Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Beloved V Dub'ya

Last Easter Sunday we enjoyed a boozy lamb roast lunch with various friends. It was a fun fun day - lots of red wine, a huge Easter Egg hunt for the kids, and by the end of the day and the fourth or fifth bottle of claret it had become apparent that we 'needed' to buy ourselves a vintage camper van. Within a month, we had found and purchased said item, the era of our family having our own wheels in the UK was born as we took to the motorway at 50mph in the "Custard Cruiser" (of which I will post a picture when I have worked out how to disguise the reg plate).

And our first summer of love was fantastic - we cruised up to Scotland, over to Newcastle, ferried into Holland, Amsterdam, Belgium, Epernay, Paris, Brittany and home. The Custard Cruiser rocked! We loved it: camping, driving, going to the beach, putting our pop top up in pouring rain and making cheese on toast rescuing numerous wet British National Trust days out.

But VW Campers are surely fair weather friends! They do NOT like winter, or damp. They are especially not fond of warmish sea mists, spring drizzle, being stored in a barn without a de-humidifier.

Coming back in the dark, cold, damp month of January I went to get Custard from its storage point in deepest, darkest Dorset. It did not want to start. We fiddled about with WD40 oil spray, pushed the motor out of the shed into the sun light to try and dry the motor out. Eventually, jump started the motor off my Dad's car and he took it round the block, before driving it back to Bournemouth.

The van still rocks - this is for sure. When Custard is going, there is no more relaxing a vehicle to drive. You cannot drive too fast, you never get thrown around when cornering (because you can never take a corner too fast), it is comfortable and fun, with lots of space and storage for beachy items like spades, buckets, wind breaks and lots of other fab additions: golf clubs, ping pong sets, skateboards, roller blades, tarpaulins, dijon mustard (you never know when this will come in handy), spare wellies etc.

But it just doesn't always start these days. There is apparently a "knack" to it, according to my husband. This is a knack I have just not managed to pick up, and have instead become adept at bending over a nine-month pregnant bump and more recently, extremely tender tits, to clip the jump leads onto the battery and then jump the beast into life off another car. Our toddler now shrieks with excitement every time the camper starts, shouting "Custard started! Custard started!", then whooping with delight and performing a mini-victory dance while holding both thumbs up with a triumphal air!


  1. So how many does it sleep? I'd love to get one, but I'm worried our family of (nearly) five won't fit. Do you all sleep in it, or do you still rent a room?

  2. Sorry to barge in on your comments (how rude!) but I just wanted to let you know that your blog has been nominated for the MADs 2010 - in MAD Blogger of the Year and Best MAD Blog Writer categories. Congrats! You can find out more about the awards and prizes, and download a badge to encourage your readers to vote at our website



  3. The Custard Cruiser is a great name!