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  • Missy

A day in the (van) life of Those Weirdos

I'm just going to preface this by saying at the moment, our daily life is mainly sitting around in a house... so I'm casting my mind back to those glorious days when we were free to roam!

A typical day starts at around 7am. We sleep with the skylight blind open, so the sunshine streams in and gently wakes us up. Morph is waiting for our eyes to open - as soon as they do he turns on his purr and creeps up for big cuddles.

Dom and I get up and dress - him first, then when he's sitting on the swivel seats there's room for me in the aisle! If it's gorgeous weather out, we clip the cats and dogs onto long leashes before opening the sliding door fully. The dogs potter around outside, the cats may sit on the door step and sniff, or perhaps they go to lounge on the dashboard in the sun.

I fill my copper kettle from the tap using the foot pump, then pop it on the hob to boil while I assemble my cafetiere and big keepcup ready for coffee. This is a happy little ritual of mine :)

When the coffee has been made (oat milk, no sugar), I take it and my two journals outside. Each day I write 3 things I am grateful for in one, and the other is a diary of what we've done and a planner for work.

Dom takes the dogs for a little walk each while I write, I try to meditate for 10 minutes too, but often forget or get distracted!

We do our ablutions in the kitchen sink - we take the washing up bowl out first - and have breakfast (avocado or marmite toast for me, 3 cans of energy drink for Dom).

If we are staying put, then the next part of the day is one of us either filming or editing a video while the other person entertains themselves. Swimming, walking, painting, reading... Or perhaps writing a blog or doing some work on the other laptop.

When Rosie awakes, she'll do the same, or we'll work on a project together. She's a self directed learner, so usually has her own plans for working on her resin jewellery, or practicing her coding or pixel art. She also loves to bake so if we're lucky later, we'll get a hot slice of lemon drizzle cake straight out of the Omnia stovetop oven!

We might take Juan swimming, or inflate our dinghy to use in the sea, or potter around looking for interesting wildlife or shells.

If anyone wants to shower, we'll heat a bucket of water in the sun (or in a pan on the hob) and hook up our portable shower to use outside.

If we are moving on, then after breakfast we start to get the van ready. We close the toilet and bungee the seat up. We turn the gas off and shut the fan, pour away cat water and store the bowl in the sink. Take off all the window covers and put them on the top bunk. Swivel the front seats and secure them before putting the seat cover and cushions back. Close the skylight if it was open, make sure nothing has been left outside or on the kitchen counter.

Store the table top under the seat and the table leg on the bed. Shorten up the cat and dog leads - dogs on their bed in the back, cats on their cushion in the front.

Then we get Rosie up and we can leave!

We usually know where we want to get to, I look ahead on Google maps and use Park 4 Night to scan for good places to park up. Then I send Dom the directions to his phone and he drives us there! If it's a longish drive, over an hour, then I'll try to find interesting places to visit along the route. We particularly like historical places or ruins, churches, castles etc. If it's a really long drive then we'll stop for lunch somewhere, usually sandwiches or cheese toasties made in the Ridgemonkey.

If we need to do laundry or fill up with water (once a week usually) then I'll find that en route too. Laundrettes are easy to come by in Spain, often in air conditioned cubicles on garage forecourts.

When we arrive at our parkup we hop out and have a look around. If there's litter, we'll pick it up right away. It's nice to do a little service to the area, and if we stay, we don't want anyone thinking that it was us that left the mess. On a couple of occasions, we've felt uncomfortable at a parkup. We couldn't put it in words exactly, couldn't put a finger on it... We just felt that we didn't want to stay - so we hopped right back in the Sub and carried on down the road. Trust your gut! That's our motto!

Usually though, we're happy with our spot, so it's time to unpack the van - swivels around, fan on, skylight open, water out for cats and dogs.... They're back on long leads while we sort the van, then they all get to go for a walk if they want. Leo isn't usually too keen, he prefers to sit on the step, but Morph likes to explore.

When we're hungry, someone cooks. Rosie makes a mean veggie soup, Dom is king of Paella, and I like cooking one pot meals like curry or stir fry. Sometimes I push the boat out and make a roast dinner, but that usually uses every pan we own plus the Omnia oven and Ridgemonkey so it doesn't happen often!

We store the chopping board down the side of the kitchen unit, and put it across the sink to chop on. Pans live under the bed or behind Rosie's seat, tinned food in the cupboard above the stove, vegetables in the fridge or in the basket under the bed, and spices in the rack on the wall. Everything within reach!

The washing up gets done after dinner - we try to keep the sink empty as we also use it for handwashing.

We'll sit outside in the evening, admiring the sunset and chatting with a Guinness and a glass of wine. Rosie might join us, or she might be gaming on a laptop. All the pets are fed and snoozy so it's lovely and relaxing :)

We put all the covers on the windows before bed - they keep the sun or cold out, and give us privacy too. Dom and I go up to bed using the sink unit as a booster, and may watch a little Netflix on our tablets before sleep. When it's hot out we have the skylight wide open with the bug net across, so we get a lovely breeze on our faces. The cats come up to sit with us, and Juan sleeps on the end of Rosie's bed.

Rosie usually stays up later than us, enjoying having the van to herself, and the laptop too!

She has a fan in her bed, and curtains either end for privacy. She says that she loves her bed nook because it's so comfy cosy.

And that's a typical day in the (van) life of us, Those Weirdos...

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