Les Lobb's Diary
Yesterday morning we fixed the spare wheel in place and ran conduit and cabling ready for the high level portside
cupboards if/when they get done. I painted my arms, hands and even did an eyebrow that I thought looked rather
fetching; oh yes and I also got some of it on the cupboard door frames.
In the afternoon we took Mum to Exeter hospital, to get her new hearing aid fitted.
Head of housekeeping is fishing out crockery, cutlery, kettle etc, so must be nearing the finish.
Weather's been a bit iffy today, so lucky that we had
mostly inside work on t'bus.
I cut and painted some more trim this morning while
Dawn was helping at the village mini-market. On her
return, head of low-level painting gave a coat of gloss
to the shower room trim.
The diesel heater electrics run off the engine battery
and it looks a fairly straight forward job to change over
to the LBs so, weather permitting, I'll have a go at that
tomorrow between undercoating and glossing.
Lots of people stop for a chat on their way into the
village and seem quite interested in what we're doing -
some of course think we're crackers and they could be
Fine weather and a good days work.
Got the batteries connected to the board and rewired
the diesel heater (Eberspacher) to run off the leisure
batteries. Everything seems to be working as it should,
so if I can run the solar panel wires through the roof to
the controller this week that will be all the electrics
I've a mushroom vent to fit over the shower room and
mini trunking to fix to the roof ready for a reversing
camera, so it will be good if I can get that done at the
same time as the solar cables.
Bright and breezy day, which was good because we
fitted the shower/loo door and that meant taking it in
and out the bus as we trimmed it; now we are happy
with it, I've got it in the garage for sanding and
My Wolf router that I bought in March (only a cheapie)
has thrown a wobbly and it looks as though the
bearings are shot; rang them up 'no problem we'll
collect it tomorrow'!! I have it set up in a small table
and just use it for round-overs and beading, so it hasn't
seen a lot of heavy work. Bit of a bugger that it should
go just as I need to make a lot of 12mm edge trim but
pointless to keep using it in that condition.
Another day that didn't go quite to plan; my back went
twang on me this morning and I've spent the best part of
the day lying down.
Head of gardening has been playing on the garden and
emptying the greenhouse.
The router was collected at lunchtime so now we wait to
hear from them.
Back's up to steam again.
The shower door and the galley cupboard doors are all
drying in the paint shop, or to give it its full title
We've fitted the shelving in the galley cupboards and
covered them with the surplus wall covering (Lino) from the
Head of blinds is sewing silver screens for the cab windows.
Today I've been making a hinged bench seat that we can
lift up for cab access, but friends keep popping in for a chat
- the teapot never cooled down.
Had to go to Taunton this morning, so we had a late
start on the bus; saw frost on the fields first thing!
We called to see the local mechanic on the way back
from Taunton and he's going to put the bus on his lift
Saturday morning to tidy up the holes we've made
under the floor and give it a once over.
Well the shower door and galley cupboard doors are
on and a lot of the associated trim.
I've got no timber wide enough for the drawer fronts
('er wanted them deep), so there are a couple of planks
bicuited, glued and clamped up in the garage; hoping
that we can chop them up in the morning.
The solar chap emailed and apologised for sending the
wrong connectors and has put the correct ones in the
Nipped into Exeter this morning, to take a few puzzles
to the jig-saw library and get some stuff from B&Q. As
we were passing the garden centre on the way home,
we popped in for a cheese scone and a cuppa.
We've chopped up the drawer fronts and they are
drying in the paint shop. I've also fitted a 13a socket to
the lift-up bench seat I'm making. Got no immediate
plans for mains or inverter, but it was a damn sight
easier to fit the socket while it was on the bench and tis
there for the future should we need it.
Slow sort of day.
The hinged side of the bench seat is painted and fixed in
place; the other part is together and painted so, after
another coat tomorrow morning, we should be able to
screw it in place later in the day.
Still waiting for the solar connectors, but got a nice
surprise at lunchtime when they delivered a brand new
router; it's only just over a week ago they collected the
duff one. A few minutes to mount it in the table and it's up
and running - makes life easier when shaping trim.
As the fixed bed is 5'10" we need to cut down the foam
mattress to fit; the most popular way to cut foam seems to
be with an electric knife and a friend told us today that
she has one we can borrow.
Just taken the bus to the mechanic who is going to lift it
tomorrow morning to tidy up underneath and give it a
general check over. Bumpy lanes on the way, but the
walls were all still standing and the tiles were still on
the walls when we got there.
Nice having the air suspension - press a button and the
back end lifts up, so no scraping as we leave the drive.
Bliddy solar connectors arrived this morning at the same
time as the rain, so twill be next week before I can
connect the panel to the controller.
We're priveleged to have been selected to view the first
work of a budding artist from P'boro. I've heard him
called an artist before, but not in relation to paint and
brushes - good one Barry.
This morning we collected the bus from the mechanic;
he asked if it rattled when I drove it? When I bought it
from Dorchester I asked them to remove the bus seats,
which they did. It appears they did not remove the gurt
big chunks of 'U' channel that had been used as
spreaders underneath and were only being held on by
the underseal! Frightening to think of one coming
unstuck on the motorway.
Any road up, he reckons it's in very good nick with no
signs of work needed in the near future. (he also
removed all the instruction stickers).
Twas a sunny day, so I did the connections on the roof
for the solar panel and brought the cables through the
roof via a gland box, of course a few minutes after I'd
finished the heavens opened, but I'm hoping it hasn't
harmed the sikaflex I used to seal and fix the box.
Another good day's work - all the trim cut, fitted and filled
(apart from one short piece that is still bending in the
Drawer fronts and dummies fitted; used these with wing
nuts for the dummy fronts, easy to remove if we need to.
Must be nearing the end, cos head of housekeeping has
started filling the cupboards.
Later in the week, we are going to a vinyl cutting place in
Exeter, to see if they can make a white vinyl panel to fit
inside the shower room window. We can then insulate up
to it and sheet it off, making a better job of the shower
Been sanding/priming/undercoating today - wot fun!
Noticed a weep and traced it back to one of the hatches; looks as though the Sikaflex has got a good hold on the roof
but not made a good bond to the plastic. Been out this afternoon and bought some Stixall, so tomorrow I've got to try
and lift the hatch and put a bed of stixall on top of the Sikaflex. Better do both hatches to be on the safe side, but a
bit miffed as I've used Sikaflex for years on different boats and it has always stuck to everything like STAB.
Found an alternative to Stixall, it's Carafax and is a
non setting bedding sealant so has a bit of flexibility;
should be here Fri/Mon.
Another change of plan - we were going to leave the
high level portside cupboards until later, in case we
found we could do without them. Head of storage and
provisioning has decided we might as well build them
now 'while the place is like a tip', so off we went this
morning to get some ply. Must be getting better at it
because the cupboards are made and fitted, just got
the doors to make and hang.
Off to see the knee man tomorrow afternoon for my 12
month check-up, so not doing too much in the
All the cutting is done for the doors and head of decorating is painting the centre panels before we assemble them, to
make less 'cutting in' later on.
I put some backing pieces on the cupboard front where the hinges will go and turned on the diesel heater, to warm
the van up and dry the glue quicker; it certainly belts out the heat, but upholds its reputation for being a tad noisy.
Went to see the knee man this afternoon and got the all clear for another 12 months and then had to fight my way
through the Exeter traffic (there had been an accident on the motorway); stopped for fish & chips until it calmed down
a bit. Flu jabs in the morning and then back on with the bus.
Got the doors assembled and weighted down with a gas bottle until the glue dried. Then it was flu jabs and off to
Teignmouth, to make the most of the sunshine; twas packed, 2 circuits before I got parked.
When we got home after lunch we cut and fixed the last end panel to the cupboards; a few doses of paint and then I'll
hang the doors and fit the led strip, switch and trim.
The pics show the cupboard and the lift up seat between the front seats.
Smashing sunny day!
The cupboards have had 2 coats and we've put a couple of coats of white primer on the inside of the shower window,
with the intention of blanking it out with white gloss then boarding over, with insulation between the glass and board.
The mains consumer unit will fit in the rear one of the new cupboards, but don't want to fix it until I get the 240v inlet
panel, then I can do all the wiring at the same time. Only going to run one 10a spur to start with, for battery charger
and the socket below the lift-up seat. I expect we'll get an inverter later on and that can feed the same socket when
we're not on mains.
The lawn has had what we hope will be the last cut of the year, but it keeps growing like mad. One of the passion
flowers we planted last year has produced loads of flowers, but I think we over fed the other because it has made a
lot of growth with no flowers. Hanging baskets are still going and will need taking down and stripping out soon.
Bit chilly today but dry.
The bedding mastic arrived so I got up to have a look and I was wrong, the hatches are well and truly bonded to the
roof. The contours run across the roof meaning that if the bus is on a sideways slope, which it is in the drive, the water
gets trapped and puddles next to the hatch. My thinking now is that during the really torrential downpour we had, the
rain was splashing up off these puddles and into the hatch. I might try filling the contours and tapering out away from
the hatch because I can't think of anything else it can be. Rain is forecast for tonight, so I've lined the hatches with
hand towel to see if/where they are leaking.
More white on the shower window today, tomorrow I'll put a gloss on and see what it looks like from outside. The
cupboard doors are now glossed and when the electrics are done we can hang them; we ran a few cables this
morning, but didn't get much done - we never seem to on Sundays.
Two Irish nuns have just arrived in USA by boat and one says to the other, "I hear that the people in this country
actually eat dogs."
"Odd," her companion replies, "but if we shall live in America, we might as well do as the Americans do."
Nodding emphatically, the Mother Superior points to a hot dog vendor and they both walk towards the cart.
"Two dogs, please," says one.
The vendor is only too pleased to oblige and he wraps both hot dogs in foil and hands them over the counter.
Excited, the nuns hurry over to a bench and begin to unwrap their "dogs."
The Mother Superior is first to open hers.She begins to blush and then, staring at it for a moment, leans over to the
other nun and whispers ...cautiously: "What part did you get?
Just had some very sad news about a friend of ours - talk to you soon B&A.
Sunday night and yesterday we had a lot of rain, so got the ladder out to try and see where it was coming in; it is the
joint between the mastic and hatch which will mean removing the hatch and re-bedding it. It is dry this morning and if
it looks settled later I'll get up there and have a go at removing it.
We got the 240v consumer unit and the lighting for the new cupboard wired and fitted yesterday
Other things on today's job sheet are:
Fit cupboard doors,
Cut and fit trim for new cupboard
Gloss shower room window - when dry
What we actually get done is another matter!
Got a few jobs done!
Removed and re-bedded rear hatch,
Fitted cupboard doors,
Fitted fire extinguisher and blanket,
Glossed shower window,
Fitted my bent wood trim to the right of the galley
(been dreading this and have it held in place with a
screw until the glue goes off)
Still got trim to cut and fit and cabling to clip and tidy,
but can do that anytime.
Early start today; in Taunton at 07.00 to pick up the cake for Mum's birthday on Friday - we decided against 101
On the way home we called in to get some more vinyl from Tiverton, to cover the blanked out window wall in the
shower. We got the insulation in place and the wall fitted, the fun comes tomorrow when we spray glue it to fit the
I've fitted and wired in the 240v inlet which came today, but have not tested it yet.
If all goes to plan, and it rarely does, we hope to get away in the bus next Wednesday; it won't be finished, but
should be useable.
Late Monday morning, the grizzled fighter pilot finally regained consciousness.
He found himself in agonizing pain in the base hospital’s ICU, with tubes up every fundamental orifice, wires
monitoring every function and a gorgeous nurse hovering over him.
He remembered he'd been in a major flying accident Saturday.
The nurse gave the fighter pilot a serious, deep look straight into his eyes, and he heard her slowly say, “You may
not feel anything from the waist down.”
Somehow he managed to mumble in reply, “Can I feel your tits, then?”
AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS A POSITIVE ATTITUDE!
Busy day yesterday, with people visiting Mum during
the day, but we managed to oik the front hatch off and
re-bed it on Carafax. Last few bits of trim are in
different stages of painting and we should be able to
pin some in place today. The 'to-do' list is getting
shorter at last!
Could do with some rain to test the hatches before
putting the mattress and cushions on board.
All the trim fitted and filled, including the shower
240v electrics tested and all OK - getting excited!
Only things left on the list are shower curtain and
reversing camera. The camera I am going to leave
until we've had a big clear up in the garage, because
I've got to fish the welder out from under the bench to
make up a mounting bracket.
The filler should be dry enough to rub down soon and
then get a layer of paint on.
Shower rail is fitted and head of haberdashery is doing
something to the curtain with her sewing machine.
The trim has all had at least one topcoat, some may
need another dollop, but we'll see tomorrow.
Made the most of the sun with a trip to Teignmouth this morning, to get some last minute things for the bus - loo roll
holder, fresh air thingy, can opener etc.
All fitted with mattress, bedding and cushions on board; I tried to take some pics but the sun is too low, so will post a