When I explain to people I live in my bus they often react with dismay and compassion. I can understand that. The art to exist within six square metres is not given to everybody. It does not bother me at all.
Previously I lived alone for twelve years in a farmhouse with fifteen rooms. The last five years I was no longer active in sculpturing. I had broken my back on it and spent most of my time writing. I would sit at a table and my world was not much bigger than I could reach for. This is not very different now, but the big difference is that the whole world is my back garden, because I am mobile. I pay no rent, my bus has excellent heating and I have three down sleeping bags in or under which I easily survive temperatures below zero degrees.
Things I do not need too often lie under Willem’s bed, in Robin’s shed, in Sarah’s barn and some in the attic at my daughter and her friend’s. Since recently, I have been getting my water in five-litre bottles at a holy well and for stools I go to the rocks, or, in bad weather on a chair that has a seat made to measure for the bucket that is underneath it and which I keep in my kitchen hole.
When I am not in the water, I’m doing lots of writing or editing pics and videos on my computer. In the meadow I can put my broadband aerial on the roof of my bus and thus I talk with the whole world. So no lonely hermit in a wet meadow. When the sun shines it is beautiful outside and I enjoy nature to the max and in bad weather I draw this small universe around me in which my soul knows no boundaries.
When I’m not inside or near the bus, it is locked, always. I have made a set habit of this, so I have nothing to worry about.
In the bus everything has its permanent place, so I don’t have to waste time searching and basically everything is ready for use. You know this when you camp on holiday. First you have to get used to living on your knees, but soon you have found all kinds of ways to move around. Can you imagine how I move inside my bus after four years of permanent occupation?
To give an example, I have stretched carrier straps above my windows. Over these I hang my towels at night to dry, and at the same time they function as curtains. Girlfriends always want to hang the towels from the front over the strap, while it is much easier to draw them over the strap from behind to get the right length down. Moreover, to divide them over the width I do not have to sit close before them. I simply take the strap with the towel over it, pull it towards me, divide the towel to its width and let it go, so it hangs just like I want it.
Like, for example I have three washed-up fish-boxes under my bed. In the farthest I keep my spare computer, two external hard drives (an 80 and a 500 gigs) and other computer requirements that I don’t use on a daily basis. Fastened to this is a rope, with which I can pull this box out. In front of that is another box with all kinds of tools that comes out before the computer box and in front of that is my food box. It may seem as if I never use this as the onions have taken root there, but this is due to my respect for nature.
Then my swimming gear. There are three waterwings behind the chairs in my conservatory ( when I drive it is my ‘cockpit’), the monofin that I have in use sits behind the panels above my worktop and the other two are behind my spare mattress that is kept upright behind me by carrier straps. My wetsuit, togs, socks, snorkel and mask I keep in the waterproof Ortlieb bag I got from Kicks and my weight belt is in a recess in the back at the side of my ‘living’. Above my worktop I have hinged two half pipes, suspended by elastics so all sorts of necessities can’t be thrown out while I’m driving.
On my rear doors two half storage systems are hanging with easy at hand pockets for stuff like coffee, sugar and chocolate powder and one in which my mug fits so I won’t spill its contents over my computer. Recently Kicks gave me the unsurpassed one-ring gas burner, so in the morning I can make coffee (and fill two thermos flasks with hot water for more coffee, especially for when I come out of the water) and in the evening I don’t have to eat cold soup anymore. The burner goes into a case that fits exactly under my bed next to the food box. And thus I can go on for a while.
It is not in my nature to make you jealous, but at least now you can visit my website carefree.