I am not a hippy. I’m not a crusty. I’m not a gypsy. I work for a living. I pay my taxes and I am a responsible citizen. I believe in recycling. I do not litter. But I want a simple life and so with my husband I’m moving into a van. Maybe we will hate it. Or maybe this is the beginning of a new life.

In search of another life

"They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn..."

Jack Kerouac

Sunday, 23 May 2010

There is a Tropical Heatwave in Brighton

It is Sunday morning. I have just woken up and am watching joggers run along the seafront from my ‘bedroom’ window. Reg has just bought breakfast and is making tea on the gas stove. We are still parked along the sea road and will stay here for another few days as it seems to be one of the last places left around Brighton where van dwellers do not get hassled.

Having no electricity, for the past few days we have been to bed with the sun and got up early. It is a different way of living but one I like. I suppose it helps that I am a morning person. But last night we stayed out late, enjoying the heat wave that has just taken over in Brighton. It made me remember that England-and particularly Brighton-is the best place to be in the summer time. There is a festival atmosphere as people ditch their coats and jumpers and head to the beach and parks laden with picnic hampers, cans of beer and bottles of wine.

We sat in Preston Park with friends for hours. For years there were a lot of vans parked on the north end of Preston Park but the council recently put up a barrier so that high vehicles cannot get in. Now there are vans parked on the road outside the western end of the park, but it is on a steep hill and would be no good for sleeping.

In the evening I went to St Anne’s Wells Gardens to watch an outside performance of Shakespeare’s ‘As you like it’. Brilliant. You hardly need any money to enjoy Brighton in the summertime. This park used to be good for parking vans too, but now there is only free parking on a Sunday. I am going to get up and go to the gym soon. Living in a van certainly forces you to keep fit.

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