Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Mrs Beeton

Regular followers of our facebook page will already know about our newest camper but I felt it was time to introduce her formally here....

Hello Mrs Beeton

She was bought on a complete whim....Dan was busy looking for a crew cab or ratty panel van when he stumbled on an advert for this lovely lady.  I didn't need asking twice, he was duly packed off with money in his pocket to secure the deal.   

I had to wait a little while before I could see her when we went to collect her but she was definitely worth the wait....I absolutely LOVE her.   She is very pretty and so lovely to drive.  Like our Nigella she is another Californian import born in 1967, obviously a good year for these campers ;)

She was almost ready to go but did just need her upholstery in the rear and some other bits and pieces, so she was booked into the fantastic Kustom Interiors at Rawreth for her trimming.

We have put new seals on her cab doors and cargo doors but that's really not very exciting to see so I won't bore you with pictures of them.   We do like to give all our campers our 'custard' touch so I went shopping for some cookery books....

and after some cutting and sticking, turned them into recipe door cards....

At some point she will need her headlining replacing but for now I have added some roses to tidy it up, plus they look very pretty.

We've had a Fireboy system fitted in her engine bay as the thought of an engine fire is something that makes me shudder!  She is off to Precious Metal tomorrow to get a few more bits sorted and then she should be ready to go out on her first hire this weekend.

I know she's going to put a smile on people's faces as she is just so much fun to drive....and to travel in.

If you fancy a spin in Mrs Beeton just give Custard Campers a shout, self drive hire in Essex and London.

Kerry x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Secluded Blog Fest 2013

So last Saturday found me attending the Secluded Blogfest, run by the very lovely Miss Sue Flay of The Secluded Tea Party.

Photo courtesy of Liquid Photo 

I honestly believe writing a blog is not rocket science but I am a strong believer in the power of being inspired by surrounding yourself by new ideas, people and places.  So with this in mind I headed off to the Cambridge countryside in search of bloggers, cake and more cake!

The first speaker of the day was ReeRee Rockette of 'Rockalily Cuts'  self styled blogger and entrepreneur.

ReeRee Rockette

ReeRee shared her story and although I have met her before I still enjoyed her talk and found her an engaging speaker.  Among many other things ReeRee felt you should only ever put things on your social media that fits with the image of how you want people to see your brand.
While I don’t necessary agree with everything ReeRee suggested it did make me think about the ways I use social media and whether I need to change…..on reflection I felt I do give out the image I want to on facebook.  Twitter I’m careful not to put moans or negative things but I think it’s fine to use for more general chit chat and as for my blog?  Well maybe it’s no bad thing to have an outlet where you can be more honest about your life and the realities of running a business and trying to balance that with the rest of family life.

First guest speaker done it was time for a tea break and cake…lots of cake supplied by Mr Cake

Lazy Giraffe Blog
The second guest speaker was Deepa Mistry from Lazy Giraffe Jewellery   Her talk centered on finding your blogging voice.  Originally Deepa started her blog about her jewellery but has now find her blogging niche sharing her love of Indian Cooking and reviewing local eateries.  Her advice;
  • ·         Be original
  • ·         Never Copy
  • ·         Give credit where its due
  • ·         Check your spelling

Time for lunch provided by The Clandestine Gourmet Team, it was delicious but sorry I was too busy eating to take any pictures...sometimes you've just got to live rather than photograph everything!

After lunch we moved on to our next guest speaker Lina of Liquid Photo.  Tom (the other half of Liquid Photo) was also present but preferred to let Lina do the talking (although he did man the slide show)
Image courtesy of Liquid Photo

I really enjoyed this part of the day and took quite extensive notes so I think I’ll keep that for another blog post, looking at photography and how important it can be.

The last guest speaker of the day was Lynn Hill founder of the Clandestine Cake Club.  Lynn talked us through how she took early retirement and planned to spend more time on her gardening and baking but how life took a different path when she started up the Clandestine Cake Club.  Lynn has now appeared on TV several times, travels up and down the country to speak at events and has even had a book published. 

Clandestine Cake Club Book

The thing that struck me most after meeting Lynn was the thought that no matter what your age or point in your life it’s never too late to take a new direction or to find your niche.  Having recently turned 40 I strongly feel it is only in the last year or two that I have finally found a job that I enjoy and that I’m pretty good at.

The day was finished off with our own mini ‘Clandestine Cake Meeting’ and there was an overwhelming choice but I was starting to feel sugar overload, this is unheard of for me as I love cake but I soldiered bravely on and ate yet more!

If you'd like to read more on The Secluded Blogfest 2013 check out Miss Sue Flay's blog post.

Kerry x

Friday, 10 May 2013

SSVC Campout At Vicky Farm 2013

So we deceided Spring is in the air, time to go camping and what better place to start the Split Screen Van Club's annual campout at Vicky Farm.  It looked like a nice laid back affair with plenty for the kids to do, then the following morning they form a convoy and head off to the Stanford Hall show.

Nigella was packed up, food sorted, kids swimming lesson done, we were good to go just as the rain started.  Still nothing could dampen our spirits despite the kids trying their best to annoy us with their moaning.  The journey was a mix of sunshine and showers but it was so nice to be out in Nigella enjoying her rather than working in her.

We arrived on site around 3pm and where told to just find a spot we liked and park up.  There were two fields to choose from but we opted for the far end of the first.  We were set up in no time so went for a mooch around the fields and to have a closer look at all the lovely splits and quite a few beetles as well.  We spotted the Jurgen we nearly bought earlier in the year....I still REALLY love this bus!!!

By the time the kids were feeling brave enough to go and join in the kids activities they'd missed most of them which is a shame as it looked like they had some good stuff.  They could make their own splitscreen camper which you could then race around a Scalextric track.  Still next year we'll know to get there earlier.  I also wanted to go to the AGM but again managed to miss that too, but apparently I didn't miss much...fair enough.

Free burgers and cake where given out early evening which was very nice, they even had veggie options which I was very grateful for.   We opted to let the kids sleep in Nigella and we'd go in the tent with Perry the dog, it was freezing...but got worse still when my son had a meltdown which I'm sure everyone on the campsite heard (sorry!) and we had to take our daughter in the tent with us.  Such fun being squashed and freezing (I had to give our extra blanket to the dog as she was shivering!)  I sometimes wonder if we're the only parents who's kids are always playing up?  Such a shame as we try to take them places they'll enjoy but it always seems to end in stress.

I chuckled when early Sunday morning we heard someone going round the campsite with a loud hailer waking everyone up.  Bit keen we thought as there was still awhile to the convoy was set to leave, but in the end it was all a big rush as the buses started lining up from first thing.  We thought we'd get in the queue, then go grab breakfast but it ended up with us running back to Nigella so we didn't get left behind.

The convoy was great fun and unlike the Brighton Breeze one we did last year, everyone seemed to stay in line and grouped together.  The convoy went straight into Stanford Hall and all the splits were lined up for display in a lovey area by the river.  By lunchtime the sun was out and it was a fantastic day.

We did our usual check of the For Sale area, I liked a bay I saw that had been an ice cream van, but Dan didn't share my vision.   He was busy looking at the beetles...

As always we had a list of bits we needed and I was very happy to find a table for Floyd which was the main thing I needed.  We didn't buy too much else but did get a BMX for our son.....well allegedly for our son although we insisted on trying it out.  It was a bit of a squeeze to get it home in Nigella but where theres a will there's a way.

If you'd like to see more pictures their all on our facebook page, Vicky Farm and Stanford Hall.

Right this has turned into a long winded post so I'll stop there but I will be updating the blog with more information on our newest camper Mrs Beeton in the next week....she is so pretty!

I am also off to The Secluded Blogfest tomorrow.  I'm hoping this is going to inspire me to get more on top of the blog and make a bigger deal of it...so if you haven't already hit the Follow button and keep up to date with my ramblings on Custard Campers.

Kerry x
Custard Campers - VW Campervan Hire In Essex