This weeks inspiration comes from my little travel angel and good friend Susan. Susan has a wicked sense of humour and I just love her to bits..so hope you enjoy Susan’s interview…
1. Tell us a little about you like your name and where do you come from
ME…Susan Sharman … from Nelson Lancs ..Moved to Surrey in the 70’s learned to Sail ..Had my own boat and sailed the south coast ..Moved back to Lancashire …Live in a village out of town now ..Hairdresser to the Stars ..Slight exaggeration ..Cut one of the Hollies hair and permed the lead guitar of the BeeGee’s and trained Elton John last hairdresser back in the day …Now thankfully retired Retired ! 51 years is along shift..One son Daniel + One Granddaughter aged three
HIM ..John Sharman ..born Leeds .Civil Engineering (water) Met him at my sailing club ..Mmm I thought ..Tall ✔️ ..all his own teeth ✔️ ..Talented Handyman ✔️A Son and a Daughter +Two Grandsons
There are still heel marks on the road as I dragged him ..not quite kicking and screaming.. across the border into Lancashire from Yorkshire ..we’ve been together now for around 28 years and married 23 next May .
2. What sort of motorhome traveller are you? Full time / part time / short breaks / long stay
I don’t like the word Motorhomer.. We are not like most as we hate campsites ..more travellers ..I’m convinced I have a bit of Gypsy in my gene pool ..Pull up any where .. as long as we are not offending the locals and leave nothing ..in fact I tend to clean up other people’s mess to keep the good name of wild campers ..
3. When did you first start motorhoming and what inspired you to start?
Bought our first van after a disastrous tenting trip to Ireland ..A sailing event towing the boat .. This looks a good spot to erect the tent HE said ..No ..On the outlet to the sailing club showers !!! ..It rained …river running through my tent ..slugs in the cold box ..Never again
So to facilitate the sailing ⛵️ events which was every weekend somewhere in the British isles ..we sold my car (screams) to buy a Fiat Camelot ..Bertie Bus by name with a tow bar to trail the sailing dinghy
Two years later after adventures in Spain.. Portugal and Ireland Bertie was stolen from our back door even though disabled with the battery flat !! We think we know who did it but the police couldn’t find proof ..they said it was put on a low loaded ..and we never saw him again .
So how did we find and afford Hetty Hymer you asked ..After a tussle with the insurance people we managed to get a pay out but not enough to buy a bigger newer van ” Remortgage the house ” we said and this is what we did …
Then off to Edinburgh where John had seen an advert for a private sale
Hetty aged three was ours … Driving back down the M6 and looking at the interior saying to each other ” Isn’t it big ” looked so much bigger than our Bertie..A very exciting day
Since then we have travelled every weekend to sailing events ..Weekends in U.K. when not sailing ..Six months on the Isle of Man where J lived in Hetty as his contract didn’t include hotels ..18 months in Ireland when J worked in Cork travelling the length and breadth of the Emerald Isle ..I flew over at weekends instead of the company flying John back home ..what a bonus …3 years in Northumberland ..I commuted after work by train ..what a treat to adventure there ..we loved it ..lastly before retirement 6 months on the Norfolk/ Suffolk border living in a field in Constable country side ..J was working in Colchester..As you can see a camper van isn’t just for pleasure Our Hetty has been a workhorse ..A hotel on wheels ..A country cottage by the sea ..
Retirement came early for John as I am 7 years older ..His idea was if he waited till retirement age I would be 72 and old .. laughs ..I packed up work at 66 and J a year later at 60 and then the big adventures started ..The idea was just to pack up and go ..small trips ..a month or perhaps two ..Naaa… lets spin it out and have 90 days ..This is the allotted time the house insurance and the health insurance would allow ..since then we’ve found out you can have more time away at a price ..
4. Tell us about your current motorhome like make, model, name, age and why you chose it?
Hetty Hymer is a 1994 B564 on a Fiat 2.5 Turbo .. A 4 berth but easily disguised as a two berth as we don’t want to encourage over night visitor ..Well perhaps our little granddaughter this next summer in Abersoch
5. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
A difficult question ..
SICILY.. About four weeks in total spent travelling inland ..over hills ..on some roads unfit for traffic ..Wonderful beaches ..Cathedrals ..little harbours for wild camping ..
Lovely restaurants ..One in Memezamami which we promised our selves a lunch there when we saw it on our first time in Sicily but then we were on an economy trip and couldn’t justified the cost ..This time we threw caution to the wind and had what was probably the best pasta dish in Italy
ITALY …Tuscany is a favourite ..places like San Gimiginano ..Volterre and Fattoria la Vialla a farm / restaurant in the Tuscan hills ..first heard of when our family gave us a present of their produce which included a book and an invitation to lunch when in the area ..Well that’s like a red rag to a bull ..and in May 2016 we booked ..Over nighting for Hetty and the most wonderful lunch .. see our blog of this place..
6.Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
A campsite on the west coast of Italy called “Free Beach” excuse me but where was the beach …. 1 miles hike what a cheek .. refugee camp standard with fire hazards .. Not nice ..we didn’t even last a day and off we went back to wild camping ..Lidl car park was preferable ..
7. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Outer Hebrides is still on the Bucket list as are Shetland and The Orkneys…Perhaps a wander through Portugal but nothing is stirring my travel bug at the moment ..
8. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
Two loo …that’s our Hetty …2 cassettes to give is longer without hitting campsites
Small bottles ..you ask why ? .. I hate aired white wine ..the fridge is always too full for wine bottles ..so decant wine from brick( cardboard packeted wine ..bought for less than €1 … into three one person empty wine bottles found on planes .. or in Tesco’s and place in freezer compartment …just fits three ..
A massive box of all my herbs n spices for cooking as we don’t eat out and need to have the same class of culinary delights we have at home ..
9. If you could share one handy motorhome hint or tip, what would it be?
Yup … always wear black ..doesn’t show dirt ..and when cooking or eating ( tendencies to spill) wear clothes inside out ..Spill can be picked off and clothes will go another day turned the right side out
10. Any finally, whats your funniest motorhome moment?
Laughing at the thought …
Arriving off the Sicily / Malta ferry in Valletta we were pulled over by the animal welfare people ..wanting to look at our pet passport for the dog !!!! A stuffed Sheepdog we keep on the dash as a guard dog
Thanks to Susan (and John for putting up with her, lol) for her interview and here’s hoping a speedy return to travels in Hetty.
If you would like to join in the fun then drop is an email at firstname.lastname@example.org