A New Year, and time’s moving so fast.

Happy New Year everybody, we hope 2017 brings happiness and health to you and all of your family.

As we lay in bed on New Years day talking about the year ahead, we reflected on the fundamental change that we’re about to take in the way we live. We’re conditioned from an early age to build a stable home and fill it with better and nicer stuff;  this year we’re throwing that conformity out of the window and taking our lives in a completely new direction. We’ll still have a home, albeit a lot smaller and with less stuff, but a different garden, different view and new neighbours every day! We’re not nervous about what we’re doing, we’re actually incredibly excited, but we do know we’ll probably face some big emotional as well as practical challenges in the year ahead, and not everything’s going to be a bed of roses.   Time will tell – I wonder how our blog post for New Year 2018 will read.

We’ve still not rented out the house – we’ve been close and still have one hot prospect who are due back from holiday in the next couple of days. We’re not overly concerned -yet- though it would have been nice to have got this sorted by now. We’re probably at the worst time of the year for renting, nothing happens at Christmas time !!

We’ve spent a lot of time making an inventory of everything that we’re packing away, what shape or colour bag or box it’s packed in, and where it’s actually being stored.

We had lots of family to stay and visit over Christmas so we tried to keep the house looking homely for the holiday period. We had an amazing Christmas, but now it’s over there’s a step change in our attitude to the packing and all of a sudden everything’s fair game. The pictures are down, the ornaments and trinkets are all boxed up and suddenly the house is looking strangely bare. The bare house has given us a new focus and realisation that we’re now only four or five weeks away from moving out of the house. Carol leaves work on 10th Feb  (25 more working days), so we’ll definitely be gone from the house by the 12th.

With our stuff being stored across four locations we need to know where everything is so we can find whatever we need without too much heartache! The key stuff will be what we store at mum and dad’s – that’s the stuff that we’ll need to get to over the coming months and years depending on where we’re travelling to and what we’ll need to take with us.

One of the first things we did when we got the van home was take all of the stuff that we intend taking with us on our travels, and load it into the garage of the new van.

We thought we’d have a ton of space with the massive garage in the van, but we couldn’t believe how quickly we filled it up, and there’s still loads of things around the house that we’re planning to take. 

We’ll need to build some sort of shelving or racking so it’s not all just one big heap on the floor!!  We have a load of kayak stuff, lots of fishing stuff (too much?) and our bikes, plus all of the other things that we’re going to need for living and being comfortable. Our plan is to put everything in that we want, then unload the whole lot and rationalise it all down to what we actually need. We’re going to have to develop a different mindset on the things we need around us in our new life.

 Phil’s going to take the van to the local weighbridge this week to see how we stand with what we’ve currently got packed – that will help guide us on what we can take with us. We had the van uprated from 3.5 to 3.85 tons. Looks like that was a good decision, that extra 350Kg is going to come in useful.

We’ve been like kids the last three nights and had sleepovers in Elton the van, on the drive, practising living in it and working our how we want to set ourselves up.

As a result, the first job Phil’s going to do is install some USB sockets around the van – these things are essential to living nowadays, why don’t van manufacturers realise this and install them as standard?

The other major van job this week is to get the gas system sorted out. We need a second refillable gas bottle, and then a fill point installed on the outside of the van. That’s going to be a scary job drilling a 4 inch hole in the side of the van – wish me luck !!

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