May, 2014 Archive

Getting a New Design

Today my blog has had a bit of a facelift to give it a fresh new look. I wanted to go for something clean and simple as my blog tends to be heavy on the picture side, and I also wanted to get some of my favourite colour, red, on here.

I’ve not had a fresh design for 3 years now and this is what my blog used to look like

old version

and back in 2011 it used to look like this


I also decided to change the strapline on my blog from “My Experience of running a business and a home” to a strapline that is more in keeping with my writings “My story with Dave, the kids, Cooper, VW’s & rugby” as that sums it up better.

I hope you like the new design and carry on reading my waffles.

The Big Move

Today I did the 140 mile round trip to Robin Hoods Bay to bring my Grandmother B, who will be an amazing 91 on Monday, to Ripon as she has finally relocated to somewhere much easier to live and to be closer to family.

B has lived at the Bay for nearly 30 years, and much of that time alone after my Grandpa passed away. It has been a place my family have been attached to and holiday’ing in for over 60 years after my Great Grandfather bought 3 cottages there for his children. As a kid I remember the great family gatherings at Easter and the weeks we would spend there during the Summer holidays. And then I have now spent the last 13 years taking my kids there.

This is me at the Bay when I was about 4 or 5 I think

becky bay

When I got to the cottage this morning the removal men were well under way. Every piece of furniture and box had to be lugged down the back streets to the van. When I arrived there was furniture on the street ready to be shifted, and the cottage was emptying.


The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the tide was out. I took the opportunity to snap B sat in the sun on the balcony.

B on the balcony

This is the view from her bench on the balcony .. priceless

robin hoods bay

B is moving into a lovely rented bungalow in Ripon with everything that she will need, so the cottage is being sold. Fittingly it went on the market today…I bet Tiger (my great grandfather) wouldn’t have thought in his wildest dreams what an amazing investment he made all those years ago.

I love the description the estate agent uses

“Dating from 1653, during the reign of Charles II, Whitegates is a unique traditional cottage with a fairytale look.”

We were finally off. We left my Aunt & Uncle to finish packing the last few things and helping the removal guys and got on our way.

This is the last time B will have to tackle all those steps and cobbled streets to get provisions or go for a walk.


When we got to Ripon I settled B into my house with some lunch while I waited at the bungalow for the removal men. It didn’t take long to unload the van and get the furniture in place in its new home. When B came round shortly after it was all done. In 6 hours the removal team had packed up the cottage, traveled to Ripon and unloaded. Amazing.

Special thanks to Rocket Removals from Whitby for the amazing service and their superb patience.


This is them heading off after a long, hard day.

So the next era begins … and I can already see a new lease of life setting in. I started searching a new place for B to live in January and I am so pleased that it has all worked out. Everyone in the family has pulled together and its great to see how strong everyone is when we pull in the same direction.

Unpacking boxes tomorrow …. and hopefully B will be in on Friday.

A New Trophy for Mollie

At the weekend we went along to a new VW show that was taking place in Pickering, which was VW Gathering, and with it being not so far away we organised for a club stand for the Harrogate & District VW Club that I help run, and got a convoy arranged for early on Saturday.

We met up with the convoy, that had started in Knaresborough, just by Dishforth and headed off to Pickering. The biggest challenge for normal vehicles and drivers on the way to the Coast, let alone old vehicles, is Sutton Bank just outside of Thirsk. It’s very steep, very long and very twisty. I wasn’t too concerned as I knew Mollie the Samba that I was driving would make it, and Bob the Campervan had been up it a few weeks before, but I had a slight concern going in convoy in case someone else had issues. As we went up, and got to a steep incline, the T25 in front of me had a bit of a gear change issue, basically I saw reverse lights come on and brakes… so I went onto my brakes, which meant that I had in fact stopped on a really steep bit. No worries, I’d put my handbrake on and do a hill start and get going. Hmmm… that would have been nice but Mollie’s handbrake isn’t the best so I was in fact just rolling back each time I tried to get the handbrake on, into Bob. Now that wouldn’t be good to crash both vans.

I was positively stuck on the hill with my foot on the brake trying to figure out how we’d rescue the situation. Dave jumped out of Bob who was behind me (fortunately Bob’s handbrake held) and after waving on a few cars that were hanging around I got coaching through the window. By now my knees were trembling, but had to concentrate on keeping my foot on the brake, while accelerating, while releasing the clutch and then the handbrake. Phew.. I did it, but that was nerve racking to say the least!

Here’s the convoy at the top of Sutton Bank taking a breather. We seemed to be nearly in the clouds.

the top of sutton bank

After the adventure of the hill, we got to Pickering and met up with more club members for the day at the show. (These are just pictures I took with my phone which aren’t brilliant, but I can’t seem to work out how to upload the ones Dave took on his big camera as he’s in London at the moment after speaking at SMX London today so these will have to do.)

harrogate and district vw club

And here’s Mollie basking in the sunshine before the showers came

mollie the samba

There were lots of cool VW’s at the show and it was a good turn out for a show in its first year and with the weather forecast being very wet. I know its not a VW by this was cool.. the General Lee. When it left towards the end of the day it did its horn, which was awesome!

the general lee

There was a Show and Shine contest that Mollie was entered into .. and hurray, she won Best Bus, how brilliant. It was great to have her at a show all gleaming and to see people smiling as they walked around her. People were even taking selfies with Mollie…love it!

mollie best bus vw gathering

After the show we had a small convoy home, cruising along and turning heads through the villages. We stopped off at the Hambleton Inn at the top of Sutton Bank, which I have passed many times but never been in. We got parked up only to find the pub closed, but the super landlord opened up for us. Perfect! It was lovely inside, really cosy and a place we will definitely have to go to again.

hambleton inn

A great day out at VW Gathering with old and new friends.

Happy Birthday Cooper!

It’s Cooper’s birthday today … so lots of birthday wishes for him and “May the Fourth be with you” LOL
In honour of his Star War birthday date we gave him a fitting name, so his full name is Storm Cooper Chewbacca Naylor. Here’s a bit of a look back…yes, I dug out his baby photos 🙂

This is when we chose Cooper, when he was 5 days old. He seemed the most chilled out of the litter.
cooper 5 days old birthday

Once we had chosen him we visited every week so that he could get used to us a bit and it was so exciting for the kids to get to see him growing.
This is Cooper when he was 2 weeks old, just a little handful!
Cooper 2 weeks old

He was just under 8 weeks old when we brought him home and this was in his first days with us.
Cooper 8 weeks

We’ve had some great walks together, and one of my favourites was on Boxing Day when it was really frosty

cooper walking in winter

And here’s Cooper yesterday on our long walk to Studley Royal. He’s in training at the moment with a Figure of Eight lead to stop him from pulling which is working very well.

cooper aged 1 birthday

So Happy 1st Birthday to you Coops

Cooper 1 year old