Opinion: Janet Christie - Mum's the Word - after a year of lockdown is it time for a road trip?

After a year of lockdown is it time for a road trip?
After a year of lockdown is it time for a road trip?After a year of lockdown is it time for a road trip?
After a year of lockdown is it time for a road trip?

Late one evening, the eyelids are drooping and Biggie Smalls (the cat) and I are thinking about bed once we’ve got through Newsnight, when there’s hammering at the door.

Aw. I’m in my pyjamas. But I’m in my pyjamas most of the time, so I open it.

A huge bunch of flowers makes its entrance, an explosion of magenta and orange gerberas, loud and exotic, fill the hall, followed by Middle Child.

“Hi Ma. Been feeling guilty about not seeing you.”

Didn’t I see him yesterday? Who knows. A year of WFH blurs the days. Anyway, delighted.

“I love these! Thank you.” Now I’m wide awake. I LOVE flowers.

“You don’t need to bring me flowers,” I say.

“Ken. Come to show you my van.”

Aw what. Biggie and I follow him outside and look at the MASSIVE shiny white van, its panels gleaming in the neon of the street lights.

Yay, I know a man with a van! Right, what do I need moving? But someone’s got there before me. When Middle opens the doors with a flourish there’s a very swish sofa in situ.

For me too?

“Naw. That’s Eldest’s and partner’s. Taking it round to their new flat tomorrow.”

After a year of furlough and redundancy, this lot really don’t let the grass grow. A double whammy of redundancy for Eldest turned into three job offers in one day. Yay!

Back at The Van it’s all happening too.

“Yeah, I’m going to do jobs for people, me and Lightning cos he’s got muscles. We’re for hire.”

I climb in. It’s way bigger than I imagined, in much better nick than I feared now it’s fixed, requiring a second job as a pizza chef to pay for it all. A pizza shovel tattoo on his arm isn’t all he brought backfrom that time cooking pizzas at raves in Portugal.He shows me round. “Fixing it up over the next year. Pull-out bed there, sink there, skylight there, window there, dog there (aw, I want one of those).

“Once the insulation’s in it’ll be fine for travelling,” he says.“Where to?”


I want one. Wait, I think I kind of have one.

“How many does it sleep?”

“Me and the dog here, plus a hammock from those hooks, and then there’s the sun terrace…

"Sun terrace?”

He bangs the roof and smiles. “Sleeping under the stars.”

I’m in.

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