Opinion: Nothing like sitting in a field with oldies and bacon smells

At the weekend I did something that, if you’d asked me a decade ago, I would have run away from like I was being chased by an elephant.

By Andy Done-Johnson
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 3:08 pm

Not that unusual really, but for me it was never something that appealed – I went on a short caravan holiday to the Malvern Hills. Now, Malvern wasn’t the subject of my disdain… more caravanning.

Mrs DJ would regularly bang on about us purchasing a caravan, to which I would typically reply: “Darling, while you are a rare and delicate creature and I would do almost anything to make you happy, frankly, I would sooner gouge out my eyes with a sh***y stick.”

I mean, really, who wants to drag a fibreglass box for hundreds of miles, often down increasingly narrow lanes where an oncoming tractor can cause panic and chaos… and potentially tailbacks that might need police assistance?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The Malvern caravan site

Only then to spend a couple of days sitting in a field surrounded by old people, kids on bikes and the ever-present smell of BBQs and bacon.

But eventually I relented and we purchased a fully-restored 1980s Sprite Musketeer for less than a grand. And on Saturday, for the price of a tank full of petrol and about £60 for a two-night stay, we headed off to the prettiest corner of Worcestershire.

Now, we’re not your typical caravanners – we don’t cook in her, we’re more likely to go off and find a nearby pub, call up a pizza or go and find a local deli.

And we certainly don’t drag our own faeces in drum to the chemical waste point – we have a strict ‘no number-twos inside’ rule.

But when you’re there, sat in the sunshine and surrounded by nature, it’s one of the most tranquil experiences I can imagine.

And the reason for my transformation is simple – STRESS. It helps take away the stress.

It’s not the only thing I do to help myself.

I walk a lot, I go to the gym and push myself hard at least four times a week.

We all need something when life gets tough, when we need some self-help with our emotions. We all need something.

It doesn’t need to be caravanning or lifting weights or walking. But whatever works for you, find something, anything that gives you some peace.

We all need self-care.