Just send along the wind and rain!
I woke that morning to the sound of rain on the van roof and a stiff breeze blowing round the awning. Not wanting to take the dogs out in the wet (they aren't that keen on rain and I had no umbrella anyway) I lay for a while waiting for it to stop but it didn't, and I eventually had to face it - all three of us were going to get wet. The walk was a short one and fortunately it wasn't raining quite as hard as it sounded on the roof so we only got marginally damp and we soon dried off when we got back to the awning, but from that moment on any thoughts I may have had of going out with the camera were well and truly scuppered.
All the time I was making and having breakfast the wind was getting stronger and the rain coming down harder, meaning that going out anywhere was just about pointless, so I settled in for a day of reading and watching tv. And as time went on what had been just a stiff breeze when I woke up turned into a roaring gale which lasted for several hours, battering the awning with such force that I really began to wonder if it would survive the onslaught. Fortunately though I'd pegged it down well and being attached to the van it couldn't really go anywhere anyway, so as taking it down wasn't really an option I just had to carry on with my reading and tv watching and let nature do its worst around me. At one point during the afternoon I put the dogs on their line and partially opened the awning door so they could go out onto the grass but they took one look at the weather, said "Sod that!" and got back in their bed - and personally I didn't blame them. It was early evening before the rain finally stopped, and even though the wind was still blowing a hooley I decided to chance taking them out for a short but much-needed walk.
As I walked round the site I could hardly fail to notice the effect of the wind - a gazebo with sides which had large holes blown straight through them; windbreaks uprooted and blown along the grass, becoming lodged under various cars; several campers were busy packing up and many had already left. And if it was bad in the area where I was pitched then it was even worse on the large field overlooking the bay - only twenty four hours previously there had been so many tents on that field that it looked like the site was doing a good impression of Glastonbury, but now it resembled the aftermath of the holocaust. Down at the far end, partially sheltered by a hedge, were just three small dome tents but other than that the field was completely devoid of life. The grass was littered with collapsed and damaged tents, groundsheets, bent and broken tent poles and gazebo frames, and rubbish was strewn everywhere. One collapsed and rain-soaked tent still contained bags of clothes, kid's toys and sleeping bags, testament to the hurry in which its owners had departed. I've camped in windy conditions a few times over the years but I've never seen devastation like that before and I felt really sorry for the families whose weekend had been ruined. British weather certainly has a lot to answer for!
Back at the awning I checked all the guy lines and the pegs, made a brew and settled down to watch a dvd, then just after darkness fell I took the dogs for another very quick walk - and not a moment too soon, as the rain started again just after I got back. With the dogs finally settled in their bed for the night I took myself off to mine, and after an hour or so reading my book I fell asleep to the same sounds I had wakened to that morning - the rain pattering on the roof of the van and the wind blowing round the awning.
- 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