Friday 18 November 2011

No longer homeless

We head for the small town of Mountrath to collect the caravan which will be our temporary accommodation 'on site' for the hopefully short period that the 'new' house is uninhabitable. For example when we have filled the internal space with the fumes of woodworm treatment and do not wish to suffer the same fate as the woodworm dudes. Dad has no tow-hitch on his car, but Mr Silverwood has a big people carrier suitably equipped, so he has offered to do the collection run. It's a horrible wet rainy windy day and Mr S has never towed a caravan before, but he's brave and up for it.

Dad, being an ill-informed (OK let's just admit to a bit prejudiced) was a bit wary of doing business with our traveller chums, especially cash-in-hand ones, and some of them have accents with very flat vowels and indistinct consonants making them difficult to understand but Mrs S held his hand and all was well. We handed over the cash and the guy (John) didn't even check it (while we were there). Mrs S says they consider it very rude to do so. He also handed Dad a tightly folded €5 note at the end saying "a bit of luck for you". We hitched up the caravan, tested the lights and we were away, Dad following the people carrier and caravan. Mr S did very well for a new boy, keeping well clear of either side and bringing home the caravan through the rain round the twisty lanes with no problem.

Back at the house the caravan was unhitched and pushed (it's very light) up the drop-kerb and into the drive where Mrs S is gleefully anticipating the neighbours horror and curtain twitching as they expect a skew-bald pony to show up next, tethered to the gate post. With the beast home we could all have a look, and all 4 children have had a good old explore. It is nice and clean inside (normal for traveller vans, apparently) all be it with a slight smell of not-used-recently damp and mustiness. We have brought all the cushions and curtains indoors for cleaning and drying out. Dad has been exploring the electrics, gas and all that jazz.

The caravan can be hooked up to mains but Dad can not, for now, work out how you'd do the equivalent to 2CV Llew's system with an old car battery in the gas-locker. No matter. You can buy little battery powered LED 'tube' lights for camping, so if we have to, we'll use those. There is also no loo for the humans to use but there's a biggish shower-room, so we will buy a camping stylee chemical loo 'potty' and that can go in there. Now all we need is for the whole thing to be towed to the new house at some stage and we're 'game on'.

As Mrs S pointed out to Dad, we are no longer officially homeless. We own a home, all be it a van parked on someone else's property.


No comments: