Can she fix it? Probably not but I’ll try.

I’m a veterinary nurse, I wanted to be a veterinary nurse from around about the age of 13. My Dad would love to interject at this point and tell you the story of when I was 3 and had our pet duck around the neck in one hand and his saw (good parenting skills leaving that lying around Dad) in the other, very much ready to saw the ducks head off. I do love animals though. Like I’m obsessed with them and I truly believe I would never have gone through with it. Luckily the saw was removed and I’m sure I duly headed off for my next adventure.

I’m not particularly academic (any future employees, please note that I am a very good, potential employee!) I like hands-on stuff. If you show me how to do something once, I can copy it, day in, day out. I have honestly thought about a career change that is maybe within the trade industry because I enjoy fixing things, but things that aren’t alive and give you stress palpitations when you’re trying to fix them.  I have learned a lot during this road trip about repairing things. If I had a work space I could have probably serviced the generator myself (I may have been scared to use it after but I would have give it a go) I’m getting finely tuned with Jenny and I know when something’s not right. Our heating decided to not work just the other day, so, I pulled out the multi tool ($18.99 from Walmart) and started undoing things and looking at wiring and fuses that meant nothing to me. However, after removing and replacing the odd thing, turning the circuit breaker back on, we had heat. I have fixed the leaking gutter  (yes, we have guttering), I have fixed the broken latches and levers. I am planning on repairing some worn-away wood to be able to replace a screw that’s fallen out. I’m on it and I do rather love it. My Dad was a roofer and can make ornate cabinets and summer houses. He is 72 and has built a barn in my folks back garden. I learned a few tricks following him about during the school holidays as a kid, both me and my brothers earned the honourable prize of standing on rusty nails and being shipped off to the local A&E for our tetanus jabs, thanks to my Dad’s trade. I guess my love of creating and fixing is thanks to both my parents. At least it gives me something to do and is productive.

This leg of the trip has definitely been different to the first. It took a while for the novelty to wear off on the first leg and learning how to run an RV as a home seemed to take your mind off what it is that I’m essentially doing, which is just a lot of waiting. Waiting for and on Rob. When I’m not in the best of moods, the inside of Jenny can feel very claustrophobic and my patience doesn’t just slim down but becomes just skin and bone. I shouted at Rob the other day, as he promptly told me on his arrival to Jenny that the stop I had chosen wasn’t the correct one and it was a mile short. I also got pretty upset when being all excited at parking up at some quirky museum, full of weird sculptures, that Rob just wanted to sit off and rest (how dare he!) on his arrival to the RV, instead of having a good nose around like I wanted to do. I could have gone on my own but then that in itself gets a bit tiresome. I forget that Rob’s actually running crazy milage and of course gets tired, just as I think Rob forgets that I can’t just sit in or drive the RV all day, everyday. It’s something we both try to ‘fix’ though, by letting things pass and saying sorry, even when you don’t feel you should. So, in between cooking, cleaning, driving and waiting, I try to keep busy. I’ll take photos, knit and crochet (my newest hobby) and write. I even manage to visit the odd, tiny museum if I can, where I will allow myself one purchase, should anything take my fancy (I have the coolest NASA t-shirt). We also have plenty of time in the evenings where we are able to talk about anything and everything. We discussed what our first holiday destination should be after this run, with Rob’s being a lazy week on one of the Canary Islands and mine being some kind of mini tour in Italy or Croatia. I wonder who’ll win that one? 

We’re now heading back through Texas, full of flat, rusty red soil, with slow turning derricks and ploughed fields, edged by the odd cotton plant that managed to escape the wrath of said plough and debris from the taken ones, spilling onto the road. The parking spots available for Jenny  on these rural roads are practically zero, leaving you sneaking into a corner of someone’s field or parked up, along a country lane. Nearly everyone who passes, waves and a few have stopped to ask if I’m ok. It’s nice. It’s reassuring on days when you feel very tired of it all to find someone taking time to check that you’re ok. I am ok, I tell them and in my head I think, you should see the things I’ve managed to fix, all by myself. We have a long way to go yet but even on the days where we’re both a bit tired and fed up, we remember just how much we have achieved. Rob has run over 3600 miles, on foot, sometimes doing 40+ mile days and I….I have fixed a broken latch and cooked a few ok dinners.

One thing I do need to fix is a night out. That feeling of getting your outfit sorted; taking time to get ready with a few GnT’s and a Lush ‘bath bomb’ bath on the go and finally spending the last half an hour doing my winged eyeliner (3 times). I am looking forward to a good night out when I get back, so give me a shout if you fancy a night out in Liverpool when I get home.

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Sorry, I’ve been knittingĀ 

Having spent a night at a fantastic RV park, a warm night’s sleep and job list well and truly ticked off, I am a happy Nads. Having a shower after 3 days of abstaining, with my hair tie having great difficulty against the might of the grease in my hair to stay put, I am a super happy Nads. I have also been very busy with my new hobby, knitting. Now, I’m only Nanny knitting level 1 at the moment but I definitely have time and opportunity to improve. It’s funny sitting off and listening to Queens of the Stone age whilst busily throwing out purl stitches, I reckon Josh Homme would totally dig it. It has caused me to be a little forgetful with day to day things; like meeting Rob on time and the dinner boiling over, also the lack of blog writing. My bad. Still, it’s incredibly relaxing and I would recommend it should you want to de-stress.

I have said it a few times before about how this is actually quite up and down and can be very tiring (blah blah blah). We had our spirits well and truly tested just a while back. Rob had decided to end the run at a truck stop for the evening. When we have a stop that will be our start for the following morning, I can usually head on and leave him on his last run. This works very well because I throw a superwomen tantrum if I have to attempt any reversing in the dark so it’s usually light enough for me to get settled. Truck stops are of course for truck drivers. They are essentially services (for UK readers) and it’s not really for RV’s to park overnight, however, they are often massive here, so you usually don’t take anyone’s space and as long as you’re prepared to move if you’re in the last one, I think it’s mostly ok to be in them. Well, except this night. I had parked at the end of an empty row; there were plenty of trucks about but I certainly wasn’t taking up space. I would guess, by the time we had climbed into bed, that there were easily 20 spaces available. Snuggled down and ready to sleep, I pass comment to Rob about how someone appears to be making a dog’s dinner over parking their lorry….then follows a rather angry thud on our door. I send Rob (so brave) and he gets promptly told that we’re parking in this rather friendly (sarcasm) gentleman’s way? Rob replied that we would happily move forward to help him out, even though we’re in a designated spot and therefore it would be no different if a lorry was parked there. This very jolly (sarcasm again) gentleman explained very politely (yep, sarcasm) that he wanted us to move and that he wanted to park where we were. Now, I can honestly say that Rob did the correct thing by agreeing to move as we didn’t want to end up with aggro’ but I know that what we both wanted to do, was to tell this rather horrible bully (no sarcasm), to go f@#$ himself. I am aware of the nuisance that people in RV’s can be. We’re slow and big and we’re possibly on our jollies and not working (little do they know). The thing is, just ask nicely and even before asking, ask yourself are you doing it because you genuinely want us to move to help you out or just because you want to prove a point and be an ass? I feel sorry for the guy to be fair. He must have got himself so angry and worked up over something he could have just let go. Imagine being that guy; imagine how miserable you must be to do that kind of thing? Inevitably, we managed to move across the road where it was actually quieter and glad that neither of us will ever be that guy. That’s the only time anyone has given us trouble in truck stops and mostly truck drivers seem to be really nice. Rob often comments on how they move over for him when he’s out running or they give him a beep and and wave. In the mayhem of moving at midnight for our fellow human being, Jenny actually wouldn’t start. She was being cheeky and somewhat annoying. After pulling the emergency start button, we were able to move but we realised very quickly that we had yet another problem to deal with….oh great. We got super lucky though and managed to find a proper mechanics (unlike the one in Vegas but we don’t talk about that right). They fixed everything, including our broken driver’s window (Yas! I can use my door again) They were also really friendly, which made up for grumpy pants man from the night before so we left grinning and feeling ready to move on. My love for Jenny repaired.

Going back through Arizona was amazing, along with the scenery from classic cowboy movies and the peacefulness of quieter roads. We’ve met a few good people too (except for that one grumpy ass, moody face, poo head) The routine is in and we are having a laugh about things again. We were joined by the sun, with his hat on, for a few days, which is quite the contrast to our trip through Death Valley. I have also been treated to some actual wildlife that’s alive and beautiful sunsets and sunrises. We’re now in New Mexico, a part of the trip that I loved last time, due to its open bleakness. It’s  a different route back through this time and not quite so quiet. It has also been incredibly windy; whistling through the vents and giving me and Jenny the odd nudge from time to time. I felt as if I was in some video game, trying to dodge the giant, kamikaze tumble weeds coming at me. I worry with how skinny Rob is that he’ll be blown away, off into Mexico.

Rob’s enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me. He is now running 40 plus miles a day and even though he is clearly tired, he still manages to return at every meeting spot with that lovely smile on his face. I feel sad that I can’t be with him until the end of this leg. I know I’ll miss it and I’ll most definitely miss him (Valentine’s day soon you know ;)). Any way, where did I put my knitting……