Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Not Blogging. Blagging

Aaaah, Brigitte. As fondly as I remember you, it’s time to shuffle you down the scrollwheel into the obscurity of the blog archives. Unlike 1974, we now have ladies on the passenger manifest, and if I keep you there much longer I’ll have to put up a picture of Jose Mourinho or Enrique Iglesias to redress the balance. And that would never do.

But before you drop off the screen let’s paint a picture of what’s around you. American readers more familiar with the luxury that is a Winnebago might be shocked by this but Bertha is actually furnished in a rather spartan style. To wit:

We haven’t bothered to repaint the interior. It’s already a fetching shade of hospital cream. It ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.

It has a sink. Connected to its own water tank. There’s a pump/compressor thingy somewhere under the truck that delivers cold water to the tap. Somehow we have deluded ourselves that this arrangement will keep seven strapping blokes clean and fragrant.

It has beds – or rather it has four metal frames – two on each side of the bus. The upper two are conveniently designed to fold down, flat against the wall. They’re a little uncomfortable at present, but we have a plan. All four frames will be lined with foam, thus turning them into:

A/ Four beds, when parked

B/ Two comfy bench seats, when on the road

(Doncha just love the way that reads? On the Road, man…)

It’s fallen to Paul to find the foam. By his own admission, Paul’s a man who likes to have a job to do. And it turns out he knows a couple of factories over on the industrial estate at Harlow that turn out foam for whatever reason factories turn out foam.

Paul’s got us lots of foam. Really more than we can ever use. Well you’d give away lots of foam if you were a factory owner in Harlow and this well-spoken persuasive sort of hippie chap turned up one day asking if you had any spare bits that he could use to line the walls of a playgroup for disabled children to stop them banging their heads, wouldn’t you?

The foam has turned the frames into four very serviceable beds. At the same time, we’ve constructed a wooden middle bit to fit between the bottom two frames. There are brackets to attach it to the frames, and as we’ve got all the foam we could ever need we’ve managed to cover the wooden part as well.

We’ve even come up with a load of felt to cover the foam so it doesn’t get itchy in the night. We can now sleep seven in comfort: two on the top bunks, and five more crossways on the bottom.
It’s a bit cramped down there, mind you. But only as far as Amsterdam.

Audiophiles will be delighted to hear we’ve also taken care of the other top priority: in-car entertainment.

It’s fallen to Paul to find the stereo. How could it not, when Paul’s dad runs an electrical/audio type shop in Dunmow? Paul’s been over there and blagged a state-of-the-art cassette deck with loads of cable so we can do a proper professional wiring job and no less than four speakers. Two in the front with the driver, two in the back with the gang. And he hasn’t mentioned the disabled children once.

We’ve drawn up a playlist as well. We're busy making tapes, back up in Stu's bedroom. But we’ll get to that in a little while. I'm superstitious about the playlist.

(I may never mention it again, come to think of it).

There’s storage too. Most of it’s going up on the roof or under the bottom benches with the wooden bit, but we’ve hung little nets above the windows just like those cargo nets you get in the boot of your SUV where we can stash books and Marlboro and snacks and stash.

And now the piece de resistance: as predicted in the comments column several posts back, we have tapestry curtains to draw a veil on the world.

None of us remember these curtains, of course. Or who ran them up for us. But here’s the evidence, folks:

Fixtures and Fittings Posted by Hello

Oh, alright. Maybe tapestry is stretching it a little…


Blogger broomhilda said...

Where do I want to sleep, upper or lower? Nice curtains BTW. What color were they?
As for male pin-up Alan Rickman.

6:44 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

oh. Alan Rickman. Silly me. I should have thought.

Upper is more exclusive. Lower is cosier. But that's not necessarily a good thing.

What colour? Sheeeesh. Wish I knew. I'll ask around...

9:53 pm  
Anonymous caroline morphess said...

I was going to ask you about music. You can't hold out on that one.

Hey, I don't mind BB on the wall, I will be bringing my picture of Dougie Howlett to even things up though.

12:56 am  
Blogger Deirdre said...

This place is looking just beautiful...

1:59 pm  
Blogger broomhilda said...

I think I'll chose an upper berth, only because I'm so short. I want the feeling of height for a change.

Looking at the snap, I would venture to say the curtains are probably either red and gold or red and cream. What do you think Deirdre? Caroline?

2:49 pm  
Anonymous caroline said...

I'm thinking pelmets here. And tie-backs.

2:45 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

OK. You're all mad. I know it now.

8:49 am  
Blogger broomhilda said...

Tie backs most assuredly. Pelmets, I can take or leave.

11:38 am  
Anonymous caroline morphess said...

Took you some time Mark.

I don't actually have a single curtain, or pair of, in my house I hate them so much.

I'd like to talk about that.

Mark? Yaya? Anyone?

12:12 am  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

I'm thinking you may not have neighbours either?

8:10 pm  
Anonymous caroline said...


9:25 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

Neighbours or not, I approv of anyone who can do without curtains. Especially the net vaiety. Which make my flesh crawl...

9:51 pm  

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