Travels with Vanda


Hello again!

We’re back from our Scottish adventure, Vanda is safely in the drive and the laundry is finally finished (though not, regrettably, ironed… ah well).

I can’t say that I loved  every single  minute: there was a few sticky moments on our first night when the water pump didn’t work and I realised that reversing a campervan was a wee bit different to reversing a Panda, but I loved every subsequent day on the road with Keith and Vanda, and we will be going away again as soon as possible.

So what did we learn?

  1. It’s an ideal venture for a neat-freak. I am a person who likes a place for everything – and everything in it’s place, so living for a couple of weeks in a teenyweeny space, which necessitated that everything remained in good order was easy-peasy. I watch a lot of videos about tiny homes (type that into YouTube and expect to give up some hours of your time if you are like-minded).
  2. Bubble wrap and baskets are essential in the battle against rattle.
  3. You don’t know what you need – until you need it. Generally when it’s too late to get it.
  4. The Scottish Highlands are simply beautiful – if you haven’t been up there (and if you’re English, shame on you) GO. GO NOW!
  5. Cruise ships are now visiting Ullapool. But it’s still lovely, despite.
  6. Knitting/crocheting are the perfect pastime for evenings with Vanda. With a wee dram of course.


I’ve never been a great lover of hotels (over-early breakfasts, over-heated rooms, over-stuffed pillows and only a single chairs in the bedroom), and I can’t get on board with second-home ownership (not great for locals and with so many lovely places to visit, why go to same place over and over again) and tents are no longer my bag (hard cold ground or stupid leaking airbeds, a walk to the toilet block, rain and midges). Self-catering apartments or cottages are fine, but hands up if you’ve experienced the following – weird lumpy mattresses, a complete absence of sharp knives, having to buy ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING from chilli powder to a cup of rice in order to make something as simple as a chilli. Yep, we’ve all been there.

Vanda has pillows we chose ourselves and a comfy bed, windows that open and close, comfortable seating, a proper bathroom, a kitchen more or less equipped with every thing we need (but see point 3…), and provided she has a full tank of diesel, she can take you anywhere you fancy – and, when you get there, you can have a proper cup of tea in your favourite mug.

And when you go round a corner and see this sort of view spread out in front of you the question isn’t ‘why would you?” , it’s why on earth wouldn’t you!


PS.. out of gratitude to Vanda I finished her blanket….. here it is with the hummingbird cushions I also put together. Fabric from Abakhan.


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