What to do when you can’t do anything else

I thought I’d stockpiled plenty to keep me occupied during my two weeks of forced total rest (leg in plaster and must be kept elevated). I’d deliberately left dozens of posts from blogs I follow unread – I caught up with all of them in the first three days.

Yacht anchored overnight at Cape Leveque

Although I’ve written extensively on our recent trips to the Kimberleys over the past few years, there were a few experiences we had in the Kimberleys during our pre-blog days that had created great memories. I’d earmarked a few of them to write posts on – now all done. It was great to write them up, I almost felt like I was re-living the original experiences.

I’ve read a novel that had been recommended. ‘Our souls at Night’ by Kent Haruf. It’s only a short little novel, but a great read, and just little bit sad…..If you haven’t already read it, I’d recommend it.

I’ve accustomed Mr Tilly to being brushed a little more, and I’ve managed to sneak in clipping his nails. He’s always been reasonably tolerant of having a hair cut (with scissors only though, no clippers, and not around his face), but he’s not been tolerant of being brushed, or having his nails clipped. During my forced rest he spends a lot of time snuggled next to me on the couch, so I’ve used the time to good advantage. He’s getting a bit more tolerant now when he sees the brush in my hand – a way to go yet though.

Good company, snuggling next to me on the couch

I’ve begun researching a camper van trip to New Zealand’s South Island for early next year. I have two brothers who live in Christchurch, and one will turn 70 in February 2019.  All going well, we’ll coincide his birthday celebrations with this long awaited camper van trip.

We’ve done our research for our replacement caravan, and have decided to go with a new one. We’ve chosen a 16ft, Prado friendly (weights are suitable), New Age, Manta Ray. All finishings have been chosen. Would you believe it, the sales manager drove down here from Perth with all the samples so as we could get our order finalised for the earliest possible delivery. That’s a 6 hour driving day, plus almost two hours here. Now that’s what I call service! The van should be delivered by no later than 1st June.

I’m now starting to research this years caravan trip. This one is going to be whole new experience for us. With Mr Tilly being a new addition to our household,  he’ll be coming along for the ride. One thing I’m finding is that most of the on-line information on travelling with dogs doesn’t quite seem to fit our scenario. There’s lots of basic sort of information, what to take, and how to secure your animal for safer car travel, and there’s quite a bit of information on travelling with a dog and children together. There doesn’t seem to be anything much that actually gives a running account of how a triip taken by Grey Nomads with a dog goes. If anyone is aware of any, please let me know.

I’ll be starting a whole new set of categories. These will include preparing for a trip with a dog. And a week by week, or day by day account of any trips we take. These will no doubt commence soon.

I revisit the surgeon after two more sleeps (yes, I’m counting down the sleeps), and hopefully the plaster will come off and be replaced with a moonboot. I think that means I’ll still be considerably incapacitated for some time to come yet, so most of my posts are likely to be research based rather than based on actual experiences. And being sat on my bum, with plenty of time on my hands, I’m likely to have lots of time to put into research. Apologies if I get a bit boring!


22 thoughts on “What to do when you can’t do anything else

  1. can motor movers be fitted to your new van I think they are a wonderful invention and would not like to be with out them.the layout looks great.
    Our two dogs both like the back of the coach to watch the world go by we have been advised that when buying a house for retirement not to get a rear one as you need to watch the world go buy as well so a pet dogs life is one big retirement so they need to see whats happening


    1. We haven’t enquiries yet if we can fit the movers to the van. I think Paul wants to see first how easy (or not) it is to back compared to the fifth wheeler. I think they’d be good idea. We get quite a lot of through traffic outside our house, so to be able to get it backed in without having to have our car out on the road could be a good idea. Do they add much weight?
      Tilly loves to watch the world going by from our lounge room. I don’t think he’d like to be on a rear section.


  2. Good to hear your convalescence is going well. Hopefully you’ll soon be more mobile. Your new van looks great. We are planning to upgrade and Mr ET keeps looking for the perfect replacement. I like your new layout, especially the table arrangement. I prefer it to the other common way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Convalescence going very well at the moment. I went from plaster to moon boot yesterday, and can put supported weight on my foot now. Feels great today in comparison to the plaster, but I’m sure five weeks of it will get a bit tedious. We’re hoping the new van layout will prove work well. It’s a much smaller van than we’ve been used to. It won’t arrive until close to the middle of the year. Do you have any particular van in mind for your upgrade?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s good news! Our current van is a Jayco pop top 17 foot and we don’t want any bigger than that again. Our main criteria are pop top, off road and two single beds. The van we have now has singles and Mr ET gets a much better night’s sleep. Also it gives more space inside. Eventually he will find exactly what we want. There’s no rush until we are both retired.


  3. You’ve got the same van layout as us. It works well.
    Half the members in our van club travel with dogs and we often travel with a mate who has two. The only downside is not being able to visit National Parks. Some CP’s give dog owners a poorer area of the park which really annoys me as we’re yet to see a caravanning dog who isn’t well behaved and on a lead. Geez, you’ve got me going now…..
    Look after that leg.


    1. I’ve definitely seen more kids that are pains in CPs than dogs that’s for sure. Is your kitchen the same size as ours. Our only concern is that the kitchen could be a bit to small. But it is what it is, and we’ll have to make do. We had weight issues with our last rig, so we’re planning to stay well within legal weights this time.


      1. We tried to get the best size to live in that would get us into the most sites. So she’s about 18’6. Our stove is beside the fridge as opposed to yours. The only time it gets tight for cooking is when we go silly. Like Woody’s 70th when I decided to bake a cake and cook 2 courses of Chinese. Oh and it was in the middle of a tropical downpour. He and the chocolate cake were on the bed and I was in a sea of Asian ingredients. We always crave spicy food on long trips so it was worth the effort and yes it was possible. You’ll certainly appreciate the lighter and shorter van.


      2. Most times we keep our food fairly simple when in the van, but like you, there’s times when you just have to have a bit of a cook up. We keep one of those portable gas rings with us for a lot of stir fries, and do them outside. Not so great in a tropical downpour though.


    1. Staying positive – only just. If surgeons and Drs really want to do something positive for their patients they should tell them the removal date for a cast is three days later than it actually is – then Phone them up four days earlier with the earlier date. The psychological benefits would be amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the plaster is off soon too. It seems to have some sharp bits that are causing it to rub. Pauls just put some blister block over my little toe, which is currently very red and about twice it’s usual size.
      I’ll take a look at that book. We currently use the Camps 9 book, which is good. And we use the WIKI camps web site, which is fantastic.


  4. Hi Chris &Paul,

    Mr Tilly sounds like he is loving the company as are you.

    Which hitch did you go with? Was it the supplied DO35?

    We look forward to hearing all about the NZ research as we are planning a trip to NZ & a spot of travel prior to cruising to Melbourne from Auckland in Feb 19.

    Deb &Ian


    1. We mentioned the McHitch, but in the end went with the DO35.
      We’ll probably be arriving in NZ around the time you’ll be leaving. What a shame, we could have arranged for our paths to have met.


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