I woke early that morning to a complete change in the weather from the previous couple of days. The sun had gone awol and the sky was grey and heavy with rain clouds - not a very nice morning at all. It certainly didn't inspire me to go off looking for photo opportunities, so I thought I would have breakfast in bed again then have a generally lazy morning in the hope that it would get brighter later on. When I did venture out I took the dogs for a walk round the site then putting them on their line so they couldn't escape from the awning I went across the road to have a look round the garden centre. Now this place is huge and sells everything from sandwiches to wellington boots - there's even an outdoor area at the back where they sell hot tubs, and if you take your swimwear you can 'try before you buy' and have a complimentary glass of wine while you're in there! I must admit, it's not the cheapest of places for anything, but it's well worth a look round and it certainly passes some time.
The sky was still very grey when I got back to the awning so I decided to drive the three and a half miles into St. Ives and have a look round the shops and the market - the Bank Holiday market is so big it takes up almost the whole length of the main street, the town square and part of the bus station car park as well, and it takes quite a while to look round it all. There are three car parks in the centre of St. Ives, the largest one being the closest to the market, so I parked there and after getting a ticket from the machine I collected the dogs from the back of the van and set off for a look round the stalls.
When I reached the far end of the market I turned down the partially pedestrianised street leading down to the riverside - an old stone bridge crosses the water just there and built into the bridge on one side is a tiny little chapel. As I took a couple of photos it struck me - when I had been to St. Ives two years previously it had been a cloudy day then. Maybe one day I'll get lucky and take a photo of that bridge in the sunshine!
From there I went back onto the main street and walked towards the far end, away from the market - I had never been so far down before and I was curious. Towards the end was an old stone building with a central archway leading to what looked like a garden, and a sign pointing to a museum which was housed in part of the building. The building itself formed three sides of a square with the small garden in the middle - bench seats were set out on the lawns and there were colourful shrubs and flowers in pots round the borders. It was quite a sweet little garden and would have looked very pretty in sunshine.
Just past the museum the street opened out into a very pleasant riverside area with a triangular lawn, bench seats and raised flowerbeds, and the spire of All Saints church rising from the trees beyond. Another lovely area which would have looked so much nicer in sunshine.
While I was wandering around it had started to get windy, and as it looked like it might rain I thought I'd better make my way back to the van and go back to the site. It didn't take long to get back to base, and when I pulled up on my pitch I was quite surprised to find that it was more windy there than it was in St. Ives just a few miles away. My second surprise came when I went into the awning - my tv, which had previously been standing on top of my larder unit, was face down on the floor. There was nothing else out of place so I couldn't understand how it had got there - then it dawned on me. The wind was blowing so hard that the side of the awning was bowing inwards; it must have caught the back of the larder unit and rocked it, sending the tv crashing onto the floor. I fully expected the screen to be smashed - the larder unit is three and a half feet tall so there was no way the tv would have survived a drop like that onto hard ground - but when I picked it up it was still in one piece. With trepidation I plugged it in, not expecting it to work, so I was really surprised and also very pleased when it worked perfectly with no problems at all, and I spent most of the evening watching it. So I can highly recommend Tesco's own brand of portable tvs - this one certainly turned out to be totally drop-proof!
A couple of hours after I got back from St. Ives, and while I was having a brew and something to eat, the wind finally dropped and the sky brightend up till eventually the sun came out - better late than never I suppose. It turned into a really pleasant evening, and as the sun went down it left behind a gorgeous sky over the fishing lakes, so I kept my fingers crossed for the following day to be a nice one.
- 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