TWO SNAILS (plus a dog and a dragon)

Shell Acquisition

This article first appeared elsewhere on August 17th, 2014. What was true then may not be true today when I reposted it here.

As I write this post, Mr Snail is making payment on the van. He hopes to pick it up on Wednesday and should be home with it on Thursday morning if all goes according to plan -- though much depends on ferry bookings. He will sleep in the van on mainland Orkney on Wednesday night. Quite the adventure.

 The van is a Tabbert FFB Classic 660 on a Fiat chassis - all of that may be disordered, I do not have a clue really but all the essential naming components are there in some order or other. It is a 1992 model and has had three owners, the last two of which were non-smoking. 

 We hope to make our first trip in the coming two weeks - just a short jaunt, spending one or two nights on the big island - just finding our feet. 

 Over the next couple of years we hope to have long weekends in Orkney and Sutherland and perhaps a couple of longer trips to go further Sooth. By the time that full retirement comes around we should have our van suitably furnished and stocked and our routines sorted out and be ready to go off for a month or more at a time. 

 We need passports for ourselves and for Nell the dog. I doubt we'll be going far afield any time before Suzie leaves us. 

 I am going to begin a page on which to keep a bucket list of Places to Go, Things to Do, People to See.

Comment: The Bucket List already has a few ticks against it. Coming soon will be reports on trips to West and East Mainland Orkney, copied from Woolgathering. Fresh material will begin here when I write up our forthcoming trip to Sutherland.

Categories: History, Pre-history

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Hello, Hello - is there anybody there?

This article first appeared elsewhere on August 17th, 2014. What was true then imay not be true today when I reposted it here.

So, this thing still works then?


 It has been a while, has it not? 

 I have a confession to make. Mr and Mrs Snail learned to accept that their idea was misguided and let their plan wither on the vine. Time marched on. It was agreed that they could not bear to part with their home on the peedie island. It was also agreed that poor Mr Snail could not long continue a life shackled to his employer’s desk. This is the main reason for the protracted period of quiet. It took a lot of hard thinking and some serious manipulation of numbers but the whole process was greatly aided by the continued low interest rate. 

 To bring us right bang up to date – Mr Snail begins his two years on his company’s pre-retirement plan at the beginning of September. Between now and then he is on leave. When he returns to work, he will be working 4 days a week for 12 months and then 3 days a week for the next 12 months thereafter. The mortgage will be paid off during this period and we hope to keep the house as a home base for as long as possible. 

 Mrs Snail, being Mr Snail’s “older woman” has now formally received both her bus pass and employer’s pension, if not yet the State pension. The lump sum is providing some refurbishment to the house and left a little over, so… 

 …when Mr Snail spotted the listing for a very nice camper van in Caithness on eBay a couple of days ago, he lost his heart to it entirely. An experimental bid in the final two seconds resulted in our sudden and almost entirely unexpected purchase of a fully-winterised 6 berth 21 footer. Sight unseen. Whoops. 

 So – a 4 day week implies a 3 day weekend. Every week. And now we have a home on wheels with which to make the most of our new free time. 

 We are going places. 

 In all frankness, I need a bit of a lie down.

Comment: So, this then is where it all really actually begins. We have had a couple of trips over to the big Orkney island and I have been blogging at my main Woolgathering blog, under a Category of Brunhilde. I will copy all the relevant material to this site and then we are ready to carry on with new adventures. I'll gather such posts together under a new category such that the Two Snails Wordpress material is under Pre-history and newer Woolgathering/Scattered Thoughts posts are simply History.

Categories: History, Pre-history

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Holiday Season

This article first appeared elsewhere on March 23rd, 2008. What was true then is most likely not true today when I reposted it here.

The postman must be heaving a sigh of relief as the avalanche of motor home brochures has slowed at last to a trickle.

Theoretical study reveals that The Snails have a taste leaning towards Hymer/Burstner vans. Of course, they haven’t seen any real life vans yet, so they may be entirely wrong. The situation will shortly be remedied as the holiday season has arrived with Easter (and the snow.) 

 Mr Snail has subscribed to a number of camper van forums. He has settled in, introduced himself and the Great Snail Plan, and has asked for help and advice in planning a future as full-timers. He has made an offer to anyone bringing their van to Orkney: camp on our land, use our facilities, but show us your van – and especially, your bed! 

 Surprisingly, there have been takers: Mr and Mrs Snail presently expect an Easter visit, and also one in May. The May one is exciting, as the visitors have a Hymer of the exact model that is currently favoured and it is of the age such that it is the year and model they shall be seeking when they come to purchase. The Snails could not hope for a clearer demonstration. 


 We continue to plan, in a low key way, and have several conversations a week along the lines of “When we go, will we take ‘such and such’ with us?” and “We need to learn ‘this, that or the other’ before we go.” 

 Frankly, all that learning is going to keep us fully occupied for the next few years! Mrs Snail, for one, is particularly poor at languages, having no ear for them. The plan is to brush up on French and German and to learn some Italian, Dutch, and Norwegian at the very least. We both wrinkle our noses at the idea of Spanish, but I think that is because neither of us fancies going to Spain very much at all. 

The only other news at this stage is that we think that we should begin the process of de-stuffing right now, and not leave it until we are ready to sell up and go. This means that we have to make a start on the Wants and Needs lists soon. It would be crazy to de-stuff any Needs by accident, and foolish to hang on to things that are only minor Wants. The clear out will need proper planning.

Comment: and this is where the old blog died. I made one further post recently.

Categories: Pre-history

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