Moving next door
|04/09/2013||Filled under caravanning, Carradale, house refurbishment, Scotland|
Meet James, a small red-headed figure dressed in green who flashes past our eyes, yelling wildly in delight at being pushed on his favourite tree-swing. In his hand is most of a Jammie Dodger biscuit, clasped firmly and saved for nibbles on his way to the park just behind our house. Once there he tries every piece of play equipment once, then once again for good measure, but his preference is for the zip-wire, a favourite with most of the park’s visitors.
James comes into our lives via our son Mike who’s young lady, Eleanor, is James’ mother.
They come to visit us, to raid our biscuit jar and empty our lego box onto the living room floor, then one day Eleanor brings us something really exotic, a caked representation of Cirrus Cat complete with mooring buoy, rope, fenders and an anchor all done in icing, all beautifully homemade by her from photos provided by Mike. It poses proudly on our dining table and if we could keep it this way forever we would but the purpose of a cake is, of course, to eat, so eventually we have to commit sacrilege and attack our lovely boat with a sharp knife. Each cut is painfully made until Eleanor’s handiwork, our travelling home for many years, is gone. Cake decoration is such a transitory art form.
Stealthily like Ninjas, we silently creep our belongings out of the back door of our house, down a few steps then in through the back door of what used to be my mother’s house, a total distance of less then ten metres. Nobody watching the two houses from the front is aware that anything is going on but as the evenings shorten and we start turning on lights then we can be certain that word has got around. We have moved house. But it is the strangest removal we have ever accomplished. We leave behind a comfortable property in which our son Mike can enjoy more privacy whilst we have gained a new project to keep us busy during the coming winter. Inevitably there are changes we want to make and the first of these is to fit a solid fuel stove in our new living room so we have the means to keep warm should the electricity fail us. The storms of winter are bound to bring down trees, they always do, and when this happens sooner or later a power cable is hit and the lights in Carradale go out. So a first priority is to make adjustments so that life can go on without electricity. For this we need a way of keeping warm and somewhere to cook so the multi-fuel stove is an essential for us.
Outside in the garden, however, things are not so rosy for this house comes with more grass.
And grass needs to be cut.
Investment in a self-powered mower takes away some of the toil but eventually we come up with an even better solution. By applying a thick layer of concrete we create a hard-standing area for Ducky to live on whilst simultaneously reducing our grass cutting burden, two problems solved at one stroke! I am surprised nobody else has thought of this. [Kate: They have. They’re called roads.]
And speaking of our motorcaravan… any day now we’ll be setting off on a grand tour of England, taking to those busy roads guided only by a few satellites floating miles above us. We are loading up with shampoo, spare socks and screenwash for the time has come to put Ducky to the test on motorways, to plough through traffic jams and to avoid parking restrictions, none of these being things we experience locally. On our tour we hope to be dropping in on friends and relations scattered as far afield as Coventry and Cornwall, Yeovil and York. So be prepared, all of you!