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family Mental Health vanlife

The truth of a successful life

May 4, 2021

We met on MayDay seventeen years ago. It’s the strangest thing, colliding with one person who changes the entire trajectory of your life. These past 3yrs in the van, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a successful life. Previously, I’d chased all those things I was told would make me successful, while working to help others achieve success. Until I began to ask the question ‘what does success mean?’. Ah. Epiphany. Much of what I learned about success…

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On family and connection

March 26, 2021

We’ve been incredibly lucky during this past lockdown year. The first half locked into Portugal then Switzerland, and even this winter in Cymru we’ve managed to park with family. There’s a certain amount of life that is shaped by our attitude, and positive thinking makes such a difference when, for example, getting through winter in a tiny home set up to travel but aren’t able to do so. Still, there’s a huge privilege in even being able to think positively.…

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The Remembering

February 9, 2021

This last week has been emotional. No matter how much work we do on ourselves there’s always the part where we then move back into the world of other people, and it’s daunting.  Vanlife for me has been a huge opportunity to hit the reset button: on how I work, how I live, and how I connect with people. It begins with healing the Self, and as that process deepens it allows us to being the work with those closest…

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family food

The ethics of food

February 3, 2021

I did have a good vent the other day 😬 so in the name of balance I wanted to celebrate our first eggs since October. And oh my! They were delicious. Our grandson, Arthur, has some pet hens and a happy bi-product of this is the eggs they lay. He’s so delighted with the eggs from his hennies. That means I’m not a strict vegan, and I’m open about this because I feel it’s important that dogma doesn’t take precedent…

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creating family

The poetry of our ancestry

January 22, 2021

One day I wake and my child is a grown woman with two children of her own. Just standing in the yard chatting is the simplest and yet most splendid thing in these strange times. Family is a work-in-progress, we grow a bright future from the fertile soil of our friendship. So grateful that this woman is part of my female lineage, with her tenacity, intelligence and kindness.I knitted this poncho for her a few years ago when she said…

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Liset Van Dommelen

November 12, 2020

This is the first in an occasional series of chats with some truly wonderful OUTSIDER WOMEN from the road. I hope you enjoy these conversations as much as I am. Discover more of Liset’s work on her website here, or Instagram. View this post on Instagram A post shared by OUTSIDER [Sophie McKeand] (@sophiemckeand_outsider) on Nov 12, 2020 at 3:33am PST…

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Inter-species zero-waste kitchen

November 8, 2020

This is a lengthy heading! But it’s explains what I’m doing so I’m gonna stick with it. If you’re thinking of switching to home-cooked food for your hound(s) the most difficult aspect is probably finding the time. Part of our slow-living vanlife is that I have more headspace for things like this, but I still don’t to want to spend all my days cooking. I’ve found the easiest way is for us all to eat different variations of the same food…

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On histories and storytelling

November 6, 2020

View this post on Instagram I’ve been working on letting go of expectation, both my own, and the expectations of others. Sometimes I get lost in all the rushing and the fuss and forget that a huge part of slowing down and minimising our lives was that I have the time and space to create exactly what I want, how I want, without worrying about how it’s received or having eleventybillionlikes. This online space, and the OUTSIDER blog were always…

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family food

Gifts from the menagerie

November 4, 2020

Our grandson Arthur has a menagerie of birds on his farm, including two rheas, a goose, a flock of both quail and guinea fowl, and hens. Apart from the Rheas that have their own field and pen, they all roam free about the farm all day. The hens are locked in at night to save them from the foxes. Guinea fowl sleep up in the trees and bushes to avoid predators – I didn’t know this! Anyway – a by-product…

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Taking it slow together

October 26, 2020

When all’s said and done living together in a small space will only work if you both practice acceptance – of the self, and each other. You need to grow a deeper awareness of your own faults, and perhaps less of an awareness of your partner’s 😂. These days, arguments are short, sometimes sharp, always forgotten quickly. We’ve learned to move in synch, although this does mean that we manage #accidentalcouplewear more often than we’d like to admit.A old African…

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