Well, here we are chums, currently stuck behind a sea of red tail lights on the M3 as we do the 500 mile round trip back home to Derbyshire for a flying visit. Sadly, it’s for all the wrong reasons. My Father in Law, who is very dear to me, has taken a turn for the worse. His health has deteriorated drastically since we left the Shire and so we’re homeward bound for two short days to try and cheer him up. I thought I’d write a short post with some pics and points of our life working here in the New Forest just to lighten my mood a little and kill some time.
We had a lovely visit from our Son, Matt, and his girlfriend, on Monday night. He decided at the last minute to come over to us from Devon after he’d finished work. He phoned me late on to say “Hi Mum, we’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s pitch black, there are lots of trees and shed loads of horses, are we close?” Made me laugh. I had to climb out of bed and go out with a torch and find him in my PJs. You don’t appreciate just how dark it actually gets in the Forest until you have experienced it firsthand. I was so busy looking at the floor trying to avoid stepping in cow poo, I almost bumped right into one of the Stallions. He snorted in my ear, I nearly jumped out of my skin! Did he not know ladies of a certain age have weak bladders! He’s jet black so blended into the darkness, it was quite a special moment. A bit spooky! It was great having the kids over and I got a car for 2 days, bonus!! My Motorhome looked like it had been hit by a cluster bomb when they left!
Aren’t they pretty?! Here are a few more of our lovely ladies.
The animals are so funny when they congregate and block the road into the campsite. The horses and cows join forces! We have to go out with a squirty water bottle and a sweeping brush to shoo them away! It’s been so hot this week, they just stand and enjoy the water now, they almost smile as you squirt them. The donkeys have been up to no good too. There have been several donkey picnics as unsuspecting campers set out their birthday parties and afternoon tea in awnings and gazebos. The cheeky little monkeys don’t wait for their invitations. Boom, straight in, Donkeyfest! So naughty but you have to laugh.
My sad animal tale was on my night watch when a little longhorn cow got stuck in a wire fence just outside the site. A kindly camper struggled to try and free him but couldn’t and by the time help arrived, the poor little thing had died of shock. Very upsetting.
The foals are growing at a rapid rate and getting much bolder. This very curious, spindly legged little fellow comes to see me every day. He kindly weed all over my awning mat. Charming!
Many of the mares are heavily pregnant. I’ve felt for them in the heat with their heavy swollen bellies. Been there, done that! There is a group of yearling fillies on site, they are very amusing. They hang out together and do everything in a hurry, always trotting around, impatiently, just like a bunch of teenage girls. I absolutely love the animals here. I already feel very protective of them and the beautiful forest. Some of the ancient trees are just spectacular. They’re huge! The bird life is very interesting too. The Nightjar with its distinctive call and I’ve seen two Woodpeckers this week. Ooh and did I mention the glow worms?! Tiny miracles, I am blown away by them. I seriously thought they only existed in Disney films!! They make the ground twinkle when I’m on late shift like fairies in the grass. Mother Nature is so amazing isn’t she?
Our days off are spent walking and just making the most of this wonderful place. Dylan is very happy here although, like me, he misses the beach. Little bugger always manages to find water though!
The campsite has been quite busy of late. The kids, as usual, have been entertaining. It’s not nice when they spend hours building fantastic dens, rope swings and hammocks and we have to go around at dusk and take them all down. I spend half my life explaining to people that the ponies will get caught up in their creations in the dark and asking them to put out their fires so they don’t burn the forest down. Party pooper Warden, that’s me!
This weekend we’ve had lots of University students on the rally field who have broken up for the Summer. We half expected them to be lairy but instead they have been polite, quiet and very tidy! This morning’s giggle was one of them calling at reception to see if he could ‘borrow’ some boiling water for his pot noodle!! Hilarious seeing him cycle off balancing two of them on his handlebars and then coming all the way back to see if we had any forks!! We have taken to doing a bit of wombling with our fellow Wardens. It’s amazing what the campers leave behind! They often dump the whole ‘camp’ by the bins after presumably deciding camping is not for them! It’s quite lucrative selling the spoils for our staff tips tin! We are lucky to work with such a smashing team of people here at Roundhill. They work together to get the job done efficiently and are all dedicated to preserving the lovely forest and ensuring the campers have a safe and enjoyable time. Get down here and see for yourselves. Bring your own boiling water and forks though!!
Well writing this has covered about 150 miles and cheered me up looking back at my pics. I feel you’ve all been along with me for the ride. It’s not going to be an easy time for my dearest hubby but we’ll get through it together.
Here we are then in my glorious little home town of Bakewell.
Not too shabby hey!
There’s family to hug and words to be said before we get back on the road. It’s a fleeting visit.
Keep your loved ones close dear friends. Life is a fleeting visit too.
Wishing you all a happy week. TTFN xxx