Dreams really do come true…


Gypsy caravan So, dreaming and wishing and hoping and praying really DID work and here is my proof. She's called Gypsy. Not the most original of names I know, but Maddie and I just felt she should be just Gypsy!

All the thoughts and day dreams I had and now 'she' sits in my garden just as I'd always pictured her to be. For those of you who knew my dream and shared your lovely thoughts with me, can you believe it? Woo, hoo!!

You may be thinking I'm mad, but how has this finally happened at the ripe old age of 44? Especially after tears on my 40th as I had expectations, so disappointingly dashed at dinner by Dan, who pre-empting the fall out was telling me in a public place that I had in fact two hopes… Bob and none!

The family helping out with the gypsy caravan He obviously hoped I'd be a little more discreet but NO, I cried lots!! So that milestone came and went (along with many others) BUT steadfast I held out and along came Janet.

The incredible Janet, who amazingly heard my plea, responded and allowed me to take over her beloved Bow Top. I think she recognised in me the same feelings she had had when she first found her. And after all the years of pleasure she, her husband, children and grand children had experienced, wanted me to be her next owner. So, there were more tears but good ones this time!
It was a squeeze to get it into the garden Having established she was now mine, the task of manoeuvring her was the next tricky task and Janet's friend Jack became my best friend and ally. In fact, trading Dan in for such a lovely voiced man, who was willing to move heaven and earth to get "Gypsy" to me, was a distinct possibility as my husband now seemed to be thwarting all ideas and plans we came up with!

In fact Jack even hinted that my problem of moving her was in fact Dan! Though in Dan's defence, he, as always, could see the bigger picture and therefore the work he would have to put in!
I think you know that I have a tenacious streak, especially if it's ever implied that I can't do something…so that was that, with or without Dan's help she would be here.

Jack eventually found a gentleman who had experience in towing peculiar things! So finally at 3pm on April 13th after a long old drive, Bob and Gypsy arrived to Dan's yard. Ecstatic wasn't the word, I was like a child almost bursting inside and I couldn't stop the grin!
Claire painting the caravan There she sat whilst she was worked on; she had lots of rotten bits that needed sorting. Whilst I didn't want to turn her into a perfect and new looking Bow Top, she obviously had sat outside for lots of years and  was in need of lots of TLC.

I patiently waited (well ok I nagged incessantly) as I wanted her here so I could crack on and paint her. After one nag too many Dan realised life would be sweeter if he brought her to the house. That was the end of June and a beautiful sight to behold as I arrived back from QVC to see the children shouting out of the landing window "SUPRISE", and there she sat on the drive.

Now the fun bit - decorating!
Maddie painting the caravan At all opportunities Maddie and I have been out there with the paint brushes (coat number five I think inside!). Whilst she still needs the inside completing Dan agreed the time had come to knock out the wall, cut back the hedge, clear the space so she could be moved to her spot in the back garden.
There was absolutely NO room for even a fly to squeeze between her and the house wall. But, we did it and I couldn't be more happy!
I'm now bidding on Ebay and madly collecting all the vintage, old-fashioned fabrics I can for cushions and bunting; I've even borrowed Ali K's sewing machine.

My Mummy had even kept pieces of the fabric I had in my bedroom when I grew up and odd fabrics from our family home, so there'll be some wonderful memories and history too.

There's foam to be sourced for her benches and day bed at the back, my china tea cups and saucers that I've been collecting are in their box in the loft. I think I'll order some flameless candles from QVC too.
I'll open the doors to her soon and show you my little haven. In the meantime, keep dreaming and wishing and hoping and praying, and I hope your dream comes true too.


Claire "Rose Lee"



  1. kay salisbury August 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm -  Reply

    Oh Claire-she is beautiful-your daughter (and your new ‘baby’-Gypsy of course)-you ARE lucky but like me-you wait, work, despair and make things happen-but it’s exhausting, making these demands on yourself-isn’t it???? but worth it all-well done you. I did the same over a pew-waited years and had many just-missed chances to own a real pew-not a ‘doctored’ one that costs a fortune-and doesn’t feel as though local people had sat on that old seat every Sunday. Then a few months ago it all fell into place-quite by chance, and my dream has now been realised-NEXT!!!!!!Poor husbands.But we can’t help our yearnings -can we???? I am pleased for you-enjoy and more letters and pictures soon please? Love K.XXX

  2. Magda Chetty August 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Well done you, no one should give up on the dream. Iam so happy for you as I do know how much you wanted this. Make sure you put up the chandelier too, and Gypsy is the perfect name.
    Sorry I did not write to you for a while, did not want to write with the news that I have breast cancer, I waited to tell you that Iam fine now, had my op and my treatment and can now see an end, so also my dreams can come true.
    Maddie looks like she was having fun with paint, do enjoy every bit of decorating your Gypsy, can”t wait to see it in all it”s glory, and make sure you have lots of fun doing it.
    Much love.

  3. Babs Dyson August 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Oooooooooooooh Claire (Rose Lee) ha.ha.
    What a fabulous blog. Sooooooooooooooooooooh happy you have Gypsy and so glad the tears have changed back to that LOVELY SMILE.
    Hugs and Kisses
    Babs Dyson-Litherland

  4. Lizzie August 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm -  Reply

    All I can say is yipee! How exciting for you and the children it looks absolutely fabulous even before you have finished all the titavating! I don’t know if you have a Dunelm Mill store near where you live but they have foam for cushions quite reasonably priced. I look forward to seeing the completed project it will be a lovely “getaway” somewhere to have a nice cup of tea and a read a magazine no matter what the weather – rain or shine!
    Happy Renovating!

  5. sylvia August 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    I am so happy for you as I know how long you have waited for “Gypsy”.I hope you enjoy your time with her and look forward to reading your next update! Take Care x

  6. una August 23, 2011 at 10:11 am -  Reply

    Morning Claire
    Im a newbie to your blog, havent posted before, but have been a QVCr since almost the very beginning. I remember you getting married, then the children arriving, and it all seems like yesterday.
    Gypsy looks FAB, how lucky are you, and Maddie to have such a magical place to while away the hours. You HAVE to have a “Gypsy” party when all the work is done and she is all “Dolled up”.
    Your house looks beautiful too. I just ADORE the new England style. We have that in common, but my wedding anniversary is the same as yours too. Ours is 16 years this year.
    Look forward to seeing you on screen.
    Bye for now
    Love Una x

  7. Martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen August 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    good to hear you agian claire.how are you ia am not bad

  8. Joanna Downey August 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire, I loved reading all about Gypsy; she sounds wonderful and it’ll be a lovely project to make her truly yours. I REALLY like the sound of the “lovely voiced” Jack and I know all about intransigent husbands… Many years ago my sister had the same passion for a summerhouse/beachhut, she painted it and filled it with the most kitsch collection of little bits of gorgeousness – her words. She would only allow over 18s and those with four paws inside; her boys were small at the time and didn’t have enough feet to gain entry! It still remains her sanctuary. My dream is to retire to Sorrento, my husband’s is to go to Scotland but mine’s beautiful so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my dream comes true and, if he doesn’t want to live in glorious Italy, I may be lucky and find a “lovely voiced” Giovanni..! Love to you and Gypsy. Jo x

  9. Sarah August 24, 2011 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    Gypsey is truly a wonderful sight and you will have many many years of fun with her. It is so lovely to see you blogging again keep us updated with family life and the progress of Gypsey. A little bit of pressed glass with some old fashioned roses would look fab. I can imagineva lovely old fashioned glass jelly mould would look good too…….. A visit to Cath Kidston is essential. Take care of you and yours

  10. Kristina Moore August 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire, having sent posts about adverts in magazines about gypsy caravans/shepherds huts etc I am delighted to have read your post about the amazing Gypsy and the gorgeous and generous Janet and Jack etc. Brilliant. I always knew dreams come true if you hold onto them for long enough but this proves it. Superb. Well done on the moving of Gypsy, the refurbishment Dan and the decorating Claire and Maddie. I am dying to see inside now. Magic.
    Tina X0

  11. Shirley Cummins August 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Claire dreams really do come true, how fantastic so very very pleased for you. I have never encountered such a lovely happy beautiful person as you in my life. You simply light up the tv screen with your beautiful smile and giggly chatter. Long may it continue. xxx

  12. claire.sutton August 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    I felt sure you’d want to see and hear all about her, but having posted ….i waited and …..silence…then i looked this morning and all your lovely responses were there, lovely lauren would’ve had a few days away I’m guessing, phew, I was relieved and it was so so nice to hear from you all.
    Kay, Oh how similar we sound. Isn’t it wicked (but in a nice way) how those yearnings take hold….what’s it to be next I’m wondering!!!! Ive spent so long saying to the children “we can’t have everything in life we want you know, I don’t have the gypsy caravan i want do I?…………..aaaaargh, what can i say now!!
    I totally get the pew need though, oh the stories it could tell……I’m thrilled for you too that it has “happened,” and wish you many peaceful and reflective moments upon it!!!!
    Lots of love Kay,
    Claire xx

  13. claire.sutton August 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Magda,I was so terribly saddened to read your reply and yet gladdened to hear that the road you have travelled seems to be becoming easier.
    It is a terrifying disease and seems to strike with little warning. I hope Magda that like Ali you’ve had people to look after you, though I know from speaking to Ali that it’s those low points you can hit that are so so hard.
    I can only send you my love and continued prayers and to Thankyou for letting me know,
    All my love to you,
    Claire xxxxx

  14. claire.sutton August 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Babs,
    Thank you for sharing my joy and yes – big smiles,
    have a lovely Tuesday, bit chilly I say,
    Love miss Rosa Lee, xxxx

  15. claire.sutton August 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm -  Reply

    Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeee, summed it up perfectly!!
    Do you know I popped into Dunhelm, but the foam wasn’t long enough, so I went elsewhere and was quoted 350 for her benches…just the foam.
    Melly my friend said to template and send her my measurements and she’ll sort it out as she works as an interior designer, mind you homes on Park Lane have rather a different budget to little old Gypsy and I…so will see what transpires.
    I LOVE that you said a nice cup of tea, as I’m always teased as Dan and Mummy always reply “oh no, I thought I’d make you a horribe one” It has to be NICE…or a G and T!
    Lots of love,
    C XXX

  16. claire.sutton August 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Big thank you for replying, I so will enjoy her and will update soon…
    Love Claire x

  17. claire sutton August 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm -  Reply

    I smiled reading your reply…your descriptions are so as mine are! and yes a Gypsy party for sure is in the cards….oh goodness that sounds as tho I’m a real Gypsy…!!
    On the cards – pink Campagne and afternoon tea with the lovely girls…don`t think the boys would quite “get it!” mind you it’s getting chilly, and I haven’t dolled up her inside yet…so i must hurry!
    We nearly bought a delicious teeny cottage just on the edge of Southwold a couple of years ago which would’ve had a pink front door and be named “Dolly Polly” so your use of dolled up was a memory jog .
    What plans for your 16 then I wonder…I’ve ordered Jersey Boy tickets from qvc so that’s a plan for ours…my trip to Morrocco may happen another year!!
    Lots of love Una,
    Claire x

  18. claire sutton August 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm -  Reply

    First of all …HOW WAS IT……!!!!?????
    Was it just lovely and all you all dreamed it to be?? I wonder how many tears, and where’s my picture!!!
    Now voices are a huge thing aren’t they? It’s funny as I met a man called Paul at pretty much the same time as Dan and for a few dates dated both (I’d instantly lost my heart to Dan though so really Paul stood little chance,) but a girl has to be sure!!!
    He was gorg, a PE teacher AND had the most fabulous sexy voice. I did used to go a little funny when I heard him call me up that was for sure, and did think how things may have been so very different had I met him the previous evening instead of Dan!
    So Giovanni?? I vote Sorrento any day for sure, Scotland, yes beautiful but we shall see!
    And I too, like your sister, am wondering about rules for Gypsy..i think it’ll be maddie’s and my domain, with Twinkle allowed in too.
    Must go and feed the small ones, I’ve lost track of time! Still no ones complained,
    Lovely to hear from you,
    Love Claire xxx

  19. claire sutton August 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Actually my friend Anna gave me some Cath Kitson fabric for my birthday ready for her. I’ve since raided my Mummy’s fabrics and bought some fab vintage old fashioned fabrics/curtains from ebay too so that’s great.
    I’m wondering about how to display my bits and bobs I have for her, maybe some little shelving things. As she’s curved its a little harder to work out!!! I love the sound of the jelly mould , it’s soooo nice to be able at last to indulge.
    First job this week though is to remake a new door at the front resit the glass leaded windows in and make that more water tight and secure, so off I must go, I know just the man to ring!
    SO LOVELY hearing from you Sarah and I’ll keep you posted,
    Lots of love,
    Claire x

  20. claire sutton August 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello to you!!! How lovely to hear from you, how’s things? Can you believe it’s September in…well seconds! I know the children could probably do with the routine of school next week, and I know too I’ll be filled with the usual questions…did I do enough with them, go to exciting places, see our friends enough, shout too much???!!!
    But these 6 weeks have flown. It took ages when we were at school to slowly get to September, or is that just rose coloured spectacles!!?
    Anyway I hope you’re well, and I’ll hear from you soon,
    Lots of love,
    Claire x

  21. claire sutton August 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Hello Lovely lady, and yes I was always soooo touched that you thought of me and truly felt you were urging it to happen for me just as much!
    I loved poring over the articles and really appreciated your keeping me in touch. I remember you saying you’d seen one for sale, but a dead end was drawn, but still we persevered…..and now look!!!!!!!
    I wonder how you are and if the ME is a little in control? Though I hate the end of the summer I’m sure you said you hated the heat? Not that we’ve seen much really.
    Anyway I hope all is ok and you still maintain the spirit I sense you have, not to mention the caring and kind side of you which is so evident in your thoughtful gestures.
    Sending lots of love for you,
    Claire xx

  22. Kristina Moore September 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm -  Reply

    Hello Claire, I am in the best position possible with the ME as I can get up and do my own toilet (showering, washing my face) etc, whereas there are thousands of people who have to stay in bed in darkened rooms so I am absolutely fine. If I ever sound like I am moaning just shut me up!
    Oh yes, I am delighted we are now in September. My heart sinks as other hearts rise the nearer we get to summer. I get severely grumpy in the heat so I adore grey, wet days so if anyone doesn’t like them I will have them.
    Tell Tom, Joseph and Maddie to hold onto their dreams of what they want and if they work hard and are good then maybe their dreams will come true too. Especially if a certain person in a red suit has anything to do with it.
    Thank you for the love. I send some back to you and all your family.
    Have fun in your caravan and please keep us up to speed with its transformation (if possible with everything you have to do).
    Hugs and love
    Tina X0X0X0X0X0

  23. Joanna Downey September 2, 2011 at 12:12 am -  Reply

    Hello again Claire, Bex’s BIG DAY was perfect; she and Ant loved every second but it was also the best day I’ve ever known. That’s quite a strange statement for me to make because I often look forward to something so much and then the reality is never as I hoped it would be. I use the expression “The magic of ordinary days” a fair bit because some of my best times have happened on such days. Anyway… the bride was serene and had that glow of total happiness, Bath looked her Summer best and the weather was kind. Ellie, our younger daughter, was the one and only bridesmaid she was wonderful and a real support to her sister. Everyone involved made it a magical day; hair and beauty stylists, the amazing florists, Paul and his pristine VW camper, “Frankie”, the staff at the Guildhall, Illy the super photographer and all those at The Olive Tree/Queensberry Hotel. I didn’t cry one single tear I just felt so happy, I was concerned that I would lose it during my reading but the registrar said she found it a funny story and that put me at ease, just as well as Ellie was my back up and she WAS emotional throughout the ceremony! I’m aware this is becoming an epic but I must tell you about the disasters that happened in the week before. My husband runs in fell races, aptly named as that’s what he did on Snowdon, ending up with a damaged face with six days to go… The Best Man decided he wasn’t up to the role and pulled out five days before and then there was a problem with the suppliers and the cakes weren’t delivered, I made cupcakes and Ellie and her boyfriend, Dave, decorated them, finishing them hours before we left for Bath. I promise that I’ll send photos, we haven’t seen Bex because of overlapping honeymoon/holidays and the only shots we’ve got have been printed onto computer paper so they’re a bit flat. Months of organisation, planning and spending over in a few hours but everyone loved it and I know that I put all my imagination and my total heart into everything. Finally, Rebecca went to jewellery making classes and made bracelets for Ellie and me as thank you gifts. Which sums her up. Bliss. Love from Jo x

  24. claire sutton September 6, 2011 at 9:28 am -  Reply

    Tina, a wet damp day so thought of you!!!! Lovely to hear back from you, take care and we`ll speak soon I hope, as I will be more in touch. New doors measured up for her yesterday and foam templates done, so slowly does it but….enjoying it so much xxxxx
    Jo, utterly fantastic it sounds, except for the last minute hitches…..OH MY WORD…. Enough to test even the organised and unflappable you, and bex!! Best Man indeed, I`d have given him a telling off for sure…what are those words…Its not about you!!!! Isn`t it weird though even with all that, still it was the BEST day ever, I`m so delighted. Dare I ask how beautifully squashed the face was…. photo shop material…!! or adding to rugged handsomeness??!! Treasure those memories on a pooey plop day! and your beautiful bracelets,
    Much love C x

  25. alison keenan September 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Claire my lovely, Gypsy is almost as beautiful as you!!! :) How wonderful to have seen your dreams come true, in such a wonderful way. I remember sitting with you while we ate our ‘late breakfast’ in that dinky place in Harpenden, and you told me all about her…. She was hard for me to visualise, but with yours and the children’s loving care you have transformed her…. Like most of us, love, tenderness, care, and a bit of effort can turn the emptiest of shells into vibrant living things :) You, as always, have breathed your magic. Looking forward to seeing you soon, and if you get stuck threading the bobbin, give me a shout…. I can’t help, but I’ll commiserate! Big love, Ali xx

  26. Sarah September 16, 2011 at 7:41 am -  Reply

    Claire yesterday evening I was in John Lewis haberdashery and out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed a Cath Kidston item you couldn’t be without for Gypsey. Yes…….. A sewing box in the shape of Gypsey, you lift her roof to reveal the cutest interior with all the sewing gadgets a woman could ever want or probably use, but the whole thing is lovely and adds to the ambience. Maddie would love it and you could justify it to yourself by things of it as an educational toy for her!!!! Hope the progress is good keep having fun
    Lots of love sarah

  27. claire sutton September 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

    oh Sarah…sounds perfect!!!!! And I could so justify couldn’t I!!!!???? I shall pop and see for myself.
    A big thank you, kisses,
    Claire xx

  28. Fay Wheeler September 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi claire you’re a very lucky lady in having a gypsy caravan there very hard to find now days.My Mum still tells me of her young days of her and her Romany family traveling in their Gypsy caravans to go hop picking in Kent.I know you cant travel in yours but i know you and especialy Maddie will enjoy it.
    Bye for now
    Fay xx

  29. Susan October 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,
    I wanted to post the same post to you as I did Kathy so here goes – I just wanted to say I hope you and your amazing buddies – Debs, Kathy and Ali have a wonderful night at the BCC ball!! You will all be knockouts! You’re such a lovely bunch and clearly are a rock for each other through your own personal trials. So inspirational. Lucky ladies to have each other but you all deserve each other too! Can’t wait to hear all!
    Susan x

  30. Angela October 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm -  Reply

    How wonderful, your “Gypsy” looks absolutely fabulous – I want one!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you have many hours of fun with Maddie decorating her.
    Love Angela x

  31. claire.sutton October 17, 2011 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Thank you so so much. It was truly emotional and inspiring, I could’ve burst with pride seeing and hearing Ali, almost can’t describe really how it felt, especially hearing her describe all that she’s dealt with, it really brought it home. But oh we partied and danced our selves silly to quote a nolan song as they were there too!
    Ali’s new hair is seriously arriving and goodness she’s going to look so brilliant.
    What with the ball and then our BCC evening here at QVC it was a big couple of emotional weeks and really makes you think how many super strong women there are all dealing with so much.
    I read Ali’s blog and replies… what a feeling of support and love came through…
    All my love to you Susan,
    C xxx

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