Haven’t done the fifteen minute thing for a while so here’s a picture from the archives.

In the spring of this year we got this super deal for a mobile home in a camping site near the sea-side; we put the bikes in the back seat, strapped the kids to the back of the car and took off. What a wonderful little holiday! It was really really great, except for the part where we were in a camping site, in a mobile home for the duration.

That evening after a five hour drive I slumped into a reclining position, on the rock hard sofa of Spanish Inquisition design in the kitchen cum living room cum dining room, eyes glazing over. Approaching the horizontal plane I caught sight of the friendly face above.

Our short holiday continued with repeated trips to the tepid overcrowded indoor pool, squirming with bacteria and children. There was a perfectly good outdoor pool at a healthy 16°C which I jumped into every now and again to neutralize the effects of the murky broth that passed for water inside.

Next morning I was awoken by people walking around in the mobile home. « The children, of course! » I realised. I got up to make them some breakfast only to find that the kids were still fast asleep in the children cupboard (I can’t bring myself to call it a bedroom). Turns out it was the neighbours tiptoeing around in their mobile home a full 2.14 metres away. At one point later in the day my wife sneezed, I said “bless you”, the neighbour said “thanks”.

No really, there’s nothing wrong with camping holidays or camping sites. It’s just not for me. Like fishing for example, or pushing bamboo splinters under my nails.

This holiday was quite an eye-opener on another level. We have a bump on the side of our boring family-sized Renault seven-seater car. Other than that it looks quite normal. Well, normal dirty if you see what I mean. I mean seriously life’s too short to wash cars. Particularly the seven-seater variety with dents in the back door. Notwithstanding, as I parked the car next to the diminutive plastic box that was to be our home for a few days. I happened to notice the other cars parked hither and thither next to the other, just as diminutive, mobile homes. They were all of the German, expensive, high powered variety and all spotless and dentless. Except for one; which was a spotless and dentless Jaguar. Needless to say I was rather perplexed. It would seem that the kind of people that enjoy holidaying in small enclosed spaces invest any hard-earned cash they might have in other small enclosed spaces on wheels. Astonishing.

* The origin of « my eyes glaze over » is in Michael Herr’s excellent book Dispatches which I can’t recommend highly enough, particularly if you enjoyed Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now!

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