Spring, a time of rebirth and renewal.

New life appears in nests, in burrows and barns and in farmers’ fields – tweeting, grunting and bleating and all of it wanting to be fed.




Colour erupts around the countryside and the sun starts to warm our cold bones.  The sweet smell of pollen lingers in the air, the bees begin to buzz and butterflies flit amongst the flowers.





Betty feels the change of season too. Regular readers might remember a breakdown a couple of years back, an inexpensive valve failing and destroying a very expensive cylinder head. There were ongoing issues leading to a subsequent complete rebuild of the engine that should really have solved every problem we had.

Instead, things were about to get a whole lot worse.

Crossing the Houtribdijk last year, the little red oil light of doom illuminated. We checked, we had oil. We didn’t have any strange noises…yet. The light went out.  Volkswagen, in its infinite wisdom, designed a very complex oil pressure monitoring system to monitor a very simple engine. A system which is prone to failure. A combination of two pressure sensors and input from the alternator. We knew we had some alternator issues so put two and two together and came up with three.  The van got us home and we replaced the alternator and the pressure sensors. It didn’t solve the problem. Connecting up a pressure gauge revealed the ugly truth.

So here we are, emerging from the depths of winter and Betty is reborn with a sparkly new engine. Our journeys now lacking the colour of a multitude of warning lights, the unpleasant bouquet of leaking diesel and the cheerless chirping of unlubricated metal on metal. Nothing screams to be fed oil or coolant.

Dull and dark winter journeys that bring exciting, bright and vibrant springtime joy.

Betty Bus reborn, back on the road and back in a field.



4 thoughts on “Springwatch

  1. Welcome to Spring! And from tomorrow – even SUMMER (though is doesn’t look like one).
    Glad to hear you’ve treated Betty with a “new” engine; that’s what these little friends do: getting us everywhere, giving us joy and peace, and now and then beg for some serious attention. Our green one is waiting in the garage for new pulydamper and distribution – not a cost you’re looking forward to, but as we have plans for Sweden… With new shock absorbers, outer sills, and some small upgrades, she’s looking forward to a life after 380K! Stay on the road, have fun and let us know your whereabouts. Greetz from Bruges!

    • not looking like summer here either, very wet 😦 380k is good going, we passed 300k yesterday on the way back from Wales. Sweden sounds good, lots of forests.

  2. Hi Betty Bus, so glad all is well again. We’ve just had a brilliant 7 days towing our van to Harrogate.
    the weather was ok up there as well, but it is a long, long way. Took 8 hours going up M42, only 6 coming back via M62 and M6.

  3. Very good you’re on the road and in the fields again 🙂 Happy traveling and hope to see you all again. Greetings

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