swings and roundabouts


Jesus is back. He was discovered at a neighbour’s, lured away by the promise of full Scottish breakfasts, oodles of milk, and a general lack of workmen and disruption. He is looking a bit scraggy, but certainly no thinner . . . We are keeping the wee man inside for a few days and the neighbours have been politely asked to stop feeding him fried eggs and sausages.

But my hopes of a nice, quiet few days were dashed when an idiot joyrider drove a car straight into the side of our campervan, which was parked outside our flat. Happily, no-one was injured, so I can show you what happens when a speeding car hits a stationary campervan.


As well as crushing the chassis on the driver’s side of the van, the force of the impact pushed it backwards into a parked car behind. The damage is significant. After some back-and-forth with our insurers, they are coming to take it away to look at it this morning and I fear that will be the last we ever see of it.

I am terribly upset. For me, that van – which we refer to as the wazzwagon – is so much more than just a vehicle. It has played a crucial part in my recovery and gave me hope at a very bad time. It has enabled me to enjoy the landscapes that I love, and has taken us all over Scotland. It may be that it can be repaired, but I very much fear the insurance company are going to want to write it off. Poor wazzwagon.







Please keep your fingers crossed for it.

93 thoughts on “swings and roundabouts

  1. not so easy to write on the keyboard with fingers crossed but i’ll managed it for you and Wazzwagon Kate !

  2. Oh dear, what a shame – you are being very restrained in your comments. I can understand your feelings about it entirely. Fingers crossed that it can be fixed or possibly replaced if not.

  3. I’m so very sorry about the wazzwagon’s damage — it has taken us ALL all over Scotland where we’ve been inspired and renewed along with you. As for wee Jesus, welcome home and here’s to a quiet house and healthier diet!

  4. Sorry to hear! I’m probably teaching you to suck eggs here, but … am I right in thinking that if an insurer writes off a vehicle they do it because to them it’s not worth repairing, but as the owner of the vehicle you are free to settle for a cash sum with the insurer and then get the van repaired yourself? Fingers and toes crossed.

    1. I think you are right about this- I had my car rear ended a couple of years ago..the company wanted to write it off, as it was fairly old and thus not economical to repair, but I kept saying that I wanted to buy it off them and repair it myself. In the end, they fixed it for me. (Obviously no good if it is written off because it is impossible to repair, but worth bearing in mind!) Fingers crossed for you, broken car is no fun.

      Pleased that Jesus has returned though!

    2. Hi Janneke – I think you are the same Janneke that I met all those years ago on the Welfare State international celebrants course? Wanted to say Hi ,that I’m still gigging and and that Kate is my daughter –

      1. Sue? Well hello there! What an incredibly small world! email me and let’s catch up!! jannekegeene – at – hotmail – dot – com

  5. I am sorry to hear your bad news. However, there was no-one hurt and things can be replaced, although it is always such a hassle and you don’t need that in your life. I am glad that Jesus is home and your house has ‘settled’ bit.

  6. That sucks. You could look on it as all being part of the ‘new beginnings’ theme, but I’d understand if you just wanted to swear a lot. I would…!

  7. Thinking good thoughts for the Wazzwagon. As JannekeJ menioned above, sometimes when the ins co tries to write it off, you can get it repaired yourself at a decent enough price (esp if you know anyone in the repair business) and the frame has not been bent (crucial point). Clearly, this event is the last thing you need at the moment with the house repairs, the move, etc., but here’s hoping this is just a bump in the road and not a full stop, The good news…you did find Jesus.

  8. Glad to hear that Jesus has returned. Hope this isn’t the end of your Wazzwagon, looks like you have visited some amazing places in it.

  9. Why do we insist on calling it “joy riding” when we ought to call it something that reminds us if how it usually ends??? I remember the feeling of the first post about it.

    Hoping for the best for you!

  10. I so hope you can get Wazzwagon fixed. I have an attachment to certain “things” that some might consider irrational:) After I totaled my car hitting a deer at night I took the insurance money, added some extra and got it fixed. I love my car, it has protected me for many years. (I also cannot throw away my kids old stuffed animals, and they are all grown up with kids of their own:)

  11. Whew! That is a jaw-dropping photo of the accident. As someone who lives in a smallish city and depends on daytrips for little escapes into the countryside, I sympathize. And as a reader of your blog (my favourite one) I would miss your lovely landscape photos if they were to come to an end. They are my mental escapes.

  12. I always name our cars. I associate certain parts of my life with certain vehicles. Hopefully wazzwagon can be fixed at the wazzwagon hospital!

  13. Worked in insurance at many levels. Make sure your adjuster knows the personal value to you and work with vendors to restore…most things can be fixed. Best of luck. Sweet Jesus…glad you are home.

  14. Aha, Jesus was just enjoying a wee vacation…but there is no place like home. Lock the scalliwag in until he readjusts to the new surroundings. You’ll have to be really strict with hime when you move…

    Sorry about the Wazzer…..fingers crossed it will be fixed. Cry a bit, go all limp….tell them you can’t go on without it…hand held to forehead….you know :)

  15. Wow, and I thought that kind of stupid stuff only happened around here. I do hope it can be revived.

    And I’m very glad to hear that Jesus is back. :-)

  16. SO happy the kitty is safe home again :)
    And I hope the vehicle situation works out to your satisfaction. I know it’s not the way the world works, but personally, I would be very, very happy to exchange every vehicle I’ve ever owned for the safe return of my missing kitty.

  17. Very glad your beautiful cat is home. Fancy your neighbours feeding him eggs and sausages?
    Hoping that you can come to some arrangement for your van?
    Chin up where there’s a will there’s a way!?


  18. I’m very happy that Jesus is back and so sad to hear about Ms WazzWagon. She is lovely and I have enjoyed seeing photos of her. I know what it’s like to fall in love with an object that has been with you through good times and bad. I have a Van much like that. I have photos taken from all over the US from that van. You can see the crack of her windshield and follow it’s travels from one side to another until I was afraid it would end up in my lap. I’m very fond of that vehicle.so I completely understand your feelings for yours. I am crossing fingers that she will be returned to you in tip top shape to continue your travels.

  19. My husband had a beloved campervan before I met him and it too was hit by someone else. The Insurance wanted to write it off but he had it repaired instead. And even though he loved it, he now wishes that he had taken the value of it and bought a new one instead – bear in mind it was pretty old anyway.
    So whatever happens, just remember that the important thing about the van was the peaceful places it enabled you to visit. Any future van – whether this one or another one – will once again enable you the freedoms of country air and peace.

  20. I kind of had a premonition that Jesus would be back, so I purposely held off commenting on the last, waiting just a little bit longer , to hear final word. SO GLAD he’s back. Oh, but how sad about your Wazzwagon ! Fingers crossed !

  21. Glad your kitty returned, sorry about your van. I drove the same car for 17 years, so I know how attached you can get!
    Beautiful pictures! I love Scotland and would return tomorrow if I could!

  22. So glad your kitty has been found. But your beautiful camper! I really enjoy your camping posts and hope to see more of them one day. (And here’s hoping there won’t be much call for your tag “idiot drivers” in future!). Wishing you the best.

  23. ‘Yay’ for the return if Jesus. I thought it only happened at Easter.

    Deeply sorry for the injury to your van. If they do write it off I hope that you can find another soon. I want a campervan!

  24. Jesus is back :-) :-) I’m very glad for you all. How cute and expressive is your cat ! But ‘Oh le gros gourmand ;-). In front of a Scottish breakfast I can understand why he could not resist ! Same problem with our daughter’s cat ‘Chouquette’ ! She has found a good restaurant just nearby ;-)

    How sad and unfair what have happened to your lovely camping van. Maybe it will recover soon to lead you again on the beautiful roads of Scotland.

    Fingers crossed !

    1. Heh – we are still in Edinburgh – don’t move for another month yet. Jesus is both Geez-Us and Hey-sous and, on occasion, Yay-su

  25. good news about Jesus! But really sad news about the wazzwagon :~{

    I hope they will opt for repair not writing it off

    we have all enjoyed your touring in the camper fingers crossed!


  26. When you told us what happened to the van I immediately thought of how much it meant to your attitude in life. Because of your van you have shared scenes of Scotland that make me want to come right over and visit. I do hope the powers that be are kind to you and your husband and you can resume those beautiful trips.

  27. Goodness, sounds like a “good news/bad news” joke! Happy for Jesus’ return to the fold, sorry about the Wazzer — fingers crossed when not needed for typing — sad about kitty losing his ultra-rich feed bag, glad the household is settling down. Whew!

  28. I hope Jesus gets over his snit now the workers have gone, and I’m thinking special gofaster thoughts for the Wazzwagon. xx

  29. Perhaps the Wazzwagon can be repaired to be even better than it was before. It looks like a specialty custom job to me.
    So happy the little Sausage Monster is back. Why would he give you and Tom and Bruce up for a sausage?

  30. I gasped when I saw that picture … how lucky no one was hurt! I hope that if the insurers do write off the Wazzwagon they reimburse you enough to enable the purchase of Wazzwagon v.2.

    Glad to see that Jesus is back.

  31. If the insurance company wants to write off the Wazzwagon, that may not be a bad thing. After as serious an accident as that, you are always going to be second guessing (is it towing properly, is the frame truly straight, might it leak? etc. The Wazzwagon is a great idea, but I am sure there are little tweeks that you would like – maybe a few cm larger, extra storage compartment, different layout etc. This might be your opportunity to get those “upgrades” without the bother of selling the Wazzwagon.

    I know that with buying a house and fixing the flat that buying a new(er) van seems too much, but think of the benefits of a newer/bigger/smaller/better van. If you go this route, I am sure you will bond with the new improved Wazzwagon very quickly.

  32. eggs and sausage……..what a crack up! and then the ultimate crack up :( your wazzer, dang. the only thing i would be concerned about is……..is it still structurally sound? hoping for the best for you.

  33. Wow…good that he is home…

    Yikes…I thought that type of “accidents” happen only here in the US…I’m sorry to hear that…sending good thoughts to Wazzwagon…

  34. I certainly hope that wazzwagon is not a write-off! I am definitely crossing my fingers for it, and shaking my fist at the joyrider.
    So glad Jesus is back, I have been thinking about him – Jesus turned Prodigal son…

  35. Why can’t stupid ass people do damage to their own stuff and leave everyone else alone?

    Glad Jesus is back. :)

  36. I’m a bit confused! Are you at your old place or have you moved to your new place? So sorry about the Van and so happy Jesus is back with you. Plus I love the new golden sweater.

  37. Sorry to hear about the wazzwagon. We have a similar van (called : de buzz) only in a faded red. It gives me a great feeling of freedom so I know it will be missed very much.

    Glad Jesus is back.

  38. Ouch on the van. One Christmas, a car of ours was totaled while we were out of town. NOT a small car: a Ford Explorer, 4WD. Fortunately, no humans, animals, or plants/trees were injured, which was pretty much a miracle.

    We ended up with a better car situation, and I hope that’s what happens for you here.

    Hurray on the return of Jesus! Ah, cats.

  39. De-lurking here to send good wishes for your van. I too am (perhaps unreasonably) attached to my car. It’s over 20 years old; a rear-end accident damaged the tail lights and the insurance people wanted to total it out. They towed it away and I stood there and cried. We fought against it and got it back, fixed it up and it’s still with me now. It’s got its quirks and if it ever gets hit again the insurance won’t help us on it, but we didn’t have the money to replace it. You may be able to reason with the insurance people; ask and negotiate, don’t just take them at their first word, they’re simply people too, after all. Will be crossing fingers for you!

  40. Wonderful news about your cat, but your poor van! In my area of Edinburgh we sometimes get people breaking off wing mirrors but so far nothing as bad as that. I do hope it isn’t a write off.
    We get a lovely cat from next door visiting us, but we don’t feed him. Great for a cuddle though as we had to say goodbye to our lovely cat a couple of months back. This cat has taken over her territory, and now smells of our curry plant just like she used to.
    I remember being really stressed when Molly disappeared one really cold bonfire night before I had the chance to keep her in. She reappeared warm and smelling of someone else’s perfume. Turned out she was always nonchalant about fireworks anyway.

  41. Wow…how does one flip a car like that and not acquire a head injury of their own?! So sorry about your wazzwagon and am hoping for the best. I don’t know about Jesus, but if our cat at eggs and sausages, I would have some cleaning up to do later. Hope that wasn’t the case for you.

  42. Nice to see Jesus back in the fold – I had a sneaking suspicion he found more accommodating digs – he’s such a cutie.

    But the wazzwagon – oh my! And that flipped car. I, too, was alarmed when I saw it. Do keep us informed, and I hope you get to keep your beloved camper.

  43. I am so relieved to learn Jesus is safe and sound back at home but saddened to hear about your poor camper van. Fingers are crossed, dwelling in hope.

  44. I remember when you first got the wazzwagon. You could sense the joy in your writing. I’m very sorry. Perhaps Jesus came back right when you might need a little bit of snuggly comfort (if he’s that type of cat). If wazzwagon is gone, hopefully wazz2 is in the near future.

  45. So glad Jesus has returned. I know too well what it is like when your feline friend goes walkabout.
    So sorry about the van, you must be gutted, fingers crossed for its repair.

  46. Hello Jesus – I was really worried about you. Now I am worrying about Kate so be extra nice to her please and make sure she tells the insurance people how important the wazzwagon was and continues to be.

  47. Hurrah for the triumphant return of Jesus, but I am really, really sorry to hear about the WAZZWAGON. The Wazzwagon is so much more than just a campervan; I remember the joy it bought when you and Tom first had it, and the amazing adventures you have had in WAZZWAGON since then… I really hope the insurance company don’t write it off, and that you can get recompense enough to repair whatever damage has been done. Poor old WAZZWAGON, I am keeping everything crossed for its reparation and return to the road, and also sending lots of love to you and Tom and Bruce and that naughty, cheating feline forager. Sorry your few days of peace have been shattered with this nonsense, big love xxx

  48. What a total eejit. Thank heavens that none of you were hurt.
    I feel for you: our parked car was written off by a speeding bus outside our flat in Edinburgh years ago. Three minutes later and my husband, me and our eight week old baby would all have been inside. Still miss that first car, our accomplice in many adventures at the beginning of our lives together…but we are all still here.
    May your insurers help you soon to have a new/ repaired/ even better set of wheels for all the adventures to come.

  49. RE: Sentiment about an inanimate object (van)

    Oh, get over it! It can be replaced. Could you as easily replace the unique personality of you cat if he were dead? ever??

  50. What terrible news! All the years of the wazzwagon….is the eejit joyrider not responsible for the damage caused? Good luck!
    Perhaps, if the insurance company won’t repair it, you can save a bit at a time for (probably quite) a while and fix ‘er up again. Good luck.

  51. Kate,
    I love Jesus he is an amazing cat. I certainly wouldn’t mind full Scottish breakfasts awaiting me every morning. So glad that he is back in you loving arms. I am hoping and praying that you can get your camper van fixed..

  52. I’m glad Jesus has returned (perhaps you should rename him Lazarus?) So sorry about the camper van …… on your behalf i will say my very worst swear word (the one for when I accidently stick a quilting needle under my thumbnail!!)

  53. Wonderful that Jesus returned home! One worry out of the world, but how terribly sad about the camper van. Your blog-posts about the trips you have taken has really made me want to visit the places you describe. My favourite is from the Bridge of Ordey (was that right?) when Bruce got to sleep on the Hunky Dunk! I have no problem relating to the disappointment and anger you must have felt, “så utrolig surt!” = so unbelievably sour – in Norwegian. Doesn’t come out quite the same…. When cherished belongings are attacked, it does feel like your privacy are invaded. Hopefully you will get another? All my best wishes, Turid (and for Bruce from my mini schnauzer, Mozart)

  54. What utterly crappy luck! Fingers crossed for you.

    We had our car stolen last year, so I can say from experience that if you don’t think your insurers are giving you full value for your van, stand your ground. At first ours offered us a value so laughably low it was almost insulting. We just kept saying, the value of our car was higher so can you please provide evidence for what your valuation is based on – they never provided the evidence, but after a couple of weeks and a couple of letters they gave in and gave us a cheque for exactly what we thought the car was worth (over twice their original offer).

    So for what it’s worth, if they won’t repair the wazzwagon (which I hope they can!), get a valuation from Parkers and one from Glass’s, and check the current prices of vans in similar condition – and prepare to be firm. Good luck!

  55. What a week!

    What sort of idiot feeds another persons cat!

    As for WazzWagon. I hope that is sorted for you quickly, so you can get back to your adventures soon.

  56. So glad to hear that Jesus is back and alright! I have two cats myself and I would be absolutely devastated if I lost any of them.

    Really too bad about the campervan, I hope you’ll be able to replace it with an even more fab model.

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)