The time had come to move the caravan on to the field. It was a moment of great significance. Our strategy of being allowed to live on our field while we created a business was dependent upon not being stopped from doing so before we had actually managed to moved on. In the small hours of many a night, I had imagined our caravan wedged firmly in a narrow land, surrounded by enraged locals while someone called in the planning heavies who came and fenced us off from our own land.
But as we sailed along empty lanes on a sunny morning, all fears evaporated. Things, for once, were going swimmingly well. As we drove down the last and narrowest lane to our field, I felt we were home and dry. Then Gully executed a sharp 90 degree turn onto the field, and the wheels, as it were, came off. Caught in the dip that led onto the field, the back of the caravan came down hard on the road and sparks flew as its metal feet dragged along the tarmac. There it was, my night fears come true – a caravan firmly wedged at the entrance of the field while the car hopelessly strained, wheels spinning with the smell of burning clutch invading the fresh Devon air.
Worse still, it seemed, a large truck had suddenly appeared behind us and in my panic-filled mind my imagined traffic jam began to turn into reality. But then providence smiled upon us. The truck turned out to be our delivery of fencing materials. Its driver a man of little words but strong in the arm. Between us all we manhandled the caravan and towed it gloriously onto the middle of the field. Our saviour neatly craned our fencing posts over the high Devon hedge, and went on his way. Not once had he asked what the bloody hell we thought we were doing.