Evaluate & Tweak

Observe and Interact

Just before the new year it became apparent that we were nowhere near prepared enough to leave England on January 5th.  There were a few key reasons for this;

Just after the visit to London for a gig on my birthday Nina got sick.  This was probably due to the cold night spent waiting for ravers to emerge from the seedy warehouse where the party was held and the fact that she was unable to sleep through the course of the night.  Nina took this opportunity to move to Shrubb, a community farm where some friends live, to rejuvenate.  Stacking functions gave me the opportunity to finish sorting records, and spend some “alone” time with myself and immediate family at the chapel.  Maybe there is an element of relative location here.  The best place for Nina to be to interact with people and a new surroundings in order to get well and de-stress from hectic family life at the Chapel.  This also presented the opportunity for Nina to

  • do a jewellery workshop with Tarna – this was stacked with creating christmas presents for family
  • mistletoe collection and christmas decoration creation
  • water colour painting
  • daily meditation

On boxing day I also fell ill.  With both of us feeling under the weather for a few days (or weeks in Nina’s case) we were unable to spend valuable time working at the Patch.  We used the time to do other “tasks” within the design but a delay at the Patch meant the inevitable prolonged period in England.

Our van blew up on Boxing day also.  We were hoping to sell this to fund some of our trip and when the vacuum pump “let go”, dumping an engines worth of oil on the road outside my parents house I really thought the worst.  We would have to wait until after the new year to get it recovered and fixed.  We turned this problem into a solution and ended up having the van towed to a garage.  It did cost us some of our budget but we ended up putting a fresh MOT on it which made it a more desirable van and therefore easier to sell.

A set of goals were established to bring the van back to life and sell.  This took up a huge amount of time, energy and stress levels.  In order, here are the steps taken to sort the van;

  • Ask Woody to diagnose the problem
  • try and find the necessary spear part (thought to be an oil pump originally).  Ebay search, local scrap dealers and Dad’s motor trade contacts
  • Establish breakdown cover
  • Get van towed to Banham Motors
  • Liase with mechanic to establish cost and time frame
  • informed that problem was actually vacuum pump, not oil pump
  • found oil pump and had it delivered by Mum and Dad
  • Collected van
  • Wash and valet, made good bad paint
  • photographed and made “for sale signs”
  • Advertised on ebay, facebook and gumtree and at car boot sale
  • van broke down again
  • towed back to the garage after roadside assistance
  • collect 2 days later
  • used at the patch and washed again
  • had offer via phone and email
  • cleaned oil slick with sand and newspaper after notifying council and environment agency of the hazard
  • van sold for £1750

Here’s the design with added changes in circumstances;

So we realised just before the new year that we had still not;

  • done the majority of work at the patch
  • fulfilled expectations of family time
  • sorted through all my records
  • sold many items
  • researched insurance, medical needs, equipment etc
  • bought equipment needed
  • backed up digital data
  • packed down the chapel
  • booked onwards travel
  • spent enough time with friends

All this, coupled with the prospect of playing one more gig, this time in Brighton, meant that we were now delayed.  We used our significant date of the 5th January to book our final departure date and so we were now to leave the country on January 23rd.

Here is a link to the blogs I posted showing work and updates as we completed our goals;

Patch Update

Nimby Nature

Patch Packdown

Below is our extended timeline of just over two more weeks in England;

Stacking Functions – A Day in the life of…

It became apparent during the last days and weeks of our time in the Uk that we would have to be effective in time management, available resources and mental health.  In this context stacking functions became crucial.  A perfect example of this was Wednesday the 18th January as you can see in the extended timeline.  It was our last full day with a van and we made full use of it!

  • picked up Nina’s fixed boots in Attleborough
  • Dropped clothes at the charity shop
  • Bought rubble sacks
  • Paid in festival money across two bank accounts
  • Bought ingredients in New Buckenham
  • Picked up tickets for London Football outing
  • returned wrong brake shoes for the van in Thorpe
  • Bought laptop case in Norwich
  • Bought washing line in Norwich
  • Had nice lunch to break the day up
  • posted sold records
  • posted Julians birthday present
  • compared prices for sleeping bags in outdoors shops
  • tried sleeping backs in adventure store
  • collected gutter from Spooner Row (exchange with records)
  • bought down pipe in Attleborough
  • attended travel clinic in Attleborough
  • Prepared a 3 course family meal for 8
  • evening of family ancestry research and fun
  • prepared meals for Grandparents visit
  • said farewell to the Moore’s

Incredibly, we managed to leave on our trip at the second attempt and on the 23rd January we jumped on our bus in London to Paris having completed every task and fulfilled every need that we originally projected.  Except a couple obviously.  We didn’t cover the podge with a tarp and we didn’t add extra support to the fence around the food forest although there were many many valuable and exciting things we did do that we would have missed out on had we left on the 5th.

Go to the Process Reflection page

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