Yesterday brought a close to my favourite spot. An end to the glorious views, peaceful evenings and lazy Sunday mornings. At first I was upset, a little taken aback. Like when you give a kid a lolly but lick it all over first. We’ve all done that, so don’t say you haven’t. Anyway, a lame excuse was given about neighbours complaining, even though the nearest house was a mile away so I pulled up my trousers, puffed up the ole chest and off I went.
About 300 yards away, to a lay-by where I could gather my thoughts and process what just happened. It felt like I’d been made homeless again initially. But a few moments of contemplation had me realise that I’d become too familiar there. I returned there every afternoon as I felt safe welcome. But that’s not really why I chose van life. I chose it for its freedom. It’s ability to escape the chaos and confusion that is life, at a moments notice.
I sat there a good while, pondering my next move. Previous visited site locations eluding my fuzzy memory, hiding in the corners just out of reach. Picturing the scenes but not the road leading to them. Like one of those books from the charity shop that has the last page missing linking the whole book together.
I liked this. I liked not knowing where to go next. I’ve always been a terrible planner, neglecting everything from booking actual flights to get the holiday destination to likely not turning up for my own funeral. I am hear them now “Has anyone seen Shane? The dickhead isn’t even in the coffin!” The feeling of excitement, the wonder of the anticipation, the sound of my own heart thumping in my ears. That might’ve been 7 double shot flat whites though A short time later, those pretty views and rolling hills were long forgotten as I myself rolled out of the lay-by in seek of new horizons. I used an app specifically for van lifers to scout out that nights spot. It wasn’t far away and promised a lake for dipping in (I can’t swim so there would be zero dipping. Naked or not) a small quiet car park and wonderful views. The dirty liars. Dirty dirty liars. Filthy I’m fact. Sure it was a small carpark. But if those views were wonderful then I can only assume the poster had haemorrhoids firmly attached to their eyeballs and that they actually liked looking at poo canoe danglers. The lake was a couple of miles away. There were houses so close that I feared should I start my cheap Chinese diesel heater they would all suffocate in their sleep from carbon monoxide inhalation. And quiet? I saw more shady deals in that car park in a half hour than Snatch, Lock Stock and Mean Machine rolled together.
No way Jose. I was off. Faster than a Robin Williams facial twitch I legged it. Then bam I knew exactly where to go! It was a car park but at least there was an ok view of the exercise machines and the bin area. A little light too and CCTV. No sooner had I pulled up than a double sized Elmer Fudd come thundering over bellowing “You! You! You! You!” Trying not laugh I said “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” He was an angry red faced stout man, clearly stark bonkers mad. He said in a course voice “You can’t, you can’t stay there I say!” I thought I fucking ain’t mate don’t worry I pressed the button to wind the window up in his face but this is a transit van. They are pathetic. I’ve seen Brasses pull their knickers up faster. (I haven’t. I’ve never ever witnessed a Brass pull their knickers up).
I drove off once again, wondering if these feelings of wonder were playing on tricks on me when the skies open and down came the rain. Powerful flooding rain. I then thought ha! He didn’t have a coat on I’m going back there. Sure enough Elmer Fudd had gone and calm had been reinstated. I set up for the night, settled down and opened up this page to see why my phone had been singing like Trumps doorbell on eviction day!
There staring me in the face was a thread full of positivity, love and admiration! One of you guys had set up a Just Giving page to replace a mountain bike I’d been forced to sell to put food in the table. I used that bike as a means of therapy for this PTSD and missed it dearly! I started blubbering, tears streaming down my face. Then a message from Lisa saying Campervan Bible wanted to do something special after lockdown! (More on that another day but believe me it’s more than special!) I was totally blown away! I’m a giver, I’m the guy that likes to do things for other people. I can’t compute when it’s paid forward to me. Inbound if you like. But my heart is bursting with pride and gratitude! More than I could possibly describe with words! Yeah, know, even me Thank you simply doesn’t cut
Today’s blog is about letting go of the past and moving forward. We get attached to material things too easily. We struggle to let go and sometimes we need a kick up the arse to shove us in the right direction. Whether that past may be your favourite jacket that you left on the bus, a friend you fell out with irreparably or a relationship that blew up. Or in my case the views. Just gotta let it go man. It’s in the past. Gone. Put that left foot in front of the right and shake your hips baby! Forward is the future. The future is yours.
Big love as always, CS
Last night I laid there wondering where the sun went at night. Then it dawned on me...
Here’s a picture of my axe because I couldn’t think of anything else to put here