5.00 a child climbs out of bed with a thunk, turns the light on and goes to the loo before clambering back in to bed

6.30 wake up, check time, decide to sleep for another half hour

7.15 wake up, go on Facebook, read emails, read book

8.15 open skylight blind and decide what sort of weather it’ll be

8.30 berate family for still being in bed (whilst being secretly happy that I’ve had over an hour of uninterrupted Facebook/reading time)

9.00 everyone up and dressed – one person handing out everyone’s clothes as there’s no room for us all to be up and choosing. Kids get dressed in their bunk beds, I pick up a tshirt…have I worn this for 3 or 4 days? I give it a sniff and decide it can last another day

9.15 dismantle our bed so that we have somewhere to sit to eat breakfast, sometimes this goes smoothly and sometimes it requires violence. Trip over someone’s shoe

9.25 eat breakfast – hope the fridge was working well overnight so that the milk isn’t lumpy (eat dry cereal)

9.45 kids do their morning jobs – teeth, hair, doodlemaths. Adults also get ready…in a shift pattern as we can’t all brush teeth at the same time

10.00 if non travel day then decide to go for an explore. If it’s a travel day we’ll pack up the van (including locking the toilet closed, tying up the wire boxes, securing the pantry cupboard door, turning off the gas and connecting the rear lights) and spend the next couple of hours driving.

10.05 discuss with kids why we’re going out instead of sitting in the van all day. Highlight points such as fitness, the point of travelling and how small the van is

10.15 go for walk. Watch kids loving nature. Running up and down lanes, pointing out birds and butterflies. Discussing how rods and cones work in the eye. Listening to Soph randomly quoting from books “Remember when Fred and George said ‘we won’t forget our names I’m Ged and he’s Forge’ that was funny” cue hysterical laughter.

11.30 get back to van. Kids play outside with craft or sylvanians. Parents read and discuss potential activities/destinations

12.30 start making lunch. Usually sandwiches of some sort, occasionally leftovers.

12.45 if weather is nice get out picnic bench and table and sit outside, if not then sit in van for lunch. Trip over someone’s shoe

1.15 chill out after lunch, read, play. Sweep sand from van floor

1.45 decide to walk or bike ride in the opposite direction to this morning’s walk.

1.50 discuss with kids why we’re going out instead of sitting in the van all day. Highlight points such as fitness, the point of travelling, how small the van is and how they enjoyed this morning’s walk

1.55 search for child’s lost shoe

2.00 enjoy a walk, learn how to make a sound through grass and your thumb. Regret teaching the children how to make a sound using a piece of grass and their thumb. Play a memory shopping list game and start to become concerned about husbands memory skills. Consider googling symptoms

3.50 return to van. Do some craft, play, read, listen to Ted talk, google potential holiday destinations, discuss direction of travel for the next day and research some potential Aires. Sweep sand from van floor. Wash up. Empty grey water into the drain

6.00 Start dinner – this is all George. Create masterpiece that would definitely win Masterchef using just 2 gas burners and a foot of kitchen workspace.

6.05 Trip over someone’s shoe

6.45 Kids write in their journals about what we did today. Sometimes these can be really insightful and it’s lovely to hear what they’ve enjoyed or picked up during the day. Sometimes they go “Drove to new aire, went on a walk to nowhere, had dinner, went to bed” which is not quite what I imagined when we talked about having travel journals, question the point of this trip

7.00 eat dinner, complain about the children’s elbows. Eat yoghurt based dessert

7.45 send kids out of van to find a recycling bin, wash up. Sweep sand from floor, trip over someone’s shoe

8.00 get kids ready for bed – whilst they brush teeth etc I will read aloud to them.

8.30 kids asleep – well, in bed. Decide I am sick of walking around on a grainy floor, sweep sand from floor of van. Read or play cards

9.00 Make bed as it’s the most comfortable place to sit. Choice of reading or watching movie (with headphones).

10.00 Sleep

This is an example of a general day in the van. We have the added excitement of George emptying the loo every two days, going shopping every third day, filling the water tank every four, having a shower when we’re at an aire with that facility and washing clothes every two weeks.

Everyday is different as it depends where we are as to what activities we can undertake but the above is a reasonable assimilation of our daily routine.