It is Saturday morning. (I know it's not now but it was when I started this post…) The penultimate Saturday before we stick ourselves and lots of our belongings in a van for a month long tour of friends, family and lovely sights around the UK.
My amazing parents have once more taken the boys away so we can have a break in the exhaustion of life at the moment. I am incredibly grateful. We are sitting quietly in a cafe in Lewes, slightly off the beaten track away from the crowds.
Part of me can't wait to head off in 10 days time. Part of me is slightly dreading the unknown, the reality of life on the road with my beautiful amazing family. 2 small ones under 5 and a very ill man present some extra pressures to the romantic ideals of life on the road.
We think it will be good for us but, as evidenced by the large amount of money I'm spending on sticker books, I'm clearly concerned about that much time with my small ones. Nursery, and even the brief 40 minutes escape on a Sunday morning at church, provide a welcome relief from them in the week. I am interested to see what 4 weeks together will do to us. I love the interaction between the two of them when it's good and I can only cling to those moments and hope they outweigh the winding up shouty moments.
Fear and excitement about our adventure lurch around my mind in equal parts. This morning I brought a lovely scrap book to record our adventure in. It helped with the excitement part.
This week I want to figure out a loose petrol and food budget and map out where the best National Trust and English Heritage sites are near the places we are going. I don't want this trip to bankrupt us and our annual membership to both those sites should help when we need to escape the van for less money. We know it works to rock up at such a place and leave husbandface asleep in the van whilst the boys and I explore. I am glad we get to bring a safe place on the road with us.
Hopes for good mental health
On the subject of safe spaces, I have hopes that our mental health will be improved by our time together. Maybe husbandface will be freed from the guilt he feels about not being at work right now. Maybe his body might believe he is allowed a holiday. Maybe being away from our routines and stress points will help rest our tired minds and bodies. I'm really sure that being outdoors lots will be good for our souls.
I'm not sure where those last three days went.
Yesterday evening I worked out that we would probably travel about 1700- 2000 miles in total on our trip. I can't work out whether that is a surprisingly small amount or a daunting figure.
Tonight I want to finish my packing lists and start to plan for the basic food supplies it will be helpful to have with us. I think I'll blog those lists to see if anyone else has helpful extra suggestions.
On Sunday afternoon I started curating a driving playlist with loads of old rock classics. I was very entertained by son2's serious song learning face as he strummed his imaginary guitar (a spade). We were sitting in an imaginary camper van at the time (their play equipment in the garden). I love seeing them get into the anticipation of the trip.
I woke today aware that time is moving on rapidly. Now we have only a week to go. A week until the wondering can stop and we can see the reality of life in a motorhome for a month.
I'm still not sure how much we will be blogging as we go. I want a record, I want to share this with whoever wants to come along for the ride. I'm also aware that I want times to take a break from the voices of our world. I want to stop the stream of opinions from my twitter stream- (well my personal one, I still love scrolling through the awesome outdoor joy provided by our motorhome account), I want to rest my brain from the addictions of my phone. But I also want connection and to share this fun. So we shall see. I imagine wifi access will only allow a couple of updates a week anyway.
And there we are. It all seems fairly unreal at the moment. I shall get back to watching vanlife videos on YouTube and trying to imagine how this will go.