When we bought Eddie, our campervan, we had big ideas. We were buying into a lifestyle.
A bit of this:
We’d meet with suitably kitted out friends and convoy to sunny destinations, like this:
The wind in our hair as we parked up beside the seaside, beside mountains, at festivals, campsites, fields, farms and, as it turned out, mostly just outside pubs when we had drunk too much.
We romanticised the very notion of being campervan owners. We were given campervan recipe cookbooks. (Never opened). We were delighted that Eddie had a fridge (never used) and a booze bottle optic (never refilled).
We never did this:
Mother-in-law sewed new curtain ties in sparkly silver, to give Eddie a splash of personality after Gaz tore out the interesting curtains and replaced them with photo-booth-grey monstrosities. (Eddie Related Argument Number One.)
What we got instead of all the idealism, was this:
And so, with heavy heart, we bought out of the campervan lifestyle this week and waved goodbye to Eddie after handing over the keys to one careful new owner. (More like, begged and willed and prayed he’d make it out of our driveway – and lives – intact.)
Whilst my overriding feeling is that he was a pain in the arse, cost us a small fortune and put us on first name terms with the local mechanic, we did, of course, have loads of fun.
Like the first time we broke any kind of illusion that either of us were remotely mysterious or attractive, by having a wee at 3am together, one of us in a saucepan and one of us in a water bottle, because we were sleeping in a residential street and didn’t think it best to wee in someone’s front garden.
And the time we drove back from getting married, all blissfully happy, floating about in a bubble of love with delusions that we’d probably never argue again. Eddie was packed to the rafters with wedding gifts and boxes of wedding related stuff. Which would have been fine, except, at 3am (what is it with 3am?) Gaz locked us out of the house. We were very tired. We’d been married about five days. It was freezing. In that moment, I wondered if I could take back my vows. There was a chance of death-by-coldness. We had no duvets or covers in the van because Gaz had thrown them all out to make enough room for the many boxes. So after we’d moved every box into the front seat and pulled out the bed, we lay there shivering, not talking, just shivering. We could see our breath.
Then, as if by some miracle, I remembered our very talented friend Isabelle had given us a life saving wedding gift – a quilt. A personalised, beautiful, homemade quilt. We scrambled through every box until we found it. We survived the night, as did our marriage.
Eddie, so called because we bought him in Edinburgh, was an incredibly expensive adventure. One I loved and hated in equal measure.
Goodbye campervan community. Goodbye pretending we’re cooler than we are by making smalltalk with fellow campervan owners about short wheel base and long wheel base, like I know the difference. Goodbye sleeping outside nightclubs because we’re too tight to get a taxi home when we’ve got a bed in the back of our motor. Goodbye getting a good night’s sleep at festivals. Goodbye Eddie, you were nothing but trouble but I loved you.
Hello, sensible car, low mileage, good service history. Somebody shoot me.