We’ve been living in the mighty gold van for almost a month now. So ‘how’s it going?’ I hear you ask. Well, as you may have perhaps guessed it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride with numerous metaphorical (and real) potholes along the way.
The biggest metaphorical pothole (aside from the mini heatwave that left our tin can totally uninhabitable) was the discovery of rain water seeping in through the skylight last week. Yes, you read that correctly, the sh*****g f*****g roof leaks.
You’d think we’d know this already, seeing as we were working on the van in a very wet Ireland for two months. But noooo! It turns out that if you park the van at a particular angle (i.e. the exact angle it was parked on Rodney’s parent’s drive) the rain just runs off. It was mere luck that kept us dry through our first few rainstorms. Unfortunately that luck ended last Monday when we parked on the flattest patch of land in England and woke up to a raging torrent (a bit of a drip). We’re now only able to park on slopes until ‘Bodge a job Rod’ (business cards are on the way) gets what he needs to finish the repairs.
Soggy jim-jams aside, we’re starting to feel pretty good about living. The main thing that we struggled with in London was the feeling that life was passing us by; that there was never any time to do anything except work and sleep. We have very literally just bought ourselves some time. It’s not a massive amount of time (coz time is money yo!) but it feels significant.
For now we’re still figuring out how to live in a tiny space, and how to avoid killing each other when living in a tiny space. I’m happy to report that we are both still alive. We’re no further along in terms of a plan, but there are some big decisions on the horizon! We took the van into the garage this morning for its MOT and all future plans rest on the outcome of this momentous occasion. Fingers and toes are currently crossed. The results of this standard £40 test will determine whether we travel across Europe in a golden van this winter… or book ourselves flights to India / New Zealand / Japan instead. I’m not entirely sure which outcome we’ve got our fingers and toes crossed for to be honest?!
In the meantime here are a few highlights from our first month driving across our great british lands…
The fence appeared to be the only thing stopping these lovely bovines from humping the golden beast (Peak District):
Banana pancakes for breakfast (every breakfast):
Suspension bridge (Forest of Dean):
Moments after Rodney (part-time vegetarian) said ‘I’m glad I chose the chicken instead of that pork loin, I can hear the pigs squealing from here’, this little chicken crept up behind him with an unmistakable look of judgement in her tiny eyes:
A very green place (somewhere in the peak district):
Cheesy chips and a cuppa tea at ‘The Regent Restaurant’ (Weston Super Maaaaare):
Not a bad place to do engine repairs (Stratford-Upon-Avon):
Foraging for wild garlic- delicious! (Forest of Dean):
Wild mushroom foraging bounty- shroom roulette (Cheddar Gorge):
Peace and quiet and spidery sunsets (South Downs):
And here are some early tips for living in a van and for life in general (all lessons learned the hard way)…
- Do check for leaks before you set off
- Don’t expect to get a phone signal or wifi in rural England
- Don’t expect to know what day it is
- Don’t drive through a campsite at night (people will HATE you)
- Do pull over immediately if the van starts to shake and shudder
- Don’t wear skinny jeans on an eight mile hill walk on a sunny day