Monday, 29 March 2010


Last Thursday, we took a trip over to Salisbury to visit the guys at Silver Rocketeer.

I found their website a couple of weeks ago and was more than keen to see their Spartan trailer. We exchanged a few emails and arranged the visit.

It was a miserably wet day (we could have made most of the journey by boat, or even submarine!) and the sat-nav took us on a delightful tour of the country lanes, but we eventually got there.

Silver Rocketeer are two guys who are well equipped for the vintage restoration trade. Their website will tell you all about them, but (in a nutshell) Jonathan is a sculptor and Christopher is an engineer. They have two projects on the go, the first of which is a beautifully shiny, late 40's Airstream Liner...

At the moment, it comes with an unusual "original feature" - two bullet holes in the roof!

They have done a lovely job restoring the trailer, replacing where necessary whilst trying to keep as much of the original as possible. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished item - if we win the lottery and start collecting vintage Airstreams this model is at the top of Tracey's wish list.

The second trailer is in the early stages of restoration, but it's going to be a beaut...

They are going to turn this Spartan Mansion into an Art Deco cocktail lounge. I can't wait. It's just an empty shell at the moment, but what a shell!

We were very kindly treated to lunch in their third trailer - a late 70's Airstream which doubles as their office. It was a real pleasure spending time with some people who, for want of a better word, "get" Airstreaming. We're hopeful that the Spartan Cocktail Lounge will be ready in time to make an appearance at the September Gathering...

It's looking increasingly likely that the UKAirstreamers Spring Gathering is going to become an Early Summer affair, but the Autumn dates are set. Make a note in your diaries for the weekend of 10th/12th of September, near Ludlow, Shropshire. There will be more details on the UKAirstreamers Website soon, or email me if you're interested.

Finally, a quick plug for a new book...

My Cool Caravan is a lovely little book, full of photos of all kinds of caravans and trailers, ancient and modern, including a handful of Airstreams. It's only a few quid - treat yourselves.


Monday, 22 March 2010

Bugs, Buds and Birds

We have been in self-imposed quarantine for a few days. I picked up an annoying coughy, throaty bug-thing from my parents on Mother's Day and it has been evolving since then. We are both spluttering away, but only in the cocoon of our trailer.

I am now on my third day without a voice, which is both interesting and frustrating. I've basically given up on trying to communicate until further notice. I remember trying to phone in sick once when I had lost my voice. This was back when I had a job, lived alone and email and texts hadn't yet caught on. I had no alternative but to force out a sibilant apology to a highly amused colleague.

We woke up one morning to see the field in front of us dotted with daisies. Eagerly anticipated Spring is here. Although these daffs seem reluctant to agree.

More bird news: We were getting a regular early morning wake up call in the form of a 'dink dink' kind of sound. It took a few days to figure out that a chaffinch was attacking its own reflection in our trailer bumper. It is now beautifully adorned with bin-liners stuck together with masking tape and the 'dink dink' has stopped. Well, we need our sleep.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Shiny Shiny

We have made good use of the sunny days by washing and polishing the Airstream. It looks gorgeous. It always looks beautiful but now it's as buffed and glossy as an Oscar nominee.

As for us, we are expecting to feel the after effects in our shoulders and backs for the next couple of days.

The wildlife around us asserts itself, emboldened by signs of the approaching spring. I have been observing some crows attempting to build nests. I picked out a pair at the tree's extremity so that they would be easy to identify.

For a few days I watched as they worked together. One would fetch, the other would manage to balance a few twigs in the crook of the branches. For about a week they made little progress. Each morning I would think that I could see the beginnings of a nest and the next day it would have disappeared, they would be starting over. I felt sorry for them. I worried and pitied their failure to do what I thought should come naturally. I guess they have to learn by trial and error.

By the weekend there seemed to be a twiggy structure holding itself together. It was clearly stable enough for a crow to sit in, for a day at least. For the last three days a neighbour has been frightening them off with some sort of loud banging device. I thought it was the sound of countryside pursuits involving shooting things. Apparently if he doesn't send them on their way now he will have about fifty nesting pairs pooping in his garden all spring. My incompetent pair will have to keep trying somewhere else.