Posts by Tim3

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

    Just to pick the collective brain...


    I spend roughly 50% of my time in my van. It's my daily drive & I commute to & from work 5 days/week. Currently I'm using candles & rehargeable bluetooth speaker from my phone. Occasionally I park up for say max 1 week without moving.


    I'd like to add electrics, requirements are as follows;

    • Re-charge smartphone once/day (wattage unknown)
    • Utility light over kitchen worktop used max 2 hours/day (1.5W)
    • Lighting for normal use say 1 hour/day (1.5W)
    • Stereo say 3 hours/day (36W flat out - probably 10W normal useage)
    • Laptop say 3 hours/day (wattage unknown)


    The amount of storage I have is proportional to the amount of leisure batteries I can afford/charge so I'm thinking maybe 2 x 85aH batteries, split charge relay should deal with most useage, but a smaller solar panel would def help keep batteries topped up & prolong their life.


    What are your thoughts?

    I often wonder about buying/renting a small livery yard, nothing more natural than a horsebox there... and taking on a livery horse or 2 to justify being there. Anyone got any experience with this?

    Good luck with that one too. If you need to access a road vehicle, you may have to consider a permanent mooring, just so you can be within reach of your car or van.


    Reluctantly I've also had to accept that all the while I need to work & have access to a vehicle I'm gonna have to find a liveaboard mooring, pretty much that means marina fees and even then permanent moorings are hard to find. Still think it's less hassle than fighting with planners though

    To legitimize what you are doing you need planning permission, plots with planning are expensive.


    If you want a land based business then it's worth researching 'Field to Farm' or for Pembrokeshire look at 'One Planet Development' as a means of obtaining planning on more affordable agricultural land. For either you really need to be keen enough to develop an agribusiness whilst being given a hard time by the planning authorities.


    If you want to take a chance as most do, then you might well get away with it indefinitely but equally you might find a nosy neighbour reports you almost immediately and you don't get permission. Of course you can move on but don't forget you'll need to sell the land.


    I've pretty much gone full circle with this idea now & have returned to my original plan to live on a narrowboat as it's easier.

    I'm in the early stages of making the move to a liveaboard at the minute. Trying to finish the house off so I can rent it, and looking for a mooring around the Bath/Bristol area

    It's one thing going camping during the winter months but to live in a tent for any length of time is something different again. Moisture is the biggest problem as it eventually gets in to everything and when things are wet they don't really keep you warm. A bell tent and burner is a sensible option as it allows you to dry things like sleeping bag, outdoor clothing, boots etc. I'd be quite happy to live in a tent year round in the UK, but not whilst working at least through the winter.

    That actually makes perfect sense and realizes some of the flaws in the design which had worried me. In the UK well constructed and maintained structural straw bale seems the logical choice to me.

    OK, the fit out is on an Iveco Daily MWB High Roof.


    In theory heat rises, and I am using 15mm ply on the floor which itself provides some insulation, so I felt comfortable with down speccing the insulation on the floor to 25mm. For the walls I'm using 50mm Celotex and 9mm ply as it curves to the inside of the van nicely & is solid enough to fix things like the side rail of the bed to. On the ceiling I'm using 50mm Celotex with 4mm ply, I largely ignored the internal ribs on the van and made a frame to sit inside these but with framework where I wanted it rather than where the van forced me to have it - so for 4mm ply I have battens at 400mm centres.


    All fit out work has stopped for the minute, whilst doing the cambelt I've discovered some surprisingly bad rust issues under the bonnet which I hadn't realised were there when I bought the van and they need to be dealt with first. For me the priority has to be to make sure there is a good solid vehicle above all else.

    I've used 25mm under the floor & 50mm for walls & ceiling in my van... can't vouch for how warm it is yet as still building but I'm hoping I've got the balance about right?

    I'm just starting to convert an Iveco Daily MWB high roof, there's acres of head room. Ceiling height when fully insulated and lined will be 6ft 8". Fuel wise I'm getting 31mpg so not bad at all.

    Find the centre line of the overall width of the floor and mark it at both ends (not always easy when you have to measure through doorways)


    Then measure in either direction and find out whether to set the plank centred on the line or to one side to leave you the largest possible cut to reach the skirting board - walls are likely to be out of square but it shows more on small cuts than big ones.


    Avoid finishing on a small cut if possible

    Actually, I'll be brutally honest and bare some very personal & private feelings..... probably the worst situation I ever got in was a story from my past which part of me wants to share & part of me is bloody uncomfortable talking about!


    I was at a party on a mates boat moored by the river, I was 31/32 at the time (10 years ago) and single.


    There was a very cute girl a maybe mid 20's (24-27) who was a friend of my mate's girlfriend. She approached me and very much lead the way, but either way we ended up cuddling together under a blanket as the evening got later.... she'd had at least one pill & a good amount of wine, I'd had no chemical drugs but definitely a bit too much to drink and a few smokes.... one thing lead to another as people started to fall asleep and we started kissing, touching etc. As I remember it, she was a bit full on but I was quite up for it, the only doubt in my mind was that I remember her saying 'I can't, it's girly time.... oh fuck it, don't worry'. So anyway, we ended up sleeping together on the riverside & had a great time pleasuring one another for several hours, spoke about a date in the morning & swapped phone numbers but never ended up seeing one another again.


    Anyway many weeks later my mates girlfriend tells me a different story to my horror, told to her by the girl I'd spent the night with - that I'd been the one pushing things, that she was up for a snog & a fumble but I'd been the one who wouldn't take no for an answer... that when we did the deed I'd pushed a tampon inside her so she had to see the doctor to get it removed!


    This still terrifies me cos there were drink & drugs involved.... I've always been respectful to the best of my knowledge, but I've also had drunken one night stands where I've gone further than I would have without booze.


    My memory of that night is still very clear in my mind... probably more cemented because of what I heard later but clear nonetheless... I was a willing participant in something very much mutual but instigated by her.


    What she's said, without mentioning the word is 'Rape'. Can her recollection of the night be so far different to mine, they're polar bloody opposites and confident though I am that I've always done right it's set doubt in my mind...


    It's something that worries me and affects my confidence around the opposite sex - that a touch, hug, flirtation might be taken the wrong way.

    Is there... being completely 100% honest... a person (male or female) out there who hasn't been through the whole adolescent process of learning how to express an interest in a potential new partner and either understated their interest, or overstated it in a touchy feely sort of way? Sometimes we wish we'd made it more obvious, other times we kinda cringe and wish we'd done things differently.


    Looking back at some of the naive attempts at impressing girls when I was younger I can see potential for offense to have been caused even though I always consider myself a generally respectful & nice bloke who means no harm whatsoever. Equally there have been a few times in the past that I've felt someone approaching me has pushed it a little too far. I guess there are levels and each individual has to define for themselves where the line falls. Have I been groped, maybe but not in a way that would cause a long lasting problem, have I groped.... I bloody hope not but there have certainly been a couple of occasions, especially alcohol fueled, when with hindsight I might of been a pratt and which could have been taken that way :S

    Definitely use 'terram' or similar geotextile - this is what stops the expensive stone you've just bought from sinking into the soil. Whether you then use MOT type 1 or whatever is up to you. For cost saving and nice effect I'd personally use type 3 reclaimed track ballast which is still limestone chippings but slightly larger & recycled from the railways and I'd spread some shingle over the top. Most people use pea shingle, it's personal preference but I'd go for 20mm shingle as it doesn't get stuck in the tread of your car tyres as much.


    As astartoseeby said, around 6 inches of stone is about right and make sure you go over it with a vibrating roller.

    I sat in the canteen at work today & asked the guys in there who they voted for. Out of 14, 2 didn't vote, 1 voted Labour & all the rest voted UKIP. I asked them why, and the general consensus was that they all believe immigrants are coming over and taking their jobs or undercutting them and driving wages down, and want a party to do something about it.


    I hear racist comments at work all the time, not sure it's specific to the building industry but it seems that public opinion really is heading that way - tragically!

    I love my house, and productive veggie garden & chickens etc..... but I can't abide what I have to do for best part of 60 hours/week to pay for it...


    Am making slow but steady progress towards a life 'on the road' again, which might not actually be on the road but hopefully with some land on which I can live a low impact lifestyle and do the nice things like veggies/chickens/bees etc. However, I miss living in a van & the connection to what's going on outdoors; the hot, the cold, the drumming of rain on the roof etc which you become detached from in a house. I also miss the freedom to take my home with me & park up with friends or travel.

    I bloody didn't.... my wage is exactly the same as it was in 1999. Since then I can absolutely guarantee the cost of living has increased significantly, as has VAT.