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

Tuesday January 28th 2014 - Coffee and cake anyone?

It occurred to me a while ago that some of my regular blog readers, when reading about my various camping holidays, may be under the impression that I live on a permanent diet of coffee and cake as I seem to consume vast quantities of the stuff on a regular basis. The actual truth is very different though - at home I have a fairly healthy diet, only eat cake for a weekend treat and drink very little coffee, preferring tea instead. 

The whole coffee-and-cake thing originally came about when I camped with my now-ex partner. He was an avid coffee drinker and whenever we were out somewhere during the day we would always find a cafe where we would have a mid-afternoon coffee - and the coffee always went down better if accompanied by some form of dessert. Sometimes it would be apple pie and cream - his favourite - but mostly it would be cake. Then when I became a solo camper I somehow continued the habit of having a coffee break while I was out exploring different places, and as coffee didn't seem right on its own it was inevitable that it would be accompanied by cake. And so a personal 'tradition' started back in 1997 has continued, and will no doubt continue as long as I'm on my camping travels. Add to that my own mad idea from early 2010 when I decided I would eat my way round the UK, having coffee and cake at each different place I went to, and it really does seem like I have nothing else.

So just out of interest, and as much for my own amusement as anything else, I recently decided to count up and make an alphabetical list of all the places where I've had coffee and cake since becoming a solo camper - and it's quite a lot, with four places having played 'coffee-and-cake host' more than once. So here it is -

Abergele, Alnmouth, Amble, Amlwch, Ardnamurchan Point, Bala, Beaumaris, Boot, Bungay, Caernarfon, Cheerio Cafe (name of exact location unknown), Cleethorpes, Conwy, Cromer, Deganwy, Durham Services, Elvaston Steam Rally, Filey, Fleetwood, Fort Augustus, Hemsby, Horning, Hunstanton, Llanberis, Llandudno, Llangollen, Llanrwst, Mallaig, Moelfre, Mundesley, Norfolk Shire Horse Centre, Oulton Broad (x 2), Pately Bridge, Penmon (Black Point), Plas Newydd, Potter Heigham (Latham's x 16), Ravenglass, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Rhos-on-Sea, Scarborough (x 2), Seahouses, Skipton, Southwold, Thorpeness (x 2), Whitby, Wyre Estuary Country Park.

So that's 46 different places and a total of 64 lots of coffee and cake so far - that's an awful lot of cake! And just in case you're thinking that having consumed all those calories I must look like Mrs. Blobby....well thanks mainly to a very active home and work life I don't, and my profile photo at the top of the page doesn't lie!  :)

Monday January 13th 2014 - While I was camping something died

With my intended winter camping activities curtailed somewhat by the continued and extremely wet weather this country is currently experiencing I thought I would recount an amusing incident which occurred while I was camping on Anglesey three years ago. It didn't happen to me directly and I don't suppose it was funny at the time, but the more it gets mentioned the funnier it seems.

It was the third day of a week-long holiday and I was driving down a country lane on the way to Abersoch on the Lleyn Peninsula. My phone bleeped with a text message so finding a convenient lay-by I pulled up to read it. It was from my son - "Sorry if I spoil your holiday mum, the white cat's dead". Certainly short and to the point.

Now the cat in question was quite elderly and hadn't been in the best of health for a while so the news, although sad, didn't really come as a surprise, and considering I was 140 miles away from home there was nothing I could do about it anyway.  As I sat there contemplating the cat's demise and wishing it had waited until I got home before breathing its last, my phone bleeped again with another message - "What d'you want me to do with it?". So I rang my son - and got the whole graphic account.

Now to put you in the picture my cats are indoor ones, living in the utility room off the kitchen. Although they will eat any food from any bowl or dish put down for them, for some strange reason they won't drink water from a normal bowl so I leave a large rectangular dishwashing bowl full of fresh water in the utility sink; feeding-wise all my son has to do is put a scoopful of dry food in each food bowl daily and check the water supply every couple of days. Under normal circumstances none of this would be a problem, but these weren't normal circumstances. 

He'd cleaned out the litter boxes and filled the food bowls, then seeing a white dishcloth in the sink decided to give the worktops a wipe over - except the object in the sink wasn't a dishcloth. Partially submerged in the dishwashing bowl, and staring up at him with sightless blue eyes, head at an angle and a hideous grimace on its face, was one very dead white cat. Now my son is an adult and by no means a wimp, but according to him he jumped back at least 4ft and the scream could probably have been heard from the far end of the street. In trepidation, and with a pounding heart and a face almost as white as the cat, he took another look, and the sight was no less pretty the second time around - the cat was most definitely dead, and it didn't look very happy about being so either.

The first text message reached me a couple of minutes later and the second one came through after he'd had a nerve-calming cigarette. When I spoke to him he still sounded a bit shaken, though he agreed that there was no need for me to cut my holiday short and that he would bury the cat in the back garden. So out he went and dug the hole, then hauled the bedraggled body out of the dishwashing bowl, wrapped it in an old dog towel and dropped it into the hole, filling it in quickly in case the creature decided to somehow suddenly spring back to life and escape.

There was no way of knowing how or why the cat had got into the dishwashing bowl; had it fallen in and drowned, or had it suffered a heart attack and fallen in on the point of death? I rather hope it was the latter as the former scenario doesn't bear thinking about. The whole incident has come up in conversation several times over the last three years and though my son didn't find it funny at the time - and it certainly wasn't funny from the cat's point of view - the story always produces much hilarity. For a long while after that though, whenever I was away camping he would approach the utility room with great caution in case he got any more nasty surprises!