Well the van got fixed after being recovered into Vertu VW in Hereford. Oil cooler failed and water and oil mixed together which mean the coolant system needed flushing. Got to pick up the van on Monday after they’d failed to clean the system on Friday and VW recommend some further flushes. A good weekend in West Wales was a bonus given the delay. Between Friday and Monday the snow came and it took 4 hours and the only train to make it between Abergavenny and Hereford that day, to get to the garage in Hereford. Thanks to Ed for the lift into Aber and a timely judgement for the train which took 1h20 for a 25 minute journey. Snow was pretty. Van was ready at 4pm and signed some paperwork and didn’t need to pay anything as it was under warranty (even though I’d not main dealer serviced it). They also did the recalls including a new timing belt so that was all good. Trip back from Hereford took some careful driving as tempreture was -6 C by the time I got to Crickhowell. Took the expedient route of reversing from the bottom of Old Road rather than risking the steep bit at the top and hitting a wall on the way down. As I was leaving Hereford tried to get on the Wednesday sailing to Santander but it was full as the Tuesday to Bilboa had been cancelled with the poor weather. So Friday it was then and a couple of days to sort out the van and potentially tidy the house. Tuesday saw me make some more investments in vinyl after a good trawl of charity shops in Carmarthen with Cheryl over the weekend. Also managed to slip into the Tangled Parrot and picked up some 1st press Black Sabbath and reissued Throbbing Gristle. Excellent. Repacked my clothes and other items in the van and also did some more guitar practice which will hopefully be a feature of the Christmas break and the trip, when it starts. Wednesday saw another record shopping trip with Ed and demonstrated the need for me to get going as being at home was getting expensive. A phone call from VW to ask if i could bring the van back in a couple of weeks as they recommended changing the reservoir bottle on the coolant system. Might be difficult from Morocco though Karl Stevens did point out the VW dealers there who could sort it. Got back from Forest Vinyl and wired in the solar panels properly using the rear grommet and hid them behind the boards in the van. And then a text from Brittany Ferries. Bad weather meant Fridays sailing was cancelled and a call to them confirmed the next sailing to Spain was going to be 22 December. Missing the ferry on the 5th was getting more problematic. They did offer a cross channel sailing to France but no Roscoff or St Malo sailings running but could get to Caen on Friday. Further discussion showed I could get the 22h45 Portsmouth to Caen that evening which left me about 45 minutes to pack. Most of it was done and the rest was thrown in the back of the van. Just did the essential check of wallet, phone, passport and glasses while on the drive and dived back into the house to get the spare van keys. Drive up the M4 was pretty nasty as the bad weather was back but got into Portsmouth in time to get to Aldi. Finally on the ferry and the trip underway and though I’d done the doorstep mile still plenty to think about for the upcoming trip .