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It was 47.3 degrees centigrade today, which is 117F in old money. Yesterday was pretty hot too. Despite this, I had a very productive weekend taking apart the van’s old kitchen cabinets and building a whole new setup. It’s not finished, but I’m getting there. Here are some pics of the progress I made…

The kitchen now goes across from side to side, with a metho stove (=no gas fitting, so no space needed for a gas cabinet etc) and the water tanks in the cabinet (=so the kitchen is freestanding and doesn’t need to be next to the water tanks, which were previously under the bed).

The middle cupboard door is hinged up, to make a table (I’ve still to figure out and cut the right length of the legs, from dowel). But there’s now space for a table.

Here are my friends Sam and Max modelling just how much space there now is…

And here’s what working on a hot hot hot weekend was like for me…

As well as being this sweaty, the workshop was an oil slick of spilled grease and oil and diesel ALL over the floor, so I (and everyone else) was treading it EVERYWHERE. I fear my rug may be ruined as I didn’t get it up in time. And between the sawdust (from all the jigsawing and drilling I was doing) and the oil, I was FILTHY both days when I got home. Check out my knees (from kneeling in the van itself only, not even on the workshop floor)…

I’ve still got heaps to do:

  • All the plumbing connections incl fitting the (new) sink — because I could get the old one out of the previous kitchen worktop without damaging it, dammit!);
  • Reconnecting the electrics including extending the ones previously running to the kitchen bench and relocating a power socket (this is Andrew’s role; luckily I overpaid him previously so I’ve got some credit there because, honestly, I’m sooo broke right now as a result of re-doing part of the project). There’s also the task of redoing the various switches and indicators that used to be on the upstand;
  • Making storage shelves, a new bulkhead, a slider shelf (a deceptively big job), & (researching/finding the right sizes of) boxes for under the bed — and then figuring out a sensible system for where everything should live;
  • The awning – not just fitting it, but custom making brackets to do so because OF COURSE my roof brackets setup is atypical;
  • The table legs & getting/building a couple of small stools, & working out where to store them;
  • Solving the problem of heat insulating the stove (which sits behind the vinyl passenger seats) — not sure how to do this but probably insulation tape or similar? Mmm.
  • Varnishing (or oiling?) all the raw wood that’s currently making up the kitchen benchtop and the new, narrower and taller benchside-fitting upstand that I built today;
  • Attaching bungee cords to hold the kitchen bin, and figuring out a system – perhaps also using bungee cords- for stopping the storage bins sliding around under the bed;
  • Deciding whether to 1. Chuck the quilt (and if so, create a new divider, or not?) or 2. Revamp/modify the quilt, and if so, how? And if not replacing the quilt or if doing something different instead, also removing the sticky Velcro/glue mess that’s now there (!)
  • Now that the picnic table no longer fits behind the kitchen cabinets, I need to figure out something else for it. Maybe I need to fix a tie down strap for it in front of the bed?
  • The roof also needs lining at some point, but I’m exhausted and it feels too hard for now, I’m almost (98%) over fucking about with plywood. So this job will wait.

But I’m getting there. And it’s only been two (looong, hot) days of work. I’m sore and exhausted but I feel good.

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