Mar 20 – All Change

It is difficult to know where to start. As we dashed back to UK, the Corona Virus was already wreaking havoc in China and starting to be reported in Europe. By the time we had completed the medical appointments and moved on to visit Suzanne and family in Wantage, then Sarah and family in Great Barford, the virus was starting to change lives.

Almost as though we had got an inkling of things to come, I had decided it was time to visit my eldest brother in Bury St Edmunds. For a number of reasons, we have not seen each other for 15 years, and it was a lovely reunion. I also managed a coffee and cake session with my best mate Gill, which will have to keep us going for a while now. Thank goodness for phones, internet and social media!

We spent a few days in Great Barford, which meant we could do a bit of normal grandparent stuff with Molly and Jessica. A trip to Wimpole Hall, National Trust, was the last family outing before we left again.

Images courtesy of Jessica (age 11)

Jessica as photographer

By Monday morning we had decided that we should remove ourselves into isolation, as Clyde is 79. We chose a Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Malvern and booked in for a week initially. We have been here before and so we knew that it is near the village of Hanley Swan and the small town of Great Malvern. The countryside is beautiful, and it was very deserted and peaceful on the campsite.

Deserted campsite
Lonely van!
Village pond. Pub in distance
Pond again, Post Office in background

All was well, but we started to feel that we should perhaps move ourselves a bit closer to family and friends. We became concerned that if we should become unwell, we would have no support if we remained isolated here. There was also an increasing issue with people heading off to their holiday homes and caravan sites, rather than staying at home. This movement would put immense pressure on some areas and therefore, the Government initiated a further stage of the developing social isolation policy to reduce the spread of the virus. On the Sunday morning of our stay, the warden came to advise us that all campsites would be closing with immediate effect. We asked whether there was any leeway at all for those of us who live full time in our vans. He contacted his head office and came back to say they had agreed to let us stay long enough to make alternative arrangements. It was a big relief, as I had just hung out the washing!!

Joking aside, we are very fortunate to have Clyde’s sister in a house that is big enough for us to move in with her for a while. On the Monday morning we drove down to Gosport to collect Clyde’s prescription, then we drove up to Bedford to become cuckoos in Jean’s nest. We were just in time before more stringent restrictions on movement came into force. Any unnecessary travel was disallowed so we might have struggled to get to our destination.