It’s hard to believe that it’s just over two weeks since we drove out of the New Forest Centenary Site for the last time.
After working a solid eight months, we needed a holiday, I needed caravan time. So, instead of heading straight home to our Jellybeans and the cat, we turned the Volvo in the direction of Longleat, Our site for next season, (click here). Eight months without a holiday is the longest we have ever done and boy were we ready to relax. We’ve had the most amazing summer weather to work in, right up until the end of the season it stayed good. Apart from our initiation test of learning to survive the harsh snow and the ‘Beast from the East’, the elements have been kind to us. So in true British style, the minute we get time off and go away, it chucks it down, all week. Not to worry, we stole our moments of dryness to wander round the site and familiarise ourselves in readiness for next season and even found a few dry hours to head into the Safari Park. The weather actually forced us to have some well earned rest and relaxation.
A full eight nights later and the holiday is over, time to head home. Mixed emotions about going home, looking forward to getting hold of the girls again and catching up, but I’m not sure I’m ready to live in bricks and mortar again. The Pursuit has been our home for just over 8 months and I can say that I really have enjoyed living in it. Not once did we find life difficult to adapt to, living in such a small space just suited us. Living and working together was another challenge but I think we knew that we’d find that easy and it was. Having met at work, centuries ago, we knew that part would be fine. As it was, our roles within the job were such that it meant our paths only crossed a few times a day.
The day came where we had to lift the legs one final time and reluctantly tow back to our storage yard. Good storage near us costs an arm and a leg and spaces are as rare as rocking horse poo. We’d decided before going to work on site, that purely to have somewhere local and safe to store the van over winter that we’d continue to pay for storage, even though our space would stand empty for most of the year. With a heavy heart I watched as The Boss reversed it into its spot. It was still raining and the freshly scrubbed and polished caravan was hidden under muck and grime thrown up from the drive back. Legs down and time to lock the door of what I now call my home and go home. I really didn’t want to leave it. It had served us so well that it felt wrong to abandon it in the cold and the rain.
Back at home and the house felt so big, plus just to add insult to injury the boiler decided to give up the ghost. My little caravan had lashings of hot water and was toasty warm, whilst without sunshine even the solar panels weren’t providing hot water for a family of four adults. The house was cold, we were quickly finding jumpers. This is were the caravan saved us. Oil filled radiators that we’d used in the awning provided ample warmth whilst we waited for delivery of the replacement bit that was broken. Hot water was eeked out of the taps when the sun popped its head out from behind the rain clouds and smiled upon our solar panels, we managed. But, still the house felt huge. True to form, once the ‘bit’ arrived, The Boss researched YouTube then fixed it for just a few pounds and normal service was resumed, the house started to warm and we queued for the shower.
With an impending service on the caravan, it needed emptying and scrubbing from top to bottom. Not a fun job in the cold and the wet, bedding removed, eight months of clothes and uniform, our belongings all squeezed into the car to be taken home and washed, sorted and stored until work resumes next season. Bits and pieces that are relevant to caravan holidays were restored and packed in readiness for our next trip away in a few weeks. Promised frost over the next few nights, we drained the water and pulled all cushions away from the walls, fridge wedged open, we were ready for Brian the Caravan Service Man to come and do our annual service. Shiny yellow sticker added to our collection and a clean bill of health. Time to have a quick glance around, check the windows and sky lights and head back to bricks and mortar.
For as much as I say I’ve missed my ‘caravan time,’ it has provided me with a different way of living. A way, that I actually enjoyed. I never once felt cramped or short of space. I never felt like we were living in each other’s pockets. Belongings, we had what we needed and no more. Back in the house I’m surrounded by ‘things,’ belongings we haven’t used in years and are holding onto for whatever reason. Time to be ruthless, I feel the charity shop is going to benefit greatly from my change of lifestyle.