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.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Derby life

It did take a few hours to drive the 180 miles to Derby, but the roads were clear and once again this old van gave me no mechanical concerns.  As reliable as a Swiss watch, this old Ford Transit van must be one of best investments in the last few years.  I had booked a pitch on a farm site with an electrical hook up and a view of grass and trees and a dark sky.  The winter season has began and it was no surprise finding myself the only camper on site.  There is always a feeling of intrigue and excitement when approaching time on an unknown site.  You will wonder at what the facilities will be like, or how your fellow campers will be or any other of the unknown there may be.

If anything stood out as something defining for this site, it was the proximity to a busy airport and the associated sounds of jets taking off and landing not too far above the camper's roof.  After settling my van into the pitch I made a mental note to bring my radio scanner on the next week, so that I could tune into the air traffic control frequencies.  The site was also quite dark - something I appreciate as light at night is a form of pollution.  It did mean wearing my head torch as I strolled around examining the facilities.  The showers facilities looked great, although I thought one pound for a five minute shower a bit excessive.  This did include, however, a nice electric blower heater to take the chill out of the air.

The next day I arrived at my place of work.  It was a huge manufacturing company and thankfully plenty of places to park my van.  I met up with my colleagues and there was the usual panic in the air since various servers were not working as expected.  Nothing here out of the usual.  The routine approach is to remove the stress from the air.  It is done by by asking a series of questions in succession to prove a level of know how necessary to remove the burden of a solution from the colleagues' shoulders.  This is how we do it - and it is nothing special but something that is learnt from many years in the field.

The thing is once this little technique is mastered, you become someone wanted in many places.  And so I get the call to return to London to look at another issue.  Incredible.  So the next morning I was up at 5.00 to get on a taxi to take me to Derby station.    The train into London was high quality and the trip very comfortable.

Disembarking at London St Pancreas station I was very impressed.  Much work had gone into improving this station since the last time I was here, a good eight years ago.  I was in a rush so this picture was taken on the run.  A bit blurry.

A day in London and a long trip back to Derby.  The taxi had to take a few detours due to flooding on the road network.  Into the van and into bed.

This morning I trek through the mud to the washing block with my pound card and get myself sorted.  On returning to the van I realise I need to get a shirt ironed.  There is no room for an ironing board in the van so I have to use the floor.  I had recently bought an iron from Tescos for a ridiculously cheap price - but it seemed to work fine.

And this is a little insight into my crazy life as it is; combining the hippy like existence of the van dweller with the modern world of the IT consultant. And now it is time for me to disconnect the Electric hook up and drive the ten miles to the great big office in the great big manufacturing plant. I hope you all have a great day.

Peace to All

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Endings and Beginnings

It would be a pleasant world if all our months were full of joy, success and creativity.  Unfortunately these last few weeks have been dark and depressing indeed.

The romance with the Swiss lady evaporates, or was put into suspension. This was all very depressing. To 'S', if you read this blog - I want to say thank you for the short but sweet time we had together.

And in this month of endings - I was expecting to hear back from some business in Switzerland I had spent several months trying to secure.  It was all going so well, and having had friends already working at the location - I was receiving the best feedback.  And it was all just to be a matter of time and I would be working in Switzerland.  Then the company decided for this role to use internal resources.  Hopes dashed.  I had even found an apartment in a place called Crissier.  It was a small little apartment but looked very nice.  It would have been a challenge for this nomad to be living in the bricks again - so as an escape route I had even located a camping site to pitch the camper.  This was all disappointing on an epic scale.  There still may be some options here though.  And I can feel a magnet pulling me once again to some continental work.

But it is not all doom and gloom.  On this day a former manager of mine, rang the phone and spoke of some very interesting work that is within a cycle commute from the van on the field.  Perfect.  So I am waiting to hear back about this.  If this falls through, then I will be loading that camper up once again, and taking to the open road.

Peace to All

Saturday, 3 November 2012


My Swiss friend has the DNA of the Luxembourger in her genes and since she had access to a vacant apartment we decided to drive from England to Switzerland and stop in Luxembourg for a couple of days.

I booked the Friday off work and we drove to Dover and boarded the Ferry.  After driving into the insides of the boat, we vacated the car and explored the vessel.  It was a cold overcast day, as can be seen from these photographs.

It was a choppy channel and quite interesting to walk on deck keeping balance as the ship rolled through the waves.

After arriving in France we drove for several hours, reaching our destination of Remich in Luxembourg, without any mishaps.  Our accommodation was interesting.  A very old building, once a convent, converted into a number of flats.  Our room was on the lower floor and it didn't take long to make the beds and get our gear sorted.  We had dinner at a restaurant around the corner.  This was a chance to examine the Luxembourger and I was impressed by their sense of presentation.  Nicely dressed, groomed and mannered to a fault - the Luxembourger exudes pride and elegance .  And the food was very nice.

In the morning we drove to a bakery with a cafe section and ordered breakfast.  It would be worth visiting Luxembourg for their food alone.  The breakfast, consisting of an omelette and bread and cheese and ham, was delicious.  My friend ordered a cup of hot chocolate which really did taste of the highest quality chocolate. 

The capital city of Luxembourg is known simply as Luxembourg city.   The weather was bitingly cold and thankfully I was able to purchase a jumper from a C and A store for a reasonable price.  Luxembourg is a country of wealth and the Luxembourgers like to spend their money on fine clothes.  You would want to save your pennies before embarking on a shopping spree here.  

We took an open top bus tour of the city.  

The bus driver supplied us with a headphone set each and we could plug this into the sound system and listen to an informative lecture on the importance of each of the buildings passed.  It was all very interesting.

After the bus tour, and walking through the streets, I was delighted to see a caravan camouflaged as a camera.

The next day we scraped the ice off the windscreen and drove the rest of the way into Switzerland.  And being October it was a surprise to be driving through a land of settled snow.

It is a privilege and a good fortune for this nomad to have added yet another country to his resume of places visited.  Would I return here once more?  Yes, without a doubt.

Peace to All