'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane - more from the archives...

Scanning photos is proving to be a major undertaking... over 300 now and have only scraped the tip of this particular 'berg.

I have alluded to it on occasion in previous posts, but here is the photographic proof; yes indeed we lived out of a caravan until I was nearly 6 years of age!

This photo tells more than the scene.  Those of you who follow MY TAKE (the photoblog) also, will know that my father was a keen photographer himself and this was one of the early results from home-processing and hand coloured.

The towing caravan allowed my mother and us kids to keep up with the father as he worked his way up from metriculation; apprenticed first as a surveyor, he also undertook study for Electrical Engineering and by the time we were at this spot, he was a project manager on the stretch of electrification under way.

This was not the first 'van; the first was much smaller.  Three things factored the upgrade...which takes me back to the beginning.

Three months after I was born the father was given his first step up the ladder as site manager on a major project over here in West Scotland.  Mum was keen enough to stay with him so the cheap and cheerful option was to buy a 'van as it was likely there would be quite a few moves in the first few years of his career. It also meant that when holidays came round, the family could just hook up and drive!

At some point during that early time, there was a major storm. HUGE winds. Mum and I were inside the 'van when it got blown over... now I cannot say for certain that I have 'memory' of that (being only nine months), but I do know I have some kind of cellular reaction to any shift off the level and to this day am not at all fond of heavy wind. Secondary to this, along came Mac1 only a year after that trauma and the home on wheels was outgrown.  More space and more stability required. So Big Grey was purchased.  Lots of memories from those days.

It was bought down in Suffolk.  

Which was the third and deciding factory really.  Using the little one to relocate the family to this far and distant land (as it would have seemed in the early 1960s), the trade-in was made and a field found.  The farmer and his wife became dear and fond friends. Indeed, on reflection, I am sure they were like surrogate parents for my mother as she adjusted to her own growing family and being separated from her close-knit hub.  I recall the Buttons had an outside toilet at the bottom their garden.  It was a place of mystery and mischief.  They also still drew their water from a well using an iron hand pump!!  It was from this the caravan's water was supplied also.

Look at the top pic again... you will see two vehicles.  The Landrover has a big "L" on it... this was the father's little joke when he took me off road sitting on his lap and holding the steering wheel. I was learning to drive!  The actual driving came in the other vehicle. As mentioned in this post.

The cabin on the side hides the second door of the caravan - it housed the toilet and wash facilities. There was space for a little garden. Mostly mum grew veges. She longed to one day have a flower garden too.

At about the time the photo was taken of myself and Mac1 (4 and 2 yrs respectively), the third sibling was born.  Mac2 joined us and it was shortly after this that mother went into battle to try and get me into school.  I was ready.  The 'rules' were not.  Due to my birthday falling after Easter, I had to wait a full 12 months more...


  1. Remembering is good, and is good to practice.

  2. Very evocative photos and interesting post today.
    I have noticed that adults who are adaptable, flexible, and travel well in different cultures, often come from families where moving home and living in different places was the norm. Sometimes I wonder if the benefits of a stable childhood (and mine was as stable as could ever be imagined) are oversold!
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. Hari OM
    an interesting point, Gail; though I know as many within our transitory connections who have less than fond memories and dread moves as a result... like most things it can go either way!!!

  4. Gail does make a very interesting point, I know many people who are like that. I on the other hand had a stable childhood in a small town but I love to travel and totally enjoy learning about other cultures. So as you said Yam, it does go both ways.

  5. thank for sharing some of the good old memories

    that second car reminded me a FIAT we use to have in india.. almost same color tooo

    and thats how i learnt to drive when i was 12 in india in my parents car.. :)



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