Friday, 22 April 2011

Introducing 'The Mini Bad-Boy'

Apologies for the tardiness of this first blog post. Life on the road with a one year old has so far taught me that planning, travelling and taking care of life's basic necessities seem to eat up virtually the whole day, which leaves not much time for writing. Other lessons I have learned include 1) I can't read maps to save my life 2) Satnav is a wonderful thing 3) an item of clothing is only dirty if you can see actual dirt on it. Just as well my standards were pretty sloppy in the first place.

It is actually now over a week since I wrote the below, and this is our first access to wifi. Frankie has overdosed on Italian cakes and is going nuts so I'm going to ditch any plans of making the blog look pretty and just get as many words and pics published as possible. I fear that my plans to regularly update it were, in hindsight, rather ambitious.

Right now I am sitting in the cab of our lovely Toyota Dyna, christened 'The Mini Bad-Boy' (no prizes for guessing who got to choose the name), in Montgenevre in the French Alps, which is where our journey has taken us so far. It is 8 o'clock in the evening and below zero outside, with a few little flurries of snow. We have a sleeping child in the back, bellies full of curry, beers in hands and were it not for our slightly eccentric living and sleeping arrangments, all would be well with the world. But the only place for Frankie's cot is right in the middle of the living area, so his bedtime sees us evicted to the miniscule cab, where we sit, separated by Frankie's car seat, reading by LED lantern. More fool us for buying a van designed for miniature Japanese people.

It's really not that bad, and when the weather is warmer and the evenings lighter, we'll be able to sit outside, stretch our legs out and even talk above a whisper. And The Mini Bad-Boy (MBB) has everything we need. This next bit is for all you vanoraks out there...

She (for I have decided the MBB is a she - just to even things up a bit) is a 1991 Japanese import Toyota Dyna, which is like a mini lorry, with a plastic fantastic coach built body on the back. Pretty diddy by modern motorhome standards but sporting a 3.7 litre Toyota Landcruiser clockwork engine (no electrical stuff to go wrong), with 63000km on the clock, getting 20-25mpg and blowing a bit of black smoke on the uphill runs. Perhaps the engine size exceeds our needs but she's not gonna break down....we hope.

Inside we've got recently fitted new appliances - oven, fridge, diesel fuelled blown air heating (very economical and a godsend in the mountains). There's a double bed over the cab, flush toilet and shower room (albeit miniscule, and an act of yogic contortionism for anyone over 5'5"), hot and cold running water... Boring bit over but some people like to know these things. For those of you uninterested or baffled by the spec, there are some pretty pictures to look at instead.
night time set up

living area


bad boy

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