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geogphotos

Personal projects, side interests, things to do

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2 hours ago, John Morrison said:

 

Yes, I've hung my hat in many different places... though I stuck to UK and Ireland. I 'wild camped' almost every night. After a while I developed a 'sixth sense' about finding a good place to stay; I didn't really think about it. No one seemed to bother an old guy in a small camper. The Romahome is white, which has the strange effect of making the vehicle almost invisible.

 

I installed a solar panel on the roof, which made a big difference in summer (not so much at this time of the year), and charged up electrical stuff while driving: in order of importance: camera battery, laptop, radio, Kindle, shaver, etc. Those five years were fun!...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, stupid questions I have often wanted to ask of van people:

 

1) Do you ever get bothered after you have parked at night, told to move on by police etc, had locals knock on your van who tell you to clear off? My daughter once had youngsters firing at her van in Holland with airguns and they had to quickly drive off.  What about if you're all safely parked up, going nowhere, cooked your meal and had a few drinks - can you be had by the police for being responsible for a vehicle in a public place and being over the limit even though you are not going anywhere? Has it ever happened to you?

 

2) Hygiene - does it get a bit ..er... uncomfortable and icky - presumably washing from a bucket and slinging and flinging your poo, or whatever you do, and not being able to get really clean as in shower or bath? Or do you manage to work out a perfectible acceptable routine for all this stuff. I see a lake in the picture...

 

Hope you don't mind. 

 

There done it! 

Edited by geogphotos

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5 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

 

 

Currently, we've been staying for a week by a river teeming with birds. Other half goes fishing, I go birding, we open a bottle of cool white wine in the evening and marvel at our lifestyle. We only have to make sure we stay clear from bushfires.

 

 

That'll be glühwein here! It's 8C, and the Lake District where that was taken is one of a few places in England where it can be brilliantly sunny and raining out of the same sky at the same time, in the same place.

Looking forward to NZ next month.

Edited by spacecadet

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Wow, you folks are so creative and practical. Most impressive. 

 

My personal project outside of stock? Lunch.

 

Edo

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6 hours ago, John Morrison said:
On 09/11/2019 at 18:26, gvallee said:

I'm sure it wouldn't suit everyone but this is what I did: sold the house, converted a bus into a 4x4 motorhome and became a Grey Nomad in the wonderful country of Australia.

 

Well, it suited me. I lived in this miniature motorhome for five years: travelling, writing, taking pictures, getting lost. I only quiit the nomadic life six months ago, but kept the van. As Michel de Montaigne suggested: “One should always have one’s boots on and be ready to leave”...

 

So cool to see that others here have done or are doing this. I'm currently researching the nomadic lifestyle here in the U.S. primarily through Youtube. With some luck and a lot of effort I could be exploring the country by this time next year. I cant think of a better way to enjoy life and find pictures.

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19 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I shoot subjects that I can do artistic things to through the use of Photoshop, other software and using textures.

I’ve finally gotten back to dabbling a bit in watercolors that I take pictures of. These mediums are found and sold here...

 

https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/betty-larue

 

Good stuff Betty!

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52 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Okay, stupid questions I have often wanted to ask of van people:

 

1) Do you ever get bothered after you have parked at night, told to move on by police etc, had locals knock on your van who tell you to clear off? My daughter once had youngsters firing at her van in Holland with airguns and they had to quickly drive off.  What about if you're all safely parked up, going nowhere, cooked your meal and had a few drinks - can you be had by the police for being responsible for a vehicle in a public place and being over the limit even though you are not going anywhere? Has it ever happened to you?

 

2) Hygiene - does it get a bit ..er... uncomfortable and icky - presumably washing from a bucket and slinging and flinging your poo, or whatever you do, and not being able to get really clean as in shower or bath? Or do you manage to work out a perfectible acceptable routine for all this stuff. I see a lake in the picture...

 

Hope you don't mind. 

 

There done it! 

 

These are the questions I asked too, before I ht the road. Only on two occasions did anyone knock on my van: 1) in Kendal to say that if I didn't vacate the car-park sharpish, I'd become part of a fun-fair, and 2) that if I didn't move asap, I'd become part of Bakewell market.

 

I looked for quiet places to park up at night, but not too quiet. People walking by would not have been aware that there was anyone inside, curled up inside a sleeping bag. I avoided street parking, and I was careful not to be in anyone's way. So... no industrial areas... and if I saw half a dozen kids, wearing hoodies and riding bikes, I'd drive somewhere else.

 

My rule was always to get parked up, off-road, for the night, before I had a drink (most car-parks are free after 6pm). The police have better things to do than bother an old guy in a van! 

 

Hygiene? Not a problem (unless you really want to shower twice a day). The satnav lady would direct me to local swimming baths, when I needed a shower (there's a leisure centre on the outskirts of all but the smallest towns). Toilets, washing facilities and free wifi: that's what Wetherspoons are for! I carried about six changes of clothes, so I'd stop at a campsite once every three weeks... to wash clothes, shave, edit/upload pix and recharge batteries, etc.

 

While it's not a lifestyle that would suit everyone, I wish I had a pound for everyone who said they'd love to do what I did (including a lot of married women!)...

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12 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

 

These are the questions I asked too, before I ht the road. Only on two occasions did anyone knock on my van: 1) in Kendal to say that if I didn't vacate the car-park sharpish, I'd become part of a fun-fair, and 2) that if I didn't move asap, I'd become part of Bakewell market.

 

I looked for quiet places to park up at night, but not too quiet. People walking by would not have been aware that there was anyone inside, curled up inside a sleeping bag. I avoided street parking, and I was careful not to be in anyone's way. So... no industrial areas... and if I saw half a dozen kids, wearing hoodies and riding bikes, I'd drive somewhere else.

 

My rule was always to get parked up, off-road, for the night, before I had a drink (most car-parks are free after 6pm). The police have better things to do than bother an old guy in a van! 

 

Hygiene? Not a problem (unless you really want to shower twice a day). The satnav lady would direct me to local swimming baths, when I needed a shower (there's a leisure centre on the outskirts of all but the smallest towns). Toilets, washing facilities and free wifi: that's what Wetherspoons are for! I carried about six changes of clothes, so I'd stop at a campsite once every three weeks... to wash clothes, shave, edit/upload pix and recharge batteries, etc.

 

While it's not a lifestyle that would suit everyone, I wish I had a pound for everyone who said they'd love to do what I did (including a lot of married women!)...

 

 

Thanks for the insights John.

 

Cheers

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

2) Hygiene - does it get a bit ..er... uncomfortable and icky - presumably washing from a bucket and slinging and flinging your poo, or whatever you do, and not being able to get really clean as in shower or bath? Or do you manage to work out a perfectible acceptable routine for all this stuff. I see a lake in the picture...

 

 

This gentleman has some very interesting solutions spanning several videos. His original unheated version is much simpler but looks very practical.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAj7O3LCDbkIR54hAn6Zz7A

 

Tons of information on this channel as well.

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19 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I shoot subjects that I can do artistic things to through the use of Photoshop, other software and using textures.

I’ve finally gotten back to dabbling a bit in watercolors that I take pictures of. These mediums are found and sold here...

 

https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/betty-larue

 

 

 

Love your art images. I wish I was as arty as you.

 

Allan

 

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7 hours ago, John Morrison said:

 

Well, it suited me. I lived in this miniature motorhome for five years: travelling, writing, taking pictures, getting lost. I only quiit the nomadic life six months ago, but kept the van. As Michel de Montaigne suggested: “One should always have one’s boots on and be ready to leave”...

 

small-motorhome-romahome-25-parked-by-the-shores-of-wastwater-lake-FWRB8Y.jpg

 

So you are living permanently by Wastewater are you?

 

Allan

 

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Just now, Allan Bell said:

So you are living permanently by Wastewater are you?

 

No... but it was a regular port of call... and a great view to wake up to. I seldom spent two consecutive nights in the same place.

 

Wastewater??

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3 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

 

No... but it was a regular port of call... and a great view to wake up to. I seldom spent two consecutive nights in the same place.

 

Wastewater??

 

Appologies that was the computer spell correction and I did not see it.🙁

 

Wastwater.  Thats told it.😀

 

Allan

 

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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Okay, stupid questions I have often wanted to ask of van people:

 

1) Do you ever get bothered after you have parked at night, told to move on by police etc, had locals knock on your van who tell you to clear off? My daughter once had youngsters firing at her van in Holland with airguns and they had to quickly drive off.  What about if you're all safely parked up, going nowhere, cooked your meal and had a few drinks - can you be had by the police for being responsible for a vehicle in a public place and being over the limit even though you are not going anywhere? Has it ever happened to you?

 

2) Hygiene - does it get a bit ..er... uncomfortable and icky - presumably washing from a bucket and slinging and flinging your poo, or whatever you do, and not being able to get really clean as in shower or bath? Or do you manage to work out a perfectible acceptable routine for all this stuff. I see a lake in the picture...

 

Hope you don't mind. 

 

There done it! 

 

Waking up now, 6 a.m. Watching the sunrise over the river through the huge majestic red gumtrees from my bed - care was taken not to camp directly underneath them as they are called 'widow makers' on the account that they drop perfectly healthy limbs witnout warning. Remember David Attenborough's footage?

 

These are not stupid questions Ian, they're logical. My replies won't apply to UK/Europe as it's very different in Oz, primarily because of the size of the country, so for those into nature and wilderness, nomad life is a dream. There is a growing crowds of Grey Nomads who like us have sold the house and are on the road permanently with all kind of vehicles, sometimes grotesque like a bus towing a double decker trailer with hydraulic system: upper level is the boat, lower level a car. In between there is space for bikes, etc. Anyway, so there are apps detailing where to camp for free, showers, water, etc.

 

1. Safety: I guess problems can happen anywhere, there recently was a story about a couple whose bus was shot at overnight but it's extremely rare. The rules is to camp at least 60 kms away from troubled towns. The only incident we had so far was very mild. We were camped by a weir in the middle of nowhere and some yahoos came roaring through the area at 4:30 am.. In contrast, there are numerous cattle stations or farmstays experience where the tradition is a Happy Hour around a campfire. Sometimes the owner will bake a damper in the camp oven. You meet all sorts of people and share stories. As for stopping, distances are so humongous in Oz that it's sometimes difficult to find a spot for the night along the road. There has been clashes with truckers when vans were parked in their rest areas. As for drinking, I'm not sure if the rules are the same as in the UK if you had a few but are not driving anywhere. I was once puzzled to be breathalised at 9 a.m. on a very remote road through the Outback. Police told me that the reason was that there was a free camping spot nearby where people tend to drink a lot in the evening. It's still in the blood in the morning.

 

2. Hygiene: it's different for us as we are fully self-contained. We have a shower and toilets cubicle. We even have an ouside shower for washing under the stars!! For vans without, there are some free camps offering showers. Of course there are rivers but one should not use soap in or near them. And in the north, you would share them with crocs. Right now elsewhere with the drought they're dry, even big ones. 

 

I'm aware my experience is from another continent but basic questions are the same the world over. Hope it helps a little bit.

 

Gen

 

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4 hours ago, spacecadet said:

That'll be glühwein here! It's 8C, and the Lake District where that was taken is one of a few places in England where it can be brilliantly sunny and raining out of the same sky at the same time, in the same place.

Looking forward to NZ next month.

 

39 degrees here yesterday. Ice cubes in white wine and aircon inside the bus. Travel in luxury!

On one same day in Oz, we can have snow in an area, drought, floods and fires in others. It happens regularly.

In Cairns where I lived recently, it can rain heavily in one part of town and have sunshine in another at the same time. Wonderful rainbows there.

As for Melbourne, they say 'all 4 seasons in one day'.

Edited by gvallee

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3 hours ago, jodyko said:

 

I cant think of a better way to enjoy life and find pictures.

 

Couldn't agree more. The only issue is that I am drowning under the number of pictures to edit. We've stayed put a number of days to allow me to catch up.

 

I feel that Australia is discovering Alamy and there is demand for what I call location pictures, what a place looks like. Again because of huge distances, it's not worth it financially for photographers to travel to get them. So for me it's both a pleasure and an opportunity.

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I recently read a book series written a few years ago by a late teenaged fella in Australia. He had refreshed his writing in it recently. I subscribe to “Bookbub” which sends out book opportunities every day through email for free digital books and some that cost a few dollars.

I got the 6 book series of “End Times” free, and nearly put my eyes out reading it for days on my Kindle, it was so good.

 

It was based in Australia, and I got a good idea how immense the country is since the twin lads, teenagers themselves, fought zombies as they traveled across the country meeting other survivors and trying to find their father and survive. I’m not a “zombie theme book” person, but this series had some of the best character development I’ve seen. Yes, there are cities in Australia. Days apart by automobile, other than very small towns and outposts between.

Some of the country is dry and desert-like, other parts lush. Like it is in the US.  Sound wonderful.

Betty

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9 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

 

Some of the country is dry and desert-like, other parts lush. Like it is in the US.  Sound wonderful.

Betty

 

You described it well Betty. I think Australia and the USA are similar in size.

 

I have about 30 books on pioneering days in Oz under my bed in the bus. Wonderful stories of very resilient people.

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4 hours ago, John Morrison said:

 

While it's not a lifestyle that would suit everyone, I wish I had a pound for everyone who said they'd love to do what I did (including a lot of married women!)...

 

What we often see in Oz is people who have left it too late in life. They are on the road but some are in a wheelchair (the wife was doing the hooking up and towing the caravan), or have various illnesses or disabilities. We hear very sad stories. 2 days ago, a lone man rolled up with a caravan where we are camped. He introduced himself as 'John. Sandra is on the front seat'. Only she was in an urn and he was scattering her ashes in all the places she hadn't seen in Australia. We were very upset all evening. How sad.

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17 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

Hey Betty, I really like your watercolours and oil paintings, they're very good. You're really into nature. Do you have much success selling with Fine Art America? Wow, you've got so many, when do you get time for photography? ;)

 

Here is my website for my paintings:

http://www.frostsfineart.com/

 

I don't have too many paintings yet. I gave them away to family and friends for too many years! (sold the odd one here and there too...)

Thank you! Yes, Steve, I’ve sold quite a bit through fineartamerica. And I love nature.
Just wanted to tell you, you’ll find no oil paintings on my site! 😁 Maybe some simulated ones. I only have a handful of real brush-to-paper watercolors on there, since I’ve only just begun again. Everything I painted some years back, before these websites, I sold. I did paint two oils when I first started, but then tried watercolor and never looked back. I didn’t like how long it took the oils to dry.


Other than those few actual paintings, everything you see on my site started life as a photograph.  Some compositing here and there...Then I used painting techniques through specialized software, and applications of purchased textures to use for backgrounds.

It’s all rather involved, and I can easily spend as much time doing one on the computer as doing an actual watercolor.

I like your work and admire your attention to detail. I’m such an impatient sort that the loose or impressionistic style suits me best. Wish I were able spend the extra time to do at least some of my work like yours. (See above, impatience with oils drying)
I tend to redecorate my house the same way. Paint the walls (slap it on quickly) with a loaded brush or roller, and get as much on myself as the walls.

It usually turns out well in the end.

Betty

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20 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

What we often see in Oz is people who have left it too late in life. They are on the road but some are in a wheelchair (the wife was doing the hooking up and towing the caravan), or have various illnesses or disabilities. We hear very sad stories. 2 days ago, a lone man rolled up with a caravan where we are camped. He introduced himself as 'John. Sandra is on the front seat'. Only she was in an urn and he was scattering her ashes in all the places she hadn't seen in Australia. We were very upset all evening. How sad.

😢 The last trip I took with my husband in our RV, his dementia was advanced enough that while he drove well (as long as I sat beside him reassuring he was on the right road) and had fun, all the hard work was on me. White water, black water, systems, buttons, dumping...that stuff wasn’t in my wheelhouse. I’m not mechanical or technical. Soon as we got home, I sold the RV.

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5 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

😢 The last trip I took with my husband in our RV, his dementia was advanced enough that while he drove well (as long as I sat beside him reassuring he was on the right road) and had fun, all the hard work was on me. White water, black water, systems, buttons, dumping...that stuff wasn’t in my wheelhouse. I’m not mechanical or technical. Soon as we got home, I sold the RV.

 

Yes dementia is really tough on carers. Both my father and maternal grandmother died from it. Perhaps that's why I live life to the full...

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19 hours ago, gvallee said:

The only issue is that I am drowning under the number of pictures to edit

 

I can totally understand. Not a bad problem to have though.  😊

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20 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

Yes dementia is really tough on carers. Both my father and maternal grandmother died from it. Perhaps that's why I live life to the full...

A good idea, Gen. One never knows what’s barreling toward one down the road. And yes, caregiving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wanted to quit living, sometimes. And then it got worse. Pretty much wrecked my health.

But I’m happy now, enjoying family, friends, photography and painting for the last 14 months.  I’d love to road travel again, but without a traveling companion, that’s done and over. A woman alone with her beloved parrot? I’d be a sitting duck....err...parrot. 😁

Betty

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50 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I’d love to road travel again, but without a traveling companion, that’s done and over. A woman alone with her beloved parrot? I’d be a sitting duck....err...parrot. 

Betty

 

Why not? Two years ago I travelled 4 months on my own in a Ford Transit campervan off the beaten track. I loved every minute of it. Lots of women travel on their own in Toyota Coasters in Australia, and they're mechanically savy as well! Admittedly, they seem to travel with dogs rather than parrots!

 

Of course, I can't vouch for safety in the US, I have travelled there numerous times but never in an RV. Last time was to see the sandhill cranes migration at Bosque del Apache, New Mexico. Lift off is a dawn. Travelling alone in pitch black at 5 am, my wretched rented car decided to turn on a red warning light on the dash. Then, I missed the turn off to the reserve and ended up on a dirt road. All at night and in freezing temperatures. I love adventure!

 

Anyway, I'm glad you left bad times behind and turned the corner Betty, life sometimes seems out to test one.

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On 12/11/2019 at 22:36, Betty LaRue said:

Thank you! Yes, Steve, I’ve sold quite a bit through fineartamerica. And I love nature.
Just wanted to tell you, you’ll find no oil paintings on my site! 😁 Maybe some simulated ones. I only have a handful of real brush-to-paper watercolors on there, since I’ve only just begun again. Everything I painted some years back, before these websites, I sold. I did paint two oils when I first started, but then tried watercolor and never looked back. I didn’t like how long it took the oils to dry.


Other than those few actual paintings, everything you see on my site started life as a photograph.  Some compositing here and there...Then I used painting techniques through specialized software, and applications of purchased textures to use for backgrounds.

It’s all rather involved, and I can easily spend as much time doing one on the computer as doing an actual watercolor.

I like your work and admire your attention to detail. I’m such an impatient sort that the loose or impressionistic style suits me best. Wish I were able spend the extra time to do at least some of my work like yours. (See above, impatience with oils drying)
I tend to redecorate my house the same way. Paint the walls (slap it on quickly) with a loaded brush or roller, and get as much on myself as the walls.

It usually turns out well in the end.

Betty

 

I'm glad you're having some success. Lots of people don't on F.A.A. I think. I've just been having fun trying to work out which are original watercolours and which are manipulated photos. I'm very impressed nonetheless, I think they look amazing. Yeah, I used oils for a year (wait 2 weeks for a layer to dry) and then discovered acrylics and never looked back.

 

Thanks for the compliments. I'm not patient for some things, but I am for art and photography. Architect was my second career choice and you can see this in the paintings.

Steve

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