My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hands up if you traded the Airstream for a gypsy caravan?

“Hands up if you traded in the Airstream – for a Gypsy Caravan?” The Times asked in The Family Bandwagon. This article must take the cake in a long line of silly stories over the last couple of years by lazy travel writers who all too keenly latched on to the cool camping cool caravanning phenomenon, freely quoting from the same press releases (well, that’s what they’re there for, right, is what they’re thinking) and borrowing ideas from each other. Don't get me wrong, I do think gypsy caravans are pretty cool. Check out these prettily-painted wooden wagons at Gypsy Caravans, these cosy things at the Gypsy Caravan Company, and these darlings at Gypsy Waggons, which, incidentally, are a favourite with legendary guitarist Ronnie Wood (and I’m surprised that juicy tidbit didn’t make it into the article, seeing celebrities can be credited with giving caravanning and camping the makeover it needed). Regardless, you have to agree this story is rather ridiculous: “First camping went upmarket - now it is the turn of caravanning,” Emma Mahony writes, “Who remembers when camping holidays were just wall-to-wall nylon from the sleeping bag to the kitchen area, and one match lit in the wrong place could spell the end of your holiday? Your children? Probably not. They are more likely to think of camping as a cotton yurt experience with luxury kilims on the floor and a cedar-wood barbecue area outside.” Really? (My comment of dismay). “But just as camping has had a successful image makeover, with Cath Kidston tents (Oh, no, not again! Me again) and family festival-goers, so caravans are now looking to have their face lift.” Gypsy caravans, Mahony tells us, are the hottest thing in caravanning: “Ignoring the fact that fashion stylists have been using the rural Gypsy Caravan for years, elbowing the real Romany couple to one side in order to drape clothes over models…” (Oh, c’mon now.) “Suddenly those same gypsy caravans are having their wheels oiled and being offered up, complete with lessons in horse care, as venues for family holidays… In Wales the static Romany originals are suddenly so popular that companies such as Under the Thatch, offering its gypsy caravans at £329 per week, have no availability until October. Real show-offs are even buying their own from Gypsy Caravans.” Cute idea and everything, but I have to ask, how many gypsy caravans have you seen on the road? And would you buy one?


zoe krylova said...

dear lara * thanks for the nice comments on my blog. i'm fascinated with expats, travel writers and the nomadic lifestyle in general. my mother was a travel agent and my father a travel writer. why i didn't follow their in their footsteps, i'm not sure. i guess it's never too late! anyway, my blog doesn't have much travel writing, aside from cyprus, and a few excerpts from my india manuscript, "the golden border" (i spent a year there), so i enjoy living vicariously through the writings of adventurers such as yourself! oh, and my first name is also lara!

Lara Dunston said...

Well, that's a bit of a coincidence isn't it? My name comes from my Russian side of the family.

I really enjoyed your Cyprus blogs. There are so few people blogging about Cyprus, from what I could find - what there is is heavy on politics, but not enough about people and places. Let me know if you ever find any good Cyprus blogs. I'll have to check out your India blogs.

Anonymous said...

In another life I might have a rambling farm with a gypsy caravan as some funky guest accomodation in the orchard. Then I'd invite the Sunday magazines round to take pretty pictures. I'm afraid camping in England makes me shiver - even the Cath Kidson tent doesn't keep out that cold, damp feeling.

- Susan - said...

Hi Lara,
thanks for leaving your comments on Beijing Notebook and Palazzo Pizzo. Do you have an email address that you could mail me? It does not show up in your comment/mail. I would love to give you some hints for your trip to Calabria! Unfortunately I will be there only in July/August.
Best regards from China

zoe krylova said...

this is a nice cyprus blog:

otherwise, i have not found much.

my maternal grandmother was russian, my granfather, cypriot.