“That’ll be £79.02 please, have you stayed with us before?” “Yes, loads of times.” “Have you stayed with us since the world went upside down?”
Well, to say our season this year has been different would be an understatement.
Our arrival on site was different this year, we arrived to an already almost full site. Normally, site is empty and we spend a week or so getting site ready to open and familiarising ourselves with every peg, hedge, toilet and blade of grass. Not this year, our site is open all year so was up and running and in full swing when we arrive. Boom, first day in work, one terminal and 60 arrivals on a cold damp day in March, welcome to Broadway.
Accommodation this year rather than living in the caravan, not a choice we thought we’d ever make. Part of the reason for doing the job we do was to spend time in our happy place, our caravan. For the last two seasons we have loved living in it. This year was going to be different. Little did we know how different it was going to be.
Two weeks into our season and our bookings are dropping off like flies. The news is full of panic buying toilet roll and impending lockdown. We get the email, site is to close, we thought for a couple of weeks at the most. Three months later, nicely tanned, well rested and a good few stone lighter, we are running at full speed trying to move house and get site open for the 4th of July.
Happy campers returned with smiley faces and sparkly vans. Life then was a blur of Perspex screens, hand sanitiser, face masks, standing 2 metres apart and bands in the buckets for the loos. We worked tirelessly through these strange times, trying to laugh instead of crying. We cleaned and cleaned again, touch points are everywhere. You don’t actually realise how many things people touch until you have to go around spot cleaning bin lids, taps, railings door handles, doors and so the list goes on, multiple times a day.
“Will pubs require booking?” and “Why are the buses running as and when they please?” … our life became a constant stream of questions we couldn’t answer.
We met some fantastic people and some very grumpy ones too. In hindsight as I type we are in lockdown 2, I wish I’d been able to tell the grumps to enjoy their time away, they were on holiday. Something not looking likely for us this winter.
We cycled loops around the Cotswolds, not wanting to get off and explore villages as normally we would. They thronged with people, people we weren’t keen on rubbing shoulders with in the current climate. So we saw very little of our new surrounding areas, we tried only one or two of the pubs and non of the tea rooms, we didn’t wander slowly round the independent shops taking in their wares, the world was just too uncomfortably busy for us.
As early November approached once again we started to see our bookings fall away, the odd stalwart booking last minute for a snatched break as yet another lockdown loomed over us, threatening to close sites once more.
After living in accommodation, we manoeuvred our caravan onto a pitch and moved in.
All our spare time spent scrubbing and sanitising our two bedroom little park home for the winter wardens who would be taking over from us. The last few days flew by in a haze of wind, leaves and rain. My curls drooped under ear defenders and rain drops. My boots started to let in water. The temperature dropped and the clocks went back. Cold, dark mornings and colder, dark evenings. We had our first morning frost forcing us to pull our fleeces around us that bit tighter whilst wearing shorts. Still we smiled and greeted our arrivals with the same cheery welcome, surprising how many were still on site this time, right to the death as Boris declared lockdown 2.
Our final day and we are up and about early. Handing our keys back, dropping them into sterilising solution before we left the office for one last time this season. Everything packed away. Car full, cupboards emptied. Time for one final walk around my lockdown garden. The wind has dropped, site is looking good. Sad to be leaving but lockdown in winter months will be a different ball game to our lockdown experience.
Hooked up, a cheery wave as the barrier lifts and closes behind us on the season of 2020.