Tuesday 30 April 2024: April wrap-up

Gosh, April has been one of the fastest moving months all year so far. I can’t believe I’m already writing the month’s wrap-up post!

But first, the weekend…

We set off early on Friday, loaded up the van with clothes, perishables and last-minute purchases, and headed north-west towards Ingleton, of multiple waterfalls fame. We had a serviced motorhome pitch, apparently the last one available for last weekend.

Of course, we had tantrums galore. The traffic wouldn’t behave. The clutch wouldn’t behave. The bed wouldn’t behave. The dog wouldn’t behave. The television wouldn’t behave. (Yes, we have a Freeview telly in our new camper van.) The fridge wouldn’t behave. Everything took a few goes to find out how it all worked. But we got there in the end.

Our first night was cold and uncomfortable. We found out later that there was a part of the bed we hadn’t put up right, and a plank of wood that didn’t belong. We also found out that Friday night was a proper cold one. And Saturday found us shopping for sleeping bags because the double bedding just didn’t work.

The poet bought us a pair of ‘luxury’ 3-season sleeping bags and Saturday night, with the bed fixed right, was much more comfortable than the night before. And it was warm. Phew! We also went for a ride into the village. It was too far for the dog to walk, or even for him in his wheels. So we decamped the van and drove in, parking in a community car park that also has motorhome layby overnight parking for a small fee.

When we really get into it, we’ll be trying the off-grid camping. The poet already has an app or two where other members make recommendations. That was one reason we wanted a camper van to be self-sufficient, for those days when we can’t get onto a campsite or we don’t particularly want to.

The weather, apart from being cold on Friday night, was fairly kind to us. We hardly saw any rain when back home it was persisting it down. We took advantage of the warm, clean and tidy facilities that the site had to offer. And the poet was dead-chuffed when our ‘next-door neighbour’ complimented him on the van, saying, “It’s in really good condition, especially for its age. Very tidy.”

We used the oven on Friday night to cook a pasta bake and garlic bread. We used the hob on Saturday night to cook bacon, eggs, sausages and beans. We used the electric hook-up to make cups of tea and coffee with the electric kettle (we have a gas kettle too for when we’re off grid). We had cereals for breakfast and sandwiches for dinner.

We’re making a list as we go along for more things we’d like, and we’ve already ordered a thermal screen cover, a cable tidy, and a dog stroller. We’re going to take an extra pillow each and a smaller dog basket.

Rufus thought the van was terrific, especially when the bed was down and he could sit behind us looking through the front window at window-level. But we decided to get a stroller for those days we’d sooner go for a walk that’s a bit longer than he can manage. He was able to walk around the dog field, but had to be carried back, which of course he also loved. And we would have liked to visit the village for longer.

So we’re going to try him with a stroller to use when it’s a bit far for his wheels or his legs.

We were off the site a few minutes before noon and Google maps took us through a lot of villages coming home, to avoid some massive tail-backs on the motorway. Before Sunday was done, the poet was looking ahead to our next journey…

Monday was a slow day. I hope I’m not going to get the post-holiday blues every time we go away. I may as well write off most Mondays and some Tuesdays if that’s the case. Hopefully I’ll get used to it and into a rhythm. I had to go out in the morning to run some errands and when I got back in I finished yesterday’s blog post and posted it. Then I started today’s blog post.

I also ran through Friday’s jobs I didn’t get around to, such as this week’s diary, and I did some Monkey Dust admin for their next gig. Then it was back to the editing.

April wrap-up

I pretty much kept on top of all of my weekly and admin tasks. Two stories only fell by the wayside and one novella made way for another after the beginning of the month. I do think, though, that I need to lower the bar slightly and take it from there, as I’m missing too many targets. Saying that, I am hitting more and I’m reading more.

Here’s how April went in the end:

  • Easter break ✔
  • new month wordcount & progress spreadsheets for April ✔
  • Writing Mastery Academy ✔
  • produce a newsletter ❌
  • (week) daily blog post ✔
  • weekly tech scan ✔
  • weekly backup ✔
  • weekly diary work ✔
  • client edit: Taliban book ✔
  • Monkey Dust admin just once ✔
  • Diane’s gig list admin every Thursday ✔
  • revise short story for weekly market #1 ✔
  • write short story #2 for weekly market #1 ❌ (see THE SHEEP SHEARER below)
  • write short story #3 for weekly market #1 ❌
  • write a short story for 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS ✔
  • finances for May (today!)
  • dental appointment ✔
  • take poet to dental appointment ✔
  • Monkey Dust gig ✔
  • take dog to vet ✔
  • monthly schedule planning for May (today!)
  • start work on annual tax return ❌


  • pre-writing for Undercover Project ✔
  • revisit KILLER QUEEN ✔
  • brainstorm FALLEN ANGEL ✔
  • plan FALLEN ANGEL (yesterday!)
  • brainstorm THE SHEEP SHEARER ✔
  • plan THE SHEEP SHEARER (today!)
  • brainstorm THE ACE OF SWORDS ✔
  • write FALLEN ANGEL (today!)
  • buy a camper van ✔
  • go away in camper van ✔

How was your April?

4 thoughts on “Tuesday 30 April 2024: April wrap-up

  1. Well done on your first weekend away. Hope you enjoy many more x

    1. Yes, we have a lot to learn. We drove off twice with the gas still turned on, which is a health & safety risk on the road. And we drove away with the roof windows still open while I tried to get the cab heater to work sufficiently! We won’t be doing either of those things again. Said she, hopefully…

      Thank you. I’d like May to be more productive. We’re going to have extra holidays to pay for now, so I need to get stuff out and earning again.

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