TWO SNAILS (plus a dog and a dragon)

The Motorhome of Motorhomes

This article first appeared elsewhere on March 2nd, 2008. What was true then is most likely not true today when I reposted it here.

Mr Snail remains deep in his vehicle research phase. It is not just brochures, he is subscribed to a wide range of forums as well. He has asked the question “If money was no object, which vehicle would you buy?” A respondent pointed him at this.  Mr Snail’s response: “It’s bigger than our house!” Well, maybe not, but it is forty-five feet long… with shower and two baths and, hey, the co-pilot seat does have a powered footrest. And what about the built in vacuuming system, eh? Do check out the gallery. I particularly favour the bedroom. I think this vehicle may belong to Peter Stringfellow, or Rod Stewart, perhaps. 

 Beastly, is it not? Maybe that is why the price is $666,000 

 I shall continue to hold this model up as the exemplar of the argument that the larger/costlier these vehicles are, the more tasteless they become. “Overstuffed” I think I said the other day. Yes, quite. Ugh.

Comment: Times have not changed - we looked at a Hymer currently for sale today and the upholstery drew a gasp from me - like a knocking shop boudoir, I said.

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Brochure Fatigue

This article first appeared elsewhere on February 29 2008. What was true then is most likely not true today when I reposted it here.

Another brochure in today's mail. That makes, oh, goodness, umpteen of the things lying about the house. After the third one arrived, I kind of lost interest. What is the point? We are 99.999% recurring likely to be buying second hand. So, why look at brochures, and why now? It is not quite as mad as it sounds.

  1. The vehicles being sold now are the ones likely to be on the second hand market when we come to buy in a few years' time. 
  2. The benefits of sending for the brochures are several. We keep the dream alive We become familiar with the available features and can think (long and) hard about the ones that we want and those that we actually need. When we buy, we shall be informed and less likely to be seduced by fripperies.
  3.  There was a 3. I am certain that there was a 3. Apart from pulping the brochures for Mrs Snail to make hand made paper with, that is. 
  4. Actually, if she gessoed the pages, they would make good journals... 

There are a few drawbacks. Primary of these is the growing conviction that the majority of these vehicles are hideously tasteless and "over stuffed." Closely following that is the knowledge that the beds in most campers and RVs are not ideal for full-timing. Already I feel the tug of our 5 foot wide Tempur mattress. How I shall miss that! My question "What is the point?" is directed elsewhere, though. You see, if you look at these brochures long enough, you soon realise that there is very little to choose between them. All the vans seem to merge into one amorphous camper version after looking at just a few brochures. And, far from being exciting, it is in fact rather dull. How to choose between makers and models? Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis! I refer you, dear reader, to point 2. on wants and needs. Mrs Snail shall put her education into use and dredge from her memory a method of Decision Analysis that actually works very well in situations like this. With ample time to draw up a decision grid, and all the brochures in the world to note down features that might fill that grid, when the time comes to buy then The Snails will be able to make a fast decision and not spend weeks havering in camping and caravan lots the length and breadth of the UK. How is that for organisation? Nerd? Who said "nerd"? HUMPH! Yes, it is overkill. In theory, it is good. In practice? It seems likely that the Snail Bus will simply be the one available at the right time and at an affordable price and the feature list can go hang. Cut some slack here, we have five years to fill without letting the p(l)an go off the boil. It will keep Mrs Snail occupied and stop her from fretting about losing her mattress and her double-ended deep bath. There will be more on the subject of campers soon. If you are not very careful, there may well be more on decision matrices too. You have been warned. (I remembered: 3. We are located presently a couple of hundred miles from the nearest dealer. Going to view is not an option. Brochure descriptions fill the knowledge gap.)

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Mollusc Mascots

This article first appeared elsewhere on February 28, 2008. What was true then is most likely not true today when I reposted it here.

On the very day that Two Snails was born, I found this at Flickr. It was fate calling, surely. I followed the link to Etsy. I now have a knitting pattern from which to fashion two wee mascots for the van. No yarn yet, so these may be a while in coming, but rest assured, they will appear here in the fullness of time. Shall we dangle them in the windscreen, like furry dice? Once Two Snails hits the road, there will be much knitting. It is a portable craft and Mrs Snail will be needing amusements when parked up in strange places. A spinning wheel will be touring with The Snails also. It is difficult to imagine taking much more crafty stuff on the road but over the next couple of years, Mrs Snail will be developing new skills in portable crafts and stocking up with travel-size kits for each. Tatting will certainly be in an improvement phase shortly – can there be a more portable craft? The cameras will certainly hit the road too – what would the Two Snails blog be, without postcards to send back home? So, camera skills must be honed too, as the library of photography magazines and manuals will be disposed of prior to departure. There are outline plans – more ambitions, really – to learn drawing and painting before the Snail Bus hits the road. These offer other ways to illustrate tales of the Snail Trail, and to pass time. A sketch book and travel set of paints will take up very little room in the van. The whole kit and caboodle should take up less room than Mr Snail’s angling gear and wellies, for sure. So, five busy years ahead. The planning of the trip seems a minor part, when viewing the plans to learn the skills and languages needed to support Two Snails and the Snail Bus and menagerie on the road. Fitting in the development of a range of new creative skills as well – can it be done? With two lucky knitted mollusc mascots on board, how can snails go wrong? I had better get some casting on done!

Comment: One learning point so far from our early adventures with Brunhilde - my spinning wheel is to large/heavy to come with us. We do have a 12v supply on board, so I may be able to use the little Ashford e-Spinner.

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