Thursday, 18 October 2007

Once upon a time ... there was house

Hmmm, where to begin? Well, I guess it all started with envy. Pure, unadulterated, stomach churning envy. A couple of friends of ours took a year out to travel around Europe for a year in a VW campervan. I was jealous. Very jealous.

Imagine having a whole year away from work to wander at will around places you have never visited before. I imagined it every day. It hit particularly hard when we received post cards or text messages detailing the journey to date. Then we visited them in Portugal. It was sheer bliss. Sunny, warm, relaxing and so so chilled.

An unexpected opportunity arose from out of the blue, I was offered redundancy. We already intended moving house but this seemed like a sign. I really didn't fancy all the work that came with searching for and obtaining a new job, I wanted to travel and I wanted to travel now. I suggested the idea out loud.

The next thing I knew, we were both unemployed (voluntarily) and we had sold our house. In fact we sold the house about 1/2 an hour after the valuation, it didn't even get a chance to go onto the market. It was happening, and it was happening quickly.

We started a search for a suitable motorhome having absolutely no idea what would be suitable. The only criteria were a separate shower, a garage and something bigger that a VW. (Although we both love VW's and actually own a VW Beetle we decided that we would probably fall out very quickly if we lived in a VW bus due to the extremely limited space!)

As luck would have it, my brother set his head on fire. Well it was not lucky for him obviously and I really would not recommend lighting a bbq with petrol - EVER. (If you do, ensure your host has a fish tank so you have somewhere to put out the flames). Whilst browsing online and looking at ways to break the tedious drive Chelmsford hospital burns unit, I located a possible motorhome that was situated en route. We probably wouldn't have looked at the motorhome if we weren't going that way already and just so you don't think i'm completely heartless :0) ... I didn't view the motorhome on the hair raising, panic stricken, first dash to ensure he was ok ... it was a week or so later once his face had started to set again that I was looking to shorten the drive!

The motorhome was perfect for us. Only 2 years old and it had everything we needed. Solar panels, satellite dish, 4 leisure batteries (overkill methinks) and a SOG. It also had a separate shower, a garage and enough space to sit down and relax in the evenings. We bought it.

We were now the proud owners of a CI Riviera Garage P. Never seen another one in this country yet (this is a LHD import from Spain although it is Italian). The internal layout is the same as a Ford Granduca apparently - which is what they were named when they were imported for the British market. Ours is a private import, hence the different name.