Living the Dream

OK, so maybe 5 people in a van isn’t quite the dream…but we’re having fun. We’ve enjoyed the flexibility of mealtimes – we’ve had breakfast in Tesco’s car park, having just bought it, and lunch in the car park at Street. We’ve decided to stay over at friends’ houses having visited them that evening (we’re very thankful for hospitable and flexible friends), and we always have everything that we need with us – which, given the nature of British weather, is very useful. 

Bedtimes are becoming a bit of a challenge as Miriam wants to talk to the other kids rather than sleep, but the big kids have been opting to spend naptime in their pods. 


The pace has got a bit too much for Miriam at times, so we’re having a few chill days with Nana.

Asher and Ben are keeping a check on the engine.


Yesterday Ben got the water pump working and the gas connected. There’s still other bits and bobs to add and tinker with, but so far we’re enjoying the freedom, flexibility and familiarity of the van. 

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On the road

It felt like it would never happen…but we finally packed up and moved this morning. Last minute jobs were still being completed this morning – last bits of our bed, securing the kitchen worktop etc. 

Then of course there was the split hose to mend. Bernard drove to Dunstable this morning to collect a new part and he and Ben were able to fit it. 

Meanwhile, I could get on with the business of packing up the van. 

The kids were very excited to test out their bed pods. 



And Bernard was keen to test out the seating!


The kids were eager to leave after lunch and seem happy with their seating arrangements.


So much so that they’d completely made it their own space by the end of the journey!


We even stopped off  for a dinner of left over Chinese on the way to Somerset.


There was rather a lot of drama at bedtime as you might imagine. But they’re all asleep. So we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

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Dragging on and other setbacks…

You know the closer that you get to the end of a job, the more there is to do? It’s like when you’re climbing a hill, you think you’re nearly at the summit, but the nearer you get, the further it still seems to be…

We are getting tons of stuff done, but there are still so many bit that need to be finished. 

The kitchen pod was pretty much completed this evening (although the gas is still to be connected). So that was worktop cut and fitted, sink/cooker unit fitted, doors rehung, splashback reattached. 


We had another lovely helper today who gave 3 hours of his time to move us along. 


A late night job from yesterday – tucking the wires behind the window


An original wall unit that’s been rehung


The massive setback, however, was our discovery this morning that there is a split in the coolant hose. So we were unable to drive for our meeting as planned. Still, the new part should arrive at 9am tomorrow. We were meant to be on the move tomorrow, so I’m not sure how everything will work out. 

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Burning the Midnight Oil

Ben is still outside working away with the electrician friend on the list of electrical jobs. 

The thing with electrics is that you can’t really see them, so they don’t make for good pictures. These sockets have been fitted:


(Poor quality pic, sorry. It’s quite dark out there!!)

The fridge now works, and some other stuff. They’re working on the inverter, the water pump, and making everything work on 12V and 240V. Like I say, boring but essential. All progress…but still plenty to finish off! 🙈🙈

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A good day

The last full day on the van and it was all hands on deck.

And here’s some of our achievements:

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Door attached to Miriam’s bed pod and fly-screen mesh added behind the latticework

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and Miriam decided that she wanted to test it out for herself.

The major achievement of the day was the fridge pod that includes masses of storage and reuses doors from the old kitchen.

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Shelves put into the bog pod

Gloss has been applied to the kitchen pod and doors:

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and then put in place.

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A small job – but still it was something to cross of the list – putting a new end onto this wall-mounted cupboard.

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And the tent given to us by the lovely Derek and Barbara was erected to keep the kids occupied.

Tomorrow is a ‘day off’ as Ben and I have prior commitments for the next couple of days – it will be nice to have a break from the work and the kids! But we’ll need to be back to it in the evening…our friendly electrician is coming back to help make the fridge function (on 12V and 240V), add sockets/USB charging points, make the water pump work, and wire in a converter.

 

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Airborne

So the major achievement of today has been mounting Miriam’s bedpod. It is quite a feat of engineering and looks pretty stunning too. We’ll take a video of it in action at some point. 


It will have a door on the side of it!

I got stuck in tonight putting primer on the kitchen pod and varnish on the central storage lids.


We also put vinyl underneath the bog pod.


Work is also being done on the fridge pod. Tomorrow is the last full day. There’s a heck of a lot to finish off, but the general vibe about the place is a positive one. 

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Plodding On

​Day 8 – and more jobs completed/progressing.

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Miriam’s bedpod constructed

 

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Lids for the central storage. Big holes for table and Miriam’s mounted high chair. Small holes for opening storage.

The runners for the IKEA storage boxes have been fitted, and the shelf unit for the kids assembled.

I found that Ben had been very organised last night and he set off today with this list.

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Considering how few of these jobs were completely crossed off, it’s morphed into a bit more of a general to-do list…although a complete to-do list is maybe double this size? Feeling tired and pessimistic tonight.

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