The Blue Arsed Fly: Onwards and upwards!

The Blue Arsed Fly is a wonderful grey nomad travel series by Bruce Hathaway and his wheelchair-bound wife, Elaine.

Well friends and other flora and fauna, greetings from the BAF! Quite a few things have happened since we last corresponded together (can I say the word corresponded or is that a dirty word?). Now when I last regaled you with me adventures me hearties we had a new van that we had adapted for Mother to suit her disabilities, but alas me fine feathered friends, things went downhill just after we got the van.

In March we decided to spend two weeks in Portland in the western district of Victoria, that’s about 350 km south west of Melbourne to the uninitiated. So we packed the van and now nothing untoward happened, no catastrophes or calamities of any sort this time.

We reached Portland, showed our visas and passports to the natives and were allowed to enter, set up the van, still no problems, got the missus in the van okay. I went and did the shopping, still everything was okay. Then it was time for nigh nigh’s and that’s when the proverbial hit the fan, Mother being mobility challenged had a bloody awful time getting around the bed to lie down, but she managed. It was in the morning that was the back breaker she had to back out and that was a real struggle for her. Then there were the really expensive leather swivel chairs we put in. We thought they would help her to get up as she could swivel around, but you guessed it she had an awful time.

I could see straight away that she could not handle the new van, so we came home after two days, Mother was devastated when I said what I observed and that we might have to sell the van. On the way home we discussed the problem and came up with a possible solution, instead of having a north south bed, turn it around and have an east west bed instead. That way she would only need to get to the bed to lie down, next the problem of the swivel chairs, we decided to ditch them and have put in slightly smaller island seating. That way Mother could use her walker in the van and move around a little better, it was that or sell the van. Now she knows I love caravanning so on the way back we went to the ROMA factory and discussed it with them and their response was “Tell us what you want and we’ll do it”.

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So me hearties that’s what we did, the only comprise is we have a double bed instead queen size but what the hell small price to pay to be able to keep on as Grey Nomads hey?


Tell us, have you had issues when you got on the road?