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food minimalism vanlife

Cooking on two rings

June 16, 2019

I’ve always loved cooking. When the kids were younger we got a weekly vegbox delivered and then later I became part of a local CSA. Now we’re on the road it takes a bit longer to hunt out local farmers markets, and to be honest they’re not always on when we’re passing through, so it’s a mix of markets, local shops and supermarkets. These days we’re vegetarian and I’m creating more vegan meals as the time rolls on. Only having…

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Mental Health minimalism vanlife

Happiness is a state of mind

May 23, 2019

As much as Instagram might want to prove otherwise, Vanlife isn’t all syrupy sunsets and myth-filled forests of giants. We spent yesterday day & night in this camping superstore car park near Magenta, Italy surrounded by other vans, facing a noisy, traffic-filled roundabout. It made me think on the phrase: happiness is a state of mind. It doesn’t really matter where you are or who you’re with, if you’re not happy in yourself then you’re going to find things to…

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Europe feature minimalism vanlife

Building a new life together

May 19, 2019

Woke this morning thinking how far we’ve come since first having a dream to sell/gift 95% of our possessions and head off to explore Europe in a self-converted van. We had to learn so many new skills to make this work – the first one being self-belief. This is an ex-delivery van (Mercedes Sprinter hi-top LWB) that originally had ply-panelling throughout and a giant metal bulkhead. It took us from April – Nov 2017 to do a complete refit. Mainly…

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dailyconnectionwithnature feature minimalism nature poetry

swimming in slow time

May 12, 2019

I had a dream the other night that I had a table full of cakes. There were so many cakes! More cakes than I could ever eat. When my friends came around I shared the cakes out as much as I could, even tried to get them to take some home. But then a group of young lairy lads showed up and I didn’t want them have the cakes even though I was being polite & they were all sat…

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minimalism vanlife

On embracing opposites

May 7, 2019

My thoughts keep returning to opposites lately. Years ago I discovered the Tao Te Ching and it blew my mind. The concept of nothingness: that real understanding lies in emptiness, not accumulated knowledge or wealth, is not something I’d previously encountered. And then to read of the simplest thing: left creates right; up creates down. If this is the case then the further left we go, the further right is created, and vice-versa. What does it mean then to stand…

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Europe minimalism vanlife

How do we honour the place we inhabit?

April 29, 2019

We stayed in a campsite this weekend for the first time this year (and only the third time in eighteen months). It’s great in some ways, but I’m starting to realise how many of the things our culture considers essential are not so. They’re part of the system that tells us we need these things instead of dreams. I saw an advert the other day for a house with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Four bathrooms? Have we really begun…

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minimalism nature poetry slowlivingactivism

Minimalist living

April 27, 2019

Maybe we are our memories, but we are not the inanimate objects our culture teaches us to imbue with these micro-histories. If part of the role of poetry & storytelling is to keep alive memories & ideas then perhaps this explains why they feel sidelined to ‘entertainment’ in our capitalist society. Who needs an abstract poem when we have a tangible object to hold and store, and eventually forget about? Living in a tiny space forces us to think differently…

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feature minimalism vanlife

Building a tiny home on wheels

April 23, 2019

We built the van interior ourselves over the summer/autumn of 2017 and hit the road full-time at the end of that November. Andy’s a designer so he was able to draw up detailed plans. We watched endless YouTube videos of other people’s builds from across the world so that we could get a feel for what would work for us. We’d also converted a VWT5 the year before for holidays which gave us a good idea of the space we…

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creating Europe minimalism travel vanlife

Moving on

March 26, 2019

6.30pm and it’s still light – the sun is only just setting. I’m folded into a stack of reading research in the ‘lounge’. Andy’s in the the ‘office’ working away. Hounds are snoozing. We booked our ferry off Crete today. 11th April will be our last day here. Winter is well and truly over and the mainland calls. We found so much that was unexpected while overwintering on this beautiful Greek island. The most startling was the need to stay…

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Europe feature minimalism vanlife

Feeling festive

December 13, 2018

  Parked up at the most amazing beach, but the rain is hammering down and it’s pitch dark outside. Time to get festive! We’ve always left Xmas decorations until quite close to the day. It feels weird seeing them around too early. Mainland Europe appears to have a more sensible approach to the whole thing so we’re not overwhelmed by Xmas tat. Neither of us are even slightly religious – I’d go so far as to say that I’ve felt…

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