Thursday, 17 September 2015

Making a Weekend of a Dog's Day Out

Well, we've heard nowt from The Rozzers about our uninvited guests in the last two weeks, but our time has been filled with other things.

Herself has been nagging me for some time to allow her a puppy, and last week I could take no more and caved in.

Meet "Gwawr", a tri coloured border collie bitch, who at 10 weeks is full of mischief.

Some weeks back when we were staying at the favela, Herself had clocked an advertising hoarding for a "Dog's Day Out" to be held at Pembrey and expressed an interest in attending said event.

Wanting to make a weekend of it but not wanting to camp in the favela again, through some frantic finger swiping we managed to secure a pitch at the far more civilised Caravan Club site at the entrance to the country park for the duration.

Because of our new addition (not yet fully vaccinated) this week has entailed more rather frantic finger swiping and we are now the proud owners of a pop up dog kennel and an over shoulder puppy carrier courtesy of Amazon Prime.

Friday 11 September

I had to be in Mid Wales for a meeting today, so last night was spent removing the drop in carpets (that no longer stink of our uninvited guest's pee) and generally making the van "Gwawr proof" in readiness for her first holiday in the van.

Making my excuses at lunch time I fought my way through the mid Wales traffic and headed for home.

I was back  home and have the van hitched up by 4pm.  Herself was stuck in work (isn't she always on set up day) so I made my way to the CC site at Pembrey solo.  On checking in I noticed that my membership card expired in 2013, luckily 'Heir in Charge' didn't and I was free to choose from the last two available pitches.

Both were hard standing, one adjacent to a family with 4 kids, all under 7, and one opposite the wardens!  The wardens won!

With the van levelled I set about putting up the awning.  Threading it through the rail and inflating it was a breeze, and I'm thinking to myself that this is going rather well.  Then I started to peg it out.  The next 20 minutes involved much swinging of my lump hammer, many bent rock pegs and a few smashed fingers (it also goes without saying that the air was filled with expletives).

You see, this part of Pembrey used to be an ordinance factory with the forestry being criss crossed by railway tracks set in concrete.  It would appear that one of said tracks ran directly under what is now pitch 29 and is lurking just 3 inches under the nice looking gravel!

Just as I'm finishing off Herself rocks up with shopping and the dogs having scrounged a lift off Ronnie and cheerfully asks "Everything OK?"  I believe the look was enough and she didn't press the matter.

As is tradition when we caravan in these parts, first night is Chinese night.  We're just settling in at the awning table when it starts to rain, and not long after we're getting wet.  Our new awning is leaking a bit, but not to worry, new awnings can do that a little until the stitching seals up.  Full as gyppo's handbags, we retreat to the van for an evening of TV.

Herself get up to let the dogs out before bed time and our leak is getting worse.  Gwawr, being only a baby, still needs the toilet in the night, and when Herself got up with her at 3am she feels the need to wake me too.  Everything in the awning is soaked, and without exaggerating, we could have showered out there!

I vow to take it back to Go Outdoors and fill in the sales assistant while I'm there.

Saturday 12 September

No able to get back to sleep last night I'd started to do a bit of Googling, and it would appear that the double awning beading could be the source of our problem.

It's stopped raining, but the inside of our awning looks like a fire sprinkler has gone off in it.  I'm faced with the task of taking it down, threading the other beading through the channel and re pegging the bloody thing.  Remember Friday?  I do.  It was not fun.

Roids has a game today.  He's moved up to senior rugby from Youth, and Llangennech are playing in Division 1 West (a very competitive and high standard league), and he's impressed the coaching team so is starting at tighthead for the 1sts at Dunvant.

We make our way there after first returning home to drop off the dogs and collect TF (as well as numerous other things that I forgot yesterday, you know the sort of things - shoes and other such luxuries) and are arriving at Broad Acre with time to spare for a few pints.

It was a lovely afternoon watching the game in the fine weather, shame about the result and some of the decisions that left me questioning the ref's parentage!

Before gong back to the van we take the dogs into the country park and find a quiet unused corner so that the dogs can have a run around (Gwawr not yet fully vaccinated) and do their business.

Sunday 13 September

I'm up early with the dogs and set about making a packed lunch and cooking breakfast.  Roids and TF rock up at 9.30am and after being fed we are making our way into the country park by 10.30am.

There is a queue, and every car seems to have 2 or 3 dogs in it.  You see, the event in the park today is "Burns Dog's Day Out"

We have a lovely day.  Gwawr, in her puppy bag, is getting lots of attention, and Herself is struggling to make any progress in the crowds.  It stays dry and we browse all the stalls, take in some of the dog show part and then spend the afternoon watching the dog agility sessions.

Do you get bonus points if your dog stops to curl one down half way round the course?

We go to our quiet spot for an hour so she can let off steam before heading back to the van.  It's still fine but the weather is due to turn, so I take the opportunity to drop the awning and pack it away dry in readiness for it's return to Go Outdoors for a refund.

Monday 14 September

It's raining when we stir and absolutely bucketing down as we exit the site and head for home.  No time to hang about though as I have a busy day planned.

You see, you know when a woman gets on in years and they still can do the job, but are getting a bit saggy here and there? Well, Miranda (having done 135000 miles) is starting to get a bit like that and before she lets me down or starts costing too much money it was time to trade her in.

She's been a great tow car, expensive to run, but great none the less.  She's never let us down and cost us nothing apart from servicing.

Once home we had to empty the van, empty Miranda and clean her out after a weekend away before heading up to see the nice man at Ross Car Sales in Bont to pick up our new tow car.  She's a 2010 model and has covered just 31000 miles in those 5 years.  There's not a mark on her, inside or out.  She's quick off the blocks and sips fuel like a recovering alcoholic.

Meet Vera.

Till next time..... Da Bo