Zagan the motorhome doesn’t know what’s hit him! He’s been fettled like never before (or at least not since we’ve owned him). Ju’s now cleaned out about 98% of the Saharan sand and dust from his various nooks and crannies. She’s had all the cushions out and washed and hoovered them. I’ve been under the back of him and wire-brushed a few bits of loose rust starting to appear, and Hammerited a few sections of chassis to help keep any of the red stuff at bay. I’ve had a crack at trying to work out why his right wing mirror is a bit loose too, removing it and wandering about peering at it before giving up and re-installing the big heavy thing. We’ve a few more jobs left to do to get him fully ship-shaped, but we’ve between a week and two weeks left here at the housesit, so we’ve plenty of time.
In among Zagan tarting, we’ve finished off updating our Motorhome Morocco book and published its second edition. This book makes us a few quid, but in reality we’re working way below minimum wage to research, write, edit and publish it. However, it has a place in our hearts as the first time we got a small publishing side gig going, where we earned something (no matter how small an amount) by creating something. The feeling when that first fiver of royalties came in was just awesome but, in retrospect, not as much of a rush as the first time we met someone who’d bought the book and travelled to Morocco with it. That, we liked, mucho.
We’ve done a few jobs around the house, taking a small pick to the large gravelled area and weeding out a couple of wheel barrow’s worth of, ah, weeds. I’ve donned a backpack of weed killer too, and have enjoyed a wee while spraying another horde of bad-plants growing on a large ramp area behind the house. The pool chemical levels have been checked and adjusted, a few kamikaze lizard bodies and leaves lifted out and the bottom and sides scrubbed. Dogs have been fed, walked, fussed and an ongoing supply of poop’s been disposed of. As we potter about in the sun, the occasional sighting of a bee eaters, soaring bird of prey or a flock of para-gliders halts progress. The nearest bins are a km round walk away (nope, no bin collections from the houses around here), so we’ve mixed up pooch walks with offloading rubbish.
Down in the town we’ve found that the locals are a friendly lot, and we seems to be something of a novelty judging by the amount of staring and ‘holas’. No-one speaks English, so no matter how feeble our attempts have been to learn Spanish, we’ve had a chance to practice a few tiene’s and puedo’s in the shops. The locals smile and help us out, showing us numbers and pointing at clocks to answer our questions. The weather took a cold turn for a few days, raining and fogging the town out from above, which has given us the un-needed excuse to sit in front of a log fire with our feet up. I have a strong suspicion this house sitting is holding up a mirror to some in-built laziness here…
Another festival’s kicking off in the town this weekend though, a pilgrimage of some sort, heralded by bangs loud enough to scare the bejeesus out of our pooch going off all yesterday afternoon. We watched the smoke drift across the valley as each shot (firework?) went up. The plan is to head down there tomorrow, and try to catch the finale.
The end date for the sit is a little up in the air at the moment. We’d agreed to stay until 17 May, after that we want to head off into Spain for a look-see. Wanderlust has returned after several weeks stationary (for me anyway – Ju’s loving the ‘downtime’ and the ActiFry – those things make some awesome chips), although the sit has been a wonderful relaxation after the frenetic Morocco. The owner’s expecting to be away for a while longer than originally planned, so is after another sitter. If they pick one soon then we could be off next week. I’ll have to go have a sit in the van and try to remember how to drive the thing!
Oh, I’ve also got a new blog up and running, a personal finance/financial freedom/minimalism/side gigs/investing monster of a thing called TheMatrixExperiment.com (@thematrixexper on Twitter). It’ll be an outlet for my ponderings about a simple life, and how to get one powered through self-investing. Kind of the opposite of what I used to do myself… By kicking off another blog, we can keep ourtour.co.uk focused on travels, all good.
Right, that’s about it I think. Now, where are those Michel Thomas CDs?
Cheers folks, Jay