Monday, 22 September 2014

Meet 'Billy'...

Let me introduce you to “Billy Bedford”, the latest addition to our family.

Billy is a 30 year old Bedford CF2 Mobile Home, and he’s in need of some serious TLC!

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Following our fabulous weekend of music festival frivolities this summer (during which I found liberation and embraced the idea of camping, and ‘roughing it’ in general).  Also, totally inspired by George Clarke’s “Amazing Spaces”, we perhaps got a little carried away!  We began imagining ourselves spending next summer motoring around the country (who knows, maybe even Europe), in an amazing small space of our own, taking in every beer and music festival we come across along the way.

I have to say, an iconic VW camper van was more what I had in mind… that is, until I realised we would need a small mortgage to acquire one.  So, we decided to settle for our own, more affordable, version of a “classic” motor home.

And there he was… jumping out at us from the pages of Auto (actually, it was the ridiculously low price tag that jumped out more than anything), and off we went to check him out.  We were unsure at first, and in fact walked away from our first viewing of Billy saying “it probably wouldn’t be the sensible thing to do”.  Since when have we been a “sensible” couple?!

Two days later we found ourselves handing over the cash and quite literally “chugging” away in our newly acquired vehicle.  Neil, my hubby, was bursting with excitement at the thought of getting stuck in to our new project.  I, on the other hand (following behind in my trusty little Peugeot), felt a little apprehensive (understatement!).

Rightly so, as it turned out.  I’d say we got about 500 yards from the garage before Billy came to a sudden halt!  I waited, thinking he had just stalled, but no, it seemed we’d run out of diesel (dodgy fuel gauge!).  Billy, being so old, doesn’t have hazards, so we also had an impatient queue of vehicles behind us, sounding their horns in protest.  Things were not going to plan!

We managed to roll Billy back into a side street, and called the garage, who came to our rescue with a can of diesel, successfully getting us back on the road… for about a further 500 yards, until, yes you guessed it, we broke down again… whoah, whoah, whoah!!  Back to the garage went Billy. I could go on, and on, and on, but to cut a long story short… several cans of diesel, two RAC call-outs, and many an obscenity later, we eventually got our new “investment” on home territory.

On closer inspection, it seems there’s a problem with the fuel tank (you don’t say!), and despite the problems so far, my hubby remains optimistic that this is easily ‘curable’, and is a mere ‘hitch’.  Once the fuel tank is cleaned up (or, worst case scenario, replaced), we’ll realise what an absolute bargain we’ve acquired, and will be hitting the open road in search of adventure.

Despite his age, Billy’s interior is in pretty good condition, and I’ll certainly have loads of fun choosing fabrics and ‘accessories’ to personalise the space.  Initial thoughts are around a ‘Cath Kidston’ type theme, but who knows where my imagination (and Pinterest!) will take me.

You wouldn’t think it, looking at him just now, but I have a strange feeling we’ll have many a good time in old Billy.  Watch this space!

Neil and Alfie, getting acquainted with Billy

Bit of TLC and this'll be perfect for a brew and a bacon butty in the mornings!

Clean and tidy as it is, for its age... the Tartan will be going!

The 'cab' and 'high-sleeper'... still working on ideas to improve these areas - suggestions welcome!

Well, what are we waiting for? I'm hungry for adventure... let's go!

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