After a very good night's sleep I woke early that morning to cloudless blue sky and more sunshine. The only noise from anywhere on the site was the late dawn chorus and the occasional crowing of the resident cockerel - even Sugar was sleeping quietly and not snoring! It was still a bit too early for breakfast so I got up and made a quick brew then took it back to bed to drink over a camping magazine. It was only when the sun became too warm on the side of the van that I got up for good and took the dogs for their first walk of the day - Wendy was also out with Max, so just as before we took all three dogs along the river. We were both going home later on, but whereas I was going to the car boot sale first Wendy was staying on site. We parted company when we got back to my awning, and though I rather hoped that we might meet up again later she said she would probably have left by the time I got back from the sale. I put some breakfast on then, and spent quite a while relaxing in the sun before getting ready to go to the boot sale.
Just as on the previous occasion I didn't see anything at the sale which I wanted to buy. Being an avid collector of mouse ornaments I rather hoped that on one of the many stalls I might find one to add to my collection, but there was nothing - cats, dogs, owls and pigs were quite prevalent, but not a single mouse anywhere. So apart from treating myself to a cheeseburger and a coffee I returned to the site without having bought anything. Wendy had indeed left by the time I got back, but as there was no rush for me to go I decided to spend most of the afternoon relaxing before I started packing up. I got my chair and a magazine then put the dogs' beds out on the grass and fastened Sophie and Sugar to their anchor - they started off by sharing the beds but then Sophie decided to take up all the room and Sugar ended up lying on the grass. She didn't seem bothered though, and it wasn't long before she was back on the bed again
It was so lovely sitting there in the sun in the peace and quiet of my surroundings that I didn't really want to go home, but as all good things have to end sometime I had to start getting ready to leave sometime, though not before I had a sandwich and a final brew. It didn't take too long to pack everything away into the van, but when it came to dismantling the awning I encountered a slight problem which was due entirely to my own forgetfulness. After taking out all the pegs I disconnected it from the side of the van and pushed it over to collapse onto the grass - except it didn't fully collapse. Although the front of it was lying on the grass the rest of it was sticking up at a forty five degree angle and I couldn't figure out why. Then it dawned on me - I had forgotten to take out the two rigid side poles from inside! Ducking under the bottom of it I went inside to remove the poles and it finally collapsed - with me on my hands and knees still inside it! It was a simple matter to crawl along till I found my way out under the edge, and as my head popped out into the open air it struck me that if anyone had been watching it must have looked like there was a giant mole at work! That's when I saw the funny side of the situation, and even though I was still only halfway out from under the awning I collapsed in a fit of giggles - fortunately there was no-one around to see my antics, although I think the dogs thought I'd lost the plot. When I had finally stopped laughing and completely freed myself from under the awning it didn't take long to remove the outer poles, fold the whole thing up and put it back in its bag, then with the van completely packed up I took the dogs for a final walk by the river. It was 7pm by then, the evening sun was still warm and it was very pleasant strolling along to the sound of the birds in the trees and the scent of the hawthorn bushes at the side of the path. Sugar even had a quick swim before we made our way back to the site for the last time.
It was 8.30 by the time I arrived home, and even though the weekend had been relatively short it had seemed longer by arriving at the site early and staying till late. I had enjoyed my second time there just as much as my first, and I could see that I was destined to become quite a regular visitor.
- 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