The Blue Arsed Fly: Onwards and upwards! 10



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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”.

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?

Bruce Hathaway

Bruce and Elaine Hathaway are Grey Nomads that travel around Australia for 3 mths of the year. Bruce is a retired Electrical Engineer and before that spent 8 years in the Navy and is a Vietnam War veteran. Elaine was a stay at home mum who looked after their two children and was very involved in the Guides and enjoys making new friends and having a chat.

  1. Let’s hope you both have many happy adventures together in your Van Enjoy!!!

  2. Happy trails BAF and Mother. Glad you have it sorted no doubt something will arise as it does with caravanning.

  3. Good luck to you. Boots on other foot for us. My husbands in the wheelchair and I’m the tow-er or tow-ee. Currently looking at small lift to get ‘father ‘ in and out of van. Hope we meet up some day. Keep on keeping on. All the best to you and mother

    1 REPLY
    • Diane we have an electric lift on the side of the van for Elaine to get into the van, it will take a wheel chair, go to Aussie Lifts web site they are in Brisbane, you will see the lift on our old van

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