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Crazy Cruickshank’s caravan capers

COVID-19 has changed so much – many things are now done ‘virtually’, from parties and weddings to business meetings and concerts.

Residents of Rand Aid’s Thornhill Manor John and Jen Cruickshank are nature enthusiasts who love nothing better than being outdoors. In April, tired of the lockdown, they went caravanning – in their garden, set in the beautiful grounds of Thornhill Manor.

Recently the bug bit again and the Cruickshanks had another caravan caper.

“We decided after our initial caravan-in-the-garden venture in April, when we compensated for missing our Namibian trip, that we would take another virtual holiday when winter was over, if the lockdown was still in place,” says Jen.

“We’ve timed it well; the weather is warming up, with balmy evenings, and we have a wonderful campsite,” said Jen from her camping chair on September 9, 2020.

“The Thornhill Manor Caravan Park site 216 is perfect and the ablution block is fantastic – just like home! There is a very convenient swimming pool only a couple of hundred metres away, too cold yet for most people but Jen has started the season again and is loving it, particularly as she is on holiday!” says John.

“We do most of our cooking in the caravan kitchen but John is also in his element making stir fries, potjies and braais. All this without having had a long distance to drive and better still, no self-isolation once we get home!

“The site has Wi-Fi so we go on virtual game drives and at present, with the wildebeest migration in Kenya, some of the sightings are amazing.

“At the end of a few days, we feel relaxed and ready to tackle all the mundane chores at home again,” says Jen.

There is a conservation area situated close by, offering the opportunity for walks in a natural environment for when the Cruickshanks want to head off on another adventure.

Thornhill manager Esme Erasmus says she is impressed with the Cruickshank’s ability to find simple, creative pleasures and adventures in their beautiful village.

“Set in 18 hectares of land in Modderfontein, our tranquil surroundings, wonderful birdlife, landscaped gardens and water features have made the lockdown less of a burden,” says Esme.

Thornhill Manor retirement village has two- and three-bedrooms units for sale on a life right basis. For further information, contact Jackie Scott or Esme Erasmus on 011 608 2480 or email

Caravanning in their backyard… John and Jen Cruickshank.

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