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A Caravan Site

We read through the booklet, and decided that nothing could be more attractive than the Sunnysea caravan site. The pleasant, roomy caravans, we were told, were spaced over a wide, breezy down. Each caravan was equipped with comfortable sleeping-bunks, dining-table and seats, fascinating tiny kitchenette, gas-operated cooking-stove, and gas heating and lighting. "As you sit in this gay caravan," went on the booklet, "it is easy to imagine that you are actually in motion, and are setting forth upon the vagrant gipsy life. Your outlook is on to a slope of sunlit grass, which gives way to a spacious beach, where the kiddies may romp and you yourself may sun-laze all day." The booklet went on to describe the other facilities: the piped water supply available on the site; the nearby shops and cinema, the travelling salesmen who brought goods to your very door. "This is the life for us," we said. "We'll go," And we went.

Arriving during a rain-storm, we found about a hundred caravans ranged in close rows on a slope of mud. We were conducted to our caravan; we entered shivering, and found that we could not have lighting, heating, or cooking until a new cylinder of gas had been delivered. We set to work to clear from the bunks, table and seats the crumbs, grease and rubbish left by the previous occupants. After eating a cold meal, we walked out in a strong wind and made our way to the beach. We found a shore of mixed sand and mud, with huge, slippery boulders of what we discovered to be harder mud. We returned disconsolately to the site, and went in search of the "shops", one miserable general store which was shut for the half-day. Going back to our caravan we saw that a fish-and-chip van had drawn up close by, and that various of the campers, looking cold and blue in their muddy and bedraggled beach-wear, were forming a queue in order to collect their midday meal. We now perceived how sordid and mean our life was to be for the next two weeks; and we saw, too, what an eyesore, what an offence this caravan-site was, placed where it could only uglify a once-attractive stretch of coast and countryside.

(Graded Exercises in English by J. H. Walsh)

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