One of the joys of a caravan visit, for me, is that very little changes. Sometimes familiarity and continuity, though they can easily tip over into boredom or indolence, are what’s needed.
So, it was good that the rain started at Port Talbot (it always does, if it’s going to), and the sun came out just as I crossed the border from Carmarthenshire into Pembrokeshire (it sometimes does, if it’s going to).
And my caravan neighbours (who I call B & B to remind me of their names) were welcomingly there, as they always are every weekend (they only come from Pont Abraham, 45 minutes, alright for some). And there were the usual seventeen (I counted!) rabbits mowing away when I filled the first glass of the evening. (I say the usual seventeen; I’d guess they’re different ones from fifteen years ago, but I don’t know for sure; and neither do they.)
Then there’s Joseph.* As well as being familiar, as he should be after fifteen years, he can be surprising. This time, I needed to get rid of some very old, completely unsittable-on, plastic chairs, which I’d proved wouldn’t fit in the boot without some help. As he explained, Joseph can’t take stuff to the tip anymore without incurring a charge, and his informal deal with the bin collectors has fallen through since they installed CCTV on the back of the lorries. (I won’t repeat his remarks on this topic.) He said he’d have a think.
Half an hour later, he turned up at the caravan, toting an angle grinder. ‘We’ll just chop their legs off, shall we?’
The journey home this morning was familiar too. As soon as I’d crossed the Severn bridge, the rain stopped and the sun peeked out.
*Not his real name, he’s a very private person.