"SURPRISE!" I said. And he was.
You see my husband had never shown the slightest flicker of interest in owning a camper. But I'd managed to convince myself that he just didn't know he wanted one. And as he stood there, struggling for words, I knew it was going to be ok: the cards were stacked in my favour - I had just looked after the children for 6 months; he was hardly going to turn round and say, 'take it back'.
Anyway I couldn't, because I'd bought it on ebay.
All things considered, he took the news pretty well.
Looking back on it, it was a bit mad - but coming up to the end of a tour, you experience such an overwhelming mixture of relief, tiredness and elation: it's a giddy combination.....
So an absolutely perfect time to do something rash.
And in my head I had this lovely romantic picture of family camping trips, based I'm sure on childhood memories. We always had a camper. I'd learnt to drive in an orange and white VW.
I did check out the old VW's first, but they were very expensive, even in poor condition. When I saw our Toyota camper-to-be, she had a VW look without the price tag, AND she slept five. So I packed the kids into the car and we headed off to Mold in Cheshire to take a look.
It was a lot further away than I thought.
She did look lovely though, but as her owner ran through the essentials, I felt a wave of panic, because it suddenly struck me just how little I knew about campers (or anything with an engine) and I wasn't sure what to ask or what to look for.
Obviously this sensible moment of doubt had vanished by the time we got home, so based on some rather sketchy advice from my mum's partner ('She's a steal! Toyota's go forever!') I placed my bid, waited nervously, and won.
I did some tinkering before my husband saw her. New curtains - the first and only ones I've ever made, and I recovered the tatty old seats with A LOT of help from a friend.
We have been lucky with Betty, as she came to be called. It could have been a disaster. If I was ever to do anything like this again, I'd take someone with me who knew what they were talking about.
She is over thirty years old and needs to be handled with care. Flat, straight roads are fine - sometimes we reach heady speeds of around 50mph - but Betty hates hills.
Unfortunately we live at the top of a very steep one. She usually screeches up it in second gear with everyone shouting and willing her on (and praying there isn't anything coming the other way)
So it probably won't come as much of a surprise to hear we don't stray far in Betty. Having said that, we live right on the south Wales border, and there's no shortage of beautiful places to explore.
My husband has learnt to love her. I think. And we both like the way the pace of life seems to slow down as we trundle along. Sometimes you need to go slow to appreciate what you've got.
We have had a good laugh about the Betty-buying-episode over the last two years.
And now, here we are again.
Except this time he's gone away for TWELVE months....and I've got a few ideas....