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 May 29th 2017 - Part 1 - Chirk Castle gardens

Unfortunately all the previous evening's finger crossing hadn't worked and after several heavy and prolonged downpours during the night I emerged from the tent that morning to more grey skies, fine drizzle and a blanket of mist and low cloud which obliterated everything that was more than a few hundred yards away. It certainly wasn't nice enough for the photos I wanted to take at Chirk Castle but I didn't want to waste the day so at lunch time I set out and went there anyway.

This time when I arrived there were no marshalls to tell me where I could or couldn't park so I drove round to the left of the car park and reversed the van up to the tree line; the morning's drizzle had turned to proper rain by then and I had no intention of being away for long so I knew the dogs would be okay while I was gone. With no need to go into the castle itself, and with one particular view in mind, I headed straight for the gardens and with flowers and plants blooming everywhere it was lovely to see how much things had changed in the few short weeks since Easter.

Following the paths I'd taken at Easter I soon came to the place where I wanted to get a repeat shot from. Over the years I've taken many good photos of many different subjects but every so often there's been one which, for me at least, has stood out from the rest for whatever reason, and the view across the lawns to the hawk house had been one of those. I'd hoped to repeat the shot with blue skies and this time all I got was rain and mist but the view still looked quite pretty so I took the shot anyway and hoped it would look okay.

From there I took a path which I hadn't noticed on my previous visit and was delighted when I turned a corner and found a pretty little pond. Everywhere I went azaleas and rhododendrons made big splashes of colour in a background of green and I roamed around taking shot after shot, though even under the shelter of an umbrella it wasn't easy. Several times I got rain spots on the lens and my shots were either slightly blurred in places or completely ruined but I took enough that I would at least get some fairly decent ones.

Eventually I made my way round to the rockery behind the hawk house then into the hawk house itself. With no-one else around I had the place to myself so I was able to read the few wall mounted information boards without interruption before taking a couple of shots from the inside looking out, then with one final photo taken as I walked up towards the castle I made my way back to the car park.

Apart from the gardens and the castle itself dogs are allowed in the extensive grounds so I could have taken Sophie and Poppie for a lovely walk but it was far too wet and in some places muddy too, so with just a very brief walk along the path near the van, and the promise of (hopefully) a better walk later on, we left Chirk Castle and headed back to Llangollen for the next part of the day.