Work No. 185; Campervan Morn’

Campervan Morn’
Still Life with plastic plate, soap and torch.
c. 2006 Michael St.Mark


Drinking coffee from a crimped-up can,
Me and my girl named Bimbo
– Spam.

Don Van Vliet,
From the classic double LP
“Trout Mask Replica”, 1970

12 thoughts on “Work No. 185; Campervan Morn’

    • You got a camper too MD? That would explain your admirable Christmas travels around the country, checking out “friends”?

      Living in a house is existing. Whilst in the van, on the road and camping wild – now that’s living. We evolved out of doors, so only natural that we feel better being more intouch with mother nature. A tent is a bit too “intouch” mind you, esp. in winter.
      The old ” metal tent” is the ideal compromise hey?


      • I have had a series of campers since time immemorial MS…

        I think that you captured life on the road quite well – even if it is only periodic these days..

        It’s classless and freer than most places, no mail, no phone and no computer – just your daily requirements and the hope of some sociable evenings 😉


      • Oh no! I want to get as far away from “sociable evenings”, MD. Other people can get in the way of proper communion with nature which sets in after three or four days out in the wild. It’s amazing, this oneness with the natural world. I don’t mean to sound a hermit but the tawdry society of human beings is like a stagnant mud puddle in comparison.

        You might be an exception, MD, but personally I’m tiring of the brick wall of trying to forge relationships with the insecure and volatile mass of complexities that comprises 99.9% of other people. I’ve a small pool of friends which rarely gets added to these days. Plus its a difficult society/workplace now for most people, mucho stresso!

        BTW What type of camper conversion do you have & what facilities onboard? Do you know about the portable butane ( safe) heaters you can get? Very handy in the mornings for half an hour.


      • I mentioned on another blog that I lived in a barrio once where people lived on the streets in the evenings and all were welcome children and older people were especially values and music filled the air. In the mornings the oldest person in the barrio would start to sing a song and everyone would join in as they woke up until the whole street was filled with music.. In such an environment I would never give up on real people and their families – so hard to find in the UK though I agree…

        Too idealistic for your taste I’m sure MS, but I have valued visiting places with similar atmospheres ever since because it restores a bit of faith in human nature. Not that I don’t see what you mean by the value of nature either, and to this end I have always been a devotee of Henry David Thoreau, even being obliged to visit Concord when I was younger. At the risk of filling up your blog this quote has never been far from my mind:

        “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan- like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”

        In answer to your question it’s a home conversion with a pot bellied stove, queen sized bed, cooker, shower and bathroom.. 😉


      • That sounds more of a coachbuilt or large van conversion than a traditional T series or even prehistoric split screen campervan, which has the old VW moniker attached to it in time-honoured tradition.
        A pot-bellied woodburner in situ? I’ve seen one or two of those in homemade cons. A great idea and they sure belt out the heat too. Plus free fuel on the road of course!

        I don’t read much of the romantics, Thoreau etc, although I see the appeal. Without hopefully sounding too pretentious, the real poetry lies in the actuality of the experience itself, for oneself and in oneself. Infinite individuality isn’t at all the self-indulgent experience that it sounds to the stale intellect. Quite the opposite, in fact.

        Great experience, those barrios, I visited one in Lisbon a while back. Concertina’d in like that and with the tradition they’re brought up in, neighbourhood boogie’ing would be the natural thing to do. I could get into that – after a bottle!


      • No I have had plent of VW’s this is an Iveco ex-postal force van with a galss roof and no windows – great fro travelling through eastern europe…

        The pot bellied sorts life during the winter;)

        What u say about the experience is what Thoreau gave his life for and so I do agree…

        Drop the bottle and go for it 😉


      • Do you take a black and white cat with you on your travels?
        And why is a van with no windows specially good for travels through Eastern Europe? The mind boggles.

        Well disguised as a driver for Parcel Farce you may be MD, but that twirl of woodsmoke exiting from the roof on icy morns might be a bit of a giveaway that there’s an “oddball” living inside?

        Cheers MD, enjoying the exchange, very much.


      • Me too..;)

        The glass roof gives you plenty of light and the lack of windows provides privacy. As noone can see inside they usually don’t think it’s worth robbing…

        You are right woodsmoke in the morning is a dead givaway – but at least it’s morning and there are people wandering around – I’m going to sell it on EBay soon as there is no need for me to keep it now 😉


      • So then MD; do you intend to purchase – or convert – another?
        Can’t believe you’ve given up life on the road.

        Re; the windows/privacy subject. I’ve never had any probs with people trying to look in even though mine’s a VWT4 standard conversion with two big passenger side windows and one kitchenette slider the other. The drawn curtains usually keep folk away to outside of ten feet or so.

        Anything else and I’ve got my personal security well covered, shall we say.


      • Yes mate I might convert another at some point but for now I need some scratch to take my daughter off to Canada later in the year 😉

        I am glad that you are taking care of your personal security – we should swap ideas on that at some point… The idea of this van having a glass roof but no windows was for travelling through East European countries and Russia, China and the Far East. Travellers are not so welcome there so not standing out in anyway was an advantage…

        I didn’t get the whole trip finished in the end – but that’s another story 😉


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