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 September 14th 2014 - An odd and frustrating day

The wind was still blowing when I woke that morning and yet again the best of the clear blue sky and sunshine was right on the coast, with a blanket of broken cloud stretching for miles inland. With only two full days left before I went home, and with the inland cloud showing no sign of disappearing, it looked like I wouldn't be going up Ranworth church tower this holiday and I was almost kicking myself for not having gone on Wednesday after I'd climbed the one at Happisburgh. But life's too short for regrets so after the usual morning dog walk along the beach and a leisurely breakfast I had a quick tidy up round the tent then set off to visit my friends in Beccles and Bungay.

My first port of call, which was on the way to Beccles, was Redwings horse sanctuary. Back in March I'd had a letter from there telling me that Rusty, my adopted horse, had become ill and sadly died; another horse had been suggested for me to adopt but first I wanted to see the others which were available. From the information board in reception I picked out two I was interested in, checked to see which paddocks they were in, then went to find them. It was difficult to choose between Cauli and Muffin but I thought Cauli's story was particularly sad; she had been abandoned in a cauliflower field - hence her name - and was found standing over the dead body of her companion. She also had a severe eye injury which meant her right eye had to be removed, but she had recovered well and looking at her grazing peacefully just a few feet away it was hard to tell that she only had one eye. So the decision was made; I chose Cauli, and went back to reception to sort out the adoption details. With that done I returned to the van, released the dogs and took them for a walk down the long private driveway.

Redwings shared the driveway with a private golf and country club, with the entrances to both establishments close together; I'd never previously taken much notice of the entrance to the golf club grounds but this time I could hardly miss it; it was now more open than it once was, with well-mown grass verges and bright flower beds bordering the driveway - well worth a photo or two even with the cloudy sky. 

My next stop was at a friend's cottage at the far side of Beccles, and as I pulled up outside my first thought was that she'd got a different car as the one on the drive wasn't the one she had last  year. As was my normal custom I let myself in through the side gate and went round to knock on the back door, but the young woman who answered definitely wasn't my friend or any of her relatives - this was a complete stranger. It turned out that my friend had sold up and moved away and this young woman was the cottage's new owner, which obviously explained the different car on the drive. Heaven knows what she thought about me turning up out of the blue and knocking on the back door, but I'd been doing that for twenty years and old habits die hard. 

After apologizing for disturbing her I got back in the van and drove down the lane to where I could park up safely then phoned my friend. I expected that she would probably be at her caravan but it was a fair distance to drive so I wanted to be sure before going over there - and it was a good thing I did phone her as she wasn't there; she was spending some time with her daughter until she found a new house. We chatted for a while, during which she said she'll send me her new address when she has one, then I moved on to my next port of call, Bungay and my friends Jane, Ady, Andy and Sue.

Jane's house was first, and though I knocked several times I got no answer so I drove round to Ady's place - and the first thing that struck me was that he'd got pink and silver glittery curtains at his bedroom window. Now that definitely wasn't Ady's style, and after getting no answer to my knock I spoke to one of his neighbours who told me that he'd moved out a while ago, though she didn't know where he'd moved to. So it was on to Andy and Sue's place, they would be able to tell me where Ady was, but there was no answer from them either - now they were always in on Sundays, even if they didn't know I would be calling, so where were they? This was definitely third time unlucky, so I decided to go back to Jane's to see if she had returned - and this time I saw her next-door neighbour who told me that Jane had gone out to a family meal in a restaurant somewhere, which explained why none of them were home.

So with two friends who'd upped and moved, and three who just weren't in, I wasn't having a very good afternoon, so to make the journey worthwhile I went to the Buttercross Tea Rooms and treated myself to a meal and a coffee before setting off back in the general direction of California. As I approached Yarmouth I decided to stop off at Asda and top up the van with diesel in readiness for my drive home in two days time, but just as I pulled into the petrol station an assistant blocked the entrance to the pumps with cones then went and pulled down the shutters at the pay kiosk - the place had just closed! It was only 3.30pm and the store itself was still open - what the heck was going on?? The petrol station at my local Asda doesn't close until later than that on Sundays so what was so different about this one?

Feeling ever-so-slightly miffed I decided to try and salvage something from the afternoon and go to Caister beach. In all the years I've been holidaying at California I'd never actually been to Caister beach even though it was less than two miles away, so it would be interesting to see what, if anything, was there. And the answer to that was - not a lot. The aptly-named Beach Road, which was more of a lane than a road, ran from the main road through Caister down to the beach itself and at the end, behind a row of cottages, was a large gravel-surfaced car park, a grassy picnic area near the dunes, and the two large modern buildings of Caister lifeboat station. It took me less than ten minutes to look round and take just three shots - it wasn't a particularly interesting place and now I'd seen it I wouldn't ever need to go back again. 

Back at the tent I fed the dogs and put them on their line for a while then when the heat finally went out of the sun the three of us retreated inside and the evening was spent reading and watching a bit of tv. It had been an odd and rather frustrating day in more ways than one and other than choosing another adopted pony I felt as if I hadn't really achieved anything worthwhile; I didn't know what the following day would bring but it was my last full one so whatever I did I would be sure to make the most of it.


  1. You just couldn't catch a break, could you?

    A couple of weeks ago, some people from church/school/high school/soccer team offered to bring our daughter home from a game. I was to meet them at their house. After looking in the church directory to make sure I remembered their address, I headed over. When I arrived, the garage door was open, but no one answered when I knocked. Since only one car was there, I figured they hadn't gotten back yet. My daughter texted a minute later asking when I would arrive. I told her I was waiting in the driveway. Soon after, she texted back, "Um, I'm standing in the driveway, and you're not here." The family had moved in the past year, but the directory was from 2 years ago. I'm glad the people at the old house didn't answer!
    I really hope you were able to make up for this day. Off to read the next post...

  2. That's just made me smile. It would have been interesting to know what happened if the new people at the old house HAD been in :)

    Yes, I made up for this day in spade loads, as no doubt you've already read by now :)


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