Anniversaries are funny old things. There seem to be quite a few kicking around these days. Some I remember without even thinking about it – I quit the smokes (again) 1 year and 8 months ago this week (16th), it’s Dee’s birthday on the 21st – and there are others that you’re only reminded of because the great god of Facebook chooses to remind you of them. One such Facebook “Memory” as they call them (I think)is that it was apparently four years ago that I drove Clarence down to the Type 2 Detectives in Cambridgeshire to get him lowered. It wasn’t the cheapest trip, and whilst we did at least avoid catching fire completely (there was some smoke), both legs of the journey were finished on the back of a recovery truck. 2012 wasn’t a good year for recovery trucks (and other things) but I’m pleased to say we haven’t been on one since! And before you say anything, I know I shouldn’t be thinking about my ex-fiancé. Seems to be happening a lot these days though. It still makes me incredibly sad. The fact that work is not going too great at the moment isn’t helping my current mood either. Maybe I’m just losing it.

Aaaaanyhoo, what’s been going on over the last few months? Well Clarence has eventually had his new steering wheel fitted (it’s lovely), the new aerial (and 76 ball) has been fitted (slight bit of grumpiness that John had incorrectly fitted a T25 aerial previously), the tinware issue has been fixed and hopefully the oil leak has been fixed by those nice chaps at the Herbie Hospital. He seems to be running really well at the moment and let’s face it, after that bill he bloody well should be! I think I had a spot of flu too. We’d originally planned to be meeting Darryl and Nick for a boys’ weekend in the Peaks back in April. Events conspired against that trip – Darryl has sold his bus to buy a caravan – so me and Matt headed up to the Lakes instead.

Sadly Pier Cottage was full that weekend so we booked into the Caravan Club’s Park Coppice site. Whilst it’s a very pleasant place to stay (the bathrooms are pretty special), in terms of location and views etc I don’t think it gets close to Pier Cottage. It’s a relatively short walk into Coniston and the legendary Black Bull pub. Which is where we spent the bulk of the weekend. Difficult not to when you take into account the quality of the food and drink on offer (go there – drink lots of oatmeal stout). It was awfully chilly up there – fortunately Matt didn’t freeze to death overnight in the awning!

We had a bit of a play with the GoPro on the journey to and from the Lakes and there is some video of us singing along to Black Stone Cherry’s The Rambler. We’re not very good. Awful in fact. I’ve eventually managed to finish playing with the video we shot through the windscreen. With it being HD it’s a little processor heavy for my ancient laptop to deal with, but I got there in the end. I’m not sure it makes for the most exciting viewing but was an interesting experiment all the same.

Unfortunately, only a few days after returning from Coniston, both VWs were broken into in the underground car park at the flat, losing the satnav in the process. It seems that the police have got their man however and that’s the subject of an ongoing prosecution. The silver lining to this cloud is that there was no damage done to either of them. You could go one step further and say that the fact they were both still there is the silver lining. Either way, I’m very lucky to have got off so lightly.

As far as the trip to France in September is concerned, we’re still on, but it looks as though we might be taking a slightly different approach. Looking at the ferry times etc, it’s just going to be too much of a pain to do the Portsmouth to Cherbourg ferry (and therefore the Normandy beaches) and there is no way I am spending any length of time on a ferry. So we’re going to do the tunnel both ways (that’s what she said?). There’s a very good chance that we might head into Belgium and check out some breweries – best pack the ibuprofen then!

The diary is looking pretty empty at the moment. Maybe that’s adding to my general chagrin. I haven’t been to a single VW show yet this year either – there aren’t even any pencilled into the diary! Won’t be able to make VW Festival this year as it clashes with the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, Tatton Park is the same weekend as we’re at the test match and VW Field of Dreams clashes with mine and Matt’s trip to France. Which makes it sound as though the diary is actually pretty full. It really isn’t. Nothing scheduled for June and I don’t think there’s a fat lot going on in July either.

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