For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

In rapid succession, we have said goodbye to the Netherlands, to Germany and even to Belgium and the horrible time is upon us that we need to look again upon the septic brexit divided isle and worry about how to fit in to the putrid place that we are ashamed to call home.

In the Netherlands we had trouble finding anyone that did not speak English.  In fact, most people spoke English so well that it was nearly impossible to tell that they are Dutch.  Awesome. We found out that one reason for this may be that the Dutch don’t overdub any imported movies and TV, but rely on subtitles.  This may explain why most English speaking dutch people people seem to have an American accent! 90% of Dutch people claim to have conversation level English.

So if you are considering camper vanning abroad for the first time and find the potential language barrier a bit daunting, try the Netherlands first to ease yourself in!  There are some Netherlands downsides – it has been the dearest place for food, drink, diesel, and camping stops, but they also rate pretty high on the world happiness index (6th in the world!)

Belgium is great for languages too – they are laid back enough to not have their own, but use Dutch and French.  Many Belgians speak English too.

Contrast with Germany – which made us feel a  little better about our lack of languages in blighty.  We encountered very few people that spoke anything except German, so you need to get your bitte and danke sorted out!

Whether the weather be hot

26/6/2019 – Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

You’ve not heard from us for a week or so now.  Don’t worry, we are fine! The excitement of the motorhome lifestyle does wane a little when it the temperature is in the late 30’s and you are in a tin box….  In our case it’s a winterised tin box so it tends to stay warm at night.  Great!

Mothership has plenty of windows and sunroofs, but the evening wind has been light and we didn’t invest in air-con for the hab area (it’s a £3K option and requires a hookup to operate), so our night time temperatures have been in the 30’s

Toby has invented an idea for motorhome manufacturers to decouple the vehicle air con pump from the engine and put an electric motor on it.  It will still need a hookup to run but won’t require a 50KG box on the roof. 

Anyway, currently we are holed up in Cologne.  We have the mothership parked under a stand of trees in a lovely campsite right on the banks of the Rhine. We are 5km outside the city.  We have ventured out to the Dom and bought new tires for T bike, but other than that, we are wilting away and waiting for weather that won’t kill us!

We hope you are ‘enjoying’ the fight between Johnson and Hunt. It doesn’t seem like sanity is going to prevail any time soon does it?  We are still hoping for a peoples vote on the deal – whatever it may be.  If the xenophobes still prevail, then so be it!