36. Olive goes to her first vw club meeting

Olive joined me and the girls in Topsy as we headed up to the Durham Dubbers club meeting, great turnout, but tight parking! photo's shamelessly pinched from the durham dubbers website! Olive met some other dogs and quickly made friends, including Jess, a three legged dog that also came from sadberge...

35. Olive goes fossil hunting!

Yep, off out in Topsy yesterday, me, Rog and Olive, for a spot of fossil hunting (and no, I don't mean we went looking for Roger! hehe) up in Weardale ... You can just see the fossils in this underwater slab of Frosterly Marble

Faithful Olive waits to do some more sniffing about!

Still waiting....

Here's what the polished marble looks like

"come on, there's even more sniffing to do over the bridge!"

Who fell over!

Ah, that's what a close up of a fossil looks like.Olive stares at the sheep - seems too keen so we won't be letting her off the lead near them for a long time!And she makes herself at home in the Topsy!

34. Topsy gets a dawg!!!

Great news for us and Topsy, last saturday we collected out new dog from the Dogs Trust at Sadberge.... here's what it said on their website about our new friend, Olive....

Likes and Dislikes: Olive is cheeky girl, who is always happy and loves to make people smile! She has lived in the same home since she was a young pup, before being returned to us due a change in her family’s circumstances. Olive is housetrained and can be left in an indoor kennel for short periods of time.
Type of home needed: Olive is a busy dog who will need an active family who can keep up with her. She is used to going camping and hill-walking, so we’d love to find her a new family who enjoy these activities too! We think Olive may have been overlooked here at Dogs Trust because she only has one eye. However, it’s all she’s ever known so please don’t let this put you off! Overall, she’s a lovely, bouncy girl, who will make a fabulous addition to an energetic family.

We met her on the previous saturday, took her for a walk (myself, Babs, Belle, and Jenny), and liked her.... Then we went through the stress of the home visit! But that was fine, phew! Then we brought her home on thursday for a couple of hours to meet the cat... She didn't attack her, so everything was set up for bringing her home. Yippee!!!!! The day came, we duly paid our £75 (no discount for missing body parts though!), and we brought her home for good - kids adore her, as do I....

She has settled in quite well, and enjoys the beach (but not the sea), and she loves Weardale!! Her and the cat, well, they're not bezzy mates yet, but there's been no fur flying!



33. topsy's interior almost finished!

thought you might like to see what we've done to Topsy over the last year or so, mostly interior, gonna attempt to deal with the outside rusty bits over winter and next spring... Thanks to everyone who's helped do the things I can't do, like mechanics (ray, from northern classics and campers, (see topsy's web links on left)) and electrics (my mate sean and my better half Rog), and welding (Mel). She's now a fully equipped 6 seater camper, perfect for taking us, the kids and many of their friends for days out and weekends away. Had some welding done after a minor incident (dent being the right word) with a lamppost and also new battery tray made and welded in. Leisure battery installed & inverter. LED lighting installed - runs off the leisure battery. Hook up kit in and working! New speakers but old radio in and working - at last, journeys were quite lonely! 2nd hand exhaust after Topsy blew a foot long hole in hers going up Hartside pass Insulation in (thermawrap i think, the silver bubbly stuff). Rear seats upholstered. Cupboards (under seats, kitchen and roof locker) built, installed and upholstered. Door cards, kick cards, side wall cards re-made and upholstered Lino floor down, nice sparkly black one. Curtains and net curtains made and hung. Cab headlining (well, my version anyway - painted the cab roof to save the job of removing windscreen). New stove with grill in and working (I'm always amazed when things work) Various other little jobs too, but here's the latest photo's of how she looks now.....


32. Zoe, Mandy and the "seven dwarves"!!!

So, me and me mate Mandy decided to take all our kids, Paris, Simone, Raven, Tanisha, Barbara, Belle, plus Belle's mate Jenny, camping for a night up at the Strathmore Arms, near Middleton-in-Teesdale.... A fantastic time was had by all - though I think next time we go we'll either take more adults or less kids! The weather was ok, rainy at first but it cleared up to cloudy by the evening, and was almost sunny the next morning... and through the night we watched shooting stars and had a great view of the milky way - here's some of the photo's

31. GIBSIDE GATHERING - durham dubbers get together

What a fab super weekend this was! Organised by the Durham Dubbers WV club at the National Trust's Gibside estate, a serene place and a perfect way to end the summer holidays for the kids... The weather was nice, hazy mornings sunny afternoons with just a tiny bit of drizzle as we were packing up on the sunday. Loads of walks, dragonflies, communal bbq's, friendly folk and good music on the Saturday evening meant a good time was had by all .... I'll let the pictures tell the tale!!
At one point this turned into "8 men and an awning" and provided us with a good hour of entertainment!!!

But they did get it erected eventually!! In the meantime the kids made friends...Whinge whinge whinge, i think the kids would have liked a bit less walking

but that didn't stop Karen and I from taking them exploring

we did quite a lot of exploringwe thought it was nice, a walk in the woods

you never know what you could find!

Check out the tiny split screen camper!!

and loads of other nice beetle and vans

I think we made our camp quite cosy!

Belle was delighted with these welding gloves we 'won' in the charity auction!

I don't think this little chap had seen a ball bigger than him before....

must remember, I'm not the only one taking photo's

Gibside Hall....

Gibside's retreat....

Complete with Dragon flies!!!

Gibside's stable block, impressive huh!

And the chapel...