Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Sometimes, things do not go to plan

So we had A Plan.  But then, Management and I usually have A Plan however nearly ten years at Bag End has taught us that P-L-A-N is a four letter word which really means "an outline intention of how things might be, but don't bank on it!"

The Plan was for me to tow our caravan to the Club site at Bellingham on Wednesday (last week), with Management following in his car because we cannot fit two adults, a large dog and all the telescope boxes in one vehicle!  We were booked in for an astronomy event which was scheduled to coincide with a dark moon and the Geminids meteor shower.  Decent journey with so little traffic I kept wondering if I had driven into an episode of some zombie apocalypse programme.  No-one else on the lovely B6318 so I was able to slow right down and have a long look at the 'Sycamore gap"  (extreme left of the dashcam shot).

Unusually, up to this point our Plan was working and despite it being bitterly cold (and the caravan heating taking forever to get going due to poor electric supply at the site, thankfully nothing wrong with Rosie the Rimini), we all settled down Wednesday night knowing that the weather forecast was for things to improve.  This was about the point the wheels came off.

It rained.  LOTS.
It was windy.  LOTS.
Despite being secure and level the caravan rocked and rolled about.  LOTS.
As it was pitch dark neither of us could see who was stomping up and down inside the caravan all night.  It wasn't me, it wasn't Management, it definitely was not Daisy who had settled herself on top of my legs ON A SINGLE BED and wasn't moving (clearly neither was I).

Wasn't sleeping either.
Neither was Management.

The footsteps? I reckon it was the Bellingham Ghost, probably a murdered Border Reiver from some long-forgotten battle.   M. says it was just the wind ....

By Thursday morning sleep deprivation meant no-one was feeling good about the planned weekend.  Long story short, we took all the telescope stuff out of my car, settled Daisy on the back seats, and I went home.  Leaving Management behind.

I returned to the site early on Sunday morning, helped Management finish packing up the caravan, hitched her up and towed home.  We'll leave out the details of my having the WORST towing experience of my life, bad enough that by the time I got home I was seriously considering if I would ever tow the caravan again.  The jury is still out ....

Sounds like a wrecked weekend, doesn't it?  On the contrary, both Management and I had a brilliant time!  Daisy and I got three nights at home with a couple of days of uninterrupted pottering, sewing and relaxing.  Management caught up with friends he hasn't seen since Kielder, got to do some proper astronomy, and was able to keep 'stargazing hours' (going to bed at 3.00am) without me bitching about not being able to get to sleep at a decent time (10.00pm!)

Funny how things work out?


  1. Best laid plans and all that :( I wasn't expecting you to say you had a brilliant time after all that, but hooray :)

  2. Thanks Eileen. Unexpectedly it all turned out much better than if we'd stuck to the original plan - so we both had a good time and learned a few things too :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Kate, funny indeed. I felt guilty that I was “abandoning” Management, and he felt guilty that he was staying with his mates for grown-up playtime . . . But we both had a much better time than if we’d carried on with Plan A. Very useful learning opportunity :)

  4. Every cloud has a silver lining etc and I'm glad the weekend turned out well for both of you after that first night but I have to ask (and I'm sure there must be a logical explanation) if towing the caravan back was so awful for you couldn't you have swapped places and M towed while you just drove his car back?

    1. Logical question Eunice, but my answer might sound daft. My car is the only one with a towbar. Management has never towed. We keep meaning to get round to him having a practise but it hasn’t happened yet. He has only ever driven my car (an auto) once and didn’t much enjoy it. He has a nippy little sports car which I loath and can barely see the end of the bonnet .. and it cannot be fitted with a towbar because it is too light.

      The answer is to get a towbar fitted to Bill - who is more than heavy enough and powerful enough to tow and both of us like driving her!

      (Oh, and there was no way of predicting that I was going to have such a dreadful drive back .... )

    2. Right, I understand now. I just automatically assumed that M could tow.

      What's not to like about driving an auto? My van's an auto, it's an absolute dream to drive and I love it. I passed my test in a manual but I don't think I'd ever have one, an auto is far easier :)

    3. To you and I, an auto is great, but it is not M's preferred type of driving. Just as he adores his little sporty car but I can barely move it off the drive and certainly do not ant to take it anywhere.


Thank you for leaving comments, I love receiving them; sometimes they are the only way I know I am not talking to myself . . . 😊