And so it begins!

With Pookie squirrelled away to Grandma and Grandad’s house for the morning Leon and I had some real focussed time to assess what needed doing and get a start on making Willamina habitable again. The sun was shining, gloves were on and I’d been bought a handy new screwdriver for the occasion. 

Our first stumbling block came when we found that some had discovered that the lock on the door didn’t work properly and had taken the opportunity to help themselves to our electrical equipment leaving onlysevered wires behind. That would be a new Zig Unit to take from our very small budget then! 

Our first jobs was to remove all of the cupboard drawers and doors to be sanded and repainted, and the curtains which were destined for the bin. The window blinds were found to be a bit old and crumbly with a few cracks of daylight peeping through here and there. Their inner wooden poles are sound though so it shouldn’t be too hard to replace the fabric and reinstall them later on. At least now I know I can spend less of the curtains as the fabric won’t need to be so heavy to block out the light.   

Next job was brushing away the crumbling remains of the window caps. It felt satisfying flicking off all of the little bits and a replacement was duly found and ordered on ebay.

The carpet was lifted to reveal another carpet. This was removed to discover an old newspaper page (would’ve loved to have discovered the date!) and a small triangle of original Lino just outside the toilet. The floor in the main body of the caravan appears to be fine apart from a patch by the front door which will need replacing and what can only be described as a puddle beneath the Lino in the toilet….we’ll leave that for another day! 


And then it was time for the fun part…

Upon removing the curtains I found one of the joined on the wall had come away and beneath it lay soft black plyboard – it had to come off. Little by little removed the vinyl, ply and insulation to reveal rotten ply and crumbling batons and luckily without too much mess, fresh dry wood. The water it seems has come in behind the aluminium seals that wrap around the outside of the the caravan at three different heights and in places where the rubber seals have perished and the screws have rusted through. There are four areas in total in the main caravan that will need fixing and reboarding so luckily it’s not as big a job as I had feared.  


With the door and lock fixed we swept up the dead wood and cobwebs and called it a day. Not a bad start but certainly lots to do! 



Meet Willamina

I’m happiest when I have a project!

My projects in the past have been:

  • my motorbike (a ZXR400)
  • my dog (who I adopted at 16 weeks from a local shelter and ate one of each of my favourite shoes!)
  • My list of 30 before 30 (which you can read about here)
  • The Little Patch (an adventure in babywearing)
  • keeping chickens (we currently have two and 6 eggs in the incubator!)

When I have a project I become a little obsessive! I need to read all the books, join all of the groups and forums and search all of the websites. My latest project is no exception…

Meet Willamina…a 1970s 2-berth Viking Fibreline Caravan.

Willamina – named in memory of Bill.

I’ve had my eye on Willamina for a few years now and have always thought she could one day look fantastic. She belonged to my husband’s childhood friend’s dad, Bill,  who has sadly passed away. Recently on passing her sitting cold and damp at the end of the short track to I mentioned to my husband’s friend David that I thought she could be beautiful and I’d love to get my hands on her. To my surprise he said she was mine (sorry husband….ours), and on 16th February 2016 we drove down in the Jeep to collect her.

After much grunting and rubbing of chins David and Leon managed to change both of the tyres, made sure she was roadworthy and hooked her up to the Jeep. We’d intended on leaving early afternoon so we could drive back in the daylight but whenever you go back to Leon’s home village there seems to be a time difference of about 3 hours.  So a little later than expected and just as it was getting dark we set off with a caravan that hadn’t moved in 16 years! And, to top it off, our usual route was closed and as we found on the way down, the diversion would add 1 and a half hours onto the journey. I was put in charge of navigation and chose a route I believed would cut off the corner and bring us home more quickly! What I didn’t realise was that the route took us to the top of the moors (there was snow!) and up and down some significant hills. The 14% decline made me nervous but nothing could describe the fear I felt when we started the descent following the sign stating ‘20% decline for 2 miles’. Sitting in the passenger seat with no control over the brakes I’m not ashamed to say I was terrified. I now know how my dad felt when he taught me to drive – “Dad – I’m sorry!”

We made it home 4 hours later, tired and relieved. The cold light of day the next morning would show us what we’d taken on…