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Jessica is almost 5

Our little girl is almost 5. Her birthday is actually next weekend but this weekend we held a birthday party for her. On the day of the party the snow fell heavily and the phone rang all morning with people who felt they could not make it, totally understandable.

Our trip was quite treacherable but we made it and so did 8 of her friends. We ahd a great time at The Hall Park Farm feeding the cows and stroking the goats. There was loads of cake and sandwiches and I think they all ahd a great time.

Solar Panel fitting

We fitted the 85 watt solar panel we purchased at the Newark Show this weekend. We purchased the panel and regulator from a very helpful company whose website is http://www.solarpanel4u.co.uk/Home.html. Total cost was under £300, which is quite a saving over getting one fitted (fitting seems to be about £400) and its so easy.

The location for the solar panel

It took about 2 hours to fit. We decided where to put it, which was at the front of the van across the roof. One of the downsides of a van conversion is the roof is ribbed and curves so a flat panel is not going to lay flat. I did not want to have any gaps which might allow wind and rain ot get under the panel and so I used bedding mastic to build upto a level platform. two small holes were drilled for the cables. Its important to use silicon whilst putting the cables through to make the holes water tight.

The panel was then lowered into place and and angle iron was used to screw it to the room, again using silicon to seal. Negative and positive cables were taken from the battery and via a 10amp fuse on the positive attached to the regulator. The cables to the solar panel were then connected.

The panel in place

The battery was almost fully charged but even so the panel pumped in .5 amp. I think its going to be a great asset to the van

John Schaar – love his quote

John Schaar – futurist
– The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created–created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination.

I found it when i came across this youtube video

the earth

Fulltiming weekend

This weekend we traveled down to Norfolk for a weekend amongst fulltimers and motorhomers thinking of fulltiming.

About ten couples got together exchanging ideas and worries and past experiences. Our good friend carl was there wh0 has been fulltiming for about 18 months and is doing another van conversion at the moment.

There was a couple of professionals David and Sarah who want to escape the rat race. They had a beautiful G reg Hymer 690. It amazes me that these vehicles look so great after all these years. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course but I think they are the classic motorhome and will also conjure up dreams of crossing deserts and wildernesses.

A Hymer B694

A pig farmer Baz popped up with his wife jaquie for a coffee and enjoyed himself so much he went off and came back with his fantastic dethleffs motorhome and their friends in their dethleffs too. Baz and Jacquie already winter in SPain but are seriously thinking of fulltiming. Jacquie has the worry that many women have and that is what would happen if anything happened to Baz. I can rememebr meeting a lady in Devizes who, at the age of 82 fulltimed in a citroen romahome……

Two couples Jules and Tony and Barbara and Richard have jsut started fulltiming, both in the last week, exciting times ahead I think for both of them.

Us, we drove home remembering the great times we had fulltiming and talking about the future. The future, well you never know what might happen