My first summer in Cornwall….
In a word…..wet! We have had occasional sunny hot days and the odd week here and there which have been lovely but all in all I think we have all had a bit of a wet one! The wet weather has had a knock on effect with us getting some animals…I have had to wait for our farmer Ivan to come and cut the hay, which was done much later than planned as you have to have 3 – 4 days of sunshine to cut hay so it has time to dry out! He did finally manage to cut it and we have 70 round bales of hay in the field, now the problem is getting the round bales dry enough to get them moved so we can get on with hedge trimming and getting the fencing done for the mini donks and sheep!
I have put a deposit down on two beautiful mini donks – ‘Matilda’ who is 6 months old and not yet weaned from her mum and 2 year old ‘Pebbles’ who we will be able to cover next year which will hopefully result in our first foal in 2014! I’ve been clearing out one of the old stables which will be perfect for the two of them to be snuggly and warm during the winter. Mini Donks don’t like being wet, they don’t have a waterproof coat like horses and they need shelter and hardstanding. Mine will be the most pampered Mini Donks! I also plan to get a mobile field shelter for the field so that they can get out of the rain and the wind if necessary. If I’ve learned one thing since living here it is that the weather can change very quickly so its important that they can get out of the elements should they need to. Hopefully they will arrive here in the next 6 weeks.
The guests have loved the barn, despite the weather, and have had lots of fun exploring Cornwall and playing in our fields. One particular family really got the most out of their time here with us and we just loved having them here! It was fantastic to hear squeals of laughter as they played leaky leaky in the fields in the evening and Autumn & Willow were waiting for me every morning and evening at ‘Chicken O’Clock’! They even managed to remember all the chickens names and were awarded with a very special T-Shirt as a prize. I am delighted that they rebooked for next year before they left and we can’t wait to see them all again! I have bookings all the way up to the end of September and am getting enquiries for Christmas and New Year already. If I get a booking we plan to decorate the barn complete with Christmas Tree and outside lights so it will really look magical!
The high winds have caused us a few problems with the hot tub cover again! I have fashioned some straps now that I put in place when the wind gets up which stops the cover blowing off down the fields! I guess the winds are the price we pay for having such stunning views and although they are a bit of a pain the views more than make up for it and they still blow me away (pardon the pun!) every day!
I am also hoping to get a few sheep, we would like to get Wiltshire horn sheep as they do not require sheering – their fleece just falls out when the weather warms up! Its makes keeping them much easier and they don’t suffer so much with fly strike. I have never kept sheep before but the place that we will be getting them from offer a one day course to teach the basics! It will be lovely to have some lambs at easter bouncing around in the field and sheep make excellent companions to donkeys and horses as they are far less fussy about how they graze!
I have had some friends down visiting over the summer so I’ve got to do lots of fun stuff like Karting at St Eval Kart track which is only 5 mins drive away! Everyone enjoyed it as they cater for all ages – even the little ones can drive little baby carts with an adult who controls the speed and, if necessary, the steering! My niece Daisy who is 5 just loved it and her brothers who are 8 and 10 loved the faster karts. They all loved it so much we had to go back again at the end of the week!
I also went to Crealy Adventure Park which is also very near. They have everything from small animals, ponies, donkeys and pigs to rides and slides and the best thing about it is that once you have paid to get in it is free to return for the rest of that week! Again I ended up going twice!
We managed a day on Perranporth Beach building sandcastles and the boys even tried their hand at body boarding! They didn’t have wet suits and I think they were very brave to go into the water! They loved it and I have a feeling that they will be getting wetsuits before they come down again next year! I was amazed at how prepared everyone else was on the beach – families had almost set up camp with wind breaks and beach tents. Some of them looked like they could happily move in for the week….until the tide came in that is! Our set up was a bit more basic with just a couple of coolers with the picnic in and some beach towels but as it was a sunny day it really didn’t matter! We all had a lovely Cornish ice cream at the end of the day and enjoyed mooching round the shops once we had dropped our buckets, spades, fishing nets, body boards, beach bags and coolers back at the car!
We had a day at Treasure Park in Redruth too. I was a little concerned as it was the day after we had been to Crealy, that they would find it a little tame in comparison, but I shouldn’t have worried. We all had a great time panning for gold and gems, playing crazy golf and building a bear! We spent a very enjoyable 5 hours there and even had a delicious lunch and yet another ice cream!
Watergate bay has polo on the beach in September and I am really looking forward to going (just hoping for a sunny day) I’ve never seen Polo on the beach before and Watergate bay is one of my favourite places.
Well bank holiday weekend is nearly upon us and that means just one thing…..more rain! I have lots to do – there is always lots to do here! I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that we have a few short sharp showers rather than incessant rain all weekend!
Have a great bank holiday!