Catch up blog prior to the start of the 2019 season – Part Two

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So now we were back to 3.   We fostered a Sheltie boar from the Potteries with a view to introducing him to the group.  This didn’t work and it ended up with a full blown fight between him and Nova (another reluctant Matriarch) and blood was spilled.

This wasn’t going to work so we visited Coseley once more and after another boar and sow were rejected the gang accepted a sow whose colouring was almost identical to that of Astro, so Gaia joined the group.

We prepared for the 2018 caravanning season with some trepidation with an early visit to Weymouth where we introduced the new members to Blagdon.  They all seemed to enjoy it especially the grass time.  We joked that the next time we might have a new caravan, how prophetic that turned out to be.

On our return we did indeed change our caravan for a newer model which allowed us to get a slightly bigger indoor cage for the gang.

We took the new caravan down to Bath so we could visit Katy and she could spend some time with the piggies.

In the August we headed down to Weymouth again and had a great couple of weeks and the gang had plenty of grass time whic

h they enjoyed.

 

 

After we got back we noticed a change in temperament in Gaia.  She had become really bossy making Luna and Auroras life hell which ended up with Nova really laying into her with lots of teeth chattering and Gaia cowering away.

On the 17th October got back from clients to find Gaia in her forever sleep. She was only with us 7 months but had been on 4 caravan holidays with us and was much loved. I felt gutted as she was only 2 1/2 years old.

I wondered if we would ever get a settled herd again after so many changes in 12 months.

On the 19th October we celebrated Luna’s third birthday.

On the 22nd October we returned to Coseley GPR and we were introduced to a quiet boar who would become Pluto.

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After an hour or so introduction the girls it seemed had accepted him, had we finally found a boar who they all liked.  It was a happy gotcha day present for Aurora who had joined us on the 26th October one year previously.

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Indeed it was after a couple of weeks of highly stressful domination and hormones, he was after all still a teenager (def under 12 months old) he has become a full integrated member of the group.

This enable me to send a group photo for Christmas and we could at 2019 with some optimism.

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So we are no prepared to start our 2019 Caravaning Season with Nova, Luna, Aurora and Pluto.

 

 

 

Catch up blog prior to the start of the 2019 season – Part One

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It has taken a while (a bit longer than I intended) to write this as it does contain bad news.

We last commented after our trip to North Norfolk in 2017, our next planned getaway was to be to our annual visit to Blagdon Fruit Farm near Weymouth.

What we didn’t know was that this was to be the last time that we visited with both Astro and Twinkle.

We had our usual sort of holiday and the gang enjoyed their time on the grass, with Luna enjoying her usual bad habit of lying in wee in the tunnels (a bath did follow).

When we returned we didn’t know at that point that the year to come was to be a sort of annus horribilis.  We were wrapped up with getting Katy sorted as she started University in Bath that September.  She had not long started that we noticed Twinkle slowing down and then in the October we lost her on the 26th October 2017.

She wasn’t ill, she was nearly 6 and she settled down in a snuggle under a fleece and slowly drifted away.  She first came to us on the 23rd February 2012 after losing Junior and joined Moon, Star and Midnight.  After losing Midnight and Moon a couple of months later she was joined by Cosmos and Astro who became her Husboar, they were like an old married couple and Twinkle would often admonish him when his attentions strayed to the others.

She reluctantly took over as matriarch of the group when we lost Star in 2015. Her life was filled with holidays, probably something like 250 days caravanning in her 6 years. From Weymouth to Norfolk, to Devon, Cornwall, the Welsh coast, the Isle of Wight, the Forest of Dean and many more.

She was never any trouble, a loveable pig that will be sorely missed. Those of you who attended the Potteries Fairs may well have met her or even grabbed a cuddle.

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Not wanting the group to fall below four we visited Coseley Guinea Pig rescue where we had Nova from and we introduced a second abby to the group and Aurora (6 months old) was accepted on the 28th October 2017

We thought that we had a new group for 2018 but Astro was increasingly becoming frail, especially so after losing Twinkle.

On the 3rd February 2018 on returning home from work we found Astro in his forever sleep in a tunnel, his favourite form of snuggle.

On Thursday 8th Feb 2018 we would have celebated the 6 year anniversary of his rescue as one of the 285.  (An infamous rescue from a horder well known in the guinea pig rescue world.)

We dont know his true age but when we got him from RSPCA Walsall in June 2012 he was already 1200gms in weight. So we assume he was at least 7 years old.

While with us he had about 240 days holiday with us in our caravan. He visited Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Welsh coast to name a few.

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July 2017 – Norfolk Adventures

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Well we have just got back from a week in North Norfolk.  We initially set out for a one night stopover in March at a site we have used before, Fourwinds Leisure.  This proved an unexpected surprise as two of the wardens we have met before at a more local site four years ago.  Well the gang enjoyed the grass before we continued on our travels into north Norfolk.

Our stop for the week was at a site called Creake Meadows, about 4 miles north of Fakenham just on the southern limits of the village South Creake.

All I can say is that Tracey and Dan have created a 5 star site, the toilet block was immaculate with a great kitchen area to the rear, the information hut was superb with loads of facilities.

(For more on the site check out  http://www.creakemeadows.co.uk/index.html)

Although the site is adult only if you dont have children and want to explore the North Norfolk Coast I cant recommend this site enough.

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The gang enjoyed their stay on this site, sometimes getting too carried away with munching the local grass.

 

All of the Pitches have there own picnic table and the electric hook up had alongside it your drinking water and a TV aerial point, suffice it to say TV reception was rather good.

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We did have one escapade though as Twinkle tried to emulate the inmates of Colditz and tried to burrow her way out of the run. Astro was also rather frisky as well and really munching well considering he was due to see Simon for his Dental once we were back.

We did have to be careful with the gang though as we were aware of local Buzzards, Tracey had lost a couple of her free range Chickens (the eggs were amazing) to Red Kites and there was a local Barn Owl.

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If we get the chance to return to North Norfolk this is one site that will be top of the list to stay at.

 

June 2017 Weekends away.

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As we hadn’t got away for Whitsun we were invited to join some friends away for the first weekend in June.  Well I “had” to attend UK Games Expo at the NEC on the Saturday so we ended up at a small site near Tamworth.  The piggies started getting excited as they saw the usual flurry of activity as we got the van ready and then the appearance of their 2 carry boxes.  Unfortunately due to inclement weather they got little grass time.

However, the following weekend, as it would have been Sue’s moms 90th had she still been with us we decided on a second weekend away.

On this occasion we decided to re visit a local site we had last been to in 2014 near Weston Park.  We weren’t disappointed and neither were the piggies.

From the pics you can see that Astro was getting his revenge on Nova for the many times Nova has lent against him or sat on him when he was nicely snuggled in a fleece.

The site was Upper Borckhurst Farm   http://www.bradford-estates.co.uk/upper-brockhurst-farm-campsite  and well worth a visit for some peace and tranquility.

 

 

EASTER 2017

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Okay trying to catch up with things, Easter saw us taking our usual break and deciding to go inland and west for a change. This saw us taking the van and gang to Clun on the welsh borders.

The journey was quite easy as the roads to Shrewsbury were familiar and once into Shropshire traffic was light.  We missed the turn to the site but an industrial site just up the road enabled a quick u turn and back we went.  Getting onto the site involved crossing a cattle grid or two and dodging some sheep.

Although the weather was mild we had damp moments so grass time was limited.

 

As you can see Twinkle really loves strawberries as well as grass.

August 2016 – Weymouth

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Our annual trip to Weymouth began with Katy, the gang and I setting out during the day for the long drive down while Sue was still in work.  Lovely pleasant drive in lovely sunny weather arriving in good time and setting up quickly.  Sue finally joined us after a train journey via London (cheaper than going through Bristol).

As usual we got the usual welcome from Sheila and Hugh and Blagdon Fruit Farm really is our home from home for the summer.

As the weather was so good we decided the piggies required a bath as they were a bit grubby for two weeks in the van.

Astro had to be placated with some Dill, his favorite.

Despite our ever friendly Buzzards, whose latest offspring came a tad too close at times (like flying over at roof top height) the piggies were not bothered.

As usual though the gang really enjoyed their annual stay at Blagdon Fruit Farm.

 

 

June 2016

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Well we fancied a change so we decided to head East to the Fens. Having taken some piggies to a friends in Lakenheath earlier in the year we decided to try somewhere near Ely.  So we found a small site near March.

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The site itself was lovely and was a really good spot for site seeing.  It was also great for the gang with plenty of grass.  Our only problem was flies as we were near a number of potato farms.

But the gang were not discouraged

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Easter 2016 – Forest of Dean

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Well the first blog of 2016, this Easter with our new girl Luna in tow, we decided not to venture too far as we also had a new car.

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Yours truly had blown the engine on the trusty Kia Carens so we had to source a new car to tow the caravan. We settled on a Kia C’eed, somewhat sporty to tow a caravan but on paper it should be capable.  So looking for somewhere not too far away but at least a 90 minute drive away to test the car we settled on the Forest of Dean.

We found a site at Blaisdon in the sites book which seemed ideal so we set off.  Blaisdon Meadows caravan and camping site, like many we use this is a Certified Site for members of the Camping and Caravan Club (you can join at the site).  The reasons we use certified sites is that they are usually quiet (being restricted to no more than 5 caravans) and often in places that are really useful for site seeing.

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The site was everything we could have hoped for.

Although the weather was a bit too damp for the piggies they did manage a little bit of grass time.

In the mean time Astro and Twinkle went exploring the facilities and even found a little herb garden for visitors to use.

This is a site we want to go back to.

 

 

 

 

Cosmos – November 2015

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This year seemed to be starting to pick up from a piggy perspective following the loss of our great Diva Star in May.  Nova had settled into the group well and the dynamics was good.  Then on November 21st we noticed Cosmos breathing heavily.  Trip to the vets and some oxygen revealed a throat rattle but nothing else seemed to be causing a problem.  Baytril was prescribed and we thought she would be fine in a few days.  On the morning of the 22nd I found her fluffy body curled up in a corner, she had slipped over the bridge in the early hours.  Gone too soon she was about 4 months short of being 4.

Cosmos joined us on the 11th June 2012 a fluffy little abby, she quickly nose-dived into my heart, she was MY pig, she would have cuddles of Sue and Katy but it was me she would groom.   Her first holiday was to Weymouth, there she was too give us a fright and earn her first Asbo, jumping out of her run it took us 45 minutes to catch her as she raced from car, to caravan to awning and back again thinking it was a great game.  She quickly learned how much fun the caravan lifestyle was, following this with Paignton in the October.

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Other places she visited since then include Newquay on the welsh coast, Bude, Paignton, Shrewsbury, Blackpool, the Isle of Wight, Cheddar, and Bridport.

She was an inquisitive pig into everything, chewing cables and other things she shouldn’t.  I am going to miss her terribly especially the way she groomed me, including making sure my nostrils were clean.  Goodnight little one popcorn free over the bridge.