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

Saturday September 12th 2015 - Off to California

A very rainy morning at 5.30am saw me leaving home for my annual 10-day holiday at California in Norfolk. With very little traffic on the roads so early in the morning the driving was fairly easy in spite of the rain and three hours later I was pulling into the car park of the Cheerio Cafe on the A17. A quick walk round with the dogs was followed by a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast and a mug of coffee, and while I was in the cafe the rain slackened and stopped; the sun came out not long afterwards so the second three hours of the journey were very pleasant.

Arriving at the camp site just after noon I booked in at reception and was told I could have any pitch I wanted so I opted for my favourite, No. 47, as it's an end pitch and slightly larger than the others, plus it's also only a few yards away from the water tap. With only one other small campervan in residence the camping field was otherwise deserted, however as is often the case at that site Sod's Law had decreed that while just down the road the air was perfectly calm and still the wind was blowing an absolute hooley across that field - putting the tent up in that would be no easy task.

With the dogs still in the van and out of the way I made a start; even pegging down the footprint groundsheet was a challenge as the wind kept flipping the darned thing over, so I just knew that dealing with the tent on my own would be difficult. However, according to the saying, there's more than one way to skin a cat - with all the tent poles in place I re-parked the van, opened the back, pulled one end of the tent upright and tied the centre guy rope to the dog guard, then quickly knocked a  couple of temporary pegs into the ends of the first two poles. That held the thing firmly enough for me to deal with the rest of it, and though working against the wind was certainly a struggle I finally got it all straightened out and pegged down; all I had to do then was untie it from the dog guard, move the van out of the way, re-peg the first two poles and peg down the last three guy lines. Of course Sod's second law also decreed that by the time I'd finally got everything sorted out inside the tent and my temporary home was complete, the wind had dropped to nothing and the camping field was as calm as everywhere else.

The final task was to put up the tv aerial, firmly tied to a concrete fence post behind the tent, then I retrieved the dogs from the van and we went for our first walk along the beach. It had been over six years since I last took Sam down there and a lot had happened since then, so I'd been looking forward to this for a while - and just like all those years ago, as soon as Sam saw the sea he headed straight in for a dip. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me just then but now I knew he hadn't lost his love of water there would be plenty more opportunities for me to take some photos of him.

By the time we got back to the tent my scrambled egg breakfast had long since worn off; I needed to go to Latham's at Potter Heigham to look for a casual jacket or a track-suit top as I'd completely forgotten to pack either, so that was as good an excuse as any to kick-start the holiday with one of their delicious cream-filled Belgian buns and a mug of good latte coffee. And what did I find when I got there? - the 'buy five coffees and get the sixth one free' offer, which I've taken advantage of before, so I collected a card, got my first stamp, and settled down to enjoy the first of six Belgian buns. Okay, so that's six times the calories I would normally consume in a ten day period, but to go into Latham's for a coffee and not have a Belgian bun just wouldn't seem right somehow.

A look round the clothing section of the store unfortunately didn't produce either of the items I was looking for, though I did get a nice bedside lamp for home from the household section, then once I'd finished looking round I returned to the van and made my way back to the camp site. The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent relaxing, with a pre-bedtime dog walk round the site at 10pm. It wasn't late - at home I can, and very often do, stay up until the early hours, but my early morning start and the long day had taken its toll so I was more than ready for bed, and I wasn't in there long before sleep finally overtook me.


  1. Of COURSE it was gale-force winds during the time you were putting the tent up. :)

    I was taken aback by your photo. While I am very impressed with your set-up (I love the antennae strapped to the pole.), I was shocked to see you so near permanent buildings and a trailer. I was picturing trees and prettier things to look at.

  2. Don't be fooled by the photo, the camping field is actually quite nice.

    The trailer you see is one of a dozen static ones which are all part of the site and can be rented for holidays; the brick wall and timber fence which look like they are behind my tent are part of a small toilet block and where the fresh water tap is situated; the house roof you can see is is right over near the site entrance and where the owner lives. The two houses on the right are holiday cottages and are part of the site, they do actually have quite pretty gardens.

    Unfortunately if I want an electric point I have to use a pitch along that fence line as that's the only part of the field which has them, but being near the statics doesn't bother me as I class those as being at the back of my tent anyway. Looking the other way I have uninterrupted sea views in front and fields, trees and heathland to the right - I'll put a couple of photos on my last post so you can see the difference.

    I guess after many years of camping there I'm used to seeing the statics and everything else that's nearby, so to see that part of the site through someone else's eyes seems rather odd.

    1. Makes complete sense. The view from your tent sounds lovely. :)


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