We knew October and November will be hectic. There were weeks without free days, nights with too few hours of sleep. We keep telling to each other that next year will be easier. We have actually booked some weeks for vacation during to the tour! Life will be simplifier because we concentrate only to the tour.
Farewells on Stage
During this year, in addition to board game business, I was directing several art groups. Within a month there have been a final show of a historical theater play, premiere of a short film and performance of my recitation group. Every now and then I have been on stage with my own show of bawdy Finnish folk poems.
I thought everybody knew about the tour because I had told about it in Facebook and on this blog. But it was only after the local newspaper wrote about our short film and told “there will be a break because the director is travelling next year” that everybody started to talk about it. “So where are you going?” I get asked at the supermarket, in the post office and by the guy who is emptying our cesspool.
I know I’m going to miss directing other people. The moments of perception and understanding, analyzing impressions and emotions, working together towards unforgettable experiences. It is good to have some time with myself though. Hopefully I will get some inspiration for new performances. I have packed my collection of Finnish folk poems, English translation of old Finnish spells and Shakespeare’s Hamlet in original language. Yes, I have an idea, and I hope the month in UK will help me with that...
Before Polar Night
One major problem of the tour got solved when we finally found the car for towing. We decided to leave Lump at home. Instead we bought VW Multivan, with four-wheel drive and manual gears, 2,5 litre engine and 5 cylinders. (Everything I didn’t want to know about cars, but have been forced to learn). One main reason for this choice was “if it breaks, spare parts are easily available”. So it is a reasonable choice. I also like the interior of the Multivan. It’s designed for long rides. Good chairs, plenty of room for legs and a lot of pockets and places for cups, papers, napkins, solar glasses and chocolate bars. One does not get claustrophobic in that.
Also the solar panels are finally installed to the caravan. Just in time before the polar night begins. So I have no idea when and where we will have enough sunshine to actually test the system. But I’m convinced it will work. We got the panels and instructions from our dear friend Janne “The Ice Carousel” Käpylehto. He’s a jolly good propeller head, specialized to renewable energy solutions and innovations that makes life enjoyable.
In a project this vast, the amount of minor details gets enormous. And it’s the minor details that gives you a headache. Booking a booth to ten different conventions is not a problem. But because they all have a different setup for what’s included in the booth, it takes days to make sure you have walls, carpets and electricity in all places. Every fair center has also its own regulations. I was a bit surprised when receiving a kind remind from a french fair center that “safety shoes are mandatory during the setup and dismantling”. During setup I need to hook a three meter wide canvas - weighs like 200 grams - and open up the handy sales desk case. Hazardous business, so I MUST have safety shoes. Mother-in-law promised to loan her pair of safety shoes for our tour. Thou shall not mess with safety regulations!
The idea of having a mobile home for the tour seemed handy. We could stay overnight where ever we like. Europe is filled with nice camping areas. Except that they are not open during the winter… February and March will be interesting. I know we can manage in the caravan where ever we can park it. But will the caravan manage where ever it’s parked while we are at the conventions? There is no point to worry beforehand. All I can do is to get good insurances.
Which leads to another “minor detail”. We have had continuous travel insurances for years. One could assume “continuous” means that it’s valid all the time. But in the small print you find out the maximum length for one trip is three months. A minor problem if you are not coming home for a year. I quoted for travel insurance for a whole year. Price tag had four digits. Per person. I have two months time to find a reasonable solution. I need chocolate!
Our son liked the Multivan, because it has a table at the back. “I can do my homework here!” We can be proud of a son who actually likes studying and understands he has to do that also while we are on the road. With the school everything has worked out fine. Our son will do home schooling. He will get some tests from the school twice during the semester. We have his schoolbooks and each teacher will think about some special tasks.
It’s surprisingly the non-theoretical subjects that requires more planning. We must have sports every week. This will be useful for mum and dad, too. For art lessons he has his drawing equipments and he’s prepared to visit art museums with me. For hand crafts I have packed material for needlepoint and other embroidery.
This year he will start his Christmas holiday a bit earlier. We will visit our relatives and friends in southern Finland. They will get this year second hand presents, as we are trying to get rid of extra items. Each wrapped up with love and kind thoughts. It’s time for celebration and farewells.