More VW Love in Northern Cyprus

When we got married in Northern Cyprus in 2013 we saw a few VWs, and again the following year, mainly Beetles, and the odd bay window. As we left from Ercan airport in June 2014, we caught a glimpse of a splitscreen van in a scrapyard, and, more intriguingly, what appeared to be a garage forecourt full of Karmann Ghias on the road from Nicosia towards Ercan.

Fast forward to April 2015 when we visited again, and everyone in our party was on the look out for VWs!

Pa and Ma Custard mad some good spots, including a bay window sliding door panel van, and a splitscreen panel van (the best kind):

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One day, after a visit to St Hilarion Castle and a drive past Buffavento and through the mountains (best bit of road ever, it has to be driven whilst listening to On Days Like These by Matt Monro, as it is a very Italian Job-eqsue experience, without an unfortunate ending in a tunnel) we set off in search of the fabled garage of Ghias that we had spotted on our previous trip.

We drove up and down the road where we had remembered seeing them, and were about to give up looking, when we decided to go a little closer to Nicosia, and we hit the goldmine!

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We spied some very familiar-shaped dusty noses, and pulled up to peep through the fence.

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As we were looking, a guy pulled up in a large Japanese pick up, and we quickly realised that he was the owner of the garage – he’d been driving back from a car rally, had seen us looking and pulled over – what a great coincidence! He let us in to have a better look:

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He mainly imports cars from Japan, and said that all the Ghias could be for sale for the right price, except his own that he was restoring inside one of his garages:

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What a bit of luck we had, being able to get up close and see these fabulous cars. I’d love to see them back on the road and being used. Perhaps if we ever go through with our plan of moving to Northern Cyprus we need to buy one. I can’t see that driving an air-cooled car in a really hot country would cause us any issues at all! 😉

What old beauties have you ever seen stashed away? Is your VW a barn find? Let us know in the comments!

Long see, no time…

Life has got in the way of posting. Generally, life involving work, dogs, and broken down VWs. But here’s what you’ve missed:

  • We went to Tatton Park. It was good fun and we met up with some friends. Teddy decided that he’s really not a fan of VW shows, especially those with music, crowds and other dogs. That’s all of them then.

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  • We revisited our mis-spent youth with a weekend at Coniston Hall, which generally involved swimming, sunbathing and messing about. For once, we were in the nicest splitty on the campsite (er, ok, the only splitty…)

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  • We went to VWFestival. Again, friends, cider, crowds, cool dubs, staffy generally behaving like a bit of an ASBO dog. Including chewing through his lead whilst Custard was distracted by cider. Ruby appeared on Look North (Rooobarb and Custard we both having a bit of a nap at this point though…)

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  • We bought a roofrack for the van, started off to go and collect it, and turned round and came back thanks to an engine bay full of oil. Meh.
  • We pooled our birthday spends and bought a frontier stove for camping. The next step with be a Glawning because they’re just too cool for words.

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  • Operation Car Port is pretty much finished. Hurrah! Photos to follow soon.
  • After six weeks of running like a dream, Rufus decided to give up on starting again. A new starter motor bush sorted that though, and after some fettling once again to rear hubs, he got an MOT certificate. Big up to Dave at Accrington Beetles and Campers for once again taming our errant child.

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So, what next? The beetle needs some more little jobs doing, and sadly we’ve had to admit to ourselves that the ride height is causing more problems than it solves, so Rufus will be going (slightly) up in the world. Ruby needs a bloody good service, and probably an engine rebuild.

And finally, last weekend, Rooobarb and Custard decided to lob themselves out of a plane for charity! So the normal quiet life here at Hooligan’s Island then…

Dubs at the Castle and Homeless Hounds

Yo Yo Yo!

Teddy Homeless Hounds

Right, first up, I should probably explain who I am. My name is Teddy, and I used to live with some ace people at Homeless Hounds – Dogs in Need who did look after me for a while in this place called kennels. It’s like a hangout for loads of different dogs, and some people come and take you for walks, and to go and visit their houses and stuff if you’re good. I went to visit Danni’s house, who is a friend of Custard, and Danni put some photos of me on her Facebook page, and Custard did fall in love with me (it is only to be expected, I am after all very handsome).

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So Rooobarb and Custard did speak to a lady called Emma, then came and took me for a nice walk, and then Emma had to do something called a home check, then that was it, I was off to my new home!

I’m having a really good time here, we go for lots of walks, and do lots of playing, and snuggling, and Mum likes to sit in something called a Beetle and read her books, and I like to sit with her, because I love being outside.

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I also get lots of post from my friends, including Loki and Frankie The Fit Dog, who is my Brother from Another Mother. He is a very good blogger, and I would like to be as good at writing as he is one day.

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I like to play with my humans, and wrestle them, and generally spend time with them. I am very much a Dog of the People. Custard is writing this right now sitting on the floor in the back yard because I wanted company. We are sitting on a blanket with a big hole in it, because I wanted the blanket out, but I couldn’t work out how to unfold it, so I chewed it a bit instead.

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Rooobarb and Custard were very excited this weekend, because they were taking me Camping. I wasn’t sure what camping was, but it involved filling the back of the car with loads of Stuff, and driving to meet someone called Ruby.

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Ruby turned out to be this AWESOME VAN that I wanted to climb inside and sit in, and Mum said that that was a good job really, because we were going to be sitting in her for a long time.

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I alternated between sticking my head out of the window, and sleeping on Dad’s knee. It was very hot, but I love Dad. Lots of people smiled when they saw me grinning at them out of the window. We stopped a few times at the services so I could have a drink out of my bowl, but I preferred drinking Mum’s Evian out of her hand whilst we were going along. I got quite a lot of it in her lap, and when we stopped the last time, Mum looked like she’d had a wee.

When we arrived it was still too hot, and very busy, so Mum was getting my lead on so that we could go for a walk whilst Dad parked the van. I had other ideas, and jumped out of the van window. Good job Mum had got my lead on me first. We got parked up, and I was too hot to do anything else. I made friends with a nice man in another van nearby and I wanted to sit in his van too. We rested for a bit and Mum and Dad got the awning put up and loads of other practical boring stuff like that.

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Then we went up to the show itself so that Mum and Dad could enjoy cider and paella and music and stuff. I decided that I didn’t want to do that, so I barked at some other dogs and got very grumpy, so we went back to the van. During the night there was loads of rain and thunder and lightning. I wasn’t bothered by that at all but in the morning Mum said “Oh bugger,” because the cargo doors had leaked and her’s and Dad’s shoes were all wet. I was ok, I don’t wear shoes.

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I also discovered that the doors of the awning aren’t like real doors, and I escaped out of them to find out why the lady next door was screaming. I decided it was probably her chocolate lab’s fault, so I barked at him. Nobody would grab my harness because I’m a Big Vicious Staffy.

I have decided that VW shows aren’t really my thing yet. There are lots of crowds, and noises, and other dogs, and I found it difficult to cope. I did very well and Mum and Dad said I was a Very Good Boy, but I think I would prefer some quieter camping first. We saw some cool veedubs though.

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My favourite bit was cuddling and playing with Mum and Dad near our van. And climbing all over them in the middle of the night when they were trying to sleep.

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If you are a Human who doesn’t have a Dog in their life, then you need to get in touch with Homeless Hounds. There are loads of PAWSOME dogs like me just waiting to come and make your life better. Tell them I said hi.

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Gotta go now, lots of adventures to have, squirrels to chase and rope toys to chew. Laters, homies!

 

Luv Teddy xxx

 

 

Bus Types 2014

We set off bright and early to pick Ruby up. The sun was shining, so we paused for a quick “Make Love not War” photo at the Leyland tank, before heading down to Oswestry Show Ground for Bus Types.

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We did a Pindy on the way:

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And arrived to find a very busy showground, but found just enough space to squeeze Ruby into, to get set up in order to enjoy a relaxed evening:

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Whilst the show was overcast and breezy for much of the weekend, there were lots of traders with a good variety of clothes, handcrafted goods, autojumble and food to enjoy, and some excellent Volkswagens in the Show and Shine field:

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We set off on Sunday shortly before the heavens opened, and Custard managed to drive Ruby back and get her under cover before she got all wet and dirty.

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Bus Types 2014

Bank holiday Monday provided ample opportunity for Rooobarb to get down and dirty with Rufus’s rear hubs, which are going to need some different castle nuts in order to fit on properly. Fun and games!
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See you at our next show – Stanford Hall!

The Great Carport Adventure Part 2

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Day Two started bright and early, with the garage door once again forming a good barrier against any potential forthcoming Zombie Apocalypse.

Pa Custard set to work:

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Ma Rooobarb turned up to supervise:

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Everyone looked very jolly:

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Frames were constructed:

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Technical precision was employed:

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As was ‘Thinking Tongue’, obv:

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The small gate was hung:

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And the garage door was put back into place again overnight:

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Rooobarb saw off any intruders:

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Custard demonstrated that it was possible to fit through the gap (where Pa Custard had previously failed):

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Heeeere’s Custard!

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More updates to follow this week, hopefully!

The Great Carport Adventure Part 1

Rufus currently lives behind a garage door in our yard. There was a garage when we bought the house, but it was unsafe and unsightly, so we tore it down, and planned to turn it into a pretty garden. Until we decided to fill it with vintage Volkswagen instead.

The garage door is unwieldy, and Rufus, though under a cover, is exposed to the elements, so we asked my parents to help us build a carport.

First job was taking the old garage door and pillars down:

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And breaking up the block work so it could go in the boot of the car to the tip:

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Then it was time to dig holes for the new wooden supports:

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And make more rubble in the process:

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The essentials must always be covered though:

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Pa Custard regards the hole:

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Other brands of concrete are available:

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Lunch time!

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Fancy a brew?

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Filling the first hole:

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Pa Custard gets to work on pillar number 2:

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Don’t try this at home:

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Bye bye, smiley:

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Temporary measures overnight to keep Rufus safe:

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Tune in later today to see more progress!

Adventures in a Campervan

Greetings and salutations, welcome to our camper! Grab a seat in the back, kettle’s on. My name is Custard (obviously not my real name) and yon blokey behind the wheel there is Rooobarb (again, not what his mother calls him).

Let me tell you a story:

In 2011, Rooobarb and I went to see a show by Laura Mugridge called Running on Air. The show had been brought to the North West by our friends at Spot On Rural Touring, who have never given us a duff show yet, so when they mentioned a one woman show with an audience of five that takes place in the back of a campervan, we were in!

We drove to Mawdsley, and met the stars of the show; Laura, and her lovely orange bay window camper called Joni. The show was wonderful, a life-affirming journey around the UK with laughs and tears, all whilst sitting in the back of Joni outside a farm shop. Laura sparked an idea in our heads; when her and her husband Tom had got married, they had asked people to choose a part of a campervan to buy, and when they got a camper, they would name the parts after the people who bought them. I was sitting on a bench seat who was an uncle. You get the picture.

We thought that this was a marvellous idea, and so, when in October 2012 we decided that a 15 year long engagement was probably long enough, and that we should do something about it, we shamelessly stole the idea for our wedding gift list:

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We get married in 9 weeks time, and already have been pledged three rear view mirrors, one wing mirror, a fuel gauge, a fire extinguisher, a gearbox and a radiator (which could be interesting in an air-cooled engine, I blame a tired Custard googling for lists of car parts for gift lists late at night…). The lovely Rob and Sue at Spot On have also promised us an unused camping toilet. Which will make an interesting focal piece on the gift table at the reception!

So that was the start of our campervan adventures, and in the future we’re hoping to go wherever our flat-four engine will take us.