Introducing Alice

For our first trip to Menindee the Fella and I decided to camp in a tent. We scoured camping shops to find the right one. For me the main consideration was that it be easy to put up and take down. We eventually found one. October came, we packed everything in the back of the ute and took off. Well, the result of us camping in a tent was to decide to buy a caravan!

My main memory of why is of the packing up. We would begin early and still be putting things in boxes, taking them out of boxes and getting frustrated with each other, while caravans smoothly hitched up and went on their way. Also there was no proper lighting in the tent, and that didn’t help either. Thank heavens for the back lighting on my iPad.

The tent
The tent (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)

So Alice the Caravan came into our lives. We looked at lots, in fact an overwhelming number. We quickly decided that we didn’t need three rooms in the van, nor a washing machine. I decided that I didn’t like most of the interior decoration and colours. You know how it is when you are looking for something, nothing seems right. Then a friend told us to look at a van in the front yard of a place near him. And there was Alice!

Alice at the Flinders Ranges
Alice at the Flinders Ranges  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)

Like us, she’s not young, but loves an adventure. She doesn’t have an indoor shower or loo, and sometimes, at night, that’s a nuisance. Nor does she have a washing machine. But she does have a little wardrobe with a mirror, and lots of cupboards, a microwave and a dinky exhaust fan over the stove. Everything is very compact. When we are sitting at the table we can reach the sink and the fridge without getting up!

There is a good light over the table. It is a great place to sketch and write. And her crowning glory is her colour scheme — light blue and grey. Not the horrid salmons and pinks of other vans. She has the cutest little blue curtains, with ruffles along the top. Awww…..

On the road. An art-farty shot of Alice travelling behind us. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)
On the road. An art-farty shot of Alice travelling behind us. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012
The view of Copi Hollow Lake, Menindee, taken out of the window.  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)
The view of Copi Hollow Lake, Menindee, taken out of the window. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)

Why did I call her Alice?

After my grandmother. My grandparents were early caravaners. My grandfather made his own and took the family away to have adventures down at the beach or up in the bush. My grandmother loved travelling, and nothing would faze her.

“Alice, let’s go to the beach,” Grandpa would say, and Nanna would pack up the van and the kids.

Her spirit is strong in Alice the caravan. The name seemed right, from the first time I thought it. I love the idea of saying to Alice the caravan “Let’s go to the beach…the Grampians…Menindee” and her saying back “Yep, I’m ready. Let’s go.”

So let there be lots more adventures!

Alice's name is the icing on her cake. This was cross stitched for me by lovely sister.  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)
Alice’s name plaque always brings a smile to my face. My lovely sister cross-stitched this Christmas present for me. :))    (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2012)

By anne54

Botanic artist

11 replies on “Introducing Alice”

I love your Alice 🙂 and that you named her after your grandmother… Alice is great intrepid name. A few years ago we took an opportunistic – we had not a lot of time and a lot of frequent flyer points – 2 week holiday around Broome, Darwin, Kakadu, flying & hiring cars and staying in B&Bs and motels…We were so envious of the caravan travellers parked in campgrounds who had the luxury of time to stop and enjoy a cup of tea and their surroundings. In another year-ish we wil be looking for our own Alice, no toilet or laundry or fuss… why spend good travelling money on stuff you don’t need. I hope to hear more about your adventures with Alice.


It is a great way to get around, one I would highly recommend. There is something very homely about a van and having cupboards sure beats the pants off delving into boxes for every single thing in a tent! I hope that year flies by for you. Your own Alice will be there waiting. 🙂
I am glad you wanted to hear more of Alice’s Adventures, because I have just posted one!


That is a lovely tent, not a patch on the beautiful Alice though.
We love caravans, old or new they are just bursting with possibilities aren’t they? We went from what camping gear the Man and I could carry on the motorbike to an ancient camper trailer once we had kids. We graduated to a newer camper just to have a sink and cupboards indoors! Now to our beloved caravan. We love it so much it is referred to as our third child and stepping in the door the Man and I still always pause to smell that “we are on holiday” smell it has. Paying the reg and insurance for it are the only ones we don’t complain about! Meandering about the country in the van is just heaven….. Hmmmm…time for another trip already I think!


I couldn’t agree with you more. Being away in Alice is a feeling all of its own. Thew two of us fit in just perfectly. I know the van my family had when I was a kid was much bigger, but 6 of us must have been fun!

‘Meandering’ is such a suitable word. Where are you meandering to next?


Sadly we don’t have too many long meanderings planned for a few years. 😦 Number 1 son is in grade six this year so will be starting high school next year with Number 2 hot on his heels. We feel they are important years and probably best we don’t allow them to miss a few weeks at a time.
Short trips will still be the order of the day though!
Of course we might win Tatts and then we can fulfil our dream of constant travel and not have to worry about things like educating our children, we’ll be rich! Rich I tell you, RICH. 😀


Sorry, we are first on the list to Win Tattslotto And Get Rich. But I will kindly let you be second on the List. 🙂

Wandering for a while is lovely to do, but even getting away for weekends is fun. I find that we have to block in the time and keep appointments etc out of it. Otherwise dull things like the dentist take priority.


When I buy Tatts tickets I always say “can I have the winning one for Saturday” one day they’ll come through for me!
It’s ten mill tonight, I am happy to split it 50/50 with you 😉 we’d both get a few nice holidays out of that! (And a man in to finish digging out all my new garden beds too, YAY!)


You are on!! 50/50. (And I will get a man to finish painting the hallway and the bathroom. He can do it while I swan off to Spain…..)


Nothing like a good natter, so let's have a chat!

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