Thursday, 26 April 2012

Updates and more inspirational stuff

Time for a few more thoughts and updates. First of all, I have discovered a new way to set up my seating that gives a really spacious feeling and creates a ‘corner suite’ in the van ~ great for relaxing. Using the extra bed cushion as a side back rest works really well like this with the rear seat folded flat. Its great for relaxing during the day, having guests, and gives me an extra place to sit in the kitchen too: (click to enlarge)
Myself and a few friends are preparing to make our annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, via Glencoe next month, so I have set myself the challenge of walking to the top of Cavehill in Belfast, twice a week to get into better shape. Its a good training for mountain walking, being a long steady slog to the top, followed by a steep decent, and with time to enjoy the view at the top, and a leisurely pace, its a two hour round trip, perfect for a morning or afternoon outing. Here’s a nice shot from my last visit, looking out over Belfast lough: (click to enlarge)
I want to share this video from JeffTheCanuck2 on YouTube as it was my first real inspiration to think about moving into the van full-time. After this I watched his series of video adventures and got seriously inspired. Thanks Jeff for your positive attitude, neighbourly spirit, and for sharing your Westfalia adventures. Lets see, in time I might start appearing in my own videos ;)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Inspiration and Strangford trip

Of course I’d encourage anyone to take this step.. A few weeks in and things are going very well. I’ve traveled around quite a bit locally ~ no major trips yet due to still working full time. I have open invites to many friends to use facilities, got a selection of wifi passwords around the city, and I’m feeling more and more comfortable about places to park for the night. People generally mind their own business – the only people who come and speak to me are camper van enthusiasts! I just avoid the thoroughfares where the flow of people goes after closing time ;) Also I’ve been getting busy so haven’t kept the blog going so much recently. I’m recently back from a round trip through Strangford – Ards Peninsula – here’s a shot from one of my overnight stays: (click to enlarge)
Its amazing not being tied to any location for ‘home’ as I drive my house around.. If I have a couple days off work I can basically go anywhere within a days drive away, and there are many many places. For a little bit of inspiration I follow a couple of guys on YouTube. One of them has just set off on a months trip and today uploaded this: enjoy ;)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

From an enchanted evening

Here’s a little video from the evening in the last post…
This tree kept me company one evening… (click to enlarge)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Enchanted Evening

It has been a beautiful afternoon and evening, and a great last few days. I have videos from the last few days, but I need a better wifi connection to upload them, so that’ll have to wait. So much happens, if I don’t post it soon, or miss a day or two, then there is always something new happening to add, and things get missed. So here are a few photos from this afternoon and evening ~ I just spent the time relaxing and looking at the view.. I didn’t even have to ponder on the events of my life ~ there is already more than enough time to do that..
It was warm enough at this parking spot, really.
Amazing place to stop, the vista was unbelieveable.
View from my kitchen this evening.
Sunset from a reclined position :p
Cattle after sunset..
From here I could see across most of South Down to the Mourne mountains. Watch the falcons scanning the fields for prey, and butterflies are already dancing in pairs in the sunlight, while birdsong echos through the woods behind. Enchanted evening..

Friday, 13 April 2012

Fellow Van Dwellers

Today while traveling in the north west of Ireland I had the good fortune to meet these guys and have a tour of their little abode:
Sitting in the doorway..
Converted transit..
A beautiful sunny day and great company…

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Too much or too little

Well for the past few days there has either been too much or too little happening to make a post here… I better get my act together eh..
Things are going great and new adventures happening every day… Going away on a little trip tomorrow, so lets see what appears from that…

Monday, 9 April 2012

Wet days

So yesterday I attended the zazen sitting in the morning and then spent time with friends.. It was fun riding around town on my BMX – I really wish I’d made an on-board video of that – I’ll have to do that again.. Then spend time resting and playing guitar in the afternoon before going to work for a night shift. I had problems with my computer yesterday, because my house battery had not charged properly the night before – for some reason the trip switch had tripped and it wasn’t getting charged. It worked fine last night though.
Today I parked up in the morning outside a friends place, and slept for a few hours, then we went out for lunch and a drink in a local bar. The weather has been wet the past couple of days and the forecast is not much better for the next week. Yet, since I have a night off work I have driven to another area and am spending the night in a peaceful place beneath some trees – there is a beautiful smell of spring blossoms in the air tonight. I’ve been working on making some tattoos for second life on the computer this evening using Gimp software. No pics or videos since the weather has been so wet and I haven’t been out much.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

A little sunshine

I spent today sleeping in the van in the morning after working a night shift, then I went to the pool again and sauna. I played some guitar, learning a new song and listening to music. I managed to catch the only sunshine of the day in video while cooking dinner:

Friday, 6 April 2012


Today I parked in the forest and went for a walk.. It was a lovely day and I took some pictures to share.. (click to enlarge)
Changing shoes in the van :)
The blossoms have arrived
Willow reflected in the water
More reflections in the water
Clouds in the water.
I spent quite a while just sitting by the river relaxing and settling into my new life..

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Kitchen Day

I started off today by deciding to live in the kitchen, not the living room, hehe. So this is what my kitchen looked like: (click to enlarge)
Its great to be able to change the seating around to have a bit of variety. So i had breakfast and coffee here, and then set to work organizing all the stuff I have in storage. It all came together very smoothly and was not as big a job as it first appeared to be. Feels great to have everything sorted out and accessible too. I then took all the books I didn’t want to keep to Barnardos and donated them. I then had work this afternoon.
Right now I’m parked up at an undisclosed location in the City, but its only  a few paces from where I plan to meet a friend for coffee in the morning, nice :) Its very calm and quiet in this street, but it took me a while to find the best spot, close but not too well lit or on a busy street for cars and late night pedestrians. Its pretty exciting doing this, and i’ll be doing a post sometime soon about things I learn about not drawing any unwanted attention at night.
Night all ;-)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Four sachets to add!

Today has been quite a day for me for a number of reasons… First of all, when I awoke this morning – winter was back.. we even had sleet today :) So once I was out of bed it was pretty cold in the van. So, I went and sat meditation with my friend this morning and had coffee, then thought that a swim, sauna and shower would be just the ticket for the day. Sports centre membership is just the thing for getting showers and the like when yo don’t have a shower or bath of your own, and believe me, you enjoy it all the more :-)
For lunch today I went into the Asian supermarket and for 65p picked up a instant noodle soup bowl thingy ~ thinking I’d combine it with some wholemeal bread I had. My god! when I opened it there were no less than four different little packets to add to it! One even contained dried seaweed (well i only knew that once it was ready and it became seaweed again!) Anyway, it tasted ok for a quick experimental lunch.
So winter is making a last attempt to overcome spring.. Its now around 5 deg, and I’m safely in bed with my hot water bottle, in the roof of the van, this time in an undisclosed location in the city – I do manage to pick up free WiFi wherever I stop, I’ll say more about that sometime in a future post. It is really cold out, but I think its due to get warmer again later in the week – I hope. I also got news today that changes the course of my plans for the next number of months, so gotta ponder on that, but it wont affect the flow of things here.
I’ll leave you with a snippet from earlier today – the weather…

Monday, 2 April 2012

Day 2

Breakfast this morning cooking… ;-)
I spent today resting, having a few drinks with my friend to celebrate the new beginning. Then resting, preparing meals is a slower and more relaxing experience :-) Also, I really felt like going to bed as soon as it got dark just after 8pm so I did. Yawn..
It’s 3:50am and I have woken up to the sounds of gentle rain drumming on the skylight. It’s right above my head, so I can open it a little to let cool fresh air in :-) It all feels very still and peaceful to lay here. I can also hear traffic passing on a nearby road, and there is a shadow that looks like an eagle on the back curtain. It’s surprisingly warm sleeping in the roof, though the outside temp is 7degC. The house battery ran low before bed earlier, but it’s easy to keep an iPhone charged up, hmmm. I’m not in the least bit annoyed to be awake at this time :-)

Sunday, 1 April 2012

World average wage

Wow, I just found out today that I earn almost exactly the worlds average monthly wage of $1480 p/m. This is very interesting I think, especially in relation to this lifestyle choice. There have got to be so many variables to take into account, so I’ll just leave this as a point for you to ponder on. I am a single person, which opens up possibilities that are simply not possible for people with children on a similar income, or living in different cultural circumstances for example. If you want to see where you fall on the scale take a look here.
So, today has been spent removing the final items from my flat, and cleaning the place thoroughly ~ so I’ll get my deposit back in full. Its been a busy day, but the feeling of driving off for the last time was wonderful :-) As I drove off I played this on the stereo, turned up loud:
Gotta have a good theme tune for these times in life! ;)
So first night ‘moved out’ ;) ~ I’m parked outside a friends place so gotta be vague about location.. But nice n quiet and by the sea. Also stealth camping, so the van looks unoccupied. Very cosy in here – its around 9 deg C outside, so very comfortable inside. I’m exhausted after spending the day lifting stuff and cleaning, then work til midnight so over and out.