As i speak/type to you as you listen/ read to my ramblings ,i'm chuckling to myself due to a touch of irony which has hit me via Radio 5's traffic report. They are reporting ,not one ,but two cases of snarled up roads due to problems with caravans. Having spent many unhappy teeth grindingly frustrating hours through the years in lines of traffic stuck behind a car towing a bloody caravan. They are often covered in caravan club badges showing where they've been and screwed up the traffic system of that part of the world, wherever that may be. These chipboard boxes on wheels are towed in a dangerously wobbly manner through the highways and byways then dragged and pulled through the mud of whatever field in the middle of nowhere that they have decided to plant themselves for the following week or two. The caravan is disconnected from that hi-tec tow bar and the wobbly caravan is now on 3 wheels and a jack .It sinks 8 inches into the boggy mud and the family board this box .Right away the tone is setanybody moving,or even drawing breath ,the caravan starts wobbling from side to side like the 'SEAVIEW' submarine from that old 60's series 'VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA', but instead of electronic sparks theres the clatter of pots and pans as well as the rattle of cups. The rush for the minute space that constitutes the toilet follows ,as being British ,not only do we like to sit in a box in a boggy field ,but the boggy field has to be as far away from their brick n' mortar box as is possible, so after hours stuck in the car, to sit in a vertical coffin with a hole into a bucket with your knees up by your ears and banging your elbows as you yank on the cheap rough bog paper which is nessesary for all seasoned campers.
The other form of torture that the British classify as holiday is camping in tents. Instead of a chipboard box ,you sleep in a canvas sack and sleep in cotton zip up bags, and everything is done outside except sleep and listen to the rain and the deafening sound of the wind and rustle of the trees. All the times we went camping it was always raining. The fields were bogs. The clouds were 20 feet above the ground ,you could only see the trees or hills when it was going to rain and if you couldn't see them ,it was raining. The rain means that the British national dress is an anorack, supposedly waterproof, but the padding gets sodden, The proofs in the padding ,or disproved. Lakes joined up; Rivers burst their banks and paths became mountain streams. Tents and caravans have very interesting thermal qualities ...In the cold ,they're freezing and in the heat ,they're boiling!!!....
Camping and caravanning can be summed up in the film'CARRY ON CAMPING!'....Apparently it was filmed in North Wales and it was mid winter. It poured down rain and if you look at the scenes with a track and you can see mud and puddles. The feild was sodden and mud was everywhere, but they painted the ground green to make it look lush and summery. All the actors were dressed in summer wear and soon as they'd done their scenes wrapped up quick to stop shivering.
But lest we forget aside from the countryside ,full of wee beasties with a total dislike of humans,except for their warm cosy orifices theres nowhere to get stufflike food and drink that you take for grantedat home with your SPAR or ASDA next door, without walking into strange villages with strange locals who think the holidaymakers are nutters and quite often treat you like the average nutter. Also who has ever seen a cheerful friendly farmer? Around the countryside is a thin sandy rocky strip , covered in sharp stones and pebbles and jelly fish all designed to rip your feet to shreds as you go into the ice cold spew-inducing salt water 'for a swim???'....Affectionally known to all Brits as the 'seaside'. On the rare occassions when you find yourself on holidays when the sun is actually shining we all troop down to the 'seaside' and fry in the sunshine ,spending the rest of your relaxing break unable to touch or be touched as your skin has 3rd degree burns, which ,by the time you return home has reverted to the traditional ghastly palour that makes us the most white of the worlds whitemen. Then after all this suffering and enjoyment(?) that was your lot for another year.