We went to the caravan during the half term break. We had thermal undergarments, top layers, fleecy hoodes, warm socks, a gas fire and a radiator. Then we had to go out. Oh dear. The first day the sun was out, we were filled with enthusiasm, and the beach was wonderful.
Girls got into bed. Sleeping bags with hoods, hot water bottles, quilts and blankets. Bright eyed giggly worms in tiny beds.
We went to bed to the sound of hailstones on the roof. A small price to pay for the beauty and the isolation and the escape.
The second day, the sky never lifted at all. When I dragged my way out of all the wonderful warm layers on the bed, I had to hunt for inspiration. “It’ll clear”, “We’ll take a run out”, “Can anyone see the sea?”
Eventually, I issued a phrase I may never have said before “We’ll go to Bundoran.” It’s a pretty spot, great for surfing, and packed during the summer. As well as the beaches, it has amusements, dodgems, activity parks. These are why I tend to avoid the place. I hate dodgems, activity parks and amusements. I’m not great with crowds. But of course, it wouldn’t be so crowded now. We could potter around, keeping warm and entertained. At least we’d be able to get chips.
I had forgotten something significant. It was a grey, cold, windy day. In November. November, by the Atlantic, in north west Ireland.
There was not a sinner in Bundoran. The gales were coming off the sea, ready to blow over light people. (I was safe) The streets were empty and wet. The shops, dodgems and activity parks were closed. There were four people and a miserable white dog wading about, wondering where they’d left their sanity. Pre teen tantrums were diverted by a soft toy being won at a grabby thing in the one amusement arcade with lights on. There wasn’t even a chip shop open. Disaster.
Then it got more cold, but it was getting too dark to go home. The caravan, our lovely, cosy, welcoming caravan, was like an ice box. I fell asleep in the living area because I couldn’t face the cold of the bedroom for a nap. We put on more layers. We were now wearing all the clothes. The temperature had dropped below freezing, and we knew all about it.
First thing the next morning we were awake and packing up the van for winter as soon as we could struggle out from under the blankets. We’re just beginning to warm up now, days later. For a few months we’ll stay in our cozy beds. I’m not hardy.
Even Spurs Fan has begun to wonder about the value of a caravan with heat, or double glazing. He couldn’t have had that thought before we got the curtains all sorted?