I woke that morning hoping that I could follow my previous day's climb up Happisburgh church tower with a repeat visit to Ranworth church tower, but although on the coast the sun was shining and the sky was blue and clear just a mile or so inland it was covered by hundreds of white clouds with very few breaks in them, and which stretched as far as the eye could see. As Ranworth is several miles inland this didn't bode well for photographing views from the top of the church tower, so I decided to stay reasonably local for once.
I'd found out that there was a car boot sale up at Hemsby village and as I'd never been to that one before I decided to have a look round there first then drive to the road leading down to Hemsby beach and spend a while browsing round the shops. The boot sale was bigger than I expected and as usual I was on a quest for mouse ornaments for my collection but in spite of the large amount of stalls I didn't find a single one. I did however find a bag which I thought would be very useful; made in Holland it seemed to be a type of sports bag and was almost circular in shape but straight along one side. I had no idea what a bag of that shape would originally be used for but it looked almost new, was the right shade of blue to match my tent and camping accessories and would be ideal for storing the hook-up extension cable I bought while on Anglesey in June; it was only £1 so I handed over my money and walked away from the stall feeling quite pleased that I'd found it.
It was when I got back to the van and examined the bag in more detail that I came across the very strange coincidence. Tucked right down at the bottom of one of the inside pockets was an obviously long-forgotten small bundle of half a dozen folded till receipts from a shop in Yarmouth and dated about three years ago; nothing unusual in that, people sometimes do accidentally leave things in bags they donate to charity or boot sales, but written on the top of each receipt by someone completely unknown to me was a name - Eunice. I had to look twice for my brain to register what I was seeing - it's not exactly a common name so how strange was that?? At a car boot sale I'd never been to before, which I'd only found out about when driving back from Martham riverbank, from a stall whose owner I'd never previously seen or met, not only had I found a useful bag in the right colour for camping but it could have previously belonged to someone with the same name as me. I don't normally give much thought to fate and destiny but somehow it seemed I was destined to find that bag so I felt even more pleased that I'd bought it.
From the car boot sale I drove down to Hemsby beach road and with just an hour on the car park ticket I went for a wander down one side of the road and back up the other. Most of the shops were exactly the same as they've always been, selling the same sort of gifts and toys as most seaside places, so I only actually went in a couple of them and even then I didn't buy anything. I did do one thing I've been meaning to do for ages though - with not too many people about I did manage to get some photos of the road itself with its many colourful arcade signs and pavement shop displays.
With no purchases other than the bag I got from the car boot sale I drove back to the camp site and spent the rest of the day mooching about on the beach with the dogs and relaxing outside the tent in the sunshine. A breeze had blown up during the afternoon and by the evening it had turned into quite a strong wind so before I settled in for the night I went round the tent and checked all the pegs and guy lines; I had every confidence in the tent itself and my own pitching abilities but it was better to be safe than sorry - I love my tent and I didn't want anything to happen to it during the night.
As I lay in bed later on I thought back to my car boot sale purchase; I would have loved to know who the other Eunice was and what she had used the bag for, if indeed it was actually hers. Sometimes it seems that fate really does work in mysterious ways, and I suppose you could say that the bag almost literally had my name written on it.
- 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