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Socialist dog

Our dog’s a socialist. She believes in equality for dogs.

I shan’t comment as to equality for all animals.

Cows and sheep are cute too. Ok, so they may taste nice. But kittens probably make a great kebab.

We live in a world where ‘pets’ are companions and, as such, can’t be eaten. Yet bigger mammals, of equal or greater intelligence can be served up as a burger or a kebab.

I love mg dog to bits, but I feel for the creatures murdered for human greed.


Right, a few years ago, I was stuck in Newark because I had a booked train and work stuff ended early.

So, I used my time wisely, after my non-booked train brought me to Newark. I found some nice bars.

My second visit to Newark was a few years later, just a few weeks ago. We stopped off in the van on our way back from Peterborough. When we found the Castle Barge.

And we’ve found ourselves here again today, meeting up with some of my second in command’s family.

We had a drink earlier in the Old Post Office, a nice old post office, although I took no pictures.

We did have a quick drink in the hotel bar beforehand.

There were some other decent bars. For example …

And …

And then …

We had to find food, before a nightcap in the hotel.

Other nice bars may have been involved.


I was recently asked if I could replace the blackboards outside my local (the old ones were suffering from rot).

I’m pretty happy with the end result.

They’re huge, so my second in command’s help was needed in erecting them.

Cabin floor IV

The van seems to have taken over my life this summer; it’s seriously addictive.

So I’ll now talk about the van again. I had to choose against a fixed or floating cabin floor and was leaning towards the latter, buying insulation to lay before plywood. However, having bought rather rigid floor tiles, I was concerned that a floating floor above insulation might not be rigid enough. So I decided on a fixed floor.

To level the floor, I fitted 6mm ply padding (the edges are raised).

This was followed by 10mm plywood, which made the floor pretty firm.

And then the vinyl tiles.

It obviously needs cleaning, but the adhesive needs to cure first. I’m really pleased with the result.

Next is the cab floor.

Cabin floor

Having bought some new floor tiles for the van, today I set about removing the rock and roll bed and existing laminate flooring.

I doing so, I made several discoveries. Firstly, our van has air conditioning. Or, rather, a hole in the floor.

Yes, that’s the road surface. I’m uncertain as to whether this is an original feature, or whether it was created to accommodate the table.

On removing the bed, then the flooring, I found that the expected plywood floor wasn’t there. Fortunately, one can be purchased at a reasonable price, which will avoid the hassle of making one.

It also seems that the bed isn’t original. I’d suspected this, but I’d not expected it to be non-standard. Since we plan to have seats re-upholstered, that leaves me with the choice between altering the bed to make it conform, or buy a new one.

One positive, though, the cabin floor is in great condition, with hardly any rust.

I’m not sure whether I should be concerned by the cables which seem to go nowhere though.

First festival

Well, the van has successfully completed its first festival. At the age of 41.

However, concerns about its ability to climb a grassy hill, which had a strong likelihood of imminent muddy ruts, led us to move it on Sunday morning.

Where the van found company.

Other vans were spotted over the weekend; for example …..

This was our fourth Kendal Calling, probably our last though. It’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to, but the weather’s just mental. On all four occasions, there has been mud.

Lots of it.

Anyway, the festival was great.

The Glastonbury hammock

During Glastonbury 2014, I think, my beloved and I checked out the shop (then near the viewing hill) selling hammocks. Well, they were’t trying to sell them, but up to four people at a time could try one out.

Naturally, we needed to remove our wellies first. We were instructed as to how we should board our chosen hammock (sideways, sitting down, rather than lengthways, since these were the traditional, huge, Mexican variety).

And, like everyone else else, we loved it.

Afterwards, we searched for the most beautiful hammock, which we purchased. Unfortunately, that did mean that we needed to carry our new purchase for an hour or two until we could deposit it in our tent.

We used the hammock just two or three times that summer. My beloved’s 80+ year-old Dad liked it a lot too.

It’s not that we’d forgotten about it. We were either doing something else or, when we had time, the weather was rubbish.

So, after melting while doing some gardening in silly temperatures this afternoon, I dug the hammock out. It’s still beautiful.

I’m in it right now. With a beer and a decent book.

Just great.