September 2022

What lovely people we have met this year, and what a fabulous summer! Once I had resigned myself to the fact that it just isn’t going to rain in the near future, and that will mean consequences, I decided to enjoy the sunshine and make the most of it. I’ve loved the little things the summer weather brings – just knowing that I can leave the garden chair cushions out overnight or arrange a picnic for next week safe in the knowledge that it will be dry and warm – like the summers we remember from our childhood. Summers probably weren’t warm and sunny for weeks on end but we do tend to remember them that way don’t we?

The consequences for us on the campsite are mainly the trees. It already looks like autumn on the floor of the main wood with many of the trees dropping their leaves early, and it is distressing to see that a number of the pine trees just aren’t going to make it and will have to come down this winter. Then there’s the pond – in forty years I have never seen it so low. We haven’t discovered any shopping trollies but we were able to recover a wooden table that was blown into the water from the sit out a few years ago! It came into view a couple of weeks ago and is now drying out. Apart from being a bit muddy it is still in good condition and will soon resume its place on the sit out! The ducks deserted us this year but the faithful moorhens continued to entertain us with their gorgeous chicks – like fluffy black golf balls with very long legs!

A number of our campers and visitors bring their dogs with them. One-dog families have now often become two-dog families so we have had to relax the ‘only four dogs on site’ rule. People do sometimes forget to tell us that they will be bringing their furry friends and we end up with more dogs than we were expecting. So this is a plea to any of you who are reading this and intending to bring your dog(s) to camp with us. Please do not bring them if they tend to bark at unfamiliar situations or at people walking past – even tiny dogs can have a very loud yap! You may well be used to them barking, or even find it endearing – however other campers don’t, so please leave them at home. We are now allowing two (no bigger than medium sized) dogs per pitch but it is important that you ask me when you book if it is OK for them to accompany you as we will have to restrict numbers. Quiet, well behaved dogs will always be welcome, just not their noisy cousins! We really do not like having to make rules so please help us by policing your own dog’s behaviour.

We have had a lovely couple of days this week watching two pigeons on the campsite. They were first seen greedily devouring the berries of an elderberry tree, then pecking away at the fermenting fallen plums from a nearby tree. There is no mistaking a drunken pigeon! They wobble around, flap about, fall over and end up lying on their side on the ground! They must suffer from almighty hangovers…

Prices! Unfortunately we cannot ignore the subject, everyone is affected and that of course includes us and the campsite. One of our main on-site expenses is electricity – mainly for hot water. It has always been our policy to provide unlimited hot water for showers and wash-up 24 hours a day. As I’m sure you can imagine that has never been cheap, but in the future the cost threatens to be extortionate. We are absolutely against money-in-the-slot-showers, so what to do? A solar thermal panel (if we can get anyone to fit one, no luck so far!) would supplement the cost to a certain extent, but apart from that we can only ask for people to be sparing with the hot water they use. I do know of campsite owners who are seriously considering closing because they will not be able to absorb the high electricity costs, which is a great shame but it is a fact of life we are all going to have to come to terms with. Cabin prices will rise a little but we really will do everything we can to avoid increasing pitch prices for next year, however it’s not something we can guarantee.

Enough of that! Are you a summer person or a winter person? Or perhaps something in between – spring or autumn? Just as we are supposedly larks or owls, I’m told we are summer or winter people. I have concluded this year that I find life so much easier in the summer – I hope you have enjoyed it too 🙂