The title today is especially for Uncle Gerard and should remind him of a chapter in Book 1 of the infamous “Tour de France” French text book which revolutionized the teaching of languages away back in the late 70s. It means “The removal men arrive” and is quite appropriate for the content of this post Enjoy!

From the moment we got back to Vilanova Park, the priority was always going to be to prepare ourselves for a move to bigger premises. So, on Wednesday morning, we were both up early (before 9 o’clock!) and starting to pack away the contents of the awning in anticipation of disassembling it and putting it back in its bag. The master plan was to separate all the items into those that would be required here after the summer and those we could take home to Scotland in June.

Let's get cracking!

Let’s get cracking!

Does anyone ever really know just how much stuff they accumulate over a period of time? We certainly don’t have the slightest idea. By Wednesday midday we had discovered an absolute Aladdin’s cave of treasures hiding in pokey wee holes both inside the Magic Caravan and outside in the awning. Why do we have 9 rolls of sellotape! We have 11 rolls of toilet tissue in a loo we don’t use! Why do we have a shopping bag with 18 other bags inside it? Why does our chest of 3 drawers have 2 of them filled with books we have either read or have no intention of reading?

As for clothing, well, don’t get me started. I have 17 t-shirts, 11 of which I never wear. My 6 favourites get worn, washed and worn again. Simple! I have 4 sun hats. Do you get where I’m coming from? I could just about understand and accept the need for two of them. But 4? That leaves me scratching my head – of which I have but one! As for Mary’s clothes, the single heaviest item other than the caravan itself is a suitcase full of Mary’s “winter” clothes. This woolly and thick cotton array is designed to keep one warm when the temperatures plunge. By plunge I mean drop down below 10 degrees and keep heading down till a minus sign appears. The lowest temperature we have ever recorded here at Vilanova Park was 5 degrees………. At 8.30 in the morning in mid-January!

Since last early September I have worn my “No Fear” weatherproof once out here. I have never worn my woolly hat or my gloves. I have never worn my expensive Underarmour. I wore proper socks twice! The only time I have ever had to zip up my leather jacket was a fortnight ago….. in Carnoustie! But just in case, we have brought a truck-load of clothing and other items with us to protect us from the elements. What elements? Remember, since 7 September 2013 it has rained on 13 occasions in Vilanova. So why do we have 2 umbrellas?! Mary even has a pair of wellington boots stashed away in the far corner of the awning.

Ok, rant over: let’s get back to the flitting. But I should mention that Wednesday was the feast of the Patron Saint of Cataluña, Sant Jordi, better known to you as Saint George (dragon and all!). Tradition dictates here that the girls get a rose from their special one and give a book in return, so we stuck to the rules and followed suit. Mary got her roses and I got a book……. in Catalan about Jordi and the dragon!

By any other name would smell so sweet

By any other name would smell so sweet

You’ll laugh at this. Unfortunately it was really, really hot all day Wednesday, making our labours all the more exhausting. I know: you’re smiling now! As things slowly began to take shape, we were forced to take on huge quantities of liquid (Fanta Limon zero for me and Fanta orange zero for Lady Burton). Tea was a farewell to Kate and Dave at Tom and Margaret’s and our hostess did us proud with food and drink in abundance

Margaret, Walter, Kate, Dave, Tom, Mary, Johanna

Margaret, Dave, Kate, Walter, Tom, Mary, Johanna

So we just about survived although I was struggling to stay awake as I watched Real Madrid v Bayern Munich in the Champions’ League semi-final first leg that evening. Let’s just say we slept soundly that night.

We didn't know it was a Tardis!

We didn’t know it was a Tardis!

Thursday morning dawned sunny and hot, letting us know we would not be getting off with an easy flitting. Decorum demanded that we wait until Kate and Dave left before starting to move our belongings the 50 metres down the road to our new pitch. After a succession of hugs and tearful moments, Dave finally got Kate into the car and they headed off towards Toulouse, their first stop on the journey home. Fortunately he’d given me the keys to the Bailey and we’d signed duplicate forms stating the caravan was now ours! Yippeee!

All ready to move

All ready to move

The next job was to move the Magic Caravan down onto the other pitch. As it happened we didn’t even have to reverse the car in or hitch up because we had enough friends/ helpers/ onlookers to push the damn thing down the road and manoeuvre it alongside the big caravan. All that was left on our original pitch was the tent which served as a store for items we didn’t use much but, as both pitches were paid for that day, we decided to leave the tent for the moment and concentrate on settling in to our new home.

I’ll spare you the details here except to say that we worked our wee socks off, had tea in the new caravan, watched some TV which I’d set up and then tumbled into our wonderful fixed bed and pulled shut the dividing door. Bliss! Neither of us actually slept all that well the first night but I’m sure you all know what the excitement and novelty of a new situation can do to your brain.

Our first meal in the new caravan

Our first meal in the new caravan

Since then we’ve plugged away at sorting everything into the 2 caravans according to what will be needed in Scotland and what will stay in Spain. I’m writing this on Monday evening and I have to admit we’ve pretty much got it cracked after only 4 days. The heat has forced us to take more breaks than normal so although we’ve had to slow down a bit yet we haven’t lost heart and we now see the end in sight.

2 caravans, 1 pitch!

2 caravans, 1 pitch!

I must tell you about what Kate left me with and a recommendation to use it as often as I can. It’s an Induction Hob (bought I think from Lidl, Uncle Ian!) and it really is the bees’ knees when it comes to cooking. It works by warming the bottom of a pan using magnetic fields and its power is absolutely awesome! I boiled a pint of cold water in under 30 seconds today! So far it’s the only thing I’ve used for cooking and it sits out here in the awning where I’m typing this post, so no cooking smells in the caravan. It is a brilliant device, electric so included in the price we pay and I can see why Kate and Dave never actually used the cooker/hob fitted in the caravan.

Just so you’ll all understand what’s happening, we’ll be staying here until Mary’s contract runs out on 15 June. Shortly afterwards we’ll pop the new caravan into the storage depot we used last year and we’ll start to tow the Magic caravan up through France and England, arriving back in Scotland in early July. We’ll be storing it up at Birkhill as we did before after we bought it. From then on, any member of the family may ask to use it for a certain amount of time and we will happily allow you to have it entirely free of charge. You’ll need a tow bar on your car of course but you could get someone else to take it to a site and leave it there for you. It will have all you’ll need for a great wee holiday (except the wine!). Please book with us as soon as you have a date in mind.

Well, that’s you up-to-date on our latest adventures. We really must try to do something exciting one of these days!

The view from our new pitch!

The view from our new pitch!

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