’s and CS’s. As it transpires we didn’t get an end washroom. We had many things to consider and this unfortunately limited us to how heavy our van could be. Firstly, the car we had at the time, well let’s just say it is not the sort of vehicle you would have of expected to be towing, was a Citroen Xsara Picasso 2.0 auto, which we believed could tow up to 1.3 tons. We also had to take into account that the main person towing (hubby Iain) had a baby license, which for those who are not in the know, meant he can only tow a combined weight of 3.5 tons, so take off the weight of the car, just under 2 tons, we are now limited to a caravan weighing no more than 1.5.  Ah but wait, we also must consider the limit on the car and the 85% rule for newbies. Confused! Well I was, thankfully hubby had a handle on it and I relied on him to tell me what we could have.


So, after looking at some lovely vans we had to go back to the drawing board. Now we could still have our end wash room, but after some consideration we felt that this did take up a lot of living space, bearing in mind that we are a family our 4 with our large fluffy pooch, we felt we needed more day time room, than sleeping room.  Also, our eldest daughter was growing like she was sleeping in a grow bag! And after trying her on a few bunks she didn’t feel comfortable on them, they also seemed to be on the heavy side, so they were out. Fixed bed I hear you cry… yes I like the fix bed, but to be honest I feel this is better suited for couples as your daytime living area is compromised, unless you can get a twin axle, which was most off the list.

So, again back to the drawing board. By chance one day hubby was looking on a dealer’s website and a double dinette popped up. Now we hadn’t up to then considered them as the washrooms were very small and this didn’t appeal. Having said this, we had looked at so many different layouts that we figured we would give it a look, so we brought up the details of the van and to our surprise, we liked it and we started to give it some serious consideration. We made a list of the pro’s and con’s, the only con was the small washroom. The reason we were so hung up on washrooms is that, hubby and I are not the smallest of people and felt we simply wouldn’t be able to use it, at all. Yes, I know, I know we can use the facilities on site, but as I said earlier, we really wanted to use CL’s for that cheap get away. So, we made a call to the dealer, to see if it was still for sale, and it was indeed. The very nice man on the end of the phone said he would hold it for us until the weekend, when we could go and see it.


The weekend arrives, and a very excited family jump into the car to make their way to view, what could potentially be our new caravan. Now here I would say, don’t be afraid to travel a little from home to find what you are looking for, especially if you are looking at the second-hand market, which in our case we were. To give you an idea we live in Bedfordshire and we drove to Warwickshire to view the van.  Once there we announced our arrival to the lady at the desk and she very kindly called a sales man to show us to our reserved van. After being given the blurb, we were left alone to have a play. Firstly, hubby tried the washroom, which by today’s standards is known as a wet room.  To our total amazement, he fitted, and had more room than expected, which of course meant that the rest of us would be just fine. So, that made up our mind, we loved the fact that there were several different sleeping arrangements, with the double bed at the back with the pull up bunk over and the larger double at the front. It gave us a large amount of living space during the day, and the kitchenette was of a good size too. We finalized our deal and announced to the world after months of debate, that we had finally purchased our caravan.




Our back story..



We have been caravanning now for just over two years. Although relatively new to it, as a young couple we were keen campers. We had several tents in our time and loved nothing more than getting away to explore new places.  After finding out that we were expecting our first child (Grace) we had to stop, so camping had to be put on hold.  Fast forward a few years to 2014, after we had had our 2nd child (Lulu) who was then 7 and not having had any family holidays for several years, we decided to take up camping again. After an inspection of our old tent which had been tucked away for many years and was not looking in the best of condition, we starting looking at purchasing a new one. This proved to be a lot more expensive than we had expected. So, one day whilst looking around a camping shop, the father in law out of the blue says “why don’t you use our trailer tent. A little thrown by this as it had been the outlaws pride and joy for some years, we gracefully accepted his offer. Now at this point I must tell you that the trailer tent had been sitting in a storage yard for approximately 3 years and we didn’t know what it would be like. So, we all popped up to the yard to see it. We were pleasantly surprised to find it in good condition, so all feeling a little excited we made plans to get a tow hook fitted to our car and book our first holiday for many years.



We had several trips in the trailer tent and each one was better than the last. However, when on holiday walking the dog around the site one evening, we were looking at all the lovely caravans and dreaming about owning our own. On return from our holiday we started to consider owning a caravan, the cost, if our car would tow a van and how much it could pull. Over the following weeks, we talked and talked about caravanning and so we started to visit dealers to get some idea of what we could get with the amount we could afford. After much research and visiting more dealers that you could shake a stick at…  we finally bought our first caravan in January 2015 our Bailey Ranger 500/5, which we have christened Bertie. We were lucky enough to collect Bertie only a couple of weeks later the 4thFebuary 2015.



Since enjoying several holidays and having made some amazing friends along the way, we have never looked back, we only wish we had done it sooner. Its only now that we have decided we might quite like to write about our adventures, and so beings our blog. We want to share the highs and the lows about caravanning, and what a family of four plus a very fluffy doodle get up to. We aim to provide information as well as a bit of a story, so we will include some non-caravanning days out as we explore local places.


So, sit down with a nice cuppa, pull up our blog and enjoy our Adventures in Bertie.



Hello and welcome


Welcome to our blog, Adventures in Bertie (our Bailey Ranger Caravan), with my family which includes myself Iain my wife Zoe and our two daughters Grace and Lulu, and not forgetting our pooch Delilah a very fluffy 4 year old Labradoodle.

So a bit about us – firstly myself I’m Iain or some of you may know me as transit driver on twitter. I’m 36 and originally from Hertfordshire, but now reside in Bedfordshire when I moved in with my now wife Zoe some 15 years ago. I spend most of my day driving around in me transit van, a delivery driver for a pharmaceutical company so I guess you could call me a drug runner. When I do get time off I love nothing more than getting away in our family caravan, where I can relax and enjoy the countryside with the aforementioned very fluffy doodle Delilah, more about her later. So enough about me I will now pass the baton over to my wife Zoe.

Hi all well what to tell you about me, I have been married to Iain for 13 Years I’m not going to tell you my age as that is not what you ask a lady, having said that I’m no lady so add six years to Iain’s age and voila you have my age. Any who I work as a lollypop lady and dinner lady at our local school, which I enjoy very much it also gives me time with my two daughters Grace and Lulu. I like Iain enjoy getting away in our Caravan as often as possible it’s a place I find I completely unwind and become one with nature in a kinda way again. Life is not regimented when we are away we do what we want when we want. But what I most enjoy is sitting outside my van with a good cup of coffee and watching the world go by.  I have waffled on enough so now to pass to Gracie.


Hello I’m Grace and I am twelve, I like clothes, makeup, my iphone and sleep, I don’t like school or getting up in the morning. Oh, and I love unicorns and pugs. I have my own blog What Blog which I enjoy writing it’s about all things I find interesting including our holidays in Bertie.   Why do I like going away in the caravan. I don’t know really, I think I enjoy all of it I like going for walks with my family and our dog Dede, I like helping with the jobs around the van and helping cook.  I like the closeness it brings with the family having to get along as you are all living in a small space. I can’t think of any more at the moment so I will pass you over to my little sis.


Hi I’m Lulu and I love my mum and dads caravan but what I really like, in fact love is VW camper vans the older the better. I am aged 9 and am in year 5 at school, I really enjoy making video’s and with Dad’s help I am getting better at it and hope soon to be vlogging videos of my own. At home I enjoy playing on the computer mostly I love to play sims 4 and Minecraft. I also love to skateboard and do tricks on my scooter, which I take with me when I go away in Bertie. I always get very excited when we are going away in Bertie, we have the best time when away although I don’t always get on well with my older sister. As soon as we get to the caravan site I like to know where the park is and I go and make friends, I think it is good to make friends when you’re on holiday its helps to make it an even better time.


Last on the list is the beastie dog known as Delilah, as four-year-old labradoodle who thinks she is human, she completes our family. As mentioned before she is very fluffy, loves long walks, hot dogs and cuddling up to mum on the sofa of an evening. Her role in the caravan is to bark at passers-by, keep us warm at night and make us laugh.

So, that’s a bit about us individually I hope that its sheds some light on what we are like and that you come along with us on our journey and have as much fun reading our blogs and we have creating them.