Now Playing: beth orton - trailer park
Topic: rosebank, nsw
When I was a teenager, and really, even earlier than that, I had a romantic notion about caravans, or trailers as they may be known elsewhere.
Maybe it was from growing up one of three children, though I was always lucky enough to have my own room. Maybe it was because we rented one for a family holiday one year when I was quite young. Maybe it was the romantic notion of nomadic life or transience which alternately lures and repels me to this day. I don't really know.
But from a fairly young age I used to attempt to convince my parents to buy a caravan for me to live in. I wasn't asking to move out, per se. I didn't have a license as I was too young; now I don't have a license and it has nothing to do with age. So it wasn't about trying to get far away from family. It was the concept of having a place of my own. Which, for some reason, was a concept I coveted even back then. Even if that place of my own was to be parked in the driveway of the family house.
There was something about having my own bedroom, kitchen and lounge in one. There was something about folding beds. There was something about diner-style tables and laminate. The usually kitsch-style curtains on the windows, levered windows and the shape of the caravans themselves.
The concept of caravans that had tops that could be raised and lowered fascinated me. The idea of a makeshift verandah created from a canvas awning and evenings spent outside in the heat watching storms. The inconvenience of navigating to a toilet block (or the toilet inside my parents' house) in the dark and rain obviously didn't register in my young mind.
Maybe it was the idea of having a home of my own but the freedom to move that so caught my imagination.
Like my mother, when I don't move house for a few years, I still find myself rearranging the furniture every six months or so.
I guess it's something to do with restlessness.
Either way, no matter how often I mentioned it - coaxed, pleaded - my parents' response was always in the negative. The word "firetrap" was used often. I'm sure "eyesore" featured in there strongly too.
But still every time I see one, I think of how much it looks like home. No matter how decrepit. And possibly even more so if it is decrepit. I realise the impracticality. The heat in summer, the cold in winter, and all the other negatives in between.
But for some reason, the romantic notion still remains.