Living with Marmiteman the final slog

5th Day Thursday Lancashire
The first camp-site without mad axe looking owners, just a very friendly farmer who donated to David’s charity funds. All camp-sites have mainly been a field along an unnamed road with showers if lucky but the views are worth it. Hard to get the kids out of the van for all of 10 minutes before they want to get back in. What is the fascination for being inside? I have made a rule that while I am cooking everyone including Murphy have to step away from the van……

Jake and I had to go and find David today as it was now dark and he had underestimated his journey, also realised he was actually going to the wrong village! Have decided that we need to make sure David has the correct address of our destination as this was a bit worrying, didn’t realise we would need to plan everything for him! Should have guessed really.

6th day changed our route as we need to find a camp-site with a little more than just cold water and a sink as we have some serious washing to do and need tumble dryer as well, we could always travel along with clothes hanging out to dry but just felt a little too gypo like for the Marmite-man road crew. Once again can’t get anyone out the van so have insisted we cycle to the village, well all of us except Vicky who has volunteered to stay and clear up the van, so much mess always!

7th day and we have crossed into the Scottish border.
We seem to be a travelling internet café, it’s a little like travelling on the train as we are all able to use the computers for either watching the video or like me updating the blog while Vicky drives, although it is a good idea to close the doors and put the plates away before starting off as they all came crashing out and end up all over the place. Thought plastic cups couldn’t break, well you were wrong, we have managed to brake 2! Stopped for lunch and guess what it isn’t a motorway services or a Morrison’s or Asda car park but a real picnic area. A beautiful area with a stream, picnic tables and guess what no one wanted to get out, Vicky was on the internet, kids were watching Super Hero’s. Made everyone get out and at least look at the scenery, yes 10 mins later all back inside. Agghhh.

Hope to see David soon as he has travelled about 85 miles along A7 and we should catch up with him soon. Managed to get him out before 9am today but still a struggle, came back once as he had forgotten his water bottles. He has also managed to forget the address I wrote down for him, so he has no idea where he is going except to head towards Edinburgh. Should see him soon so we can give him the address.

Little worried that the boys know all the words to Barbie Girl. Callum even knows all the arm actions.

Catch up in a few days with some more crew news.

2nd Week

Still unable to get on line so blog whole of week again. Must make sure I can use Blackberry in future. David obviously found his the most important part of the trip as he managed to blog the whole trip.

We met David at a ski resort for lunch. Jake need to go to the toilet (we don’t like to use the van loo when a toilet is less than 100 yards away), but unfortunately the signs were all in in Scottish! He manages to read them in France but has not learnt Scottish at school so this was quite a trauma. Had to escort Jake to the toilets.

David decided to tell the ski centre that putting up notices saying NO was very negative and they should try an alternative way of putting their demands across.

Vicky is a shop shopaholic, along with alcoholic, oops so am I. She also has a passion for chocolate which we find hidden under her duvet. This could explain why she spends a lot of time in her bed.
Although she has now developed a chest infection so she has taken to her bed anyway. I think it is just an excuse!

Murphy has been wonderful, I can’t say a bad word against him. He is the best dog in the whole world. I think he will now come home with me. Sausages seems to be the loving word. He will do anything for a sausage. He also sleeps a lot and also doesn’t like the sand so can’t possibly go for a run on the beach but I do think icky is influencing his lazy behaviour. He has his own neck rest now so is very happy in his area between the front seats.

Jake and Callum are definitely getting on better, being able to spend time together has really helped. Hope it carries on after the holiday.

Vicky is going for the wink and wave now from the other motor homers! It is really getting a little too sad now as she is beginning to enjoy herself and has managed to make a lot of new friends, even if they are all nerds.

Day 10 – Phew I feel 110, so does Vicky, we have both aged at least 20 years on this trip. I haven’t even looked in the mirror since we left as frightened to see what is looking back at me! If you ever see the video you will understand.

We are sitting here waiting for David and Jake to finish their final day. Jake has managed a couple of days with David and has managed 71 miles, as the roads were a little too fast and furious for all to join David. Callum did a 20 mile ride along a very picturesque route and kept up really well, but decided never to do it again.

The last week- At last a light at the end of the tunnel.

John O’Groats a very bleak place, all shops look a bit tired and most of the shops are closed. The signpost is taken down at 5pm. The post is privately owned and taken down and you can only take a picture when the official photographer is there. I had booked him to come and take a picture at 9.30am the next morning but David decided it was a rip off so we didn’t bother with the official one but I secretly took some pictures from a different angel. David went and told the man £18 was too much money. We did discover though that you can actually take your own picture and make a donation to charity. Could not be bothered so just took a few ourselves outside the official roped area.

Day 11
On our way home with full van load now as David, Jake and Callum have no more cycling. Needless to say Vicky and I are still driving and spending our usual amount of time in and out of Morrison’s or some other supermarket car park. Glad David was on the road most of the time as he also is a shopaholic and has come back with so much food I am unsure the van will actually leave the car park. Did tell him we need to spend as little time as possible shopping as it takes so long to get to our next destination, we can’t faf around shopping.

Started today for Edinburgh at 11.30ish and have a 5 hour trek before us, which as we know always turns into 8 hours for some reason. Welcomed David to our holiday, the inside of the van.

Tried to look for B&B in Edinburgh but no luck so prob another night of me being slave to everyone. Hope to spend the day exploring Edinburgh and might catch some of the Fringe setting up as the festival starts next weekend.

Glad on way home and that everyone is safe. What a memory, the boys have all done well, especially David, I am very proud of him.


About marmiteman

Marmite man will be cycling 1000 miles over 10 days from Land's End to John O'Groats raising money for Mark Carey. My wife Lesley & grandsons Jake, Callum and Dylan and their Auntie Vicky are the support crew - not that they will be around during the day!
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1 Response to Living with Marmiteman the final slog

  1. Kevin says:

    Hi Lesley
    They say behind every successful man is a strong woman. David couldnt have completed LEJOG without you
    So Congratulations to you too.!
    Davids success was possible only becuase he was a part of a great team.
    Well done! Look forward to seeing you soon and hearing about the trip. Please Drive Home carefully.


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