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

Saturday December 21st 2013 - The 12 Months of Camping

Inspired by a recent post on someone else's blog, today I put my thinking cap on and came up with another song. I had to read back through all my blog posts for this year to find the numbers, and I changed the sequence of events round to make those numbers fit, but finally I got it - The 12 Months Of Camping, sung to the tune of Twelve Days Of Christmas.

                                                    THE 12 MONTHS OF CAMPING

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - a 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 6 gooey cream cakes, 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 7 days in July, 6 gooey cream cakes, 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 8 days with grey sky, 7 days in July, 6 gooey cream cakes, 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 9 days in Norfolk, 8 days with grey sky, 7 days in July, 6 gooey cream cakes, 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - A 10-metre cable, 9 days in Norfolk, 8 days with grey sky, 7 days in July, 6 gooey cream cakes, 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me - 11 days in Scotland, 10-metre cable, 9 days in Norfolk, 8 days with grey sky, 7 days in July, 6 gooey cream cakes, 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

In 12 months of camping, fate did give to me  - 12 days in Wales, 11 days in Scotland, 10-metre cable, 9 days in Norfolk, 8 days with grey sky, 7 days in July, 6 gooey cream cakes, 5 days in May, 4 tent carpets, 3 packs of tent pegs, 2-night winter camp, and an invite to meet up with friends.

                                                    The inspirations behind the song - 

An invite to meet up with friends - came via email in January inviting me to join a small group of camping friends for a weekend in February.

A 2-night winter camp - The aforementioned February weekend, when it was bitterly cold and it snowed just after I'd put the tent up.

3 packs of tent pegs - bought to replenish my gradually dwindling supply of usable pegs while I was searching various camping stores for a new tent.

4 tent carpets - not 'proper' tent carpets but large plastic-backed picnic rugs with a blue and cream pattern and which would look great on the floor of my new tent, and would also be easier to wash than one huge 'proper' carpet.

5 days in May - The number of days I camped that month.

6 gooey cream cakes - The cream-filled Belgian buns I had in Lathams cafe at Potter Heigham while camping in Norfolk.

7 days in July - The number of days I camped that month.

8 days with grey sky - Out of a total of 47 camping days this year only 8 were really cloudy, all the rest were full of sunshine.

9 days in Norfolk - My camping holiday in September.

10-metre cable - An ehu extension cable on a reel, which I was given by the wife of another camper who sadly passed away in late September.

11 days in Scotland - My camping holiday in the Highlands in early June.

12 days in Wales - Made up from various short breaks at Anglesey and Abergele.

The idea for the song and its following explanation has been taken from here - 
If I hadn't read that I probably would never have thought of this, so my thanks must go to a brilliant blog writer, Christine, for giving me the inspiration in the first place.


Friday December 20th 2013 - A Camping Christmas Carol

As Christmas is almost upon us, and having nothing much to write about just now, I thought I'd turn my brain to composing an alternative carol - one about camping in winter. Once I'd got the first line in my head the rest followed within five minutes, and all while I was loading the dishwashers at work! Sung to the tune of Hark The Herald Angels, the words obviously are all my own -

                                                     THE WINTER CAMPING CAROL

Hark, the hardy campers sing
Winter camping's just the thing.
Ring the site to book your pitch
And hope your journey has no hitch.
Peg the guy lines nice and tight,
Plug the ehu in for light,
Fill the kettle, make a brew,
Maybe even heat some stew.
Hark, the hardy campers sing
Winter camping's just the thing.

Stoke the camp fire nice and warm,
Pray that you don't have a storm.
Wear extra layers, gloves and hats
And sit with feet on square foam mats.
Fleecy blankets, thermals too,
Don't forget your camping loo,
Heat the tent with oil-filled rad,
Winter camping's not that bad.
Hark, the hardy campers sing
Winter camping's just the thing.

Wishing all my blog readers a very happy and fun-filled Christmas and New Year, I hope it's a good one for everyone  :)

Monday November 18th 2013 - Packed up just in time

I woke that morning to another very grey day and lay for a while trying to decide what to do with the few hours I had left before I had to leave for home. I was in no rush to go so I did consider going back to Cleethorpes and maybe having a look round the shops, but the local weather forecast for that day said there was to be rain from lunchtime onwards. Not wanting to pack up a wet tent then try to find a way of drying it out once I got home I decided to stay put, so after a dog walk round the site and a leisurely breakfast I made a start on sorting things out and getting them into the van.

Finally, with only the tent to take down, I transferred the dogs to the back of the van then went round and pulled all the pegs out. As an experiment I'd left the bedroom pods in situ - it would save some setting-up time next time I camped - but when I eventually got the tent rolled up it was so bulky that there was no way it would go back in its bag. Luckily I had some bungee straps stashed in my camping box so a couple of those wrapped round and hooked to each other kept the tent in a reasonably neat bundle, and the unused bag was tucked in the camping box.  I'd just folded up the footprint groundsheet and was putting it in the van when the first drops of rain appeared - it seemed that for once the weathermen were right, and my decision not to go back to Cleethorpes had been a good one. 

Abandoning any ideas of taking the dogs for another walk I checked quickly round the pitch for any forgotten tent pegs then set off on the drive home. The rain became quite heavy after a while and I was glad I'd managed to get packed up before it had started, though as I drove across the M62 it started to clear up and by the time I was within twenty miles of home the sun was beginning to shine. Having left Willow Lakes earlier than I'd intended I was home before 3pm so I had plenty of time to download the weekend's photos onto my pc before I went to work, and sorting through them later on I was really pleased with most of the shots. It was a shame in a way that the weather hadn't been brighter, but in some instances sunshine isn't everything and just being able to see and photograph the seals had given me yet another weekend to remember.

Sunday November 17th 2013 - An afternoon at Donna Nook

I woke that morning to a very grey sky and no sign at all of any sunshine. As I wasn't in too much of a rush to go out and the dogs were still curled up in their bed I made a brew and some toast and retreated back to my own bed for another couple of hours, hoping that the sun would eventually break through and give me a lovely day to see the seals. Unfortunately though it didn't and the sky was still grey when I finally emerged from the tent to take the dogs for a walk round the site.

It was late morning by the time I was ready to go to Donna Nook; stashed in the van were a couple of extra layers of clothing for myself and an old duvet for the dogs to snuggle under, and after saying my goodbyes to MissE, who would have packed up and left the site by the time I got back, I set off for an afternoon of seal photography. It took about forty five minutes to get to Donna Nook and as I drove down the single track lane towards the dunes I could see that the overflow car park field was choc-a-bloc with vehicles; Donna Nook was a very popular place and it was obviously a very busy day. I had no trouble finding a space though and when I got out of the van I was pleasantly surprised to find that contrary to the usual bitingly cold wind which I was expecting, the weather was very mild and there wasn't even the hint of a breeze; it looked like my extra layers and the dogs' duvet wouldn't be needed after all.

Although this was by no means my first visit to Donna Nook I was still blown away by the sight which met me when I reached the top of the dunes; literally hundreds of seals dotted across the wide expanse of sand flats and dunes, with many of them close to the viewing area fence and almost within touching distance. It looked like my recently-purchased new camera would be getting a lot of use over the next hour or so.

Even though the viewing area was very busy I still managed to find several gaps in the crowd where I could get right up to the fence at different places and I was rewarded with many opportunities for photos, including seeing one pup which was obviously less than an hour old; with its wet fur still drying out it looked rather like a sheep gone wrong. It was a pity really that the day was so grey; a bit of sunshine for my photos would have brightened things up nicely, but I still got well over a hundred good shots.

After a chat to one of the wardens, and having satisfied myself that I hadn't missed anything out photo-wise, I made my way back to the car park. By that time I was feeling quite peckish so I stopped at the nearby catering wagon to get a cheeseburger and a coffee to take back to the van, then with the edge taken off my hunger I let the dogs out from the back and took them for a walk right round the perimeter of the field. Of course a visit to Donna Nook wouldn't be complete without calling at the nearby Ark animal sanctuary so I stopped off there for a quick look round before hitting the main road and heading back to Willow Lakes.

The daylight had been fading fast when I left the Ark so by the time I got back to the site it was completely dark; with nowhere else to go I put the heater on in the tent, made a brew and settled in for the evening, only venturing out later on to take the dogs for their last walk of the day. It was a dry night, still very mild with a clear sky and a full moon; with only one other pitch occupied by a caravan the site was certainly very quiet, and as I snuggled into my bed a while later the only sounds were an owl hooting somewhere in the nearby trees and Sugar's gentle snores as she chased rabbits in her sleep.

Saturday November 16th 2013 - Lincolnshire seal weekend

The promise of a bright morning saw me leaving home at 7.45am  for a two-night stay at Willow Lakes in north east Lincolnshire and a visit to the seal colony at Donna Nook. The drive eastwards was easy and trouble free and I arrived at Willow Lakes in glorious sunshine soon after 10am; the site wasn't busy, with the only other residents being two people in a caravan and MissE from the camping group, so it looked like it was going to be a very quiet weekend. 

After a quick dog walk and a chat with MissE, who was just getting ready for her own visit to the seals, I made a start on putting up the tent. It didn't take that long but by the time I'd knocked the last peg into place, put the bedrooms in and made a brew the sun had gone in and the sky had clouded over, so not wanting to waste any daylight I decided to pile everything into one side of the tent and take myself off to Cleethorpes for a couple of hours - I could sort things out later on.

It didn't take long to get to Cleethorpes and after finding a parking space towards the north end of the sea front I got a ticket for two hours from the machine then set off with the dogs along the long promenade. With it being out of season there wasn't really much to see; everything was more or less the same as when I'd been there in February though it was nice to see that this time the flowerbeds were full of winter pansies which gave a bit of colour to the promenade gardens.

When I'd walked for quite a distance I crossed the road and headed back to the van, looking in various shop windows as I went, and when I saw a cafe advertising home made steak pie with veg, mash and gravy for a very reasonable price I decided to leave the dogs in the van and treat myself to a very late lunch/early evening meal - it would save making myself something when I got back to the tent. This was the same cafe where I'd had coffee and cake earlier in the year, and though it didn't look much from the outside the staff were very friendly and the meal was lovely; the pie really was home made and the veg perfectly cooked, and at only £4.95 including a mug of coffee it was very good value for money.

When I got back to the van I only had ten minutes left on the car park ticket and as there was nothing else I particularly wanted to see I thought I may as well head back to the site. It was almost dark when I got there, and leaving Sophie and Sugar in the back of the van I went to sort out the inside of the tent. With the bed made up and everything else in place I went across for a quick chat with MissE then released the dogs from the van, and with the heater on to keep the tent cosy I settled down for an evening of tv and reading and eventually an earlier-than-usual bedtime.

Tuesday September 10th 2013 - Going home day

I woke that morning to something I really didn't want to hear - rain on the tent; the good weather had finally broken and it was now grey, wet and miserable. The first dog walk was kept short and after a breakfast of coffee and toast, and with the van parked as close to the front of the tent as I could get it, I started the packing up process. By the time I'd got everything out of the tent and into the van the rain had stopped, the clouds were breaking up and the sun was coming through, so not wanting to pack the tent away wet I towelled off most of the raindrops then took the dogs for another walk in the hope that it would be dry by the time I got back. Luckily it was, so with Sophie and Sugar out of the way in the van I dismantled it and got it back in its bag; the last thing to take down and put in the van was the tv aerial, then after a quick look round for any stray tent pegs I took the dogs to the edge of the field for a last look at the sea then drove away from the site and said goodbye to California for this year.

By the time I'd got a couple of miles down the road the clouds had almost disappeared and the sunshine and blue sky were back, which made for a very pleasant drive back home, though yet again I got stuck for several miles behind a slow moving vehicle on the A17 - a tractor and trailer this time. My one and only stop was at the Cheerio Cafe for some lunch and a dog walk along the edge of the nearby field, and with a change of route taking me straight up the A1 and across the M62 I made up the time I'd lost on the A17. Going that way added about twenty miles to the journey but it shaved about half an hour off the travelling time and I arrived home before 4pm. With plenty of time to spare before I had to go to work I downloaded all my photos onto the pc, and as I flicked through them afterwards I was already getting ideas for places to visit and revisit on my California holiday next year. 

Monday September 9th 2013 - Stracey Arms Windmill & Ranworth Tower

I woke to yet more sunshine and blue sky and after the usual walk along the beach and breakfast I spent a leisurely morning in and around the tent while I thought about somewhere to go. Without wanting to drive too far I eventually decided to go over to the Stracey Arms windmill then head a few miles north east of there to Ranworth Tower, part of Ranworth Church; a visit to the tower had been recommended by my camping friend John as the views from the top were apparently well worth the climb up the inside.

The windmill was situated beside the River Bure and the A47 between Acle and Yarmouth, a stretch of road that I'd never yet been along as there was no reason to do so; I'd been told that the small parking area was right by the very busy road and to pull in there could be dangerous, but as the other alternatives to get to the mill were by boat or a walk of several miles along the riverbank I had no choice. Fortunately the road wasn't as busy as it could have been and with nothing behind me for several hundred yards I had no trouble pulling into the parking area. 

Access to the mill grounds was by a gate and a short grassy path leading up to the riverbank where several boats were moored. A small shop-cum-tearoom and a couple of outbuildings were set back in one corner, part of the land had been divided off into a couple of small enclosures and half a dozen very friendly goats were wandering around. For a small entrance fee it was possible to go up to the top of the mill but as I'd already been inside Horsey mill and the inside of one was very much like the inside of another I decided not to bother; I think my brain must have gone awol at that point though as it never occurred to me that I could probably get some good photos from up there - definitely something to remember for next year.

Back at the van I gave the dogs a drink and reversed round in the parking area, then with a suitably large gap in the traffic I pulled safely back out onto the road and headed up to Ranworth and St. Helen's Church. The inside of the church was lovely and I spent several minutes looking round before going up the tower. A handwritten notice on the door leading into the tower gave visitors an idea of what to expect, with a disclaimer added at the bottom, and as I climbed I realised why. The spiral stone staircase running up the centre of the tower was very steep and narrow, getting steeper and narrower the farther up I went; with just one small square window set in each wall there was very little light and there was no handrail - this was certainly not a climb for the faint-hearted.  

As I got higher up I could hear voices from somewhere above and just hoped that I didn't meet anyone on the way down as there was absolutely no room at all for two people to pass each other on that staircase. I reached the top successfully though and started the second part of the climb, a very steep ladder up to the next floor; this was followed by a second, almost vertical, ladder  which went up through a trapdoor and finally out onto the roof. Unfortunately by the time I'd got up there the clouds which had been gathering from the west had increased rapidly until the blue sky of earlier on was almost obliterated by an overhanging blanket of grey - not really the best sky for taking photos.

Down below and in front of me I could see part of Malthouse Broad and the tops of the boats on the River Bure beyond; to my right was another stretch of the broad and even farther to the right was Ranworth Staithe at the end of the broad. In the far distance was Caister water tower, which is only a mile from California, and I could even see the wind turbines at Scroby Sands off the coast. The views were just as good as I'd been told they were - or would have been if the sky hadn't been so grey - and they were definitely worth the climb up the tower; in sunshine I could have got some really good photos so a return visit during my next Norfolk holiday will definitely be on the cards. 

After spending some time studying the land and working out what was where I made my way slowly back down the tower. Going backwards down the ladders was no problem but descending the staircase wasn't easy; with a wall on one side only and no handrail there was nothing to aid the descent so it was a case of one step at a time, hoping that I wouldn't fall off and reach the bottom quicker than I intended. I got down safely though with life and limb intact and back on terra firma I decided that my little expedition deserved a coffee-and-cake break, so I headed to Latham's for the final Belgian bun of the holiday. 

On my first visit there at the beginning of the holiday I'd been given a card which was stamped each time I bought a coffee, and with five stamps the sixth coffee was free; at the risk of getting an expanding waistline from all the Belgian buns I'd managed to get the five stamps so this final coffee would be the free one - and maybe it was my imagination but somehow it seemed to taste better. After a last look round the store I drove out to Clippesby for my second visit to my friends Eileen and Ron then returned to the camp site where the sun was still shining. Making the most of it I took the dogs for a walk through the heath at the end of the site then after a sandwich and a brew I spent a couple of hours watching tv. The bedtime dog walk round the site came early that evening; the following day we were going home and I needed to get everything packed up in time to leave at 10am, so it was an early bedtime for all of us that night.

Sunday September 8th 2013 - Happisburgh & F.A.I.T.H

After spending Friday pottering about round the tent, walking the dogs on the beach and relaxing in the sun - there had been no aftermath to the previous night's lightning over the sea although there were more clouds around than before - and Saturday shopping for supplies and visiting my friends Jane, Ady, and Andy and Sue, I decided I would take my usual walk through the avenues up to Hemsby and back along the beach, then drive up to Happisburgh and call in at FAITH animal rescue on my way back. 

To say that it was almost the end of the holiday season and things were beginning to wind down Hemsby was as busy as ever and the beach area around the Gap was alive with families enjoying the day. By the time I'd walked up one side of the road and back down the other, looking at the various shop displays, a bank of grey cloud was gathering over the beach; the sun was still shining though and the clouds had petered out  by the time I'd got halfway back to California - it's surprising what a difference half a mile can make.

Back at the tent I put the dogs straight in the van, collected my spare camera batteries which I'd left on charge, and set off for Happisburgh. I was going for no other reason than to satisfy my own curiosity - I wanted to see if the ugly wooden staircase tower was still on the beach. Arriving at the new car park I got a ticket for an hour then headed along the nearby lane to the cliff top - and that's when I discovered a 'road to nowhere' similar to the one I went looking for a couple of years ago, except where that one has been created by cliff erosion this one had been created by man and machine.

The lane itself had originally ended in a small cliff top area which housed half a dozen fishing shacks and a handful of sheds and small workshops; as part of the beach and cliff top regeneration scheme these had all been demolished and removed, along with several yards of the cliff itself, and the lane had been blocked up to prevent access. And a bit farther along the ugly staircase tower had indeed gone, leaving the beach looking much nicer than before. The presence of a JCB working out near the water's edge told me that work on the sea defences was still ongoing so maybe I'll go back again next year to see what other changes have taken place.

After wandering through the cliff top camp site in the direction of the church - it always amazes me that the site has no fencing to stop people falling over the cliff edge - I made my way back to the van and set off for FAITH. A few miles inland the clouds had gathered to completely obliterate the blue sky and it was looking decidedly iffy, though I could still feel the warmth of the sun coming through. Leaving the dogs in the van, as I don't think it's fair to walk them past the sanctuary's 'inmates', I went for a wander round. One of the rooms in the isolation block contained seven adorable Springer Spaniel pups but as I wouldn't want a dog of that breed there was no danger of falling in love with one; there was nothing else with four legs which I would have wanted to take home so at least when I left I could do it without feeling guilty.

After a chat to one of the staff members I picked up a couple of newsletters from reception then headed back in the direction of California. I was beginning to feel rather peckish by then, though as it was still rather early for my evening meal I couldn't think of a better reason for having coffee and cake so I stopped off at Latham's for yet another of their divine Belgian buns. South of Potter Heigham the cloud started to break up and I got back to California to find the whole area still bathed in sunshine and blue sky. The rest of the afternoon was spent chilling out in the sun followed by a meal and a couple of hours of tv, then as the daylight disappeared I took the dogs for their last walk before we all settled into our respective beds for the night.

Thursday September 5th 2013 - Felbrigg Hall & Wells

I woke to another glorious morning and though it was still quite early it was far too nice to linger in bed; the beach was calling, and as soon as I picked up their leads Sophie and Sugar were eager to go out. Through the gate at the end of the site, down the path and we were on the sand where I walked along at the water's edge, throwing stones for them both and enjoying having the beach to myself. It was one of those mornings where I wished the weather would stay like that for ever and I could spend every morning for the rest of my life on that beach.

Back at the tent I had some breakfast, tidied away anything which needed tidying, then topped up the dogs' water container in readiness for my day out. By that time I could tell from his open campervan door that John was about so I took my chair and wandered across for a chat. It was lovely just relaxing in the sunshine and chatting about this and that and I was very tempted to not go out at all, but I had a place in mind to go to and knowing how unpredictable the weather can be, if it broke and I missed the opportunity I would be kicking myself for not having gone. So I took my chair back to the tent, put the dogs in the van and set off for Felbrigg Hall near Cromer. I wasn't particularly interested in the house itself, in fact I didn't even bother taking any photos of it when I got there; it was the walled garden I wanted to see and I wasn't disappointed.

Once through the entrance gate the garden was split into two by a central wall and a large and ornate wrought iron gate; gravel paths crossed each other in a large grid formation interspersed with areas of lawn, and the whole place was a riot of shrubs, bushes and flowers of every colour you could think of. A brick-built dove cote with a red-tiled roof and fancy windows was at one side of the garden and in the centre was a circular lily pond surrounded by fancy railings and with a small island in the middle on which stood the statue of a young boy. As a National Trust member it had cost me nothing to get into the garden but it was such a lovely place that if I had paid the modest entrance fee it would certainly have been worth it.

Set in the wall near the dove cote was a gate with a 'please keep closed' notice on it and when I went through I realised why; this part of the garden was set as an orchard and there were several chickens and a group of young turkeys roaming freely around. While the chickens just quietly scratched about the turkeys were making squeaking noises and running like mad all over the place, a group of half a dozen or so chasing one which had something dangling from its beak. Although I couldn't make out what this 'thing' was it seemed to be something edible but the poor creature had no chance of eating it as all the others wanted their share; eventually though the turkey dropped it but before it had chance to pick it up again another turkey snatched it and the chase began again. And that's when I saw that the 'thing' was a frog, and with the treatment it was getting it was presumably a very dead one; I didn't think turkeys ate frogs but obviously this lot did, unless they were just treating it as a toy and playing a game with it. I just wished I'd been able to video them as their antics were certainly very amusing.

Back at the van I gave the dogs a drink and took them for a walk round the large grassed area used for parking, then it was on to the second stop of the day, Wells-next-the-Sea. I arrived to find that the little town was extremely busy and the large car park near the beach was full, however I managed to tuck the van in a corner just about big enough for it and with a ticket in the windscreen I set off to explore the beach, part of which was dog friendly and which was reached by wooden steps and a boardwalk up through the pine woods and dunes which backed onto the car park. When I got to the far side of the woods I saw that the tide was out, leaving a vast expanse of sand with a channel running through it, and the sea was so far in the distance that I couldn't even see it. It reminded me very much of Holkham beach which I visited a couple of years ago, and as there wasn't a great distance between Wells and Holkham I suppose it could be said that one beach was just a continuation of the other.

With a handful of shots taken from various places I went back to the van and drove back towards the town, finding a space in the car park just off the main road and close to the harbour. By that time I was feeling quite peckish but any hope I had of getting something to eat quickly went out of the window when I saw that anywhere selling food was either full or had a long queue outside, such was the popularity of this little town. With half a dozen shots taken in the vicinity of the harbour I decided to call it a day and drive back to California for a meal at somewhere close to the camp site.

When I arrived back at the tent an hour or so later I saw that John was pottering about round his campervan and as it was his last night on site I went across to ask him if he wanted to join me for a meal. The answer was 'yes' and we agreed to go across the lane to the California Tavern - by that time the sun had moved round the field, the tent was in shade and any heat had gone from it so I knew the dogs would be okay in there while I was away. The meal, as on other occasions, was excellent and there was so much of the main course that neither of us wanted a dessert so I wasn't away from the tent for too long. 

It was later than usual when I took the dogs for their bedtime walk and when I got back I saw that John was still around. It was while we were standing chatting that we noticed a flash in the distance; far out to sea and beyond the horizon it was lightning, vivid flashes which lit up the clouds and made them stand out in relief against the dark night sky, though there was no thunder. We stood for quite a while watching it before we said goodnight and I retreated to the tent, and with the dogs curled up in their bed I made a quick brew and snuggled into mine. It was possible that the good weather was about to break and though I hoped it didn't I wouldn't be surprised if I woke during the night to hear rain on the top of the tent.