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, 22 August 2011

Holidays and Family

Last week was booked off work for a little holiday with my kids. There were many activities from swimming to fun fairs to cycling - a great week for a father to enjoy some time with his kids. It is hardly unusual these days for a child's parents to be separated or divorced and most severed couples can come to an agreement about the children. For them, to see both parents, or rather, to receive the love of both parents can only be a good thing.

And does an adult need a family? What happens when a man walks out into the world alone? When a man ventures out and lives in foreign lands and learns foreign languages and adapts to foreign cultures - does he leave his family behind and become something else? Twenty years ago I got on a plane and left everything I knew behind. And if I can look back through those years I can see the narrative of the black sheep learning something of the world and learning something about himself. And if there was a fair bit of heart ache along the way there was also some brilliance a bit like seeing bats flittering around a tree.

The bats really did fly in circles around the heat of the massive fire our eldest uncle created when he set match to cardboard to leaves and wood. After seven long years I took my two kids to see cousins and aunts and various relatives from my father's side. So too did my youngest sister fly from the other half of the world to meet up in the New Forest in a house with a huge garden. Thus it was a couple of days where family got together and swam in a river of memories and enjoyed the company of kin.

There was no way I was anything like an insider here in this pool of shared genes and nor was I an outsider. I kept my counsel as is appropriate and held my head high and shared with the family some of my life experiences and listened as the dark passages of time illuminated with the story of their lives. The uncle that toiled hard and created for himself this huge house and garden in the forest. The sister with her little girl who spun the hoola hoop effortlessly. The middle sister always in the middle, with her son that burst the balloon. The cousins that sat at their sewing machines creating what their minds imagined. All these relatives building for themselves a place on this planet worthy to be called a home. I held no feeling of embarrasment or envy for being the homeless one amongst this clan of high achievers. Like the expeditioner I had simply decided to take my eyes away from the man in front so that a different horizon became my destination.

When this nomad got back into his old van and began his journey back to his caravan on the field - a tear or two was given to the severed familial ties and to the lost world that had temporarily came into the focus of his consciousness. And so too did he laugh at his lot and the absurdity of his life. If he pledged anything to the future it was to recognise and maintain what he had become but also to include in his list of camping sites the driveways of those who would choose to host this man with his rusty old van.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Nomad's tip to drastically cut tax bill.

It's a tough life being a nomad and money is always a concern since we live on the edge of society.  Here is one tip for nomads and aspiring nomads to help get their finances in order.

OK, so no cigarettes for a long time for me.  258 Days to be precise.  I used to smoke a packet a day and each packet was roughly £6.50 each so that amounts to saving almost 1700 pounds alone in just over eight months.  That is a little more than I paid for my beautiful, but old Ford Transit campervan.  No nomad is complete without a solid reliable campervan.  Given that 88 percent of that cost is purely taxation - I have reduced my tax bill by £1475 pounds.

In addition I no longer need to waste time, and money going to the Doctor for my ventolin inhaler since I no longer need to use one.  Also, I can wear my clothes a little longer since they no longer stink like an ashtray after wearing them a few hours.  So my washing costs are reduced.

Thinking of quitting?  You know it makes a lot of sense - as well as cents!!!

Friday, 12 August 2011

An Update

Hello Everyone

It sure has been a while since my last blog entry. Reading back through my posts over the past year it almost seems like there could have been some unconscious force going on in my brain. To have chucked my job in, to have got rid of all my belongings, to have given the keys back to my landlord. To have lived for a while in a Ford Transit van. Madness. And yet now I am more than happy with my lot - with this caravan with its own shower and cooker and fridge. With the porch awning outside where I can store the kid's play equipment and the microwave and a little table and chairs.

And this contract that I started that was only to last three months. Well it was extended another three months, and again another three months so now I remain in gainful employment until the end of October. So the mobile caravan mechanic's course has been put on hold for a while but it is still my intention to complete this course and try my hand at a new occupation. Now it is true that life is full of little surprises and one such surprise for me was the enthusiasm for IT that this new contract has reignited in me. To spend more than a few weeks at one place - and to get to know the folks you work with; to feel part of a team. And to implement a solution that improves the way those around you carry out their daily work - all this is good and leaves you feeling proud and valued.

Now, since I am working in one place each day now - it occured to me that I could both get fit and save some money at the same time. So I purchased for myself a mountain bike. Each day I cycle five miles to work and five miles back from work and this amounts to an hour's exercise each day while I save the train fare I would normally pay. I am the stubborn sort so even when it is raining I will get my hiking water proofs out and cycle through the rain. It is not pleasant, but a victory to be sure when I arrive at work. Already after a couple of months of this cycling I have noticed my body is stronger and getting fairly lean. I have always enjoyed exercise but a couple of years ago, while skiing in Switzerland a little too fast for my ability, the balance was lost and the body tumbled and the knee was broken. The knee injury takes many months to heal and I was unable to run but the consultant suggested I could cycle. And indeed he was correct since the hour's cycling each day has no adverse effect on damaged knee.

In this blog of mine I am able to see that many people from many parts of the world have read my postings. I wonder what the readers think about the events of the last few days in England. The vandalism and the looting and the violence - shocking news broadcast around the world. How is it that in the poorest parts of the world where people struggle to find enough food each day to survive they can still live within the rules of their culture - yet here, where the youngsters have their phones and their handouts and their bricked accomodation and their parks and libraries and all those good things - how can they commit such despicable acts of destruction? I have no answers to this question but can only feel proud of the police and the government and the citizens that got together and showed great strength and courage to bring everything back under control.