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

Tuesday June 5th 2012 - Moving house and looking for trainers

After the glorious weather of the previous day I woke to a very grey and overcast morning with damp grass from an overnight rain shower. It was after breakfast and a dog walk round the site that I went to fill my water container from the tap near the entrance to my favourite small field and noticed that the tent city had disappeared and apart from a caravan on the corner and two other tents, whose owners were in the process of packing up, the field was now empty. Brilliant! - I could now move myself to where I wanted to be. Fortunately, in terms of camping equipment, I only ever have what I really need so it didn't take long to get everything back into the van - although it was all just shoved in any old how rather than packed properly - then with the hook-up cable disconnected I drove round to the next field and picked my spot down towards the end with a convenient hook-up point nearby, then it was back round to the other field to take down the awning.

As I was pulling the pegs out I did wonder if it would be possible to roll the awning up with the poles still in their sleeves - it would save taking them all out and putting them back again afterwards - but it would be too long and too cumbersome to carry by myself so I would have to go the whole hog, take it apart properly then start again from scratch; however, I hadn't reckoned on the two young guys in the caravan over by the hedge who came across to ask if I wanted any help. At first I thought they were just going to help pull the pegs out but they went one better than that - when all the pegs were out they folded the awning in concertina fashion with the poles still in place then picked the whole thing up and carried it round to my new pitch, where they set it down and opened it out again; all I had to do then was reposition it slightly and peg it down again. It was really nice of them to do that for me, it certainly saved me some time and energy and only an hour after throwing my stuff in the van I had everything set out again and another brew on the go.

It was when I finally sat down that I realised that for the second time in a couple of days my feet felt rather damp; they'd got wet on Sunday but I just put that down to the amount of rain at the time. On closer investigation I found that my trainers, which I'd only had for two months and which weren't cheap, had split at the sides where the upper joins the sole, allowing the damp from the grass to penetrate through. This definitely wasn't good; I hate having cold wet feet so it looked like I would be going in search of some new trainers. I had to go to Asda in Llangefni later anyway to get a few provisions so hopefully I could pick up a pair of cheap ones from there which would do until I got back home. Unfortunately though that proved not to be the case.

The Asda store in Llangefni is quite a good size for a very small town, and though it sold most of the stuff I find in my local store at home it didn't sell trainers, so leaving the van in the car park I walked across to the shops in the two main streets; no luck there either, and market day wasn't until Thursday so I decided to drive up to Holyhead, where I knew there was an Asda and also a huge Tesco store. Of course a drive up in the Holyhead direction couldn't be undertaken without stopping at Penrhos for a cheeseburger from Pete's Burger Bar; the rain had started while I was driving up the A5, and parked in the car park at Penrhos while I had my burger and coffee I decided that what was normally a nice view in the sunshine looked pretty miserable in the rain.

With the burger and coffee finished I drove on to Holyhead - and if I thought the Llangefni Asda was a bit disappointing then the Holyhead one was exceedingly so. To say that Holyhead is the largest town on the island and a major ferry port the Asda store is minute in comparison - it took me all of two minutes to walk round it, and there wasn't a trainer, or anything like it, to be seen. So it was on to the Tesco store, which is huge, but even though there were plenty of clothes on sale, the shoe department was very sadly lacking; if I'd wanted school shoes there'd have been no problem, there were so many pairs it seemed like they were breeding, but trainers? - no chance. I didn't really want to drive right into the town centre as I don't particularly enjoy mooching round shops, especially in the rain, so I'd just about decided to give up and go straight back to the camp site when I remembered that somewhere down the A5 not far from Llanfair PG was a discount shoe place - I would head for there and see if I had any better luck.

The end of the A55 wasn't far from Tesco so rather than go all the way back down the A5 I took the faster road for once, going back onto the A5 near to where I thought the shoe place was. I was right too; about a mile before Llanfair PG and set back off the road I found the long single storey building which was Dick's Shoe Store, and only five minutes after walking in there I came out with a new pair of trainers which sported two pairs of fancy laces and didn't break the bank. Result! I wished though that I had remembered about that place before going all the way up to the other end of the island on a wild goose chase. Note to self - if you want new trainers, don't bother going to Llangefni or Holyhead!

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