2016, it happened ten days ago!?!

imageHola! Its time I published a written post. The last few weeks I have only posted photos, but it was the silly season, so I was busy baking cakes, buying presents for loved ones, and decorating my van, not!
I dont really celebrate Christmas, but I do enjoy the festive lunches with friends, and look forward to my present from me to myself (this year I got a brand new iPhone 5S Plus, yay me!).
Some may be sad to hear that I did not decorate the van, but I decided that that money was better spent on festive boozing with my buddies instead of shiny tinsel.

On the night of Christmas Eve, keeping within the Spanish tradition of eating with family and friends, a bunch of us boys made a BBQ feast in our parking spot. Along with way too much meat, we had roasted peppers and potatoes, all washed down with plenty of booze and guitar playing.

Christmas day, I drove two buddies to a fantastic Chinese restaurant, where we pigged out on good food on the outside terrace in the sun. The rest of the day was spent visiting friends in various bars, and drinking copious amounts of the fun stuff!

Boxing day, I Skype’d my parents back in the UK. My brother and my two young nieces were over for lunch, so I got a quick view of them before they ran off to play with their new toys. I was using the wifi from a bar close to where we always park, so gave the folks a live view of our beach and our sunny “winter” weather.

After a few days of no booze and healthy eating, New Years Eve arrived, which I celebrated at a friends house. A Spanish tradition to score good luck for the coming year, is to eat one grape for every 12 gongs of the bell preceding midnight (the luck comes from not choking on a gob full of fruit!). I ate all 12 grapes like a seasoned pro.

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A little festive road trip to a hidden dog friendly beach, and Germains catch of the day, freshly harpooned squid.

Did I make any new years resolutions? No, not really, as I always repeat the same ones each year…keep fit, eat healthy, read books, explore the island, be happy, and dont talk to strangers unless they have sweets!

Goals? To get more ink, sing whilst playing guitar, make money without working full time, get healthier.

Trips? UK to visit family and friends, Australia for a besties wedding (my health permitting?), and Boom festival in Portugal, to dance and realign my soul.

I have a feeling that this year will be just as awesome as last year, albeit without the ill health I suffered in 2015 with that nasty meningitis (although I did not let that experience ruin my year. Infact it woke me up to follow my dreams).
This year, like every other, is about meeting new people, making new friends, and grabbing opportunities to explore and hopefully find some work in different environments, (little comes to those who stick to their pack or stay in their comfort zones).

Apart from that, Im super happy with my life right now, as I pretty much have everything I have always wanted (my van, my dog, my lifestyle choice, my friends, the islands fantastic weather), but theres always space for new tech gadgets, lol!

So from Babu and myself, we hope all of our friends and followers of this blog, have a super awesome 2016, with heaps of good health, happiness, outdoor adventures, and booze (as everyone knows all good stories started with an alcoholic beverage!).

 

Feeling good.

Its night time, the camper side door is open, and Im sitting at the end of my bed, back against the kitchen cupboards and feet dangling outside. Theres a few light rain drops kissing my feet, and Im listening to the waves crash onto the beach just meters away. Im alone in an empty carpark, looking down an alley to the just visible sea, and theres a public toilet at the ready for my early morning dump.

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Sorry, had to kill the dreamy imagery, this blog post was starting to sound like a Coldplay song!

Im happy to announce, that it has been over 4 years this week that I moved to Gran Canaria!
I did not know the island, nor did I have any friends or contacts here, but I made it happen and I am looking forward to starting my fifth year living here!

I could not of made it a success without the help and friendship of a few good souls that I now call mates (you know who you are!). Ive been very fortunate that everything has always gone very smoothly for me, so I cant even romanticize about how Ive come out good from the rough times (the meningitis episode could of been tragic, but I was too high on life and pain killers to worry or care!).

The obvious highlights of my time here have been two of my most recent life changes, adopting Babu (my furry plus-one, who comes EVERYWHERE with me), and my switch to living out of a camper van.
These have been the two things I have wanted to do for many years, but my previous lifestyle and jobs would of made these changes difficult.
Here in Gran Canaria, the pace is very relaxed and so are its people (and laws thankfully!), so everything I have dreamed of just seems possible here.

Farty pants poo bum, (sorry, this post was going all Coldplay again!).

Anyways, just before I sign off, I would like to mention how 2015 seems to be a big year of positive change for so many people I know. Heaps of friends are moving houses, changing jobs, improving their lives and relationships, and others are making it big singing their little hearts out or performing on stage in dodgy frocks!
One very special friend, just kicked cancer in the butt. Now beat that!

You are all doing something pretty fantastic that is making you happy, so thats gotta be good for your health, right?

If you have something you want to do or need to change to get your happy back, dont put it off for another year, make the first move now! Do it!

We have lift-off !!

My blog is officially online and ready to share with the world! Theres not much to read yet, but I will be publishing new posts of van life and my adventures as they happen.

My biggest news and this blogs first post is to announce that on Saturday 22 August 2015, I finally realised my dream of quitting house living and moved into my VW California! It has been a dream of mine since I was 17 years old, to buy a van and live a simple lifestyle, and 23 years later Im actually doing it!

So far Babu and I have spent 22 days living out of the camper and we love it! Ive been slowly unpacking my belongings and finding the best places for storage (its a small van, but theres plenty of cupboards and boot space). Ive been to Ikea, to get a few homely bits and pieces. And Ive been to two interviews to sign on for unemployment benefits whilst I look for work (yes, im officially unemployed and very happy about it! Will explain in another post).
Im still finding my way around the van and changing things to make life simpler (at times it can feel like a small obstacle coarse just to get something!).
I shower on the beach at least twice a day, as I am determined NOT to become known as the ‘smelly van man’!
And im finally putting to test the parking spots I had scouted in my home town and beach resort of Playa del Ingles. So far no problems from the hotels or police, but I have a small camper and it blends in with the other parked cars, (unlike a motorhome!).

Well Im not gonna bore you with a long post, but before I go, I would like to say that I am extremely happy with my new lifestyle choice, stoked to be finally living my dream, and I do not smell!

Hasta luego amigos!

(In the photo from right to left, Babu in my arms, Nemo – found in a box dumped in wasteland, and Mary Ann abandoned by owner, both now living with my best friend Miki).