Saturday, 21 May 2016


Can you imagine the mayhem that would ensue if you gave a kitten a Swiss army knife and a bottle of champagne?

This is what happened on our first night spent out with Bernie. It was a cross between a bad Benny Hill sketch and a Channel 4 black comedy.

Being a typical male I was over confident with my limited skills. I turned down Richards kind invite of showing me how the Van worked. How hard can it be... I was so wrong.

It all started to go wrong when I try to exchange the empty gas cylinder for a full one at the local camping shop. It became apparent I didn't have the correct size spanner to undo the gas bottle so had to purchase one from the shop and then return to the van to uncouple it. I think I left my thumbs in the Shop as  getting the cylinder off was like watching a monkey with a typewriter. Only less entertaining.

Eventually I got the cylinder out the van, into the car, the car to the shop, the cylinder into the shop and lastly the quite heavy cylinder on to the desk in front of a queue of people. Puffing, panting, looking slightly red faced but feeling quite pleased with myself I ask the gentlemen if he could exchange my empty  cylinder for a shiny new full one.

"Indeed sir". So after dithering with my bank card I eventually managed to make payment and get a receipt. The gentleman grabbed my cylinder from the desk at which point he paused looked at me and said in a pitiful voice. "Your cylinders still full sir!".

Ahh lesson one learnt, don't try and exchange one full cylinder for another. It will get expensive and causes unnecessary embarrassment. So after another 10 minutes trying to issue a refund I shuffled off with my old, still full, gas cylinder to try and reconnect it to the van... still without my thumbs.

I'm happy to say we made full use of our "first time out, clangers" membership that day. I didn't realise membership included benefits such as :
  • Soaking a "seasoned" camper while trying to fill up with fresh water.
  • Not being able to get the cooker working
  • Or the heating
  • Or the fridge
  • 10 attempts getting up onto levelling blocks
  • The dog being sick, inside the van
  • Nearly detaching the habitation door handle
  • Have a cold shower
I thoroughly recommend being a member although I suspect membership comes free for anyone purchasing their first van. Thankfully membership only lasts for a day.. or two.

Tink recovered from all the excitement and adopted her usual position. Mand and I lost our membership to the "first timers" about 10pm when everything became clear. Probably with the help of a bottle of bubbles.

Here's to tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Baz, welcome to wonderful world of Motorhome travelling. Hope you get the bug as much as I know Pete & Nina and Jane & I have. Like the Blog and will add it to my favourites to look regularly. I know you have seen mine. if you want to Follow just add your email to the follow box at the bottom of my post page
    Enjoy !