We now have the first three months, Zone One, fully booked with just a couple of weeks left to slot in the hosts that had said yes to us but didn’t want to firmly book dates until the new year.
We have a nice variety of places including a couple of intentional communities, a campsite, a pair of self-built, off-grid livers, fruit and veg growers and animal rearing smallholders. We have several one week stays, a couple of two weeks and one three weeker where we are hoping to learn some butchery.
This means it is time to move on to booking Zone Two – North Wales. The dates for Zone Two are June, July and August – a full half a year plus away so we will be doing more speculative emails at this stage, asking for two week stays at our short-short listed places with dates confirmed nearer the time. Before we head off in March I will do the same for Zone Three – Scottish highlands and island ready for September, October and November. The final few months we will leave open until nearer the time as we’ll be coming back ‘home’ for Christmas and can plan the last bit from there.
The van has been serviced and is running beautifully. We have a few more things to tweak with her – she has a slight oil leak, the exhaust manifold is cracked and needs welding and we are looking at having seatbelts fitted. The MOT is not due until May 2011 but we will get it done before we go so we don’t need to worry about it during the year we’re away. We also need to have the shower heater fixed / replaced and the internal electrics are still not running off the leisure battery, only a mains hook up. We did have a run around in it at the weekend though, taking it to fill up with petrol, making a cup of tea and some soup in the supermarket carpark and sitting in it on my Dad’s driveway to test the fridge and have a chat. It feels very cosy, homely and ‘right’ to be sitting in it. We have also practised putting the blocks down at the rear and D can do this all by himself. It’s really important that the kids learn as much as we do about how everything works.
On the subject of the kids we have been chatting about the whole Wondering Wanderers blog and I asked how they would like to be refered to on here. I don’t use their real names online, not because I am particularly paranoid about protecting their identities now, more that I don’t want someone to be able to google them in years to come and find loads of stuff their mother wrote about them when they were children! They are welcome to fill facebook, twitter and the internet with stuff about themselves in their own time but I’ll save that joy for them ;). Having already refered to them by initials they chose to think up new names for themselves using those initials. So D will now be known on here as Dragon and S will be known as Star. Dragon chose the name because ‘it sounds cool, I like fire and I like the way dragons are imaginary so you get to create colours, sizes and stuff about dragons yourself’. S chose Star as ‘is goes well with Wondering and Wandering and I like the way stars light up tke sky at night’. Makes me feel quite boring sticking to ‘Nic’ 😆 😆