New beginnings… and a new (only, not new) caravan.

by zoesylviasimpson

I’m Zoe; a 19-year-old criminology and psychology undergraduate studying in my first year at university. They say that university will be some of the best years of your life; meeting new people, experiencing new things, broadening your horizons and all that. I’ve tried out some new things so far and met some great people, and I’ve decided that now is as good a time as ever to do something crazy… like spend my scholarship on a caravan.

Yes, you read that correctly. A caravan.

I know it’s weird. Most students who receive a tonne of money from the government, free to spend as they wish with no catch, spend it on an adrenaline-filled, totally ‘hipster’ gap-year, posing with lions and tigers and bears {oh my!}. Others would perhaps buy a car, or a house, or a holiday. And yet I’m spending mine on a caravan.

I’ve decided to do this for a few reasons. The first reason, and the most practical and logical, is to allow myself to save up enough money to rent or buy a really decent place to live when I leave university {or perhaps a few years after I leave university. Who knows – I might grow a little too attached}. When I leave university there’s a high chance I might not end up in a brilliantly-paid job immediately {yeah, yeah. Gloat away, anti-university ranters}. This would mean I would be paying a lot of my mediocre salary from my full-time job into renting a below-average flat while also paying bills and slowly letting go of the dream of ever having enough money to buy a decent place to live. However, if I live in a cute little caravan in my mum’s back garden {pikey lyf}, I can pay next-to-nothing rent and bills and save whatever is left to buy a proper place to live {if, like I say, I haven’t by then grown too attached to my humble wheeled-abode}. I can also keep my dear old {sorry, ma} mum company. Aww.

The second reason I’ve decided to do this is because I have always loved the idea of having my own little project to concentrate on and to completely delve myself into. Okay, I will admit, buying a knackered old caravan and renovating it at the age of 19 and on a low budget is a bit more than a “little project”. But still, you have to admire my ambition, right?

The third reason… or maybe this is still part of the second reason… is that today I went along with my mum to a second-hand furniture shop where she volunteers and I got stuck in and helped out around the workshops. First I was sanding down a set of table and chairs to give them a really pretty ‘fire’ effect where the knots in the wood show through when you eventually varnish it. Next, I was painting an old cabinet. Lastly, and most interesting of all, I learnt how to re-upholster a 1930’s bar stool – the leather was so old it seemed to practically melt off of the disintegrating foam when I dug my fingernail into it. I was taught how to remove the really {really, really} old staples from the bottom of the chair, along with the leather and the foam, and then how to fit new foam and new fabric to the wooden stool. Surprisingly, it’s not as easy as Kirsty Allsop makes it look on Kirsty’s Hand-made Britain… however, I eventually got the hang of it.

Anyway, enough of my rambling about my volunteering. My point is, I’ve learnt how easy, fun and rewarding it can be to take something old and unloved and make it look lovely and shiny and new (or even old) again with a little TLC. Hence, I want to restore a caravan.

I will be blogging about my caravan-restoration journey every step of the way, as well as blogging about other areas of my life which I think may be of interest to whichever lovely darlings decide to take a fancy to this blog of mine.

This project may end up a complete waste of money. However, it could equally end up a complete success. Who knows!? It’ll be fun either way, and if it does turn out to be a success, I can admire {and even better, LIVE IN} something that I have created. What more incentive do I need?

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