I would like to think, as we all would, that appearances aren’t that important. That every person and thing is judged on their inner merits, and not what they look like. In some cases (most famously books) that may be true, but for many things in life, for better or worse, appearances really do matter.
Let me take you back to November. The bedroom and floor were finished, but the truck was pretty lacking in modcons. There was no woodburner, no electricity unless we were plugged in, no kitchen, no back door. It was very much like camping in a big rectangular tent. Annabel (then a 6 month old) and I came to see Henry for the weekend, when the weather turned from beautiful Indian Summer into bitter cold overnight. We needed a plug-in to run our heater, and headed for the Brighton Caravan Club site. Henry had called them a few weeks before, explained our project, and been told that we’d be welcome. We arrived and before we’d even walked to the office a woman came running out saying that they were fully booked. She gave us the address of another campsite about an hour away. I asked to use the toilet and she said that the toilet blocks were all closed.
As we drove off we thought… that was weird. There were loads of empty pitches, though maybe all the people who had booked them were arriving later, but how strange that they would be fully booked on a Tuesday in November, and even more strange that all the toilets should be closed when they were fully booked… hang on.
When we finally, after dark, got to the next campsite the lovely warden gave us a pitch, and confirmed that we were turned away by the rude woman at the Brighton Caravan Club Site because of how our truck looked, rather than because of them being full. We got the heating on, and the next day had a beautiful long walk on the beach followed by a really excellent breakfast at Seaford sailing club. When we arrived back at the truck the warden was passing, and said “Hello! You’re just staying for one night, right?” we said we’d love to stay another night . He looked a bit sad and embarrassed and told us the owners had been by, and said that we had to leave, as they didn’t like the look of the truck. We were feeling pretty rejected by this point, and went to stay on still another campsite (thankfully there are lots to choose from in Sussex) where the man who worked there laughingly said “I bet you’re having a hell of a time trying to find a place to park that thing!”.
Anyway, this story is an extremely roundabout way of saying that one of the issues which moved up our list of priorities was the outside of the truck. Just to remind you, the truck before looked like this:
In terms of stealthyness and looking like an actual commercial vehicle, quite good. In terms of looking like a beautifully finished tiny home, not the best.
So once we got ourselves situated here in beautiful Suffolk, one of the first things on our to-do list was a quick paint job. And this is the result!