Monday, August 27

San Francisco

So after a week on the road with a bunch of queers in my van, we arrived in SF on Friday night. We arrived in proper style at dusk over the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, my camera had run out of batteries earlier that day (5 days without AC power and with about 200 pictures - not too bad!). And of course, I was driving - and having slight culture shock after a week on little country roads and highways, which very very suddenly turned into a huge 4 lane freeway. We then found the house where the others are sleeping (I'm still sleeping in my van, but it's nice to have somewhere to come that has electricity...) and then spent 40 minutes driving around looking for a park within walking distance. I found a great one in the end - quiet street, unlimited free parking, but overall I was just grateful for any park!
Since then, I've wandered or biked around town to see things, went to the De Young museum of Fine arts in Golden Gate park yesterday, have been to a few interesting gallery events (seems to be the Thing To Do here) and hung out with lots of interesting people.
The plan for the rest of the week is to get a 'tune-up' for my van, and continue the sightseeing. And find people who want to head back north this next weekend or so. I want to be back in portland and seattle and then vancouver in the next two weeks, maybe. We'll see.
The whole story of our drive down the coast is on travelpost - I find it easier to organise my thoughts there, when travelling. So I suggest you start here, and read them in order! Also, there are a heap more photos on flickr to amuse you all.

Monday, August 20

New photos etc

Check out my flickr page for more photos! The set is called 'seattle to portland', which is where I currently am. Also, I've written a few quick posts on travelpost.

Thursday, August 16

Dodge! Van!

I am the proud owner of a 1979 Dodge van. I had it inspected, they said it wasn't too dodgy, so I bought it. for $3000. Plus $600 tax and insurance. And I need to buy one tire (the spare is dead) and get a 'tune up' and oil change. All these things I can do on the way.
Cos I'm leaving for Seattle. Now.
Better go!

Oh, and there are some photos of the van being inspected on my flickr account! More will follow, but I don't know when I'll next have net access.

Wednesday, August 15

What a little net time can do...

I've started a flickr account. Finally. I've been meaning to for a while. You can see all the pics I've uploaded so far (Vancouver, UK, Singapore etc) here. I'll add a link to the sidebar too so you can always find it. If I'm really clever, I might also be able to add a slideshow of recent pics to the sidebar, but not today, I'm afraid. For now, I offer an embedded slideshow, instead. Which, when I think about it, would go quite well in the sidebar anyway. But I want one that automatically shows recently added pics, while this one is just the vancouver ones, at the moment. I'll sort it all out soon. Pretty though, isn't it!

You might also notice I've added Nathaniel's new blog, psychopompous, to the sidebar as well. He has promised to be extremely irregular in his updates, but it's nice to see him finally join the blogosphere.
I've also added a link to the Lines 07 blog I created for the UK summer school I just did. It's got a lot of useful 'how-to' pages on it, if you want to know how to do things with blogger or other programs we used. All written out in easy step-step guides designed for teenagers who aren't entirely fluent in English.
And in other news, I think I've found my campervan. I'll get it inspected tomorrow, just to check it's not going to be a complete lemon, and then hand over the cash and deal with the paperwork. And then leave. Possibly tomorrow afternoon. Heading south. In a car the same age as me. With a working fridge, stove, sink and TWO double beds. Just in case I want to have a slumber party...

Monday, August 13

Another typical day in Vancouver

So I don't think I'm exactly doing the typical tourist thing in Vancouver, but I'm finding lots of interesting things. I know a great vegetarian/Vegan restaurant on Commercial Drive, I know where to go for a $2.95 breakfast, I know the location of about half the alternative queer sharehouses in the city (and the names of a a whole lot more) and run into people I vaguely know at least once a day. And all after less than a week! Ok, so it's the post-queeruption week when everyone from out of town is still hanging around the few places that we out-of-towners know, but still, it's a nice feeling. I'm not going to get sucked in, though. I Will Go To Montreal!

Yesterday was a rest day - probably my first in about 2 months, I think. I only left the house for about half an hour in the evening to have a turn around the lake. I spent the rest of the day either asleep or on the internet, or sorting things on my computer when someone else wanted the internet cable. It was great. And then today, I saw two vans, that are parked near here - one was a milk truck with solar panels, which was kind of cool and quirky, but rather huge and in need of quite a bit of work to make it livable. I wandered past another one parked just two blocks from here, but the guy wasn't answering his phone, so I didn't get to see inside properly. It looked really nice though, and I have made an appointment to see it tomorrow afternoon, and maybe test drive it. It's very promising. I also have an appointment to see an even better looking and cheaper one in Langley tomorrow evening. Unfortunately Langley is about an hour away, so I'm hoping it's worth it. I want to see if I can line up one or two more to see out that way, as there seem to be several. I'm really hoping that one of the two I already have appointments for will be good though, cos then I can just buy it tomorrow and hopefully be ready to leave vancouver in the next few days. Tobi and Micha - the guys I know from Berlin with whom I have been hanging out all week, leave for Seattle tomorrow morning. I was hoping to be able to drive them, but it wasn't to be. If I can sort out a van in time, however, I will see if I can catch up!

The other thing I have to think about seriously is work. I worked out today that I have been working pretty much solidly since september last year, with only a couple of weeks holiday over christmas, and a couple of weeks in which I didn't work, but travelled instead, which isn't exactly restful, though fun. While I'm glad of this, as it is the reason I can afford to buy a van and consider not working for a while, I am sort of feeling like I'm not in a great hurry to race over to Montreal and work. I would rather take my time getting there, use the network of Queeruption friends I have developed all over north america, and live and travel in my hypothetical van for a while. I mean, how often will I have the time and opportunity to discover a new country this way! I want to see as much as I can - of Canada and bits of the USA while I can. And then when I get Montreal, I know I will find work, even if it isn't the best work that is there.

Apart from seeing the vans, I also went to a festival today. Under the Volcano an alternative musical festival accompanied by an info fair that has been running for 17 years. I saw three acts while I was there, and loved all three of them, particularly NaR, whose cd I purchased, and Pura Fe. I also got a festival t-shirt, as I accidentally left three t-shirts at Queenswood in the UK, and the cleaners there aparently took no lost property, but just tossed EVERYTHING into the bin. So I'm on the look out for cool and/or cheap t-shirts.
All in all, it's been another seriously successful day!

Friday, August 10

Oh? Canada?

Wow. Well. So much has happened in the last week, I'm at a loss as to how to start, and I don't have time right now anyway, as it's 2.30 in the morning and I have to get up tomorrow to either climb a mountain (Grouse!) or buy a car - I haven't decided yet.
Leaving the UK was sudden and stressful, Queeruption 10 was a phenomenal 4 days (was it only 4 days? Others got 7 days, but I arrived late - it still felt like much longer!) of freedom, workshops, radical politics and vegan food out in the woods outside Vancouver, having a hot shower afterwards was quite amazing, and now I'm trying to buy a van to live and travel in for the next few months. I'm staying in a house called 'The Library' along with what seems like dozens of others, which is fun (queeruption continues!) but I'm really looking forward to having my own space and vehicle. Plans then include seattle, portland, maybe even San Fran while people I know are still floating around these places, then I have some crazy idea about driving up to the yukon, and then heading east to Montreal. I really should start looking for a job there. Ah well, Car first, Job later...
I have a dozen blog posts floating about in my head, so I hope I have time to write them soon, before I forget. No time now - I have to be up in about 6 hours, if I want to achieve things!