Roo has always had an obsession with small things. Sometimes I think that’s why she married me gets so excited about hamsters. Ahem.
In China, we spotted THIS:
And Roo was besotted. She talked about the weird bubble-bike-thingumy for days, eventually mapping out a grand adventure all around Australia in one – or possibly in two, seeing as how they weren’t big on luggage space. Or big period. She ranted on to anyone who would listen about converting the bikes to solar energy, getting sponsorship from a big solar company, and doing the whole expedition for some charity or other.
Anyway, we were stymied in our efforts to import a pair of bubble bikes because neither of us speak Chinese… and, well, to be honest, importing vehicles did seem a bit grown up for us.
And then Roo saw the Twizy.
It was parked outside our local supermarket, and I couldn’t drag her past it. The owner came out with his shopping, saw us staring, and said, “Oi! You lookin’ at my Twizy?”
To which a variety of responses occurred, but fearing bloodshed was imminent, I simply said, “Ah, yes.”
“Well come on then!” he beamed. And before long we were sitting inside, as he explained some of the more peculiar features, like clip-in windows and the immensely long power cable that is fitted with a regular UK-style 3-pin domestic plug. “Charge it anywhere!” he explained, which was good as the thing could only go about 40 miles before it ground to a halt. “But perfect for about-town driving!” he enthused.
So, not ideal for a month-long sojourn across the Aussie outback then, I realised – although town driving would surely come with its own challenges. Particularly in England, where kids tend to throw bricks at things they don’t like.
But then we picked up a free magazine – in the same supermarket where we’d first spotted the Twizy – and inside was an article about an exciting scheme only 3 hours south of us; the New Forest Twizy Hire experience!
To say Roo was excited… well, let’s just say she had to be restrained for her own safety.
And so, with our time left in England rapidly diminishing, and a whole host of things still to do – like packing, visiting friends, writing books – we instead opted to ignore all that crap in favour of navigating our way to the New Forest, in search of a mini-adventure. I haven’t seen Roo so excited since we got married… no, scratch that – since her hamsters arrived, a year before the wedding.
From here on, I’ll let the video do the talking. We’re trying to do more filming of stuff as we travel around, and the result will inevitably be more of this kind of rubbish – Video Blogs, as all the cool kids are calling them. Or, “Why do I sound like such a goon?” as Roo calls them. Personally, I can’t stop looking at the size of my nose. Good God, if the camera adds 5lbs, that’s where all mine went!
Oh, a few things I should mention: we’d planned on camping the night after hiring the Twizy. Suffice to say, we didn’t.
The company doing the hiring had recently gone bust, and all the Twizy’s had been bought up by the boss of a VW camper hire place – you English types can get hold of them on: 01590 624066.
And in case it isn’t obvious from the video, we had an absolute blast! 🙂
Made me smile and laugh.
Cheers Sue! Glad it did. That’s pretty much my motivation in life – make people smile! Luckily, I’m a complete idiot, so I don’t have to work hard at it – I just do what I do, and everyone else points and laughs 🙂
Love your blogs! Enjoyed your first book so much. Keep up the fun and travel and keep us all posted!
Thanks Janet! Will do 🙂
This is the first time I’ve seen video of you two (sound, no less). Previously only stills. It seems ironic to me that the fact that you’re both exactly as I imagined you comes as a surprise (Does that make ANY sense?). Anyway, I enjoyed the video. Keep up the good work.
Cheers Bob! It always surprises the hell out of me – I hate my voice on camera! One reason why I was never going to do well as an actor… I’m glad we didn’t disappoint though! Somehow I always pictured myself as taller, more muscular, with long flowing blonde hair… 🙂
Tony & Roo! I was laughing right along with you… Can’t tell you how nice it is to hear your voices and accents! Please keep the vids coming; this was fantastic. Our car is a Mini Cooper, so you will feel right at home when you get here for your USA visit. We WILL squeeze all 4 of us inside, windows optional! Thanks for posting this; love you two!!!!!
Funny you should mention the accents – I have a much stronger northern English accent that I thought, and Gill’s 2 year old daughter has started to imitate it! She now says “Sit darrrn” and “Gerrup!” Which will stand her in good stead once she starts school in New Zealand…
Looking forward to escapades in the Mini! I was in one once, back in the UK – or rather, I was mostly in one. I didn’t all fit!
Tony it looks like you guys are having way too much fun in that! Can’t wait until I see you both here in the States.
We always have fun, Deb! Can’t wait to get to the States for a visit! Looking like early to mid 2016 now… Gotta let Roo spend a bit of time with her family first, as we haven’t seen them in over a year!
Hilarious, like…how many people can you fit in one? I bet with a buzz on o lot of people.
Literally, actually, 2. There wasn’t even room for us to take a book to read while it was charging! No luggage space at all, I had an umbrella under each foot and Roo’s bag and camera on my lap! My head was wedged against the roof… I’d say if I was 2 inches taller, or weighed 15 kilos more, it would have been impossible for me to fit in there!
How fun! You two make me smile! Looking forward to more of the Video blogs. Keep em coming.
Gonna start filming more and more! Just gotta get my hands on one of them GoPro type thingumies… 🙂
I’ve been wondering how much those babies cost. I would like one.
I think you can get one for around $300… pretty pricey! But there are LOADS of cheap versions, made by all different companies, and most of ’em are probably fine. Think I’ll start out with an el cheapo model 😉
I loved it! Made me smile! Keep blogging!!
Cheers Melodie, will do!
This had me laughing out loud. I’m just imagining trying to fold myself into one of those things….even the front seat would be a magnificent manoeuvre….may have to take the fake leg off though! I was really sorry to have missed your visit to Hemel ski centre at the end of last month….I hope the evening went well and if you ever venture to Hemel again (though frankly, why the hell would you?), please let us all know. Really liked the vlog – keep ’em coming. 🙂
Cheers Kate! We actually rather enjoyed the Hemel ski challenge, so who knows? it’s the closest I’ll get to snow for a while anyway, now that I’m heading back to Oz. Glad you enjoyed the video! I’ve got a few more in the pipeline… Now if I could just get the buggers out of the pipeline and into reality, we’d be sorted 🙂
Great to see and hear you too. I am finishing book three now. It makes me wish I had done these adventures before life got in the way.
Hi Chad! I know that feeling. There are so many things I still WANT to do – and I can’t help but feel like I’m running out of time… Plenty of travelly-type people get started in their late teens. I hardly left the country until I was 24. But on the other hand, my Mum is still travelling whenever she can – and she’s about to turn 63 🙂
Forgive the spelling that should say Great to see and hear you two not you too.
Ha! Man, you should SEE the amount of typos in my books when I’m done! I have to get it proofread by at least five people before all the errors are found!
You have a great talent for storytelling. You are so blessed and courageous to live like you do. You just do it, most people just talked about taking off to some where and living simply. You actually did it. Don’t lose your gift of adventure. Thank you for letting live me vicariously through your books.
Cheers! Although, my life is a lot less exciting than it seems – there are big gaps between the adventures in the books, most of which I spend actually writing the buggers! Lots of hours of sitting at my desk, typing away, cursing the computer, and drinking way too much coffee! That’s what I’m doing right now, in fact, as I put the finishing touches to the latest book. I can’t wait for it to be finished… in TWO WEEKS!!! Ahhhhh… Then maybe I can go off and do something a bit more interesting 🙂