Out in the Van – Ilkley Moor

A day out in Yorkshire. And without one’s hat…

Okay so not strictly speaking a van trip but a great day out clambering about the Cow and Calf up on Ilkley which is just a hop, skip and a jump from where I live.  

Pictures say it all really.  It was windy and somewhat grey but a lovely way to spend a good few hours indeed.

Out in the Van – Saltburn, Skinningrove and Runswick bay.

After a few days inland we headed to the coast because the boys fancied some body boarding. There weren’t great waves but we had a blast anyway. The cold never deterred them one bit and we found some lovely and fairly quiet beaches. (The chilly weather may account for that)

for that).

This is A gorgeous neck of the woods and we will be returning next year for sure.

But for now this is it, time to head to Cottingham in the morning to see my mum then its home in the afternoon.

Happy travels

Out in the Van – Tywyn and Fairbourne, North Wales.

July 2019

What a treat Tywyn is…Found this place by accident and after about three hours of arse numbing bottom clenching driving (due mostly to the final hour on some rather narrow hill top roads) we ended up on a farm right on the beach for 4 days just enjoying some pretty pleasand weather. Though the site had no electric the Solar panels kept the fridge running and the phones charged and me and the boys just spent a lot of time being in the same please with no real pressure to do much at all. There are lots you can do when you’re there which we neglected to enjoy, apart from some bodyboarding in Fairbourne, so we have plenty of reason to head back…

Out in the Van – Kirkby Lonsdale, Morecombe and Blackpool

June 2019

The youngest was at a party and playing cricket so the eldest and I headed out west to Kirkby Lonsdale. There is a rugby club there I wanted to check out that offer camping and we headed the sixty or so miles cross country to see what the score was.

Well we were indeed most surprised. The site was itself fairly standard fair but my god the views, walks and pubs were magnificent…

Look…see..All of that was within a few minutes of the site and the river view is one described by the artist Turner as one of the most beautiful in England (and therefore the world).

That was mostly Saturday, we wandered, went to the pub for tea instead of cooking, and sat around in the sun which was out for the first time in weeks.

Sunday Morning we packed up and headed to Morecombe to start a leisurely drive home. Alas I chose to take the scenic route and I lost both wing mirrors of the SpiderVan on a particularly narrow with a particularly carelss oncoming driver. Fortunately it was just the casings that broke so pretty cheap to replace. Scary as hell though when we hit his vehicle and a telephone pole at the same time. Or did he hit us? More his fault tbh – he was driving the sort of vehicle only driven by men with small cocks.

Some gaffer tape fixed her right up though. ††

Morecombe has a certain melancholy and sadness about it, but worth a wander about and I think it’s somewhere I would like to return to in winter as I do love a bleak run down seaside town.

Anyway after that we figured next up Blackpool for a spot of lunch before heading home. Ive been to blackpool once before, at night, and the famous illuminations were kinda cool and there were a lot of folk enjoying it and it had a fun if somewhat past its best vibe.

Foolishly this time I went in the day time.

What a shit hole. If it was a man it would be a once fun and charismatic ex who is now long past his best and who sits in his favourite chair with his gut spilling onto his lap, his hand in his pants caressing his unwashed penis and who longingly reminisces about the time he fingered Stacey Cooper at your cousins house party.

Needless to say we just kept driving and headed to a services to grab a Subway instead before heading home.

So all in all a lovely day and a half away and I will definitely be heading back to Kirkby Lonsdale and Morecombe…

Out in the Van – Vale of Pickering and Thornton le Dale

June 2019

Took the van out to the Vale of Pickering this weekend and met up with the extended family. It was only for a couple of nights but probably the first time we have properly set everything up including the all importing bunting and quaint lighting.

First night we just had a barbeque and a few gins which was all rather civilised and the next day it was out to Thornton Le Dale for a walk out into the countryside and to let the kids thrash around in a river for a while.

The van continues to delight and really getting used to living in it now and a second crack at the inflatable awning proved to be pretty easy.

Mrs Afterwards family are from Pickering so it’s a place we know well but it was our first trip to Thornton le Dale and as you can see from the pictures it is as quaint as hell…

Anyway I know you prefer the pictures so here you go…


The end is nigh!

I’m away in the van out Flanborough way for a few days with the boys and within 5 minutes of arriving the sky turns into something I imagined would surely herald the end of the world.

I got the tent out that fixes to the van but hastily packed it away as there was no chance of getting it up before the storm arrived.

More to follow but just lying awake rather early due to my snoring, flatulent children and my most urgent bladder…

Next time…less beans…

Day Trip to Whitby

Off again to the Yorkshire seaside.

You can read all about where this lark started here and our first night here. Then there was a trip to scarbrough and now it’s Whitby’s turn…

Whilst I love Scarbrough I simply adore Whitby. The Drive took us out over the North Yorkshire moors and with 2 hours we were parked up next to the harbour.

Whitby has no shortage of history and gave us captain Cook, Dracula and two of the ships that set out to settle in Australia in 1788. Then there is the Abbey (which alas was closed ) which is just truly inspirational.

I really don’t need to go on about the place just look at the photographs…




























Day Trip to Scarbrough

Off to the Yorkshire seaside.

You can read all about where this lark started here and our first night here.

The kids were off school this week and unusually Mrs Afterwards and I were off at the same time so we dicided to take the van for a run over to Scarbrough. The weather was unseasonably pleasant and I fancied giving her a good long run out. The van that is, not Mrs Afterwards.

There was no real need to pack anythign so we just coralled the kids into it, stopped at Starbucks for coffee and off we set. I was in such a rush to see what mileage I could get that I neglected to plug in the Sat Nav and in a most manly fashion told myself that I have been plenty of times and I would know when to turn off.

It wasn’t until we neared Thirsk that I realised that I am not to be trusted with such things and I had missed the turn to York many miles before. it did however turn out rather well because the Thirsk to Scarbrough road is a pretty detour indeed and if anything I felt emboldened to neglect the sat nav more often in an attempt to avoid the beaten track and all that.

Well that’s what I told myself because real men don’t need maps right ?

Anyway, the outskirts of the idyllic North Yorkshire Moors awaited and we enjoyed the sights of Kirbymoorside, Pickering and a host of other picture postcard locations as we made our way to the seaside.

Most of you will never have been to Scarbrough, but those who have will knwo it is a quite quintiessential English Seaside town. I spent many a holiday there when I was growing up and still love it to this day.

Now when I go I like to do all the same things I have done every other time I have been there. There are whelks and a walk from the north to the south bay and back, admirign the 1000 year old castle, penny slots, fish and chips, the occasional waffle, a mooch around the shops and a wander across the beach.

I know I could do something else but I find the familiarity quite comforting and am quite happy just being a regular boring old tourist.

Highlight of the day though was pulling over onto the verge on the way home and putting on the kettle and making coffee and simply watching the sun set. yes I know I sould like an old person, and yes I realise it sounds rather twee but it made me smile rather a lot.

Oh and the mileage? It was particularly economical and whilst I couldn’t quite work out what I was getting to the gallon (because I have no ide what a bloody gallon is ) I knew it was good which was a real bonus.

Going Underground

I am not a good person at all…

I am a firm believer that to be on time is to be late, and to be late is to unforgivable.  If you need to be somewhere then you ought to get there early because anything else is just rude.  It was very much to my horror therefore that earlier this week I was nearly an hour late for a training course I was due to attend in London.

Now I would like to blame everybody else but it was my fault which only serves to make the whole episode that much more frustrating.

I was visiting an office I had never been to before and as I usually would gave it a quick google, checked which tube station to head to from Waterloo and set off with enough time to get me there with a good half an hour to spare to allow me to have a bit of a wander about.

As a seasoned visitor to the capital I like to think I am pretty good at getting about but alas I was so very, very wrong.  Boarding at waterloo I had a 50 minute journey with a change and this alone should have set the alarm bells ringing.  I knew roughly where it was yet I ignored that quiet whisper that told me that I ought to double check.

I don’t usually ignore this voice, not since that time I decided to install a kitchen and I measured how much I needed to trim off the work top in centimetres yet cut it off in inches.  There’s no hiding that from the wife when she gets home I tell you, but alas I did ignore it.

Now if you have not experienced rush hour on the London tube then trust me it is  as bad as you might imagine.  I was crammed so close to other people that in some cultures I am pretty certain that I am now engaged to at least two women and one bloke and there was a point where I had to explain to a fellow that I really couldn’t move up any more as if I did my groin would be closer to the face of a rather diminutive Sicilian looking old lady than I would be comfortable with.

Not that I am otherwise comfortable shoving my groin into the face of old women of any description regardless of where they come from, I am definitely not.

Anyway after half an hour and about 10 stops the whisper had become a scream and my desire to be on time and to not end up on the sex offenders list caused me to panic and I alighted at Earl’s court.  Unable to get a phone signal I hurried to the surface still smelling of the bloke who had been pressed against me since Knightsbridge to figure out where the bloody hell I was.  It was at this point I hit an all time low for me on the tubes.

If they are crammed I will usually just let everyone go before me and wait for the next one.  That is all part of why I leave extra early and it normally means I stay relatively calm and unflustered which I think is why I enjoy London so much.

Anyway so my plan is to drop a text to the trainer and explain I am late but will get there. It’s only a course right, hardly that important.  Now at this point I dropped my bank card as I took my phone out of my pocket and bent over to pick it up.  As I do this my bag swings from my shoulder and clips a fellow rushing past me and as I stand up he glares at me with a dark and ominous scowl.  Well, this seems to trigger me and for some reason I become possessed by the devil and decide to inform him that…

“Look at me like that again mate and I’ll punch you in the throat.”

I am a little more tense than I realise and for a moment we stare at each other.  I am hoping he is thinking “Shit I better get out of here he looks a bit handy” whilst I am thinking “Oh fuck I have no idea how to fight and the last thing I smashed was a carbonara pizza and I haven’t had a fight since 1990 (and ended up sat bleeding from the nose sat in a waste paper bin on that occasion) and I should apologise probably because that is just rather inappropriate and I am not Jean-Claude-fucking-Van-Damme.”

Fortunately he was obviously also late for something and scurried off as I leaned back against the wall in relief at not having to explain that I was late for a training course on emotional resilience because I was arrested for fighting an Albanian looking backpacker in Earl’s court tube station and rubbing my crotch in an Octogenarian lemon sellers face.

After that it was plain sailing really.  I worked out where I was actually meant to be going, got there an hour late, did the course, learned a few things and convinced the trainer to let us finish the session in the pub instead of the classroom and had a couple of pints of Guinness and a Cornish pasty and a sausage roll.

Life eh…