Following our little trip-ette east we returned to Cambridge on Friday to house sit for some friends (and a very fine class of travellers youth hostel it was too!) to find good news - we have sold some things!
The green car was picked up on Saturday by one lucky blog reader who was first to reply with both the requisite pass phrases. It has apparently been christened Katy (by his wife) and he has already discovered that with the roof down, you don't get too wet if you go fast enough... ;) We wish them all many miles of happy soft top motoring :)
thanks to the wonderful medium that is ebay (we are liking it a lot more this time round than last time!) we have sold:
- the white car to a bloke from chelmsford - cash in hand on Monday woohoo!
- the driveaway awning which came with the van to someone in Dorset (so we are going to drop it off en route) and
- a spare le creuset pot we had kicking around unused in the house to someone in Leicestershire
Compared with the misery that was our last auction attempt it goes to show that it does indeed pay to pick your auction end time with care - sunday evenings are apparently best and from our recent experiences we can't contradict this.
We've also returned to find the added bonus of:
- a refund of some council tax,
- a refund of part of the exorbitant fee charged by the Woolwich for allowing us to rent our house out,
- a refund of the TV license hopefully on the way, and
- various other small bits and pieces coming back from things like cancelled insurance
We have also had a somewhat unexpected bonus of a refund from the Bank of England for my birthday money which Will shredded two years ago.... (we only sent it off a couple of weeks ago, it hasn't been with them all this time!)
This is not a recommended savings plan or nor indeed was it an appreciated "birthday gift jigsaw" but he did spend 4 hours searching through the other cross cut christmas shredding for the remains of the two notes (£10 & £20) and then sticking them back together (with help from Paul, Cathy and I) and actually did a pretty good job so I am very pleased that they rewarded his effort :)
So now that we are unhampered by the trappings of material belongings (or at least those that are not already in the van, in the garage or in other people's houses) and have finished all the major jobs on the van (it is still spotty but all primer now at least and some of it is actually ready to be made blue!!) there is nothing holding us back and we are underway!
Fittingly the first step of our trip west is to our friends in St Albans - the same ones we visited on the first weekend we had Jules. Although Jules still doesn't like starting in the mornings, particularly sundays - but then mind you neither do I so no hard feelings there! - we are no longer dropping oil, cruising at a maximum top speed of 40 mph or suffocating from petrol and exhaust fumes - so much progress in 4 months!
We will be here for a few days then owards to dorset and beyond!
Oh and in other news, the Cafe has been completely transformed with a $100k cafe coin makeover into a pick palace of prettiness and I am hoping to have a lava lamp to make my life complete before we go and the cafe has to fall into administration and I make my staff redundant... yes, this is still very sad.