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 )



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

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!)


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


(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.