Return to Rookesbury… With grown up children

Picture the scene… 10 hour shift just finished. Takeaway eaten. Caravan site booked. Wine opened. Bring on my mid week weekend.
Rewind to 1992. Challenge Anneka did a challenge and made a charity tape, Tommy’s Tape, that really appealed to my little ones musical taste of the time.
Fast forward to 2016 and she is fast approaching 25 and about to go on her first family holiday for a few years, in our caravan with her 20 year old sister. Tommy’s tape is a tape that was played in our old Ford Fiesta many moons ago and was played over and over again, tonight, 24 years later we are ‘streaming’ it from the Internet just to reminisce.

Setting the scene I am hoping that this may help to relive some of our earliest holidays under canvas. We holidayed under canvas until about 10 years ago when we moved south and pay rises meant tropical holidays to foreign climes. Up to present day grown up children have visited the caravan but not been away with us. Up until now this has been our private time, our private space. Bring on the family. I hope they enjoy it as much as we do.

Legs up, hitched up. It’s Tuesday morning and we are taking our grown up daughters on their first caravan adventure to Rookesbury Park. Arriving at lunch time, legs down, inside and outside jobs done time for some lunch. Both girls like me have fitbits and whilst I try to take my step count seriously they are more into it than I am. Caravan time normally means time to relax, especially on our 2 day jaunts as this is recovery from work time. So to get the step count up off into the neighbouring woods for a walk. A fern waved it’s greetings to us as we entered in a quite comical and mechanical way. On a previous walk earlier in the year here this was very muddy, although still muddy in places it had greatly improved.


Rabbits, a young stag, birds and dragonflies all made an appearance before scuttling off into the undergrowth.     Further down the path we spied a beautiful dragonfly appearing to be resting on a particularly spiky bush, (if anyone can help identify this plant I would be extremely grateful), we think it may be gorse. A few photos later and closer inspection, we realised that it wasn’t enjoying the sun it was actually impaled. We dutifully released it from the spiky prison and watched it fly away.

Sitting under the canopy watching the night draw in, Alice, our youngest, fast approaching 21, decided that it would be a good idea to have pizza delivered to the caravan! True to any uni student, she was pretty adept in finding an eaterie that would deliver. A few taps on her phone and it was arranged that the delivery driver would meet us at the entrance to the site. 30 minutes later the table groaned with goodies. I must say we got a substantial amount of food of really good quality for a very reasonable £15. Not something we would normally do and inputting the late night snack into our Fitbits I can see why we don’t do it regularly.

We were up bright and early, the girls tried to sleep in until lunch time. Not easy apparently with a mum that ‘Elefoots around the caravan’ and ‘the wolf next door howling’. Said wolf is in fact a beautiful husky, so very wolf like in appearance and really does howl like a wolf and insists on talking to its humans quite loudly.

Discovered this morning that one of my Twitter followers was on site too. Was good to spend a couple of minutes chatting about what we are up to. It’s always nice being able to put a face to the name.

The afternoon brought a walk up Old Winchester Hill. The girls love to take photos and really enjoyed messing about at the top of the hill. A few year ago we decided that no matter how old we all get we were going to try to have a ‘just the four of us’ family day every year. Today was our family day. It’s nice sometimes to be out and about, chatting and doing things together. Brief stop on the wayback to the site atop Portsdown Hill in Portsmouth. Very busy in the lovely weather but we still managed to grab a bench for a while.



Sitting out chatting with the family on a summer’s evening was perfect. All the hustle and bustle and distractions of every day life gone. The girls agreed that it was a very laid back and relaxing experience. Neither were quite on the same wavelength as us as regards our love of being in our caravan. Non the less it’s an experience that we’ve shared with them and I’m glad we did. It’s been a few years since we went away together as a family and I’m glad we did it.

Morning arrived and with a heavy heart we were forced to pack away. Time to go home, back to distractions, back to work, back to real life. I’m really pleased they came with us and feel that as a family it did us good. Maybe they’ll come again one day, who knows?

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