So this weekend marks 12 months of van ownership, and to celebrate we are out camping of course.

This weekend’s caper is at The Lodge near York, small but pretty perfectly formed and £15 with EHU.

It took a bit of finding, but Mrs Woman had given me some instruction over the phone and after only one wrong turn, we found the field, or rather extended garden.

In accordance with tradition, I appraised the facilities. One John in a green phone box illuminated by nocturnal fairy lights:

One shower in a funny little summerhouse featuring fridge, bookshelf and peg together curtains for modesty.

The field adjacent was the star attraction for the anklebiterz who discovered a large old trampoline and lots of space to hoon about.

We brought the Cadac out for its 2nd performance in the wild and had very tasty steaks, spuds, mushrooms and tomatoes. And beer.

We had very few neighbours (5 pogs only) and plenty of space. A quiet evening sat out in the late sunshine, and a leisurely morning with al fresco brekkie before dropping madame off for birthday party fun with the BFTFs. Quirky and cute site, would go back.

So 12 months on, has it lived up to expectations? Absolutely. Tent camping, whilst having no regrets about it, won’t get a look in, the ease and speed of packing up and unpacking alone has made a massive difference. Today we got home at 4.12pm. The van was unpacked by 4.14pm. Bosh.

We’ve done somewhere between 15 and 20 trips/overnighters and countless day trips and van picnics. Every weekend has seen us benefit – even if it’s only putting the fridge on after a visit to Tesco’s to keep the groceries fresh whilst we have Sunday lunch with the tribe.

We’ve gone from 33 miles on the clock at collection to just under 14,800 today and considering it gets driven to work 5 days a week within that we’ve not done too bad. It’s taken us to 4 countries, countless campsites and allowed the children to literally sleep like babies, much to their mother’s delight and relief.

Has it cost us a packet? Yes and no. Obviously we knew what we were in for when we bought it, but weekly and monthly we aren’t really spending more than we would so on entertaining ourselves in other ways, and we get to be outdoors, and together, making memories and having fun.

Long may it continue.

Total van life converts.


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