Monday, 25 February 2013

Freedom To Roam

Ah, Caravans. Not a British invention, but a British institution. For such a diffident, singular race, the caravan provides a fantastic way for us to exercise our freedom to go wherever we damn well please, but to take our own private space with us. A caravan is a little like a mobile embassy: wherever it stops in the world that patch of ground technically belongs to the family inside, who will normally be brewing up and remarking upon how wonderful it is to be able to make a cup of tea whenever you feel like it, despite not being at home.

Here are some images culled from a BBC documentary called 'Caravans: A British Love Affair'.

I wonder what she's looking at? Rhyl, perhaps.

Family time. There's nothing else to do.

An early wooden caravan / home from home.


A typical caravanning trip.

England, Paris.
Sam Alper, the Henry Ford of the UK caravan industry

NOT Kessingland.

When I was in my teens, we had a caravan. We did Wales and Devon and Cornwall and all that but, mostly, we went to Kessingland in Suffolk (about sixty miles from home). It's a lovely place, but there's not much to do there or in nearby metropolis Lowestoft if you're 14, and you soon exhaust that small supply of excitement if you go every fucking weekend, so I grew to resent the place and the way it cut into my burgeoning social life. Now I have a job and a family of my own, of course, I'd love to go to Kessingland every weekend, especially now Lowestoft has that new wind turbine.

1 comment:

  1. This, on the day that the Caravan Club sent me their latest magazine through the post.
    It's a conspiracy.

    I stay in a caravan once a year with friends as part of some ritual torture I don't recall signing up for (like the caravan club magazine subscription). We all go to Wales to be abused by the locals, and wake up in a tin shed that stinks of stale beer and a cocktail of takeaway gasses.
    I'm taking my tent this year, to break free from this hideous, recurring nightmare.