I treat you, dear reader, with lyrical tales of my adventures and journeys, my musings and learnings, great revelations about humanity and epiphanies about life, but all you’re interested in is the nitty gritty of living in a motorhome. Do you ever cook? How do you wash? What do you do about *lowers voice* going to the toilet?!
Be careful what you wish for…
Light and spacious studio apartment with ample ventilation. Comfortable living space, enough seating for 6 adults. Fully equipped kitchenette with fridge, 2 burner gas hob, gas grill, extractor, sink and drainage sink (water pump not included), plenty of storage cupboards. Fitted with double bed and optional single bunk, half-height wardrobe. Industry-standard heater, complete with protective sheet of asbestos. Boundless garden and exceptional views. Fully furnished.
I have everything I need with me in Groggy, including a washing line and pegs, a pop-up privacy tent, towels, jack, engine oil, crockery, torch, books, spare fuel, hand-held vacuum, food supplies, foil and an inflatable killer whale called Festival Orca.
Festival Orca, having replaced Festival Banana after Black Deer Fest, enjoyed his debut at Warwick Folk Festival where he was rudely defaced by some of the performers! (Thank you for the autographs Daoirí Farrell, Sid Goldsmith and Granny’s Attic).
People I’ve met on the road, and those who have got in touch via the contact page, have asked me a few questions about life on the road and life in Groggy the campervan. So, for your convenience, I have compiled the answers in one place:
Does it get cold? Sometimes, but I have plenty of blankets and duvets, plus a heater for the winter.
Does it get hot? Sometimes, but I tend to have all the windows and doors open until the evening, by which time it has cooled considerably.
Do you feel safe? Yes. I am travelling alone but I tend to park where there are other vehicles – safety in numbers. The only time I have been concerned was when I was in a very safe place in Kent but just after I started to drift off at night, I started to hear noises. I close all the curtains to make sure nobody can see inside, but as a result, I can’t see out so I had no way of identifying where the noise was coming from. It sounded like someone was patting down the outside of the van as if fumbling for a door handle.
I waited a few minutes to see if they would leave but the noises continued. I had 999 in my phone ready to hit ‘dial’ and plucked up the courage to forcefully open the door and confront my ‘distresser’. Just as surprised as I was, the cat immediately leaped from my van and ran off down the street.
Do you get lonely? No. It’s in my nature to talk to people so I am never on my own. In fact, I actively have to avoid people sometimes just to have a little peace and quiet.
What are you doing for money? I am running Your Word Gurus (writing and proofreading services) from various public spaces with wifi and a power supply. I have also been offered ad hoc shifts at a couple of pubs, English Heritage sites and the Eden Project!
Do you cook? Yes, I cook eggs, veggies, make toast etc
Where do you park? Because Groggy is a short wheel base, I can park in any carpark or high street without a problem. I have overnighted by the beach, in the woods, in city centres and beside village greens. I don’t always get it right…
How do you wash? I don’t have running water so I fill a couple of jerrycans with water and put one on the side when I’m parked up. They have a removable tap which is very useful, though the container which came with the van fell off the shelf last week and its tap became permanently removed.
For washing, I boil the kettle and fill my bucket. For a proper shower, I tend to use public swimming pools as they always have showers and a hairdryer and are half the price of gyms and quarter of the price of campsites.
And the question we’ve all been waiting for… toilet? For the most part, there are public toilets wherever you go. For emergencies only, I have a portable toilet (very much just a toilet seat on a collapsible metal frame) with compostable swing bags. I told you: be careful what you wish for!