The caravan breakdown has quickly turned into a major problem. On inspection, no identification plate or any kind of markings are to be found on the axle. I telephoned several caravan breakers. No joy. Getting a replacement axle is simply not likely to happen. I then got to thinking of an alternative solution. Perhaps I could transship my caravan onto a flatbed trailer. Sourcing a suitable trailer also soon became a bit of a mission. The main problem being cost. I soon got Michael on board searching. We quickly came to the conclusion that for the cost of a second-hand trailer, we could get a chassis built from scratch that would be a permanent solution. (If you remember, from the start, before I had left Cornwall, I had wanted to sort the chassis/axle configuration.*) So, we searched out a few companies locally that seemed likely to be able to help. I eventually got some-one from a company called Canterbury Trailers to come out to have a look. They dismissed the whole idea as being impossible. I knew that was not the case as I had already been told that it could. After another week or so, I found a company called EU Trailers. After some faffing, I finally got some-one to have a look. They said that it would be expensive, but can be done. I said that I just need to know roughly how much and timescale. I’m now waiting for a response.
In the meantime, Michael set up a fundraiser. That appears to have fallen flat on its face. I suspect that it did so because of the target figure. We had estimated that the cost of a new chassis would be in the region of £3,500, so set that as the target. What we didn’t take into consideration is the fact that most people would see that as being unreasonable and/or greedy. They can only see a caravan and therefore would argue that a second-hand caravan can be purchased for a few hundred pounds. What people don’t realise is that a caravan is a poorly put together plastic box that is designed to go on holiday for a couple of weeks a year for a half dozen years, not to live in. Regardless of caravan, even a brand new one would mean a lot of work strengthening it for permanent use. Besides, as you know, I have put a lot of work, time, money and energy into my home. It is no longer ‘just a caravan’. Had we have had a target of £500, we would probably have raised ten times that! But, hey-ho, live and learn. We’ll find a way.
While I’ve been parked here I have been into the village and met a number of the villagers, getting on first name basis very quickly. Until I went up and told them of my presence, the villagers were oblivious to the fact that I was stranded in their car park! I handed out a few of my flyers and as soon as I discovered it, put an announcement on the village Facebook ‘noticeboard’ page. I immediately got loads of responses, basically to a man, saying welcome. Some went so far as to say that I was welcome to stay for as long as I needed.
One day, a car pulled into the car park with an awful squealing noise. I figured out what was causing the noise. I went over to the young man who had alighted from the car. I told him that I was pretty sure that I knew what was wrong. I grabbed my jack, lifted the car and confirmed my diagnosis, then fiddled with bending the front disc brake back plate/heatshield back. It was rubbing against the disc.
I sourced the wiper mechanism for the truck. It was more expensive than I thought it would be. Once I was able to pay for it, it quickly arrived and was soon fitted.
There was a craft fare in the village hall. I popped along for a nose. I’d left it quite late as there was torrential rain that day. There was mostly the usual trinkets; all beautifully handmade. One stall caught my eye. A young lady called Hannah scorches designs into a number of wooden articles. Breadboards and cheeseboards were the most common. She also has spoons, coasters and keyrings, etc. We got talking. She showed me some of her work. She takes commissions where she copies the likeness of photographs onto any wooden object. I showed her pictures of Arian and Rowan. She assured me that she could create something for me. I thanked her for her time and made sure that I had her contact details. Before I left, she gave me a lovely little ‘mushroom’ keyring.
*see entry What next