Friday, 13 January 2012

Only four and a half weeks to go .........................................

Our ferry to Santander is booked for Wednesday 15th February 2012 - just over 4 weeks!!!!! How exciting/scary is that?

We're in the process of getting all the boring stuff organised:
  • Changing address on documents: and that's causing major headaches .......................... having moved from the farmhouse to the holiday cottage our address has changed from 97 Mountain Road to 97A Mountain Road; trying to change address over internet ......................... put in house number (97A), put in post code (*** ***) choose from suggested addresses 97 Mountain Road/97C Mountain Road - no 97A Mountain Road!!!! 'Computer says "NO"' - I KNOW where I bloody live and it's 97A not 97 or 97C. Same happened when I tried to change TV licence over the phone, an automated voice said my address "had not been recognised" I was shouting "97A" VERY loudly, but it couldn't hear! And going into my bank was no better, my new address wasn't on the system and apparently there is no manual overide!!! F***ing ridiculous!
  • E111, now called a EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD (EHIC): Firstly queued for ages at Post Office for form, only to be told they hadn't done them for years, but I could do it online. 'Googled' E111 first official looking site to come up was http://www.nhs-direct.org.uk/ so I filled in all our details and (here's where I made a BIG mistake) although the card was free I had to pay £9.99 for my details to be verified .............................. it was only AFTER I'd paid that I read the small print at the bottom ............... IMPORTANT: For the avoidance of doubt, please note that this website is not connected to, or affiliated with, the NHSBSA, Department of Health, or any Government office. This is an independent, third-party website, offering an EHIC application review and verification service, for which a fee is payable. The fee is PER FORM and up to 2 adults and up to 4 of their dependent children aged under 18 may be included on a single application form. You do not have to have your application reviewed prior to submission, and, if you decide that the service we offer is not appropriate to your needs, you may apply direct to the NHSBSA without incurring any charge. This is where I should have done it https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/home.do. Fortunately it wasn't a scam site and the cards have now arrived.
  • Campervan insurance .................................... here I go again!! Asked for quote, it arrived and included £30 for 'Driver's Legal Protection'  - what's that? 'Googled' it .......................... basically it's if you want to sue for something your insurance company hasn't covered i.e. "if you've had an accident and it wasn't your fault blah blah blah ............................"; so didn't want that - well try convincing the salesperson at the end of the phone that you don't want it, she tried every which way to make me change my mind - anyone would think she was getting a bonus for selling it to me!
  • Changing address on driving licence - so, so, easy (didn't expect that did you?) online; a site where I could manually type in my address, I had to tick a box to say I would cut up and return my old licence, and it arrived the next day (before I had cut up and returned my old licence!).
  • Buying all the paraphernalia for the van that you legally have to carry in Europe (high vis jackets, triangles, headlight covers etc); something else that was easy over the internet.
  • Travel/Health insurance: had to get 'backpackers' insurance as we don't know how long we'll be away. Used one of these comparison sites; found a policy that looked comprehensive and reasonable, filled in our details ................. then had to complete health screening ........................ Brett has slight asthma (mainly brought on by cold weather), he takes an inhaler (that's the only question he ticked 'yes' to), wanted an extra £100 for that; my high cholestrol (which isn't high any longer, 3.9 now) another £40; we KNOW that neither of these conditions will be an issue whilst we're travelling but if we don't declare them our insurance would be void if we made a claim for something completely unrelated - it's not fair!!!
Most of our 'to do' list is ticked, which makes everything seem a little bit more real now - especially as yesterday I printed out our ferry ticket (it's just sent by attachment to an email).

Next week we start the first round of our "Goodbye" trip - Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Essex (i.e. east).

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