Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

The Bag End blog has become the personal journal/diary of our life in Cumbria and I've spent more than an hour or so over the years thoroughly enjoying looking back at previous posts.  When you live something every day it is easy to forget just how much work we've done on the house and garden, the beauty of a sunrise fades from memory, or the view on a clear day is replaced by more Cumbrian rain and cloud (like today when it's blowing a hooley and we can hardly walk around the garden).  Despite attempts to the contrary, a busy 21st-century life means that the everyday endless photos of Daisy enjoying herself or a glimpse of a favourite plant in bloom are soon forgotten unless I make the effort to record them here.








But it is definitely not the whole and complete story of our lives.  Partly because laundry, cleaning, cooking and the daily minutiae don't generally make good blog-fodder, partly because some things really need to remain private, and partly because - to steal shamelessly from Churchill - history is written by the victors, and whilst I believe that I have never told an outright lie on my blog, I am guilty of having been economical with the truth on occasions.

I deliberately don't record some of the less enjoyable things but I'm not doing so to pretend we have a picture-perfect fairytale life.  Sometimes it's for privacy/self-editing reasons but sometimes it is because once I have committed something to print I have given it form, substance, contributed to its energy.  This could be thought of as an variant on the philosophy of 'creating one's own reality', but mostly it's that I don't want to go back and read about how ill I have felt over the last year/18 months (and I am assuming visitors don't want to read about it either!)  And I definitely don't want to read much about the mistake we made buying a campervan.  Thankfully, that chapter of my life ended today as a dealer from Yorkshire drove Herbie away from Bag End.  So it's time to talk about it.

As I said back in September when we bought the van, Management and I had thought about doing this for years ... and years and years!  I also said it was a 'toe-dipping exercise before we committed to the grown up money that a full-size motorhome would entail'.  So at one level we didn't make a mistake, but it's still been a stressful and upsetting three months.



I mentioned that I've not been well.  Part of that has been the pain of real, physical damage which I've been stupid enough to inflict upon myself by thinking I was Superwoman and doing too much in the garden.  The other part has been reaching a point of mental burnout.  No, I've not had a breakdown or been depressed.  This was pure exhaustion from a year of prepping to move, seven years of endless renovations, losing Ollie in the middle of it, and whatever other stress life chucks into the mixing bowl just for good measure. Part of realising/admitting I was at breaking point and that things had to change included my confessing to Management that occasionally I would love to run away, just with Daisy, for a couple of days of completely selfish peace and quiet.  The campervan was meant to facilitate that need and then later enable trips to Scotland, and also to provide 'bring your own' dog-friendly accommodation so I could go and stay with friends.

Sadly, we realised very quickly that Herbie was too small for Daisy and I to comfortably enjoy a mid-week break (she's not a small dog and takes up a hell of a lot of room when sleeping!), and an impossibility if Management came too.  I also had the unexpected problem of absolutely hating driving the van.  So, we spent further weeks looking at 'grown-up motorhomes' with the intention of using Herbie as a part-exchange.

That was another Great Plan until we eventually admitted to each other that (a) we were not comfortable about what a decent motorhome would cost and (b) whatever sort of m/h we looked at required compromises which one or other of us were not happy about.  We still want to do something and I'll write about that another time, but to bring a much-longer-than-usual set of words to a close, good-bye Herbie, hope you will fit into your next family better than you did in ours.  I am just glad to see the back of you . . .




17 comments:

  1. Oh, Jayne, I'm so glad we are not the only ones to make big mistakes. You must do what you think right at the time, then try something else. We find our small pop-top caravan great and you"d be able to tow one, I'm sure with you beautiful new car. Just a thought. I'll pop you an email some time today. Take care.

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    1. Thank you Susan, got your email. Will reply tomorrow :}

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  2. Hey, if you've never made a mistake then you've never tried anything new. It was an experiment and you did the best thing you could when it didn't work out: move on.

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    1. Cheers Jessica, you are quite right . . . move on and at least we tried.

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  3. Mistakes are learning opportunities, If someone says they don't make them then I don't Believe them.
    As for blog editing - some people find it cathartic to spill out their worries and upsets and others keep them tucked up inside - we are all different, I know my blog is only a one sided view of my life - just the bit I choose to share,

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    1. You're right Sue, there are as many different sorts of blogs as there are people :}

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  4. life is like that, finding a solution and discovering it becomes part of a new problem. You have to go through the rough bits to come out the other side with a clearer idea of what is really important. Sorry to hear it's been painful in all senses of the word at times but today is a new day and all that. Thanks for sharing the process, it's not easy but necessary sometimes to make that final shift. Big hugs from us 3 x (or 6 if you count the cats who also take up a large part of the bed despite being relatively small!)

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    1. Hi Nic, thanks for the very kind words and big giggle. Daisy must be cat-like then - relatively small but takes up way more than her fair share of any sleeping space!

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  5. I'm sorry about Herbie, I thought you'd found the ideal solution for when you come down, so what are your plans now? A tent? If so, remember that the tent pegs will be difficult to stick into our drive!

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    1. Sue, I was thinking that lovely 'green' opposite your house would be ideal for a couple of tents, some windbreak, and maybe a BBQ pi :} But you're right, I need a Plan B and we will be working on that after Christmas.

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  6. Sorry your first foray into camping wasn't a success. However, you've learned lots of valuable lessons on this journey. When the right time comes, they'll serve you well. Meanwhile, dear girl, stop and SMELL those flowers in your yard!!! You won't ever get everything done, there'll always be another chore you could do. There's a line in Out of Africa where someone asks her how she is and the reply, "I am well enough". That's about the best any of us can ask for. HUGS!!

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    1. Hi FFG, you're absolutely right, and it was a learning experience, just not quite the lessons we'd hoped for :}

      "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills . . . The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north. " oh boy, have you stirred up some memories with your very appropriate quote. I have seen that film so many times I almost know the screenplay by heart. Thank you :}

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    2. Me, too!!! That is my all time favorite movie and now I'm reminded to watch it again. Gotta get that DVD player hooked up. I like to watch it when I'm alone. Don't want anybody disturbing me or talking, or generally bothering me during it!

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  7. Oh, how I love reading your blog, Jayne, and I don't make comments often enough. Perhaps that will be a resolution for me in the new year. :)

    I find it interesting to read of your blogging process, and I would venture to say that many bloggers follow your formula. I sure do.

    Owning a camper of any size is not a goal I've ever had. One bad camping experience early in our married life nipped that idea totally! I can envision you camped on Sue's "green" - even though I've never seen it; I expect you two would have a mighty fine party!

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    1. Hi Jayne, always great to hear from you and I am just as guilty of not leaving comments . . .

      Sue might like me camped out the front of her house, not sure some of her neighbours would be quite as amused!

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  8. Takes guts to admit to a mistake ,,, onwards and upwards (or sideways!) Jayne :-) Love the pic of Daisy in the grass :-)

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    1. Thanks Jill. Really appreciate your comment :} Change my car first, then look seriously for an alternative "Wendy House on wheels" :}

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}