On that theme, the big news around here is the decision to procure a mobile home, because as those of us with larger than average families know only too well, unless your name is Brangelina, the bigger a family becomes, the more holiday choice dwindles. So called 'family deals' to sunny climes assume a neat family of four and not an untidy seven, and despite California dreamin', family holidays for us in the forseeable future, will probably involve renting a house somewhere in Ireland.
Reluctantly, we ruled out the possibility of owning a second home, mainly because most of our first belongs to the bank, but recently we began to flirt with the idea of a mobile home instead. Now, everyone reliably informs me, that these aren't the mobile homes of old. No chemical toilets, plastic floor strips, folding tables and nasty tie backs, these babies are mini palaces, with central heating, double glazing, flat screens, en-suites, and huge wraparound decks! A home from home..better even.
So, it was with high hopes that we called at two suppliers yesterday. New to this game, it's a learning curve for me-for instance, I didn't know that the suppliers had ties into the sites themselves. You have to buy exclusively from them, and you can't buy any old piece of tat either. Most sites have a certain standard, and vans of a certain 'vintage' aren't allowed. With the recent recession, these rules have relaxed somewhat, but they're still very much the norm and some sites are stricter than others. Honestly? Between you and me, I wasn't nearly as gutted as Loverboy upon learning these particular guidelines. Oh aye, I tut tutted along with him, but inside I was thinking 'Thank Feck for those snobby site rules, because God only knows what seventies flashback we'd end up in otherwise!'
Now, don't get me wrong, I understand his reservations about spending a fortune on a depreciating asset, especially as I'm not what one might call the outdoorsy type. A wardrobe of running shoes and fleeces make me slightly queasy, and when an experienced caravanning friend happily confided that she didn't bring any jewellery at all, as though this was a good thing, I don't mind telling you, I was shocked. I mean, how much space do you need for one or two statement rings and a few key pieces? What's next, no make up?
But back to yesterday's window shopping. I had just spent a delightful half hour en route imagining myself, reclining on a plush sofa in my new 'holiday home', glass of Oyster Bay in hand, surveying our children frolicking in the sand, through my double glazed floor to ceiling windows. Any lingering doubts, about my not being cut out for this sort of holiday, had magically melted away. On arrival, greeted by the sight of rows of shiny new mobile homes, I was only too ready to embrace this new shopping experience. Our stipulation was a 3 bedroom, the bigger the better, not brand new, but definitely not old either. The owner nodded thoughtfully, then led us down through the park, passing lots of lovely, very acceptable looking vans....but he just kept on walking, past row upon row of these glossy specimens, until he came to the back corner of the site. THEN he took out his keys.
|What he's thinking....|
|What I'm thinking.....|
Aghast, I looked at Loverboy, expecting to see the same horrified reaction, but no, he was already climbing enthusiastically into the first rust bucket. 'Come on in, love. It's really very spacious.'
'I'll give you spacious, as soon as we're back in the car', I thought, because it was suddenly very clear to me, even before I gingerly peered into the tatty, grubby interior, that he'd had a quiet word about certain unrealistic expectations and necessary budget restraints. Standing there in Caravan Siberia with tumble weed blowing past us, you probably won't be surprised to learn that we didn't reach an agreement yesterday, but negotiations are ongoing, so watch this space!
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