Laundry blues

In Birmingham to visit my friend, I decided to go to the laundrette in Boldmere. It’s quite run down and old and not that clean, but the machines work and they clean and dry your clothes (just) so all is good. There’s a lane of parking outside and a sign said 1 hour maximum wait with no return for an hour. I asked inside and was told “No worries, they never hassle us here.” So I set about doing my washing which given the age and condition of the machine was slightly high in price buy hey ho.

The drier was even worse: the glass was held in with silicone resin! lol It was also 50p for 4 minutes, which is a LOT compared to most laundrettes I visit.

I got chatting to the lady who worked there and during the conversation I remarked that the road outside was very busy and had been since about 7:30 am. She said that it always was busy but the trailer parked up didn’t help matters. I glanced outside and asked which trailer. “The big white one,” she replied, “it’s too big for this road and it oughtn’t to be parked there.” I said “You mean that camper?” and she nodded. I continued “That’s mine. It’s in the bay, fully within the white lines. It’s not in the way of traffic but the queue is actually on the other side anyway.” She glanced up sharply “Oh it’s yours?” I said “Yes, I have a friend in Sutton that I’m visiting so I’ve come here to do my laundry.” “Ohh it’s lovely!” she suddenly said. “I’d love to have one of those, you must love it.” She backtracked amazingly and it was so sudden and seamless that it was quite amusing.

Anyway we continued conversation and it turns out she lives in a static caravan on a site nearby. She likes it but wishes she “had wheels on it to move now and again.” Ahhhhhhhh thought I…there’s the reason behind the comment about my van blocking the road. She’s jealous! Amazing how petty some people can be, and how quickly they backtrack when they realise.

I’d put £4 in the drier and some things like jeans were still not dry but as that was double what I normally pay I said sod it and took my gear out. I can dry stuff in the van anyway. I smiled as I drove away thinking to myself, at least I’m not blocking the road anymore!

Bum-ing around

I was passing Sutton and called in to see Jane as I always do, and as the weather was great we went to Kingsbury water park for the day.  Of all things to take a photo of I took one of Jane’s bum! lol

A photo of a lady with a nice bum
Jane’s bum

Well, I still think to this day she’s got the best bum I’ve ever seen on a woman 🙂

Knock knock…

As I’ve mentioned I have a friend in Sutton Coldfield and I was visiting her and parked in ‘that’ notorious lay-by. I noticed that daily a young unkempt man with long straggly ginger hair wanders along the road adjacent to the lay-by. His demeanour strongly suggested some form of mental health issue or that he was homeless. As I was working at the laptop he approached the window once or twice asking for cigarettes but apart from that he appeared to be in a world of his own.

Some days after I’d become used to seeing him one of the many lorries that use this lay-by frequently had to call a fitter out due to breakdown. The fitter arrived, parked behind the lorry and got out to have a look at the engine and after some deliberating he opened the rear doors of his van, took out some tools and went back to the broken lorry. At some point the ginger lad wandered over to the rear of the van and was looking inside.

The fitted saw him, came rushing over and punched the lad straight in the head. The fitter was a large, strong young lad so ‘ginger’ was sent flying onto his back. The fitter moved toward him so I rushed out to try and explain to the fitter that the lad clearly had some issues and it wasn’t fair to be beating on him when he was so clearly unable to defend himself, especially against such a big, strong man.

The fitter was unimpressed and came out with some hearty language, but at least he backed off and continued with his work. Ginger had got up by now and was muttering to himself, and as he looked OK I left him to it and returned to work. Here’s a gratuitous shot of the view from this lay-by.

A picture of wheat in a field
View from the lay-by

Much later that evening I was settled in for the evening, fire on as it had been raining most of the afternoon, when I had a harsh rapping coming from the floor. It took me some seconds to work out where it was coming from, and I also heard a voice.

I went outside but no-one was around. I looked underneath the van and there was Ginger! When he saw me he said “Please turn on the engine. I’m cold.” To say I was stunned would be an understatement, and I began to laugh, however he was deadly serious. It was cold, and wet.

I tried to persuade him to come out but he wasn’t having it, simply asking me over and over to turn the engine on as it was cold. I tried explaining the dangers of doing so, the burn hazard from the exhaust, the poisoning from fumes, and even invited him inside for a hot cuppa, but he simply kept up his repetitive requests, interspersed with some random ramblings.

In the end, I decided to turn the engine on, thinking the noise might scare him out. It didn’t.
I let the engine run for perhaps 10 minutes then shut it off, and within a minute I heard him rapping again and shouting for me to turn the heat on!! lol  

I got out again but no matter what I said he simply kept up his repetitive requests. I even grasped his ankles and tried to drag him out from underneath. But he shuffled away to avoid me and when I caught one ankle, he got hold of the chassis and clung on for dear life.

There was no way I would be able to drag him out. I couldn’t drive away either as there is no room for a human underneath the rear axle and he’d get some nasty burns from the exhaust at the front.
I had visions of him clinging on to the bottom of the van in the way Robert De Niro’s ‘Max Cady’ had in Cape Fear, as I drove off!

I finally decided that the only way to get some peace in the short term was to turn the engine back on. Then I had to think about calling the police. I wasn’t happy with that as I had visions of them having a crane come to lift the van off him to ensure his safety. It was all a little perplexing to say the least haha

As luck would have it, I was saved by nature.

I hadn’t noticed that he’d crawled out from underneath until I saw a ginger flash in the trees and at first though it was a red squirrel. It was indeed ‘Ginger’ taking  a leak. I’ve never moved so quick as I did, grabbed the keys, ran to the drivers seat and drove off as fast as I could. I was actually exhilarated as I drove away, and started laughing maniacally to myself lol

I returned later and he was gone, although he did spend 2 full days more over the next week under my van, both times when it was raining.

It just shows that a little ginger does indeed spice things up!

Visiting Jane

Picture of a smartly dressed woman in my van
My friend Jane

After my exploit in Ipswich I came up to Sutton Coldfield to see my friend Jane. She’s just qualified as a social worker and is one of my best mates.

When I visit her I use a lay-by to park the camper in which is a mile or two outside of Sutton Coldfield. It’s quite a deep one and is usually full of lorries who spend the night there before going off to deliver their goods. I’d been there many times but one night I heard a revving of engines and some youths screeching. I went to the window and as I did there was a thud on the side of the van.

Image of dents in the side of a camper
damaged van

The thud turned out to be a beer bottle that had been thrown at the van. In the first image you can clearly see the two dents from the tough rim of the top and bottom of the bottle. I went to get my torch, which is a 3 million candlepower thing that is almost like carrying a car headlight around. I find it a very useful weapon as it intimidates people if you shine it in their faces.

Anyway, so I got it out and started shining it on the faces of the 3 lads that were

Picture of a dent in the side of a camper
Another dent

standing outside of the car. As I switched it on there was another thump and a second bottle hit the van. This one hit neck first and left a more gouged dent in the thin aluminium skin of the van.

I walked towards the group who were about 30 yards away yelling and shining my light in their faces but like the immature idiots that they were they all jumped back in their cars and sped off. Wankers!

So now I have a damaged van and for what? They were jealous of me parked in a motorhome? I’ve had lots of hooters (people who blast their horn as they drive past) and quite a few ignorant gits but never aggression like this. I shall be wary in future!