Have been absent without leave for the past two days as we decided late on Thursday afternoon that if we didn't get out of the house for a few days we would probably succumb to a fit of the screaming abdabs.
Unfortunately, leaving it till the 11th hour meant that any campsite worth it's salt within an hour's drive of home was fully booked, so we were left with 'the others'.
Took a chance and booked at a little campsite 14 miles away which has recently changed hands and has had some good reviews on UKCampsite. Not a bad little site, although when we arrived it was like the Marie Celeste, and we parked up in a huge field with lovely views, completely on our own, the breeze whistling eerily through the trees.
Undaunted we set up, erected our little awning tent, put out our camping chairs, and settled down to a lovely al fresco lunch complete with a glass of something cheering. Small Dog carefully assessed her surroundings and quickly found a bit of rabbit fur (thankfully not attached to a rabbit) which kept her amused for a while, as did a party of rooks (or crows.....I can't tell them apart) who spent their time walking purposefully up to a point just 12 inches from the end of SD's tether then veering off just as she launched herself at them.
They're quite big close up.........rooks or crows or whatever they were. I kept getting flashbacks to that scene in The Birds where they're all congregating on the climbing frame in the playground. Fair play though, Small Dog's rookwatch was remarkably successful and fortunately she didn't get pecked once.
Shortly after lunch, relaxing in the warm sunshine, we were jettisoned from our chairs by a piercing train whistle, followed by the chuff-chuff-chuff of a vintage steam train, which pulled away from the nearby station and puffed its way along the perimeter of the campsite.
Small Dog went ballistic and had to be physically restrained from attempting to run off and grab it by the funnel.
We had a really lovely afternoon, walking in the woodland, strolling down to the railway crossing/station, watching the comings and goings of the steam trains, preparing a BBQ dinner and sitting out watching the most amazing sunset........
Just after dark, some fellow campers arrived and erected an enormous tent, illuminated by their car's headlights. In no time they had a roaring BBQ fire going, so we didn't feel quite so isolated.
Yesterday morning started off ok, but by mid-day it was blowing a gale. The campers down the far end of the field decided to call it a day and took their tent down before it blew away. We hummed and hawed about ours for a while longer but the wind was so strong it was pulling our heavy duty 8" storm pegs right out of the ground, so we followed suit and took it down too.
Felt sorry for the campers though, as once their tent was down, they had to sit in their car to watch the trains (the chap had binoculars and was obviously a keen train spotter) whereas we were able to snuggle down in the campervan all warm and cosy, while the wind buffeted from all directions.
High winds make Small Dog go a bit mad, so when she was taken out for walk at the height of the gale, she made it half way down the field before deciding she'd had enough and headed straight back to the van where she tapped on the door to be allowed back in. She came in like a rocket and leapt right up by the front windscreen, where she had a panoramic view of the windswept field and was able to alert us to the arrivals and departures of the trains in a wind-free spot.
Today of course, brilliant, warm sunshine again, but we were homeward bound. Still, twas good to get away for a brief break. Change being as good as a rest and all that.
Back to work tomorrow, but in the meantime I've been playing with my new toy...........