This post is part of the A to Z Challenge.
There are actually more words than you would think which begin with 'x' but there are none which relate to camping - maybe someone should invent one?! - so here are some other words which I've adapted to fit the theme.
Xtras - Those items which I take 'just in case'. Extra clothing, extra batteries for the camera, an extra dog lead in case I lose one, an extra chair for if I have a visitor, extra guylines and more importantly extra tent pegs. It's often the case that when pegging down the tent I'll hit a stone under the surface of the pitch and bend the tent peg, so if that happens a few times I need a supply of extras.
X marks the spot - When I arrive at a site I don't put the tent up straight away; I walk round the pitch a couple of times, see which direction has the best view, look which way the sun shines, check for any dips in the ground, and in the case of the drive-away awning I make sure I'll have enough room to drive in and out alongside it. When I'm happy that I've got the right spot on the pitch I'll put the tent/awning up; some people might think I'm being fussy but I do like things to be right!
Xmas - To be honest, one of my pet hates is this abbreviation of the word 'Christmas' but in this case it fits the theme. For many years I've wanted to go camping at Christmas but something has always prevented it - usually our very unpredictable British weather. Long before I ever learned to drive I often said that if I could drive I would never attempt it in snowy or icy conditions and so far I haven't. I can cope with cold and have done so a few times, but I would hate to be somewhere miles from home if the weather turned to snow and the roads were bad. So unless the weather gods can guarantee me an absolutely snow, ice and frost free Christmas sometime in the near future then I may never get my tinsel and turkey in the tent.
Xcitement - Not so much me but the dogs. You know when kids get all excited at the prospect of going away? Well my two dogs are very much the same. I don't know how it is - maybe they have a sixth sense for these things - but somehow they know when I'm packing up the van ready for camping even if they can't actually see me doing it. Their tails wag more than they normally do and on the morning of departure Sophie bounces about like she's on a pogo stick, and the pair of them rush to the door eager to be off. They always lie quietly on the journey but when we get close to the site the sixth sense kicks in again and they are up and looking through the window as if they know we're almost there. Once the tent is pitched I take them for a good walk somewhere where they can run off-lead and their joy is obvious, especially with Sophie who will run round and round in mad circles. It's as if they are saying "Yippee, we're camping again!" - and who knows, if I can get away with it without being seen then one day I might do the same myself!
- 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