The last few months have been unexpected. June and July swung between desperately sad and some of the happiest days of my life. I have not felt able to write about the time as situations have changed so quickly I have not had the time to process one thing before the emotions and situations have changed again. I may do in retrospect, or in commentary on new posts. But for now things move on again.
I am in a fast moving stage of rebuilding; actual literal rebuilding of the van.
My van is based on an ex-BT utility van which is a fabulous Ford Transit with a double skin glass fibre box on the back. The box is not as structurally sound as one would assume and a lot of my furniture building has been tackling this. Some major problems remained and the doors were a big part of this. They were heavy, un-insulated, very ugly, breaking and full of holes. By replacing them I could design a door that would structurally support the back frame of the van, deal with the insulation and hopefully look a lot better.
I’ve been in Wales for a week and a half – last week we couldn’t get much done due to entertaining. I had started to panic however by the end of the week and we managed to get a basic frame cut and tack welded by occasionally abandoning my guest. Then Kane arrived at the weekend, went into legend mode and had the entire steel frame welded and prepped by the end of Sunday (after helping me do the yearly service!). Since Kane drove back to London on Sunday night I had a miniature emotional melt-down (boyfriend comes to visit, spends entire weekend working, has to do a 4hr drive back to London). Then on Monday morning pulled myself together and got back to work. This is a major job and I just don’t have the vast range of skills required to pull it off. Monday was fairly painful as I was working on my own and it turns out that an 8×4(feet) 12mm thick sheet of Marine ply is heavy, and it’s damn hard to cut a 6×2 curved doorframe section out of it when you’re working alone. So Tuesday was a relief, Dad was back and whilst I have put the design together and made most of the decisions in regards how it’s being built I have spent a number of days being happy foreman / minion whilst my Dad demonstrates his ridiculously wide range of skills. The big things you can work out, it’s the little things that make the difference, like doing a scalpel cut along a line before cutting so it doesn’t splinter, little tips and skills that you only pick up through experience or demonstration.
Daddy is very independent in his work and he’s been fantastic this week adapting his normal state to balance getting on with the job, debating points with someone else, instructing and teaching and my incessant drive to speed things up. There have been moments where 2 people work 3 times as fast as one, and moments when having two people on the job just gets in the way. During these moments I’ve also been working on the insides of the van, reshaping and adapting the near end as I’ll now be able to use the space up to the doors much more efficiently.
When I’ve got to the first stage of completion I’ll do a proper write up of what’s been changed with some decent pics (sneaky uploads on instagram under @afreebean) – it should have been this Friday but it won’t be.
The weather has been shocking, the schedule has had to vary and it’s not all going to be finished by this weekend. But I’m getting more used to being flexible with my dates and I’m setting out to enjoy and appreciate the time I have to spend with my parents and learn more new skills.
I’m going to borrow a vehicle to escape to Swanage this weekend, partly to climb but mostly to catch up with friends who I miss terribly and see my man who I miss more.
And this Friday I’m not going to work but I’m going to spend with my Sister and her boys. Because if I can’t make the time for that what on earth is the point.