Bernie Needs More Shelving

A February break with nowhere to go, what do you do? Bernie has been in need of some new storage and finally here was a few days where I could maybe manage some time in the garage. First thing to do was remove the walking poles, ice axe and their mount from the side wall and re-attach to the back door. You can see in the picture the mount marks left on the wall.

The big question was what would fill the space? I did a bit of googling. Instagramming. YouTubing. And tried out some ideas.

I settled on a pair of flat shelves, built as a unit. And something more like a wonky letter box. After a bit of carpentry and some oiling, here’s what I ended up with.

I had checked earlier where the van ribs were as I wanted the shelves attached solidly. I know for a fact someone will lean on them, fall on them or just feel like testing their strength. That certain someone helped me drill the holes through the metal ribs and drill the screws.

A spirit measure was used although that might not be clear from the pictures… #eversoslightlysquint

And here’s a look at how it all looks now.

It’s a job I’ve wanted to sort for a while and I’m chuffed with how it’s turned out. I was a little concerned the shelf unit might stick out from the side to much. It’s a small van and I used timber with a 100mm width. But it’s worked out perfectly for the gear I though would go in it and for clearance.

The wonky letter box shelf is for atlases, maps, flat items etc. The top shelf of the unit has been left empty at the moment. Free for drinks, phones or anything else I want to put down.

Once the latest lockdown is finished, I can’t wait to head off into the wilderness for some outdoor adventure.

Camping on our Doorstep

A second three weeks of lockdown has just been announced. So back to the van for the next job, making a midge net for the window. I essentially copied this idea: https://www.motorhomeplanet.co.uk/archives/4795

It seems to have worked really well, but we’ll see how it performs next time I can get further than the front door.

In the meantime we spent a night in the van as the weather was sunny and warm. We made homemade burgers and drank in the sunshine. The new awning worked a treat and This microadventure was an absolute treat.

Extra Shelter From the Storm

The lockdown is almost three weeks old. We can’t go out unless absolutely necessary. As a family who loves the outdoors, we stand and stare out the windows, dreaming of potential adventures.

But it would be wrong to say that it’s the end of the world. We have stiffened our upper lips and embraced what we can do, rather than tearfully sob at what we can’t. And we’ve remembered that we have so many reasons to be happy, even if our freedom is restricted.

We have learnt new skills such as how to create a remote teaching and learning environment. We have dusted off some older skills such as baking (there’s been a lot of this…). We have spent time as a family, which has been amazing (and only occasionally fraught!). We have taken our daily exercise around the village which has allowed us to get to know our new home and what it has to offer. Young Johnston learnt how to ride his bike just today! And we have another child on the way, due for delivery in July. (Although hopefully not by Ralph the Hermes guy who has been at our door almost daily since lockdown life began.)

We’ve built Sam a rocket den in the garden, made fires, drawn on the street in chalk and made elephants out of old milk bottles. Our spare room is now ready for Ralph to deliver our next package (a baby chair, not a baby!) and the house is cleaner and tidier than it has been for weeks.

And I’ve moved on to my next van project, an awning. Before I even bought the van, I knew it needed somewhere to sit, cook or shelter in outside. So here’s what I did.

Lockdown has meant I haven’t been able to test the awning anywhere other than in front of the house. The pictures would look so much better on a beach or other remote green space.

But it’s just after 8pm, and the clapping in the street reminds me though that we are in strange times, a phrase I’ve heard so often lately. As soon as we can go further afield, we’ll be off on a Bernie adventure. But in the meantime, there’s plenty more adventures to be had close to home.

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