Getting the caravan out, although we thought it would be easier than getting it in, was no different. Neighbours were recruited, and after much shouting the caravan emerged on a Thursday afternoon and was steered onto the drive of a very obliging neighbour, ready for a quick getaway on Friday evening.
Whizz and I, Mavis (sans friend) and the two dogs, along with games, food, equipment and no awning (we still haven’t bought one) set off to a rather unpreposessing sounding site not too far away. It was in a junction between a busy road and a railway line, and we chose it for it’s proximity and dog friendly publicity material, the idea being to have a dry run before committing to a longer break. When we arrived, happily, it turned out to be like Telly Tubby land: bunnies, herons, wild flowers and fishing lakes surrounded us. The bunnies were a mixed blessing as I will reveal.
We set up ‘camp’ and Mavis and I explored with the dogs on leads. We said hello to a couple of fellow campers with dogs. Nellie strained at her lead imitating an asthmatic in her death throes. The smells and sudden movements of rabbits and birds were just too much for her.
I had been remarkably organised on the food front and we were soon eating chilli con carne or some such thing and supping wine and beer (and coke for Mavis). We watched a film on the laptop and decided to have an early night, just for the fun of it.
During the night the dogs were restless. Milo decided he would be more comfortable underneath our bed and after a good deal of grunting managed to wedge himself into the narrow space. Once in there, every time one of us murmered or snored he wagged his tail and it banged loudly on the floor and the underside of the bed waking us up. Nellie was definitely interested in noises off and kept whining. In the middle of the night, in our naivity, we decided that Milo needed to cock his leg.
Whiz The Intrepid dragged himself out of bed and stood patiently for \milo to perform. Nellie was perturbed to be left inside. Whizz returned and opened the door, upon which Nellie, with the prospect of rabbits and chickens at the forefront of her awareness, dodged between his legs and legged it at speed into the darkness.
Have you ever tried to shout ‘Nellie!’ in a whisper? Silly question. Whizz went outside in his crocs and caravan jim jams for a bit of a search but returned empty leaded. After a prolonged time, perhaps 40 minutes, Nellie re-appeared out of the gloom and was captured in passing. Having dragged her back inside Whizz and I settled back down and managed some more intermittent sleep still punctuated by tail bashing.
The following day Mavis appeared like a Michelin man, in all her clothes. She had been cold in the night and gradually added more layers. After showers and breakfast we found a fab field for giving the dogs a run off the lead. We simply enjoyed being in the fresh air and even Mavis had fun even though we really did very little. In the afternoon we tried to play a game, which Mavis pronounced “Boring” but unfortunately for her, Whizz and I got rather hooked on. It rained. We played on.
That night I blocked up the gap under the bed and we all got a bit more sleep. The next day we went home.
We haven’t put the caravan in its place yet, it’s still over the road. The plan is to chip off some render from the side of the house to make more width. This we will eventually do.