WYSIWYG

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.

Menoperventilatin; A Little Bit of VANity 🀩

Well, van fans, the initial post featuring The Grey has arrived! 

You'll recall that I left Tigger's castle last week (what, missed that last post??? click here!), having deposited my luggage in the drawers of the spare room. It had been agreed with the dealer that I would go straight from the airport... and as I said to F, the thought of having to negotiate all the transport between the two points with more than just my backpack of essentials had me a bit cold and sweaty. Well, given summer had arrived, hot and sweaty. 

This turned out to be even more pertinent than I realised. Everything went smoothly until the 500 deposited me in Glasgow city centre where, in theory, I ought to have been able to walk straight to the 38 to get me to the Ford centre. 

However... the summer weather had sent everything into some kind of meltdown in the city. That, plus (possibly) the fact that on June 1st, the city was moving to be a ULEZ meaning all those used to driving in might have been making the most of the last two days of diesel freedom... plus endless numbers of road and pavement works... and... and... Due to a tailwind, I had actually arrived twenty minutes early, so I decided to go in search of a cold drink and some food as it might be long till I'd got more, and by the time I got back (half an hour), all the same people were still at the stop. We all still waited for another fifteen or so. Then three buses all turned up at once. 


Ultimately, I arrived at the centre at 15:45h, which was the latest I had estimated for young Matthew. I had definitely overdressed. I was glowing as hot as the sun, and if I'd had to drag luggage around as well, I'd likely have expired before it all began!

As I walked around and down into the park, The Grey was sitting patiently...


Matthew and his sales manager almost pounced on me. They were as excited to see me as I was them. We had a download convo, and then it was down to signing off the final papers and getting the quick show around the basics of operation. An hour later, I was driving away.

This, I am sure you will have twigged, was rush hour. Now, I did contemplate just finding a quiet street and waiting it out. The thing is, The Grey cajoled me to face the full force of traffic! You see, it is just so darned easy to drive. Almost too effortless. In showing me some of the techs (Matthew had joined up all the dots with my phone and suchlike), the Satnav had been set and, as I couldn't quite figure how to shut her up, it proved (at least for the initial part of the drive) to be useful as I surrendered to it and was taken around the city centre to avoid the absolute gridlock, and moved instead into the crawling gridlock. It was an average of 25mph almost all the way back to the airport. From there, I was on home territory and figured out how to deadify the talking dash tablet. Once we approached Greenock shopping park, we drove in there and took some time out. I had survived an initiation of fire; 28'C heat (though the aircon is efficient!), serious - s.e.r.i.o.i.u.s. - traffic on unfamiliar and very snakey streets, in a totally unfamiliar vehicle. (For reference, I might normally expect to drive from Glasgow to Gourock in around 40-45 minutes... the talking tablet was telling me that on that evening, the expected travel time was ONE HOUR AND FIFTY-THREE MINUTES!!!!!) And having left at 16:45h, I parked up for this refreshment break at 18:35h. The thing is, I hardly felt that nearly two hours because I was on Cloud Nine!

I dropped the windows open, switched it off, munched my date and pistachio nibbles, and read the Owner's Handbook. It could have been more helpful as it is a one-size-fits-all, and the E-Transit still needs to get its specialised version. It is a real shame because a lot about it is quite different. Working on the basis that if you can operate an Oktokan or Voovoo or Gopika, you oughtta be able to operate a Grey is a bit presumptuous. I mean. Lives aren't threatened by errors on keyboards. (Not in the potential crushing of flesh and blood sense, at least.) I couldn't find instructions on working the wing mirrors, so I kept playing with switches until I had it sorted. I'd been able to see, don't fret, but not without having to arch my back a bit at times. The minor adjustments made for much easier viewing. I inadvertently hit a button that somehow dialled Mac1's phone and frighted the jiggers out of me. I must accept that these things are entering my life now, though I resisted for so long. I am totally integrated into Ford's framework for diagnostics and such. Ford Pro means I have full roadside assistance, Blue Oval charging network access, and some clever remote operations stuff from my in-phone app... truly, I have a vast amount to learn that I can do with what amounts to being a mobile computer!!!

I've signed up for Chargeplace Scotland, too, as that is not covered by Blue Oval, and the majority of chargers in these less populated parts of the Bonny Land are these government-managed units (some of which are still free to use!).

Anyway, at 7pm, I thought I better get going again. There was still a goodly amount of traffic clearly headed for the ferry; it was chock full even at that hour midweek. I also had to bite down on the cost of a large panel van without having yet bought my resident's discounted options. Yeeccch. I may opt to take the longer land route out of town a bit more often! It was approaching 20:00h as I drove along, noting that all the usually plentiful parking places were totally filled. The car parks were filled. I really was not holding out much hope of getting parked up within cooee of the Hutch. Prayers were being offered up. 

Blow me over with a wet feather...


I kid you not! What is more, The Grey was able to tell me that there was sufficient space for reverse parking (there were two vehicles at either end the evening before this was taken), and selecting the big R on the dial brought up 360' surround overhead view in addition to guidelines and I got it in there first time of asking! I was always pretty good at this task, but oh my word, that was a doddle.

I spent Wednesday to Friday ordering stuff to start the conversion and adding to the shopping list for items later, plus watching a few videos and reading the website about the LumaFusion video editing app I now have on Octokan. Another big learning curve there. I need to get at least as proficient as I was on the Windows Moviemaker so that I can start putting up a few, albeit short, clips on the tubular.

Speaking of which, if you have not yet, you may like to subscribe to my channel here; or you can search it with @yaminthegrey on the web browser. I will be posting occasionally some written entries on the community page, and I hope to have an intro vid up there by no later than this Friday. 

And so, it begins...




27 comments:

  1. And so it begins. You always were light years ahead in the world of technology!

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  2. Wow! Subscribed and looking forward to your vlogs.

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  3. Congratulations and here's wishing you miles of happiness! Subscribed and waiting for your adventure vlogs!

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  4. My son, his wife aunt is in to van traveling....https://www.youtube.com/@FromShetoMe
    Coffee is on, and stay safe.

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    1. Hari OM
      Oh, that's a nice channel - I have lots to learn before my vids come out anything like as good! Yxx

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  5. YAM - Oh! WOW! I am a tad envious...earlier in my life I had a camper van and I really would love to have it now. (Though an electric one would be the bees knees!) The wait list for those Fords is in the YEARS here in Canada (and the cost is the price of an apartment in Lethbridge AB). I travelled there (Lethbridge) and back again this week and gazed longingly at the St Mary Reservoir Provincial Rec Area - St Mary Upper Campground sign (One of the nicest campgrounds I have stayed at in the past). I can't wait to read your adventures! Living vicariously - Barbie

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  6. Yippee!! I'm subscribed and looking forward happy trails and tales to come.

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  7. Hi Yam,
    This is the post I've been waiting for! Well done for getting the Grey safe and sound home to Dunoon despite the traffic and the unfamiliar technology. (Having once been stuck in severe congestion on the stretch from Gourock to near the airport I can at least relate to the gridlock aspect...). Best of luck with the next stage.
    Cheers! Gail.
    PS Still with visitors in unbelievably dry and sunny Torridon. I've been swimming in the loch every day. Nobby has been lapping up having three laps to sit on.

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  8. Fantastic Yam - I'm so pleased for you ... enjoy - and i must catch up properly ... Hilary xo

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  9. wow that van is van-tastic!!! and very a-van-garde...

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  10. 28°c - I didn’t realise it ever got that warm in Scotland 😊.
    Just curious to know if you reverse parked or was there enough room to drive in

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    1. Hari OM
      ...? The clue is in the sentence, "The Grey was able to tell me that there was sufficient space for reverse parking"... Yxx

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    2. Oops need to put the mind in gear before I open the mouth- I read that sentence and it obviously didn’t sink in!

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  11. You are the equivalent of a bold, new explorer, YAM, navigating a difficult passage on your maiden journey. I am sure that we will all be vicariously enjoying lots of adventures in the coming weeks and months as you travel far and wide. I am looking forward to it.

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  12. I was almost in a PANIC just reading your story. I despise traffic, and gridlock is a dirty word to me. I stay home from places I would like to visit because of traffic. yikes. I am thinking though that you will only get in traffic like this on the way to a new place to stay awhile and can drive when the rush is not ON... your van is beautiful, and you did a superb job of flying/driving/buying/ and find your way home. I just told Bob if they start making us old people take a driving test to renew, i might lose my license since i have not reverse parked in about 40 years and don't know if i could. because we have so many CARS we don't have many reverse parking spots. can't wait to see the inside and more of your adventures. so what do you do if you get gridlocked somewhere you can't plug in to charge?

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  13. YAM Grey is very lucky to be owned by you, a wise researcher and techie person. He can tell you something once and you are quick to execute his instructions.
    I am sorry about all the traffic and heat.
    I don't like either at all.. I have been known to go around my elbow to get to my thumb in order to avoid sitting in traffic.
    Grey is a handsome fella too.
    You may have mentioned it early but just wondering will you sleep in Grey any on your travels. I will go to your link to see what I need to do to sign up
    Hugs Cecilia

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    1. Hari OM
      Thank you for calling The Grey in the masculine... I had not stated it till now, but that is how I think of it! I want to see if I can make the nav voice masculine, too, cuz that female was very annoying. Or switch it off altogether and just use maps. Sigh. So much to learn!!! YouTube is free to subscribe - it will use your Google profile if you do not have a tubular one. Yxx

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  14. Hello,
    Your new van looks wonderful, sounds full of techie things. It is neat they know when a parking space is big enough for you. The traffic sounds bad , it is like that here all the time now. I am sure you are looking forward to some great adventures in the Grey. Take care, have a great day and happy week ahead.

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  15. How exciting! I'll be subcribing to your channel!

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  16. I'm getting interested with some admiration for you. Subscribed to Yam in Grey.

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  17. How exciting - and I like Yam the grey. One of my best friends has a camper van conversion business, but then he's in Pembrokeshire... Might be able to help you out with queries though. Subscribed of course!

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  18. I am soooooooooo excited for you! Looking forward to watching Grey's transformation!!

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  19. It will be no time at all before you are a pro at all those gadgets in The Grey. We too are now subscribed and look forward to your upcoming adventures.

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  20. What an epic start to your new adventure. Our mom's car has surround view cameras, and she uses it for parking in any space. It's great to make sure you are right in the middle of the lines. We can't wait to hear more about your van life adventures.

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  21. THIS IS REALLY EXCITING! Oops, didn't mean to shout! You are going to enjoy this! I'm happy for you! XXX

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  22. That van is gigantic! I got stuck over on your vlog watching you cooking. Nice to hear your voice too.

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