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Changing Cars and Taking Chances


When I was 17 I passed my driving test. It was my 2nd try. My first crack at it was attempted in a Bedford CA van. My second, successful attempt, was in a Volvo 144. My parents weren't in a position to fund a car for me so I saved up and bought a second hand Gilera moped. Now the significant thing here was my Gilera was faster than a Yamaha FS1E. That kept me mobile for a while until I bought my first car. Actually a Citroen Ami van, very unusual. Followed by another Citroen Ami van, a Ford Anglia, a Vauxhall Viva, a Mk3 Ford Cortina, a VW T2 bay window van and so on and so on. The theory, back in the day, was buy a cheap old rust bucket and when it breaks get another. But in truth I just wanted to have something different.


A few years later I got married, (Volvo 145, estate) bought my first house. After 18 months we sold up and bought our second house (Series 2a Land Rover). Another 18 months and we were on the move again. A tumble down cottage and two acres of land (VW T2 camper, Mk2 Ford Escort, Morris 1000 traveller, Mk1 VW Golf) got divorced (Audi 80 Quattro).


Even my jobs, when I was younger, followed a similar pattern. Technology teacher at the Heathlands School, Hounslow West London, Parts Analyst at Ford Motor Company, Slough, Technology teacher at Poltair School, St Austell, YTS trainer ................. I’ve also been a bit of a matrimonial kleptomaniac but that’s a topic best steered clear of.


Where’s he heading today? I seem to have liked change and I'm not too risk averse. I've done some really interesting jobs, met and made friends with some remarkable people. When I met Tricia I met a kindred spirit. I remember one evening, following bit of a contretemps at work, asking Tricia if she’d ever fancied having a pub. That was the precursor to a year as the landlord and landlady of the Earl of Chatham in Lostwithiel. Later on, when the pub was an adventure memory, we were musing about the possibility of a holiday cottage in Brittany. Voila, une maison de vacances en France. Amusant fabuleux.


The passage of time didn’t diminish our desire for a project. The girls were moving on, making lives of their own. I had a VW camper many years ago so when Tricia asked “could you make a camper?” I of course said yes. Did some research, went to a relevant exhibition at the NEC and on the way home popped into Portishead (like you do) and purchased a VW LT 35 (big van) and proceeded to fabricate a camper. We enjoyed it so much that when we sold our Breton cottage we invested in our motorhome. Good move. Even now, with all my health challenges, I’m completely renewing our kitchen and planning a wet room. The boy likes a project.

Two of my nephews have VW T5 vans which they’ve made or are making into campers.

My friend E... has a classic VW T25 camper.

My surfer dude mate T.. has a surf style VW.

My niece R..... has a VW van as a family car.


I’ve sold the MX5. If I add that cash to my redundancy money, cash in my Eden Pension, sell the Citroen, maybe just maybe.


Do I have enough time?


Tricia.......I’ve been thinking.


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