Friday, May 01, 2015


My long stretch of teaching is finally coming to an end - only two more weeks left and then we are into the exam and marking period and I can think about how to organise my work over the summer and into the autumn and my much anticipated study leave. I will still have lots to do (after all, that was the purpose of the leave period - to get ahead with that research), but it will be my own time, my own plans. I can't tell you how excited I am.

Spring also leads to other kinds of plan. 

We've had Matilda the caravan for two years now. Last year we finally went ahead and painted the outside - white and a lovely light shade of blue - but the inside, a depressing and faded symphony in fake wood and 1980s design, remained untouched. 

Eventually we decided to rip the toilet/shower out. It was an awful little space and we found that over the years the shower must have leaked, because there was clear water damage in one of the corners. Since it wasn't a built-in toilet we were also sure that we'd never use the little camping toilet in there and we coveted the space that getting rid of the cubicle would create. We were right - removing the bathroom really did open up the space, but what next? 

D had some vague plans of building the triple bunk bed, but even though he started measuring and brought in bits of wood from the shed it never got any further. 

Then it got colder and we shut Matilda's door for the winter and only really opened it again last week, when the warmer and sunnier weather triggered a renewed enthusiasm for this project. 

It helps that I would dearly love to take Matilda to the lake district this year. So far we've never taken Matilda camping with us - she's purely been used as a summer house in the  garden - but obviously we would like to do so eventually. I have plans to attend Woolfest for the very first time, and wouldn't it be nice to bring the caravan and spend a long weekend there as a family? 

Looking at the space again D and I made a spontaneous decision - we don't need a triple bunk! The actual beds would be small and our boys are growing fast, so it would mean such a lot of work for something that might only work for them for a few years. If we go camping we'd probably always take the campervan as well, meaning that it will be much more sensible to have half the family sleep in the camper and the other half in Matilda.

Instead, we decided, we'd have a daybed which would provide additional seating in Matilda and storage underneath and, if needed, can also function as a single bed. D got straight to work and, using pieces from one of the old toddler beds created a frame. Add one of the toddler bed mattresses on top and tadah! we have a daybed! 

He also removed the remaining stud wall next to the seating area which separated the daybed from the bench and which used to belong to a wardrobe next to the bathroom. With all this gone and the daybed in place Matilda is starting to look like a pretty great place to hang out in!

Next job on the list - painting the inside! I'm planning on a simple white interior and I'll add bits of blue through soft furnishings and accessories. 

It looks like we might actually get somewhere with our Matilda transformation this year! 

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  1. She is cute. Your family is adventurous.

  2. That looks like loads of fun! Hope you enjoy your time once it's quieter (I can't wait for work to slow down a bit!).

  3. Very impressive and looks like a heap of fun.

  4. thats exciting! What a wonderful family driven project :) and I love the idea of it acting as a summer house but hopefully doubling up as a useful camper as well :) I feel inspired! Can't wait to see how you get on :) jenny xxx