Tag Archives: photography

CAMPER LOVE… VW Book Review

CAMPER LOVE by Jamie Tinney - click to preview it on AmazonFEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS!
This is just ONE of the luscious photos
in the recently-released photo-book…

CAMPER LOVE by Jamie Tinney

Published by Summersdale, this hardback is “a celebration of the coolest van on earth” – the VW camper, that is!!!

Rather than being full of lengthy prose, Camper Love has a delightfully simplistic beauty, blending high quality photography with inspirational quotes.

CAMPER LOVE by Jamie Tinney - click to preview it on Amazon
Photos of VW campers range from pristine Dubs overlooking refreshing ocean views, to ‘vans seeking an exquisite escape to the countryside, right on down to a neglected rust-bucket rig that a VW enthusiast would still look upon with rose-tinted specs. I have to say, I was drooling with envy at how clean some of the ‘vans were – put mine to shame! But then I got to wondering whether the owners were fastidious, or just good at Photoshopping out all the dirt!  Hmm…

Another inspiring VW pic… The only downside of its pristine beauty is that it puts some of us to shame that our campers aren’t quite as clean!

In my view, Camper Love is best browsed at your leisure on a road trip with a hot cuppa, when you can kick back and open it at random to be greeted by an inspiring photo and thought-provoking quote to ponder. I think my favourite quote was by Lovelle Drachman: “Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures”.

CAMPER LOVE by Jamie Tinney - click to preview it on Amazon

Camper Love would make a great gift book for any VW campervan lover.  If your appetite has been whetted by the pix in this blog (which were loaned to me by Summersdale for this blog – so please respect the copyright!), why not preview & purchase it on Amazon?  Full details are also below.

Now then, after looking at that little lot, I think I’d better go and give the old camper a bit of a wash-down and vacuum!

 

CAMPER LOVE by Jamie Tinney
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Camper-Love-Jamie-Tinney/dp/1849535922

Published in hardback from 2 June 2014
£12.99
ISBN 978-1-84953-592-2
Summersdale publishers
Dimensions: 180 x 240
Pages: 124

COMING NEXT on the blog…

Tales from Corny Cove - due for release 6 July 2014
Beastly Encounters - Free eBook - Tale #1 from Tales from Corny Cove
News on my forthcoming book,
Tales from Corny Cove,
and the first tale from the book
released as a free ebook!

 

HAPPY DUBBING!
I hope you’ll enjoy checking out Jamie’s new VW camper book!

Alannah
Alannah Foley

 

 

 

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Filed under Other Books/Reviews, Photography

NEWS – Campervan teaches Photography

NEWS on PopPhoto.com…

Whatever next?  Check out this article, in which a campervan is being used to teach photography!

http://www.popphoto.com/news/2013/04/camper-obscura-turned-camper-van-mobile-camera-obscura

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CAMPERVAN CAPERS 2 – Launch Celebration!

AFTER the recent launch of Campervan Capers, I’m happy to be able to announce the release of a free sequel, CAMPERVAN CAPERS 2.

As many of you will know by now, the book is an adaptation of the Campervan Capers blog entries from 2011, which I wanted to publish for free in a handy eBook format.

Now, I know the word ‘eBook’ will send shivers down the spine of a few folk who still haven’t got an eReader (ironically, you can count me in!), so it might come as a surprise to know that my publisher, Smashwords, offers all my work in formats not only for eReaders – like the Kindle & iPad – but also in formats for home printing – eg PDF – and reading on your computer screen.

Why release the Campervan Capers blog entries in book format? you may be wondering.  Well, although the blog is free to read for anyone with a computer or other internet-enabled device, publishing as an eBook will open our travel stories up to a-whole-nother audience.  In fact, since the publication date, only a few days ago, I’m amazed to see that the new book has already been downloaded 32 times!

For those who are new to this blog, it’s worth mentioning here that there’s also an original Campervan Capers book and, as with the blog/sequel, the stories follow me & my partner, Steve, as we embark on various mini adventures in our campervan.  My aim is to write in a style which is both light-hearted and practical, so as to entertain as well as pass on tips we’ve picked up along the way.

Now, I hope you’ll all forgive me for publishing Campervan Capers 2 slightly later than anticipated – my excuse being that I’ve been putting together more photos of our travels on Flickr and short videos for the Campervan Capers books on my new YouTube channel.

WHAT TO DO NEXT?

Well, why not visit my Smashwords Author page direct, where all my published works are listed.  Some, like Campervan Capers 2 and The Welsh Leek Conspiracy (adapted from the original Campervan Capers book), are free.  And you can sample 20-30% of the rest for free, too.

Alternatively, you can go to my Foley’s Forum website, where there’s information on all my books as well as a whole load of other free-to-view stuff such as short stories, articles, poetry & photography.


SUMMER SALE!

Did you read the recent blog about the Smashwords Summer Sale?  If not, just click the link to find out how to get discounts on all my books for the entire month of July!


COMING UP (SOON?)…

Steve’s still doing a fair bit of cycle training at this time of year, but I haven’t given up hope of pinning him down at some point to write something for the next Steve’s Cycle Shorts.  Once I do that, you can rest assured you’ll be reading about our latest trip up north in ‘Old Bessie’ (as Steve calls our campervan)…

In the meantime, if you missed the last Tour of Flanders blog, along with a ‘words & pictures’ video treat, then why not click the link to check it out?

As ever, I remind readers that, if you’d like to be kept informed of the latest news & offers, why not subscribe to the blog to automatically receive an email whenever new posts appear – thus saving you the hassle of checking for updates?

Hope you enjoy reading!

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Filed under Campervan Capers book, Cornwall, Devon, Isle of Wight, Photography

Steve’s Cycle Shorts 6 – A Day at the Museum

Back in March, you’ll remember that we went Bimblin’ Round Belgium in our campervan for a few weeks.  After visiting the French-speaking south of the country, we ventured on up to the Flemish-speaking north to check out the Tour of Flanders – and, of course, a trip to the national cycling museum in Roeselare was a must.

THE CYCLE OF TIME

The Wielermuseum‘s displays opened with the evolution of the bike, so we started off feeling as though we were walking through time, seeing the amazing changes in cycle innovations which have come & gone – and all within the short space of only about a century.  Most of the information was displayed in English as well as French & Flemish (in essence, Dutch) and everything was set out in a professional yet delightfully-simple way.

The first bicycle, the Loopfiets (aka ‘hobby horse’ or ‘running machine’) had rock solid wheels, as did all the earlier bikes.  These might not have been quite as hard as the kind you’d find on The Flintstones, but I’m sure riders must have breathed a sigh of relief when the rubber and pneumatic tyres finally came in.

DESIGN FEET

The Macmillan had a treadle-type setup to power you along.  Whilst it looked good, the design wasn’t the best, since your pedalling feet were likely to get caught in the front wheel when it was turned.  To me, the highlights were the four-seater ‘tandem’, the bike with a shaft-drive, and a two-seater contraption where riders sat side by side.  Try keeping your balance on that!

The Macmillan – Nice design but you could easily ‘put your foot in it’!


PHOTO FINISH

Still, you can’t beat actually experiencing what it must have been like riding one of these old bikes, so hopping onto the museum’s fixed Penny Farthing (no safety harness provided!) was a treat.  Press a button and your photo is taken as you pedal, then it’s posted online for you to view later (click here to see mine if you want a laugh).

At the back of the building was an impressive bicycle workshop, the contents of which were donated to the museum by the Hallaert family, famous for Belgian frame- and saddle-building.

CYCLING DOWN MEMORY LANE

Moving along, there were many inspiring exhibits of past Belgian cycling champions – including, of course, Eddy Merckx.  There was old footage of famous rides, cycling magazines, trophies; and many champions had also donated their winners’ jerseys and old bikes (probably would’ve ended up in landfill otherwise anyway).

Jean-Pierre Monséré (affectionately nicknamed Jempi), the famous Belgian rider who died in a head-on collision with a car, had a whole section dedicated to his life, and bits of his shattered bike were even on display.

BIKE TUNING

The finale of the tour was a jukebox with music linked to cycling (eg Tour de France by Kraftwerk).  We discovered that several of the past Belgian cyclists have clubbed together to release their own brand of cycling songs.  And as we went to have lunch back at the camper, parked only a stone’s throw from the museum, we were regaled with more Flemish cycling tunes booming from a speaker at the museum.  They reminded us a bit of bloky British football songs.  I’m sure they were meant to be inspiring, but if you ask me, I reckon the guys would be better off sticking to their cycling – ‘cos they sure ain’t gonna win any medals at singing!

WHEELY GOOD VALUE

My trusty Cycling Widow, Alannah, accompanied me around the exhibits and was surprised that the three hours we spent there had gone so quickly.  She hadn’t got bored once (at least that’s what she told me) – so it just goes to prove you don’t have to be a complete cycling nut to appreciate what’s on offer.  The staff at the Wielermuseum were most helpful (and spoke better English than we did Dutch) and, at a mere five euros, we thought the entrance fee was excellent value.

The following day was the Tour of Flanders race, and you can look forward to my next blog where I tell you all about our escapades there…  So tune in next time, or sign up to the blog to receive it automatically via email.


And there’s more…

If you’ve been following Steve’s Cycle Shorts for a while, you’ll probably already know that Alannah has written a book called Cycling Widows, but did you know she’s now released her Campervan Capers book?  It’s a light-hearted yet practical travel tale about our first year in the campervan.

Why not check them out, along with the other books on her website?

CLICK HERE to see what's on my shelf!

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Filed under Our Campervan Capers, Overseas Trips, Photography, Steve's Cycle Shorts

Edible Trailer…?

Ever seen a trailer that looks good enough to eat?

Click on the link to visit the WEIRD RVs website and check out this weird & wonderful sight!

Set in a garden as it is, I reckon the trailer looks like it could be a contender for the Chelsea Flower Show – the Urban Garden category, perhaps?

Alannah

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Photos – New Section on Blog

Are you one of those folk who’ve enjoyed the photos on the Campervan Capers blog?

Since starting the blog last year, I’ve had several comments from readers saying they’ve enjoyed the photos that accompany our stories

So I’ve decided to put together a brand new section with a selection of our travel photos, presented as collages.  Click the link to see the new Photo Tab on the blog.

If the collages leave you wanting more, then you can always check out the Campervan Capers photos on Flickr.  These illustrate the stories in the Campervan Capers blog as well as my recently-published Campervan Capers book, and more will be added as time goes on.

If you missed out on the blog about the Campervan Capers book, why not click on the link and check it out.  You can currently read 20% of the book for free on Smashwords.

In addition, I’ve released The Welsh Leek Conspiracy, a light-hearted travel tale adapted from the book, as a free download.

All my work is available on Smashwords in a variety of digital formats – for eReaders, home printing or computer screen reading.  For more info, visit my Smashwords Author Page or the Foley’s Forum website.

HOPE YOU ENJOY THE PHOTOS!

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Campervan Capers on Flickr

CAMPERVAN CAPERS fans will by now know that the long-awaited Campervan Capers book is on its way to being released within the next few weeks…  It is, of course, a light-hearted yet practical travel tale which follows me & my partner, Steve, on our first year exploring the world of campervanning.

Due to us Bimblin’ Round Belgium recently, of course, there has been a slight delay in getting the book out, but I do like to keep our readers happy.  So in the meantime, I’ve not only published The Welsh Leek Conspiracy – an extract from the book – but have now put together a whole bunch of photos on Flickr, taken whilst on our mini adventures.

Click on the link to check out the photos on Flickr, and if you missed The Welsh Leek Conspiracy, then just log onto Smashwords.  It’s a free light-hearted travel tale downloadable in various formats – for eReaders or home printing.

As soon as I’ve finished putting the final touches to Campervan Capers, I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, enjoy the photos!

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Steve’s Cycle Shorts 5 – Bikin’ In Belgium

BIKIN’ IN BELGIUM – March/April 2012

When Alannah & I first decided to go to Belgium, it was originally to explore some of the caves which are abundant in the Ardennes area of the country.  I realised, of course, that in a cycling-crazy culture, this was a perfect opportunity to notch up a few hours on the bike…

GETTING INTO GEAR

On the journey down to Wallonia, the French-speaking south of Belgium, we stopped to take in the sights at the riverside town of Dinant.  Early on a Sunday morning, it was amazing (and heartening) to see so many folk out and about: some walking, others cycling in groups or solo.

We parked up next to a chap struggling with his racing bike, his young son patiently waiting beside him with his own racer.  They were both adorned in swish-looking cycling kit.  Getting out of the camper, it was obvious the guy was having trouble with his gears, so I dusted off my schoolboy French and offered my assistance.

For ten minutes, we worked together to get his gears into some sort of satisfactory shape, during which time he told us (speaking a mixture of French and English) that he was training for a triathlon & had already lost a lot of weight – although he admitted losing a few more kilos wouldn’t go amiss in enhancing his performance!

TIME TO REFUEL!

Evidently chuffed with my intervention, he offered up some energy drinks & gels he’d got from his sponsor – which was great, as I hadn’t bothered to bring any specific nutritional products along with me.

We thanked him, heading off to find a pâtisserie with tasty morsels with which to refuel my energies after the gear-mending session.

CYCLING HQ

Moving further south, we eventually found a picturesque campsite we decided to call ‘home’ for a few days.  Situated between the towns of Remouchamps & Aywaille (south of Liège), it was a perfect area for cycling in general, so we purchased a cycling route map which highlighted the VTT (Vélo Tout Terrain) trails as well as the roads. And with my trusty ATB (that’s ‘All Terrain Bike‘ to the unitiated), I had the choice of switching between road and off-road and could go out for a few jaunts with Alannah (on her old MTB) as well.

FLEMISH, NOT PHLEGMISH!

At the start of our holiday, Alannah spotted a Flemish chap (called Gaston) cycling back to the campsite.  Thinking of me, she asked if he’d like some company on his rides, so we teamed up for a few afternoon jaunts.  Now, Gaston was 70 years young and able to cover 70 or 80kms with relative ease.  But he also delighted in telling me of his cycling colleague back home in Antwerp who, at 82 years of age, was faster than him.  So much for the idea that you have to become a wheezing old codger when you get older!


Gaston knew the area well and we had a good few rides together in perfect weather.  The cycle trails were suitable for any bike and the roads had lanes marked out for cyclists.  Pedestrians & motorists alike seemed to accept our presence, with the latter giving cyclists a respectfully-wide berth – in contrast with many of my experiences in England.  Along the trails everyone greets each other with a ring of their bell or a simple “Bonjour”.

THE LAST LEG…?

One day, returning from some sightseeing in the ‘van, we spotted a cyclist waving at the top of a hill.  Was he beckoning the two other cyclists further down?  We weren’t sure, so we pulled over just in case.  The chap asked where we were going and if he could possibly have a lift.  He was obviously a serious cyclist: his cranks were fitted with an SRM power meter.  Wondering why he needed a lift, I enquired what the problem was with his legs, light-heartedly prodding his quad with my finger.  I immediately regretted doing so, as he explained (in excellent English) that he’d crashed some time before & was struggling to turn his legs over.

With groin strain and a scuffed arm, this guy was going nowhere for the moment, so we strapped his bike onto the back of the camper and set off.  As I drove, curiosity got the better of me & I had to know his average power output for the ride.  He had covered 80km at an average of 245 watts.  Impressive!  It turned out that the cyclist had driven down from the Flemish-speaking north of Belgium specifically to ride this heavily-wooded area.  By the time we dropped him off at his car in Aywaille, he said he’d be fine – in fact, he was more concerned about the grazes on his bike than the ones on his arm (no surprise to all you Cycling Widows out there!).

WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

On another day, Alannah and I thought we’d check out the local area using our newly-acquired cycle route map, and we ended up knitting together bits from several different routes.  This would give us a shorter, closer-to-home route that would be suitable for Alannah’s abilities.  Or that was the plan, anyway.   I’d noticed beforehand that part of the route was in fact used for the 1998 VTT European Championship Course, and might have neglected to mention this to my other half!

Not long into the ride, we entered the woods and the terrain soon became rather steep.  I was impressed with how well Alannah was managing to get her heavy old bike up the slope – although she did complain that she’d hoped to actually ride her bike that day, not push it!  Finally, though, at the top of the hill, the terrain levelled out, giving expansive views for miles around.  Then we wound our way down the sheer valley, soon to return to Campervan HQ for a hot cuppa.

I could have stayed in Remouchamps for much longer but after a week we had to move on, as we’d planned to go north to check out the Tour of Flanders

SO, STAY TUNED…

…because another post is coming shortly on Steve’s Cycle Shorts, our Campervan Capers sub-blog…  Not only will you get the low-down on the Tour of Flanders, but we’ll also be exploring the Wieler Museum in Roeselare!

If you’d like to automatically receive the blog in your inbox, just enter your email address in the ‘subscribe’ box in the panel to the right of the blog.

HAPPY CYCLING (and campervanning), FOLKS!

CAMPERVAN CAPERS

CAMPERVAN CAPERS BOOK UPDATE

If you’ve been waiting to hear about the forthcoming release of the Campervan Capers book, you’ll be pleased to know that the end is now in sight! It’s now available at all major outlets online. Click here for more info.

 

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Around the World in Eighty Years – Travel Photography

Hi folks!

Just thought I’d pass on a link to some lovely travel photography that I came across by James O’Donnell…

Unfortunately, couldn’t see any shots of campervans.  Nevertheless, there’s bound to be something in here to please the eye.  This link shows landscape photography and there’s a drop-down menu for other types of photos.

http://www.aroundtheworldineightyyears.com/galleries/landscapes/

Love the title of James’ site: Around the World in Eighty Years!

I’ll be in touch soon with more info about the Campervan Capers book and links to some photography of my own taken during the time in which the book was written.

Happy travels!

Alannah

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The Land of Arthurian Legend

Journey Date

Daytrip – 30th Sept 2011

Destination

Tintagel, Cornwall

When it comes to holidaying, people are renowned for neglecting their own locale in favour of somewhere farther afield.  Over more recent times, however, we’ve been making a point of sucking the marrow out of the local tourist destinations (as it were).  And, as we had a visitor over from Down Under who was keen to visit Tintagel Castle, we fired up the campervan for another daytrip.

MONEY FOR MYTH…?

The site of Tintagel Castle, set on Cornwall’s north coast, is now owned by English Heritage and, as most of you will know, it’s the birthplace of King Arthur – or, should I say, the legendary King Arthur…?

Having paid our entrance fee, we were treated to a short video about the site, which made it clear that the story of King Arthur is not necessarily fact, but may actually fall into the realm of myth.

Hmm…, I thought, we fork out good money to see King Arthur’s birthplace, and then we find out the guy might never have existed!?  Well, we were here now, so I guess we’d have to make the most of our day – King Arthur or no King Arthur.

ARTHURIAN ATMOSPHERE

Now, I could have regaled you with tales about having visited a bleak, windswept coastline and it might have sounded quite atmospheric, what with romantic monarchic legends haunting the landscape.  Unfortunately, it was a beautiful day which showed off the last of the summer sunshine, so much so that our Ozzie visitor probably thought he was back home.  I apologised for the good weather, promising that it actually was normally much more overcast and gloomy here in England.  Better luck next time, eh?

Apparently, Tintagel Castle was built about 500 years ago (some time after the not-sure-he-even-existed King Arthur was supposed to have lived).  However, before we were to see any of the ruins, we would have to scale a heckuva lot of steps.  And I don’t use the word ‘scale’ here lightly.  The steps were so steep that one lady had to lift her dog up them.  And don’t get me started on wheelchair access – which would have been impossible unless you had a winch.

At the top of the first flight of steps were the remains of a fortification, now home to a solitary seagull.  Looking over the walls, it was clear that the sheer cliffs and lashing seas would have afforded strong protection against marauders – and, if nothing else, the steep incline would have wheedled out the unfit ones.

DOORWAY TO THE PAST

Descending the steps was almost as hairy as the ascent, and we moved on to another set of slightly-less-steep steps which led, through a medieval-looking doorway, to the main headland.  Here were the ruins of a stronghold built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, in the early 13th Century.

Over the years, the headland has apparently seen many constructions come and go; and outlines of old buildings can be seen dotted about.  Thousands of pieces of pottery have been found in the area, which have led archaeologists to believe that Tintagel was the centre of a luxury goods trade, the likes of which are unknown in the rest of Cornwall.

On such a sunny day, the views from the cliffs were glorious; and I had to wonder what it must have been like living on the headland all those years ago, especially when it was cold, wet and windy.  Squalling winter days might make an atmospheric backdrop to films and TV shows about King Arthur and the (also legendary) wizard, Merlin (whose dwelling cave is said to have been somewhere down below the cliffs), but they can’t have been that pleasant to endure.

Can YOU spot the clot?

CLOTTED CORNISH…?

After we’d had enough exploration, it was time to head off to town so our friend from Down Under could experience a traditional Cornish Cream Tea.  Now, some say that Cornish folk aren’t that bright, but Steve & I have always thought that anyone who can charge a fiver for a bit of hot water, a couple of teabags plus scones, cream & jam – all of which are pretty cheap and left to the customer to look after – has got to be pretty canny!

Fully refreshed, we made our way home and our Ozzie friend spotted a sign for ‘Arthur’s Stone’, so we turned off to investigate.  No doubt, he was keen to see if this would lead us to the stone from which King Arthur pulled out his legendary (and possibly non-existent) sword, Excalibur.

Unfortunately, time was getting on and the entrance gates were locked.  We turned round and drove off.  My friend might not have shown it, but deep down I think he was disappointed at not having had a chance at trying to pull the sword from the stone.  Oh, well…  At least he’d been to see Tintagel Castle… even if Arthur was the stuff of legends and might not even have existed in the first place!

TIPS & CONCLUSIONS

  • Since there is no parking at Tintagel Castle, you need to find alternative parking.  We found a spot just before the town which was cheap at only £1.50 a day.  The Pay & Displays in town would probably cost a bit more.
  • Rather than take extended holidays, why not go for shorter local breaks and learn something about your area.  The money you’d normally spend on fuel can either be saved or spent on a treat and you avoid the hassle of having to load up the campervan.

For the foreseeable future, we’ll be taking our own advice and getting the most out of the campervan by making daytrips.  It’s a great way of exploring the local area whilst letting the van stretch its wheels every now and then.

COMING SOON…

We recently made a short trip out in the camper to undertake what would no doubt have looked to some like ‘strange goings-on’ off the A30 – all of which will be the focal point of another Steve’s Cycle Shorts soon.

Advice to Cycling Widows: To avoid disappointment, never ask your fanatical cycling spouse if he loves you more than his bike! You may not like the answer you get.

If you enjoy reading the Campervan Capers blog but don’t want to be bothered checking for new posts, then why not become a subscriber and get it sent to you by email?  Just enter your details under ‘Subscribe Here’ (in the right-hand panel) and let our ‘virtual secretary’ post one out to you automatically.

WHAT?…  THERE’S MORE?…

If you noticed the date of our trip to Tintagel, you’ll probably be wondering why it’s taken me so long to post.  What have I been doing all this time?…  Sitting on my backside?  Err…  Well, the answer is YES, actually, I have!

As it happens, I’ve been beavering away on my other writing projects so I can finally get round to working up a first draft for my Campervan Capers book.

LATER POSTSCRIPT…

My book is now finished, so you can now read about our adventures in Campervan Capers. Available at all major outlets online. Click here for more info.

CAMPERVAN CAPERS

 

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Filed under Cornwall, Doorstep Daytrips, Our Campervan Capers