Monday, October 25, 2010

Coventry camper

It was 4.30 am when I got up into a cold morning on Thursday last. You can never sleep properly when you have an alarm set for the middle of the night. On the road to the airport I passed a badger's bottom disappearing into the undergrowth, frightened a deer who scooted along the road in front of me, avoided a fox busy at its business. Red-eye flight full of sleeping businessmen. Arrival at Birmingham before I'm normally out of the bed and a train to Coventry to see the camper van. Jean, the joint seller of the van picked me up at the railway station. The sun was shining and it was bitterly cold.

Bob, Jean's 81 year old husband drove the van and me to a level spot for a proper viewing - their drive was very sloped. I had a thorough tour of its virtues and facilities (which took a lot longer than you might imagine). It was in beautiful condition and had the huge skylight we'd seen in photos of other vans of this type, but realised we hadn't asked if this one had. 

Plenty of room for the dogs. Outside storage locker for boots and outdoor chairs and other stuff you don't want cluttering up the inside. An astonishing variety of ingenious additions put in by Bob - extra shelves, magnet on the bathroom door, specially adapted clock (frame removed, hook installed on back). Here's Bob in the photo. And the clock.

I took it for a drive which I think made Bob very anxious. Jean never drove the van. Could a woman do such a thing without crashing or panicking or hitting reverse instead of first? However, he could hardly refuse as I'd come all the way from Ireland. Bob began by giving instructions on changing gear, but went quiet once we hit 50 mph. Possibly in terror.

So I bought it. Jean and I went to lunch to celebrate (Bob had had enough by this stage I think - the poor man was probably exhausted). They were the most delightful people. Then off to Nantwich via Birmingham New Street with a quick dash to TKMax, one of the biggest of their stores according to Jean. A single, very pleasing purchase and back to the train. Joe will have the job now of picking up the van - Tuesday next is Arrival Day. I'm planning trips already.


  1. The combination of an '81 year old husband' and 'level ground for a proper viewing' sounds like you'd be in for a long process.
    Congratulations on the van!

  2. Thanks Erin. Yes it was a bit of a long one, but I found out a lot about where other people store things in their vans.