The season had ended, we’d abandoned the Pursuit in the storage yard, our caravan time had come to an end. The uniform had been washed and boxed away ready for next season. PPE carefully cleaned and stashed away. All the bits and pieces that had made our caravan home whilst we’d been working on site were packed away in the loft, God knows how we will remember everything next March when we go back to work, let alone remember where we put it all.
I thought being home would be just like it was, how it used to be. In reality, it was different, the house felt huge. The Jellybeans had settled into life in the family home without us quite well. They managed their finances, their shopping and juggled their working lives around each other so that they both knew what each other was doing and when. Then BOOM, Mum’s back. Back with a car load of stuff that doesn’t seem to have a home and needs putting away, but Mum (me) can’t be bothered. I don’t mind falling over the awning in the hall for a couple of days until we get round to finding it a home, they have other ideas. They’ve lived quite neat and tidy lives whilst we’ve been gone and our stuff lying around messes with their heads. They don’t say anything, they don’t have to…
Starting with the few bits of food we brought back I head to the kitchen. We ran supplies right down before we left the New Forest and kept our shopping to bare essentials whilst on holiday at Longleat, but there will always be a few bits that get left. Opening the cupboard, you know the one. We all have one, the cupboard were we store tins, bottles of brown sauce, tea bags and stuff. It’s full, completely full of stuff I’ll never use, porridge packets, nutella and loads of chocolate all destined for their classrooms in a few weeks time. I’m banished to a cupboard in the garage where I place my lonely tin of beans and chopped tomatoes.
Our bedroom remains untouched. It’s still my space, so I fill it. Wardrobes are rammed full of clothes I haven’t worn or even looked at for over eight months, I’ll sort them another day, the charity shop beckons. In the absence of spare coat hangers, I empty our neatly folded clothes out of our bags. The clothes we’ve actually been wearing over the last eight months, find themselves carefully placed on either side of the bed, on the floor. We really do have some sorting out to do. Floordrobes aren’t a good idea when you’re in your fifties.
Climbing into bed that night, I remember how much I love my bed at home and fall asleep instantly. I love my caravan bed too, but it’s different. I’m more aware of outside noises in the caravan, noises on site. Cars driving around at ridiculous o’clock, rain on the roof, although very nice it does disturb me. People packing up to depart site very early in the morning, dogs barking, all add up to a disturbed nights sleep. Here at home, I hear nothing, absolutely nothing and sleep undisturbed until my bladder screams to be relieved. In the caravan, I sleep under the window and have to climb across ‘The Boss’ when nature calls. Habit sees me climbing over him even when we are home and able to walk around the bed, for some strange reason, he didn’t complain.
Sitting at home on my huge, comfy, squashy settees, I feel like I’m wasting time, almost waiting for something to happen. I look around, jobs are never ending, dust continues to land, the garden screams for attention. I don’t want to do any of it. My caravan really does provide a haven of peace and tranquility, even if we’re working. I’m getting itchy feet, the caravan window offers better views than the neighbour’s brick wall … let’s book a trip.