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Colum­nist Martin Roberts of­fers his dis­tinc­tive monthly take on car­a­van­ning

SO WE ENTER the sea­son of good­will to all. Sadly, my wife has ex­cluded me from this gen­eral ‘catch-all’ phi­los­o­phy.

They say that time heals all wounds. Well, I have to re­veal this ‘ac­cen­tu­ate the pos­i­tive’, mind­ful en­cour­age­ment is not univer­sal. Or put it an­other way – I’m still in trouble.

You may re­call our less than per­fect sum­mer car­a­van­ning ex­pe­ri­ence – fea­tur­ing trench foot, pro­jec­tile vomit, soggy dogs, a leaky awn­ing and my pos­si­bly ill-ad­vised three-day es­cape to Por­tu­gal.

Thank­fully, my bro­ken bones have now knit­ted nicely, but the emo­tion­ally hy­per­sen­si­tive gen­eral con­cept is still raw.

“On your bike,” were the fond words that greeted my ten­ta­tive sug­ges­tion that we might book our an­nual pil­grim­age to our favourite, stun­ningly lovely camp­site in Dorset.

The plum­met­ing tem­per­a­ture in the kitchen might have made you think I had just in­tro­duced my wife to my su­per­model mis­tress’s love child.

The in­stant my wife re­alised that I was cling­ing to the fu­tile hope that my beloved weeks away in the car­a­van were still a pos­si­bil­ity, she be­came deaf to all en­treaties. “No,” was her com­pro­mise po­si­tion.

This left me with a se­ri­ous co­nun­drum. I love the car­a­van. I love go­ing on car­a­van­ning hol­i­days. I love our Dorset camp­site. I even love the sound of rain bounc­ing on the roof while I’m snug­gled up warm and cosy (if a bit damp) in bed.

As long as I can… er… (dis­creet cough, slight shuf­fling of feet)… nip off to a Con­ti­nen­tal beach re­sort where it’s still 30C at 10 o’clock at night, in the mid­dle of that car­a­van­ning holiday.

“Still no,” my wife con­tin­ues, be­fore my care­fully con­sid­ered words of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion have even left my lips. “Which bit of ‘never, ever, ever, ever, ever again’ do you not un­der­stand?” she asks, fros­tily.

And so, dear reader, I have to ad­mit to suc­cumb­ing to rather desperate mea­sures (needs must, as they say).

Well, bla­tant bribery, ac­tu­ally.

And I can now hap­pily re­port that our cost-ef­fec­tive, back to tra­di­tional val­ues, per­fect for the chil­dren, fam­ily holiday in Dorset is back on the cal­en­dar.

And the desperate mea­sures? Well, 10 days at a five-star beach re­sort in Mau­ri­tius in Fe­bru­ary was a small (well, all right, quite a high) price to pay.

So much for af­ford­able car­a­van hol­i­days, eh?

Wish­ing you all the best for the fes­tive sea­son, and a very happy and healthy 2018. Visit Martin’s web­site www.mar­t­in­roberts.co.uk for in­for­ma­tion about him, his books and his prop­erty train­ing week­ends, and fol­low his ad­ven­tures on Twit­ter @Tv­mart­in­roberts

Ten days at a beach re­sort in Mau­ri­tius is a small price to pay for a trip to Dorset

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