Things are moving in the right direction here. This weekend will see me developing nascent woodworking skills and making shelves for the wardrobe to effectively increase clothes storage. My furnishing material has arrived and David, my upholsterer has taken it away along with as many cushions that he could fit into a Mondeo around his dog. Vince the carpet fitter has told me it's possible to refit vinyl on the floor and under the units even if it will involve some swearing because it's a pig of a job. So some lovely, thick, funky lino has been ordered . In about three weeks I'll be able to show off how the van has been completely transformed. I wonder if George Clarke would be interested in an inspection!
Last Saturday I shared a bunch of questions that over people have been asking about my imminent move into my home on wheels. Here today are the ones that are going around in my own head.
Q: What stuff am I going to bring from my home?
A: I'm going around the house mentally picking out stuff that might not be put in storage. There's the hand blender, my hair clippers and epilator, a few books, a box of sewing gear, those two jars of sloe gin that I've made, my meditation stool........ I've got to be careful of not creating clutter while at the same time not feeling hard done by because I'm missing some jolly useful item of kit. Then again if I've missed something glaringly obvious I can go out and buy it.
Q: Isn't cutting my hair in the van going to make a right royal mess?
A: In spite of the bad hair day accident that I had last year I still clip my own hair. It's a messy old business and if I'm not careful the house is strewn with fine grey clippings that get trodden around. I'm going to have to be careful not to spread these around the van. Perhaps I'll lock myself in the bathroom to do this job to limit the potential mess.
Q:Where am I going to store my paperwork?
A: In the office at work under my desk in its existing Really Useful Box. It'll take up too much work in the van.
Q:Should I bring my Magimix and sewing machine?
A: I'm sorely tempted! There's space enough under one of the benches.
Q: Do I need a TV licence?
A: Now here's a nubby question. Louis will officially move to the home of his dad as he lives there half the time anyway. My residence will be deemed to be the house of Mr Metrosexual and Ruff Stuff, who have described this arrangement as appearing like a virtual menage à trois with the dog! No funny stuff planned. It's just the place where my post will be delivered and I'll be on the electoral roll. As there are two adults at this address already it does not affect the amount of council tax anyone pays.
The TV licensing authority website doesn't make it clear if I have to pay a licence fee or not. If you have a licensed TV in the house you don't have to pay again when you're in your motorhome or caravan. But my address won't really be my proper home. The van is! I'm going to phone up and put the question about whether I need a licence in my own right explicitly and how to go about it. Whatever stereotypes there might be about travellers this one isn't going to be living outside the law.
Q: Do I need a printer?
A: Didn't think I did as hadn't used mine for months but then every other piece of homework that Louis brings home seems to require him to print off images from the Internet. Maybe we can organise it so that he does his printing elsewhere, at his Dad's house or school. There are some mini pieces of kits available that I might have to invest in if it really proves necessary.
Q: Are there any fancy must-have storage gadgets that I haven't seen that will make life a whole load easier?
A: There's quite a bit unused gap behind the driver's seat and I'm particularly on the lookout for stylish storage for shoes and laundry.
Q: Will I be able to make bread and cakes?
A; Absolutely yes! Thanks to advice from Toffeeapple I've ditched the idea of a Remoska in favour of a cheaper, and apparently better, halogen oven. One is waiting for me to collect it this morning at the local Yodel office.
Q: How am I going to top up my water without moving the motorhome each time I do so?
A: The grey water from washing ourselves and our dishes is going to drain into a bucket and I'll empty that as I go along. But how do I keep topping up my clean water? The opening to the tank is quite awkward and I'm after a dastardly simple or hi-tech but cheap solution. I haven't thought of it yet.
Q: What about getting access to my summer wardrobe if I decide to extend my time in the van. Won't it be in a storage container?
A: Because I'm intending to dress in layers there should be enough clothes to last through the summer anyway. If not a charity shop spree might be called for. That will of course bring about another problem to be overcome. Where to put the winter clothes?
Although there's lots to think about I'm not too anxious just excited. I'm pretty sure that I'll work things out as I go along.