Box Making & Rubbish Car Washes

My week has been mostly spent fixing shit that I’ve broken or making shit really badly. I’ve also been planning the North Coast 500 trip to an extent and a BBQ on the beach. But let’s focus on the fixing shit first.

I built a box. I took out the massive Transit minibus seats in the back that took up so much room and used up a huge footprint where a box could sit and be filled up too. The box I built was rubbish. I mean a really sad attempt at a box. I got the local DIY shop to cut the ply to size but the young lad was obviously concentrating on something else, like losing his virginity or levelling up on Call Of Duty or summat. Because he wasn’t concentrating on cutting my box right that’s for sure. Definitely wasn’t my measuring...

I couldn’t be bothered to find out if it was in fact my tape measure skills, or lack of, so I made do. I built the box. A huge box. That had edges sticking out where they should be flush. I fitted the hinges. The don’t hinge correctly. Well they open and close but well, erm, not very well. I then sprayed the giant box with Plasticoat. I’m satin. I had to go and get another tin as I appeared to have taken a trip back to 1989 and inhaled most of said first tin. The second tin also entered my lungs via my nostrils but with an added end bonus of satin black nasal hair. A big thumbs up from me, no longer look old! And as an extra Brucey bonus the paint stuck to the screws that were poking through the ply outer ready to tear up any skin that dared to even brush it. Not content with the whole satin black look I decided that an 80’s themed red A Team stripe would look so cool, only it didn’t. It looked shit. But what didn’t look shit was the Marvel comic covers that Kerry intricately cut out and stuck one by one on the side of the box and transformed it into a pretty damned cool box!

The removed seat I advertised for free on a couple of forums but no takers. So I took it to the tip 4 miles away, but there was no right turn into the tip so I continued for another mile to turn round and come back down and join the 27 thousand mile long queue to enter. 15 years later it was my turn! So many speed bumps! So many! The back wheels were barely off before the front were going up another! The guy comes over and asks “camper?” So I said in the most camp voice “how’s this? Better?” Unbemused he looked at me like he wanted to set fire to me. I explained I had a van seat that I no longer wanted and could I have a hand getting it up the steps? Please?

“Sorry babs, we only take oil from vehicles. You need to take it to the scrap yard”. Fuck it. That’s about 1/4 mile from where I originally was... “I went there and they said to bring it here!” Huge lie! He didn’t waver and I backed down, and then proceeded over 157 more speed bumps and went to the little metal recycling centre whom took it with a smile.

Yesterday I noticed the hand car wash was open so for the first time in four months my van got a bath. And you guessed it... a really shit bath. “20” came the accented voice, hand greedily outstretched. “You can fuck right off. 20! Half a job, half the money! You’ve missed half of it, I can still write my name in that dirt! Where’s the tyre black stuff?” The reply came. “Ok 10 and don’t come back.” I had no intention of going back! Why would I? Elvis Presley could have done a better job and he’s dead! So today I put right their shit wash job. I G3 cut all the paintwork, waxed and polished it, blacked the bumpers and basically gave it a loving gentle kiss. And a belly rub. I might have touched the exhaust tip too It looks amazing! I can’t wait until the rain comes tonight...

I’ve been busy planning the route for the North Coast 500 trip over the last few days but it dawned on me that I wrote a blog a little while ago about being a nonconformist. That is that I didn’t want to conform to the “rules of life” or what everybody else expected. That’s boring. And so normal. Normal is safe and cozy. I think y’all know by now that I’m far from normal and perhaps a tad eccentric maybe? Is driving 516 miles around the UK’s most rugged and beautiful landscape without a plan a foolish idea? Is it asking for trouble? I really don’t want to book any campsites because then I must conform to a schedule. I must be at that site on the day specified which in turn means I can’t think to myself “Holy moly this place is beautiful, I’m going to stay for an extra day” or “it’s raining again, may as well stay in bed”. I’ll be blogging and filming the trip for The Campervan Bible and what sort of boring story would it be if everything was laid out in advance, planned and meticulously adhered too? A shit story. That’s what it’ll be.

I’m still not decided on what I’m going to do yet but I’m seriously considering “winging it” and just have the start date set out. Not even a finish date. I’ll finish when I finish. That way I can wander off piste and explore, take my time, write the stories and film the blunders and make a real trip out of it. Guess I’ll see what the sponsors would like me to do. What would you loons like me to do? Actually I already know the answer to that...

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

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