Now anybody who knows me in person (and quite a lot of you who know me only online) will know that I’m not a camping kinda gal.
A night spent on the ground in a tent in a windy field with no toilet facilities and a selection of dubious wildlife? No thanks. But offer me a night in a kingsize feather bed and room service in a luxurious five-star country house hotel with spa, and I’ll be there like a shot. Obviously.
Anyway, I digress.
Elizabeth posted earlier this week about some fabulous egg cups in the shape of VW Camper vans she’d unearthed for only 20p each in a charity shop, and one of them was the EXACT same colour as the VW camper that we used to have back in the day.
Why did you have a camper van if you hated camping, I hear you ask?
Well, when I first got together with Ashley, he was quite an outdoorsy, hiking and camping type of chap (yeah, chalk and cheese, I know. What can I say? We muddle along.)
He had a tent which was made by some company who made tents for polar expeditions, and apparently you could pitch this particular tent on the side of a mountain in a Force 10 gale at minus 40 degrees, and it would keep you snug as a bug in a rug. Or something. I don’t know, I didn’t really listen. Anyway, you get the idea.
This tent was very lightweight and small, and easy to erect. Apparently. I couldn’t have cared less as there was very little likelihood of me putting it into a rucksack and yomping several miles across Dartmoor before finding a suitable patch of heather upon which to pitch it for the night.
However, the first flush of love being what it is, eventually Ashley persuaded me to go camping in said tent. He was a little taken aback when I insisted upon taking a double blow-up mattress, my kingsize duvet and all the pillows from my bed but, the first flush of love being what it is, didn’t say, as he would today “Don’t be so bloody ridiculous, you can sleep on the ground with a rucksack as a pillow, you silly cow”, and instead acquiesced to my diva-like demands.
Camping was OK, but not a huge success, it has to be admitted. And obviously one can’t yomp very far across the moors with all the paraphernalia I insisted upon taking.
Hence, the idea of a camper van was born, and shortly afterwards came to fruition. It was luxury after the tent: table, seats, a double bed, a fridge and cooker …. And room to store my duvet and pillows – perfect. I loved that camper van.
We only had it for two summers, but the weather was kind and we had some brilliant weekends away in it. The fridge was always full (of beer, wine and tequila, obviously, and bacon and eggs for the morning after the night before).
On one particularly memorable occasion, we’d gone to visit some friends who had a static caravan on a site down in Cornwall, and we were asked to leave at 11.30 pm by campsite security for being too noisy and raucous!
After two years of camper van fun, it was time to move on, and we sold it on. But I still have lots of happy memories of the camper van – and I spent a fun hour or so going through old photos trying to find one of it. In the photo I’ve posted, you can see our old house in the background – the white thatched cottage on the left.