Aol Camping Holidays!

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I noticed an event today on a women only camping group … a meet up down in North Yorkshire in June … and I have decided it would be a fab way of getting to know like minded women … and so, I have booked!

Really looking forward to it.. although I will be taking a trip somewhere in May before then … I might have a scout around and find out if there are any more meets!

I remember the camping holidays with the girls from AOL, loads of us sitting around a campfire, drunk as skunks and eating whatever we could fling on a bbq … then collecting of everyone’s eggs in the morning to make about 30 hard boiled eggs (we couldn’t work out how to do soft one’s) … and marshmallows melted on the fire … that ended up burning our mouths!

There was even a surprise birthday party flung for me (6 months early) and loads of pictures of me hung up all over the campsite in secret! … Great times, great friends, great laughs!

And a very embarrassing moment when I was so drunk I was trying to open my tent with my car key fob …

Alice in Wanderland (my alternative name for Alice) has opened all of this up again for me!  … this time with new friends to be made, and new stories to hear!   Plus I can use all my old jokes and stories because this bunch of women wouldn’t have heard them!

Some old memories of AOL Camping!



The gift of friendship!

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Today, for the second day in a row I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me when I got home!

A present from the Wirral Girls who came to Fort William … and all I can say is thank you!  I am delighted!  But I really don’t deserve it!

Think I need to put her over my bed and try to pinch some of her wisdom! … her name is Wirral!

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Stronger than you think


Life is never a smooth ride.  Perhaps it is not meant to be.  Through all the challenges we face, we become.

My own life has had major lows, I’ve lost a business, my home and everything I owned, the situation was caused by many reasons, the economic climate, a dodgy Royal Bank of Scotland Bank Manager (that was eventually jailed, but too late to help me) and by myself, for not making tough decisions at the right time.  998755_10151512865748106_966206854_n

I learned a lot about myself then … I hit a great low and my first bought of depression that was stress related.   Life moved on, something inside of me just refused to quit and I ended up with another business, this time in partnership with a girlfriend.

Eventually this relationship broke down, through no-one’s fault really, it just run it’s course and we managed to keep a working relationship, but again this business was struggling, recruitment is a minefield and both myself and my ex could not, in our hearts, go down the route of zero hour contracts and so we sold off what we could and closed the business down.   The worry of history repeating itself, set me on a route to my second and more paralysing bout of stress related depression, that took me to places that I never want to visit again.

For my friends and for me, it was a shock, that “cheery” me, would sink again .. but I did.  I had wonderful friends who stood by me, and let me find my own feet, they didn’t prod, they didn’t pry… they just let me be to find the peace I wanted, but were there for support.

During this time I entered into another relationship that I knew never had legs, but it was a boost to my ego.  This relationship was a disaster, partly because I had no patience for immaturity and it ended very badly, with accusations that were totally unfounded, and that hurt.

I decided then that relationships were not for me … I took time out, found myself and my peace and carried on … I changed careers and I found something that I really love and I feel helps me give something back.

Life moved on again and suddenly and much to my surprise, I fell in love with a beautiful and caring woman, who I really thought would be by my side always.  But the clouds that gathered returned and although I tried hard to live a normal life and hide my growing sinking feeling, I know that I changed as a person.  I was very busy, and emotionally I was exhausted.   I wasn’t as affectionate or as sociable as I should have been.  Not as a reflection of how I felt about my partner, but how I felt about me… and through all my turmoil when she was with me, I found peace.

Out of the blue, my partner ended the relationship.  Although deep inside of me, I knew she wasn’t happy with the lack of affection, I thought we were strong enough together to ride out the storm, but I was wrong.

Since the breakup things have not been pretty, from both our sides and both of us have spoken cruel words, but in my heart of hearts I know she was the only woman I loved this deeply and I want her to be happy, even if it is not with me.

How it ended really hurt me, but again, perhaps I have to take a bit of the blame for that too and somewhere deep inside of me, I know, even though I am very hurt, I can’t blame her for being tempted elsewhere.

Sometimes you have to look at yourself and accept your failings, none of us are perfect but all of us hurt, some of us just hurt that little bit more deeply.

Life will go on again, sunny days will return.. and with my old and battered motorhome, I will start again on a new journey… where it will take me and my wee pup Sprout, I have no idea, but every journey has a new beginning.

This is mine.


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