THE BUYING OF THE BUS
As I mentioned earlier I had been doing lots of internet research on the type of vehicle which was going to be suitable. Although I wanted something that I would feel comfortable driving I was also conscious of the fact that should I choose something small cramped and uncomfortable to live in then it would be unlikely that I would want to carry on with my journey for too long, and would probably start hankering for somewhere with a bit more space, which would mean that wretched bungalow again.
I kept seeing RV's advertised - those rather luxurious recreational vehicles I mentioned earlier which were created for the American market, where everything is bigger and better than anywhere else. And for the moment I was having to agree with that perception. Time will tell, but I have to say that as I write this I am hoping for the imminent delivery of said recreational vehicle henceforth to be known as Thebus, a name which I feel has rather Greek mythological ring to it. If I ever get into this writing lark perhaps that would make a good character for a novel. Anyway I feel Thebus will certainly have a starring role in this particular piece of writing.
As part of my internet research on motorhomes one particular firm in the Midlands, and not too far from me kept coming up with vehicles which might suit, so as soon as the worry of the auction was behind me I arranged with second brother to come with me to check the place out. My knowledge of all things technical is appalling so a second opinion especially from one of my brothers is always greatly valued by me. So off we went, and there was a good selection to look at, though of all of them one stood out. It was not too long, many are well over 30 odd foot long, or for you younger folk about 10m or more, but it was just long enough to be spacious – I feel rather as though I am writing the beginning of the goldilocks and the three bears. Any way it wasn’t too long and it wasn’t too short, in fact.....well for the moment I am thinking it is just right. But that is before I have driven it, so my thoughts may very well change.
It needed a few bits altering and adding before I took final delivery but I am hoping that will all be put in hand as soon as the Christmas holidays are over. It has been a bit tense over the last few days as I was expecting at least some of the funds from the auction to have reached my account. How is it that when you press the button on an internet page things happen instantly. But when you press the button on the banks internet page the money can disappear instantly but somehow hover in the ether before it reaches its destination. Considering how much the banks must spend on their systems I would have thought they could have made it a bit better, but then perhaps their system its as good as it gets - well from their point of view anyway.
So some few days later and endless time on the phone the funds finally made it to my account, but not in time for me to get Thebus delivered before Christmas. Boooooooo
I had visions of wrapping a giant silver paper bow round it so I could go out on Christmas morning and admire my present to myself. Anyway tomorrow morning first thing I must arrange the insurance then drive to the local branch of my bank to transfer the funds, as once again it seems beyond the bounds of possibility for the bank to allow me to transfer my own money to someone else without driving to the bank and then paying them extra for the privilege. Still that's internet banking for you!
In the old days the auctioneer would have given me a cheque made out to cash. I would have walked to the branch where in fact both our accounts are held. They would have given me the money. Thebus would have been delivered to me and I would have handed over the money. Okay you can take lots of noughts off all of the figures involved but in reality that is all just on paper. Of course where it all pays off is in the vat and bank charges involved on the “turnover” Hmmmmm
I often remember the bit of the bible where the Jews were held in slavery by the Pharaohs in Egypt. Now we all feel sorry for anyone in slavery. Old Testament slavery in Egypt went something like this. Pharaoh owned all the land, of which he let you have you as much as you could work, he then gave you the seed to sow the land, and from the fruit of this harvest you gave Pharaoh back ten percent. Slavery in Egypt sounds like a pretty good deal to me compared to living in modern day Europe!
But back to Thebus. He is certainly a big boy. (you notice he already developing a personality and that he is a he - most vehicles are thought of as girls, but I think there are enough girls involved in this story already with Phoebe and myself) He is left hand drive, but that is just the way it is with rvs, but his front windows are good and big, and apparently when I approach a difficult junction and want to look right I will be able to see out through the window on his door.
Talking of his door one of the things I rather liked about him is that he has automatic electric steps, so as you open the door they extend, then automatically retract as the door is shut. How neat it that? And it certainly takes the strain off my knees when getting in and out as he is quite a long way off the ground, partly because all the storage tanks for water and waste are fitted under the main floor so they don’t freeze up on you in the winter. Oh, and his side windows are double glazed for winter warmth and cooler summers. He is air conditioned and if you park on a slopey bit he will level himself up for you. I think I am in love already..
He runs on a petrol v10 engine, which is probably pretty thirsty but has had an LPG conversion so that should help on the cost of the journeys, though it my intention to travel in slow short legs wherever possible stopping off to explore the area as I go along rather than rushing from place to place. There are two slides in the sides, one in the living area where there is a nice settee for Phoebe and me to share, and one in the bedroom. At the press of a button these open outwards when you are parked up thus giving additional living space. Thebus is already fitted with his own generator and heating system, a solar panel and self seeking satellite tv, a proper little bathroom with shower, wash-handbasin and loo, and for a motor vehicle a goodly amount of inside and outside storage space. In the kitchen bit is a fitted sink, some worktop space, gas cooker, microwave, fridge and freezer, and if I take out the section which serves as a dressing table in the bedroom there is space to plumb in a small washer dryer. Not bad for something just under 28ft long (8.8 for our younger readers)
All being well he will be mine all mine on the day after Boxing Day.