These are the days of our lives

So we have our camper van and our dreams become reality. We picked it up on a wet November day from the dealers and spent the night there. For two people who never slept under the stars in canvas before, it looked a bit daunting but 4 months later, and despite it being winter, we have had a total of five road trips and spent a lovely lazy Sunday at the New Forest, where we had breakfast lunch and afternoon coffee and cake.

This weekend, celebrating Chris’ birthday before the big one, we have only travelled 19 miles to stay at the wonderful Concierge Camping. We stayed here for New Year after managing to book a cancellation and had a fantastic time. It is a bit different to the other sites we have stayed in, which have all had excellent facilities but have a lot more pitches. This one is a smaller park with 27 spacious pitches plus some gorgeous safari lodges. The washrooms are fantastic with added music being played; today’s music inspired this blog post. I feel like these are the days of our lives now.

I am sat writing this post feeling like I’m in my own little world. This site does make you feel secluded but the camper van experience has actually made me feel that. Yes, you do see a lot more people than at home but our winter experience of van life has made us experience freedom and peace. It has also forced us to go out and do things after a tiring week at work. At the beginning of December, in minus degrees temperatures, we stayed near Winchester, travelled into town by bus and visited Winchester Christmas markets. Normally we would have chosen to stay in our home and only venture out to put the rubbish out. Hello New World!

This weekend, we have taken the bikes. This is a bit frightening for me; I’m not much of a cyclist, more of a plodder and don’t like cycling on roads. First  day and we thought we would find the pub we were having lunch at the following day, go on to find a farm shop and then find a place with Alpacas. Let me tell you, I am very unfit. I could not get up those hills. New resolution starts Monday. Time to get fit. Due to my stopping and moaning, the Alpaca centre had closed but we did get see them. They are so cute and we plan to go alpaca walking soon. I did get back on the bike again on Sunday and we cycled into Bosham. Managed the ride there where we bumped into a lovely couple who told me I could get my bike converted into electric. Watch this space….

Due to my lack of fitness, we walked 15 minutes to a very busy pub for Sunday lunch which was amazing. I have to say most of our weekends so far have featured eating a lot. Chris tends to be in charge of breakfast and that is normally a good old fashioned English breakfast. We actually bought some local eggs in the pub this weekend and they went down very well. We do have full cooking facilities so do try to cook several dinners in the van. This can be a mixture of our precooked home made food plus some convenience foods. This weekend, we tried Paxo meat free burger mix. All I could think about was sage and onion stuffing.  It might look similar but it was delicious served in one of the best soft rolls purchased from the farm shop we stopped at on our bike ride.

Making burgers is a sticky affair, and whilst we have running water in our van, we do take advantage of the camp sites’ washing up rooms. This was ideal too for preparing my burgers. There was constant hot water for my hands. I have to say, whilst we were waiting for the arrival of the van, Chris mentioned that we would use toilets, shower rooms and washing facilities on sites, I was horrified. Why wouldn’t we use our own. Now I understand, and although I make use of our own toilet during the night, I will use the facilities on the campsites. We are spoilt in this particular campsite; lovely hand wash in the toilets, shower gel and shampoo in the showers and washing up liquid in the dishwashing area. One facility I have ignored but after getting oil on one pair of jeans and then mud on another, is the laundry room. Note to self; pack some washing powder.

Other facilities at this site is a bar area, a well stocked shop and also on-site Notso – a restaurant and takeaway selling Japanese street food. Fizz Friday was spent in the bar drinking and chatting to other campers whilst eating grilled chicken yakitori and a wagyu burger. What a brilliant start to the weekend. We finished off the weekend, eating ice-cream and watching the final laps of the new F1 season in the bar.

As we come to the end of our weekend, we can start our working week knowing we will have other weekends to look forward to and we will also try living in in the van for 10 days. Now that will be an interesting experience.

So cute

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