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

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.

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