We have to say a big thank you to Mrs Sun who has been omnipresent (pretty much) over the past week whilst we have been loitering about waiting for C’s first appointment tomorrow. It has been a good time, but also a time for reflection. I’d like to expand upon that.
Here we are eking out our days in a very small box, tripping over each other sometimes to get things done but enjoying, but not always wholly appreciating, the freedom not working in a conventional sense affords us. Two of our best friends are leaving the Army, buying houses and settling down and yet, even after a year of itinerancy we are no further forward as to what we should do next?
As to living in a motorhome, it will not go on forever. Doris remains fabulous, a perfect balance between size and needs. But, especially as the weather gets wetter and colder, it’s often not a big enough space. We’ve seen plenty of vans that would make our life a little easier, more comfortable even, but even this week we have taken Doris down roads (and smacked her wing mirror) where we would not have taken a larger van. Leaving aside space, she has everything else we need. And, now I seemed to have found the issue as to why the 12 volts trips, everything works first time. Will we ever get rid of her?
We have also seen lots of friends and family, many, many more than we ever would have if we had been static, and multiply that by a factor of ten if you add on ‘if I had been working’. I know I’ve said it recently but we are much more attuned to our girls than we ever have been before, and working would curtail that. Add static, and they would likely have to come and see us. To make that work in a way that we have recently developed we would need to base ourselves somewhere between Bristol and Birmingham, and at present that’s not on our agenda. We are up seeing my parents this week and Mary later. Both enjoy our company, and my Mum and Dad, bless them, need us more than ever before. And that won’t last (I’m sorry to say), so there’s a transitional period here. Add to that that Steven and Bex are thinking of pushing off round the world next summer for a year, and whatever we do (apart from being flexible) will not make seeing them any simpler.
There are two other issues: where to live; and what to do?
Where to live is v complicated and, apart from wanting to be by water and in a climate that is warm so we can live outside, we have not got any further. Notwithstanding an Act of God we are heading off to Spain and Portugal in January and will see if that floats our boat. Currently I imagine a small villa and a lock up cafe close to an airport. A cliche? You bet, but we need to rule that out.
In terms of what to do, I am now writing furiously. And loving it. In an ideal world the whole Sam Green affair would kick off and our options would not be work based as I can write anywhere. Realistically that’s never going to happen, but, with ten years of employability left (not for someone else and nothing too strenuous), I do feel that I will need to do something. What? It may end up being based on where we decide to live – and then maybe I could go back into the classroom, which wouldn’t be a bad thing. But it’s still one of the known unknowns, if you’ll excuse my Rumsfeldism.
C has an ideal house in her head, which we would need to build, and I’m with her on that. She has no ambitions to work at all, but would do if needed. She is, it’s fair to say, as at sea as I am.
What we do know is this next year is sorted: hopefully away in the next couple of weeks on the continent, Christmas at home, six months in Iberia and write a book. Then what?