Sunday, 19 August 2012

First trip - FINALLY !

Apologies for the lack of posting BUT its been for all the right reasons as the Fiftythree Flying Cloud is finally rolling down the road and we've been enjoying her rather than blogging !
Her first outing was to our favourite music festival - The Larmer Tree Festival  in mid-July
After all the problems I've had sorting the hitch, axle and shocks, it all seemed worth is as she towed like a dream. Straight as a die and with the Volvo cruise on 55mph, not a weave or wiggle.
 Despite sodden ground, the 4WD Volvo towed her in just fine & we pitched camp. My brother & his family we're first of many to join us in their bell tent.
Sadly the weather was more monsoon than balmy heatwave !
But the music was great & the setting stunning as usual 
Paloma Faith headlining on Thursday 
... at least she was dry ! 
 Happy to report a very comfy first night's sleep
and the rain on the roof is rather more comforting than hearing it on canvas ! 
There hadn't been time to fit the Princess stove,

so coffee was brewed outside on the trusty camping gas stove
 in the even more trusty (though it does need some new rubber seals) Atomic coffee maker.
Coffee, a bacon roll and you're ready for anything ! 
Well, almost anything ! We've had rain at the festival before but nothing like this.
 The setting is (unsurprisingly) the wonderful Larmer Tree Gardens; laid out in the late 19th century by Augustus Pitt Rivers (he of the famous Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford) 
 The shine isn't quite up to scratch yet but its good enough for my sister-in-law's make-up !
... and before you pick me up on it, the orange reflector is a very temporary fix as my order of side marker lights still hadn't arrived from Vintage Trailer Supplies
We also hadn't had time to sort out a proper awning for the awning rail, so the large green sail awning was a last minute solution 
The brilliant Amadou and Mariam headlined on Saturday night (I last filmed them in Bamako in 2009 in rather more tropical rain) but we also enjoyed Tim Minchin, Caravan Palace, The Levellers, Edward II, Raghu Dixit and Imagined Village
 ...despite the mud !
Hitch assembly with a Winterhoff anti-sway coupling. 
Kathryn in her festival footwear. 
And a 17th birthday celebration for No 1 son,
Sandy - Happy Birthday 
Despite a slight let-up in the deluge, we were very glad of the awning 
Kathryn's curtains looked fantastic  

We've yet to fit (or restore) the Marvel fridge but I'm very happy with the way the wood & the Zolatone  compliment each other
 ... and the 50s curtains finish it off perfectly. 
 Mud, mud, not so glorious...
 ...mud !
  But despite the weather and all the jobs still to finish, it was fantastic to finally have her rolling down the road

 Work has been pretty flat out, so it was touch and go as to whether I'd have time to get her ready for her first outing to the festival... so having got her there made that first drink all the sweeter !

Its been a long time coming - Cheers !


  1. Marti's Awnings. she makes a great product at a great price. She has many vintage patterns that would fit perfectly with your unit. Make sure you tell her I sent you....

  2. Cheers Frank - I'm sure Marti's awnings are great but we have all the kit to make our own (the industrial sewing machine that stitched our yurt), its just time that's been in short supply. Now get back to your gold prospecting !


  3. Congratulations on your first trip. At least you know it is waterproof. May you have fair weather from now on!

  4. Thanks Frank (there seems to be a Frank theme going on here !) & yes I was pleasantly surprised that despite the torrential rain & wind, there was no sign of any leaks, especially as I have yet to go over the old seams & re-seal them. Fair weather will do us just fine but sometimes its a rarity in the good old English summer !


  5. Yay! You finally got to take your trailer out! Your pictures are pure eye. I love: the boots, your makeshift awning, the sunflower tent, your curtains, and that fantastic coffee maker! Someday soon you'll be coming out of that trailer with your coffee! Congratulations on your first trip!

  6. Oops. That was supposed to say eye CANDY. I forgot to say that I love the rainbow, too.

  7. Many thanks and very glad you like the photos (its sort of my profession, so they ought to be half-decent) - and I was just as happy with eye as with eye CANDY !

    We're just back from another fortnight's camping trip in her, in the wilds of Cornwall, so when I get a moment, they'll be pictures galore in the next blog post.


  8. Bravo! Looks like all that time and energy (and money) has paid off. Hope you have more adventures to come, and maybe even a fridge.

  9. Thanks Javier - its nice to get out on the road at last. 50s Marvel fridge & 60s Pricess stove are both works in progress, so watch this space.


  10. Oh Chris, this is just AWESOME! Yes, its been a long time coming. But what a productive summer you've had, and the Cloud looks just grand! Great choices in colors and materials. The refurbed wood is fabulous. Love the curtains. And you know my fondness for an Atomic espresso, nice to see yours in action.

    How appropriate that a rainbow appear over your Airstream. Wow, that mud is impressive. But what a great event for the first outing. Glad you are enjoying the raindrop lullaby on aluminum now. Looking forward to more adventures from over the pond.


  11. Thankyou Dacia - very nice of you to say so. Glad you like the colour scheme & curtains (re-release of original 50s designs) and yes, it is SO nice to finally be off camping in her - we have just had a lovely 2 weeks in her, so see next post (when I get a moment post).
    Chris xx