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

Friday April 22nd 2016 - An unexpected surprise and a heart-stopping moment

For just over a week now my local area has been blessed with some really lovely spring weather; although the mornings have started off quite cool the sun has soon warmed things up and I've even been able to go out without a jacket. It's also been great dog walking weather so I've been taking Sophie and Poppie on some fairly long daily walks in various parts of the countryside not far from home, and which the three of us have enjoyed very much.

Today we went to Jumbles Country Park, just over two miles from home, and walked all the way round the reservoir; there are several little 'beaches' at various points around the water's edge and I went down onto one of these to snap a couple of photos. Sophie was being her usual wimpy self and after getting her paws wet she stayed well away from the water, but quite unexpectedly, and without any encouragement from me, Poppie waded in and actually started swimming. I've often wondered if she could or would swim, as other than playing in a stream while camping on Anglesey last year she has never shown any inclination to go in any water anywhere, so that was a nice surprise. Fortunately she was on an extended lead so she couldn't go out too far, and after swimming round in a wide semi-circle she came back onto dry land and we continued our walk.

It was when we got round to the far side of the reservoir that things went a bit pear-shaped. Poppie spotted several ducks swimming just off another little beach and before I could clip the lead back on she was off, straight into the water after the nearest one. The further it went to get away from her the further she swam after it and no matter how much I called her she completely ignored me - she was on a mission and she wanted that duck, but she was also heading for the far side of the reservoir and was already halfway across.

Luckily we were at the narrowest point but if she had reached the other side she wouldn't have been able to get out as the bank there is almost vertical, also I knew the water was still very deep and I had dreadful visions of the poor little thing drowning. The only thing I could do was walk back up onto the path in the hope that she would think I was leaving her and it seemed to do the trick; she abandoned the duck chase and swam back to the beach, where the lead was clipped back on in double quick time. And I don't think I've ever been so cross and so relieved both at the same time.

After that little escapade there was no more going down to the water's edge, we kept strictly to the path with Poppie firmly on the short lead all the way. It had been nice to discover earlier on that she can and will swim, but any future attempts will definitely be at the end of the long lead - I don't think I can survive any more heart-stopping moments like that one!