Think about your ‘Watershed’ moments…….


We’re filming a show and have been for some months now.  The guys have been up for the weekend to do some more filming and on Saturday we decided to clear out the elderly caravan that sits 50yds from the house.  No big deal there…..or was it?

This is no ordinary caravan, it’s an 8 berth Atlas, just like the ones at caravan parks like Haven.  It’s also the place Paul made home for 3 years before his death and a lot of his things are still in it.  I haven’t been inside for the last 6 and half years and had no idea what to expect or how I would feel.  

This is what our Atlas used to look like!

I knew it would bring back a lot of memories and I also knew that most of those memories would be sad ones.  However, it needs to be sorted and I needed to assess whether it could be of any use to us as a family moving forward as it’s inevitably deteriorating over time.  

We’ve also lost the keys!  This means that whenever the children have gone in they’ve climbed through a window, this meant I had to access it via the same route!  Interesting, to say the least.

Climbing in or falling in?

Osborn managed to get in without too much trouble so I felt that I would be ok as well.  Errrrrr…….no!  I climbed onto the hitching gear and raised my left leg to the window and managed to get it onto the window sill but there was where it ended!  The window was so small I couldn’t get any leverage to hoist the rest of my body up, being a stone overweight at the moment wasn’t doing anything to help the situation either.

I decided to change tactics and managed to get to the point where I was lying on my stomach half in and half out trying to wriggle myself in enough for physics to take over and find my ‘tipping point’.  Not the most elegant or athletic method but I knew it would achieve the desired result of getting me in, even it was head first!  Having a camera trained on me was doing nothing to help the situation either but worse was to come when Osborn and Nikita decided to pull my arms.  I slithered over the threshold of the window and landed in an ungainly heap on the cushions of the settee.

Quickly leaping up and trying to regain some composure for the sake of national TV coverage I only succeeded in looking like an overgrown toddler showing off his new found prowess at doing rolly polly’s!  The stupid, inane grin I shot at the producer as I stood up was enough to convince even the most sympathetic of viewers that I was completely bonkers.

Once in I started the process of looking around and was relieved to see at first glance that there really wasn’t much to worry about.  Most of the rooms are empty with a few cardboard boxes in one and a few odd items of no value scattered across the floor.  That was when Osborn lifted the cushion off one of the long seats and showed me stacks upon stacks of books and notepads hidden underneath.

Somewhat gingerly I started to pull piles out and see what was there.  Dozens of diaries, mostly used for only a few days and obviously discarded, a few of my daily notepads that I used for business to write down enquiries etc…and a huge number of notepads that Paul had written in on various subjects including one entitled ‘Baby Book’.

In this one he’d listed the time everything had happened on the day of Jamie’s birth and also the few days after, including when her nappy had been changed and detailed information about the contents of said nappy!  The names of every Dr and Midwife in attendance were also meticulously notated, it was fascinating to see everything in such minute detail.  

This was my husband though, every minute of his life diarised in the most detailed and OCD fashion, his diaries written in the tiniest of writing so as to be able to write 2 lines per printed line.  Everything from what he had for breakfast and the precise time to how many minutes he spent on the phone talking to his mother.  It was all there and everything highlighted in fluorescent colours making every page a jumble of bright colours.

Memories yes, but also a reminder of how we’ve all moved on since his death and how far we’ve all come.  I guess you’d call it bittersweet but I’m so relieved to have crossed that hurdle…something of a watershed I feel.

Onwards and upwards!

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