Van life Diaries: Day 1005 – Last day in Benwick

Van life Daily Diary Entries

Firstly, welcome to what I hope will be a daily blog post series. Essentially my ‘van life diary’ of the events that occur on a day to day basis.

There are a few reasons why I decided to start doing this now. One, this week I reached 1000 days of living in my motorhome Star. It occurred to me when I saw this milestone that I really haven’t been documenting my day to day life over those 1000 days. I’m therefore rectifying that for the next 1000 days should the universe be so inclined as to give me another 1000 days.

Last Saturday (11th May ’24) I left my warden job in the New Forest after resigning due to intolerable management and treatment and took up residence in what I thought would be a long term base in North Cambridgeshire.

However, one thing I learned early on in this van life adventure is that its pointless planning things in this lifestyle. There are so many variables including your house breaking down.

Family run campsite

As it happens, yesterday (Friday 17th May ’24) I was offered another warden role on a small, family run campsite in Suffolk. Suffolk is where I lived for 20 years and where my children still reside. This campsite is located about 30 minutes away from where I had my house and raised my kids so its going to be familiar scenery and hopefully an opportunity for me to catch up with friends and family in the area whilst I’m there.

Its a part-time job of a minimum of 20 hours a week with the potential to increase to more hours should the need arise during the peak periods.

I’m actually looking forward to working for a privately owned campsite as the other sites I’ve worked for were all large clubs and businesses with multiple sites.

So today is my last day here in North Cambridgeshire where I was just starting to get comfortable. The site owner where I am has been very understanding and the chances are that I will return here when my contract on the campsite ends in September (but I’m not making plans!)

I’ve befriended Trigger the pygmy goat and Molly the Newfoundland who are both pets of the owners along with chicken, ducks and pigs. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to them tomorrow.

Need to shed load (again!)

One thing I’m realising is that I have too much sh1t! Despite having gotten rid of 95% of what I owned when I sold my home to undertake this long-term photography project, I have acquired things over the years on the road. These are typically things I wouldn’t have with me if I was travelling more regularly. Things like an awning which I’m going to be selling as is now surplus to requirements but until I get a chance to put it up on eBay or similar I have to lug it around with me.

I then have a portable air conditioning unit that I have in the van during the summer months to ensure that if it does get hot, I can keep Star cool enough for Shaka to not experience any discomfort. I have also purchased an all season gazebo so that I can have some extra space when I’m parked up for several months (like when working on a campsite). The idea of the gazebo is that if I decide to get a seasonal pitch as a ‘base’, then the gazebo will be left on the pitch with all my unnecessary bits in it so that I’m just travelling with the essentials for whatever season we are in.

I therefore have a lot of packing ‘down’ to do tomorrow to head off for the campsite. Fortunately its only about an hour from where I am. The roads out of where I am at the moment are absolutely horrendous. I’m convinced I’d have a smoother ride on the surface of the moon!

Fight night

Tonight is a rather big boxing match, Tyson Fury vs Usyk so I’ll be staying up to stupid o’clock to watch that so tomorrow is going to be interesting to say the least. But hopefully, once I arrive at the new site tomorrow afternoon and ‘settle in’, I won’t have to pack down again for at least 4 months! I have so much work to do on Star that I need a period of stability, and income so that I can get that done before winter is upon us again!

So that’s it for today. I’ll leave you with some pictures I took yesterday at dusk as the resident barn owl hunted in the neighbouring pastures along with some of the other pets here on the small holding.

Until tomorrow, Be Happy, Be Safe and Be Kind.

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