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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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creating family feature food vanhounds

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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creating Europe family vanlife

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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creating family Mental Health vanlife

Breaking it down

October 24, 2020

Lazy van mornings. Cooking breakfast for the hounds. Being back in Wales is making lockdown more real, perhaps because we’re more tuned into the cultural thinking here. Half of me feels totally disassociated from it all, the other half feels as if I’m absorbing too much of the worry and the anger and the stress. This can lead to catastrophising about future things I have no control over. When this happens I have a series of questions to ask myself:…

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family food

Grandson time

October 21, 2020

Can’t seem to shake this fug at the moment. It’s the strangest thing. Even as I know it will pass, it doesn’t seem to be waning. There are always highlights to the day though and today’s was this apple delivery right to the van door from our grandson. Collected fresh from his orchard. What a ray of light he is. He eats the entire apple – top to bottom, core and all – amazing.…

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Hibernation time

October 16, 2020

Here we are stationary after managing to avoid the worst of lockdown or restrictions all year. It’s been a strange six weeks with two of them in quarantine in a house (house life is NOT for me anymore no matter how beautiful) and then a week stationary in the van as she failed the MOT. One of the things vanlife teaches is how to let go of expectation, that as soon as we begin to make Big Plans the universe…

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family

Carving out new roles

October 7, 2020

I was so inspired by all the responses to yesterday’s post about us being multifaceted. ‘ I am large, I contain multitudes’ wrote Walt Whitman and he wasn’t just talking about himself. I wanted to continue with this theme of ‘and’. ‘And’ is my favourite word. This love affair began around a decade ago when I wrote an ampersand as the symbol for the universe (see below). This tiny, seemingly innocuous connecting symbol is what allows us to grow, to…

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Sixteen years strong

May 1, 2020

On May 1st, sixteen years ago I met @andyrgarside. We bonded over our disbelief that we’d been dragged to a terrible club night by mutual friends. We were both also single parents who were practical & not looking for love. He used to make me mixtapes, I’d make him home-cooked food; we took our kids (who were 8 & 10 at the time) on days trips & went out to gigs. Gradually we fell in love. It was honestly quite…

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