VW Van – the picnic bus

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All spring we‘ve been poring over maps of Europe and planning grand trips through France, Italy and Scandinavia. But what we’ve actually used the van for is picnics.

Family gatherings in parks and days out birdwatching, flower watching or visiting exhibitions. And very useful it is too.

We’ve improved the facilities slightly by getting rid of the horrible fake wood on the units and painting them pale lemon, getting a cooker built in and buying a kettle. The novelty of heating water for tea in a saucepan soon wears off!

Instead of trying to store cups, forks, plates etc neatly, I’ve just put them all in the picnic rucksack. Folding chairs and tables are under the seat if we need them but as it’s rained a lot we often we just eat in the van, cosy as you like.

Another very useful thing about campervans is that when you get stuck in tea time traffic as we did when we were coming back from Bempton, you can get off the road and have something to eat. There was a leafy layby about an hour into our homeward journey so we Ieft the road and I put together, rather than cooked, a simple meal. The high top allows you to stand upright while you’re working and I really enjoyed myself in the little kitchen in the trees, the green was very restful.

Pasta with sardines and beetroot (for 2)

Enough pasta for 2 people

A tin of sardines (these were in spring water}

A few slices of red onion (diced)

A medium plain cooked beetroot (diced)

Juice of half a lime

A little extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

While the pasta is boiling, mash the sardines in a large plastic bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Drain the pasta and mix everything together then divide onto two plates. Naturally it does end up a bit pink which doesn’t appeal to everybody, but it’s delicious!

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