About Me

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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

Wednesday August 18th 2010 - Filby and Hemsby

The weather when I woke that morning was a complete contrast to the previous couple of days - clear blue sky and sunshine, and hardly a cloud. The sun was shining onto the side of the van, and even with the curtains and blinds closed and the window slightly open it was very warm, so I got out of bed before I was in danger of becoming cooked. I didn't need to ponder on where I was going to go when I went out - wanting to stay fairly local for once I decided to go back to Filby and photograph some of the lovely flowers I'd seen on my initial approach to California, then spend some time on the beach with the dogs. I put my camera batteries on charge, took Sophie and Sugar for their first walk of the day, then had a leisurely breakfast outside the awning in the sunshine. There were two vacant pitches on the far side of my van and four vacant pitches between the awning and the next occupied pitch, so I felt rather like I was on a green island - it was nice though to be able to dine outside without being overlooked by the side window of the next caravan. With breakfast under my belt, the washing up done and everything tidied away, I put the batteries back into the camera, loaded the dogs in the back of the van and set off, keeping metaphorical fingers crossed that the lovely weather wouldn't suddenly break down on me.

Filby isn't that far from California and it's even less distance when you know the short cuts, so it didn't take long to get there. I drove to the far end of the village and parked up at Filby Bridge car park next to one of the smaller Broads. It's actually called Ormesby Small Broad, but I've always thought of it as Filby Broad because, well, it's in Filby! At the end of the car park, and by the water's edge is a pub, the name of which escapes me for the moment, and a wooden jetty partially overgrown with reeds and with a dozen or so numbered rowing boats moored alongside. There didn't seem to be anyone out on the water though, in fact apart from half a dozen swans swimming some distance away there was no sign of life anywhere.

Collecting the dogs from the back of the van I set off on my flower photography mission. Approaching the village from the Acle direction there is a road sign which proclaims Filby as a lovely place to be - this is certainly no lie, and if the village has never entered the Britain In Bloom competition then the villagers should seriously think about taking part sometime. The flower displays are truly lovely, and I make no apologies for posting several photos on here.

I walked the length of the village from one end to the other and back, and everywhere I looked my vision was assaulted by the riot of colour on display. I have often thought that if I were to lose one of my senses then my sight would be the one I would really hate to be without - I love flowers and I just can't imagine not being able to appreciate such colourful displays as these.

By the time I had got almost back to my starting point I was feeling quite hot and thirsty, so I made a slight detour into the village general store-cum-post office and got a chilled can of Coke which I drank when I got back to the van, then after giving the dogs a drink of water I set off back to the site. After having a bit of lunch and an hour or so relaxation, I clipped the leads on the dogs, and leaving the van where it was I set off on the second part of my day.

One of my favourite walks is from the site up to Hemsby Gap by way of the avenues at Scratby and the cliff top and dunes, then back along the beach, and that's the way I was heading. There are some lovely houses and bungalows along the cliff top - I've often thought I would like to live there if I could afford it, but there are so many nice properties I would be spoilt for choice. Many years ago a lot of these properties started life as nothing more than square wooden chalet-type dwellings with odd bits added on here and there - some of them were really quaint and fascinating - but over the years they have been rebuilt and extended upwards and outwards to become the proper houses and bungalows they are today. About half way between Scratby and Hemsby, where the cliff top ends and the dunes begin, is a couple of rows of quaint fishermens' cottages, one row set at a ninety degree angle to the other. The concrete lane through the dunes starts there, and on either side are wooden chalets. The land on the left rises quite steeply and the chalets are built up on stilt-like timber frames, while many of the chalets on the right are tucked away in the dunes themselves. Some of these are holiday homes but many are lived in permanently - if it's possible to call something like this 'cute' then many of them are, and they have long been a source of fascination for me. I would love to be able to go into some of them and have a look round.

When I reached Hemsby Gap itself I treated myself to an ice cream from the van which is always parked on the beach then set off back in the direction I'd come from. Once I'd got away from the Gap area itself I let the dogs off the lead so they could explore as much as they wanted.

In an effort to try and get Sophie to swim I spent some time throwing stones into the sea but she wasn't falling for that one and only went in just enough to get her feet wet. In complete contrast though, Sugar swims like a fish and will retrieve stones all day long. And if she can't find the stone I threw in she will search underwater till she finds a suitable alternative - often so big she can hardly carry it - and bring it back for me.

So while Sugar was busy retrieving stones Sophie was quite happy pottering about at the water's edge, and it was in this way we made progress along the beach till we reached the path back up to the site. On arriving back at my pitch I re-parked the van and put up the blinds ready for later, attached the awning, made something to eat and looked forward to a relaxing evening with my laptop and the UKCS website.

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