February has arrived. It's that month when you start to feel that Christmas is really behind us now. Time to start thinking about the summer and where to go on holiday. Fed up of the short, cold, days we dream of the sun on our face and sand between our toes...
A few years ago I decided to buy a caravan, a static caravan in a field, off grid, back to basics, at one with nature. This was going to be all our holidays from now on, weekends, bank holidays, you name it we would be there. The first night we slept there I was awake all night.
"Oh My God! We are in a caravan at the bottom of a field in the middle of nowhere!"
"Oh My God, what if one of us needs an ambulance in the night, it's so dark out there, they'll never find us!!!" (If you've read my other posts this whole needing the police, or an ambulance, during the night is a recurring theme).
I got out of bed to check my purse for the piece of paper with the address of where we were, and placed it next to my mobile phone. Suddenly the thought of that dark, star filled sky lost all of its romantic appeal. My imagination went into overdrive as I pictured masked invaders smashing through the door. Wouldn't be hard, that flimsy coffin I was suffocating in was a pushover!
"What time does it get light?" I blubbered.
The next morning I sat outside in the sunshine, fag in one hand, tea in the other, my chin down to my feet. I finally plucked up the courage to say that I couldn't possibly EVER sleep in that caravan again. Needless to say, after spending two grand on that hellhole, my pleas fell on very deaf ears as Mr Happy positioned himself, eyes closed and face up towards the sun, the corner of his mouth twitching slightly as he became heady with pleasure.
A few alcohol induced comas helped me through the nights on that first trip as we got stuck in to 'rebuilding' the interior. I might add at this point Mr Happy did advise me against buying the caravan. I have tried to curb my impulses since. Once we had everything looking just the way I had imagined, transforming a 1980's static into a vintage delight (as long as you were only looking at the inside) I started to feel more comfortable. We bought a solar panel that charged two batteries and a 12 volt television. I was a green wellied water collector that didn't brave the shower block until the smell got so bad Mr Happy had to start spraying me with Mr Sheen. As dusk swept across the field we would watch the bats do their evening dance around our heads and we felt we could live like that forever. Yes, I did at times suggest it would be the greatest way to live (curbed that impulse).
I became so 'relaxed' about it all that one Friday I decided to drive down to the caravan ahead of Mr Happy. I would fetch the water in, open the curtains and windows and prepare for his evening arrival. I felt amazing, so grown up and independent (I HATE driving with a passion - see travelling with anxiety). I drove my car across the field down to the caravan to avoid running the gauntlet of rabid dogs, and would move it when I had a dog handling expert at my side later on (weren't supposed to have cars at the vans).
Once the curtains were drawn I spied a man I hadn't seen before staring across at me.
"Oh Shit. I'm in a caravan all alone at the bottom of a field with no one around to hear my screams!"
"Shit, shit, shit!"
I jumped in the car, left it in the car park and started walking to the nearest village. I didn't drive, as like I said, I hate driving and I'd done my bit for the day. I was wearing new sandals. Oh my poor feet. I jumped (more jumping, mainly out of my skin) on a bus and headed into Rye. Once I'd exhausted the shops I went on a pub crawl, intermittently phoning Mr Happy to explain my dilemma and beg him to arrive soon. I ended up back in the village, and headed inside the pub to wait for him. During the three hours I waited for him I was sexually harassed by the local drunk who wanted to take me back to his caravan for a bit of How's Your Father. After he had smoked his fifth joint I had no concerns about being able to fight him off.
This is merely a snapshot of an adventure that spanned two years. Yes, I endured it for two years. The highs outweighed the lows and I learned a lot about myself. All bad. Look out for Carry On Camping - Didn't I Learn Anything From Caravanning!?