Sunday, 22 February 2009

Sleeping in the car

In the early 1970s and then again in the mid 80s I had spells of holidaying on my own and sleeping in the car – in the 70s in my Mini Traveller and in the 80s in a Marina Estate. Neither was the most comfortable of beds but the locations in which I slept were wonderful.

One summer I parked in a lane in the Newlands Valley in the Lake District. There was a stream in the trees and I kept the window open all night listening to the restful sound of running water.

I awoke very early and went up Maiden Moor to watch the sunrise over the mountains.

This was by the side of Loch Lomond on the way up to visit GB in the Outer Hebrides. Again, I woke early and was on the road before almost anyone else was awake. I picked up a hitch-hiker, a rather scruffy Scot. It was the first time I realised that there really were some Scots who put ’Jimmi’ at the end of every sentence. “Yor rite Jimmi”. Since neither of us could really understand each other it became a fairly quiet journey until I dropped him off in the absolute middle of nowhere – his choice, not mine!

Another Lochside overnight stop on the way to the Hebrides another year. When I came through with Jo a year later I noticed this picnic site had ‘No Overnight Parking’ notices all over it. I expect camper vans had found it an attractive spot and begun to flood the place.


  1. Good evening!

    I read your blog aloud to my Mr. G. - who is a motorcyclist - as he travels and strings up his hammock as various roadside parks and such. He appreciated your own recount!

    On another note, I did not know that certain Scots end sentences with "Jimmi". On this side of the pond, I have had certain Canadian friends (love the Canadians) who end many sentences with "Eh?" These colloquialisms are indeed interesting. I myself had to learn NOT to drop the infinitive when speaking (product of certain Pennsylvanians), and still struggle not to say "melk" (instead of milk).

    But I happen to think it just adds to my charm. ;)

    Have a beautiful weekend!

  2. How Bohemian of you! I lack the courage to take off on such an adventure, but I'm incredibly impressed by anyone who does.

    I wanted to mention that I loved your button-box post. I have one myself, passed down to me by my grandmother, full of wonderfully diverse specimens. It's one of my favorite keepsakes.

  3. Nice pics. When I was traveling in the 70's I had no camera. From time to time, I'd put my hands on my ears and "click" them forward, thus taking a mental picture. Turns out those mental pictures are hard to scan. Yours are easier to share. Thanks!

  4. Sleeping in the car was never one of my favourite occupations. Oddly JLM and I used to sleep in the back of the Mercedes van on the first night when we arrived in France in the late evening and I never minded that.

  5. Sounds wonderful. Well, the hitchhiker part is a little scary to me, but the rest of it sound like fun.


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