Getting ready to go home after being in my ‘happy place’ starts on our last night. I get that sickening feeling that I used to get as a child on a Sunday night when your mum calls you in from playing out and tells you that after tea it’s bath and bed, school tomorrow. I’m like that on our last night in the ‘van. Tea goes on the table and it almost triggers reality. I start thinking about what I have to do when we get back, work, shopping, and endless other tasks. Things I don’t think about whilst we are away.
Pots cleared away, one last evening, quick read of the book, cheeky glass of something for one last time. Chatting about the past few days, time for bed. Reluctantly I climb in. I love my bed but going to bed feels like it will bring going home nearer. I lie there thinking ‘this time tomorrow I’ll be at home in bed.’ I don’t want to be at home in bed. I want to be in my caravan bed.
The morning comes too quickly, I try to keep my eyes closed for as long as possible, trying to savour every last moment. One last breakfast. One last walk to the shower block. One last lot of pots to wash. One last cup of tea, go on then I’ll have another. Minutes tick by quickly, got to be off site by noon. Best get a wriggle on.
Cupboards are emptied. Pots, pans, bits and pieces all safely stored beneath the seating. Quick run round with a cloth, wiping everything down. Waste water emptied. One last walk to the chemical disposal. A chat to the neighbours just to slow things down, yes we are off today, yes, we have to go back as we have the dreaded four letter word tomorrow, w**k. Aqua roll and waste master stored in their bags. Electric cable disconnected and wound up.
Bits and pieces to go home are all bagged and ready to go in the car. Putting things back into the car signals that home is imminent. Real life is around the corner.
Finally the legs go up, the Volvo reverses slowly into position, clunk, we’re connected, breakaway cable, electrics and check the lights. I hate this bit. One last look around the site.
Another chat to passers by, who just happen to say “Are you off then?” Does it look like I’m staying! I’m not happy that we’ve got to go. Don’t rub it in by telling me that you’ve another week to do here and then you’re off on you’re way to Scotland touring. I don’t want to hear it. Why can’t we retire earlier? A wave to the wardens, barrier key dropped in the box. The barrier lifts. Time for home. Back to reality.