Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

November 16, 2012

sleeping in haystacks

Milena and her sister toured England -- and a bit of Scotland and Wales -- by hire car late summer when it was still warm, and they found an ideal way to save money, have a great night's sleep and really get to reconnect with each other after a long family estrangement.

"We slept in haystacks in the countryside," laughs Milena, "and you've no idea how comfortable they are."

"It's a good thing that neither of us has asthma," explains Milena, "because I'm sure that we breathed in a lot of hay dust that might have triggered off an attack - but other than the pungent smell of new mown hay and the dust and probable fungal matter that we had to endure the haystack beds were fabulous."

"What we were doing was probably illegal," concedes Milena. "We didn't obtain the consent of the property owners that's true - but we didn't light fires or make a mess of the haystacks so we don't think we did anything wrong."

"Accommodation in England is extremely expensive," says Milena, "even the hostels are expensive, so we thought that because the weather was so warm it was a great idea to sleep out in the open."

"We tried sleeping in the hire car one night but it was far too uncomfortable - more uncomfortable than sleeping on a plane and getting the arm rests stuck in your kidneys."

"After sleeping in the car the haystacks were soft and bouncy and just delightful to sleep in."

"We used our sleeping bags because we didn't want little creatures eating us during the night - and we tied our hair in a scarf for the same reason."

"We had no trouble whatsoever - either with creatures, rain or irate farmers running us off their property - but we did get a fright one morning when we realized a bull was in the next field!"

"If anyone is considering following our lead then it's wise to hide your car as you don't know who may be wandering around in the wilds of England."

"Yes, we were in the wilds - England may be small on the map but there are vast tracks of land that are miles away from anywhere - or appear to be."

"We took our car off road and hid it in the bushes when we had found a suitable haystack to spend the night," says Milena.

"We were very careful with lights and noise - we didn't want to attract attention - and we set the alarm to wake us just before dawn so that we could be out of the place before any farmer and his dogs started doing the rounds."

"We breakfasted at cheap roadhouses and washed ourselves in the hand basins at the roadhouses, too," laughs Milena. "It's the only way to travel!"

"And now we are the best of friends again!"

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