Shopping in the snow: about us and what this is all about!!

One Family, One Year, No Car…

OK – perhaps this is no big deal, but it’s a change for us!

Our family is myself and my two daughters.  We  have lived in Brussels for 4 years and have just [APRIL 2010] moved back to the UK – to Edinburgh. I have had a car since 1988, and we occasionally we had two.  But it struck me living in Brussels that we were using our car less and less and it was costing me more and more.  Also, IF I could get my lovely daughters out of the house on foot/bike, we nearly always had fun!  The seminal moment was when there was 10 inches of snow in Brussels and we walked to the supermarket with rucksacks.  It was such fun…maybe we should ditch the car?

So coming to Edinburgh we decided to give it a go.  Edinburgh is a compact City with ace public transport (buses) and even a car club. If you can’t do it here, you never will.  I have a profesional inerest in travel and have often spoken about car use and car reduction – time to stop talking and act……

This site is not deliberately designed to annoy and embarrass my children (teen daughters – it’s impossible not to embarrass!) – it’s just to record the year and our thoughts as we focus on no car – let’s see how we get on…….

[2014]……AND NOW TIME HAS PASSED AND it’s over four years since we owned a car.  This site has really become a note as to what I hve learned more about integrated transport and future mobilty by living car free.

The Devil and the Angel is in the detail.  Living car free has sporned a 1000+ ideas about how the real problems we have faced can be addressed to help make lives easier  - maybe encouraging a new mobilty culture.

And we’ve had imense fun!

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jean-louis&Isabelle&manon
    Jun 12, 2010 @ 16:19:40

    Sorry we are so late to react,but I’m happy to see that some of your dearest welcomed you at your arrival in Edinburgh.Your time here in Brussels was too short
    and,like most of the time,we are aware of that when peole are gone.
    Anyway Steve, you did it so well here with Maddy &Tess.
    We will,I hope,keep the contact.All the best for all 3 in your homecountry.


  2. Steve
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 14:43:33

    Hi there

    Thanks for message – we were sad to leave but seem to be settling ok! We had such happy times in Brussels – and our neighbours at no 15 can’t be beaten!!! Thanks for al the help, especially when we left. We couldn’t have done it without you
    See you soon – in Edinburgh??

  3. Stefan, Dora and Stefania
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 21:04:36

    Heeeeeloh – this is EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL calling. We were just exploring your webpage. Interesting and fun. Great adventure ahead of you. It must be a certain sense of freedom to live without a car in this world preoccupied with cars. We are shameless of course, having an SUV. Talking of which….we are on our way Saturday 3rd July from Brussels, to Zebrugge, with a ferry to Hull, onwards to Edinburgh on our way to Aberdeen…..we should be in the “greater” Edinburgh area around three in the afternoon….and we were wondering whether the would be around to meet with the around that time, if of course you are in the “greater” Edinburgh area…..
    Hope to see you.
    Stefan, Dora and Stefania

  4. Steve
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 22:29:55

    Hey there

    Nice to hear from SUV Family!! Pretty sure we are around – there’s a couple of things which need to be sorted, but pretty certain. Would be lovely to see you!
    Steve, Tess and Madster

  5. Paris
    Jan 04, 2011 @ 12:57:03

    Hi Steve,

    Love the blog so far! I’ve had a read of the latest posts, and skimmed through the rest to get an idea of ‘the story so far’… you’re very generous with your readers in terms of multimedia, I know some professional bloggers who shall remain nameless that don’t offer as much video content. If ever your camera packs up again, you should give audioboo a try – also very easy to embed. I feel galvanised to show more commitment to my own offerings…

    One episode I can relate to – when I was still at ISB, me and ‘the guys’ would issue an annual ‘Mom of the Year’ award/proclamation to whoever had most consistently offered to drive into the centre of Brussels at 1am and pick up & drive home whatever half cut teenagers had turned up at the rendezvous point. It was almost always Mrs Hobbs, who had a ‘Mum’s Taxi’ sign in the window of her minivan (one of two cars in the family…) She even brought water and a bucket. I’m sure you’re gutted to be missing out on all this.

    Anyway, as promised, here’s the link to OpenFile Toronto ( where one of the more recent posts is on the plight of pedestrians in the city centre ( – lots of other good transit stuff, too. They’re active in a number of Canadian cities, and have just announced that the latest expansion is going to take in Montreal (exciting for me too, as they’re hiring…)

    Also, the artists’ collective in Leith I mentioned to Tess is Rhubaba ( I know a couple of the people involved in setting it up, some of whom are still at art college in Edinburgh, and I’d be happy to put her in touch if she wants to chat to someone about her options/choices in the next few years.

    Hope your holiday trips were car- and stress-free, drop me an email sometime – Cheers, Paris

  6. Steve
    Jan 24, 2011 @ 20:12:48

    Hey Paris – was great to see you both at Christmas. Love the note about Mom of the Year – brilliant. And even a bucket and water…. I am impressed. The Mrs Hobbs Award should live on…Perhaps i will award it to someone for something. Watch this space.

    Hope things are good with you – if you fancy a beer and a catch up sometime give me a shout….