Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ode to the Road

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Life on the road cannot be overrated
Where the scene is ever being updated
One day mountain, next day sea
What a wonderful way to be

Fresh from a world within the grid
It’s all there whatever we did
Amazon, Asda, and of course Ebay Earplugs to trucks just a click away

We need to find the next place to Park
That won’t be so easy after dark
Somewhere quiet would be good
Better if it has water and wood

No more rhymes seem to be coming so I will carry on in prose. It can still be an ‘ode’ can’t it’?
Anyway it is very refreshing to change the whole reality once in a while and adapt to a new way of living. I had forgotten the magic of this way, where everything becomes more precious and one appreciates the little things more.
Somehow living in a house with mod cons, it’s very easy to get lazy and take things for granted, like getting clothes dirty because you can just throw them in the washing machine.

And one needs to be much more conscious of water use, with a limited amount of water on board. You put a bucket of water on the stove to heat up then use it to wash your body, then wash clothes then the truck floor. When it rains we put buckets out to collect rain water dripping from the truck.
God made a song when the world was new. Water’s laughter sings it through. Wizard of changes, teach me the lesson of flowing. “
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Food is more interesting with changing availability and local delicacies. You can’t always get those avocados so it is especially nice when you do and there is ediblr, wild food everywhere, although not so much at this time of year. Making juice is a more involved process as the juicer needs to be got out and packed away, the generator started and stopped and this somehow makes the juice more delicious.
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As you may have read in earlier entries, we continue to run the sewing side of the business when on the road, meaning we have to adapt to the terrain and work with the weather.

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We also have a fully functioning mobile office, thanks to mobile Internet and the Smartphone.

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I do sometimes miss the days before the phones and the Internet when we would hear gossip along the grapevine and receive rare letters at Poste Restante addresses, the news of which would last us for weeks. For meeting up we would have to rely more on the Inner-net and guidance, and if we needed to get a part for the vehicle or directions to somewhere, we would actually have to ask the locals.

We used to rate Park-ups on a sliding scale from one to ten according to facilities. A ‘ten’ would be in a beautiful place miles from nowhere with water, wood and one could stay there as long as you want. We have since discovered the magic of a ‘minus seventeen’ Park-up, which can be something like overnight at a motorway truckers stop or a yard at the edge of an industrial area, and sometimes these sort of spots are the quietest because there is no attention from people and you don’t have to defend anything.

There is a lot of room for personal growth in sharing such a small space with others. One learns tolerance and an awareness of other’s personal space in the constant dance of who is cooking, who’s on the bed, who’s doing yoga on the floor, whose coat is hanging by the door, where you put your shoes when you come in etc etc. And the refreshing feeling of having only a few personal possessions.

All too soon we will land again in the next place for the next adventure, but for now the road is shining us on.

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The junk yard of infinity

It’s been a busy few weeks on the road looking up places in the wilds of Italy, speaking with owners,
And the authorities, looking at excavators for making roads to inaccessible isolated places, to create places that are very isolated.

Sometimes on the road there is a little un expected gem, you turn a corner and viola it’s there, a little spot of magic.
This time we stopped to get something from one of the road side stalls, and because things were a little hectic after town I took one of the girls for a walk, we turned a corner under a bridge and found a little spring.

It had a real nice touch, all decorated from rubbish thrown before, it was a work I art! we found out it was a church initiative, they made nice little art out of all the rubbish that has been thrown.
Although under a busy bridge, it felt so tranquil.
Having worked at the alternative edge of the leisure industry, helping campsites make retreats and sites for people to enjoy being away from it all, I was overwhelmed how simple it has been to create magic here, a place that felt so gentle and magical, with old statues an discarded posters, with little plants and of course the old spring.

How much better it felt to some attempts we have been part of by campsite owners to create the same magical atmosphere.

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There is this tendency when you travel to give good spots names, this one was christened “the junk yard of infinity”.

There is a story about a Mexican shaman who led his group of sorcerers in journeys to other worlds.
But his greatest love was to travel to the outmost corners of infinity, he would go to unvisited corners and would experience wonders.
The story states that not only he seen wonders in his other worldly travels to the junk yards of infinity, he would come back and re-create some of the wonders he saw.

At other times he would wonder into the other attention unseen and would bring the things he viewed there back with him, he had a collection of those “inventions” and this is what this little place reminded us of.

It was a refreshing contrast to speaking with the authorities about campsites, and dealing with buying land and surveyors, reminding me that actually it takes so little to make us “feel that magic”, in fact it’s probably the less there is, the more the magic.

Nomadic 102 – Women empower

We have been cruising through the Apennines for a few weeks now, settling to a rhythm. Travelling in convoy is an art, and so too is learning how long to hold a park up and when to move on.

The Italian landscape is quite helpful, although the lay-bys are smaller, than their French counterparts.
One can be cruising amongst the snow peaks one minute and on the next park up be by the sea, where it is still just about warm enough to jump in.
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The best thing is that we have managed to work some of the winter sewing load into it, so the push to find a place to work is not so strong. That is the advantage of the sunnier climate: we can sew outside in the winter.

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I love Italy. It flows in much more open ways: in the mountains it’s slower and old, by the coast it’s pulsing and constant, and the food is great. We have been getting into making pesto again, the most crucial ingredient-Pecorino is sold direct from the cheese
Makers. Of course it gets even better with locally gathered truffles put into the cheese, but we like to keep our foods simple, making our own pesto for example, although looking at a piece of land for sale next to the “Città del Tartufo” (truffle town) was tempting.

It’s a nice way to get to know an area, to park in it’s various lay-bys and to talk to the locals, interaction by interaction. All too soon one settles down, and we tend to be very private.
So although we love to chat to the munchkins wherever we go, we don’t always get too many opportunities.

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I love cruising the land and feeling it’s power like that, learning the old stories, and creating power ones for ourselves. We do group conscious work on the road, and it feels very right, at times it is explosive and hard to contain, at others it’s sheer elation. my heart goes out to all those that travel in trucks, but more so to the few that travel like that, the few that really integrate, that really feel through it.

It’s hard to explain, but certain spots bring certain truths out in us. it’s a greater challenge to travel with women, because they are so fluid, and they ebb with the energy itself.
I guess my greatest love is for those
Wild women that dare travel the real way, that dare feel and go through it,
Those that rise out of the crowd.

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