This is hard to write. Bloody hard.
After more than thirty years of driving pegs and setting tarps against the worst of the weather ... after surviving the children wetting beds and complaining about the miles ... after sleeping in cars, tents and camper trailers through every part of Australia except Tasmania, we have finally acceded to the demands of Sue's back and my boredom with the workload.
A month ago, we sold the camper trailer.
Last week, we placed a deposit on a caravan.
Should any of you should feel the need to call me a grey nomad, once you have lifted yourself up from the floor laughing, I would like to remind you that I have stark white hair, not grey. Coming so close to another birthday who's count sounded far to many to belong to me, I am faced with the reality I will have to accept ageing ... eventually.
Never one to spend much time over making major decisions, the move to a hard top and the choice of vehicle, have provided me with the longest ponder of my life. The last five months have been well invested but stand in contrast to the two days it took to decide on our other dwelling - the big brick one in Tamworth - or the eight days it took to woo, tame and seek approval of Sue. Did I say tame?
Come December, we'll have an Avan Cruiser sitting on the front lawn, its titanium shades ensuring I remain someone different from the rest. The advertising said it took longer to boil the jug than have the basic dwelling set up and so did the salesmen ... both of them. There was only small exaggeration involved. One took 25 seconds and the other 29. I'm prepared to live with that. Two clips, lift one side of the roof and the other comes up to join it. Pull one wall up, then the other, four clips and the jugs on. Of course, there are stabilisers to wind down and the gas to turn on to the fridge but you get the drift but if its raining they can wait until later.
Somewhat easier compared to the camper trailer and a sealed, insulated cubby hole with more room and the same mattress as at home so the bush princess can rest and stretch that dodgy back. Reading lights, permanent tables, hot water on tap ... water on tap rather than syphoned ... not bad.
We got a good deal but still spent a lot of money but, if it keeps us on the road longer, who cares. Its not our inheritance!