My husband has another love. He hid it from me for a while. I knew he was falling in love though – I can read the signs; hours spent hunched over phone and laptop, not eating properly, hiding away in his man cave, no time for chores, monosyllabic. It was therefore no surprise when a work colleague he’d confided in accidentally dropped him in it. My heart sank. Here we go again. I did the only thing I could – I confronted him, grilled him and eventually he confessed. His new desire, the passion worming its way into his heart, was a desire to build a teardrop camping pod.
He’d secretly been building a prototype in the garage – step 1 in the design process. I must confess that when he showed me a picture of this prototype I was not filled with confidence.
See what I mean?
Many of you know Ad well. He is the most “faddy” person ever and he always has a new hobby to think about or a new project underway. For a while he lives and breathes his new obsession while the rest of the world passes him by. Other projects get thrown on the back burner, chores fall by the wayside. Ad if you’re reading this please, please tidy the garage so that I can get to the freezer without risking life and limb.
He makes me sigh. A lot. Over the years I’ve stood by and watched him obsess over various hobbies:
- Cars – he’s owned in excess of 40 cars in varying degrees of disrepair.
- Off roading – I’ve lost track of the number of beaten up 4×4’s we’ve owned.
- Kayaks – we have 3 in the car port.
- Canoes – that fad has passed. There are none left now but we had a few at one point.
- Boats – He bought a rowing boat. Within days of the purchase he’d bought a second one as a project. We don’t live on a river. Or even near a river. As fads go this one was relatively short lived and we just about managed to stay married.
- Bicycles – there are 8 in our shed. He can justify each and every one of them.
- Camping – he’s bought 3 tents of various sizes.
- PC building and repair – spare parts litter the house.
- Fitness – the garden shed became a gym for a while. It now has to house all the bloody bikes.
This new hobby/fad/obsession/passion/time eater left me slightly bemused to be honest. If you’re anything like me you won’t have a clue what a teardrop pod is. The best way I can describe it is as a miniature, squashed touring caravan. They are usually big enough for 2 to sleep side by side – and that’s it. So think 2 man tent size but a solid structure on a trailer base.Building one sounds like no easy task to me and although Ad is great at the ideas and designing stage he’s not the best finisher. When the exciting part of the project is over his interest wanes. It’s all a bit worrying. Which explains the sinking heart feeling that accompanied my discovery; I had visions of a half-built thing lying around the drive unloved and in pieces. I also didn’t really get it – we have tents of varying shapes and sizes plus a touring caravan. Why do we need a pod?
So he explained it to me in words of one syllable; apparently I’m a girl and I don’t have to understand. I bristled. Once I calmed down and thought about it I came to the conclusion that he’s right (and I don’t say that very often!!) He doesn’t get my need for new shoes and bags, or why I have to have my hair done every 6 weeks, or why I like my nails to look pretty. But he doesn’t question it (too much) either. He just lets me embrace my pinkness. I really do have to just accept his blueness.
He did eventually take the time to explain why it was quite so important to him. Our children are fast growing into little adults. Our teenage daughter is now a young woman and wanting us less and less. Our son is 11 and Ad can see a time looming where Josh won’t want spend time with dad doing “blue” things anymore. He wants to make the most of every second before it’s too late. So his thinking is that this is a project they can embrace together – design, plan and build from scratch; shedding blood, sweat and tears along the way. Daddy and son bonding. Plus there will be the camping weekends to look forward to – boys only thankfully! My rule of thumb is that if I cant plug my GHD’s in, I’m not interested!
I now have to confess that, following my early negativity, I am now very impressed at how well it’s coming on. Over the last few months my boys have worked so hard to get from the design to the building stage. There’s an attention to detail and aesthetics that Ad has never shown before in anything he’s done. He is usually a “function over form” kind of bloke; it has to work – it doesn’t have to look good. But the pod is, surprisingly, starting to look like it should. There’s still a way to go but I actually think they’ll get there. And they will definitely enjoy the father/son journey together. That really is the whole point. .
And my contribution to the project; the name. Poddy McPodface. I was joking – it stuck.