Fishing Lines: I may have been on the wagon, but I took two cases of booze

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The Independent Online

Wanted: roadie to work unsociable hours. Low pay but plenty of travel. Those with back injuries should not apply. Clean driving licence essential. Experience of large vehicles an advantage. Must be able to cook in restricted space and be obsessively tidy. Interest in fishing vital. Box 666, 'The Independent.'

I have seen the future, and it's got wheels. And if I'm gonna do it, I'll need help.

If I had my way, all this talk of motorhomes would be punctured before the darn thing blocked my drive. But the memsahib has fallen in love with the gipsy life. I know better than to argue. It all started because we borrowed a Compass Avantgarde 130, a rather snazzy £30,000 house with wheels, for this year's CLA Game Fair. It's supposed to sleep five, but you'd have to be a very close family or wife-swappers.

Still, I'll admit it was way better than camping. Clean shirts rather than rumpled ones; hot showers rather than army ones; proper cutlery rather than plastic spoons; drinking from a glass, not a plastic mug; shaking off the quilt rather than condensation in the morning.

Motorhomes escape the caravan stigma too. This one bumped along merrily with the rest of the traffic rather than attracting a huge tail of fuming car drivers. And I can see immense advantages in being able to drive to good fishing. Pack up when you want, rather than heading back to a hotel. No longer forced to fish the same piece of water. Eat when you want. Everything on your doorstep. So why am I not down the local stockists now?

My resistance may be coloured by sharing an enclosed space with Dougal. Springer spaniels fed slices of hog roast, burgers and bacon sandwiches are not good nocturnal company. His snoring and frequent discharges of nitrogenous matter almost drove us to sleep under the stars.

I'm also a little concerned about whether it could accommodate all my tackle. The 130 was 19ft long but there was not much room for a fat bloke to squeeze between the aisles.

It's true that we piled it to the gills with all the paraphernalia for my stand. Books, displays, magazines, even my collection of fishing mermaids (don't ask) as well as clothes, three people, an excited springer and food. Lots and lots of food.

We took enough provisions to feed the Stretford End. I think my wife, Riva, expected us to be marooned for several weeks, living only on what was in the motorhome. Every cupboard, even the clothes drawers, was packed with victuals. The fridge couldn't even handle the two cases of wine we took along. (It's an immensely social occasion, the Game Fair.)

This really worried me. How could we consider spending more on holiday transport than my first flat cost when its fridge couldn't hold enough for a decent night's boozing, let alone a gallon or two of maggots?

But more worrying is the fact that a motorhome would curb my exotic trips. You can't head off to the Bahamas, Mongolia, India or Kenya in one.

I think it's a cunning plan to stop me heading for distant climes with a cheery "See you in three weeks!" But I fear the battle's already lost.

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