And so it was that last week I spent from late Sunday till early Saturday in the van in a campsite. My girlfriend came and stayed with me on Friday night and this was great. We seem to have given up on just being friends since we miss each other too much. I returned to the mostly empty flat on Saturday morning where I stayed most of the weekend with my two girls. Since there was not much stuff left, they brought blow up mattresses to sleep on. The kids saw this as great fun, and indeed it was - a game of camping in an apartment flat. Again, the weekend was spent cleaning and sorting through the stuff the removalists had not taken. Item such as plates and magazines and various bric n brac were put into black plastic bags and thrown into the communal rubbish bin. This was a bit naughty - but needs must as they say and I needed to get the flat ready for evacuation by next week.
Yes next Sunday - the last day I have the flat, and at the end of the day I will slip the keys into the landlord's post box.
So late on Sunday I put vehicle keys into the ignition and drove back to Chichester. The engine was running roughly. After five minutes I decided what to do. I pulled over to a side, popped the bonnet open and replaced the fuel filter. This fixed it. At some point I need to get the fuel tank cleaned out. I have also had a big problem with the engine stalling at traffic lights. It took me sometime to figure this out but with the help of various internet forums I got to the bottom of the issue. I replaced the fuel cap. Now that was a cheap repair. The old fuel cap was not letting enough air into the tank. These old vehicles are the best - you can actually fix them yourself.
This week I am in another campsite in Chichester. I have paid up a full 28 days and so where I stay, at least when I don't have the kids, is something less I have to think about.
There is a bungalow at the front of the park where I entered to pay the bill. I was greeted by a British bulldog with a rubber ball in his mouth. He obviously wanted to play throw the ball, but for some reason wouldn't let go of the ball for me to throw. I tried several times to get him to drop the ball but there was some sort of short circuit going on in the canine's head - and obviously a joint short of a bone. I am not a natural animal lover and lose patience quickly with dopey dogs, so gave up and handed the money over to the warden. She handed over the receipt and I took a walk around the park.
There is one van with a Union Jack flying from a mast and a sign post pegged into the ground with the words "The Pensioner's Pension". On the continent they call a hotel a pension so I guess this translates to "The Pensioner's Hotel". It made me chuckle.
So here I am. My van is parked on grass with the front facing a pitching area the size of a football field. There are no campers there in front, only caravans behind my van. So I sit in the front seat and stare out into what, in the dark, appears to be complete nothingness. I listen to the radio. I listen to TalkSport as I always do. They mostly talk football. The pundits take up a position on this football player, or that manager, and the debating gets so heated it makes me laugh. I like these guys, that have the courage to talk to hundreds of thousands of listeners. These broadcasters, whose job it is to entertain, are very brave people in my opinion.