Another lovely day dawned, and I lay in bed just savouring my surroundings. The sun shone through the yellow fabric of the curtains behind me and bathed the inside of the caravan with a lovely golden glow - reaching out one arm I opened the blind on the big front window and looked out. Fluffy white clouds drifted idly across a bright blue sky and a family of ducks waddled slowly across a nearby vacant pitch - lying there in the sunshine I felt for a moment like I was in a little bit of heaven. But unfortunately all good things have to end, and as much as I would have liked to stay there I had to go home later that day. Jim and Margaret weren't coming to collect me till 3pm though, so at least I was still able to do something with the morning before I had to start packing up.
After taking the dogs for a short walk through the site and along the lane I set about making breakfast - just as I popped the bread in the toaster I noticed three ducks on the next pitch, so I went out and threw them some pieces of crust. That was all the encouragement they needed to come and say hello, and chattering amongst themselves they waddled across to my awning - they actually seemed reasonably tame and quite happily took pieces of bread from my fingers. When it was all gone I showed them my empty hands and they seemed to understand that there was no more - or was it just my fanciful imagination thinking that? Whichever it was, they waddled away and disappeared over the grass bank behind my pitch.
With breakfast out of the way, and the washing up and tidying done, I decided to have a final walk into Garstang. I didn't really have any reason to go, but it was a way of giving the dogs a good walk and also putting off the inevitable packing up time. I didn't bother taking the camera this time, I just enjoyed the walk without stopping to take photos. I walked as far as The Old Tithe Barn pub/restaurant, there is a canal basin there and there were several cruisers moored there, with a few brightly painted narrowboats alongside the canal bank. I got chatting to a man on one of the narrowboats and he told me of a nice walk using the canal basin as the starting point - I hadn't time to go that way just then, but I made a mental note of it for the next time I was round that way. It was very pleasant standing chatting in the sunshine but I had to return to the site and start packing everything up, so I said goodbye and set off back along the towpath.
Back at the caravan I made myself a brew and sat in the sun outside the awning while I drank it - this would be my last 'caravan brew' for a while and I wanted to savour it while I could. Then with the dogs on their line so they wouldn't get in the way I started putting things away. Doing everything in reverse to when I set things up didn't take as long as I expected, and in less than an hour I was ready for taking the awning down - it took a while to get all the pegs out, but once that was done the rest was easy enough. And I even managed to fold it so it went neatly back into its canvas bag! After that it was a case of waiting for Jim and Margaret to arrive - I didn't have to wait long, and while Jim dealt with the hitching up Margaret helped me to put my bags and the dogs in the back of their car. Then after a quick check round to make sure I hadn't left any tent pegs or anything else on the pitch we pulled slowly away. I had to call at reception to return the site barrier key so while I was there I took a chance and booked a pitch for the next bank holiday in August - I didn't know what my circumstances would be by then, but I had enjoyed my weekend so much I didn't want to pass up the chance of a return visit if I could get there.
The journey back was uneventful, and after leaving the caravan back at the storage site Jim and Margaret dropped me, the dogs and my bags at home. That's when I came back down to earth with a bump - after such a lovely long weekend away I had to go to work! And what was I doing while I was working? - already making plans for the next time I went to Bridge House Marina!
- 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