Are ye not gone yet?!

What a week! What a weekend! What a feckin’ month! August has felt like such a long month for us as we were getting so many things sorted at home and in the campervan before we hit that ferry to Europe. I can hardly think straight I’m so tired and hungover after the best party weekend ever but we’re finally on our way & waiting for our ferry to France.

We said our goodbyes over the weekend. It’s always very hard to say goodbye & I’m not going to lie, there was a lump in my throat hugging my parents & watching the kids hug their grandparents, we actually did really well and got away without crying. It’s like Mam says, we’re not going off on a coffin ship, I actually don’t know how they did it back in those days. We’re just going to Europe which is so accessible now & we’ll have lots of people coming to visit us along the way.

Last week was our last livin’ on the Hook. One of the final things to get ticked off our list was getting the campervan tested so Liam brought it into the vehicle testing centre during the week. It actually has a certificate of roadworthiness (DOE) until February 2019 but there’s no way we’re coming back in February to get it tested so we decided to get it done again just before we go to buy ourselves as much time as possible to figure out our options. Our insurance would be void if the camper didn’t have it’s roadworthiness certificate & for our own peace of mind we wanted to know it was all in order. But it failed! We couldn’t believe it! It failed on rust underneath. There was two areas that needed to be repaired so we sourced the parts we needed and yet again my super Dad stepped in to weld it for us. He spent all weekend between parties & sessions under our camper van welding it all up for us & we just had to bring it back for a visual check and the camper is now certified right up to August next year. If it all goes well for us on the continent we could possibly register the camper and get it taxed and insured somewhere there but if not we may be back in August for another DOE test.

Our family have been amazing through all of this, I don’t know how Dad got through all of the work he did as he is so busy himself with work on his own bus conversion which has it’s test next week. Ugh the stress of it all, I remember in our first camper there was no such thing as a DOE test. The annual test was introduced in 2012 and that was a rough year for campervanners. Many of them, including ours immediately dropped in value, you couldn’t give them away. I suppose it’s a good thing really, you need to know you’re camper is roadworthy but actually what ours failed on had nothing to do with its’ roadworthyness it was purely cosmetic. Anyway, it’s all fixed up now, the tester even commented on the job, you could use those fixes as jacking points they’re so strong after my Dads weld.

It was Liams last weekend at work at Hook Lighthouse as he was doing sound engineering for Kieran & Maria Doyle Kennedy as they were back for their eighth year of playing gigs inside the lighthouse. It’s our favourite time of year at the Hook, those gigs are each so special and memorable. We hope to meet them along the way next year when they tour Europe. Liam is now officially finished, he did his final checks and has handed over the keys to Hook & Dunmore East lighthouse. Another big tick on the list.

Maria Doyle Kennedy at Hook Lighthouse

We partied hard all weekend, Irish style and it will surely take us a week to recover! My super talented wonder vegan sister Siobhán made cakes for our official going away party at Hook lighthouse where we had our final get together of family & friends. Thank you all so much for coming, it meant a lot to us. Thank you to all the staff at Hook for looking after us. Thank you all for the cards, the hugs, the messages, the pints & the well wishes. We will miss you all.

Amazing vegan cakes & recipes by my sister Siobhan

I just want to add; there is nothing special about what we’re doing. It’s really not a big deal. We’re not rich, we’ve no plan, we’ve no idea of what to expect or even how long we’re going for. We just have each other and that’s all we need. We’re not scared, we’re excited, we’re optimistic, maybe even a little bit naive but we’ve never been afraid to step outside our comfort zones. You are only confined by the walls you build yourself. We all are responsible for creating obstacles & barriers in life. Over the past year, we made the decision to break down these barriers and made the choice to take a chance. No matter where the road takes us, we’ll be grand.

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