Revving Up
Revving Up

“Here’s to freedom, cheers to art. Here’s to having an excellent adventure and may the stopping never start.” ― Jason Mraz

        I bought my Bongo campervan back in September 2019.  To have a campervan has always been a dream and it was wonderfully exciting to finally achieve that ambition.  Then, before I knew it, the autumn and winter were upon us and there was no time to think about gadding around the country on hazy, lazy summer days.  It was time to park up and baton down the hatches in readiness for the onslaught of winter, here on the wilds of Suffolk’s North Sea coast.  The Bongo adventures that we looked forward to were just pushed back in the diary, a little further.   I smiled as I thought about seeing new, and indeed familar, places from the comfort of our Bongo.  

      January arrived and it tempted us with the aspirations of a brand new year.  It felt as though the year ahead would be filled with possibilities and that things were in place that would enable many fun memories to be created.

        Then, from the third day of January, all hell broke loose.

        Yes, to put it bluntly, almighty great mountains of shit hit the proverbial fan!  There was no escaping the fact that the worst year of my life had just begun.  This would be a year that I knew would be a life changer.  I was right.  Not just for me but, unquestionably, 2020 put on a big pair of boots and started to kick not just my backside, but everyone’s.  My beautiful mother was taken ill on January 3rd and, shocking me to my core, she died on January 10th!  I still have to take a moment to really believe that was even possible.  Then, as I was dragging myself through extraordinarily painful grief, Coronvirus hit and so we all found ourselves pretty much confined to home by the Government.  Britain and much of the world!  This has been bizarre.  It has been surreal.  Not getting to enjoy the Bongo since, given what has happened, is now truly inconsequential and insignificant.  Far worse has played out in the first half of this year than any gripe I may have about not being able to enjoy my campervan.  Truly.

      The purpose for me in writing this article is to share my joy at having been out for a drive in the Bongo, today.  I had discovered, yesterday, that the battery was flat.  It’d been months since I had driven the  Bongo.  We charged and refitted the battery and then, in the afternoon, we went out for a drive to see how the Bongo would perform.  The good news is that she drove like a dream and that it was just a complete joy to get out and meander my way through the country lanes of Suffolk, while testing the integrity of the vehicle.  I was not disappointed and I had a huge grin on my face for the entire drive.

     I thought about my mum, as I gave the Bongo this warm up session.  She had said that this year she wanted to come out and have lovely days at the beach and in the coutryside, with the Bongo.  We had discussed gathering a few friends and enjoying lazy, hazy summer days with the cooking facility in the Bongo being ready for duty.  It is truly incredulous that I am sittiing here and reflecting back on my mum’s death, instead.

        One of the main reasons I had wanted to have a campervam, was that it would mean that I could simply have a rest on the campervan pull-down bed, at times when my Parkinson’s symptoms might flare up.  It felt such a relief to imagine days where I may be out and about and I would have the facility to simply go and lay down and enjoy a comfortable rest, at any time.    No more having to announce, to my husband Kevin, that we would have to cut short and head home due to me feeling unwell.

     The next step will be to get the Bongo a full service and thorough check.  It drives so beautifully and so I have no concerns, other than simply it is pretty old.  So, sometime in the next week or three, we will aim to get the Bongo seen  by a mechanic and we may just tweak some of our plans, but that is ok.

There are some projects, for the Bongo, that I have identified that we would benefit from doing.  These include creating some shelving within the little wardrobe part of the van.  We also need to give the pop up roof bedroom a thorough clean with anti-mould spray.  I am also thinking of buying a mini-fridge for the Bongo.  Now, what do you think about that idea?  Does a mini-fridge make good sense in a camper van or would it be better not to bother?

Further updates, as work progresses on the Bongo, will follow in due course.

(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2020.

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