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Friday, 26 April 2019

Another Ending?

Looking back with the advantage of hindsight, it seems we have always had a love for leisure vehicles of one sort or another.  Over two decades ago there was a little cabin cruiser on a local canal which we had loads and loads of fun with. However, it stopped being relaxing when Ollie joined our family - a dog who thought he was an otter and a water-based weekend toy were not a good mix. But he did love his swims, bless him.





After a far too long break we ventured into land-based toys with little Herbie. Little being the operative word as we rapidly discovered that our concerns about having a vehicle which was too big to easily manoeuvre meant we had a vehicle which was far too small to be any use.



When my darling Daisy came into our lives it did not take long to realise (a) she really needed familiarity, security, to know where she was and that rented cottages were not going to work and (b) she was turning into a much larger girl than we originally expected and took up a great deal of space. So after a massive amount of thinking, cogitating, researching, we became caravaners. Good grief, neither we nor Jeremy Clarkson ever saw that coming.





We have had two vans and some wonderful little holidays but things change. The caravans had two main purposes - astronomy and girlie holidays. Management has been rained off/snowed off/blown over at so many Kielder Starcamps that he’s now had enough. He prefers the little events at Bellingham and other locations which do, at least, have a mobile phone/internet signal for all the times when it is too wet/snowy/windy to do any astronomy (which sadly seems to be most of the time). I’m pretty much “astronomy-ed out” and Bill is quite large enough for him to do a solo trip.

Very, very occasionally the weather at Kielder took everyone by surprise:



More often, it did not:



And the girlie holidays are no more. Without Daisy, when I travel alone I really do not need the extra space a caravan provides, and going away in Bill is a much simpler exercise.

So, not only are we no longer dog owners, but we are no longer caravan owners.



I cannot pretend otherwise - it did make me sad to see the van pull away for the last time. We had some fun trips and it was hugely empowering to learn new skills and be able to manage it all on my own.  But we are not using the caravan often enough to justify keeping her, so this is the right thing to do.  I got all in a tizzy about the money side of things until I realised that what we have lost in depreciation is actually less than it would have cost to rent decent cottages for the same holidays.  So in the great scheme of things, we haven’t “lost” any money at all.  And then for kicks & grins I went and looked up what it would cost to spend a couple of weeks at a decent yoga retreat in India . . . Holy Hollyhocks . . . the caravan has been an absolute flippin' bargain!

At least there’s more space on the drive. If I could find the motivation to move that blasted pile of bark chip we might even look tidy - that would be a shock for the neighbours.  And I guess I now need to get on eBay to see if I can sell some of the accessories which caravanning seems to require, and motorhoming does not - I need to find someone who needs a barely used awning, levelling cushion, aquaroll and goodness knows what else.









18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Definitely not Sue. It's fun, but not fun enough, if you know what I mean?

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  2. Well, with all the changes being thrust at you at the moment, no wonder you'd been feeling out of sorts lately. Let's see where the next chapters takes you. Have a lovely weekend, take care & huggles.

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    1. Thanks Susan, I know you understand. And thank you for your lovely email this morning, will reply later. xx

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  3. Dear Jayne
    I agree with Susan's comments - so many changes in a short time. Still, gradually, things will improve, I am sure. (I am a bit of a hoarder and have got to start getting rid of 25 years' worth of stuff. That's not going to be fun...)
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Thank you Ellie, you are right, there is also the stuff which doesn't get aired on the blog . . .

      Good luck with your big sort out - baby steps, baby steps, just chip away at it.

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  4. It is always difficult to let go, especially of something which holds some wonderful memories. X

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    1. Thanks Jules. We did contemplate just leaving the van on the drive but deep down I know this is better. x

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  5. Sad to see the caravan go when you've had some good times in it and made lovely memories, but surely better to free up some space on your drive if you no longer use it. My little caravan was old but P and I refurbished it inside and out and I loved it, but ending up on my own and being unable to tow meant it was a sad day when I had to give it up. I often wonder what became of it but it's no use dwelling on the past - I have my tent and the van and camping makes me happy :)

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    1. Thanks Eunice, I know it was the sensible thing to do, but still sad.

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  6. It is hard to let things go that hold so many memories but you somehow know when the time is right. My neighbours have had to sell their caravan/mobile home which they had in North Wales as both have suddenly become much less mobile than they were and it is high up in the woods, under trees and close to a stream. It's the end of an era for them. I hope you can sell all the additions on eBay:)

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    1. Thank you Rosie, definitely part of an era ending for us, because the caravans were so closely tied to our life with Daisy.

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  7. You are turning another page and it's not the easiest moment of all. I hope that the fine season will grace you with happier projects, Jane. Take care, and all my best wishes! Sandrine

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    1. Bless you Sandrine, you understand exactly. thanks. xx

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  8. Over time, many things change.... Just have to move on, when it's logical. And remember the fun. Always remember the fun.

    For years, every autumn, we drove over to Cape Cod, stayed in old fashioned B&B's, and enjoyed the ocean and the food. But his eyesight failed, and neither of us drive big roads anymore. So... No more delightful trips.

    But we have the memories...

    ✨ πŸ₯ ✨

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    1. I don't have a problem with things changing, that's normal. But Daisy's needs were a deciding factor in us having a caravan, so this is a particularly sad change.

      I am sorry you cannot do your trips any more, I have heard Cape Cod is a lovely area.

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  9. A really interesting post - a whole expanse of life described according to what kinds of holidays you have / what kinds of vehicles. It reminds me of the book 'A Man Called Ove' by Fredrik Backman in which a man's life is described according to what kind of car he drove. Whether someone has a small car or large, a campervan or caravan doesn't necessarily appear important but such physical facts can be like big noticeboards explaining where we are in our lives and relationships.

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    1. Thank you Lucy, welcome to Bag End :-) What a lovely and insightful comment. Of course, it does not cover the times in our lives when we've not had a "leisure vehicle" but had lots of holidays and outdoor activities.

      You are right though, a big white converted delivery van does broadcast something of a message πŸ˜€

      Suspect that message differs depending upon the viewer . . .

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