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A COUPLE of weeks ago I told the tale of our friends who have hit the open road in a campervan after years of being slothful in front of the telly.
Well, it would appear their first foray into campervan land was a rip-roaring success and they’ve now got the appetite for more.
They’ve so got the bug, in fact, that they’ve become a bit obsessive. To the extent that during their trip away they boarded a bus near their campsite to take a trip to the seaside. (Fancy that! A bus, they thought. Very novel. At least it was for them.)
And while they were trundling their way along, bouncing behind the driver and taking in the scenery, my pal began waving. At every campervan that passed. He wasn’t aware he was doing it at first, because his hand just sort of involuntarily rose in homage every time one went by.
But after his arm began to ache (there’s a lot of campervans on the North Yorkshire coast) he realised that yes, he’d well and truly got the bug.
Which set me thinking about the things people get up to when they’ve caught something badly and the lengths they’ll go to in pursuit of their interests.
Take me, for instance. I’ve been collecting cookery books ever since I was issued with my copy of Cooking Is Fun in domestic science at school and now have the grand total of 1,107 (or I did at the last count but I’ve been in a bookshop since then), which is probably the equivalent of, if not more than, the cookery section stock in your average Waterstones.
Then there’s our household’s junior manager – naturally, I’m higher management and doesn’t he know it.
Which is probably why he gets his escape from being on the lower rung in the pecking order by constantly updating his record of the thousands of aircraft that he’s seen over the years, while I sit reading cookery books. Clearly we’re a bit nerdy in our house...
However – and you may think this is debatable – I don’t think we’re quite as bad as some. There’s a woman in America called Darlene who has collected 15,000 shoe-related items.
Shoe-related? Does that include things like odour-eaters and corn protectors, I wonder. Or maybe polish, laces and insoles?
There’s a 16-year-old who has been obsessed with vacuum cleaners for the past ten years and apparently buys two or three Hoovers a DAY out of his pocket money. That’s some pocket money...
And a woman from Staten Island who has 500 dolls and spends three hours a day washing and dressing them and combing their nylon tresses before taking a selection out for a walk in the park.
Talking of cookery obsession, did you know that there’s a museum of burnt food?
It was started more than 20 years ago by a woman who left something on to heat and then got involved in a presumably fascinating and very protracted phone call…. Since then the museum has attracted such offerings as pizza toast and thrice-baked potato, and boasts a motto of “Always leave the flame on low… and then take a long nap.”
Bizarre behaviour or what? Maybe if she had a collection of more than 1,000 cookery books she wouldn’t need that kitchen fire extinguisher.
Then there’s the woman who has been following the royal family for more than 30 years.
Julia McCarthy-Fox from Sussex has apparently travelled more than half a million miles in pursuit of the Queen and the rest of her clan, taken 100,000 photographs and spent at least six months standing behind barriers in all weathers to catch a glimpse of the royals – any royals.
She’s attended royal engagements in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, Malta and the US, slept out overnight for the wedding of the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson, sat for hours in a four person camper chair complete with canopy for the William and Kate nuptials last year, and drove a 650-mile round trip to congratulate them on their engagement during their first official engagement together on Anglesey. And during the Queen’s golden jubilee year she apparently drove 14,000 miles following the monarch all over the country on her jubilee tour, which shows serious devotion coupled with some serious driving.
But the question is this – did she do it in a campervan?
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