Life Begins after Normal

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Let me introduce you to Monkey Man, who is well known in Kings Heath.

I had never heard of him until a couple of days ago, yet he appears to be a much loved character in Kings Heath (a suburb of Birmingham UK). As he was waiting to cross the road drivers pipped their horns and pedestrians called out ‘Hey Mr Monkey Man!’ His response was to treat us all to a little dance.

I think we need more people like this in our communities to bring some happiness into our lives. He certainly brought a smile to my face. I guess there are some that may make some derisory comments about how it is not normal to behave like this, yet what is normal?

We are programmed into being a one size fits all society. Go to school, pass exams, go to uni, get a job, get married, get a mortgage, have kids and work till you are too old to enjoy your pension if you are lucky enough to have one. We are defined by the job we do. And if we haven’t got a job that is a bad thing. The government want us all working, and punish those that can’t work and make life a misery for job seekers.

I am not saying that working hard and wanting a home and a family is a bad thing. It just seems to me that when you choose to live differently, press the stop button on the treadmill of life and decide that a walk in the woods is more your thing, you may be treated as if you are a little bit odd. And if you don’t know which path you will take till you get there, those who are pressing the go faster button on their own particular treadmill, seem to be threatened by what they consider your alternative lifestyle. They (as I was in the 80’s) are consumed with worry that if they don’t toe the line, they won’t get the promotion to afford get into more debt to buy a bigger house to fill with more stuff to show the world how successful they are.

When I begged to be made redundant in 2011 my boss just didn’t get it. I could have extended my job for another 6 months. This is the same boss who when he met me for the first time asked what pay scale I was on. He was baffled that I didn’t know or care. So it was no surprise that he could not understand why I would leave all this ‘success’ behind in exchange for a rucksack and a plane ticket. I suspect if he saw the Monkey Man he would run in the other direction.

Earlier this week I discovered that there was a Loch Ness Monster Man. Steve Feltham set up home in a campervan next to Loch Ness after selling his home in 1991. His mission is to spot Nessie. I am determined to go up and meet him. He lives in a converted mobile library, how cool is that?

In Santa Cruz I came across a man who lives in this.

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Of course I had to meet the person who owned this weird and wonderful contraption. Never got to know his name, so I call him Campervan Man. He was so interesting to talk to. As his van proclaims, ‘Life Begins after Normal’.

Works for me.

Not blogger of the year

Well we are in New Zealand now. Lost three days here due to QANTAS, nuff said.

Not blogged due to rubbish expensive wifi on excellent campsites, or lack of time at excellent, FREE wifi hotspots at NZ libraries and info centres.

Lovely country. Will reflect more when I have time, right now in camper, in Blenheim, post wine tasting! It’s raining.

Paid too much for wifi so must use it!

Today visited a little museum that hosts Peter Jacksons Aviation hoard and a vintage car museum. Then chilled over wine tasting and great food at Wither Hills vineyard. Lingered all day.

As I’m on the effing iPad will post photos separately. Don’t get me started, Apple!

Love NZ. Love WETA xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Can’t post photos at WETA!! Saw some props from The Hobbit.

Highlight was a visit to The Roxy where we dined and saw a film with the co owners!

Got to see Oscars and BAFTA awards. Yay.

Plus other stuff. Wellington. Rocks.

Cold Feet

An Autosleeper Harmony Campervan on a Talbot E...

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For just over a week I have done nothing on the massive to do list. Still no camper van booked, no dollars bought, and it is all the dishwashers fault. It broke down.

After many phone calls and days waiting in for the ‘man’ to fix it, then to take it away be ‘put on the bench’ it turns out it can’t be fixed. We have rented out the house and the dishwasher was part of the deal, so felt obliged to replace it. Handily?! The man had a refurbished Bosch which was much cheaper than a new one, so a deal was done. And it’s better and quieter than my old one.

The thing is, a dishwasher crisis wasn’t on my ‘to do list’ and it has tipped me off balance. Add to that a visit to the mother in law to sort domestic issues and my involvement in  library camp and you have a person who is denial that she is embarking on a trip of a lifetime in five days time. The butterflies in my stomach are on speed, I feel sick and have a permanent headache.

Also having a tea party for friends old and new, has contributed to the cold feet. It was lovely to see everyone, but saying goodbye has made it real. I am jolly glad no one is seeing us off at the airport. And that the bus that takes us to Heathrow is at 4am.

Anyway onwards and upwards, theatre visit tonight The Old Rep with people from Make Friends with a Book Shared Reading which will cheer me up.

On the up side, I have lost half a stone. Off for a walk I think. I need to get a grip, get active and power through it! Next blog will be cheerier, promise.