Not really knowing how many days it’s been since we set off, or whether that lovely thing that happened was today, or three days ago – this is the feeling of just living, I suppose. I’ve missed it!
We set off in the van to try out the lifestyle and work out whether certain things needed to be added, taken away, altered, etc. We’re never far from home for the time being – home being family and friends. Debating whether or not to install the massive sink Ebay kindly sent us (in exchange for money) Space verses general everyday cleanliness. I’m pretty sure we will. For now though, everything is great. We’ve had every kind of weather this past week apart from hurricanes and volcanoes, the latter of which is not really a weather (not at all actually, but that ash rain could probably ruin a barbecue as effectively as the former)
The first night we stayed in Ribblehead by the giant viaduct. There was a blizzard in the night and when we woke up there was thick snow everywhere. (Cosy as hell inside the van though – I think we both slept better than ever. Thank you, five layers of insulation. Thank you, glorious cladding.) The next day we woke up on the beach, Morecambe Bay maybe – Barrow in Furness was the nearest town. The weather was incredible, we woke up early and had coffee alfresco as the dog walkers began to appear. Twenty or thirty men swiftly pulled up in cars around us and started flying kites. Not sure I’ve seen kites flown so high up – they must have been enthusiasts, or something. It was wonderfully unusual. They were very friendly and smiley.
Today we woke up in a field by some sort of river estuary. The weather is glorious again, and what I particularly enjoyed about this spot was that there was absolutely no one else around. I let Pat have a wander on the grass – she was extremely excited; she stuffed her cheeks full of grass and ran around in a circle, then back to me (which was nice – Adam always says she’d leave us if she had the chance. I think she might if she was confident enough, but I hope she doesn’t.) Also on the subject of Pat – she shuffles a bit in the night, but for the most part she’s quiet as soon as the light goes out. On the subject of light, it’s hard to fathom that we actually spent six months to a year without power when we lived on the boat. We are essentially living in luxury right now. Everything works, just like a house, yet we get to wake up somewhere new every day.
There was rain on the first day, before the snow, and that’s quite lovely – I like getting on with work in the van while the rain patters on the roof. Speaking of work – our wifi has been brilliant in almost all locations, and whenever it’s not, the drive is no problem to go off and meet deadlines, then head back to a more favoured and picturesque spot. (This has only happened once so far.)
We had a jam last night with the two guitars. It’s been pretty much two months of jamless living, I think the break has been good in some ways. I’ve still written lots of songs. If Adam’s driving I can write about three different melodies and sets of lyrics during a journey. Background noise is amazingly inspirational – you can sort of climb into your own creative imagination and forget the world. I’ve not been writing them down much. If I don’t remember the songs later on that evening then they possibly weren’t any good. I’ll record as many as I can over the coming months.
We pulled a classic Adam and Bex today and parked near a local Wetherspoons to come in for breakfast, free coffee refills til 2pm, and a few hours of work. I already caught up with all my work yesterday so I’m taking this opportunity to write up the start of the adventure. We’re going swimming after this, a nice bit of exercise and a shower. We’ve been on long walks most days which is awesome, haven’t found any good spots to set the slack-line up yet, or get my roller blades on, but the walks are good. I’m wondering if I can still swim. We’ll soon find out. Wish it was the sea rather than a pool, but – the snow two days ago makes me think it might be wise to wait a little longer for sea swimming.
I’ve got my heart and my mind set on making an acoustic video tomorrow, probably a cover song. It’s been a while, and the camera battery is charging up as I type. If the weather changes it’s mind I’ll make some sort of van video from indoors. There is always a way – there has to be!
Whenever we cook food Pat comes out of her bed to have a nosy. I’m pretty sure it’s on par with begging, which dogs get told off for, but for some reason we reward her with compliments of cuteness and samples of tasty food. I tend not to question the nice things in life anymore. They are, indeed they are, and so they hopefully stay!
After scouring through the opening pages of about 12 different books in my Kindle, I finally settled on Charles Darwin’s Autobiography. He has a memory of his childhood in which he used to run one mile from his boarding school to home, to see his family, and he had just a short time within which to do it or the gates would close and he wouldn’t be allowed back in. He said he specifically remembers accounting his success in this endeavor to praying, rather than to his quickness at running improving over time. He’s also just started to briefly touch on his fascination with plants, and collecting things. I’m looking forward to reading about how his legacy came to be, and how his faith changed over time. I’m also looking forward to reading about his collecting habits, as I recently rediscovered my childhood collection of Pogs – I think I actually wrote about it in my last blog. I used to make my own Pogs, because.. Well.. f*ck you, ready made Pogs.
Not sure where we’ll head later on today or tomorrow, what I do know though, is that most roads down which we wonder if we will make it in the van, we generally do. It’s a try now learn later kind of system.
See you soon!