There’s a lot to be said for having an awning off the side of your caravan on a cold, rainy night. While sitting here with a hot water bottle stuffed up my clothing, somewhere between my merino undershirt, my lambswool jersey (purchased from a menswear department because menswear departments for some reason unknown often have better quality garments for lesser prices than their womenswear equivalents), and my very thick sweatshirt (also purchased from a menswear department for the aforementioned reasons), I have pondered upon this fact mightily.
A few weeks ago I pulled out all the coins and notes I had been stashing aside for a very long time and forked out for a new awning to be tailor-made to my requirements. It’s not that I didn’t like the original awning that came with the caravan, it’s just that I was running out of places to put duct tape to plug up the holes where the wind whistled beautiful melodies into my private spaces, and the water feature was quite frankly getting out of hand. Far be it from me to complain, but when the bits of duct tape begin to outnumber the bits of awning, a girl just has to get practical.
So I tracked down a local awning-maker and got him to whistle up a new outside room for me – a stylish, reasonable-sized number with burgundy walls and a cream roof. It has no windows – not that I have a problem with looking out at the world, but I’m a little averse to the outside world being able to look in at me – and features wide doorways which zip and unzip in a variety of combinations allowing me to have open walls wherever I like. A factor that is heavily dependent on which way the wind is blowing. The cream roof is fantastic! Obviously it didn’t stay pristine for very long, especially since I live under a plum tree, which seemed to take the new awning as a cue for raining down the heaviest crop I’ve ever seen it have yet onto my lovely light-coloured roof, but such are the trials and tribulations of indoor/outdoor living. Besides, the plums were rather tasty, and, most fortuitously, the splats some of them made didn’t clash at all with the burgundy walls . The first few mornings I opened the door and stepped out into the awning, my pre-caffeine brain told me I had left the outside light on. But no, it was merely a phenomenon called ‘natural light’ seeping joyfully through the roof. Those of you who have had to fumble around on a winters morning with a torch to find the kettle and associated accoutrements will undoubtedly appreciate this particular aspect as much as I do.
And so, here I sit with most of the long side of the awning open to nature, watching the raindrops descend outside my lovely new shelter and the solar lights twinkle in the thick darkness, snug in my sheepskin boots, Biggles hat, layers of wool and silk neck scarf, relishing the fact that I don’t have to be squashed up inside my caravan tiny house going slowly mad(der) while looking at the same four closed-in walls for the entire duration of winter.
Take THAT Mother Nature! Mwahaha!