There are a number of things that we’ve had to overcome or learn about, for example:
- Too many appliances cause the electricity to trip – you can not boil the kettle and use the heater.
- Baby wipes are a God send.
- Things can freeze when it’s cold (fruit, veg, milk, taps, even toothpaste) and defrosting a meal or dessert can be a challenge.
- Not having water in the caravan is a bit of a pain, especially when the outside tap freezes up.
- Turning sofas into beds and beds into sofas each day can be tiring, although this does mean that bedding gets aired daily.
- Sleeping in your clothes and wearing them for more than a couple of days (because it’s too cold to get undressed) is surely acceptable – as long as you do the ‘sniff test’!
- When temperatures reach 6 degrees or more it’s surprisingly warm inside and we’ve even had to open windows.
I am a person who likes structure and routine so living in a caravan really tests my organisational skills, for example, it’s essential to:
- Have the beds turned back into sofas in the morning rather than leaving it as an obstacle to clamber over.
- Bring tomorrows clothes in from the awning the night before (as they can be damp) and warm them up under the duvet.
- Prepare toiletries and a change of clothes in advance of the trip to the shower block………..and don’t forget a towel!
- Warn Jez when the indicator on the toilet reaches half full!
- Run the car 10 minutes be leaving, and using the heaters to warm up coats, gloves, hats and scaves.
- Keep shoes outside in a plastic box, to avoid a muddy floor in the awning and caravan.
Then there are the little things that add to the adventure:
- Although there is little room to serve food and eat around a table, we sometimes eat out of a saucepan in front of the TV, which is a real treat and encourages the children to eat all their dinner.
- It’s easy to encourage the children to ‘help’ with washing up. It’s a fun chore and there is a huge area where they can use lots of bubbles and warm water.
- Brushing teeth in the outdoors is actually quite refreshing, as is collecting water from the outside tap.
- Looking forward to Lacie’s visits at the weekends (with her pile of DVDs), which means that a movie night with popcorn is high on the agenda.
- We’ve no TV, 3G is rubbish and the WiFi on site isn’t much better, so we’re rediscovering radio, books and talking……and early nights (wink, wink, nudge, nudge…..well we have to keep warm!)
- The awning acts as our kitchen, dressing room, play room and utility room and is big, bright and very airy.
- Experiencing heavy rain, gales, snow and lightning storms is a great test of faith!
The children are loving the freedom of the outdoors, collecting sticks, noticing flowers and playing nicely together. Despite the limited space indoors they seem to be tolerating each other very well, enjoying each others company, laughing together and even sleeping much better……well, for my two night owls anyway! They think having bunk beds is great fun, although Jez and I usually wake up to find that they have crept into our bed. We’re making the most of this time when they want to snuggle up to us……and it’s helping to keep us all warm and cosy too.
We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our church family and many friends from school. They have supplied heaters, cake, wine, use of washing machines, baths (as we are currently without water), invites to dinner and opportunities to housesit. What more could a girl want! I have a bank of people who have offered us many things, it’s very humbling.
We like this bible verse from the Roman Catholic Bible and the rest of the chapter is really great advice.
Don’t indulge in luxurious living; the expense of it will ruin you. Sirach 18:31-33