CAMPERVAN-K: A Virgin Vanlifer...
Well, that’s the first night over with. And it was an absolute delight. Am I saying that because I have to? Because I’ve spent all this money and need to justify it?
No. I actually thoroughly enjoyed it.
The night itself was a bit strange. Although I have spent the night on campsites before, in the TA and following a boyfriend around, in Sicily, Cornwall and Scotland, it wasn’t quite the same experience as last night.
Last night, I had a comfy bed, comfy blankets and I was warm, with no lumps or bumps beneath me. It was also odd, because everyone went to bed at about 9 o’clock.
The light started to fade around that time and everyone began packing things away, tidying up around them, and shutting their curtains, pulling the blinds down and making themselves ready for the evening. So I followed suit.
One thing I’m curious about is… well… unless you have a hobby, or something to do, what on earth do you actually do when the lights go out?
When you’re travelling in a campervan, it’s all well and good having the van and somewhere to live while you’re on holiday. I think, perhaps it’s because I haven’t been on a proper holiday for over a decade. Since 1999, actually. I always thought they were a waste of time and money. All that packing, all that travelling around at someone else’s behest. All that money, sometimes thousands, gone in a couple of weeks. Then all you are left with is the memory.
So, that brings me back to my question. If you don’t have a dog to walk, you don’t have a bicycle, or a surf board or a partner, what do you actually do?
Of course, as I think this, I’m writing. I’ve hooked myself up to the mains power supply and am able to plug in my laptop. Works wonderfully well. So, I guess that’s the reason why most people write and do videos when they’re on the road. It seems the most logical thing to do. To tell people about your adventures, to observe life and to evaluate what you have and what you want out of life.
At some point, I’m going to have to figure out how to use the power without the mains supply.
Now that’s going to be interesting.
It’s knowing what button to push and what plug to use.
I have a very small and cheap inverter, but I don’t know if that makes a noise or not. Probably will, as it has a fan that needs to keep the ‘engine’ cool. Why on earth does it have to have that? The fan on my laptop is quiet, why can’t an inverter be? Also hoovers are mostly quiet nowadays.
I always put forward the notion that if someone could invent a quiet hoover, they would be millionaires. Probably billion or trillionaires now.
If I stopped typing now, what would I do? I haven’t got Buddy anymore, and I miss him terribly.
But a dog in here just wouldn’t cut it in here. There’s no room for his bed or anywhere for him to stay comfortably. Then there’s food bowls to think about and also if he gets wet, the mud and the fur. Buddy wasn’t a 'losing fur' kind of dog, but there was still a furry ball left around the place. I realise now that Buddy kept himself really clean.
Oh God I miss that furry ball of love
Looking at that dog across the way, makes me kind of want to go over there and hug him. Give him all the love I want to give to Buddy.
He’s sitting there, pale brown, on guard outside the van. I don’t know if he’s tied to it with a lead, but he’s sitting proud and looking around the place. I thought at one time he was a statue, he kept so still. But then he moved to nip an itch in his foot, so that gave him away. Beautiful dog. He has a blanket to sit on, so he’s not sat on the damp grass.
That grass was a Godsend this morning.
When I wiped my little mop across it, so that I could scrub off some bird dodos off of the top of the van. That’s another thing I have to get to grips with and find someone to do it for me, cleaning the van.
One thing I hadn’t counted on was my nose running. Like, all the time
I don’t suffer from hay fever, so it must be the chill in the air. I have the door slightly open, and there is a nip in the air.
The Magpies keep making an appearance. They sound quite sweet, or vicious. Either of the two, depending on whether you are simply an observer or its prey. And Magpies can be quite horrible to the little blackbird chicks. Odd thing is, I can hear several, but I only ever see one. Is that a hint? That I’m to suffer sorrow? So, far, out here, in this van, I’ve not.
The van has provided me with a secure and safe haven. Away from the pressures of my working/living life. It’s nice to come out here and be alone for a while.
When I woke, at 5am, there was not a sound. Only birds with their dawn chorus
Just now, it’s 7.30am and two kids rode past on their bicycles. They were happy chatting to each other and there’s a guy just across the way with his dog, sitting outside in his fold away chair.
Seems relaxed and happy, quietly observing the morning. I wish I could talk with him questions about the van life and how to get the van serviced.
Next to me there’s an older couple in a VW campervan. A little grey one. Quite cute. They seem happy enough. I said good morning when I went out to switch my gas canister on to make my brew.
Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
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