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

Monday September 14th 2015 - A quick visit to Mundesley

After a grey and showery day on Sunday, where I'd done nothing other than have a second coffee at Latham's followed by a visit to my friends Eileen and Ron at Clippesby, Monday arrived full of sunshine and blue sky. I had no firm plans for the day other than to drive up to North Walsham to visit David, a guy I'd recently corresponded with through the UKCS forums; he had a disc with some computer programmes on it which would be useful to me if I wanted to collect it so I thought I may as well call up there first then drive on to somewhere else later.

As I'd never actually been into North Walsham before a quick check on Google Earth a few days previously had shown me that David's address was easy enough to find and I arrived just before lunch time. David and his wife were a friendly couple, they invited me in and we spent quite a while chatting before I collected the computer disc and said my goodbyes. Unfortunately though, while I'd been indoors the sun had done a disappearing act and the clear blue sky was now cloudy and grey, so rather than continue north in search of new places to photograph I drove the four miles to Mundesley on the coast. I've been there a couple of times before so a 30-minute car park ticket was all I needed and with just half a dozen shots taken I was soon on my way again.

My next stop was back inland at Stalham for a look round the shops; I still needed to get a jacket of some sort and thought maybe the Original Factory Shop on the high street would have something suitable. I didn't find a jacket or a track-suit top but I did find some track-suit bottoms which were just the right length, and at only five quid they were too good to miss so I got a pair - now all I needed was the top to go with them.

With the grey sky showing no sign of clearing I decided to cut my losses and go back to the camp site - there was no point going somewhere else just for the sake of it. And my route along the A149 just happened to take me back through Potter Heigham, where somehow I found an invisible hand guiding me back into Latham's for my third coffee and cake in as many days. Finally back at the tent I spent the rest of the day and evening reading and watching a bit of tv, then after the 10pm dog walk I retreated to bed with fingers crossed for nice weather the following day.

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.