Over three months ago I made my last post, and I have to apologise, the mundane sort of got in the way.
I promised to update on living and working from our motorhome. At the time I thought that I might have something exciting to say, some revelation about small space living and full time working, but in fact it’s not all that exciting and there isn’t much to say.
Maybe if we hadn’t spent two years living together in a small space it would be different, but we had got used to the way in which we manage our emotional and physical interactions in the confines of the motorhome and, in the end, it isn’t much different just because we’re working.
So I still get out of bed first and make our morning tea and coffee before Paul gets out of bed. I have a few other things I also do before Paul gets up; packing our lunch (made the previous evening) into our lunch bags and getting myself ready for my cycle commute into work.
Then I can sit down and drink my tea while Paul sorts himself out, getting himself dressed and ready for work. By separating our morning activities we manage to avoid having to squeeze past each other trying to get ready; by doing most of our prep the night before we don’t have too much to do at 6:30am before we leave sometime between 7 and 7:15. The biggest downside of all of this is the initial need to get out of bed, but that’s something I would resent wherever I was living. I just like a slow start in the morning.
I cycle into work where I have a locker with all my work clothes in, a fully stocked wash kit and access to a shower and hairdryer. Every day or two something comes home with me to be washed and something goes back to work clean and fresh. Work also provide a fridge where I keep my breakfast and lunch. They provide free tea bags (yay!), and occasionally I am tempted by the amazing array of cakes in the canteen.
Paul takes a packed breakfast and lunch. He gets to his jobs using a van provided by his employer. If it rains I might just bag a lift with him, or I get the train if he’s not heading in my direction. So far we have managed to avoid the need for a car and I’m tracking costs to see whether it would be worth getting a little run about. So far there are no compelling reasons to make a purchase, Paul can use his work van for personal reasons so long as he records the mileage and pays a per mile rate.
We get back from work sometime between 4:30 and 7 depending on our commitments and how energetic I feel for my cycle home. We have showers, do a bit of cleaning and make dinner. Maybe we might have a social engagement in the evening, but usually we’re happy to leave socialising to the weekends.
And work itself? Well, as predicted it feels like I never went away. My work-life balance has adjusted in the right direction and I no longer finding myself in far flung corners of the UK or taking work home in the evening. At the same time I’m already craving a bit of extra challenge. Paul, after looking forward to a bit of laddish banter, took a while to get back into the swing of things, but even he is claiming to be enjoying himself more often than not. Of course we miss the travel, but we have plenty of other things to occupy us. I’ve agreed to share an allotment with a friend and have signed up for Italian lessons. Paul has joined a pool team. We are both loving the fact that we’re around family and friends.
At work most people know that I’m living in a motorhome. I’d like to give you some story about how all these brick dwelling office workers find our lifestyle weird, but in all honesty they don’t. A quirked eyebrow and expressed concern about the cold is about as far as it goes. In fact the lack of a car provokes more comment than living in a motorhome with one colleague asking when I am going to sort out my ‘transport problem’.
But our full time motorhome living has come to an end. Most campsites locally shut at the end of October – we spent a while looking for somewhere to stay over winter and nothing suitable could be found. We are very grateful to Terry and Georgie at the Exe Caravanning and Camping site in Exmouth who have been very flexible with us. They found room for us when we needed it throughout the summer and into autumn as our plans changed from a couple of weeks visiting friends, to a decision to return to work and then finally deciding to take the plunge and purchase a small flat. Bertie will still have lots of outings and holidays; we have at least three breaks planned before the end of this year and there will be plenty more next year.