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 June 6th 2012 - Camping means being inventive

It was all change yet again weather-wise that morning - bright blue sky, fluffy white clouds and very warm sunshine, too nice to ignore for long so I decided that for once I would have breakfast outside. With no other campers in the vicinity, and the dogs mooching about on the end of their line, I felt almost as if that corner of the field was my own 'front garden', and I did rather hope that no-one else would come along and put a tent there to spoil my view, even if I was only looking at a hedge. With breakfast over, and not having thought where I was going to go that day, I decided to do some washing; now normally I don't even think about things like that when I'm camping, but the previous day I'd somehow managed to drop some ketchup-covered onions from my cheeseburger onto my leg, where they'd made a couple of red marks on the white stripe of my tracksuit and on the front of my t-shirt as they made their way down there, so as it was such a nice morning I thought I may as well sort them out.

In the absence of any soap powder - I wasn't buying any for the sake of just two items of clothing - concentrated washing up liquid would have to suffice, and not wanting to risk splashing the side of the awning with soapy water and possibly ruining its 'waterproofness', or spilling water on the groundsheet, I thought I'd better do my laundry outside. The only problem was, my chair and small table were both the wrong height to be comfortable while working so I had to think of a suitable alternative - and came up with the idea of using the waste water carrier as a table and the caravan step as a seat, and both were absolutely perfect. With a couple of kettles of boiling water topped up with cold and a bit of rubbing here and there the job was done in no time and the Happy Shopper washing up liquid had completely obliterated any evidence of the previous day's cheeseburger. Next I had to find somewhere to hang my things while they dripped - a makeshift washing line was needed, and this came in the form of two spare dog leads linked together, then with the back of the van opened and raised to its full height and the dog leads clipped across the window grill I had the perfect place to hang my stuff.

It was just after I'd finished my chores that a couple of cars pulled up just a bit further up the field and across the other side, disgorging a group of lads in their late teens and a couple of older guys who proceeded to pitch a large tent, and when I heard various bits of their conversation, which included a running total of how many bottles and cans they'd each brought with them, I thought my peace and quiet were about to be rapidly shattered, especially when the two older guys said goodbye and drove away again. But it's a free country and I couldn't stop them pitching there so I just had to hope that they didn't make too much noise at night.

It was well after midday when I finally decided to take myself off out somewhere; my washing had finished dripping and was well on the way to drying, so hanging it up in the now very warm awning should finish it off nicely. For once I had no clear idea of where to go but following a suggestion in my book, and as it would be high tide, I thought about going to Amlwych port and photographing some boats. There was a bit more cloud around when I got up to the north end of the island but the sun was still shining, so parking the van on the headland just beyond the fishing dock I clipped the leads on the dogs and set off down to the harbour, walking right round to the far side where I hadn't been before. I got several nice photos from various points before heading back to the van, and as my breakfast had long since worn off I stopped at the cafe overlooking the fishing dock for coffee and cake en route.

From Amlwych I decided to drive round to Port Lynas; it was only last year that I'd gone there twice but on neither occasion had I actually been down on the beach, so as the tide was in I thought I may get one or two different photos from there. However, I hadn't reckoned on how far the tide actually was in; there was only a few feet of shingle not covered in water, and most of the available space was taken up by a crowd of various people and dogs, either swimming, picnicing or messing about in boats. It would have been impossible to wander around taking photos without invading their privacy to some extent so I just stayed on the path above the slipway and took a few photos from there.

All the time I was there the clouds had been increasing and the sun had gone in, and I had only just got back to the van when it came on raining; it didn't last very long but it was enough to put me off going anywhere else, so I sat for a while watching a guy on an old Ferguson T20 tractor manoeuvring a couple of boat trailers round the grassy car park then I set off back to the camp site. By the time I got there the clouds had cleared somewhat and the sun was out again so I made a brew and sat outside the awning for a while. The five lads who had arrived earlier on were all sitting in a group outside their tent, and though there was quite a lot of laughter and I could hear various snippets of their conversation they weren't being excessively noisy, though it remained to be seen what they would be like later on after they'd downed copious amounts of their alcohol supplies.

As it was, I needn't have worried about having my peace disturbed later on. As I got back from taking the dogs for their pre-bedtime walk round the site one of the lads said hello to me and asked what the dogs were called so I went across to chat to them - and I think we were all surprised when it turned out that they were from my home town and lived only about a mile from me on one of my regular dog walking routes!They were all at college and were celebrating finishing their exams with a few days camping and it was the dads of two them who had dropped them and all their gear at the site. One of them offered me his chair - even though I could have got my own from the awning - another offered me a drink, and I ended up sitting with them and chatting for over an hour. They were a great bunch of lads and the time passed very pleasantly - and I couldn't have been more surprised when they said they would be going to bed before me. Once they'd retreated into their tent and settled down I didn't hear anything of them for the rest of the night - so far from being noisy and disturbing my peace as I'd first thought they were actually very polite and considerate young people - now those are the sort of camping neighbours I like!