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

Sunday February 24th - Cleethorpes and an expensive packet of stuffing mix

I woke that morning to what I thought was a fairly bright sky but when I looked outside I saw it was just the same as the previous day, dull, grey and miserable; the tent was nice and warm and my bed was so lovely and cosy that I didn't really want to get up, so as the dogs weren't very enthusiastic about going out anyway I made some coffee and toast and stayed put for another couple of hours. When I did finally get up I took them for a couple of circuits of the nearby lake while I decided what I was going to do for the rest of the day, then spent some time chatting to some of the other campers.

It was gone noon before I was ready for going anywhere - I'd decided on a drive over to Cleethorpes on the coast, which wasn't too far away, and as I'd never been there before I thought it would be good to have a look round and see if it was somewhere I would go back to in better weather. So with the dogs settled in the van I said goodbye to my camping friends, some of whom would be gone by the time I got back, and set off to see what Cleethorpes had to offer. It didn't take long to get there, and as I had no wish to see the town itself I followed the appropriate signs to the sea front. The promenade was quite a long affair with parking spaces on the seaward side along most of its length; quite surprisingly most of these were occupied and I had to drive almost to the far end before I found a vacant one. As luck would have it it was right beside a ticket macine so with a ticket purchased and stuck on the windscreen I collected the dogs from the back of the van and set off to walk the length of the promenade.

In view of the grey day and the very cold wind blowing in from the sea I was surprised to see that almost all the promenade amusement arcades, cafes and ice cream places were open - I didn't think there would be so many people about in that weather. The promenade itself was actually quite pleasant, with gardens running along part of it on the seaward side and an ornamental waterfall and 'castle' on the other side, and I could imagine that on a sunny summer's day it would be really nice.

When I reached the end I turned and retraced my steps back to the van, and on the way I noticed a sign outside a cafe advertising a Sunday 'special' of coffee and cake for £2.50 - I was ready for a brew so that would do for me but there was nothing outside the cafe to hitch the dogs to, so as some of the nearby parking spaces were now vacant and to save myself another long walk I put them in the van when I got back to it and drove back down to a parking space almost opposite the cafe. It was while I was having my coffee that I noticed the sky brightening up out to sea, and by the time I left the cafe there were big patches of blue showing through the clouds. It would have made quite a difference to my photos but by then I'd already taken what I wanted and I didn't fancy walking all the way back down the promenade again to retake them, so it looked like I would indeed be making a return visit to Cleethorpes during the summer.

With the time almost up on my parking ticket, and having seen all I wanted to see, I set off back to Willow Lakes but by a slightly different route, and on the outskirts of Cleethorpes I came across a large Tesco Extra. As I needed a packet of stuffing mix and I never normally shop at Tesco anyway I decided to go in for a look round, though I certainly wasn't prepared for how much that stuffing mix would actually cost me. With the purchase of a new ink cartridge for my printer (which I really needed) and a cd (which I didn't need but it would sound good in the van) I spent almost  twenty six quid! And the price of the stuffing mix? - just 27p!

When I finally got back to the camp site I found that everyone else had left except for John and his friend Graham; I put the heater on to warm up the tent, made a brew and settled down to a couple of hours of tv - I never miss Dancing On Ice! - then later on I zipped Sophie and Sugar into their bedroom so they wouldn't escape and wandered over to John's caravan for a chat with him and Graham. I hadn't intended to stay long but the converation was good and before I knew it a couple of hours had passed and it was almost 11pm; when I got back to the tent the dogs were curled up in their bed and obviously hadn't missed me at all, though they soon woke up when I picked up their leads to take them for their last walk of the day. With a circuit of the fishing lake and stables completed I settled them back in their beds and snuggled into my own, finally drifting off to sleep with the sound of an owl hooting somewhere in a tree not far away.

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