Magazine article The Spectator

Missing the Point

Magazine article The Spectator

Missing the Point

Article excerpt

We've moved up from a Festival 30 to a Willerby Bermuda. Or rather my philanthropic aunt has. We knew she was thinking of upgrading this year, but we thought she was going to go for a Festival Super maybe, or at a push an Atlas Fanfare Super 35. Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine she'd get a Willerby Bermuda.

When me and the boy and the boy's half brother arrived on Saturday for our annual free holiday in north Cornwall and we were confronted with this spanking new Willerby Bermuda in place of the old Festival 30, our feelings were mixed though. We were sentimentally attached to the old Festival 30. We liked its worn, etiolated upholstery, its ill-fitting doors, and that familiar musty smell, peculiar to old caravans, second-hand bookshops and nonconformist chapel cloakrooms, that greeted us when we first arrived and tugged open the door. It was a caravan without pretensions to being anything other than a holiday caravan. You could walk in with sandy feet and drape your wet suit over the telly for want of a better place and that would be fine. And if we left the windows and doors open all the time, especially when it rained, we could capture that sense of being both indoors and outdoors simultaneously.

A Willerby Bermuda, on the other hand, is a caravan pretending to be a dockside development three-bedroom luxury apartment, with radiators in every room, PVC double glazing, deep-pile carpets, ludicrously elaborate curtains, glass-fronted cupboards, spot lighting, even a fireplace with mantlepiece. It is designed specifically for slamming the door behind you on filthy Nature and being warm, comfortable and secure indoors. Very flash, but somehow missing the point. And staying in a caravan more luxurious than any house we are ever likely to live in has made us self-conscious. It's too good for us. And people are staring at us, too.

The Bermuda is situated on its own spacious plot of land beside the entrance to a caravan and camping site. Everyone going to and from the beach 50 yards away passes by our ranch-style wooden gates. They gawp as they pass by and some pass comment, for there isn't anything approaching a Willerby Bermuda on their site. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.