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

Friday September 21st 2012 - Riverside anniversary and Jubilee party

Only ten days after coming back from my Norfolk holiday a sunny morning at 8am saw me setting off on my travels yet again, this time to Riverside camp site near Skipton. I was joining the first anniversary meet of what is officially known as the 'single parents and solo campers' group but more commonly known as the 'camping for nutters' group, because basically that's what we all are to a certain degree - nutters. And I think the fact that we were having our Jubilee party nearly four months after the actual event rather confirms that.

The drive to the site was very pleasant in the morning sunshine and took just a few minutes over an hour, however when I arrived there I immediately encountered a problem - I'd been given pitch 36 but there was already a tent on it and the hook-up point was being used, though the owner of the tent didn't seem to be there. Not quite sure what to do I did think about going on the next pitch but there was no hook-up for that one, so I rang the site owner to ask what was going on - it seemed that due to some recent very wet weather she had moved various people to different pitches and I was now on no.13 which was at the other side of the hedge just across from where I should have been. With that sorted out I drove round to no.13, only to find that the ground there was extremely wet and I had to decide carefully just where I was putting the van and the awning. Second problem solved and I had the awning up and everything set out inside in just over an hour but there was only one thing wrong - with all the to-ing and fro-ing on the wet ground my trainers were absolutely saturated and my feet were soaking wet and cold.

Having recently spent eleven days in a very sunny and dry Norfolk it hadn't occurred to me to pack a change of footwear in case the ground was wet; I had dry socks but it was no use wearing them with wet trainers so I needed a quick solution to combat the wet ground and keep my feet dry - wellies. The camp site is only three miles from Skipton but as I'd never driven there before I wasn't sure where the town centre was or where I would be able to park, and shopping for wellies wouldn't be easy with two dogs, so as they needed a walk anyway I went down to the station in the village to check out the train times, which turned out to be every fifteen minutes. Back at the site I left Sophie and Sugar in the back of the van and asked one of my camping neighbours to check on them for me in a while, then went to get the next train to Skipton. I didn't have long to wait, and only seven minutes after getting on the train I was getting off again at Skipton station - a very helpful fellow passenger had given me directions to the town centre and in no time at all I'd arrived at the shops. It seemed a bit daft looking for wellies when the day was so gloriously warm and sunny but I needed to have warm dry feet and buying another pair of trainers would be no use. It must have been my lucky day too as the market was on and the first shoe stall I came to had green wellies in my size so I didn't need to look any further. Having got what I went for I made my way straight back to the station where luck was with me again - there was a train at the platform on the point of setting off, so another short journey and less than an hour since leaving the camp site I was back again. And the dogs obviously hadn't missed me, they were curled up fast asleep!

After drying my feet and warming them up with a quick blast of the fan heater I put clean socks on and my new wellies then made a quick brew. The sun had warmed the day up nicely and with the bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds it was a perfect afternoon for taking photos so with the dogs on their leads I set out to explore. A wander round the site came first then I went up through the village and back down past the station. The village itself was actually bigger than I first thought, with a stream running parallel to the road, many pretty cottage gardens, a great play park for kids of all ages and lovely views over the nearby countryside, and I got quite a lot of photos before I returned to my pitch.

The rest of the afternoon was spent mooching about round the awning and on a few occasions I got chatting to various other members of the group; I watched a couple of hours of tv in the early evening then went across to join the others round the campfire. It had gone quite chilly once the sun had gone down but the sky was exceptionally clear and with no light pollution we could see every star up there - and just as we were talking about the stars we saw a pale yellowy-white light moving across the sky. At first we thought it was a Chinese lantern but it was moving faster than one of those, and as it got closer we could see it had a tail so it was probably a comet; we watched it for several minutes until it suddenly disappeared, presumably having burnt itself out and fallen to earth. I think it was Fiona who said that if we hadn't all been camping we would probably have all been sitting indoors at home and would have missed seeing that - a very true statement, and thinking about it as I snuggled into my bed later on I decided that even though it was a chilly night I was glad I was there and not at home.