In non-bookish exciting news, we have bought ourselves a campervan! And yes, I have called her Gertie. I don’t know why, but she feels like a Gertie and the name is going to stick.
We have hired campervans before a number of times, in the USA and in New Zealand, and enjoyed travelling around in them. Many years ago we decided that when I qualified for ‘long leave’ (my lovely company give six months paid leave after you’ve worked for them for 25 years) we’d spend the leave driving around Europe in a campervan. The big trip will be next year – April to October – so we thought we should buy the van this year, and have a few short trips in it to get used to it.
And here she is in all her glory! She is a German van, Hymer B508CL if you want the detail. She’s second hand and was imported from Germany for us by a wonderful company called Bundesvan who specialise in importing mostly German, left hand drive campers. As we’ll spend most of the time on the continent we thought left hand drive would be more convenient.
We picked her up on Sunday, brought her home and JUST managed to squeeze her into thr driveway. She’s only 6m long but quite wide, and our house has narrow gateposts designed for 1930s cars…
We have a few alterations to make – switch the internal gas supply to LPG, add a solar panel to charge up the leisure battery, add a bike rack on the back, replace the curtains which I just don’t like. First proper trip will be a fortnight in Ireland in May, but we’ll have a weekend or two away in her before then.
I’ve also been planning things like – where will I store my laptop in the van; what novel will I work on while we’re away; how will we get wifi? All important questions for a writer!