Martin Roberts

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Martin Roberts' "My home from home"’ written by Martin Roberts
Visit your pride and joy this winter at its caravan storage site, and what do you expect to find? Hopefully nothing like this tale from Martin Roberts!

I have an idea for David Attenborough’s next natural history series. Forget Life on Earth – there’s enough material for 12 one-hour episodes of Life in and on My Caravan.

I recently popped up to where it’s stored for a mid-winter check and, in the short period since I’d kissed it sweet dreams for its shutdown, it had become a haven for a wide variety of flora and fauna.

My suspicions were aroused as I neared. I could have sworn I’d seen the curtains twitch and heard the scurrying of tiny feet.

I imagined a scene like that in Toy Story, just before the human’s return, when all manner of things inside scramble to find places to hide. Was that a “ssshhhh!” as I opened the door?

All seemed quiet, until a startled spider the size of a saucer bungee-jumped from one side of the pelmet to the other.

A family of woodlice en route from the draining board to the window ledge had taken an unfortunate diversion via the sink – where their woodland camouflage was, frankly, useless.

And something larger and furrier was halfway through building a nest out of cleaning cloths. It was, quite obviously, a temporarily stalled hive of activity.

Also immediately apparent was the wide-ranging variety of vegetation that had taken hold both outside and inside the van.

From the outside, the few short months of abandonment had resulted in a staggering density and variety of mould and algae. What is it about caravans and green slimy stuff?

Other things I leave open to the elements don’t transform in such a dramatic way. The rabbit hutch is still the same colour it always was. As is the dog.

I need to conduct a scientific test to see if a rectangle of random white metal turns the same colour over the same period. Actually, what’s the point? I know it won’t.

Inside, the carefully co-ordinated, show-house-perfect collection of fabrics and soft furnishings (ahem) had become a rainforest.

There were creepers dangling from the rooflight, amoeba multiplying in the sink, moss covering most work surfaces and giant redwoods sprouting majestically in the corners.

OK, I lied about the last bit, but an unfeasible amount of plant life had germinated in a fraction of the normal time. I reckon there are sufficient unexplained phenomena to warrant at least a one-hour special.

I’ll have a word with my friends at the BBC, so keep an eye on the TV schedules...

Visit Martin’s website for information about him, his books and his property training weekends, and follow his adventures on Twitter.
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