All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Maisy On The Road

May 8, 2016 — 33 Comments

Hello my little munchkins. Hope you are all well? So Maisy and I have been out on the road during the last week.

We have been trying out different places to stay and getting used to each other. There have been a couple of hiccups, but I am glad to say that we have made it through our first proper week together.

Much has happened, although not a huge amount of craft but do let me fill you in.

Some of you will have seen the occasional picture on Facebook of places that I have been however there hasn’t been much else to accompany them so, whilst it is baking-ly gorgeous outside, I thought that I would take shelter in Maisy and catch up on a few bits and bobs – including this blog.

So the week started with me exiting the Surrey workshop. I was sad to leave the place behind but onwards I must go. I clambered into Maisy and headed out onto the road.

Monday

As I wasn’t due in Warwickshire until the end of the week and had just done a full on week, I thought that it would be nice if Maisy and I went for a nice little trip to the coast.

Given that Worthing was only a short 30 mile drive I set the sat nav and off we trotted.

I’ll be honest. I thought a 30 mile drive would not take long at all however it took about an hour. Hmm, must not underestimated distances when no large motorways are involved.

I found a little spot for Maisy to rest her wheels and went for a little wander.

Maisy On The Road 5

Now, as many of you that have been following this saga know, I still hadn’t worked out the gas system at this point so I whipped out my emergency hob and got the kettle whistlin’

Maisy On The Road 6

Oooo, I do love a good brew – especially with a jolly good snack!

Maisy On The Road 7

Anyways, I had been a wandering for a bit and as I sat and drank me brew the rain, that had been around all day, began to clear and revealed a lovely view for me to sink into.

Maisy On The Road 3

Beautiful isn’t it? Well, you wait until you see the view that I was greeted with the next morning…!

Tuesday

Maisy On The Road 2

Wowza! Oh, no, it wasn’t a giant mug about to attack me. That was my morning brew photo bombing the lovely sea view.

Coughing and spluttering, erm, I mean breathing in the fresh sea air, I thought that I’d best start planning what was to be happening at the weekend so now was a good time to start testing out Maisy for elbow room.

Maisy On The Road 4

Looking good!

Sadly, I didn’t finish this because it was all too soon time to move on and hit the road again. Having remembered that I needed to head back to Cambridgeshire to finish off things at the flat before I headed over to Warwickshire I decided to jaunt on up the motorway and then find somewhere local-ish to park overnight.

That’s when I hit this lot …

Maisy On The Road 8

… well, I didn’t mean literally hit. I mean got stuck in traffic. Boooo! *shakes fist at traffic*

Anyway, I eventually found somewhere and clambered into my little bed.

Wednesday

I was treated to a lovely view on Tuesday morning but heck, when you wake up and the skies are blue and the grass is green then woo-hoo! Thank you Wednesday!

Maisy On The Road

Even Maisy had her armpits open to let the breeze in!

Now, Wednesday must have seen me coming and thought that it would treat me well as I found a small car park by a lake that was just perfect for starting work on the rewards from the crowd funding.

Maisy On The Road 9

It also made for a marvelous brew-view during my tea breaks …

Maisy On The Road 10

Now, I haven’t shown you much in the way of van food so here is what I rustled up on Wednesday night.

Maisy On The Road Bolognase

Maisy On The Road Rice

Rice and Spag-Bol. Basic but nice :)

Now, it wasn’t all views and foods. I had been booking more workshops and also monitoring those that were already out there and sadly at this point I realised that despite the exciting project that I had lined up, there just weren’t enough people willing to come along to the Warwickshire workshop to justify the expense of paying for the venue that had been chosen.

I therefore had to make the difficult decision to postpone this to a later date. Hopefully there will be more takers then.

Thursday

I decided to stay in the same region, to save on fuel, and therefore found a different overnight stay near to the park in which I had spent the day before.

It meant that I was treated to a lovely view of a green field in the morning.

Maisy On The Road Fieldf

Not entirely sure that I am going to get tired of this sort of view.

It also meant that I got to have lunch at a cute little hole-in-the-wall caff-gaff.

Maisy On The Road Lunch

This did however attract the attention of a little bread thief.

Maisy On The Road Duckie

*shakes fist* Yeah, you’d better scarper you little DUCK!

Of course I immediately felt guilty and fed her pretty much the rest of the bread on the plate. Mostly because she appeared to have three suitors and was using all of her energy trying to fight them off. Girl Power!

Hehe, anyway, looks like I was a little premature with womens’ lib for ducks as later on she was waddling around with this dude.

Maisy On The Road Duckies

Ah well, if he’s the one, good luck to her.

 

Friday

So on Friday I had to make a trip back to Peterborough to clear out the rest of my things from the flat and get the place ready to hand over the keys.

It was quite a nerve wracking time to be honest as I was wondering whether I had made the right choice in doing this and what the future will hold.

I am glad therefore that I had had the chance to spend some time with Maisy so that I knew what was in store. It did give me more resolve to continue.

The time came. Everything was cleared, meter readings were taken and the keys got handed over. I am now officially ‘of no fixed abode’.

It was quite a liberating feeling to be honest. This coupled with not having a workshop this weekend also gave me the courage not to use the sat nav and just to point Maisy south and drive.

Having reached South Mimms service station, and it only being £15 to park overnight, I decided to stay there and then decide on where to go in the morning.

The universe again decided to treat me to a great view; this time for very different reasons.

Maisy On The Road AA

I did have a little giggle.

I shouldn’t have as the driver of the van looked exasperated and someday I may need him – it’s a good job that I joined AA, RAC and Green Flag when I got Maisy, isn’t it?

Saturday

On waking, the sudden realization that I had very few clean clothes almost made up my mind on where I was to stay over the weekend.

I did a little admin over a Starbucks coffee in the food hall before setting off. This camping lark is tough!

Having joined the Caravan Club, I also used their app to find a nice little site in Littlehampton, West Sussex where I would be parking up.

Traffic was free flowing and easy going.

The site was easy to find and Karen, the lovely lady that booked me in, was super friendly and helpful. She was very eager to know what the challenge was all about too :)

After telling her all about it I told her that I was super eager to know how to get my laundry done. Karen kindly explained it all. Coin operated. Shove the washing in, put your coins in, press go.

In retrospect, I possibly could have figured this out, but it’s my first time using a caravan site so I didn’t know whether there was a freemason style handshake that one had to do in order to access these amenity rooms.

Anyway, another first for Maisy and I happened here.

Maisy On The Road Electric

Yes, I plugged Maisy into the mains.

What’s the big deal? Well, it meant that I could use the microwave and use the three pin socket – no big deal until you are without one, believe me.

I also took full advantage of the large hot showers that were available on site and had a little soapy treat for myself :)

That sounded a little ruder than I intended! Lol.

So, anyway, laundry done; carcas cleaned and it was time for my night time cuppa. The views as you have seen so far have been really inspiring me to keep going, and the view of the evening clouds really captivated me on this occasion.

Maisy On The Road Clouds

*happy sigh*

Sunday

Sunday I woke and decided to head a little further East. Using the Caravan Club app I again found a lovely little site, this time near Battle, East Sussex.

Driving through lots of oddly named villages, Upper Dicker and Lower Dicker to name just two, and windy b roads, I eventually found my destination and settled Maisy into her parking bay and put her on mains power again.

Now, it hadn’t occurred to me until now but I thought about asking the guys at the site if they could help me with the gas.

They did! Sort of. They confirmed that the regulator flow might be wonky and they gave me the details of a local service station that could take a proper look – see, I’m not useless!

Now, you might think that this trip has been all without incident – do remember this is me. There have been some interesting attempts at driving with things on/in/open. Not sure I should say anymore though!

Thankfully nothing has fallen out of cupboards whilst I have been driving and there have been no traffic related incidents – phew! *touches wood*

Oh, nearly forgot, I also gashed my leg.

Maisy On The Road Gash

That b******d hurt! *Whimpers*

Good job I actually DID pack a first aid kit. :)

Right, well, I hope you have enjoyed this little update. I hope to bring you more over the coming months. Hopefully they will be more craft based than random ramblings, but hey, if enough of you like it, I’ll keep doing it.

Let’s see what next week brings!

Ok, take care and I’ll see you again soon!

J :)

 

33 responses to All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Maisy On The Road

  1. 

    Great Blog John, Reading About Your Travels Has Made Me Want To Do The Same , I Don’t Think The Wife Will Go For It , Did You Say Leave Her At Home , No That Was Me Hearing Things Again ,When You Get To My Age That Happens ,Ha Ha Or Should It Be Lol, As The Youngsters Say ,Keep Going John Hope To See You When You Reach Hampshire ,Geoff Rogers

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  2. 
    Janet Pettman May 15, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Over the next year are you going to be anywhere near Chesham in buckinghamshie HP5 postal code area? I am willing to travel to larger nearby towns such as high Wycombe, Aylesbury or Hemel Hempstead, but not Milton Keynes that is too far for me to get to. I have several mental illnesses and physical conditions, and I go to groups run by mind. I do not have Internet in my home so I don’t use it on a daily nor a weekly basis, and I find certain things difficult and complicated to do when it comes to the Internet, so I don’t know if I will work out how to get here again.

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  3. 
    Janet Pettman May 15, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Are you in the next year going to be anywhere near chesham, buckinghamshie? It’s a small town, but I’m willing to travel to nearby larger towns such as high Wycombe, Aylesbury or Hemel Hempstead. Milton Keynes is too far for me to travel to. I have mental illness and I go to groups run by mind. I don’t have Internet in my home so only use it now n then.

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  4. 

    Aww what a shame I didn’t know you were coming to Worthing, I could have taken you out for Coffee and Cake. I would have loved to meet you. Your blog is lovely, it’s also therapeutic with all the gorgeous pictures, I felt quite calm after reading it, ahhhhh.
    Stay safe
    Love and Light
    Sioux x

    Like

  5. 
    Juliette Morley May 12, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    How fantastic that you keep us up to date on your travels, it was so lovely to read it all. I wonder if there is any chance you will be anywhere near me later in the summer. I’m not sure how to find your itinerary?
    Very best wishes to you and Maisy of course!!!!
    Juliette Morley xxxxx

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  6. 

    Hey John. really enjoyed the ramblings of a country travelling crafter. Really interesting and fun to know where you are and what you are getting up to. Ops that sounded worse than it is ! Hats off to you for taking this on. Wish i had your courage. Safe and happy travelling and every success in this terrific venture. Good luck, my friend

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  7. 

    Keep it coming John, great fun to read, and quite nostalgic for me. I can’t imagine anything much nicer, living foot loose and fancy free, AND crafting. Here’s to success, and to fun. Enjoy. x

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  8. 

    Lovin the ramblings lisa and i have just read through it whilst drinking our cofffe in wetherspoons looking forward to the next instalment xxx😀

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  9. 

    Enjoy your days, love the blog, keep the love of life coming. Good luck

    Like

  10. 
    jane andrews May 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Loving the ramblings and photos John- the AA breakdown van particularly made me chuckle!! Hope the weather stays good for you.

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  11. 
    Gillian Larine Boothe May 9, 2016 at 11:56 am

    John. I admire your courage and bravery for taking on this challenge. I have enjoyed reading about your week, it’s both interesting and funny. I look forward to more updates. Wishing you continued success on your journey. Kind Regards Gillian

    Like

  12. 
    Helen Coates May 9, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Morning John, I was gutted you had to cancel Saturdays workshop :( I do hope you manage to rearrange for later. Looks like you are having an amazing adventure hope to see you in June sometime xx
    Helen x

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  13. 

    Lovely blog John. Really enjoyed it. Brought back many a happy memory for me as my childhood family holidays were spent in a ‘camper van’ as they were called back then. If you are stuck for space we used to have an awning attached to ours. worked well if you were in the same place for any amount of time. Look forward to the next blog.

    Like

  14. 
    Wendy Ayling May 9, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Hi John,
    Looks like you are getting into the nomadic life now, loving the blog, keep ‘rambling’ it’s fun!
    When are you in Devon? would love a one to one, could also find somewhere at home to hold a small group of crafters (up to 10) – if there is any interest out there in the North Devon area!
    Looking forward to more tales of the road.
    All the best

    The crafty chicken lady

    Like

  15. 

    Morning John ,I love how you write your blog and you do make me smile , and laugh at the things you are getting up to , i am looking forward to meeting you and my workshop .keep safe xx nita

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  16. 

    Great update. Keep them coming. Enjoy!!

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  17. 

    Very much enjoyed the posts no matter if you have been crafting or not very interesting. I’m sure the crafting will be excellent also.

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  18. 

    Keep rambling John your amazing and very brave. Enjoy the crafty thoughts inspired by nature around you. Keep up the pics too, brilliant. I have friends in the caravan club they said once you start the roving life you won’t ever leave it totally behind. They need it to recharge well I hope your batteries and maiseys keep going. All the best can’t wait for the next installment.

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  19. 

    Hi there traveller….really enjoyed your post. Living on the other side of the world it lovely to join you as you drive around and read about your adventures. Chill out and enjoy the experience. Keep safe x

    Like

  20. 
    Olive Ann Jones May 8, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    enjoyed your latest missive, hope the leg heals soon, good luck for the rest of your journey xx

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  21. 
    Sarah Wright May 8, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Loving the catch ups of your travels. Can’t wait to read the next one x

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  22. 

    Ramble on John! (I don’t)

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  23. 

    More ramblings please John – take care, Ros

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  24. 

    Love reading your posts whether craft related or everyday ramblings look forward to the next post. Good luck in all you do.

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  25. 

    Keep up the posts. Loving hearing about your travels and all the more so having met you at the Surrey weekend. Hoping my local workshop leader manages to arrange something with you for our crafty group. I know she’s emailed you. You’ve been around my area this past week – sort of – lol!

    Like

  26. 
    Carole Morgan May 8, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Sounds like your having a great time. Despite little hiccups. Enjoy your travels & meeting like minded crafter. Look forward to hearing more.
    Happy crafting
    Carole

    Like

  27. 

    Fantastic to hear about your trip so far John. I’m glad you are enjoying the journey & having a bit of r&r along the way after all the work you’ve put in to organise this

    Like

  28. 

    Smashing update about your adventures so far John… I wish you and Maisy all the best as you travel around our beautiful British isles… Entertaining and interesting to read with lovely and amusing pictures, that add to the story .. but lay off with the bread for ducks.. not good for them ! lol :)
    Sorry about the leg… looks very sore!
    I envy you the Nomadic ”lifestyle”…. well, in the summer I do! I’ll be following your blog posts about your travels and workshops . I wanted to pop over and join in at Georgina’s Workshop but unfortunately I have something else on that day… but plenty of time yet .. I’m keeping an eye on you !
    Have fun , wishing you every success
    Eileen x

    Like

  29. 
    Kath Grantham May 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    good to hear from you, pleased you and Maisy are getting on better,the weather is going to improve, so just enjoy your journey

    Like

  30. 
    Dawn Anderson May 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Personally I really enjoyed reading your ramblings,lol….
    More please….good luck in your adventures…:-)

    Like

  31. 

    Glad to hear you are still ‘almost’ in one piece. stunning views and photos. Can’t wait to see you in Gloucestershire. Happy driving x

    Like

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