Tuesday 1 May 2012

Memories of living in a caravan

With only a couple of days until we know for certain our house deal is done, we've started planning for our next living arrangements.  We won't have long to finish up the other house, move out of our house, and have temporary living arrangements set up out at Mick's shed.  Phew!

At first we had intended to turn a small office at the shed into a bathroom but it is a fair way from the existing basic toilet facilities.  The water pipes and waste would have to be moved a long way away.  At present there are very basic mens and ladies toilets from the days of the shed being used as a factory.  Now we're thinking we'll put a shower in the ladies toilet area and put our caravan on that side of the shed instead.  We'll only be there for 3 months.  If our house had sold much earlier we could have been living out there for a year so had thought we should have more permanent arrangements.

It will be interesting living in a caravan over the Winter.  I'm thinking it will be good practice for the cold in the UK and also for living in a confined space.  Next weekend, once we know for certain the house is sold, we'll go looking at caravans.  We have lived in a caravan for 6 months before.  We hired one and lived in it onsite while building our little house in Melbourne.  We had bought my parents' backyard so had to go outside and up their back stairs to use the toilet and bathroom.

I do have vague recollections of swearing that never again in my life would I live in a caravan.  Funny how time fades your memories because here we go again!  It was such a difficult time for us back then.  We had very little money, two large dogs, a vast quantity of paperwork to do with the building of the house, I was unwell, and to top it all off I had surgery twice while we were living in caravan.  Poor Mick was relegated to the dinette for a few nights each time because the bed was so narrow and he kept bumping into me and causing me pain in the night.  At least this time we'll have one of the offices at the shed to use as a living room and we won't be sharing the toilet and bathroom with 3 other adults.

We were in that caravan heading into the heat of the Summer of 1995 so moved into the house well before it was habitable - to escape the heat and to save the rent of the van.  By then we had only a couple of rooms in the house with plaster on the walls, not a single door in the house (including the front door or bathroom door), no running water except a hose connected to my parents' garden tap, and the only electricity being an extension cord from my parents' house with a multiboard on the end of it.  We could use only 4 electrical items at once.  The fridge used one of the four permanently and at night a light used a second one.  Add to that the tv (there wasn't much else we could do in an empty house at night with only one light) and that left one spot for a kettle, microwave or whatever else we needed.

We had a lockable gate across the driveway that ran down the side of my parents house so the front door wasn't such a security hazard.  We hardly had anything in the house except our bed, fridge, tv, sofa and a few other bits and pieces so there wasn't much to steal anyway.  I wasn't working so between the five of us - my parents, my sister, Mick and I - there was pretty much someone home in one of the houses at all times.

Mick rushed to get the toilet connected to the sewer once we decided to get rid of the caravan but we had to flush it by hand with a bucket of water.  We still had to used Mum and Dad's shower.  Our cooking facilities comprised a microwave and an electric frying pan.  With it being a sloping block and no landscaping or steps yet we had a plank from the level where we'd had the caravan (eventually becoming a carport) down to the front door of the house.  It was a balancing act to get into the house and we were living in the midst of a building site.  But..... somehow I recall finding this preferable to living in the caravan!

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