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.

 

Weymouth 2015

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We have been many places with our Guinea Pigs over the years, some of them our current crew have never been too but one constant is always there, Weymouth.  We first came to Blagdon Fruit Farm in 2007 with our children and it was one of those idyllic summers, sunny days, and time on the beach, mackerel fishing with lines the sort one reads of in Agatha Christies or Enid Blyton novels. It would also be the last holiday we had with our son Michael.  We made the decision that we would return the following year and despite being one short Sheila and Hugh made us so welcome over time they have become good friends.  In 2009 we arrived with our first piggies Sunshine and Flower and we have returned each year ever since.

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This year would see the first appearance of Nova at Weymouth.  Over the last few months she had been introduced into the caravan lifestyle with stays at Bude in Cornwall and Paignton in Devon.  The journey was no problem staying overnight at Acacia Farm then the following day to Weymouth.

Arrival went well and we soon had the run set up.  Nova smelt the surroundings with some trepidation (they have half a dozen Dorset sheep and stables) but the others soon got on with the important stuff, munching grass.  They had been here before and knew how good the grass was.

It wasn’t long before Nova had joined in.

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During the fortnight the weather was mixed a couple of times we had a few minutes of dampness while the piggies were out resulting in them taking shelter.

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We found the clover was particularly good this year and Astro was keen to show how good a lawnmower he was despite only having one bottom incisor.

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They ended up having plenty of tunnels and shelters this year as the local Buzzards were very visible this August although keeping to a great height.  We did however have loads of swallows which swooped and zipped past the run after the insects.

Over all Nova seemed to cope extremely well with her first trip to Weymouth and is no doubt looking forward to her next holiday.

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June / July 2015

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The only piggies we have had that have been to Cornwall were Sunshine and Flower our first two.  We had decided that we were venturing down there again with the latest incarnation of the gang with a week in Bude and a week planned in Paignton.

This would be Nova’s first major excursion.  We had managed a weekend at Hopfest which was entertaining as she couldn’t escape our attempts to grab cuddles.

This next trip however meant a long road trip.  Cosmos and Astro were no trouble and took the journey in their stride, Nova and Twinkle were a different matter.  Without her travelling companion of three years no longer with her Twinkle was a bit muted, twinned with her position as top Sow.  In their travel caddy Nova started and Twinkle joined in, in seeing who could bury themselves in the fleece the most.

We finally arrived in Bude and the site (Ivyleaf Cottage Holidays – chosen entirely at random) proved to be a haven of tranquillity which the piggies enjoyed.  Our main companion on site being a male pheasant who would proceed to march up and down the field showing who was boss.

Introducing Nova to the joys of caravanning was fraught with some issues.  The first making sure that when the cage was open she didn’t try jumping out.  This is usually a problem when we first get up and morning cucumber is dished out.  With the cage on the side the front of it lifts up when opened.  Cosmos has a habit of putting her paws on the cage side and leaning her head out, we have learnt that this is as far as she goes (the first few times it was hands pushing her back in).  Twinkle usually sits on the shelf which is just as bad.  Now Nova was trying to follow by example so it was lift, dump cucumber, drop front QUICKLY!

The next issue arose when she was first allowed onto grass.  She had been getting handfuls of grass to get accustomed, but now she was getting loads of grass time.  She took to it like a duck to water, the only problem as with the others was when it came to get them back inside.  As they say, twas like trying to catch pump water.

We had a great week at Bude and would recommend Ivyleaf Cottage Holidays, Jackie and Stuart made us and the piggies very welcome and look forward to going back.

From their we made our way cross country to Berry Pomery near Paignton.  We had stayed here before and we ended up on a nice pitch, far enough away from others so we weren’t too disturbed.  This second week we encountered the heat, not as bad as if we had stayed at home though (25C as compared to 31C back in the Midlands).  Even so we had be mindful of the heat and employed some new ideas.  Freezer packs on the top of the cage, using physics as it helped draw the hot air out of the cage.  The wind break became employed outside to offer shade to the run as were extra fleeces as covers.

(We took the opportunity to visit Dartmoor Zoo (which the film I bought a Zoo is based on) had a great time and saw a number of piggy cousins.)

Throughout this fortnight Nova was becoming more accustomed to being handled, even to the point of sitting at the window (reminiscent of Star) and learning to become more chilled.  (This has meant at home she is becoming less skittish and happier at being cuddled.)  The confines of the caravan are helping her to become more relaxed around us.

Once back we barely had chance to breathe before we off to the TEAS (The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary) for their open day where we to be guests.  It was a great day even meeting a couple of our fans who were able to get cuddles of the gang. (Next chance will the Potteries Animal Rescue Xmas Fair at Kidsgrove Townhall In November.)

Finally we managed a weekend at our favourite Shrewsbury site, Ashurst, the end of July.

Tribute to Star May 2015

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One of the celebrities of the Caravanning Cavies has been Star, our little Diva, troublemaker and generally adorable class act.

Sadly she was found in her forever sleep on the afternoon of 5th May 2015.  She would have celebrated her 6th gotcha day this coming September and had just started her 6th year of caravanning.

Over the years she had many issues, beginning with scaring us with heatstroke at Bridport in 2010, and then developing full paralysis which she recovered from, only to have a relapse a year later, finally developing arthritis.  She led a full life on her caravan adventures, firstly with our original Queen Sunshine and her sisters Moon and Flower Junior.  Then briefly with Midnight, and then with Twinkle, Astro and Cosmos with whom she enjoyed almost 3 years of company.

With her passing over the bridge we remember her many travels, starting in 2009 with a taster weekend to Clent shortly after she arrived, October 2009 saw her travel to Henley upon Thames.

She returned to Henley in Easter 2010 and October 2010 and 2011.  Other places include Banbury (Whitsun 2012), Berry Pomeroy (October 2012), Blackpool (October 2012), Bewdley Hopfest (June 2014), Bridport (July 2011 and 2013), Cheddar (Easter 2015), Clevedon (Whitsun 2011 and July 2012), Frome (Easter 2012), Isle Wight (Whitsun 2010 and 2013), Norwich and Norfolk (July 2010), Shrewsbury (Easter 2014) and finally Weymouth every August 2010 to 2014.  Not counting the various weekends away this covers 188 nights camping, we estimate she did over 200 nights and 5000 miles of travelling.

We are going to miss her terribly.

However, as we say goodbye to Star we have to keep our numbers at four for travelling purposes (allowing travel in pairs) and so may I take this opportunity to introduce the newest addition to the caravanning cavies – Nova – born on 18th February, “acquired” on the 6th May from Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue.

 

Easter 2015

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This year we have decided to head down to Cheddar for Easter staying at the Camoing and Caravan Club site there.

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Upon arrival at the after set up the ground was too damp to put the run up so the cage was set up.

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Its not long before they start trashing the cage

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while we set up the awning.

As usual they enjoyed their grass time

settling down for their siesta to digest the gourmet grass they have had

although there is always one who will hoover up any left over veggies

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One thing we noticed about the weekend was that a couple of the gang were excreting excess calcium, not a lot but enough to make us remind everyone.  No matter where you go grass is not just grass.  You need to consider the type of ground that it is growing on and what minerals the grass may be extracting from the soil.  In our case at Cheddar the ground would be rich in calcium which leaks into the grass making it calcium rich.  Hence we adjusted the veggies removing calcium rich foods like spinach from the diet for the few days we were there.

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