Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Dadswell diversion ...

When we moved into our van after leaving our previous home, it was to be a temporary measure - though none of us had defined the term "temporary".

Fortunately we were entrusted with the care of a beautiful house and wonderful dog for our first month but have been full-time caravan residents since October (except for a week during Christmas when we minded another lovely home and very nice cat).

Erin had just over three weeks back in NSW recently, so hasn't achieved the full six months but hasn't missed much.

While she was away, the rest of us had a few nights visiting family and very much enjoyed their company and home comforts!

Our van is a 1974 Millard. It was cheap, definitely the bottom end of the market and we hadn't bought it for permanent living. 

In fact just the other night Nick said: "this caravan has served us well, though I didn't expect to be living in it". He paused and chortled, "if I had expected to be living in it, I would have bought a better one"! Vaughan then responded: "it's not too late"!

I recently spoke broadly of limited space and facilities.  Although the van has a tiny sink, it's not currently in use.  Our previous caravan park had an outside sink, so we carried our dishes down to the amenities block.  These days we wash-up beside the van.  The white tub is used on one of our adjustable height tables.  I carry hot water from the laundry by bucket - and the dirty water is tipped down a nearby drain when the dishes are done.

All cooking is done outside, usually beside the van (changing the table from washing-up to cheffing mode), which is not a sheltered area.  There needs to be a gap between the van and the gazebo, so we can open the van door.  It's pretty windy here, so often the gazebo is let down to it's shortest height, in order to be more wind resistant.

If  it's rainy, I work under the gazebo - which should now be waterproof, thanks to our new canopy.  Sheltered or not, there's a bit of rigmarole involved. The vagaries of the power supply mean that the fridges are plugged in, inside the tent. I run an extension from that powerboard and can only use one appliance at a time.

So - if I want to make a stirfry with rice, I would need to proceed as follows. Boil the kettle, then unplug it to plug in the electric hotplates. (There are two hotplates in the unit but it trips the powerboard if I use both). I use the large thermal cooker pot on the large hotplate and start the rice off, before transferring the pot to the thermal cooker.  I'll then unplug the hotplates - and shift them off from four-foot table to plug in the frypan to do the stirfry.

As you can see from the bottom collage we are very close to our neighbours and the amenities block.  I guess it means we only have a short walk to the loo, showers and laundry but we are also very conscious of others using the bathroom. Since these pics were taken, we've put up both our gazebo walls to offer some privacy between us and the road, as well as the cabin next door.

In recognition of our six-month achievement - and to give ourselves a well-deserved break, we set off for three nights at Old Dadswell Town, staying in a two-bedroom dog-friendly cabin. Oh, it was luxury!

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