I’ve spent nearly every birthday for the last 11 years at the NEC in Birmingham and I’ve learned a few survival tricks in that time. Show-shoes – flat and squidgy. Caffeine – consume well in excess of your RDA – a dangerous amount is optimum. Hand sanitizer – it doesn’t matter if you spend 5 minutes or 5 days inside one of the enormous exhibition halls, you will catch the lurgy. This time, it took 2 hours and 17 minutes from leaving before I contracted the plague – girl down. The jury’s out for James but we know it’s just a matter of time.
This was a first – a leisure visit to the NEC. Kindly invited by the folks at Elddis, we got our first real exposure to the motorhome industry – hundreds of motorhomes and vans on display and thousands of visitors ogling the vans and dreaming of what might be.
Having got over the disappointment of missing the bombastic Rustie Lee on stage (James had to by me a sausage roll to shut me up), we took our spot in the Live Theatre for what turned out to be one of the main attractions of the daily schedule – The Grey Gappers.
The Grey Gappers are the guys who’ve handed us the ‘blogging baton’ after their epic 18 months on the road in an Elddis motorhome. Speaking candidly on stage to a full house about their adventures, our own trip started to feel very real and very soon.
This must have been a tricky moment for them. Meeting the gits who have all their motorhome adventures to come can’t have been easy. They’re in full reality mode now and we could see the ‘holiday blues’ etched in their still suntanned faces. Regardless, they were super nice – answering a multitude of quite frankly ridiculous questions from us and even offering remote support for when we’re on the road. They may regret that. Karen had some excellent relationship advice (you simply must keep out of each others way from time to time is seems) and so many practical tips that she should be publishing a book.
As we pick up where they left off, we’re acutely aware of the size of boots we have to fill as they’ve attracted a loyal following through their time on the road. We are all too happy to pick up the mantle and hopefully a few of their fans will be able to continue to live vicarious motorhome adventures, albeit it, a little chillier!
Ironically, it was the cold weather and snow that often prompted a move out of area for the Grey Gappers as they travelled – a little different to our snow-chasing remit!
If you want to see more of The Grey Gapper’s trip you can see a video from their journey here.