THE ADVENT OF Bailey’s full length ‘skylight’ window must fill many caravanners with joy. Firstly, it lets in more light which is a real bonus on dull days.
Secondly, and most importantly, it offers an almost uninterrupted view of the neighbours as they struggle with the satellite dish, wrestle with the awning and argue between themselves about why ‘this will be the last caravanning holiday, John!’
[tl:gallery size=248×353]Like a live soap opera, a caravan site is the perfect place to witness all of mankind from the comfort of your perfectly upholstered lounge while pretending to be watching the television which just happens to be placed on the shelf in front of the window. Or with binoculars in hand doing something called ‘birdwatching’.
Oh no, the real drama is unfolding in front of your very eyes.
On a recent trip, I witnessed a group of children discussing the ways in which it’s possible to ‘kill someone with a caravan’ – for your reference, it could roll on you. You could gas yourself. I wasn’t looking for ideas but goodness, this was plot gold!
Struggling to get TV reception, one man eventually lobbed his satellite dish in the hedge. I pretended not to see and began to inspect the window closings. Yes, they still were working. Tickety boo here.
Closing the blinds at night is a little like turning off the TV but as the light fades, caravanners come to the windows like moths to a flame, clutching wine in hand and looking out to see if the couple next door have stopped arguing about his mother or her father.
Sadly for me, I think I was the soap during my trip to North Wales last summer. I certainly felt like a character in one. Everything that could go wrong did. The caravan electrics failed, the car got a puncture while I was winding my way up a mountain road and I was taken back to the site on a transporter lorry. Even those with the tiniest windows couldn’t escape that spectacle.
I felt famous. People started shouting and waving at me on the way to the shower block. It wasn’t what I had in mind but I had certainly left an impression.
Now here’s the truth, if you leave your blinds up and your lights on, people will look in. It’s human nature. It can’t be helped. But next time people stare in, give them a really bold wave and I guarantee they won’t do it again.
Caravanning is the ultimate spectator activity — you’re either a character in the soap or watching it. Which are you?