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.

Menootery; Yes, I'm Abootery

Getting The Grey loaded up took me three days. Remember, I am mid-60s, arthritic and asthmatic, and live up a rather high stair level. It's the stairs that undo me a bit nowadays - particularly if carrying anything over five kilos. I have one of those giant Ikea blue bags into which I loaded as much as could be handled on my left shoulder so that my right arm was free to hold onto the bannister. Day one, Monday, five trips up and down was enough. Tuesday was a write-off due to absolutely foul weather with no breaks between 'showers'. Day two, Wednesday, in between squalls (including one blast that nearly took the back door off The Grey!), another five loads of the blue bag, plus moving the Aferiy power bank... fluke would have it that my neighbour came up the stairs as I was struggling with that 25kg and before I knew it he'd whisked the thing into the van for me. Phew. Day three, Thursday morning, suitcases (two cabin-sized ones), two grocery bags of foodables and the oil heater. I spent the afternoon doing basic housework, so the Hutch is not a total hovel for my return. Then, I had a mega spa session, as it will be a while before I see a full shower again. I am good at the military camp form of abluting, but it will be good when I get to certain spots along the way to make use of any shower on offer!

Anyway, now I have the utility area at the rear and the bedsit at the front of the cargo area. I have draped a few cloths over the silver to make it a little cosier since these first photos. 

Then, a little after ten in the evening, I grabbed the last bag - all the tech gear and other important stuff - and locked up and off we drove for a battery charge. The first one I went to was a dud. The second one I got to was also a dud. Third time lucky, right in the town centre on the Pier Car Park, success. Oh yes, it was bucketing down as usual.

Doesn't he look good, my trusty steed?! On the second visit to this charger, before heading for the ferry, a young fellow and his dog drew in to charge his Kia car, and he was very admiring of The Grey. He had a sneaky peek inside and said he was going away inspired with ideas. He was from my part of Edinburgh and a regular hill walker, often visiting Dunoon. Mostly sleeping in that small car!

Anyway... that first night, it was nearly three in the morning of the 23rd before I got parked up on the parade overlooking the water. I woke again at five-thirty. Thought I'd sleep longer, but traffic and drumming rain might have had something to do with it. I spent that Friday in a bit of a daze and realised that I needed to stay in one place until I had recovered from the three days of carting stuff down those stairs, as well as unpacking and sorting once aboard. As the weather was so dismal, it was no hardship just to do my blogs and puzzles as I would in the Hutch. Friday night, I slept like a log (and again on Saturday night) getting a full eleven hours unbroken both nights!!! Total recovery sleep. Saturday, at least, wasn't raining, and an occasional burst of sunshine, so I invited my Instapal Coby (she of California and original Dunoon USNavy daughter, posted in Holy Loch for some time, attending the high school, and now returned with her British hubby to live here) to come have a proper 'van-warming' with tea and cake. I got to know Coby through the instything a few years back when she and Dave were still in the planning stages of the big shift east. Social media can be a real pain - but it is also a great connector! Anyway, that was a fun hour, and then I settled down to watch the rugby - well done The Blues!

As I said, that night was another long slumber, and when I awoke on Sunday morning, it was bright and clear and definitely more like travelling weather; although very cold, it was still and pleasant enough to have the door open whilst I had a brunch of scrumble** and fruit. and listening to the lapping waves, the gulls and sparrows. THIS, this, my friends, is what van life is about!

**Scrumble is a cross between scrambled eggs with toast
and eggy bread; butter the bread, chop up, and saute until a little
browned and crispy, then add the egg, whisked with a little milk
and seasoning, letting sit until egg mostly set, then flip over to ensure
full cook of the egg. It has occurred to me just now that sprinkling sugar
would make it a French Toast cheat as well!

After that, I packed everything up, and it was time to hit the ferry. I headed down to New Lanark (where I began my "Firsts Trip") and spent a couple of nights in nature. More on the anon... but here are two shots for comparison between the standard night shot on the Gopika and then switching on 'night sight'... Full Moon Over The Firth...


  1. It sounds like you're off to a great start in your next adventures in the Grey. We can't wait to hear more about your trip.

  2. The adventures have begun! I love the colored light reflections on the water.

  3. I admire you with a tinge of envy! I want to go off like this on a journey...

  4. Love both shots of Full Moon Over The Firth. It wouldn't be looking so calm right now, I suspect.
    Cheers, Gail.

  5. we would love such a home on wheels too... it gives you freedom... realy freedom ;O)

  6. Hello,
    I am glad to hear you recovered your sleep. It is nice that the weather cleared up too. The shots of the sky and reflections on the water are lovely. Safe travels, have fun! Take care, have a great day!

  7. That was some epic just overcoming the procraftinating and finally getting to a charger. I remember that from setting off in the boat...we would have to leave as planned then go somewhere quiet for a couple of days. I love those lights reglected on water (magnificent piece of art) and the last pic with the cloud lying low on the hills.

  8. wow, this has already been an adventure just getting out on the road. i am exhausted reading about the stairs and up and down for 3 days. glad someone helped a little. beautiful views from where you landed and glad you got to have a fun visit with friends. maybe a dog next time. the grey looks cozy and i hope the weather will turn good and let you have more adventures.

  9. The Grey is looking very colorful and cozy with the additional blankets on the walls! Love the night shots and the scrumble looks very tasty to me!

  10. "On the road again...."
    I can never say it enough...I do love seeing you out and about exploring again!!

  11. I am so happy for you! You are the greatest adventurer. And your beast is beautiful, and practical, and wonderful! Have much fun!

  12. Love the picture of the lights on the water from your first nights' park up. Yam is on the road again. I hope you have a long, happy wander.

  13. I just returned, mere hours ago, from another successful visit to Cuba. Now I will look forward to reading of your adventures.


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