I can remember the date exactly Tuesday 13 April 2004, and the place, and with a few moments — on an internet map I could get you an exact grid reference. A literally unforgettable moment, it was such a shock and surprise. Did I rub my eyes to check that I was not dreaming? No, because I was driving, and as it happens not in any particular hurry. It was a non-descript day, with a low, grey sky; there was nothing to make it memorable, except…
You won’t believe it, and I almost wouldn’t myself, were it not that I still can picture every detail of the scene, and that extraordinary sense that something unique was happening to me. Ahead of me was a car towing a caravan. It pulled into a lay-by, to let me and another vehicle pass, then it pulled out to continue its journey.
The one and only time in England this has ever occurred to me in over thirty years of driving. I wanted to cheer, to stop, wave them down and shake them by the hand. I even thought of writing to a caravanning magazine to commend this exceptional act of simple politeness, only to realize that the poor couple would probably be ostracized by their peers for years to come.
What is it they have against the rest of us? Why does every caravan owner, except this charming couple, however slow they drive, never once permit those following on twisting country roads to pass and continue on their way? What strange animus do they nurture against every other member of the human race? ‘Tis mystery all.
Oh the bliss of winter months when these dreaded bundles of frustration and suppressed rage are hibernating. In this dark, mid-winter twilight, would it not be a mighty deed for the Lord to remove the wheels. Live in it by all means; just keep it off the roads.