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

Friday, 6 August 2010

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

I met up with a friend of mine today who said that acquaintances of hers used to own a house overlooking Preston Park, but they sold it as they got fed up “looking at people getting dressed in the morning without shutting their curtains”. She was talking about people living in vans along the edge of the park and said that “there is a time and a place for hanging out your laundry”.

At first I was offended. I have lived amongst these people and am in fact one myself, and the people I have met have been some of the most considerate, respectful and open people I have ever met. But I understand that those who have never yearned for a simpler existence in this respect may have pre-conceived ideas, and I feel that it is up to us van dwellers to disprove those negative notions.

I have felt much more community spirit and generosity amongst van dwellers than I have ever felt living in a flat in Brighton or a house in Kent, and surely that is a much more important thing to strive for than an uncluttered driveway or a spick and span street? But I vow never to get dressed without shutting my curtains (never did anyway, but have seen neighbours in houses do so) and what more can we do?

1 comment:

  1. It always amazes me how well off folks complain about trivial matters. A bit of homelessness would be good spiritual training for many.