A day in the lockdown life of Caravan Editor Clare Kelly
With many of the staff at Warners Group Publications working hard to bring a bit of motorhoming, campervanning and caravanning joy to your lives during lockdown, we thought it was about time we got up-close-and-personal with our editorial team and designers to share with our readers what it takes to put your favourite magazines together whilst working from home...
I’m Clare. I’m editor of Caravan. I work across all of Caravan’s channels – print, web and digital — and I live in Northamptonshire with my wife and our 20 pets. Yes, 20.
My lockdown diary
Before I even grab the first cup of tea of the day, I feed the animals. I start with Scamps and Buzz the rescue guinea pigs, then it’s onto the house bunnies Ottie and Wolf, next the ‘outdoor bunnies’ Rock and Rebel. I then feed our flock of 14 hens and more often than not have one of them jumping on my shoulder and trying to peck my face.
I head back inside, make my cuppa and grab breakfast. I tend to eat at my desk while I’m checking my emails and the Caravan Facebook page. Next, I write a list of the jobs I want to get done that day.
We have a Zoom meeting on a Monday morning and that means we can all catch up with each other. Lisa is the design whizz behind Caravan magazine so we will be in touch frequently throughout the day. We work really collaboratively to develop ideas we think our readers would like to see. We do this over the phone, on email or on Slack messenger.
Lunchtime is usually around 1pm. I wander up the garden, see how many eggs the hens have laid and box them up ready to distribute to neighbours (who return the favour by leaving cakes on the doorstep). There’s a lot of beautiful walks near us so a lunchtime stroll is a must.
In the afternoon, I’ll often read some pages for the editors of the other magazines in our department – MMM, Campervan, Camping and What Motorhome. This often gives me ideas!
There are always a lot of emails to catch up on from readers and contributors so I will spend time at the end of the day responding to those. I love it when people send in their ideas and pictures of them enjoying holidays in their ‘vans.
Once the working day is over, I close my laptop and check in with friends to see what they’ve been doing. I love crafting but tend to have more enthusiasm than skill. A while ago, it was knitting. Everyone got a scarf for Christmas. They didn’t need scarves and I think they were itchy but they managed to look impressed when they opened them. In front of me.
My top tip for surviving lockdown
Get out for a walk or even just get outside in your back garden. It’s the perfect time to be a tourist in your own garden! Start seeing where you live as if for the first time – take photos of the wildlife, sit outside with a glass of wine or read a book.
My earliest caravan memory
When I was young, we went to the Lake District and stayed at a campsite in a static caravan. There was a bag of mouldy bread under the bed. Isn’t it funny the things you remember? I’m so glad that I’ve been able to right that wrong and stay in some amazing places. I love the French campsites with their fresh croissants and baguettes. It’s a world away from that mouldy old loaf I found in the '80s.
My top caravan tip
When it comes to hitching up, check, check and check again! It’s better to get into a routine initially because it’s all too easy to forget something. Once I left a campsite and had not taken off the caravan’s handbrake. I only noticed when there was smoke coming from behind the car and I thought there was a fire! It smelled pretty revolting. Learn from my mistakes. Never rush, take your time, you’re on holiday.
My dream caravan destination
I really love living in the UK. Yorkshire is my favourite destination – the people and the landscape. Some years ago, I was lucky enough to tour through Spain and Portugal.
In 2014, we hired a Mustang and did a California road trip – I’d love to do that trip again with an ‘van in tow. I’m mad on bridges so seeing the Golden Gate bridge was awesome. I picture myself driving over that – massive pick-up truck, shiny Airstream on the back with the windows down and Neil Young’s Unknown Legend playing on the stereo loudly.
Caravan magazine is the UK's favourite caravanning magazine, packed with tours, caravan reviews and the latest news and gossip, every month. You can download and read Caravan magazine from the comfort of your own home — and plan your post-lockdown caravan adventures — with a digital subscription. Click here to find out more and subscribe to Caravan magazine.