It’s not that I didn’t love her. We travelled so far together. It’s just that there comes a time when things change, one or other moves on.
We met some time ago when she was with someone else. I still love the fact that Ffion T-cut her to sparkling cleanliness, even though I was wrapping her in dragons. When I bought her she was red. But not for long.
Together we travelled the roads, from St Davids, to Aldeborough, from Cornwall to Edinburgh, via Suffolk. We were banned from London by Boris Johnson and Transport For London, which was ok with me.
She journeyed to Ennerdale where we met June and worked with children there andI learned about Arctic Chard and met a man who was still grieving for his flock after foot and mouth decimated his life.
We went to Suffolk where I heard nightingales sing and learned of the Black Shook and saw a wonderful rocking horse in Walberswick.
All The Bears in the World went on tour from Cornwall to Scotland. Wonderful memories, have a look at the blog posting from then.
Mr Stenham was beside me much of the time, sharing the driving. At these times I would rest. Sometimes it was better not to see where I was going. But for the most part the countryside was beautiful. Have a look at the Bears’ tour no 2: with Quakers and bears and silver swans, and this is where Little P was given his hat by Cecelia, who spins and knits.
Norfolk and Suffolk were wonderful, working with Aldeborough Bookshop and Marilyn Brocklehurst from the NCBC. We travelled together from the edges of the UK.
And we met people, like Jane Johnson and Robin Hobb and we met horses and wolves and cats.
And we camped in the woods in the teepee of dragons, which will soon have a sister teepee.
And we ate fish and chips at Portgain, in the van, watching shearwaters far out at sea, and the sun going down.
Mary and Little P and the leopards loved to come too, singing along as we travelled the long roads of Britain. ( They are creatures from Celestine and the Hare, who also made All the Bears in the World.)
I wrote books in the van.
But, well, the wrap of dragons around the van began to flake and peel. It lasted about 7 years before it began to look tatty. The roof rusted. And i began to think about a new van.
So, the van was stripped of her dragons and sold.
She has sticky tape around her rusty windscreen, and has gone to live with Nick, who cleaned her, and discovered where much of the soil erosion in Pembrokeshire had gone…..
And Nick knows how to fix cars and vans, so she will have a more comfortable old age with him.
And I, fickle creature that I am, have a new van, having thought long and hard about vans and cars…..
So, a new adventure begins……. but so many fond memories, friends met, roads travelled. She still has dragon eggs on her hub caps. And I am talking to Sigma in Haverfordwest about new ideas for decorating the van……so, what’s it to be this time?