Monday view from Bessie…..

Hi, I’m Helen and although I have been around on Costa Women for a while but not always an active participant…..until now that is.

Back in the summer of 2010 hubby and myself were living in rural Norfolk along with our three adorable cats. I spent my days hurtling my faithful Citroen around the little country lanes nipping from one Personal Training client to another whilst in my down time I could be found in our garden tending to the fruits and veggies I lovingly grew.

It was an idyllic lifestyle, our little bungalow surrounded by fields and no immediate neighbours to worry about. Problem was though that being a rental property technically it wasn’t ours!! But we had been renting for years ever since we returned from a stint in France in the early 00s and deciding that owning property again was not for us.

We had never had a problem with any of our rentals and it was always us who had called time on them and decided to move on. That was all about to change though when we received a call out of the blue from the rental agency asking if they could come and see us the following day.

Now that can never be good news and I made hubby phone them back and find out what was going on as there was no way that I was going to wait until the following day to find out if we were a/being chucked out or b/were having our rent increased.

It turned out to be the first and so began several days of me wandering around the house wailing and knashing my teeth in distress. How could they do this to me? This is my home? I don’t want to move……..every time hubby tried to talk to me I dissolved into a mess of tears and (ahem) snot and refused to listen.

When I finally did come up to air and tune into what hubby was saying it was quite clear to me that the shock had sent him mad. His solution, up sticks, buy a motor home and go off travelling. WHAT!!!

He knows me well though and over the course of a few days the idea began to sink in and I found myself smiling when I thought about it. We had always talked about moving abroad again and both of us have a gyspy wanderlust in us. My only concern was our three cats, but I decided they would be ok as long as they were with us!

And so began the most frantic 10 weeks of our lives (and we have had many believe me!) where we sold up all our furniture and belongings and chucked what we couldn’t fob off on friends and charity shops. We decided on a caravan rather than a motor home which meant buying a new car and then looking for a suitable caravan with the right layout for easy living. This was tough and in the end we only managed it by the skin of our teeth picking it up 200 miles from home 3 days before we were booked on the Channel Tunnel!!

I finished up with my clients, many of whom had been with me for some years, said goodbye to family and friends and finally the day arrived to leave.

Many memories of those last few days haunt stay with me not least my three little cats sitting with their faces pressed up against the caravan windows looking horrified at their new living arrangements as we rushed around like headless chickens outside. 

Right up until the end life threw us curve balls. All packed and ready to go we discovered the electrial connection from the car to the caravan wasn’t working (it was fine a few days earlier) and so we had no lights on the caravan. We had to unpack part of the car so hubby could get to them and by torch light my amazing man managed to get them going again.

It made us late though and a planned stop off for dinner at my parents before a very early start down to the Channel Tunnel (done so we wouldn’t as caravan towing virgins have to battle around the M25 in rush hour) suddenly became a quick re fueling stop for coffee. I drove us down from Norfolk to Ilford with the hope that after a quick rest hubby would be able to do the rest. Neither of us had slept for 48 hours.

He was shattered though and so it fell to me to get us down to Folkestone – thank goodness for the flask of very strong coffee my dear mother packed us off with and his constant refilling of my mug!

Finally we arrived at the tunnel terminal and sat waiting for our train to be called. Stunned silence from hubby and me punctuated by the occasional discruntled meow from the back seat marked our departure from the UK and the beginning of a new adventure.

Several hours later I pulled up at a campsite in Wissant 8 miles down the coast from Calais. It had been pre-booked and we spent the next 2 days sleeping, walking on the beach and preparing ourselves for the near 2000 mile journey down to the south of Spain and our first destination.

Many adventures and nearly 21 months on life for us is blissful. I love living in Bessie (the name we gave to our trusty caravan) and things get better and better.

My view as I awake this morning is of open fields and cork trees of the plains of Portugal where we have been spending the summer.

In a few weeks we will pack up and head back to Spain for a new venture working with Family Siesta to bring workshops and retreats to the health conscious of the Costa del Sol and beyond. Happy times await for sure.

I thought it might be fun to do a regular blog post entitled ‘Monday morning view from Bessie’ about my life living with few possessions and mod cons – its easier than you think – and sharing my very limited space with a 6 ft 2in man and two cats (unfortunately our precious Tinker passed on to rainbow bridge last year after 17 amazing years with us 🙁 )

Sometimes it can get quite fraught but most of the time we do just fine…….I hope you enjoy my ramblings of a life lived just that little bit differently; which is what most of us come to Spain to do right????

Helen x