We have a caravan! We actually bought it a few months ago but haven’t had the chance to use it yet – but next week we are off – my husband, our daughters, the dog and me – five go off in a caravan!
It’s quite an old caravan, not old enough to be cool, but definitely old enough to need a bit of TLC. So, my youngest daughter and I have been forced to go shopping! This involved buying tablecloths, cups and plates and cushions and everything else we could find that we ‘definitely’ needed – especially anything that’s a bit smaller than usual. We were very pleased to find a small dustpan and brush and a diddy sized teapot. Really, it’s just like playing in a Wendy house!
All this set me off thinking about caravans in children’s books. There are lots and they always sound fantastic fun. The Famous Five famously Went Off, so did Mr Toad:
‘It was indeed very compact and comfortable. Little sleeping bunks— a little table that folded up against the wall— a cooking- stove, lockers, bookshelves, a bird-cage with a bird in it; and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.’ The Wind in the Willows. K.Grahame.
And of course, Danny:
‘I really loved living in that gipsy caravan. I loved it especially in the evenings when I was tucked up in my bunk and my father was telling me stories. The paraffin lamp was turned low, and I could see lumps of wood glowing red-hot in the old stove and it was warm in my bunk in that little room.’ Danny the Champion of the World. R. Dahl
This all sounds like jolly good fun but to be very honest, now it’s time to go we’re a bit scared! I mean, you have to tow caravans places, and then manoeuvre them into even smaller places. I’m happy playing Wendy houses, but I’m not sure I feel grown up enough to be responsible for a house on wheels out on the open road. We’ve always ‘gone off’ in a tent before but last year our lovely, old tent developed a few too many leaks which is why we decided to take the caravan plunge. Actually, given that I’ve booked our first pitch on the side of a lake, perhaps that isn’t a very good way of phrasing it – my usual over-active imagination has already written a story involving a lot of shouting, startled ducks and the scrambling of the Air/Sea Rescue helicopter!
Whatever happens, it will be an adventure. Do you have a favourite literary caravan?