Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Photos

Hopefully this link works:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=304206&id=773550831&l=b6cf89571d


Saturday, December 18, 2010






We have traveled and conquered deserts, humidity and now are facing coastal highways and coral reefs as we start down the West Coast of Australia. The views have been amazing, we've had one puncture, been stuck in sand once and been very close to running out of fuel a few times. We've also braved a couple of very heavy rain storms, one was so bad that we all got up in the middle of the night and drove to the nearest town as we were expecting the roads to flood. The next night the guest house had a disaster and we had to replace the tent as the wind broke one of the poles.

We've spent way more than we planned to on gas (autogas) and petrol. Gas has been up to 3 times as expensive as it is back home and petrol prices would make lesser men than Pod Boy curse.



We've also shared the road with more road trains than I can count: 53.5m long is the legal limit and they all do 130km/hr through the desert!

I have so many photos to upload, I wish blogspot was easier to upload photos onto.

We're currently hanging out in Exmouth, a coastal town on the cape at the top of Western Australia. For the first time last night we had a very officious young man come and tell us we couldn't park where we were. It was 7:58pm local time and we had just arrived at Coral Bay. We needed toilets, showers and fuel and were hoping to spend the night as the petrol station was closed...as were the roads further south. This man came up to Pod Boy as he was chatting to another guy and informed him that we were illegally parked (outside the public toilets while myself and my sister used the facilities) as it was past 8pm. He also asked if we had accommodation in the town and then told us that we couldn't park anywhere in the shire. He was the rudest person so far on this trip - and we've met our share of rude people.

I can't get over how rude all the sales people have been that we've dealt with. Almost every supermarket is staffed by unhappy small town people who won't give you a smile if they haven't served you at least 100 times before.

Anyway, enough ranting...

We drove almost to the edge of Victoria on our first day driving and spent the night at a lovely rest stop, then we hit the road early the next morning and got to Hahndorf for dinner that night before traveling on to just North of Port Augusta (a very loong trip). We then started the beginning of our desert journey.


The desert colours are epic, and the sky always has interesting cloud shapes.


Pod boy standing over two states: NT and SA.


Coober Pedy: lots of underground housing here to get away from the heat.

We spent about 6 days between Port Augusta and Darwin. The days were too hot to stop driving as it was only the cool breeze coming in the open windows that made life bearable. Every afternoon in the desert there was a rain storm which I think was given to us by God to remind us that we weren't in hell. In all honesty though, I kind of enjoyed the desert. It all looked the same, and the people were few and far between but there was a nice feeling every time you passed another traveling party as they would wave and for a brief second you'd feel a flare of kinship.

We managed to find proper showers every day, although we had to pay about $3 a head for them. We also had bucket washes every night before bed. I found that if I tipped 1/3 of a bucket of water over my head followed by a small bottle of melted ice water and then jumped straight into bed wet I would sleep quite well. Getting to sleep before the water evaporated off me is crucial to my plan. Pod boy isn't quite as brave as me so he doesn't use any ice water, nor does he come to bed still slightly wet...he isn't sleeping very well at all. We bought a 12v fan which has been our best friend on this trip. It goes almost constantly, during the day to cool whoever is in the back while we're driving, or to move the air around in the van if we've left Pod dog in it and then at night over us as we sleep.

We spent a week in Kununurra, it had a lovely swimming hole: even though the signs said there were crocodiles nearby.

We spent 3 hours in Darwin, it was a hot, humid and seemingly boring place. We did manage to find some nice showers there though.

Broome was lovely, nice coastal breezes off the ocean. White sandy beaches, free showers. It had the makings of being a lovely place to hang out, but poisonous jelly fish meant no swimming so we only stayed 3 days.

We're now past the jellyfish waters and we're looking forward to slowing down in terms of the distances we drive each day as we enjoy the water and coral reefs along this coastline. Some places have coral reef within 15m of the shore and the snorkeling around here and further south is meant to be amazing.

When I have better internet I will upload some more photos :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We're aliveeee

So much has happened since the last time I blogged...not least a massive earthquake in my home town which caused major damage. In some ways it would have been nice to have been there...if only to show people hoe conveinient it is pod dwelling as we would have been able to pack up and move to safety so easily. The subsequent earthquakes since would not have been very fun though. My poor wee city that I love so much is so changed. I hardly recognise it in photos. And they've had over 3000 quakes since the first one in October. They're still calling them aftershocks!

The pod people haven't disappeared. Since I came over in July we've been very busy, with very few days off. We've spent the last few months working (I've been helping Podboy on job sites). It's been good for the savings account and the credit cards...but not so great for us as we've had very little time to play! And as you know, vandwelling usually gives a lot of time for play.

However, we have made a lot of changes to the pod and I'll pop some photos up so you can see all that we've done.

We've changed the kitchen...actually I built all the shelves and have designed it so that I can access the fridge by only moving one thing. This is an epic accomplishment as we used to have to almost totally unpack the kitchen side of the trailer to get to it. We still haven't got it sorted to run off 12v but we're workign on it. We have all the things we need to make it happen, we just haven't had time yet. So we're still plugging it in during the day and then letting it stay cool by itself at night. If we don't have access to power during the day we sometimes put a bag of ice in it which lasts about 3 days in there. But Podboy is lucky as he has unlimited power whenever he's at work! We also have a brand new stove but I don't have any photos of that (I haven't even used it yet!).

In the picture above you can see the shelves really well...however the lower part of the trailer is now much more organised and has way less clutter!




We also got a new Webber which we're storing on the tyres. I can't work out it it's hobo hobo or hobo chic: I'll let you work it out ;)



We've also put air vents into the roof of the van. They're solar powered and make a lovely wee hum when they're spinning. I'm not sure yet how much of a difference they really make to the van as the weather has been awful ever since we put them in...but they are making a difference to the condensation. We actually have no more condensation problems which is wonderful. It was starting to truly annoy me!

Another thing we've done is put solar panels on the roof of the pod. I can't remember the specs, I'll have to ask Podboy...but they are enough for us to never need to plug in our battery again. Since we've had them we've only run out of power once and that was after 4 days of almost no sunlight. We're very happy with them. Thanks ebay!

We're about to take off on a 6-8 week holiday which may mean that the blog gets some more attention! I start work on the 31st of January (yep! registration finally went through so I can now leagally nurse in Australia). My sister has come over and she's staying in the guest bure...a tent on the roof of the trailer.

Podboy and I debated at length about how we would manage to have guests because we knew she really wanted to come on our trip with us. In a very facetious conversation I suggested that we give her a mattress and she could sleep on the trailer...from there the guest bure was born. Podboy built a platform that folds up when we drive and lays flat when we're settled. It is basically three planks of timber with bracing along the bottom to even them out. They have holes at each end which we weave rope through and tie them to the trailer. We then erect the tent and tie the 4 poles to each corner of the trailer. The whole operation takes about 10 minutes to put up and about the same to take down.


Unfortunately we're still in Melbourne for work (hopefully only one more day of it!) and it's turned freezing here. Gale force winds, torrential rain, flash floods and freezing temperatures. It's meant to be summer!! This has meant that it's been very cozy in our bed as my sister has snuggled in next to us. I get very claustrophobic so having a person on either side of me isn't too fun.

Now, for our trip! We're heading west from Melbourne and doing a 12,000km journey through the centre of the desert to Darwin, then to Broome (through the Kimberley) then along the coast to Perth, then all the way back to Melbourne. We'll have Christmas somewhere along the way. So at the moment it's 3 peas, plus one. Yay!


"HI" from all of us in the pod...and especially from Pod dog :

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Officially three and a pod

I am officially a van dweller...or in my case a pod dweller. I've been here since Saturday morning and for the first time I have completely unpacked my suitcase. It's now in storage and I'm getting used to properly living in the pod. There's not really much to get my head around, I've stayed here so often recently that it still feels kind of like a holiday. Pod boy and myself keep looking at each other now and then and saying things like "I don't have to go away" or "you get to stay here now". It's funny how neither of us has really accepted the reality of my being here yet.

I ended up coming over a week early as I had a job interview on Monday. It went well, but I'm not sure if it's exactly the hospital for me. I'm hoping to hear from a couple of other places I applied to later this week. One of them is an ideal hospital in terms of the contract they were offering and its location.

There's not really much to report. Pod boy bought a take down recurve bow a couple of weeks ago and we spent this weekend target shooting and he did a couple of walks through the forest looking for game. He got close to a number of animals, but unfortunately none of them were animals he was allowed to kill. I rung up the conservation department here and have them sending some information out about what and where we can hunt. They're also sending a game license application out so we can hunt deer.

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about hunting larger animals. I feel it's a huge waste of life to kill a deer and not be able to adequately store the meat from it. We have some friends we could give the meat to but I know there would end up being a lot of waste from each kill. Pod boy is not sharing my concern about this. I'm still trying to work out other ideas to help myself get more comfortable with the large game hunting side of things. Killing small animals like rabbits and birds sits ok with me as I know that in a couple of meals we would have used all the meat. But the larger animals make me feel a bit icky about it as part of van dwelling for me is about having a smaller carbon footprint and I just feel that the waste from a large kill doesn't fulfill that role.

Anyway, I'm suposed to be helping Pod boy at work. It's part of my role here for now, but it's so cold outside and the pod is so warm with Pod dog on my feet. There's also not much I can be doing outside right now...hmmm does it sound like I'm trying to convince myself that I'm not needed?

I better go and try to offer some sort of help.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pod - the second


In a spur of the moment decision we decided to do the build on Sunday morning. We ended up with no plans for Sunday which was lovely because Sundays are usually a full on day. So we got up a bit late (0830) and went to Bunnings (timber and building supply shop). We bought supplies - and then headed for the local new subdivision where we intended to find a empty half constructed house and use the garage to shelter the pod in whilst we built.

We found the perfect house, and construction began at about 1030.




The first thing Pod Boy did was fit a piece of timber behind the two front seats, this is shaped to fit almost perfectly in the hole and makes the back of the pod feel like a separate bedroom. It has a door way in it (the door is yet to be hung) to let Pod Dog between the front and the back, and keep him out when the bed is made. His favourite new thing to do is to curl up in the bed as soon as he gets a chance.




The board also acts as the backing for some shelving that is going in behind the two seats. At the moment there are no shelves, but there's so much space there that we want to use it.

Next Pod Boy began constructing the base of our bed, which is also the storage area in the pod. He made a series of boxes, which coincidentally sit just higher than the wheel arches. Currently the boxes are hard to get into, but that's because we ran out of time and have a few more things to do to get the pod finished and ready for decorating. The boxes have single layer flat lids at the moment, but Pod Boy intends to put another layer of board onto the lids that overlaps the separations between each box. I'll try to show detail photos so you understand what I mean. Once the extra layer is on the lids we have flush pull thingys to put into the lids which will make life so much easier.



Once all the boxes were made and the lids were all done Pod Boy built a shelf at the back of the pod. It's just a small one, but it holds my suitcase (yes I'm still living out of one only 3 more weeks until I move over permanently!), the washing bag and the computer when we have it set up. Once my suitcase is gone we intend to get some small drawers to put everyday stuff in, especially socks as we seem to lose them all over the place.

Although the list of what Pod Boy did doesn't seem very long it took a surprisingly long time to do. All in all we were in the garage of the half built house for 11 hours. We had the owners arrive and they assumed we were carpenters doing something to the house, we let them think it and I think it's both funny and sad (I feel bad!!) that they were expecting the outside of their house to be finished on Monday and were probably very surprised to find that it wasn't. We also had numerous drivers out for their Sunday drive slow down as they went past, they probably couldn't work out what was going on.

I love the way the pod is now, it's so much easier to keep stuff in its proper spot and I'm thoroughly looking forward to organising it properly when I move over.

This was Pod Dog's contribution to the rebuilt, he kept us safe and made sure none could get us. He always sits with his legs crossed, he's just that special!

Hi all!

The pod has been rebuilt! It's totally different from the original plans I drew up...but it's done! It works and most importantly (according to Pod Boy's chiro) we have a proper bed! By a complete coincidence we have a bed that is exactly the same size as a queen size bed, we found this by fluke when we were searching for a mattress.

We finished the rebuild late on Sunday, and went looking for a mattress on Monday afternoon. I rung the rubber shop and found they closed at 1730, but they stopped cutting foam rubber at 1630. So Pod Boy and I packed up from work at about 1545 and headed for the nearest shop. We got to the joint at 1630 on the dot and had to wait for 15 minutes to be served, there was only one other customer in the place! Then we told the guy the measurements we wanted and he tried to convince us that they were wrong o.O he was such a douche (and I'm usually so polite about people!) Finally we got him to understand we knew exactly what we needed and that we did want it in three pieces. He agreed to cut it, but we had to pay first.

We went up to the counter and he worked out how much it would be. Now, we work in metric over here, but they still price foam in $/square foot. Guess how many square feet were in our mattress? 30! That was $300 for foam, just foam...no springs, no memory foam, just plain normal foam. We were both shocked, and we discussed it briefly with our eyes and then said thanks but no thanks.

We wouldn't have minded paying that much for a proper mattress, you can get chiropedic ones for just slightly more than that on sale here...so to pay $300 for foam seemed ridiculous especially because we were still going to be getting memory foam for on top of it. We left the shop and were driving down the road when we saw a mattress shop. They were advertising custom made mattresses so we went in. We had 5 minutes, and we asked if they would custom make a plain foam mattress...they couldn't as they only custom made chiropedic ones. But they had a pile of foam mattresses by the door, and by total fluke the queen size was exactly the right size for the pod. Best of all? It cost $99, fully covered and piped along the sides.

We bought it.

It's heaven.

I don't have any finished product photos, but I'll take some tonight when we make the bed, and then I'll take some in the morning when we fold the bed away. I'd take some now, but it's a horrible mess *housekeeper has been building with ber fiance*!

We're just working out what we will do the with mattress during the day. At the moment we're folding it into three and putting it against the shelf at the back of the pod with bungey ropes. Pod Boy thinks he can make some kind of foldable couch out of it by attaching it to thin boards...we'll see what happens!

We're looking for some memory foam stuff (the chiro is looking for it for us actually!) that we'll put over the mattress, but even without it the bed is so comfortable.

I'll write another post detailing our day on Sunday and will post some photos of the process :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm having a quiet internal dilemma about one aspect of pod living. There are actually three things that drive me insane about this lifestyle, but only one that really fills me with real apprehension. The dreaded 'home address'.

We have a PO box where all of our mail can go to so that's not a problem. We have the use of two addresses in Victoria which we can use as our 'home address' although until now we haven't had to use these for anything...unless Pod boy has and I can't remember. Pod boy has also changed most of his legal stuff so that the PO box is his primary address, although bureaucracy won't let him take his old address (read ex wife's house) off these documents as he doesn't have another address to replace it with. At the moment this isn't such a big deal.

However, at the end of July once I've sat my State exams I need to provide a home address to the registration board of both New Zealand and Australia as I am keeping current nursing registration in both countries. This is actually extremely important and both Nursing Councils are very strict on the home address policy and it "HAS" to be where you actually reside. This is what the Australian Nursing Council says on the topic:

Registered nurses have a legal responsibility to notify the Board of a change of address within 14 days of that change having been made. Failure to do so is an offence under the Health Professions Registration Act 2005 and may be subject to a substantial penalty.

My nursing registration is the only thing that requires an actual physical address and seems to have very little leeway in its definition of that address. Most other bureaucratic policies are happy to accept a PO box, or are something I feel comfortable stating that my address is one of the ones we can use from Victoria. In this situation however, I am nervous about the deception and wish I could explain the pod situation to the council. It wouldn't go over well and I'm sure that this lifestyle would somehow be "unacceptable" for a nurse.

What would you do in this situation? I'm pretty sure that I'm going to suck it up and put Pod Boy's Dad's address down as my residential address, but I'm still nervous to do that...not nervous enough to get a house though!

I'm hoping that when I go through the process they are happy to accept a PO box, seeing as I don't imagine they would ever need to pop in and personally visit. But everyone I've talked to back home in NZ seems of the opinion that it has to be your physical address.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


We both feel so guilty for not updating this, it's been hectic busy for us both. I have two exams tomorrow, they're not really worth anything just mock exams as preparation for my national exam which is in a month. Therefore, I haven't studied and intend to use them as an indication of what I need to study and where I'm sitting at the moment. For you American's the exam I'm sitting in a month is our equivalent of the NCLEX-RN.

So I've been to Australia again, been back at home in the pod and now am desperately missing pod boy, pod dog and the pod. I can't believe how much harder it is each time to leave them all. This time it was really hard leaving because pod boy was coming with me, which meant pod dog was staying in the kennels. I cried when we left him behind, I felt so guilty. Here are some gratuitous pod dog pictures, just because he's so beautiful.





We got lots of practice with the webber while I was there, I roasted a beef roast, did numerous lamb chops, made sticky pork ribs and also roasted 1/2 a chicken. We also made some southern style fried chicken on it.

This cous cous salad was delicious! Apricots soaked with garlic, spinach, roasted capsicum (over the coals), green onions and garlic/herb infused olive oil.


We flew into NZ and met my family. It was traumatic, loud and at times very funny. Pod boy seems to really like them, I think perhaps even more than I do! They really truly like him and are thoroughly looking forward to his return in just over 2 weeks. It seems like we can't bear to be apart for more than a few weeks at a time now, so it's a good thing for Pod boy's bank account that I move over in just over a month!







I took pod boy on some trips around my favourite city, showing him the beauty that is Christchurch. I can't wait until we come over here and van dwell around the country, there are so many special spots I know he would love.

lol hia i feel like the bad perent that has forgotten there kid at the football match lol so life in the pod continues... lol still no refit. ummm ill do it soon lol
krickle came over and :)lots of :)we just hung out and did work stuff but the real funn was that i became a internasional jet setter i went to NEW ZEALAND and truck me its wikid soooo much better than the land of oz, and ive tentitivly desided to migrate there in 4 or 5 yers. the land seems almost untouched and the people there seem a bit simple lol ( i could be king there )lol
i tryed blue chese for the fist time mmmmmmm love that mold
and i got to meet all of the dreded out laws lol ( i like them a lot)
and i got to send more time with my krickle....
any way im off to rost some lamb mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


hay hay bliggers and bloggers,

blogging is hard when u just kinda crusing on auto pilot.

i got a passport today which is really cool, i can travel the world, well at least to new zealand for now. but we have been talking about a world trip in about a year and a half....

the pod's a mess at the moment cos i havnnt fited it out yet, and yes i know its been ages , just been flatout at work ( which is good for the bank acc but not so good for the pod fit out).

most days i work from dawn till dusk so i get to see the sun rise and set and damn i love this planet its so beautiful, really an amazing place, some times i think i would like to live here full time (lol) heres a piture of the moon setting ...




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's been happening to the pod people?


Well it's been such a long time since I blogged. I've been so busy and so much has happened.

Firstly, since I came back to NZ I have been working again, last week I did a 52 hour week! It's been hectic. I've also had to collect old assignments, sign papers, fill in forms and generally immerse myself in the nursing profession once more. I've also got applications and forms to fill in for the move to Australia.

I've sorted out a lot more of my stuff for the move. I gave in and took the dvds I wanted to keep out of their boxes and put them inside a dvd case thing. Pod boy has one for his dvds in Oz, and I found one here that holds 144 dvds. I was very lucky, I had exactly 144 dvds that I couldn't part with...although my friends collection is already in the pod and has about 35 dvds which I'm not counting in my allotment. I couldn't believe how much space it saves! The box of dvd covers that I threw out was massive, but the case I'm keeping is tiny and will fit easily into the pod.


I've also been and had some of my favourite photos printed. I decided to save space and had about 9 images printed per 5"x7" card. They look really cool. I organised them by person or group. I'm going to make some memory boards for the pod and display them on that. I'm very concious of space saving now, and I'm finding it fun coming up with ideas of how to conserve and best use space.

Pod boy has been very busy with work since I left him. He's been working long days and complaining about mud and raindrops. He's also taken some very pretty photos of the moon and the sky which I will try to include here. Pod boy has also been through the process of sorting out his passport! Which should be arriving today...hopefully!

I'm flying back over to Melbourne on Saturday morning and we're going to fit out the inside of the pod that day...I don't know how much help I'll be (see below). I might just snuggle up in the front of the van and keep pod boy company while he works: everyone needs a cheer squad! I don't have return tickets booked yet...because!!! Pod boy is flying home with me! We'll be back in NZ about the 16th of June and then Pod boy will fly home about the 20th. So 4 days in NZ to show him my beloved city and countryside. I don't know how much we'll actually get to see! It will also be the first time that we have ever slept in a "proper" bed together! I'm excited!

Pod boy, pod dog and myself almost had an extra member to be living with us in the pod. It's no longer the case though, I'm miscarrying at the moment. It's hard right now because I feel a mixture of relief, regret and sadness. I believe in fate, so this is obviously what was meant to happen. We only had an afternoon of celebrating as the next day I went to the dr and was told I wouldn't be able to keep it. The day we found out I had a feeling that it wasn't going to be a successful pea, but the good news is that peas are most definitely in our future! A lot of good things have come out of finding out we were with pea, and a lot of good is coming out of the losing of the pea too.

I hope you're all well, that life (whether it's in a van or not) is treating you well and that you're happy and loving the experience that is life!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gas bottles = excitement

Never in my life was I so excited to see gas bottles than I was when we arrived at a place that I was sure started with M but Pod Boy thinks was Dunkeld. I just knew when I saw those bottles that there would be warm running water and that there was a great possibility that there would also be showers.

I had a shower the morning I was due to fly to Australia, it was 0430 and I knew it would be the last guaranteed shower until I came back to NZ. We spent my first night in Oz at a friend's house where we crashed after a night of camp fire chatting, drinking and digiredo playing (I surprisingly enjoy playing the dig, and Pod boy's really good at it so it's nice to chill and listen to the haunting sounds in the night sky). We showered in the morning before leaving for our outback adventure.

We knew it would be difficult to find showers as we were going to be in the bush, but I wasn't too worried. I enjoy a cold bucket wash and I figured if worst came to the worst I would heat some water and wash with that. I wasn't counting on the truly cold weather that we had though.

On day two of no hot shower Pod boy bought a shower pump (we'll blog about that later because it's epic) and used it with freezing cold water that night when we parked up. I was too chicken to use it, not least because it was raining, pitch black dark and we were in a (I thought) scary section of the forest.

On day three of no hot water I began to freak out quietly inside myself. I've thought about this since, and the freaking out was less about the shower situation and more about me not being in control. I usually don't mind not showering, a good wash is often a better way to get clean than a shower. But for some reason day three of no hot water was a dreadful day for me.

I began to get a stress headache, I was grumpy, I didn't want to talk, my hair needed washing, I felt like everything was going wrong, I was worried that my blisters (oh! I haven't told you about them...I'll do that later) would be getting infected and I was just generally feeling out of sorts. Then we drove into the phantom place we can't remember the name of and pulled over so I could use the toilets there. I had already decided that I would go into the disabled bathroom and strip off and have a proper wash in the hand basin regardless of whether there was hot water or not.

Pod boy took pod dog for a walk while I put my toiletries and towel into a bag. I then dejectedly began to walk over to the toilet block. On my way I noticed some big gas bottles outside the block. I picked up the pace, gas bottles = hot water which often = shower. I was right! Thankyou place starting with M that isn't Dunkeld*. I put my stuff into the shower cubicle and rushed out and yelled at Pod boy that there were showers, I used code so the people around wouldn't all rush to the amazingness that is free showers. I then went into my shower and luxuriated under the hot water.

* Pod boy's almost certain it was Dunkeld ("I bet my left nut"), I'm not convinced it is Dunkeld so my left everything is not being bet at all! Next time we travel I promise to note where we stop and where we find exciting gas bottles.


P.S. My blisters...I decided to wear high healed knee high boots on the aeroplane. Bad idea! I ended up with two massive blisters on the balls of my feet. One got infected, the other just kept filling up with serous fluid. I think this was a sign that I am truly no longer able to wear heals for any significant length of time and I will therefore not be bringing all my 10s of shoes over with me when I move into the pod. I can hear Pod boy breathing a metaphorical sigh of relief at this prospect.

Monday, May 17, 2010

We're crazy

If van dwelling is a sign of craziness, then count me nuts.

I'm currently working for an emergency psychiatric service and in handover a few weeks ago it came out that one of our patients was living in a van. She actually owned a number of houses, but chose to live in the campervan instead of a house. Psych is an area of health that I am intensely interested in, mainly because it is so often discriminated against. Patients and staff of mental health services are looked down upon by staff of physical health services. There has been a concerted effort to reduce this discrimination, and it has changed but there is still such a long way to go. I could rant (Pod boy style) for hours about the discrimination that exists, the subversive ways that it is revealed and the fact that all too often medical staff don't consider the mental impact of live on their patients. I could also wax lyrical (wow, so many cliches today!) about the autonomy, freedom, impact, affirmation, guidance, hollisticism and encouragement that psych services offer.

However, today I am considering the pervasive judgements that ordinary people make about each other ALL. THE. TIME.

In an area where so much discrimination exists against my patients and my co workers I tend to expect that judgement and discrimination will be something that happens infrequently amongst the people I work with. As nurses we are taught to analyse our own values, norms and judgements all the time so that we're critically considering why and how we are thinking about other people and our environments. I have found myself becoming far less judgemental of people in the three years it's taken me to complete my BN (which I have now officially finished...I got my last assignment mark back last week!!!).

When it was said that this particular woman lived in a van there were a number of comments along the lines of "oh, well...that explains it" and "hmmmm" and *wide eyed shock* "people do that!?". There was a definite air that anyone who lived in a van must be psychiatrically unwell. I sat listening to them all discussing this woman, and her lifestyle and I said nothing...I wish I had said that I too intended to live in a van full time in a few months. But I just couldn't.

While I no longer pass my immediate (generalised) judgements onto people: I'm not saying I don't judge, just that I am aware of when I do and try not to let my judgements affect how I am thinking about a person, I am aware that most people do so I feel unable to blatantly tell people about the pod. I've read a number of blogs from vandwellers who have said that they don't tell anyone about their lifestyle unless they trust them. A lot of them also said that no one needed to know how they were living as it doesn't change anything. I want to be able to talk about the pod and not care.

I don't feel like much negatively changes for me when I'm in the pod. The only negative difference I do notice is that I don't know where we'll be sleeping which sometimes unsettles me, and I don't know where I'll be bathrooming during the night. In terms of my interactions with people during the day nothing is changed by my living in the pod. I still get dressed, I still apply makeup when necessary (I'm a pro at not poking myself in the eye whilst driving) and unless people knew I was vandwelling they would be totally unaware.

The discrimination and judgement against vandwelling will hopefully change over the next few years, I'm probably totally naive thinking this but it could happen! If it doesn't change I hope I get ok with pod living enough to tell people about it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

at home

wow ive had a week with my krickle :)
and now shes off
and now im
off to
:(


ive just left her at the air port and shes flying back to her obligations in nz. i cant wait to see her i miss her already

so any way we have had good week laughing fighting and the other F ing.lol its good to know we are both human. lol i was beginning to wonder.
{ not that ive ever really felt like me and krickle have ever really fought}

Saturday night we sat in a restaurant and a thought occurred to me ( lol its seldom happens lol )i feel completely at home OMG i FEEL completely AT HOME. a year ago restaurants stressed me, so here i am 35 years old and having never felt so at home as i did right then lol ive bean raking my brain; was it krickle that i felt at home with or is it that im at home with my self or both lol, not that it mattters what does matter is that i was happy and at peace.

we dint do a great deal this week just hung out and did a little camping looked for property (not that im wanting to get a mortage, lol i want land not more dept.}

we traveled most of the state lol after about 3 hours driving krickle needs a cookie lol and pod dog needs a walk lol i on the other hand could drive for days...

but we still got a lot of ground covered victoria is really a small state lol

we found lots of places we would not want to live lol but we only really need one :)
ive been trying to work out my motivation for wanting land lol or ive been trying to accept my motivations for wanting land lol the debate still rages inside of me LOL (Pod boy's motivation for wanting land is largely fear based. Although he's all zen most of the time and totally at peace with vandwelling there are times when he freaks out and I guess feels the need to own a patch of dirt).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pod cooking

Pod boy and I are intending to modify the kitchen area of the pod today so I thought it would be cool to show what it currently looks like. At the moment we have everything for cooking in the left hand side of the trailer. Until we got the fridge and the coal BBQ there was plenty of room in there without any sort of infrastructure, now it's a big mess and annoying to use.


One thing I love about the trailer is the kitchen bench we can set up over the wheel arch, it's actually a very handy height and it's huge so it holds everything we need. Above the fridge we have another bench which is the perfect height for Pod Boy to use, and as it's a narrow bench it holds the single gas cooker.

My second night here we went to Greater Bendigo National Park. It was very quiet, no animal noises or even birds and also very dry although we did manage to park next to the only strip of green in the whole place. We had a big fire and cooked over it, such a nice change from using the gas cookers. I made a banana chocolate cake and a pizza over the flames and both were delicious. The pizza was without a doubt the yummiest thing I've had for ages, and I would definitely eat another one right now!

Pod Boy cooked lamb chops for himself over the flames which I had marinated in port, soy sauce, garlic infused olive oil and a dash of tabasco sauce.

It was a thin pita base with garlic, tomato sauce, green onion, mushroom, basil, cherry tomatoes and goat's cheese. We found this amazing goat's cheese that is preserved in oil with garlic, pepper and herbs. It keeps outside of the fridge, which is good for us because we haven't got solar power hooked up so we're not running the fridge all the time.


We have found that one of our old water containers with a hole cut in the top holds a bag of ice, and sits perfectly inside the bottom of the fridge. It also lasts over 4 days in the fridge (we're currently on day 4 with this lot of ice) and keeps everything cold and crisp. We think we've decided to forgo solar panels for now, our deep cycle battery never ran out the whole 4 days we were off grid and I see no reason why it would have if we'd been out of civilisation even longer. The car charges the battery as we drive and Pod boy loves to drive so I'm pretty sure that everyday the battery would be receiving some kind of charge.

We have so many photos and things of interest from our wee excursion into the bush. We spent 4 nights exploring and inspecting land. We haven't found a block of land that we would buy right now but we have found where we wouldn't buy!

Here's a gratuitous picture of Pod dog, he's sitting in the driver's seat which is where he jumps to whenever Pod Boy leaves the seat. So many people comment on 'the dog that looks like he is driving', what they don't realise is that Pod dog really is in charge.



Friday, May 7, 2010

We are sovereign beings

hay pod dude here
just wanted to rap /rant about stuff, ok so the other day a builder that i know was telling me that because im living in my van im "lost" wtf i dont feel lost i feel more alive now than i ever have. i feel more free, more at HOME within my self and more CONECTED to every thing, since living in the pod ive come to understand what it means to feel... im not sure if i ever want to live in a traditional house ever again lol... how can a house make me feel more claustrophobic than a van?? (my face: o.O )

and

I AM NOT HOMELESS
I AM NOT HOMELESS
I AM NOT HOMELESS

there are people in my life that i have shared my alternative lifestyle with and they have this look on their face and it makes me want to slap them and tell them that im happy happier than ive ever been , how can they not see this...

my family ask "are u still living in your car" come on josh u must get something, u must be at least be able to afford a small unit ( ozzy term for apartment) there must be somewhere u can get help. like fuck im not destitute, i make a good living i just choose not to waste it in rent ( the secret tax the rich place on the poor)

there is a reason they call them landlords, its because they used to be the lords of the land to which the serfs (common people) would pay their taxes to, well not this little black duck.

people are meant to live free...

we are sovereign beings...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Balls and all

Pod boy said in his last blog that he was hoping to have the pod decked out with the basics of our new design. He's planning to have the timber cupboards/seats installed as well as the modular pieces that form the bed base. I fear that won't happen in the 4 days he has before I get there, and I'm almost certain it won't happen while I'm there. I would love nothing more than to have the pod completely rebuilt in the very near future, I'm dying to get to the upholstery and colours!

The only thing more difficult than rebuilding the inside of your house is rebuilding the inside of your one roomed van dwelling. Because Pod boy is reluctant to impose on anyone he has to wait until he has a day off from work and also has decent weather so he can rebuild without all of our stuff getting soaked and him risking catching a cold. Unfortunately, Pod boy is working super long hours at the moment and if he ends up with a surprise day off then that usually means the weather is crappy.

Most blogs I have read of people who remodeled a van interior did so while living in a house and spent ages getting everything right. We have to try to think of all the potential problems and work around them before we see the work in progress. This has led to a number of redraws, and each time we think we've come up with the final design we realise we have something we need to work around.

I'm still holding faith that whatever Pod boy builds will be perfect for us, but I am finding the lack of progress and being so far removed hard. I want to be involved in the process, and Pod boy's been really good about including me and letting me have imput...but it's not really enough. I am a balls and all type of person, once I've made up my mind about something it's difficult to dissuade me. So to be separated from the design of the place that is to be my home for the foreseeable future is difficult, especially as I'm aware that this space has to be user friendly for 2 of us and anything we want to do inside.

In other news: I have started sketching again. I'd forgotten how much I loved this, and I can't wait until the big move so I can invest in some new acrylics and some canvas and start painting again. There's no point in me buying some here as I wouldn't be too keen to pack them up in a suitcase with my clothes and books.

And: Pod boy is checking out land online. We're going for a wee ticky tour when I get there on Saturday to check out some properties. Again it's a learning experience for us, we both want and expect different things of properties so we're having to compromise (although I think I'm the one who will end up giving in as what I want can easily be achieved by removing some of what Pod boy wants later! He wants a forest, I want rolling grassy meadows.) We want land so that we can visit it on our days off and have spas in the outdoors, stroll around nude without anyone minding and I need a place to put down as my 'legal' dwelling for my nursing registration.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

faith and the naked pod

hay hay people just me podboy,
i just came on to rap about stuff, ive just been doing my thing this last week (work , and dreaming )
solar panels man they excite me'
at he moment ive got a deep cycle battery 60 amp hours and it will run the laptop for about 10hr ish depending on what i do with it. dvds take up more amps i think, i plug it in at during the day but it wont really make the night sometimes im woken up at 2 or 4 in the morning with the buzzer telling me its getting low grrrr and then im screwed.... (usually he wakes me up and tells me he's driving to work and that he'll plug the computer in and come talk to me some more...yep, we sleep with skype on - weird I know).

so i try to stay at a job to have power all night... at the moment ive got a heater, light and laptop going, and theres no way the little battery could handle it.. so its time to upgrade sooon. the Questions boggle me how many batteries, how many solar panels ??? how much lol when i brought the 60 amp battery the dude (asshole) told me it would run the laptop for 3 to 4 weeks (lol what a tripper )
so when i went back to him to say what the fuck chuck , he just laughed at me and said that he assumed i would be using it for about an hour a day and driving a few hours. drugs much

so my faith in sales dudes is all gone if i ever had any lol
dam do i just rant or what lol


THE NAKID POD
LOL
lol
so i took the pod back to almost bare grrr (not drop bears , spell check hun)
lol when i ripped the old floor out there was a pods treasure under it lol maybe over$100 in gold coins , u see we have gold $2 and $1 here and they're small. the 2 is tiny and any way there was heaps lol and nails and glue and fuck the dog hair lol what the fuck is it with dog hair grrr i hate it some times ( one day im going to lose it and shave pod dogs ass) any way with the old buckled thin ( 8mil) floor gone and the new 15mil floor in its already better , im just waiting for the right moment to build the bench seats and new bed. lol i hope its done b4 my love gets here lol (I don't think it will be, I come in 5 days!)

SHIT AND WHAT TO GET RID OF

well get rid of the shit thats why its shit lol obvious
so all my craps in plastic boxes its kinda surreal i had 5 boxes and now got 3 and by the end of the week ill have 2 lol , i went to my storage unit the other day with the idea of throwing everything out lol i got rid of half the shit but i could not do it all :(
boxes of books , things that seem important ,but arent .......

2 teddy monkies that i got when i was 7

samurai swards that ive had since i was 13

gem stones for meditation from my late teens

art work from my mid to late twenties

and books all on self discovery or mediation or spirituality

bla bla bla
stuff..... a life time of stuff

is it stuff that im destined to carry with me
its stuff that has defined me in some way
how can i honour it and let it go
do i need to let it go
am i letting it go

freedom
love
:)

(He's doing so much better than me, I worked out tonight that the whole Pod could fit into my bedroom at least 5 times...and I have almost my whole room of stuff to bring with me. I'm not ready to really get rid of anything yet!)

Scene it - miss it - love it

I can't wait to get over to the pod, I'm missing beautiful sunrises like this one. Podboy woke early a few mornings ago and was driving himself to work when he saw this and pulled over and took some photos. How gorgeous is it?!
I'm also missing sleeping at the beach. At Podboy's favourite spot on one side you have city views and on the other you have ocean and horizon.
As well as pelicans sailing their own boats! How clever are they?
This is the view through the "window" that Podboy parks in front of when he's at this spot. It's a perfect natural frame for the ever changing beauty of the ocean and the sky.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deconstruction!

In anticipation of my arrival next weekend Pod boy has taken out the long cupboard that ran down the length of the driver's side of the van. This will give us extra sleeping space, but does leave us with absolutely NO storage space built into the van. Basically we are back to the original van shell with a shelf across the back window. At the moment Pod boy has all of his clothes in containers on top of this shelf.


This picture gives you an idea of the inside of the pod right now, Pod boy has taken other (better) pictures of what the pod looked like half an hour ago and he will have pictures of it when he's finished with it today. He's not doing much, just getting it so it's comfortable for us during my 5 days there. Then the real work will begin, I think. It's hard to know exactly when the rebuild will happen.

It's also hard getting posts and pictures on here at the moment. I'm still on weird shifts and Pod boy's internet has slowed (he's capped it!!) and he has two days before it speeds up. Then hopefully we can get some of the photos he's been taking up on here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Responsibilities

I grew up in a completely different environment to Pod boy. I am the eldest of four girls (he is the youngest, with one sister and two brothers). For most of my life I had responsibility drummed into my head, as the oldest I was also the one responsible for seeing that dinner was ready when my Mum got home from work and that all the odd jobs had been done too. I feel like I had a lot of responsibility from a very young age not just at home but also at school and in the community.

Me, second from the left, and my sisters

I was 9 when Mum went back to full time work - Dad worked from home but his office was about 300m away from the house so he wasn't really right there. I got my first job as a checkout chick when I was 14 and I began babysitting for neighbours and tutoring various neighbourhood children when I was 16. I was overly involved at school: I was on almost every committee, I was heavily involved in drama, music, debating, sport and I was editor of the school newspaper for 3 years. I also had various leadership roles in the school and tutored 3 students in English and Maths.

I went straight from high school to University and in my first year began to feel discontented with my life. I took a year off after my first Uni year to nanny for two little girls whose mother had died. I worked about 60-80 hours/week with them as their dad worked very long hours and I was basically live-in. It's no surprise, looking at this list (and remembering the other things I was also doing at the time), to me that when I turned 20 I totally rebelled against responsibility. I went back to Uni, but I was totally disinterested. I didn't have the drive to succeed like I always had, I wanted to have a life of simplicity.

From about 20-23 I dropped a lot of unnecessary stuff, I took more time for myself and I began saying "no" to some things that people asked of me. I was a lot more relaxed and tried to only do stuff that I wanted to do. I only did the bare minimum to pass my courses, and even though I was still getting great marks I wasn't actively trying for these. I had a couple of serious relationships, but there was always a part of myself that I held back. I was scared to let anyone too close to me, I was much happier being there for other people and not relying on anyone else.

When I was 23 I started my nursing course, I went into it excited and motivated (but unwilling to study endlessly or put more effort in than I needed to to pass). I'm lucky that I'm naturally bright, I can write assignments in hours that other people take weeks to write and I've used this skill endlessly during my course. I know this sounds scary, and you might be thinking "wow, I don't want someone that doesn't try to be nursing me" but don't worry, I'm good at what I do when I'm doing it, I just don't want it to be the focus of my life.

When Pod boy first talked about me living in the van full-time with him I was a little apprehensive. It was totally different than holidaying in the van with no other responsibilities. But then it hit me, vandwelling was the perfect situation for me right now. It feels right to be mobile, to be closer to the earth and more subject to nature. It feels right to walk away from the constrains of my childhood, it feels wonderfully appropriate that I'm back at Mum and Dad's so I'm going from my parents house to the pod: almost like I've come full circle. I feel like I'm only now beginning to live a life of simplicity.

Pod boy and I have an amazing romance, our story is actually pretty unbelievable, and for us vandwelling is both a completion and a beginning. Living together in the pod completes the work we have to do on ourselves and frees us up to focus on a new beginning. He and I might write a blog together when I'm over there and explore our relationship. It's so cathartic to write on here for me, I feel like I learn more and more stuff about myself.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

some of me

hay hay my crickle is gone from me i have no cricke lol
her internet is down :(
very very sad face

but life

goes

on

any way i thought i would come on and rap about me and how i became me

one of my early memories is of me looking with longing at the local mountains and thinking that i could live there lol would there be bears and things lol i was about 5 lol

then when i was about 13 i realised that we (people) were in bondage (and not the fun kind, he he) financial bondage to our selves.

ive always loved the out doors. as a kid my dad would take me camping lol he often left me there for a week or so on my own lol (ive always been a loner) i loved it. as i got older i hated the idea of rent and mortgages are a real scam and work was for suckers i lived on government benefits for a long time and i lived a very green lifstyle, i always looked for the Cheapest possible rent lol (rat bait is good to have under ur bed lolol).

after a few years of drug and alcohol abuse i realised that my life was going no where and i thought "what do i really want out of live " and i realised that i wanted to travel, so off i went to get a job.

funny thing tho the more money i had the more i spent lol

i forgot about my traval ideas (the rat race had me, dam not enough bait )
so i studied to get a better job and more money to pay for the things i thought i needed i was in my early 20s.

when i was in my mid 20s i got married to a woman that was the complete opposite to me in almost every way and i forgot about my self and i became a step father (she's the child of my spirit if not of my blood) but thats a whole other blog lol.

after 7 years of soul destroying arguments and thoughts of suicide, at 1030 one night i got up and left. i packed a bag of clothes that i needed and walked out (some times the guilt gets to me about that, but i know it was the right thing to do.) so there i am sleeping in my van (fuck) i gota get a place to live (what am i going to do)

bla bla, i worked that week and slept in my van cooked on the job and wow it was ok.

i had never heard of van dwelling or even that other pepople were doing what i was doing, not until i traved north for xmas.

i drove 3,600 km in 3 and a half days, i wanted to see my nephews and brother for x mas day.
it was a real eye opener to meet people who lived in their vans and busses and trucks full time lolololol i thought i was the only one. lolol

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pod boy cooked for me today!

Lamb pseudo souvlaki (no fuss as Pod boy calls it)

Firstly, set up kitchen on the side of the tradesman trailer. Take your favourite knife, show fiance 4,000 km away.

Pour oil into frying pan and gently heat:

Chop garlic and add to oil with chilli flakes, salt, pepper, rosemary and tabasco sauce

Slice lamb very thinly, take garlic pieces out of oil and add meat to pan:

Wash lettuce:

Add a dash of lemon juice to meat when nearly cooked. Take Turkish bread and lay in frying pan:

When meat is finished and bread is ready, put lettuce on top of bread and smother with tomato sauce:

Show cooked meat to fiance:

Tip meat over lettuce and bread:

Roll bread up and enjoy!


Crickle's recommendations: Mix yoghurt, cucumber, mint and a dash of lemon juice together and add over lettuce. Add chopped fresh tomatoes. Garlic hummus over the bread before the lettuce would also be delicious! (Of course this all requires a little foresight ;-) lol)