The blog is back and I’m delighted to say that we have moved into the house…..someone open the champagne. It’s not quite finished yet, with decorating, floorings and storage still in progress, but 12 months after we started clearing the plot we are finally in. Our trusty static caravan has been sold and made its way to its new owners this week.
As with many things during the build, waving bon voyage to the caravan didn’t go quite as planned. The caravan was originally due to be picked up and moved to its new home a few weeks ago. It was a clear sunny day, so perfect for crawling around disconnecting pipes and unshackling its chains ready for it to be moved. We had to take down the boundary fence to allow it to be picked up via the farm road at the side of our plot. Rather than pull the caravan right out into the road we pulled it round to an angle that would allow it to be pulled onto the lorry from the plot. Everything was going swimmingly with me pulling it round to the desired angle in the old Golf, while Simon and a neighbour kept it from taking a nose dive into the mud and my dad overseeing the whole operation. We were all set with it in location for the 12 o’clock pick up. 12 o’clock came and went, as did the rest of the afternoon and by 6pm with no sign of the haulage company we finally accepted the caravan wasn’t going anywhere that day.
The haulage company had let the new buyers down and they had to find someone else to complete the pickup. This was not as easy as it would seem with only a few companies moving static caravans in Scotland and many of them tied up switching old for new caravans on holiday sites. To add a little drama to the situation the estate were scheduled to plant the beech hedge and install the internal boundary fence any day soon. With the static caravan sitting across the plot boundary it was going to make this a little bit tricky. As the caravan was no longer chained down we were keeping an eye on the weather in the fear that strong winds would arrive and blow the caravan off its supports causing damage. The forecast remained relatively calm until the early hours of Wednesday morning when 40mph plus winds were due. The through of having to pull it back round and rechain one headache we didn’t need.
Finally on Tuesday, the day before the winds were due, the new haulage company arrived to collect the caravan. They didn’t seem to agree with our idea that they could pull the caravan onto the lorry from where it was and wanted it right out on the farm road. We may have used the old Golf to pull it round, but there was no way it would get it right out. Thankfully a local croft owner happened to be driving down the hill in his tractor. Never one to miss an opportunity, Simon flagged him down with a plea for help assuring him it would be a 10 minute job….if there is one thing this build has taught me it is to take Simons estimations for completing a job with a very large pinch of salt. Over an hour later with not only the help of the tractor, but also the haulage companies escort vehicle the caravan was out on the farm road and ready to be loaded onto the truck. Simon waved it off and put the external fence back in place. The estates workmen arrived the very next day to plant the beech hedge……timing is everything!
In a weird way I miss our caravan and know that we will both look back fondly on our year living in it. It has played a big part in our self-build journey and we have had a fair few guests and helpers through its door, but it was definitely time to say goodbye and move onto the next chapter.
I’ll be posting more updates on the last 8 months of the build soon.