What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menoperability; Questions, Questions!

Thank you for the wonderful warm reception of my new playmate, The Grey! Some queries arose, so permit me to address those directly.

1) Do I reverse park? Yes, certainly. I learned to drive in the old UK way with a stick shift and clutch, three-point turns, and parallel and reverse parking mandatory in testing. Frankly, it is rare indeed on British roads (particularly in towns and cities) to find a space that could be 'driven into'. Reverse parking is the only way to manoeuvre. For the unaware, while reversing was used in parking The Grey, due to it being on the street and between two other vehicles, this is an example of parallel parking. In my dash display, other than the standard reversing camera tramlines, I had an image similar to this with the 360' overhead view!

(Though not with this labelling!)

2) Do you intend to sleep in The Grey? Of course!!! More on that as the build goes along.

3) What do you do if you are in gridlock and need to charge? Well, I shall be avoiding all future potential gridlock situations! This was an exceptional day, and only because I was collecting from within the city centre. The vast majority of my travel will be out-with large urban areas. But here's the thing - what would you do if stuck in a gridlock and out of petrol/diesel? A few folks might carry jerry cans with a couple of gallons for emergencies, but I only know a few that do. The principle is the same regardless of fuel type. In fact, the BEV has an advantage - as long as it can reach a power outlet of any sort (through an office window perhaps?), it can 'refuel'; for "gas", you can only go to specific suppliers. Then there is the basic principle that one never lets one's tank get empty anyway; always refuel at the quarter 'tank' level!!!

You'll be learning more about the technicalities of BEV driving and management along with me over on the tubular - that's what people are interested in. I fully expect some anti-electric trolls to turn up, too - I like swatting trolls.

Oh, and to be clear, YouTube is free to view, subscribe, comment, etc. So have no fear on that matter. If you do not have a YT profile, it will use your Google ID. It is good to set up a profile, though, as you can then have notifications (if you wish) of postings on the Community Board or videos, and you can save things to 'watch later'. Oh, and it took 24 hrs for the @yaminthegrey handle to integrate on the web. Apologies. Fully searchable now.

Despite paying for Prime membership, delivery to the Hutch is less than spectacular, on the whole. It is also true that the Prime contract does not cover quite a few of the necessary items for the makeover. Hey ho. After five days of raised eyebrows and pursed lips, I am coming to the conclusion that I ought not to wait and stagger my shopping but just get on and order it - I really don't want to be paying for Prime membership any longer than is necessary to get through this initial shopping glut. Anyhoo, the insulating stuffing arrived two days late. So Saturday afternoon, I unwrapped it and checked the quality - I was impressed. I didn't go for the cheap stuff the big hardware store stocks and that many van lifers use; instead, I opted for rather costlier loft-style insulation. Much thicker batts, and it is easily torn to size. Being of recycled PET, it is environmentally preferable, and it is also hypoallergenic. I am finding that it produces very little dust.

The work is slow to get going, though; it is quite hard on my spine. Also, due to this amazing spike of incredible summer weather we are having, it is like working inside an oven during the day - which is exactly why the insulation is required! That's okay. It evolves as it evolves! I have been making and remaking decisions on the go about the lining. As mentioned, I need to get orders done. 

Other distractions are that, now I am down in the van for a couple of hours each day, passersby are showing interest. One lady in particular, with her rescue dog, Rogue, has stopped a couple of times for a natter. She has a campervan! 

On Monday, I had a wee go with the selfie stick and Gopika's video function. I am a tad concerned that folk are going to get the heebie-jeebies watching this wee grey lady capering about with the big grey van and making like she knows what she's doing. It was disappointing to discover that those video clips (three of them at around one-minute duration each) took an absolute age to get sent up to the cloud so that I could make use of them... not sure if I will have even done any editing by the time you read this. (Will put an addendum at the foot of the post if successful!)

Anyway, Hettie the Heilan' Coo was ahead of the herd, leaving the Stuffy Clan in her dust... that's her in prime dashboard position, raring to go...

ADDENDUM; yes, the first video is out! (I am not going to tell you the trials and tribulations of creating that thing - or the nearly two hours it took to upload.... nope. Just enjoy the disaster as it is.) Note that there is now easy access via the clickable image on the sidebar! Yxx


  1. You are working too hard for us! And you're making it too easy.

  2. I must say I was pretty good at that reverse parking, but thankfully I rarely have to do it now. Welcome, Hettie, to the Grey. We think you are about to have a good number of fun adventures.

  3. Hettie the Heilan' Coocoo is cute!

  4. It feels like I'm by your side in this adventure...hopping over to YT to check you out;)

  5. I'm glad I could learn to drive with a stick... and I stil stick with the stick LOL

  6. The first part of the adventure is obviously just getting to understand the vehicle! Can self-driving cars be far behind?

    1. Hari OM
      Well, (horrors) I am given to understand The Grey can be switched into 'self park' mode and no hands on steering wheel required... but I am a loooooooong way from wanting to investigate that functionality!!! Yxx

  7. Hello,
    I lived in a city where parking was hard to find, reverse parking was necessary and included in the driving test for everyone. Hettie the Heilan will be a cute traveling companion! I hope all goes well with the Grey's makeover! Take care, enjoy your day!

  8. I followed the link on the grey on side bar, watched the video of the stuffing of the insulation which made my back hurt just watching, and clicked subscribed which gave you so far 33 subscribers. i am sure you will figure out the upload thing, i gave up on it because i have no video to upload. if I ever have to learn i can come to you for advice. its a good thing you are meeting people and there dogs, while working. I can tell your excitment is building.. have fun, we are watching

  9. Oh what fun your videos are; I've been catching up and enjoying your "cooking shows" as well. I admire your pluck and motor skills. I have never learned to drive (many amusing stories there). And the world has been a safer place without me behind the wheel.

  10. thanks for the Q&A YAM. So Grey came without any rear seating and you are doing the customizing to your needs.
    Excellent. I have the link to the your YouTube going there now
    Hugs Cecilia

  11. YAM I am in awe of your adventure with Grey and Hettie. WOW!! You GO GIRL making your dreams happen.
    Bryan will look at this tonight
    Hugs Cecilia

  12. You have a lot of work to get the Grey to the point you need for full van life. Pace yourself so you don't overdo it and have to take an extended break. Maybe the neighbor with her own campervan can give you advice on places to visit.

  13. What a fabulous vehicle that can help you to parallel park. I never did get the hang of it! I loved watching you on YouTube and I can't wait to see more!

  14. I am in awe of your hard work! I don't think I could outfit a van "from the bones" like you are...as some have said above.."You GO YAM!"! Looking forward to following along as things come together!

  15. Loved the post, Thanks for sharing

  16. Stay hydrated. namaste, janice xx


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