Sunday, 31 October 2010

It's life on the open road for me......

Strickly speaking, Toad’s caravan went on maneuvers and so you could argue the one we spent last week in, called a static because it doesn’t go anywhere, misses the point. But despite the fixed location, cold, intimate proximity and delinquent seagulls, spending a week together in a space smaller than our hall, has been more fun than you would have thought. Normal life is overly full of schedules, deadlines, work and hustle with the five of us passing like ships in the night. This week has been about blankets, books, breakers and trips to the pub, together.

Four years ago now we discovered caravan holidays because we wanted to be as close to the surf as possible, as cheaply as we could manage. But even if money was no object (Ha!) I think I’d still fancy roughing it in our little tin box. It’s the perfect antidote to efficient, privileged lives that work well for the most part but whizz by in an exhausting blurr. To be woken by seagulls playing pebble football on the roof, and lunge from a cosy bed into a freezing living space armed with blankets, socks and hot water bottles, is fun. Our ambition in the caravan knows no bounds, we entertain friends, wash and dry our wetsuits and even undertake large-scale art projects as part of the kids school assignments. This week was dominated by our Sam’s population pyramid, built in polystyrene donated by the supermarket and some home made Halloween masks for today’s festivities.

The surf was outstanding and the weather perfect. It was either sunny so we could walk along the coast or hostile and perfect for sport in the surf and hunkering down to watch Miss Marple re-runs. Either way it was all good, clean fun. 

Having got home we are turning Crabapples from the allotment into a jewel like jelly to eat with roasts over the winter. The variety is Dolgo which is red not only on the outside but also on the inside, making wonderful jelly.

Tonight we will join our friends and neighbours, most of whom have young children, starting at the pub or course, for a walk around the streets to blagg sweets and laugh at each other’s effort that range from tokenistic to extravagantly ghoulish. Friends of ours, Caroline Harker, the Mother from The Railway Children and Anthony Carr, of TV series, New Tricks, will generously turn their front door into a theatre that offers the most extraordinary performance that every year reduces hundreds of children to hysterical joy driven screams. Whatever you think of All Hallows Eve, whether you rail against the unwelcome importation of an American festival, or like a bit of dressing up, tonight will be the closest our neighbourhood gets to coming together.   It’s good to ridicule your fears, celebrate your mortality and in these grim times, value your community.

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