It has been two weeks since I left my garden for a gorgeous spot on the coast and it has taken that long to start to feel comfortable with caravan living. We have slipped into a school term routine, so it no longer feels like we are camping and it seems all the more real that we are doing a peculiar thing that will be worth it in the long run. The perception of camping was great to start with as the weather was absolutely amazing, endless blue skies and hot days that were softened by a gentle sea breeze. Swimming in the ocean was a great way to freshen up and the living was relaxed and easy, even more so once we got electricity. It was nice to take some time to do nothing much at all after months of busyness getting the house ready for sale and then packing up all our worldly possessions.
We even survived a terrible storm with torrential rain and strong winds, although we have had to make adjustments to the way we live. The earlier sunny days had lulled us into a false sense of security and we had sprawled a little. But it isn’t for much longer, about 35 days give or take and we should be house dwellers like normal people. But it was a good wake up call as in these coming days it will rain again.
One adjustment has been especially difficult for me, and that is with the cooking. We have limited space to store things and so all of my pickles, sauces and other things I’d made to enhance my cooking are packed away. The deep freezer is plugged in, in a location far from here so what harvest I was able to make this season is safe and will bring us some sunshine this winter. And worst of all, I don’t have a garden as such. There is no fresh produce for me.
So we have been buying things – little and often because of the lack of space. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the supermarket so frequently ever. Normally it is just once every couple of weeks for the basics I can’t make or grow and if we run out, then we wait. Going in every other day leads to spending more than intended as things tend to catch your eye and it jumps into the trolley almost as if by magic. I’m not entirely happy with what we are buying either, but it is just for a short time. Having worked in the convenience food industry in a previous life I’m keen to avoid it now and love my whole food lifestyle, carefully making it from scratch. However, in a caravan this isn’t easy so convenience food it is.
Not only is it a shock as to how little self control I seem to have in the supermarket, but also the price of things – especially veggies. I can’t remember the last time I bought a tomato or a cucumber as I work with the principle – if it isn’t in season, we’re not having it. It makes us appreciate the rhythm of nature and things anticipated taste so much better. Except stuff from the supermarket. The full and rich flavours experienced with home grown produce is missing from these items. And as they come unnecessarily wrapped in plastic or have plastic stickers plastered all over them, then I am also concerned at the increased amount of waste this convenience lifestyle is generating.
I need to make a temporary garden as soon as I can so we can slip back into a way of life we are more accustomed to. The big garden is coming along nicely in the planning stage and while I had hoped to get started on it straight away I hadn’t anticipated the place for the house and surrounding area needed to be clear for the tradespeople to do their thing. Meaning the other lovely flat area that is to be my garden is cram packed with stuff – the caravan is where I would like to have my greenhouse, the container is stretched out across several potential beds, the trailer is where my office shed is to go and other items are blocking the possibility of most horticultural endeavour.
It is just for a short time, and so in the meantime I am researching gardening in these conditions, designing and planning the garden and beyond and gathering together all the materials I’ll need. So once the house arrives and everything else goes I can get started straight away on my forever. garden.
Come again soon – I don’t feel like me if I’m not growing something
Sarah the Gardener : o)