Thursday, 19 February 2015

Unemployed and Homeless

Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
We have now moved out of our house and quit our jobs; we are officially unemployed and homeless. I think that that must be most peoples worst nightmares being realised. However, we are about a week away from setting off on the first leg of our two year cycling adventure. Since our last little update so much has happened and we have been on rather a roll coaster ride of emotion. To begin with Sophie and I are engaged! It was all very sudden and unexpected for the both of us. That all happened on Christmas Day and since then we both  had our leaving parties from work, Bon Voyage Party with friends and family, and moved everything out of our shared house.

While we were all partying at the Bon Voyage get together we had the first play on Sophie's amazing leaving present from her work: a GoPro. So we thought we'd set it up and create a time lapse of the party. We are hoping that over the coming months we'll take lots of footage of the trip and we can keep folks updated with a few 'vodcasts' (we think that's what you call them) on YouTube, you'll have to watch this space because we're not quite there yet with that.

The last 2 weeks have been mainly concerned with packing up the house and a grand tour of the UK, visiting friends and family to say our goodbyes and making new friends courtesy of a very wonderful wedding. Packing up a house is extremely stressful and dull. It would have also been impossible without our amazing friends. You guys and gals were awesome!!!  We have now moved all those boxes and bags to their homes for the next couple of years.  There is still a few things to sort but we are certainly getting there.  The final big bit of the jigsaw is insurance, but I'll leave that bundle of fun for another post.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Optimus No. 5 - Part 2

Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
So some of you may recall that one of my first posts was about trying to get the lovely Optimus No. 5 stove that was my Dad's to work so we could take it away.  You may also recall that we repeatedly set it on fire, not the controlled, pressurised blue flame we were aiming for but paraffin flowing all over the whole thing and engulfing the entire thing in orange fire.

Nevertheless we took it away on our 2 week trip to give it a go and after a somewhat faltering start did manage to cook our first night's dinner on it, albeit rather slowly and with the usual fire show.  After a second attempt the following day Tom pleaded with me to let us buy a gas stove which we did.  I must sadly admit that it was a lot more efficient and much easier.

But I was still determined that if we could only fix the seal that it would suddenly be a totally different beast, though Tom was far from convinced.  So I gave the stove to my very talented metal-working Uncle Bri and asked him to see if he could figure out what was wrong with it.  Here's his verdict, delivered via text from my Aunty Gin:

"Unky Brian experimented with your stove.  He really doesn't think you should take it away.  You will need to carry 2 lots of fuel and if they spill they will taint everything, plus they may not be easy to find in the US. He also thought it was a bit erratic and difficult to tame.  However he thought it was a beautifully made object and would love to frame it for you when you get back!"

So there we go.  Its being relegated to being just an object of beauty, not of use.  But there are worse fates.  And it really was much easier cooking on gas.  Not entirely sure what we'll do once we leave North America as getting gas canisters in darkest Peru for example will be nigh on impossible, but that's months away yet so we can cross that bridge at some point in Canada.