Another sunny and very warm morning arrived and with it the unwanted task of packing up to go home. Most campers had gone the previous day and those few who were left were all in the other fields beyond the tree line so I was very much on my own - bliss! I've often thought I'd like to live every summer like that, in a tent with a field to myself - just give me a water tap and somewhere to empty my loo and I'll be quite happy.
After breakfast and a dog walk round the field I started the packing up process, which didn't really take long as there was nothing much to pack up. I'd just started to take the pegs out of the guy lines when Amanda and Garry from one of the small groups I occasionally camp with came along to say goodbye and while I was chatting to them John came across in his camper van, he was also on his way home. We chatted for a while then once I was alone again I continued dismantling the tent and I was ready for leaving just before noon; another dog walk round the top end of the field and I was finally on the way.
I'd only gone about quarter of a mile from the site when I came across a baby rabbit in the lane, lying on its side kicking its legs. Presumably it had been clipped by a car going round the nearby bend; if it stayed there the next car to come along would squash it completely - I'd only just missed it myself - so I pulled up and went back to rescue it. With not a mark or any blood on it anywhere it was still strong enough to try jumping out of my arms so maybe it had a chance; I could easily have driven back to the camping field and left it out of harm's way in the long grass but I didn't like the thought that if it was seriously hurt it would die slowly and painfully. So I gently wrapped it in a spare dog towel, got back in the van and lay the little bundle across my legs, where it stayed all the time I was driving. My thoughts were that if it was still alive when I got home I would take it straight to the vet, either for treatment or to be humanely put to sleep if it was too badly injured, but unfortunately I didn't get the chance; I was about halfway home when I realised it had quietly passed away and there was nothing more I could do for it. Poor little bunny; it was obviously more seriously hurt than I first thought.
When I finally reached home I left the dogs indoors then drove up to the local golf course - I wanted to put the rabbit somewhere where it could lie without being disturbed and as you don't get people walking dogs on golf courses I couldn't think of anywhere better. So I found a tree which was in the sunshine and surrounded by long grass and I gently laid the rabbit there, feeling more than a little sad that I couldn't have done more for it. I suppose many people must think I'm ever so slightly mad for bothering with the rabbit in the first place, but I was brought up to have a great love and respect for all creatures and I would never turn my back on anything that needed help, even if the outcome isn't good.
Back at home I downloaded my photos onto the pc and thought back over the last couple of days. The weather had been good, I'd chatted to many different people, seen round a very unusual stately home, had almost a whole field to myself, my bed in the van had been the comfiest yet and my water-cooled 'fridge' had worked well - all in all a great weekend. So roll on next year's Elvaston rally!
- 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