August 30, 2008

London, a stealth mission and a new guest star

Ladies and gentlemen,

We'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Couchsitters' all-star cast, The Van Currently Known As Dakota Fanning (TVCKADF).

With less than two weeks until we left Lymington, and still no wheels, drastic action was taken. We kitted ourselves out in head-to-toe camo, blackened underneath our eyes and headed to London with one simple mission: buy a campervan.

TVCKADF belonged to a fiftyish Kiwi couple who had just taken her on a two-month journey around France and the UK. We met them in a carpark next to Wimbledon station to give TVCKADF a once over. She had everything we needed – bed, storage, fridge, cooker, grill, sink and dual batteries – but with a price tag of £2300 ($AUD4887), we weren't sure she was the one for us.

In stepped negotiator extraordinaire Craig O'Shannessy, who after quickly getting them down to £2000, realised that he could probably tighten the bartering screws a bit tighter and reduced our offer to £1750 ($3700), they tried to meet in the middle at £1900, but Craig stood his ground and Dakota was ours for over £500 less than the asking price.

After sorting our insurance, checking out sat navs and praying that we had made the right decision, the all-important name issue came to a head. A discussion over beer and pie at a pub ensued...

'I'll leave that one to Lisa,' said Craig.
'Hmm, I'll have to ponder,' I said.
'What?! You're gonna call it Dakota?' misheard our friend Karl.
'Yeah, I'm gonna call it Dakota Fanning,' I replied with the most sarcasm I could muster (which is a lot!).

And, of course, the name stuck.

And while we have nothing against the teeny little actress who has graced the silver screen in films such as Uptown Girls and War of the Worlds, and quite like the idea of saying 'bloody Dakota Fanning' whenever the van causes us strife, I'm sure you'll agree that if this van is gonna be guest-starring in this blog for the next three months – taking us through the likes of France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands and Belgium – it needs a new name.

So, we want you to make like Oprah and have a 'lightbulb moment'. What should we call The Van Currently Known As Dakota Fanning? Leave your suggestion in the comments of this post, and if we pick your name, you'll receive a postcard from us somewhere in Europe, and, naturally, fame, glory and prestige.

August 14, 2008

Desperately seeking campervan

Fun-loving, mid-twenties couple seek cheap (£2000 and under) campervan for a three-month van tour. Must like picnics in spring, board games in front of open fireplaces and long drives through Europe. Fridge and cooker essential, colour-co-ordinating with blog not necessary. Vans with a history of break-downs need not apply. Sound like you? Up for a good time? Contact sexycouchsitters123 by dialling 1300-VAN-LOVE.

August 06, 2008

Goodies from Down Under

While the 48 curries we've eaten since we arrived in England four months ago have more than tickled our tastebuds (and added to our waistlines!), nothing beats a little taste of home sweet home.

Just when I started dreaming of the day when I would once again bite into an Aussie Mars Bar (they taste different in the Motherland), in swoops my mega-cool, insanely-talented hero Julie (check out her amazing work here) with a care package filled with Aussie treats!


Red Rock Deli Chips
Sure, there is a wide variety of 'crisps' available in the UK, but Craig has been missing his weekly gorge on Red Rock Delis. He said eating them reminded him of Monday nights when we would do the shopping, come home and make something super easy for dinner and he would sit back with his weekly packet of Red Rocks (and eat them all in one go!).

Maggi Two-Minute Noodles in Chicken
After two years of saving for our travels, I became quite accustomed (ahem, addicted) to these cheap, nutritionally-lacking treats.

Mars Bars
My all-time favourite chocolate bar! It's not that the ones over here don't taste nice, they just aren't the same!

Eclipse Mints
There's plenty of chewing gum here (no thanks, it gives me headaches), Mentos, too, but what's a girl to do when she just wants a simple mint? Er, gets her friend to post her some I guess...

What, no Vegemite? How Un-Australian!

Nah, you can get it at the supermarket for £2! So we're still happy little Vegemites!

August 02, 2008

Lisa in London



Lisa's 27-hour London catch-up...

There were sausages and mash, pints of cider and the discovery of 'brown sauce' with Jackie (middle) and Fiona (right) in a Covent Garden pub...

There was a night in Queen's Park at Scott and Karl's. There was unpronounceable German wine, Scott's enviable gourmet cooking and a healthy dose of Kerry Katona...

There was a trip to Oxford Street, but sadly no purchases. Shopping is for people who have jobs...

There was a gossip-filled, way-too-short Malaysian feast in Covent Garden with ex OK!er Rachel (middle) and current OK!er Tash (left)...

Followed by a scenic stroll to Waterloo (with ABBA's Waterloo going 'round and 'round in my head) via my fave London attraction (so far..) Trafalgar Square...

Then back to Lymo on a two-hour train ride, listening to the extremely-suitable Sugababes' Overload — they're a British band and there are train references in the song, duh!