I TOOK myself off to Highland Perthshire this month. It was a short break booked almost two years ago and then subsequently cancelled/postponed/rearranged more times than the infamous late 1980s rumble between Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson.

We had originally paid for a woodland lodge, then, with the myriad shenanigans due to travel restrictions and lockdowns, getting our desired dates meant swapping the cabin for a static caravan.

When this option was outlined by the lady on the telephone, I snapped it up without hesitation. I would have done likewise if she'd suggested staying in a rickety garden shed with sleeping bags on a cold stone floor and a bucket that doubled as a loo, while also catching drips from a leaky roof.

Static caravans were a staple of my childhood holidays. I was 22 before I went abroad for the first time (a weekend to Barcelona won in a magazine competition) so, it was almost like the circle of life. We all end up back at the beginning.

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After years spent jaunting around the globe – Australia, South Africa, Canada, Taiwan, Zambia, Ukraine – I have been oddly fixated on exploring Scotland since I hit my forties. And that was before the arrival of Covid-19 clipped all our wings.

BC – before coronavirus – I tackled choosing holiday digs with the diva-like verve of an egocentric rock star penning a demanding dressing room rider, in my case Googling "luxury", "welcome hamper", "Egyptian cotton sheets", "rainforest shower" and such like.

But there is nothing like a pandemic to gain a bit of much-needed perspective about my skewed ideas on what constitutes creature comforts. A static caravan it was. The four of us – me, my husband, my mother and the dog – packed up the car and drove north.

Caravans have come a long way since my younger days when I can recall chittering with cold even in June. They have radiators now. The one we stayed in also had a small fireplace. Other surprises included a fenced wooden deck with a ramp (no shoogly metal steps here).

The Herald: Enjoying the autumn colours at Loch Faskally in Perthshire. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesEnjoying the autumn colours at Loch Faskally in Perthshire. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Modern caravans are undeniably far roomier yet, ultimately, still have to pack a lot into a relatively small area. If I hadn't already been contemplating losing some weight, attempting to shower would have undoubtedly provided the much-needed impetus.

It was a tight squeeze. To get in and out the cubicle involved having to half-slither, half-contort my frame as there was insufficient space for bosom and backside to pass through the narrow gap between the sliding doors at the same time.

Fat-shaming aside – joke – we had a grand old weekend tramping through Faskally Woods, drinking hot chocolate after visiting The Soldier's Leap at Killiecrankie and spending all my pocket money at the second-hand bookshop in Pitlochry. The autumn colours were incredible.

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The thing I enjoyed most, though, was the cosy vibe of our lodgings. It felt like we were properly spending time together. Even when at opposite ends of the caravan. I would do it again.

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