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

Monday April 8th 2013 - G is for Gale Force Wind

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge.

Over the sixteen years I've been camping I think I've mainly been very lucky with the weather; most of the time my camping days have been very sunny, and though there have been a few dull and rainy days here and there I can only think of two occasions where I've experienced really bad weather.

The first of these was Easter 2003 when my partner and I went to a Norfolk site which is on a cliff top. We arrived on the Good Friday morning in brilliant sunshine and proceeded to erect the trailer tent which was an old 1970's model. The canvas had seen far better days, and as my partner tightened one of the poles the canvas stretched too far at a weak point, resulting in a foot long tear which was impossible to sew up, so we stuffed the gap with a towel and hoped it would be okay. Then late in the evening the wind came; it started as a gentle breeze at first but got stronger and stronger, making the canvas flap wildly and the trailer rock so much it was almost lifting off the ground, and we were worried that if it got through that tear in the canvas it would just rip the whole lot to shreds and completely destroy our 'home'. To be honest, with the wind howling with such force we were more than worried, we were scared, and rather than go to bed we spent most of the night sitting up and watching the canvas. The wind did eventually die down as daylight arrived so we were able to get some sleep, and when we woke again the sun had returned. In spite of everything the canvas had survived and we went on to have an enjoyable and sunny break, but when we got back home we went to the nearest camping store and invested in a new trailer tent - we didn't want to go through that again!

My second experience of gale force wind was on Anglesey last year (2012) during the Queen's jubilee weekend. My first two days on site were absolutely glorious but I woke early on the third day to pouring rain and a stiff breeze which gradually turned into a roaring gale, battering my awning with such force that I wondered if it would survive the onslaught. Taking it down in such a high wind wasn't an option though so I just had to sit it out and hope for the best. A walk round the site that evening showed just how much damage the gale had done - windbreaks uprooted and blown across the grass, becoming lodged under cars; a gazebo with sides which had large holes blown straight through them; the main field, which only the previous day had looked like a smaller version of Glastonbury, now resembled the aftermath of the holocaust. The grass was littered with collapsed and damaged rain-soaked tents, bent and broken tent poles and gazebo frames, and rubbish was strewn everywhere, testament to the force with which the gale had hit. Fortunately my awning survived and the wind eventually died down, but I felt really sorry for the families whose weekend had been ruined. British weather certainly has a lot to answer for!