A few days ago Ad and I had a rare night away without the kids – who aren’t really kids any more to be honest. Given that Abbie is about to leave home for University, we decided they were old enough to fend for themselves for a night. Gulp. “Mum panic” consumed me as soon as we’d decided to do it. We didn’t go far; we’re lucky enough to live about 45 minutes from the Malvern Hills, one of our happy places, and that was far enough to go when leaving the kids home alone overnight for the first time. As an aside, I didn’t sleep well, despite the hotel bed bring one of the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in. I have a mind that catastrophises at the drop of a hat so woke frequently worrying that the house was on fire or the gas had been left on! #mumpanic
We walked for miles across the hills in unexpected, glorious sunshine. We don’t often get downtime together, our jobs are full on and our preference is always to spend free time as a family with the kids. But it felt good to have some “us” time and we talked a lot that day. And now I’m thinking it may well end up being one of the days that you can pinpoint as a moment in time when something shifts, the equilibrium changes and the “story” turns. Because as we walked up Perseverance Hill we decided to try and turn Ad’s completely crazy and inexplicable passion for building camping pods into a small (or even tiny!) business. Poddy McPodface gets a lot of attention when the boys go away for a weekend (there’s obviously a bit of a meeting of mad minds at some of the rallies and race meets they go to) and many have asked about buying or hiring. So we think there might just be a (small and niche!) market out there that we could tap into. Don’t get me wrong, this is never going to be a huge money spinner and it’s definitely not about giving up the day job. It’s more about indulging Ad and enabling his hobby to be something sustainable for the longer term. After all there’s only so many pods he can build for our little family of 4 – and only so many pods we can afford to fund without recouping the expense. So the hope is build + hire + sell = funding of the next build + happy husband. It’s a simple formula really 😀
And so The Pod Project was born. The current plan is sketchy and vague right now (and definitely subject to change) but might look something like this:
- Sell Poddy McPodface – This is a bit sad because he’s well used and the main part of many happy memories. My boys have loved their camping weekends: race meetings, riverside camping, classic car rallies to name a few. But he’s not a perfect pod and there have been many lessons learnt from the build.
2. Finish Pod Mark 2 – The build is going well and we’re nearly there. Lessons learnt on the first build have been applied to Mark 2. Once it is useable Poddy McPodface will be sold.
3. Build Pod the Third – materials are already being sourced.
We’ve set up a facebook group for anyone who wants to watch this madness unfold – or die a quick death! Admittedly it’s a bit “niche” so not many of you will want to join it but it does save Ad from boring everyone on his personal profile with his pod building antics. There’s not much on there yet but we’ll get some content up soon. https://www.facebook.com/groups/331597317457870/?ref=share
And my role in all this….the long suffering wife!! Actually, this time, I’m on board with this craziness because this means Ad can carry on enjoying his hobby without me having to remind him that we can’t afford it. In fact I think this was probably my idea – monetise the hobby!
I may well regret this madness. Wish me luck!