4. May, 2022

Welcome, and thank you for joining us on our latest trip. We’re a little bit uneasy following so much bad luck on the last one which was Spain, but I’m sure we’ll be fine. We’ve had everything checked and all should be well.

On this trip we were originally going to be travelling through Belgium and Germany to Switzerland then down to Provence and the French Riviera, then to the Camargue before making our way along the river Dordogne, around the Bay of Biscay and back along the French north coast.

However given the cost of fuel and other uncertainties right now, coupled with our need to be back home mid-June for a family wedding a week later, we have decided to split the trip in two and cover northern and western France on this trip with Switzerland and Provence being covered in early September. This will mean bumping our Austria and Bavaria trip to September next year, with next spring hopefully being an extended tour taking in Greece, a return to Istanbul if possible, together with a lots of other places of interest.

Covid of course continues to be a problem, though things do now seem to be improving. The Chef and I continue to take reasonable precautions without letting it stopping us doing anything we choose.

Interestingly recent research has shown that those who caught Covid 19 have experienced up to 2% shrinkage of their brains. Out here in The Fens of East Anglia Folk aren’t too worried. What they’ve not had they don’t miss, 2% of nothing is still nothing.

We have now changed from the two small levelling ramps to Flat-Jack inflatable air bags. I bought three, based on the theory that at least one wheel would have to be right. They ended up being far more expensive than I expected, as they were imported from Germany, and on arrival in the UK, Royal Mail and customs wanted their pound of flesh for delivery and VAT. A lesson learned should I ever consider doing such a thing again.

A number of different inflatable bags were trialled (see photographs) before deciding on what to have.

We took ‘Freddy Fendt’ to Wells-next-the-Sea on the Norfolk coast for three nights at the end of March to check out all systems as well as try the bags. We spent much of the time bouncing around in very strong winds and snow showers. Never mind, the upside was we discovered the excellent Fortune House Chinese take-away on Northfield Lane in the village, a family business, managed by the boss,Terry Yarky. I’m sure we shall revisit it sometime in the near future.

Tragically the world’s richest lunatic, Vladimir Putin has invaded Ukraine with Russian troops carrying out acts of barbarism. I believe we in the west must do everything necessary to support the Ukrainian military with all they need to drive the Russians from their country, and if that means us enduring more economic pain, then so be it. Better to do it now, than further down the line should they get away with what they're doing, and every penny of the cost of rebuilding Ukraine should come from the frozen assets of Putin and his crooked oligarchs.

Our thoughts will continue to be with the brave Ukrainians during this trip.

All being well, tomorrow we shall wake up in France having crossed the channel on Eurotunnel from Ashford, Kent to Calais having arrived very late in the evening.

4. May, 2022

Flat-Jack inflatable leveling bags

4. May, 2022
4. May, 2022

Earlier trials of inflatable bags

4. May, 2022