Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The start of a new project

Sometimes an idea occurs to you and it seems so right that you have to just go ahead and make it a reality.  So today I handed in my notice at the consulting company I have been working for the past six years.
In four weeks time I will be free from this company, and it sure is a relief to have done this.  The company itself is very good to work for, but the nature of this job means I cannot really plan anything in my life.  Yes the job is nomadic, and this is what I want - a nomadic existence.  However I want firstly, to be in control of where I will be working at a date x in the future.  Secondly, I want to slow the velocity of the nomadic lifestyle.  So I want to maybe stay in an area for a few months, then move on.  Thirdly I want to stop working with computers, in the long run and run my own business in something I enjoy.

So I have been following this blog


This blog, as the name suggests is about how it is to live in a caravan.  I do not necessarily want to live in a caravan but I sure do like spending time at camp sites.  The blog's author also expounds upon how he has changed his career and you can really see how living this new life has been very beneficial.  Even the rigours of living through an arctic winter in a caravan have not phased this author at all - on the contrary he appears to have enjoyed this challenge a good deal.

Now one thing I really like to do is work with my hands.  At the school I attended we were encouraged to go as far as possible in education so you didn't have to work with your hands.  Unless you wanted to be a dentist I guess, where you do the education to work with your hands.  Anyway, I had a knack with computers so this is what I ended up doing, although at university I actually studied Philosophy.

The above mentioned blog went into some detail about the technical issues experienced in the caravan world so I started to think that maybe it would be fun to work as a caravan engineer.  But how do you become a caravan engineer and how do you get experience doing this sort of work?  At first I thought that maybe I could just do any sort of work on a caravan site and hope to get technical experience while doing warden work or cleaning work on sites during the busy summer season.  The problem with this approach though, is that it would not pay enough.

In my profession quite often companies will employ IT contractors for three to six months at a time.  So then the penny dropped and it all fell into place.  Why not work as an IT contractor?  Work at an area for three months on the good money a contractor earns, but instead of staying in a hotel as most contractors would do if working a long way from home, why not stay in a caravan park in my van for the duration of the contract?  You can only stay 28 days at a camp site so I would have to move maybe two or three times during the contract's duration.  And why not do a short caravan engineering course before starting the contracting?  And why not, while at the caravan site, put a sign on my van stating that I am a trained caravan engineer and can offer fairly competitive caravan servicing and repairs?  And why not just make sure I do a really good job whenever someone asks me to service or repair their caravan so that a reputation begins to build?  And then why not, over a period of time, spend more time doing the caravan engineering work instead of the IT engineering work?  Why not be my own man and run my own business doing something I enjoy?

Seems like a plan to me.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Quite a muddy camp site

So the last post found myself in a farm site in Winchester.  I stayed there three nights then returned back to base, having done some useful work for the client.  I continued working for them from home and returned again last Monday evening.  It's not a bad journey - 81.5 miles according to the GPS.
It was raining heavily a good deal of the way and although this camp site is very nice and tranquil, it has no concreted roads or hard pitches.  So my poor transit van was sliding all over the place.  Here is a pic of the camp site and the van I would hope to trade my old transit van in for - after I win the lottery.

One interesting little thing was having to break up a fight between a duck and a rooster - the rooster getting the worse of it.

The guy I was working with was rather surprised when I told him where I was staying, and they suspect me of being some sort of hippy type character, dressed in suite and tie.
Next week I will be working from home again, but likely to have to travel back to Winchester Thursday or Friday.  I will most likely go back to this site, it's so quiet and not a light anywhere so completely pitch black at night.

I'm well over 40 days now without a cigarette.  Looks like I'll be travelling to the Connecticut for a couple of weeks in February.  This is something I'm looking forward to.

Monday, 3 January 2011

2011 Winchester - it's a farm site

Hello - hope you all had a great New Years event.  Mine was a fairly big party with a great guitarist playing, lots of food and pepsi.  I was the designated driver, thus there was no pressure or desire for me to drink alcohol.

First job this year is for a company whose UK head office is in Winchester, and it starts tomorrow.  I decided to drive here today and am now hooked in a fairly pleasant caravan park that is part of a farm.  Lots of animals wondering around and its green and tranquil.

Given the issues I have had with the van I was a little apprehensive about this trip, even though it was only eighty miles.  On Friday I pull into a petrol station, get out, put key in fuel cap, turn, but nothing gives.  The fuel cap would not come off.  Great!!!  After fiddling and cursing for ten minutes I drive over to the parking bay away from the pumps and continue trying get the cap off.  I dip the key into some oil and stick it in, hoping something will give - but nothing gives.

I figure the mechanic must have done something, since this is the first time I have attempted to fill her up since taking the van to be fixed, and I never had any problems before hand.  I drive around to his garage, but he is closed.  I drive to the nearest Kwik Fit place, wondering if I could get a mechanic to have a look - maybe they have some sort of trick for this sort of issue.  But they are really busy and after waiting ten minutes I lose patience and drive to the nearest Halfords store.  I buy an all model lockable petrol cap and two screw drivers.  Using the two screw drivers I manage to force the cap out of the tank, thankfully not breaking anything around the cap tunnel.  The new fuel cap fits perfectly - phew, good to go again.

The trip today was fine.  The van didn't play up at all.  Thanks ConeHead.  I call the van ConeHead because this is what the previous owners called the van due to its cone shaped luton top.  I'm not superstitious but I've heard it brings bad luck to rename a van or boat.  I won't tempt fate - and ConeHead it shall remain.

So I am now officially being paid to camp.  The site fees will be chargeable to my employer, and I will receive a per-diem for the week or two I am here at the camp site.  Doesn't get better than that now, really, does it?