Thursday, 31 May 2012

Bloody Derek The Weatherman


It's been fine for weeks.  Wall to wall sunshine we have had in our little corner of the UK.  What happens when it's a Bank Holiday weekend coming up and we're dusting down the van for an outing?

I'll tell you what.....

Well, thank you very much @DerekTheWeather.;  Mun!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

More Robbing Bar Stewards

Another rant on the theme of being ripped off sorry.

From earlier posts you will know that I need one of these to attach my new BBQ to my newly installed Gas BBQ point on the caravan.

Shopping around I was horrified to note that the going rate for one of these starts at around £27 plus delivery from on line retailers, with stores charging a whopping £36 for them.  Just because they are endorsed by Webber FFS mun!

There is no way, not as long as I have a hole in my rear end, that I was going to pay that.  A trip was made to Brisco in Swansea where I was able to purchase 5m of 8mm hose (as opposed to the measly 2m that Webber supply), fittings for either end and a few jubilee clips for under £12.

Under 5 mins to make the hose up when I got home and the job's a good un.  So, Mr Webber, you can stick your £36 adaptor where the sun don't shine!

Rant over.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Stand and deliver

I am now the proud owner of an external BBQ point on the caravan.  Wait till Mr Shag see it, he'll be so impressed.

When phoning round in the week, the dealer quoted me £150 for the job, spinning some story that it was 2 to 3 hours work to fit the point.  Now if that is their price, fair enough, but I don't like being taken for a fool.

I could have done the job myself (except for the fact that I would have invalidated the warranty) and knew it would take no where near 3 hours to complete.

So this afternoon Leisure Medic turned up at  my home in a fully kitted out service van.

Just over an hour later, the jobs done, pressure tested and certified.  Ennis caravans, you should be ashamed.  At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

It pays to shop around

From earlier blogs you will be aware that I have recently purchased a new toy for time away and am now the proud owner of a Weber Q120 (even though Mr Shag claims that I am now a big poof).

By default, the grill runs off small canisters.......

Now these canisters sell for about £5 each and over the weekend a canister lasted me just 3 meals!  It was always the plan to ditch the canister idea, but going through them at that rate has hastened the fruition of that plan.

The idea is to get one of these conversion pipes

And as I already carry gas around with me I see little point in carrying another large bottle, so I now need one of these fitted to my van

It's an external bbq point that enables you to run the bbq off the caravan's gas.  The part retails at £45 but it is not possible to fit it as DIY for two reasons.

  1. I would probably make a hash of it, cutting a hole too big and having leaking gas pipes.
  2. Without it being fitted by a National Caravan Council approved workshop the warrantee on the caravan would be invalidated.
First stop was the dealer I bought the van from.  They wanted a whopping £150 for the job.  Next phone call was to an independant workshop who wanted £95, but I would still have to take the van to them as they "Would not recommend having a gas job done by a mobile workshop!" ..... cods wallop!

A large mobile company was contacted next who confirmed they could do the job for £94.  Great I said, when can you do it?  Late August was the reply!!!!!

I have now arranged for a local independant engineer to do the job.  He has quoted me £84 and can do it this Saturday afternoon.

Like the title says....... It pays to shop around.

Monday, 7 May 2012

What goes on tour, stays on tour!

Thanks to Abergavenny RFC our end of season tour was rescued. Our under 16s side was invited up to play over the weekend, and they had managed to find a campsite that not only had room, but were willing to accommodate us for the weekend (Brave people!)

On Friday we were all loaded and ready to set off by 11.15am, so there seemed little point in hanging around.  Mandy coped well with the tow over the Heads of the Valleys road and we pulled onto the very nice Blossom Caravan Park just outside Abergavenny just before 1pm.

The area had seen some heavy rain and the pitch was somewhat moist, but the area drained quite well and soon dried up a bit.  Set up in no time we has a spot of lunch and watched the others arrive in a trickle.

Before we knew it, beer o clock had arrived.  The boys took themselves off down to the local golf club for a drink and a game of pool (it also helped to keep them out of trouble on camp).

Saturday morning arrived, and after breakfast cooked on my new toy, it was time to make out way down to Abergavenny for the rugby.  We were scheduled to play Abergavenny, Usk and a Spanish side today.

Now, it was only a mile and a half to the ground from the site, and we travelled in convoy.  Over an hour later there is still no sign of one family and people are starting to get a bit concerned.  They arrive over an hour later, and the driver is stood talking to myself and Mr Shag, explaining where he has been.  He had been everywhere!  Mr Shag quips "Oh, so at least you know you way round now then!" and we burst out laughing, but cannot stop.  Mr TomTom doesn't really see the funny side, and that makes it worse!!  Tears were rolling down cheeks! I still don't think he knows why we were laughing!

We narrowly lost to Abergavenny in the first game (although we later found out that they had not played by the rules and had a considerable contingent of overage players in their starting line up) but comfortably beat both Usk and the Pedros!

By half time against the Pedros we were out of sight.  Our coach decides to mix it up a bit, moving backs into the second row and props out onto the wing.  The prop out on the right wing was getting a lot of ball, and one of the regular backs fancied a run and moved to go outside said prop saying "I'll go out here, you move in."  The response will go down in folk law.  Scowling, he simply said "Oi, f@@k off! I'M on the f@@c@@g wing!"

With the rugby over with for the day we adjourned into the rugby club, and it was 'Party Time' and boy what a blast it was.

While the boys were still getting showered, our coach decided to liven things up for the parents with a game of buzz.  Well, those of you that know me personally will know that I am a bit deaf, and with hindsight, perhaps me playing buzz was not such a good idea.  I could not hear what was going on so was guessing what numbers were being shouted.  In the five mins I was playing I got more fingers than a girl from Merthyr on a Saturday night when her luck is in!!

It's at this point that I may have to seriously reconsider the status of my friendship with Mr Shag.  He appeared to revel in his role as 'Mr Squealer' and continually dobbed me in.  It's lucky I love him, or he'd be demoted to being an 'aquaintance' by now!

Anyway, 2 pints of 1664 in 5 mins later, and I have a bit of a buzz on myself!

Amongst the din, we hear shouts of down down down! Turning around we are greeted with the sight of our 16s necking pints of whatever.  It was a great night.  We may not have behaved, but we had a blast, and as the title says 'What goes on tour, stays on tour!'

Sunday morning arrives, and most people are either still pissed from Saturday or sporting tremendous hangovers.  Monmouth is our destination this morning with a game arranged against their 16s.

On arrival we were greeted to Monmouth already warming up and looking really up for it.  We on the other hand are having trouble just stopping the boys from chucking their guts up over the field!

I know  it sounds unsportsmanlike, but the clown with the whistle really did us no favours and ensures that HIS side would not be beaten by this pack of Welshies from West Wales.

To be fair to Monmouth, they pushed the boat out in the club after the game.  Chicken curry was laid on and we had a good old knees up.  Ever the consmate professional, our coach insisted on boat races....... Like as if the boys needed a good drink after last night!

Back to the campsite for the rest of the day (and night) drinking around BBQ and campfires late into the night.  Some of the boys climbed to the top of one of the nearby mountains, whilst others were content to cause trouble on site.

This was a rugby tour, and the above is an edited version.  You will note there is no mention of boys Scanning the Visa in Bailey Park, or fights outside the club house, or upsetting the local gentry at the local golf club, or trussing someone up in gaffer tape and threatening to take them up the mountain and rape them, or even pinching someones clothes and towel in the shower block so they have to walk back to the tent naked!

No! And that's because.............


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Bloody Weather

Sometimes I hate living in this country with our poxy climate.

The wettest April in 100 years has put paid to a years preparations for what was to be the 10th Anniversary of the popular event and an early decision was forced on them this week with no prospect of holding the tournament as much of the showground is under water following recent heavy rain. With more rain forcast the there is no prospect of the site drying to a manageable state prior to the event scheduled to begin on Saturday.

The area set aside for camping is also unfit and knowing the volume of vehicles and supplies required to host the event together with anticipated foot fall would have made the whole site and playing areas unfit.

That's our plans for this weekend away in the caravan wiped out.  It was supposed to be the boy's last outing together before moving up to youth rugby.  To make it worse, some of the parents had shelled out considerable amounts of cash to hire Camper Vans for the weekend.

The dilema now, is where can we find to go?  It's a bank holiday weekend, so most places will be full, and of those with space, how many would be willing to take on a rigby side for the weekend?

We need 16 pitches and it's looking grim.