Return to The New Forest

Hi y’all out there just checking in to let you know we’re still alive and in one piece! We’re back at Roundhill in the New Forest for the Summer doing our Campsite Warden thang!

The first manic Bank Holiday is just drawing to a close. The ponies and donkeys are reclaiming their grazing as our lovely campers pack up and go home. Hopefully everyone has had a great time. The weather has certainly been kind. The site has been full although Roundhill is so vast it never appears so. The hordes of children have had their freedom and been allowed to run around, semi-feral, gadget free, and filthy for a few days without their parents needing to worry. Aside from a few scraped knees, they’re not going to come to any harm around here. Noisy little monkeys they are but it makes a refreshing change to see them building their dens and fishing for tadpoles in our pond instead of poring over mobile phones. We do have to educate them a bit about the wildlife. The donkeys and ponies are super cute but they are wild. They do bite and kick if they feel threatened and get very bargy and aggressive around food. A small child offering a cuddly pony a carrot will be surrounded by 20 ponies within seconds which can be very dangerous and frightening. Just admire from a distance and leave them be! I feel very protective towards our animals here. Sometimes they get bad press but there’s usually human intervention behind it which is really unfair.

The stallions were released into the forest just before the Bank Holiday. The mares are naturally more fired up and hormonal, there’s a lot of squealing and galloping around. It’s quite a spectacle. We have 6 foals on site so far. I love them all. They’re getting braver by the day and very curious. It’s a dream to see them all wandering down to the watering hole next to our van at sunset to drink. Better than any TV show.

The donkeys are just comedians. They raid the bins. They regularly break into tents and gazebos, wreaking havoc, stealing picnics and generally causing mayhem. If you leave your cool box lid off, it’s considered an invitation. What can I say. Little sods ate my barbecue last week.

Funny but not funny!

We have a smashing team on board here. A good crowd of like minded folk so it doesn’t feel so much like hard work. We have a few laughs, and trust me, you really need a sense of humour to do this job!

It’s our day off today so I’m doing a bit of baking. Savoury scones with blue cheese, olives, chargrilled peppers and pine nuts. I bought some delicious homemade chilli jam from Bakewell Farmers Market before we left Derbyshire. That and some Brittany Seasalt butter will go with them a treat. To make 4 generous scones, just enough to fit in the Remoska, you need 225g of flour, I use the general purpose stuff but self raising will be fine. 75g of margarine, 1 egg and 3 tablespoons of milk. Rub the Marg into the flour. If you want to add Parmesan cheese then do it at this stage. A couple of heaped tablespoons of the ground stuff or finely grated, then stir in the beaten egg and milk until you have a fairly dry dough. Divide into 4. Shape into balls and press a little with your palm. Stud with whatever floats your boat. Chopped olives, pine nuts, sun blushed tomatoes all work well. I’ve pressed chunks of Stilton into mine today. Warm the Remoska up first. Brush the scones with milk or beaten egg to glaze. Cook until golden brown. Yummy!! A nice alternative to bread for a change.

Off for a long walk this afternoon. Poor Dylan hasn’t had much exercise this week as we’ve both been worn out after long days on our feet. I’ve promised him a swim in the river and we need to collect eggs and meat for the barbecue from the farm down at Dilton.

We usually move the van over to our backpackers field on our days off. It’s a gloriously secluded spot and normally we have it to ourselves. The only noise in the evening is the nightjar.

What a beautiful place we are living in. So lucky to be forest dwellers for another season.

On that note my friends I shall love you and leave you. It’s almost time to get the gin bottle out. Ive frozen some berries in readiness. Tuesday is the new Saturday!!

Hope you have a great week folks. Sending all our love to you and yours ❤️

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