And so it begins – finally!!!!!

We have been in the UK for one week now and what a hectic week it has been. We arrived safely at Heathrow on Sunday 15th March at 6.00pm and made our way with our British passports to the customs counter. We needed to get our passports stamped to prove our entry date to the UK, however the customs officer had another idea – not to stamp the passport, its not allowed! Never mind, we can use our renewal notice for proof when we need to renegotiate our insurance in a years time. We caught the Heathrow Express to Paddington and made our way to our B&B, the Days Inn where we were staying for 3 nights. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, the room very clean and we would definitely stay there again if the need arose. An early night due to a very long flight and the next day we were to visit the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio. What a day, we spent most of the visit with our jaws on the floor. What an amazing place, you just don’t realise what goes into a movie until you get to see behind the scenes. All of the sets were the original ones used in the movies. The amount of work that is done before shooting begins is unbelievable, from sketches, to white paper models of buildings, to costume design, engineering of the latex models of the cast that were used throughout all of the movies, too much to mention. There were 16 technicians alone to get Hagrid’s face to move with all of his expressions when the scene required a full body shot of him to be in proportion with his surrounds. The attention to detail was just amazing, hundreds and hundreds of small labelled bottles that were used for the memories in the pensive. I could go on for hours about this tour, if you are ever in London even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan you must see this movie studio to appreciate the amazing technology that goes into a movie like Harry Potter.

The next day we took off on foot for a walk through London. We started off at Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square to St Paul’s cathedral, across the Millennium Bridge to the Anchor Hotel for a pint which is near Shakespeare’s Dome, then the Queens Walk along the Thames to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey and back through Hyde Park, a total of 26 kms. Nice walk!! We had a lovely meal out at The Victoria Hotel before an early night.

We have now had two nights in Matilda, both very comfortable. We now have Matilda organised a bit better although we think in a day or two we may find a couple of things that need tweaking. We have had some laughable moments along the way. David was trying to fill our water tank, waiting for about 30 minutes when he realised that water was pouringy out the other side of the van from the overflow valve!! Another moment was David emptying the toilet cassette, no spillage but getting it back into the right position was another story. Suffice to say a lesson learnt is a lesson remembered! Yesterday we had a lovely walk around the old town of Adderbury with beautiful thatch cottages and colourful gardens before coming back to the caravan park for David to get our bikes ready for a ride into Banbury today. Apparently we can ride along the river tow path the six miles into Banbury for a look around. We are now comfortably laying in bed looking at the ice on the skylight above, having a cuppa and a bit of a chuckle about our mishaps that hopefully will lessen with time!

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Warner Brothers HP Studios – Watford Junction

 

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You would swear Dumbledoor was standing in front or you.

 

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Broughton Grounds Farm – 16th century main building

 

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Meeting the locals – 200 lambs in the last six weeks!

 

Home sweet home and our first van park – Bo Peep Farm Adderbury

 

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Trying out the new furniture – note the sun!!

 

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28 Responses to And so it begins – finally!!!!!

  1. Welcome to our world. 487 days now and still speaking. Can’t think of a better way to spend your retirement. Have fun. A lot of lessons to be learned along the way. Here’s some of my tips. http://www.thefragrantone.blogspot.com/p/tips-for-motorhomers.html.

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  2. Charlotte says:

    I love reading your blog, you write so beautifully and I’m picking up lots of tips!! The van looks awesome šŸ™‚ I clocked the vegemite; you can take the girl out of Australia but you can never take Oz out of the girl!!

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    • Hi Charlotte, good to hear from you. Hope all is well with you and your family. Did you get my email then other week with pictures of Eleanor?
      Vegemite was a must have on the shopping list when we went to Tesco…..you are right, can’t take Oz out of the girl. Still waiting for new photos of Dominic!!! šŸ˜„šŸ˜„

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  3. shaunr68 says:

    Fantastic. Great looking van and I like the layout with a decent sized lounge area. Wonderful name too, is Matilda inspired by your home country or because it’s built like a tank? Bet you have the heating turned up full whack at the moment! Enjoy your stay in the UK and looking forward to every instalment. Wendy beats us by a long stretch, we hit day 250 today on our adventure. Shaun, Jude, Cleo, Eric and Nellie

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    • Hi Shaun, Jude and family

      250 days is still an amazing effort and still hard for us to imagine spending so long travelling. Matilda does look like a bit of a tank but is surprisingly easy to drive. We have been so busy setting up I have not had a chance to respond to your last email or look at your last post. We will have a good read later this afternoon. We have been lucky with the weather and have yet to experience rain – although a change is coming tomorrow. We have found that if we leave the heater running on low electric the interior stays nice and toasty. Will flash you an email later today.

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  4. WOW !! 26kms walk, I am definately not letting Shazza read that bit šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚ Love the layout of your van, looks very cosy. We havn’t done the Harry Potter thing but sounds like one that has to go on our ‘must do’ list next time we are down there. You will have lots of ‘laughable’ moments, things you will, or won’t do, but then find out easier or the right way to do them, it’s all part of the fun and adventure. Really looking forward to reading more of your adventures, welcome to blighty šŸ‘

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    • Hi Eric and Sharon

      Linda was very keen to walk all the way down to tower bridge so believe it or not I got off lightly with the 26km!! As you suggest I’m sure there will be plenty more C— ups but we are learning and should be fine in a week or so? Hope you are both coping with your new roles and we are glad you intend on keeping the posts flowing.

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  5. noggin says:

    Welcome to the UK David & Linda!

    It won’t stay this cold for too long …… then again ….. well, it is England!

    We have been sans any decent internet for some time but we’re now all set with wall-to-wall BT internet – please feel free to contact us if we can help in any way – we’re only about 70 miles NNW of you.

    Your AT looks great and it looks like your conversion to MoHo fulltimers is well under way (evidence = regular weather forecast checking!).

    Oliver Cromwell used Banbury as base during the ‘Roundheads-Cavaliers’ war and the farm building you pictured would have been around at that time, might be worth a local foray with a metal detector once you’ve mastered the Thetford!

    Have fun!

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    • Hi Roy – good to hear from you again! Have you purchased your caravan yet? We have missed your posts so hopefully you plan to fire them up again when you are back on the road? Thanks for the offer of assistance – we have your number and have only just worked out our phone setup. The farm we stayed on is a small part of the Broughton castle grounds and owned for generations by the Fiennes family. Ralph Fiennes is related. Probably telling you something you were already aware of?? Metal detecting must be a fairly common pastime over here – never know what you may find on the old estates? Will definitely give you a ring or email next time we have another MH drama.

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  6. auschip says:

    Hi Linda and Dave,
    Great to read about yor adventures. Love the mansion on wheels.
    I see Linda got into 8 Photos and Dave got into only 1.
    Did you get a hair cut Dave? You will need to get a monkey hat to keep your head warm or you will get a bad cold.
    We spent the weekend down in Mandurah. I when fishing to catch our dinner but did not catch anything. We ended up in Sharkys. Spent today cutting down trees.

    Can wait for the next Post..

    Des and Marie

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  7. Adam n Effy says:

    Glad to hear u n dad made it ok. The van looks awesome šŸ™‚ hopefully we can set a skype date soon. Looking forward to hearing more about ur trip soon. Lots of love xo

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    • Hello Adam and Effy, might need to do a bit of reading about Skype first. We honestly havent had time to scratch ourselves, but now we are set up, things should be less hectic. We are at this stop until Friday so might do a bit of research in the meantime. Have you started your training yet? Any news on the job front for Effy? No need to wait for another post before you write. Always love hearing from you. Lots of love mum and dad šŸ’‹šŸ’‹

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  8. nicky says:

    Hello my friends.
    everything sounds and looks amazing.
    It’s so good to see the Harry Potter photos, it must have been spectacular to go there.
    Glad to hear your having fun with Matilda.
    Can’t wait for the next post.
    Lots of loves Nic xxx

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  9. Daniel Boaden says:

    Good to hear all is going well. How did you go with the stickers on your bus?

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  10. Baxterbus says:

    Welcome to the big adventure šŸ™‚ Glad you have arrived safely and settling in to your portable home. Am guessing here you bought some essentials with you – is that a jar of Vegemite on the table? Look forward to hearing how its all going soon. Good luck ! šŸ™‚ xx

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  11. Thanks Sandra. I did my research on the Internet before leaving Oz to make sure I could buy Vegemite – a trip to tesco sorted that one!

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  12. Joanna says:

    Hi David and Linda

    The motor home looks great – I noticed the Vegemite too!!! Looking forwards to seeing you on Friday at the Trout Inn at Wolvercote.

    Paul & Joanna xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jean and Allan Boaden says:

    Glad to hear from you and that all is well. We enjoyed your info and pics. One week gone and only 51 left.
    Lots of love from Mum and Dad

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    • Lovely to hear from you and we are glad you are enjoying our blog. Hope all is ok and you are both well. Catching up with Joanna and Paul for lunch this Friday, will et you know how we got on. Lots of love David and Linda xxx

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  14. I told you guys that you would love HP! See why I’ve been raving about it for so long?!?!?!

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  15. Chris/ Belgian Beauty says:

    Just discovered your blog! Love reading it. Will follow you from now on. Happy yravelling. No, we’re not MHing, only for short periods in between work … but one day!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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