So, let’s be honest: even the pluckiest of caravanners would have to admit that British weather isn’t always the best, even in summer. To say that last summer was a wash-out still wouldn’t adequately convey the never-ending barrage of Eau de Cloud that cascaded down relentlessly throughout August.
At one point, I was thinking of trading in the van for a submarine. Or, at least, fitting the roof with some kind of padded hat, to somehow deaden the tympanic cacophony of direct rain, and rain dribbled through tree branches, that kept us awake at night and frustrated during the day. I can now sympathise with the woodlice that get suicidally trapped in my son’s drum kit.
Across the Armageddon that the van had become, conversations progressed thusly:
“It’s really coming down in stair rods now.”
“I can’t hear you!”
“I said, it’s raining stair rods.”
“You want to do what with the dogs?”
“Stair rods. Stair… rods. STAIR… Oh forget it!”
“Sorry, I still can’t hear you. It’s the rain. It’s so heavy. It’s coming down in…” And so on.
The thing is, when do you (literally) abandon ship? When is the moment that all your stoically British spirit finally becomes washed away? Let’s say that you’ve arrived on a Saturday. You have four days of rain, and it’s set to be ‘stormy’ for the rest of the week.
a) Cut and run?
b) Stay in the hope that the forecast is wrong?
c) Stick it out whatever? Or…
d) Check the forecast before you leave home, and not set off in the first place?
On my own, I’d probably stick things out whatever. But having a young family, two dogs, three guinea pigs and a rabbit in the van changes the dynamic slightly. It gets (in an American accent) kinda messy and tense real quick.
However, I am delighted to say that the endless Jacques Cousteau videos I played to the children when they were toddlers paid off, and collectively as a family we saw it through. And, as ever, we were handsomely rewarded with scorching temperatures and clear blue skies – on the day of our departure.
British weather, eh? You’ve got to love it!
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The thing is, when do you (literally) abandon ship?