Welcome

Photo of Jeni and Dave on a walk in the woodsHi. We're Jeni and Dave, also known as the Rolling Fruitbats. Since we've developed this website primarily for friends and family, most of you will know that already. However, many of you might be wondering just who the Rolling Fruitbats are.

Why "Rolling Fruitbats"? It's nothing very complicated really; the 'Rolling' bit will become obvious when you discover our lifestyle on the road, and as for the 'Fruitbats' bit - well, that just says quite a lot about our dietary proclivities really! Happiness is a big bowl of fruit!

What are Fruitbats Doing Here?

Photo of JeniIn a former life, before we took to the road in our motorhome - 'The Lorry' - we both ran our own small businesses in East Sussex, UK. We were fortunate in that we both enjoyed and believed in the work we were doing, and the people with whom we worked. However, like so many other people in their 40s and 50s, we found we were working harder and harder, and that some of the quality was beginning to fade. We felt we were able to spend less time with friends, family and, crucially, just 'being'. The hamster wheel of life had gained its own momentum and we felt we'd lost control of how fast it was spinning.

Photo of DaveSo basically, we put work on hold, sold our house and set off in search of new experiences and adventure, living permanently in our motorhome. We became part of the small community that, in certain circles, is known as 'Full Timers'. We're very clear that it wasn't about running away from anything, rather, it was going into new experiences while we still had the energy to make the most of them. That was in the late summer of 2003 and, a year on as we develop this website, we haven't regretted a moment of it.

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About the Site

As friends and family are so important to us both, we wanted to keep in regular touch while we were travelling. Of course mobile communication - the laptop linked to a mobile phone - doesn't come cheap, but it was an essential part of our budget and it meant no fortnightly fights with phone boxes in remote spots, plotting routes around Post Restantes to pick up mail or messages and working through the address book sending a stream of postcards. So we started a little, regular email update (yes, in the early days 'little' was an accurate term!) to family and a few friends. Not only did sharing our adventures and stories enhance our own enjoyment of our new lifestyle, it also encouraged our natural propensity to see things in quirky ways.

Dave Lupton's cartoon: Dave's Moonlight Flap - Dave takes a strange moonlit stroll while Jeni looks on, bewildered, from the vanOne of Dave's many hats is one with 'Cartoonist' embroidered on it, and it wasn't long before he was putting his own take on our adventures with his drawing pens. We had some wonderful responses from people, prompted by our stories: tales about their travels, helpful comments ('less of the ... please; more of the ...' etc.), suggestions of places we might visit en route. It's proved a fantastic way of keeping in touch, even better than we'd hoped.

But managing growing email lists became pretty tricky, and that's how this website came about. Now we'll be putting all the bulletins on the News page.

However, if you do want to continue receiving the email bulletin, you can do so by subscribing to it. There is a link on each bulletin page.

We plan to continue grow the site in the future, perhaps with a daily update (a web-log or 'blog' to some of you!), more of Dave's cartoons, and an area for guest contributions from other Full-Timers we've met, who have been unfailingly generous in sharing tips and time (and also food, drink, friendship and the occasional drop of loo chemical!). We also want to include something of a 'How To' guide or hints and tips, not as experts, but just sharing the Fruitbat perspective on Full-Timing and passing on what we've learned.

So welcome to Fruitbat World! We hope you enjoy the website and sharing our adventures. Of course we want to hear from you too, so use our usual email address, use the email link on the Contact page, or leave a message in our guestbook.

Just a word too in thanks to our dear friend, Ken Scott, who has put the site together for us. Do please take the time to visit his inspirational photography website, Touching the Light.

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