Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Celebration of 99 years!...

Funerals can really go either way can't they. Of course imho I feel that it is entirely down to circumstances. Although it was a sad day I could only feel positiveness that Nan had managed to get to the ripe old age of 99! Luckily for the vast majority of her life she was fit and healthy both physically and mentally. Lots of people loved and respected her and she had a great effect on everyone who knew her, but still managed to squeeze such a lot into life that she benefited from. 

It was great to see her closest family and friends supporting her final journey including a Skype via ipad link up to the family in Oz. It is good testimony of a long and fulfilling life if there are more laughs than tears at the end.

Of course from a personal level the day didn't pass without hitches....

We were up and about and ready to leave LJ by just after 7.30 with the intention of picking Jess up in Oxford by 9.00 meeting mum and dad on a campsite in Whitney by 9.30 and heading to London en-mass from there. Suited and booted, Deb having ironed my crisp white shirt with her new toy sized iron and no ironing board, we stepped ashore as the weather changed from heavy drizzle to persistent driving rain. I could have sworn that the van was only one canal meander away, but I think that was sunny Sunday afternoon distances having had that relaxing pint or so. Reality was about three quarters of a mile at as close to a jog as I will probably ever get!

At 9.30 we were still trying to leave the M40 (still well north of Oxford) having spent nearly two hours in 'nose to tail' traffic. A quick change of plan resulted in mum and dad picking up Jess from the train station, our rendez vous changing to Oxford and dumping the Bongo in the nearest all day car-park we could find (taxing in it's self). The success of the rest of the day was entirely down to the preceding hard work and organisation by all those involved.

We made it back aboard a little before 10.00 to the dull glimmer of LED lights and a battery bank far too depleted to run the inverter and therefore fridge, so it looks like the solar panels will be cluttering up the last available bits of roof sooner rather than later; along with a new state of charge monitor and possibly (although hopefully not) a new bank of five 110ah batteries.

Calling suppliers and engineers was followed by much measuring and head-scratching then realisation that function over form will have to be conceded. I think that power and its conservation will become a new priority even though I have been conscious to do everything I can to keep consumption low so far. With the ultra low energy lamps we use, if all 21 were lit it would still only add up to 63 watts compared to 200 watts  alone in our kitchen in Poole!

Time to move on tomorrow, not too far again though; getting ever closer to the daunting Braunston tunnel...

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