It was a gloriously warm sunny morning and I was off for my second visit of the month to this lovely little site. The weather had been lovely for quite a while and was set to continue so as I had been so impressed with the site on my previous visit, on the spur of the moment a couple of days before I had phoned to see if there was a pitch available for the weekend and I was in luck. Unfortunately though, not being a lady of leisure, I had to work that lunchtime and evening, so to make the most of my weekend I hit on the idea of driving up to the site that morning, putting up the awning and setting it out inside, then driving back home and going to work. Then when I had finished work at 7 o' clock that evening all I had to do was collect the dogs from home and drive back to the site, where I could relax instead of spending the evening setting up camp. I suppose you could say it was a sort of 'reverse commute'!
And that's exactly what I did. I arrived at the site at 9.30am, and after paying my pitch fee at the farmhouse I drove onto the field and chose the same pitch as before. I had just over two hours to set everything up before I had to leave for work and I hoped I could do it all in time. At least I knew what I was doing with the awning this time so hopefully it wouldn't take as long to erect as it did before. I worked quickly and methodically and without problem, and in less than half an hour it was upright and ready for pegging down, though I didn't bother attaching it to the van as I would soon be driving away from it. The sun was blazing down and I worked up quite a thirst while I was hammering the pegs in, but even though the water tap was only a few feet away I decided I wasn't stopping until every last peg was in. It was while I was pegging down the groundsheet that a lady from the first static caravan came across and asked if I would like a drink of juice - by that time I was so hot that I could willingly have jumped in the river, so I accepted gratefully and she provided me with a glass of deliciously chilled fresh orange juice. Her husband wandered over then and we stood chatting while I had my drink, then with the glass empty I thanked them and returned to my awning. It didn't take too long to set out everything inside, and I even had time to sit and relax for a few minutes before I had to leave for home. The drive back was uneventful and I arrived home with just enough time to get changed for work - and when I got there and told my colleagues what I had done that morning they thought I was completely mad!
The rest of my plan went without a hitch - I finished my evening job at 7pm, drove home and collected the dogs then set off back to the site, arriving just before 8.30. It was great to be able to drive onto my pitch knowing that the awning and everything else was already set up - I only had to attach the awning to the van, and apart from taking the dogs for a walk later on I had nothing to do except relax. My idea had been a good one, and certainly one to be remembered for any future summer camping weekends not too far from home.
While I had been away from the site a couple of tents and a caravan had arrived - the tents were pitched at the bottom end of the field and I knew that the blue one would be occupied by Wendy, a fellow UKCampsite member, and her boxer dog Max. We had never met before but had corresponded through the UKCS website, and I hadn't been there long when she came over to introduce herself. We had quite a chat, and by the time she went back to her own tent it was as if we had known each other for ages. Somehow the evening flew by and it was soon time to take the dogs for their bedtime walk - once that was done I settled them on their beds in the awning, made myself a brew and climbed into my own bed to watch a bit of tv before finally settling down to sleep myself.
- Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it