Family and friends have asked if we can keep in touch, so this is our attempt.
This is our Blog. I am not sure what the term Blog means but to me, it is going to be a diary of our retirement years. Here, I hope to write about the things we are doing and the places we visit.
You are reading this of your own choice. You can if you wish click a button and leave now. If you want to, please stay and discover what we get up to in the future. Come armchair travel with us!
To have this retirement future it is necessary to write about our past. Otherwise how did we get to where we are now?
We married in 1990 and our son James was born in 1993. When he was old enough we loved travelling and visiting attractions. Because of our limited budget these were funded mainly with tokens from newspapers. We collected the tokens, my mother collected them and so did many friends. We were able to go on day trips to France many times, London and the waxworks and other London attractions, all the usual Theme Parks and four day holidays in Wales and Cornwall. All for 20 or 40 tokens and ten pounds a person!
When we were on these holidays we were staying in privately owned caravans. So the obvious next step was to purchase a caravan of our own and take it with us. We did this in January 2000 and went on our first holiday to a site near Horsham in February.
Our first caravan was only a cheapy, it was a Swift Challenger 450, about 15 years old. It had a cracked skylight, the fridge hosepipe was perished, the corner steadies were rusted, but it was our pride and joy. We tried large campsites, small campsites and large entertainment complexes with childrens' amusements, swimming pool and three club houses with entertainment nightly. Eventually we even tried the Caravan Club regional centres.
The East Sussex Centre of the Caravan Club was marvellous; different venues each fortnight, usually something going on in the party tent and James our then young son and his friends had space and fresh air to play in and it was all quite cheap so that was a bonus.We decided that this was something that we liked doing so a newer much better caravan was needed. Michael Jordan Expressions 500L was the next one for us and 6 years of happy caravaning followed. Until that is when we were going through Belgium. We were there on the way back from a childrens' football tournament in Rotterdam. We wanted to visit Brussels so we paid and pitched up on a caravan site about 10 miles outside of the capital city the previous day. The site was expensive and next to a motorway so we had to shout at each other to be heard above the noise of the traffic! The following day when we went to the city, there, along the river were lots of Motorhomers already enjoying the city - doing what we wanted to do and they were doing it for free. Three months later we bought a motorhome!
A Swift Gazelle F61 was our next vehicle. No tow vehicle, one insurance, onboard water, no need for a campsite, no corner steadies - not even a step to carry around and solidly built. 6 years of happy motorhoming followed.
Now we are getting up to date. Retirement is getting even closer. We have a four bedroom bungalow which is too large for us.
If we sold our house and lived on the proceeds then the money would run out quickly. So our choice was to rent out our bungalow, live in the motorhome (preferably a newer one) and enjoy life with a small income. We would need the decorators in, new carpets and a new kitchen, the garden cleared and the furniture dumped or stored. Then, on 26 of August 2013 we were living in our motorhome on our driveway and the decorators were in the following day. About 4 weeks later Dorothy found our new vehicle and we had our two year old Autotrail Mohawk 7.5 metres long with a double bed over a garage.
We have had a year and six months living in and enjoying life in our Mohawk. Nearly 6 months of which was on the beach. We are still not retired yet and still working at our jobs. Now for the next stage. Retirement really is coming up fast and on Christmas Eve 2014 we purchased a very special Christmas present - a one-way ferry ticket to France. One-way, single, no return, sounds very positive. The fact is that we know that at some time we must come back; it may be if someone is ill or when we need the motorhome MOT, it is just that we don't know when we will make that return journey.
We will finish work on the 27 March 2015 and after a family wedding on the 10th of April, we leave Newhaven on the 10am ferry on Tuesday 14th April 2015. Dieppe here we come!
Now click on a button to see the next part of our adventure. From now on it is only up to date if I have any free time to write something but I will try my best to keep this diary fairly up to date.
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