Hi Honey, I’m home- Forever

The lasted blog post from my best friend who took the whole ‘Where Next’ thing to another level and upped stick to move her family to Oz, whilst I’m always wondering where next I’ve realised I like the reset point of coming home, catching up on the norm and planning the next adventure 💗 for anyone considering a relocation The Wilson’s of Oz blog is a must read from the start! x

The Wilsons of Oz - Expat Life Down Under

I opened Google this morning and it told me that there are 258 days remaining until the end of the year. Thanks Google, you’ve reminded me that all those things I have promised myself that I would get done in 2018 aren’t moving as fast as I’d like, and it’s woken me up to just how blinking fast this year is going!

So, just over 100 days into 2018 and The Wilson’s are ten months off the end of our visa! Yes ten months!! I know!! I can almost see it sitting on the horizon, sarcastically beckoning me toward it.. Bastard!! It’s insane. Ten months left until we need to vacate the country. Well… we get 12 weeks after that date to officially get out before we become illegal immigrants, but yeah, we’re on a tick, tock, tick, tock,  countdown right now.

I guess like most families who came to…

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Family and fireworks 💗🍁🍂🔥

On our way back from a quick trip to see family near Birmingham, a big thank you to Sharon for hosting, fab food and fab fireworks!

We hooked up on the driveway and spent time with aunties, uncles, cousins, parents and grandparents. Roxy is definitely making us venture off more 💗

I think that purple lippy needs an explanation!!!

It’s not the sort of colour I would usually go for but then it weekend was no ordinary weekend!

Having looked and looked and then looked a little more our heads were turned by Roxy. We’d got to the point where our list of wants was pretty long…….. within budget, 4 seat belts, French bed, automatic gear box, low mileage, under 3.5 tonnes, also with satellite, tow bar, bike rack and a reversing camera all being desirable bonuses, so the ones that caught our attention were becoming few and far between!

We made contact with the dealer selling it on behalf of a couple and asked all the usual questions, they sent us a million photos and were really honest. When we found that it was up the other side of Hereford, we wondered about going to see it enroute to The Big Feastival we were booked to go to, then came the bright idea! If we love it, IF, could we take it there and then and drive it straight to the festival?!

First call was to the bank, can I ping that much money to another persons account via online banking on my phone? Yep, all good! Next was to the dealer, could we complete all the necessary paperwork and drive it away, taxed, insured, with a valid MOT and did the warranty cover us if we got home and found it was riddled with damp and had a dodgy engine? YES, big thumbs up there! And so finally, on to TicketMaster. If we purchased said vehicle could we buy a motorhome pass to save us from parking it in the car park and pitching the tent?!?! YES!!! Amazingly, it all seemed to come together and we now felt slightly panicked that we were actually going to do it, launch ourselves into the world of owning a motorhome feet first!!!

So armed with the tent, just encase, we set off for Hereford. I didn’t listen to my gut instinct but instead listened to our out of date SatNav’s suggestions, a SatNav that has failed us many times before 🙄 We were off over the Seven Bridge into Wales and straight up through the Brecon Beacons National Park with the intention of getting business done, be it a winner or not, and arriving at the festival to meet my Sis and her bestie around 2 o’clock, no pressure!

Needless to say, not all went to plan!!! Now being born and breed in Wales you’d think at some point I would have explored the Brecon Beacons? No, pretty sure this was my first ever fleeting visit! It’s absolutely stunning, even by car without venturing off piste. The girls likened it to an episode of Post Man Pat, all the narrow wiggly roads and little hump back bridges over babbling brooks followed by the occasional gushing series of white water rapids visible over a sheer drop 😳 it was lovely but we were in a rush, and it went on and on and on a little more. I started to wonder if we would ever make it. And then Betty mentioned she didn’t feel all that great. She has never been travel sick and so we tried to brush it off, ‘don’t worry poppet, not too far now and we can have a snack and some fresh air’.

With much excitement the bloody SatNav announced we could find our destination on the right, 50 yards further down the high street. This was swiftly followed by Betty’s panicked request to stop the car. I leapt out and dashed to open her door and soon found myself catching handfuls of sick and throwing in onto the floor behind me. It was EVERYWHERE. All over Betty, the car, my shoes, my jean and hanging from her golden curls. 50 yards from our destination, are you actually kidding me?!?!!!

Drama dealt with, we then casually knocked on the door of the couple we were due to meet. We had already spotted Roxy in the drive, she is pretty hard to miss 😆 the couple selling were lovely, straight in there with a coffee and squash and a biscuit for the girls, yay! Betty soon forgot the drama up the road.

We all piled in and checked her out, opened all the cupboards, lay on the bed, that sort of thing! Can you tell we are novices?! We could find nothing wrong. John nattered to the owner and did the ‘look under the bonnet’ thing then kicked each of the tyres! We loved her as much in real life as we did in the pictures so it was down to business. The boys negotiated then it was over to me to sort a bank transfer. Yay, we were actually going to do it!!! That was until the online banking informed me the payment was over my daily limit. And yes, I had called the bank the prior to going to check it would not be a problem, aaaaargh! Panic. I was on hold for an eternity before a lovely young lady from Leeds informed me I had to submit an online form to request my limit to be increased, the form would them be actioned within 2 hours and I could try again 😵 2 hours!!! Well there goes ‘the plan’, straight out the window! To be fair, I was expecting her to say it would take 7-10 days so as much as it wasn’t ideal, 2 hours was still pretty impressive for a bank these days, in my opinion.

It was a good excuse to sneak in a yummy lunch! We headed off to the town (more like a big village) centre and found a pub, the kitchen was closed so they directed us to the Hotel. The hotel was obviously where everyone else wanting food had gone because it was fit to burst. We lowered the average age by at least half, placed an order and retired to the garden. Astonishingly, my 4G signal was great so I got on to TicketMaster to sort the campervan pass. ‘Ummmmm, I am sorry Madam, as it’s the day of the festival, all of the available tickets have been withdrawn from online sale and are now only available at the gate’ 😳😳😳😳😳 deep breath, inhale lunch, glug glass of wine. We figured maybe it wasn’t meant to be and without saying it I think we both sat there thinking ‘what the heck are we doing’ whilst the girls had a good go at picking all of the amazing flowers in the very well cared for hotel garden to make bug hotels on the striped lawns. You’d not believe Daddy was a gardener!!

I tip tapped furiously trying to get the bank transfer to work whilst devouring lunch. Finally it worked and the savings were gone, in a flash, just like that! There was no looking back now.

Panic over, we headed back and before we knew it we were in convoy heading for the Festival. John was immediately ‘in the club’, every motorhome that went past gave a wave and, like he had been doing it for years, John gracefully waved back 🤣

It seemed to take an age, probably because the girls moaned the entire way because they wanted to be in with Daddy! I couldn’t bear the thought of them distracting him whilst he drove the new mothership through Post Man Patville before we emerged into civilisation somewhere near Gloucester.

We eventually spotted event signs diverting us on a great big detour that takes you to Alex James’ farm without upsetting all of the locals, spirits were high! I rang my sis (hands free, don’t panic!) when I knew we were near by to see how she was getting on, she was a woman on a mission heading for the stewards tent! ‘Please Sir, can we park a motorhome in your lovely big field?’ I still can’t believe it, she managed to get her hands on the very last motorhome ticket!!!!! Maybe it was meant to be after all ☺️

Setting up a tent with the mothership parked a few hundred yards away would have been soul destroying. We were easily the happiest of campers on site!! We managed to work out how to use the lights and how to flush the loo, the rest was a mystery but we didn’t care!

The Feastival was supporting Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and so everyone was invited to dress as their favourite Roald Dahl character, we just happened to be dressing up as ‘Mr & Mrs’ Fantastic Mr Fox and so the name Foxy Roxy was a no brainer!

We ate, we drank, we had great fun at the Feastival, we slept ever so comfortably and we well and truly christened her in style. I’m not sure we will ever remove all of the glitter!

It was the best way to start our Moho adventure 😅

So why blog?

Well, it’s as much a diary for us as anything else, something to look back on, something for our girls to read when they are older so as they have some idea of the chaos and craziness behind our seemingly ‘idyllic’ holiday snaps!!

We have travelled a lot with our girls and quite honestly I should have made the effort to record the antics from day one. Maybe I will go back to some of those trips when I finally sit down and go through our millions of photos, photos that have not been looked at since the ‘snap’ of the lens! I keep threatening to pick out some of the best and get them on the wall but I know I will loose at least a week of my life doing it.

For now, the occasion that has pushed me to start a blog is the purchase of our very own, new to us, ‘Foxy Roxy’ the Rapido! She is French, she is big and she is the key to many crazy Boland adventures yet to come. We have no idea what we are doing but we are keen, willing to learn and have a few friends ‘in the know’.  We looked at hundreds of motorhomes before taking the leap and we are confident we have chosen well, she more than ticks all the boxes and has stopped us wasting our savings on more material purchases ahead of experiences. After all, experiences last a life time right!

It’s the dawn of a new era for us, we’ve been very lucky over the years and have managed to continue travelling despite the arrival of our next generation. The girls have more stamps in their passports than I managed to gather in my first 25 years on this planet. We have explored many long haul, exotic, colourful and cultural places, most of which they do not remember! I have to calmly tell myself, even though they don’t remember, it must have gone some way to carve and create their inquisitive minds and their appreciation for the world outside the day to day.

The girls are old enough now to have some say in the planning of our trips and they are excited to hit the road in our house on wheels. They can learn to read a map, understand where we are in our country/in Europe and where we are heading. They will hopefully gain some understanding about the time it takes to get somewhere and learn to work as a team so we can all enjoy our time away from the Monday to Friday busyness. I’m imagining the less is more approach, less time being constantly entertained and more time enjoying the simple things, heaven forbid they might even learn that it’s ok, a treat even, to be bored. They each have a small space in which to pack some means of entertainment, the iPad will be strictly limited and saved for times when we all need 10 minutes peace. Aside from that, they can use their imagination, investe their new surroundings and talk/play together.

Our first real trip is during the October half term when we are hitting the road in convoy with some great friends, we are heading to Devon and then Cornwall. I suspect much of our time will be spent learning how to make everything work!!

But for now, what oh what do we need to pack………