Change of direction – new blog

It has taken me some time to work out what I want for and from my blog.  I started with a few (not too well thought out) ideas, which is why I quickly ran out of enthusiasm and rarely posted anything at all.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the internet looking at blogging in general, to see who’s doing it best and what I could contribute.

So having done that,  I will be back soon with a completely revamped blog.

Stay tuned…

Living in a Bus, the old and the new

I came across this article in Houzz of a bus conversion.  An architectural student converted this old school bus into a mobile home for his thesis. He then toured the US before ending up at his grandfather’s property in Wisconsin where the bus is to take up permanent residence.  What a glorious project and adventure.

Which made me reminisce, because I had lived in a bus with my family for a number of years.  I love the idea of it being a great big adventure, I was too young to remember, but I am sure my mother wouldn’t agree.

For two years we lived in a converted Bedford Bus whilst my father was working across England as a steel fixer on building sites.

Every time the building project moved on my Dad would drive the bus to the new site and  park it nearby at a local farm. (In England in the 1950’s there was always a nearby farm).

We weren’t alone in this, there were as many as 10 “vans” at any time moving from site to site.  Once a week an old mini bus arrived to take the women and children to the nearest shops.  With no refrigeration to speak of, no bathroom or toilet onboard, (no portable toilets either in those days) the facilities available on site would have been very basic indeed.

Cooking, was a gas ring, no oven.  Washing and laundry? An enamel basin and boiling water from a kettle became the laundry, the kitchen sink and the bath.  Our bus was in no way the luxurious mobile abode shown above and my mother deserved a medal for having a toddler and a newborn to care for in such conditions for nearly two years, moving constantly.  We all survived, were fed, clothed, clean and healthy, a testament to my mother’s sheer determination.

Though when she became pregnant with her third child, she went to the local council and demanded they give her a house.  Her plight must have seemed dire, as they immediately moved us into a 1900’s two storey, three bedroom house on the outskirts of a village. She thought it was heaven, although it needed a lot of work, but after the bus she didn’t care and my Dad was more than happy to fix it up.

This village developed into a “new town” with construction going on for many years.  I loved growing up there and although I don’t really remember the bus, only the tall tales told about it, I love that it is part of my history.

My mother stayed in that house for 47 years until she died in 2003.

This is the “Bus”.  The picture below shows my Mum with my baby brother in the pram, with me on the chair beside her. Just taking a good look at the photo the “Bus” has a chimney, so maybe it had some sort of solid fuel heating.  I don’t think it would pass any regulation for health or fire risk today.

The Bus

Books are my one (very big) obsession

I know there are many online book stores, but I came across this one when I was searching for a children’s book that I wasn’t sure was still in print.

My search for “Henri’s walk to Paris” by Saul Bass brought me the The Book Depository which is based in Guernsey (Channel Islands) and who ship free to most places around the globe.

They have a fantastic range of books, and of course I didn’t leave the site without spending far more than I should have.  I will just have to get to the post before my husband sees how many I bought this time!  I am lucky enough to have a room that I set up as a library which is already bulging at the seams.  

I could save money and space by having a Kindle, but you can’t have a room for just a Kindle, that would be downright silly.  No, for me only the real thing will do.

This book site also has a window with a world map that is mesmerising.  Interactively it shows what books are being bought in the world as it happens, very interesting.

The other children’s books I bought were “The Alphazeds” by P Glaser and “Sparkle and Spin” by Ann Rand.  All of the books are by renowned 20th century graphic artists who I got to read about in an article published on Brain Pickings Weekly, another great site.  

That’s what I love about the internet, one thing just leads another that you had no idea about.  It also is a massive time waster and most of the time I just go in endless directions as my attention gets caught by the next “bright, shiny” thing.

’til next time…


Where is Simon D’cuk: Clues 2 and 3

If you are following Simon’s epic journey here are the next two clues.

Clue 2:   After my rest I have flown southeast and am floating on a saintly river going north, the folks here could “Kissamee” but they’d be going south. I’m being vigilant keeping a look out for el lagatos. I am quite close to a town named peculiarly like you. Thank goodness sunscreen and Gatorade were invented nearby, as I am very hot and thirsty.



Clue 3:  WHERE AM I (floating past)? My flag is spectacular. It has three castles one key and blue representing the GoM. My name is based on a Taino chief or maybe the Dutch word for harbour, who knows – you figure it out.

Please leave a guess in the comments….