I saw a good friend of mine this week who mentioned her boyfriend had looked up my blog. It dawned on me as she said this that it had been an embarrassingly long time since I had written anything. As she scolded me, I scolded myself and vowed to write soon. I then saw another friend later the same day who I spoke to about it and he just said, “Put a reminder on your phone, once a week, write a blog post.” So here I am.
Five whole months have gone by since my last post. How did that happen? Can I even begin to recount what has happened in those last five months? Do you want to know? Well, if so, read on. Get comfy, make a cup of tea and settle in as it’s been quite a journey.
Our flat going on the market in June started the ball rolling in saying good bye to it. Little did I know that just over three months later I would be feeling more than a little devastated to say goodbye to it! We sold the flat to a lovely couple from London; they were first time buyers and we were so pleased it went to them. It was so nice knowing that the place we had poured our hearts into (and Adrian had mostly toiled over for the last 7 years) was going to another young couple, just starting out on the property ladder, who were going to enjoy it and love it as much as we did. When the time came to leave, I really felt so sad. It was the longest place I had lived after my childhood home. It was the first place Adrian and I lived together. It was the first place we bought together. It was the first place we built together. It took me a few days to start looking forward again, but those few days when we said goodbye to it, I couldn’t help but look back and reminisce. Interestingly Adrian had the complete opposite reaction! He was relieved, happy and excited to be letting it go. Don’t get me wrong, he loved it as much as I did and it meant a lot to him too. But it was like a burden had been lifted for him. Adrian isn’t one to look back, he definitely likes to look forward. Which is a good thing, and certainly for me, as he pulled me back to the present and the future, of which we do have a lot to be excited about.
Whilst the sale of the flat was going through we had a scorchingly hot summer in Westcliff. July and August were tough. Adrian was working week after week on the bus, not yet ready for me to join him. I wasn’t working and had packed up as much of the flat as I could. I found those two months pretty difficult. Hot, bored, guilty – these were just some of the things i was feeling at the time. I have never not worked before, and I felt so bad that I wasn’t working or helping Adrian on the bus. But it was just at the stage where I really couldn’t help so I just had to leave him to it whilst he got a lot of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ jobs done. I tried to make the most of the time, going to the gym almost daily, cooking nice food for Adrian and brushing up on my Spanish. (Another friend reminded me recently I had lapsed on my Duolingo – totally busted on that one. Really must get back to it…)
September saw me finally working on the bus. Over the last two months I have been sanding and painting and sanding and painting. And repeat. Oh and some varnishing. And then more sanding and more varnishing. And a bit more painting. It is hard to get across how there was so much to paint and varnish! Hopefully when we have finished my handiwork will be evident. Adrian has been getting the gas working, building kitchen cabinet doors, fixing the outside hatch for the back of the bus, fixing the back up heater (which is currently the primary heater as the wood burner isn’t in yet) and painting the outside of the bus. It’s amazing how long everything takes. Plus we took a week off in October to move out of the flat which was ridiculous but necessary!
We were luckily enough to be offered somewhere to stay just a few minutes down the road from where we are working at the bus after we left the flat. A women we know has a house nearby and out the back an annexe with a bedroom and bathroom, a kitchen of sorts (no cooking facilities but our little camp stove has been very useful), with washing machine. This has been super handy for us, not to mention a bargain. We have been there for about 3 weeks and although this weekend we should be moving on to the bus (!!!) we will keep renting the annexe for another week or so so we can use the bathroom and washing machine whilst Adrian finishes off the bathroom and the hot water on the bus.
So where are we at with the bus? Well, as I said we should be living on there by the weekend. The living area is basically finished, we just need to have a mega clear out and clean up, and finish a few final bits. Then it’s just the hot water and bathroom and wood burner to do. The bathroom is mostly done, so shouldn’t be too bad. Hot water may be a little longer. But we are feeling fairly relaxed and optimistic which is good.
And although our original set off date was May and it is now November, we still have not booked our ferry to Spain. We will soon though, so hopefully we get a little bit of warm weather soon. Maybe we will just chase the heat and keep driving south until, we get some. Feel like we need it now!