March 2020 – December 2020
I do not need to tell you what a year this has been. To be honest, I am only writing this so it is documented, if and when we ever get our blog printed into a book. Hopefully, at some point we will and David and I, in years to come will read, laugh and remember all the adventures we have has so far.
Looking back to the beginning of last year as we were preparing to go out on New Years Eve in Portugal with around 20 other people, never in a million years could we have predicted what was to come. We left the sunny climate and blue skies of Portugal into Spain before heading North back to the U.K. for the middle of March. We were due to come home and did not need to change our Euro Tunnel booking. It was only as we were getting closer to Madrid, that I began to notice the news and the beginning of Covid. I thought I was paranoid then, telling David that we needed to be as far away as we could, from stopping anywhere near Madrid. We travelled longer days and made it into France. Then I began to worry that I would not be able to get Chloe into the vets as they might be closed. Chloe needed her passport stamped, health check done and worming tablet administered otherwise we could not cross back into the U.K. I made frantic calls to friends in France, which would have been our bolt hole if we couldn’t get back. Luckily, the vets were open and by this time, everyone was masked up and life was beginning to look a lot different.
We made it back into the U.K. on the 19th March and lockdown started on the 22nd March. We usually stay with my 83 year old Mum when we return from travelling, but knowing that this was not an option, we diverted to a house that we usually rent out to fund our travelling, that thankfully was empty. There we lived with our camping furniture during the first lockdown. We were grateful, to have a house and a garden which I found a great deal of solace in, trying to block out what was happening all around us. Our lovely neighbours bought a large paddling pool for their boys and I loved to hear them squealing with delight, splashing around in the pool with the gorgeous weather we enjoyed. I have always loved nature and have always tried to take in what is around us, but during lockdown and being in the middle of a large town, I noticed the birds more, no cars, no noise. People were trying to envelope each other, unite and give support where they could. The lady a couple of doors down, who also loved gardening put out a daily offering of cuttings and plants for people to take home, nurture and grow. Notes came through the door offering help, we opened our door ever Thursday at 8pm and clapped for the NHS. Neighbours waved, up the road a man always hung out of his roof skylight banging a saucepan. When the VE Day arrived, we took our drinks out into the street, met neighbours we had never spoken to before. Someone further up the road played the electric guitar. Do you know what, looking back the first lockdown wasn’t so bad. We had the weather, we had a house with a toilet, a shower, (a big thing when you live in a Motorhome for any length of time). OK the mattress from the Motorhome was our bed but we just needed to roll out in the mornings rather than climb out.
The most heartbreaking day for us came on the 23rd June, we said goodbye to our beloved Chloe. Even now as I am writing this over 6 months later, I am welling up, because she was just everything to us. So many people have bought puppies during this year to bring comfort and joy and that is a wonderful thing, but to lose Chloe has been really, really hard to bear.
As August came, we decamped to Southsea near Portsmouth for afew weeks. It was so lovely to be by the sea, to walk, eat ice-cream and fish and chips. I have never seen it as busy in the 4 years we have been going in August, but with no foreign travel, this year has seen a huge increase in U.K. holiday market.
As lockdown eased we decided to rent our house out to boost funds and move in with Mum at the beginning of September. We hoped that we would be able to get to Portugal at the beginning of December but now that looks like a distant dream. With the way things are, no foreign travel is allowed because of our high Covid levels, we are banned. Mixed with Brexit, we are not sure when and if we will get to Portugal in 2021. Luckily, with the Motorhome we are completely contained and we can go at the drop of a hat, we shall have to just wait and see.
When we look back and take stock, we are very, very lucky. Our Mums are safe and my Mum has had her first vaccine with the 2nd due on the 6th January, we are very grateful. David, bless him has been my rock, with my paranoia of Covid, I think living with Mum trying to keep her safe has increased the worry. I know I am not alone, we have all fought battles this year in different ways, it is amazing how resilient we are as humans.
What we need to do is to keep having dreams and to keep these dreams alive. David dreamed of life on the open road and we have been very lucky to have had over three years enjoying the wonders of some of the world. Building priceless memories and me finding peace and happiness, that I never thought would exit living in a Motorhome.
We know that at some point we need to put down some roots, we still want to travel and I so miss our Motorhome and our little life in it, but we also have to look to the future. Our future is still life on the open road, but now only 90 days at a time, with the new travel restrictions as a result of Brexit. 90 days is still a lovely long time to a lot of people and we’re very lucky we can still do this. Looking to put down roots, another dream of ours has always been to build our own house. We had been looking for land for quite awhile, but never found the right plot. Then we hit the jackpot, a perfect site in Suffolk near the lovely little village of Laverham. So, we have bought some land and that’s what we are going to do, build our dream home. It’s obviously going to take afew years, but the self build books are out, David is in the garden shed building a model of the house we have had designed, we just need planning to approve it and then we can start the dream. If you are on instagram this is where you will find us No3CrossGreen. I have learnt in life never look back, keep looking forward and that’s what we are going to do and of course, never stop dreaming.