Nearly 6 months have passed since we set up the website

The time has passed remarkably quickly. The cottages and the caravan site have proved to be popular, and we are taking bookings for 2012. Lily and I have been busy most days and the days and weeks have sped by. We did take a short break in early September. Leaving on Sunday after the cottages change over, we closed the caravan site for 5 nights, until our return, and took the caravan and our two dogs up to the Peak District. Despite the weather, it was a nice break. We walked every day, including one day when we were caught in a storm of hail stones, walking up the ridge to Mam Tor.

Shortly before we went to the Peak District, we took delivery of two Hampshire Down shearling ewes. They immediately settled in with the two ewe lambs, like long lost friends. They probably are, as they come from the same flock. The ewe lambs have grown over the summer and are now the same size as the shearlings, weighing in at around 80 kg. The shearlings came ‘in lamb’ and are expected to give birth in early December. On average the Hampshire Down ewes’ give birth to 1.85 lambs, so we are hopeful that we will have two sets of twins, and thereby double our flock. A sheep shelter is being erected today (04 October). This will give the lambs respite from the north easterlies which are prone to blow in off the North Sea during the winter months, inevitably bringing with them snow from Scandinavia.

The two barn owlets finally fledged from the barn owl box in early July. In the days leading up to fledging, the parents appeared to lure the young from the nest box by placing the food outside of the box, each day a little further from the box, encouraging the young to fly to their food. By the time of fledging the young owls were ready to hunt for their own prey. However, they were very reluctant to permanently leave the comfort and security of the nesting box and on several occasions they returned in late evening to roost. The parents did not allow them that luxury, and after much hissing and shrieking, chased the young owls from the box. The young owls tried to return on the following nights, but each time they were driven off, and eventually they gave up and flew off to fend for themselves. The young owls did not go too far away as we still see them on occasion in the surrounding fields, gliding over the long grass as they seek their next meal.

During the last 6 months we have continued to make improvements to the cottages and caravan site, as the guests have made suggestions. The most significant for the caravan site being the installation of a digital aerial on top of the shower block. The aerial is over 20 foot high, and with the booster delivers an excellent signal to each of the caravan pitches. We have a number of aerial leads for the use of our caravan guests, for which we ask a refundable deposit of £5, repayable upon return of the aerial lead. Thank you to RJ Postle Aerials; who also previously installed aerials to the holiday cottages.

Recently, in the last month, we also had wifi installed for the use of both our cottage and caravan guests. The wifi service has been installed by Caravan Connect, who has placed the antenna high on the side of our house to give connectivity to all our guests. Caravan Connect bill the guests direct, the charge is based on a fixed period of use, be it one day, one week or one year, rather than being based on the number of hours of use.

The last several days have been glorious, and over the weekend we took our dogs to the nearby beach at East Runton. The days were too hot, amazingly too hot for October! So we went in the cool of the evening, the water was still warm and the sunset spectacular. Alas change is in the air.