Thursday, 19 May 2016


It sounded to good to be true. Today we drove down to Burton on Trent to view a van we wanted to buy and within minutes we had bought it.

My mate Vinny had spotted the van on EBay and knew it was virtually the same spec I was after. I emailed the chap and politely asked him what his best price would be. He appreciated my honesty and came back with a "walk away price" of 4K less than advertised! Richard was his name and we arranged to view the van two days later.

We drove south in anticipation of what we would or wouldn't find.

Was it going to be a wreck?
Was this Richard one of those underworld criminals that would take our hard earned money and leave us with no more than an embarrassing tale to tell?
Were we being rash spending two thirds  of all we owned on a van?

I shall digress as I feel the need to explain this two thirds malarkey. We recently sold our house and moved into a little rented place so we could take our time finding a new pad. The proceeds from the sale sat in the bank, quite sensibly waiting to be put down on another property. But as me and Mandy often fail to follow the well trodden path of normality, we decided it would be a great idea to blow the majority on a van and get a small place with what was left.

Anyway we met Richard who showed us his year old van and he explained his reluctance to sell it. We had a good look round and within three minutes we knew we would soon be living in that "very small house". We're having it! We were grinning from ear to ear, the van was lovely. Hardly used with only 750 miles on the clock and it smelled new. Did Richard have a new car scented air freshener that we had never heard of? Who knows but it won us over. We shook Richards hand and agreed to buy it. While driving back home we realised we hadn't done the one thing you should do when buying a used vehicle... Test drive it! Oh well, that would have been far too sensible and where's the fun in that.


Two days later my mate Howie gave me a lift to pick the van up. The logistics involved in getting a huge lump of a van like this home was mind boggling. The house were renting had a drive that was too small so we had to arrange some storage for it. Everywhere I phoned was full apart from the one place I originally looked to buy a van from. Lowdham caravans. Thank god for them otherwise we would have had to leave the van in Burton on Trent.

Anyway I drove the van back to Notts constantly fiddling with all the dials and buttons like a kid with a new toy.

New toy
A friend of mine called Pete and his lovely wife Nina have been travelling Europe for nearly four years now in their van. Living in it full time and loving it. See his blog here. Now apparently all vans have a name and Pete saw a pic of ours and based on the BNY in the registration suggested it be  called Benny. Mand liked this but insisted it was female and it has become Bernie. Great joint effort you two!

So Bernie was born, where we will travel ... who knows. One thing is for sure though, work aside, we will be spending as many weekends as we can at Bernie's. Well, we've not got our own house yet so.. why not!

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