Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

October 2005

Oxhill

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Contents

October 2
November Issue
Cover Picture
Parish Council
John Hughes
Service Times
David Knight
Harvest Service
Tysoe Marionettes
Nature Watch
Goldfish
Travels of a Caravan
Whatcote Xmas Puddings
UK Volunteer Year
Village Hall AGM
Village Hall Committee
Village Hall Events
Old Fire Station
Garden Club
Electric Blanket Testing
25 Years Ago
Poetry Corner

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Travels of a Caravan

Those of you who know me and those who donít will recognise me as the largest, some might say fattest man in the village. I suffer from Sleep Apnoea, I stop breathing the I moment I fall asleep and without my CPAP machine, that pumps air into me at night, I wake on average every 60 seconds, all night, every night. I prowled the streets of the village in the early hours of the morning, the corridors at home and rarely spent more than an hour and a half in bed on any night.  My bodyís metabolism wrecked by exhaustion ceased to work and my weight soared despite not eating huge quantities. I am now obese, disabled by my weight and arthritis, brought on by too much sport in my youth and middle age..

Now I have gained a new lease of life the CPAP machine, which travels everywhere with me, enables me to sleep and my brain has come back into full operation. No more falling asleep in meetings, in the chair when guests visit, or at the wheel, I can travel and do, or should I say did.

I was going to regale you all with tales of our trip to Brittany in the Hobby caravan, a rig, which when hitched to my pickup, is as long as an artic.  The weather enjoyed at 104 degrees, the wine, the food, all imbibed at a soporific pace of life. The journey too was fun, travelling on the Chunnel train and driving down the fast Paeage manoeuvring through the tolls, with little over an inch either side of our huge van.  Inside the caravan was specially reinforced under one seat and my side of the double bed to take my weight.  The freedom to enjoy life once more and the flexibility of holidays for Sue and myself was wonderful.

We returned awash with wine, inside the van that is, stacked in the cases of Red, White, and Rose that had taken our fancy in Carrefour.  I had even used the internet and bought masses of new clothes for the summer from the outsize clothiers available on the net.  I felt less self conscious, hells teeth, I even stripped to a cossie and went swimming.

On our return after a few weeks at home it was up to Newcastle for the Tall Ships Race towing our monster behind us, off to Teesside, the north Yorkshire Moors and beautiful Seaburn where I was born.  We watched the ships enter and days later leave the Tyne from the vantage point of a millionaireís penthouse overlooking the river mouth. We raced the pickup over the river and onto the cliff tops of South Shields and Marsden Rock and watched almost in awe as over 100 ships, many square riggers in full sail, tacked back and forth awaiting the start gun from the Royal Navy ships, more than a mile and a half apart, which formed the start line.

No sooner had we returned home than that dynamo known as Sue, had me wash the van as she transformed and cleaned and packed the interior ready for this Bank Holiday weekend when we were off to Worcester for a long lazy weekend with friends to see a Yetis concert.  Some of you may be old enough to remember them from Dorset. 

Before we could leave however I had to return my disabled parents to their own home; they had been for a three week break with us.  We worked like Trojans that weekend on their house and returned home in the early hours of Sunday morning.  The gates were open, the wrong way, Sue was walking Fosseway and our new puppy Barnaby down the road before bed, so she did not realise the import as I came into the drive, but I knew.  The caravan had gone.  Those visits of strangers through the village touting for tree trimming work, that had filled me with unease, had confirmed my worst fears.

Locks and safety devices deter only the casual thief, this was pre-planned, pre-sold even and all they had to wait for was the night my neighbours were away and so were we. Cars and caravans disappear from our driveways whether the owners are at home or not, the law offers neither defence nor deterrent.   The apology for protection that the police and the justice system now offer society, the constant worrying about criminalís rights instead of those of the victims, leaves us all exposed to danger.   Vigilance over our own and the property of our neighbours, is our only real defence until under the law we may once again defend our homes  as our castles, with impunity. 

My insurance had expired, ours days will be less exciting for affordable holidays in the future as I cannot replace the van and will not be able to do so for some time. My disability in any event requires some privacy, which the caravan offered, providing me with a little self respect and even then if we replaced the van it would only be a matter of time before it was stolen again.

Take notice of strangers if you can, make a note of car registrations parked with their owners walking seemingly aimlessly around the village.  You may not see them when they strike three months later but the police need any help that they can get.

Alan Hedley

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Last modified: September 29, 2005