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