Fireworks

I don’t like fireworks. This is what I’m going to talk about today. 

Today is ‘Remember remember the 5th of November’. Which is known as ‘Guy Fawkes Day’ or ‘Bonfire Night’. You might all know the story of Guy Fawkes and the men who wanted to kill King James 1 and his parliament members to restore England back to being Catholic. If you didn’t know the story, here’s a synopsis..
They planned to blow up the parliament with gunpowder, on this day, because every MP and the king would be present together. So Guy Fawkes placed and stayed with the gunpowder until they were ready to get started. But the plan got rumbled and they were all caught. A member of the team had a friend working in the parliament, so he sent him a letter warning to stay away on the 5 November 1605. But the Kings men got hold of the letter and then searched the whole building and found Fawkes in the under croft of the parliament. 

This event was from then on commemorated every year. But not during the war! It was thought that indoors celebration was better to avoid being seen by the enemy. So hand sparklers was used. Until 1959 it was even Illegal Not to celebrate this failed murder attempt. But it’s still being celebrated today. My question is: Why? 
But I just don’t like fireworks. And there are a few actual reasons to go with it. These are my options, and it’s gonna sound like a total kill-joy. You are free to love fireworks as you did before you read this. Don’t mind me. And don’t get me wrong if I’m already standing by a window that has a good view I will watch for a minute or two. 

In no particular order at all: 

  1. It’s all basically the same. You go uhh – ahh – wow, but when you’ve been watching for a few minutes, it’s not gonna change much. 
  2. It leaves a cloudy mist in the sky around you. Sort of like pollution. Messy. 
  3. The little wooden sticks are left all over the streets. Also messy. 
  4. They Are Dangerous! I have heard so many stories of kids playing with this and loosing their fingers. In the news the other day was the little girl who got her neck burnt because it got court in her scarf.
  5. I was ‘chased’ by a fireworks when I was younger. Either a fountain that came off and went after me, or maybe a ground spinner. It was very uncomfortable. 
  6. Dogs and other pets get frightened. And babies get disturbed in their sleep.
  7. You are basically blowing up money. Shooting it up to the sky for a moment of – wow. 

This pretty much sums it up why I won’t be going out tonight to a bonfire event. Or yesterday.
And yes, my opinions are the same for New Years Eve. 

Enjoy yourself. And stay safe!

Ps. Guy Fawkes was sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered on 31st of Jan 1606, but fell off the scaffold shortly before his execution and broke his neck, there by avoiding the painful process there were to follow. If you’d like to read more here’s a link to Wikipedia. 
We’re also going to watch the new BBC show about this ‘Gunpowder plot’.

It’s not all stunning scenes and beaches.. (thanks Big Daddy Steve..)

I was reminded this morning at Blokes Prayer, that indeed the van life must be somewhat less than a Sunday Colour Supplement experience at times.. With this in mind and the impending ritual of emptying the chemical loo looming, I thought I’d share some visual comments on said life.. Minus the chemical loo.. 

Lack of shoe storage.. 

Nowhere to hide washing up..

Lack of wardrobe space.. Or no wardrobe as I like to call it.

But it’s still awesome.. ☺️<<<<<<<

Stokes Crofts best Cafe food.. 

Just stopped for some lunch at Ceres on Stokes Croft. I’ve eaten here a few times, twice actually, for breakfast. They do an amazing sweetcorn fritter and halloumi dish  with a poached egg.. Not the cheapest thing in the world £9.0 but flippin’ delicious. So this lunchtime I’m trying the bao royale at £4.0 with a banana peanut butter and oats smoothie £3.5. A great little place Ceres.. The guys here really seem to care about coffee and food.


Denmark and beyond.. European trip part 2.. Scandinavian Park

Having left the other side of Hamburg.. Oh, by the way, what an amazing city to pass though in the early hours.. The autobahn passes right though the shipping container port with its huge cranes and eeire floodlights.. Anyhoo, having got the other side of said’burg we stopped for the night at a rest stop.. Very romantic, just opposite a burger king. A few other vans parked there so we figured it would be safe to sleep.

Next morning we headed for the border but not before stopping at an irresistible watering hole for the Danes… Scandinavian Park, a huge warehouse filled with lots of goodies that the Danes have to pay lots for due to taxes,  but the Germans can sell to the Danes at German prices. We stopped in to have a nose around and inevitably found our trolley full of contraband by the time we reached the queue for the checkout.. Chocolates, fizzy drinks and all the other stuff the Danes get stung for.. We felt very satisfied.. Until we got to the checkout.. In fact past the checkout just as we were about to pay. The cashier kindly informed us that British people can’t buy anything from the store, only Danes!.. At which point we pulled our trump card.. Louise Is Danish!.. Could we prove it?.. No.. The passports were in the van outside.. Oops. A swift run from Me, to the van and back again, resolved the issue although we were not popular with the guys behind us in the queue. It was worth it though for such crazy cheap prices.

The Jam Pot and Back again.. 

Time on our own is precious, and yet somehow I felt like I needed permission to seek it.. Lovely Lou was obliging and so I set off to see the sea on this pooh style blustery day..

Amazing surf and four crazy windsurfers on the beach;I set off for coffee and cake as promised by the blurb on the campsite recommendations.. Off to the Jam Pot Café, an repurposed ancient circular coastguards hut.. Not disappointed.. Seriously where can you get a large mug of coffee and the world’s nicest lemon drizzle cake.. And I Mean a huge slice,   plus an awesome view for £3.80..certainly not in Bristol!

I kicked off my sandals and Sat determined to relax and take my time.. Why is that so difficult?.. Stopping is hard. I did My best but the call of the beach was too loud even over the rushing wind. I hit the sand still with sandals in my hands and set off down the beach, running parallel with the high crumbly cliffs, stacks and caves. Finally the cliffs descend like a staircase into the sand dunes, providing a safer way back to the van, across the dunes past strange plants plentiful rabbit droppings and mossy grass(must wash feet later). I remember reading an article last week about the benefits of walking barefoot.. I mean this is not new age  bull, scientists are saying walking barefoot connects us to the earth, reduces stress, keeps us healthy, helps to promote weight loss, hair growth and reverses the aging process.. Possibly.

An amazingly powerful squall barrelled up behind me on the dunes and suddenly I was soaked.. Head for the van.. Warmth, a loving greeting for the weary traveller..memories stored of cake and caves and barefoot wanderings.

Gwithian, Cornwall

It’s a bit like being at a silent retreat. No one talks to each other (unless you’re friends and came together). I mean I don’t know if it’s the same all over, but this is just my first impression. We arrived here to Gwithian farm Friday afternoon. This morning (Sat) I went to do the washing up at the communal washing up sinks. But no one said hi. There were smiles and nods – but no sound. Even to the extent that the couple who were next to me at the sinks, where walking back up as I was walking down again cuz I forgot something, were laughing together and then stopped as they saw me and gave me funny looks. I don’t know what was going on; if they were actually talking and laughing about me, or just thought it better to be quiet when walking past a stranger on a campsite ?!

But later in the day it seemed better to me. Especially when I had Casper with me. He makes people smile, so they say hi.

We’re gonna be here for a whole week. So will see if it gets better.

***UPDATE***

I never saw those people again. And from there mostly everybody was nice and spoke to me. But like I said, when a kid is with you people smile, and sometimes laugh.

A bit more about our story

We used to live in a Christian community house connected to Woodland Church in Bristol for almost 4 years. Really enjoyed it. Got to know a lot of people over the years. Have counted that we’ve lived with 18 different people. It’s a 7 bedroom house.

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During this last year we started to feel a stirring happen for us. Should we root up and move to Denmark as a family? Lou is from DK so her family would very much like it, if we went there to live. But at least 6 months past, and we never got a proper sense what would be the right thing to do. So we decided to stay. Might have been “the easy choice”. As we wouldn’t have to root up relationships and say goodbye and move all our stuff. Find new jobs. A place to live. And start to build new relationships to fit in and feel like we’d belong.

But as we had already given up our room at the Shrub (that’s the house name), to give it to another couple expecting a child, we couldn’t really move back in. Or rather we could, but it would be to a smaller room. And then we’d have to pay rent again. Who wants that?!
– You see we had bought a van, for easy weekend get away’s and to transport costumers bicycles for Jonny’s bike repair business. A blue VW T4. Jonny did it up, from a builders van. Took around 2 months and then it was ready. Ready enough. So we decided to sleep out in the van, give up our big room, but still keep the little room for Casper and to have our clothes and stuff somewhere inside. So we stopped paying rent to our landlord, but still paid money into the house account for bills and food. This happened end of Sep/ beginning of October 2016.
When April came around, we had decided to stay.  And the landlord had made strong hints that we couldn’t keep up this arrangement of not living in the house, but still kinda living there. We had been telling people “we live at the Shrub, but sleep out in our van”. So we had to make another choice. We went for it and bought a different van. A bigger one. A gray Fiat Ducato Maxi. This was a much better choice as we can actually stand up in it. The other one we wouldn’t be able to live in. Could have put a pop-up roof in it, but even then that wouldn’t be enough space. We joked that we VW could actually drive into this one and fit comfortably.

In June we gave our notice and 7th of July we were out. From there we went straight to a campsite with our friends the Bee’s to test it out and call ourselves nomads.

So this is the ‘quick’ overview of why we are in this van. There are more nuances and deeper stories within this, and we might share in later posts along the way.

Please stay with us and follow along. Comment with questions or remarks. Are we crazy or would you love to do the same one day?

Davids Tent.. https://www.davidstent.net/event-2017/

We’re off to this festival of worship this weekend.. Excited and curious to see how God shows up..

**

Turns out he didn’t for Jonny. Though I had some nice encounters with God and met some nice new people. And Casper had fun riding on the bike. – So much better this way than with a buggy over the lumpy grass.. !

jtcas

Monday Monday.. (join in with the song..) 

Mondays huh?.. A soggy start here in the beautiful city of everything good. We were reflecting on and giving thanks for our fragile lives this morning, in light of tragedies small and large, global and personal, internal and external, things dealt with and things to overcome. One things for sure, we glad to be out of the 9-5 rat race which is really at least an 8-6 rat race unless you happen to live next door to where you work.. Amazed at our blindness and our trapped – ness as a culture.. What will you do with your one amazing fragile short life?