End of week two

We are about to start our third week at our current host, the longest we’ve got planned at any host this year.

Our second week here was much the same as the third – busy! My parents came to visit and stayed at a nearby B&B for the weekend at the end of our first week which was lovely, we are missing them and although we speak at least once a week on the phone I think they left reassured we are all just as fine and happy as we tell them we are! We had a couple of nice days out locally with them and two very good meals at a local pub.

We did our customary hiding mini Easter eggs round the house late on the Saturday night after Dragon and Star had gone to sleep so they would wake up on Easter Sunday and find them – obviously both trickier in terms of hiding places and easier in terms of size when your house is a campervan!

We both did two markets this week; Ady sold meat at Chudleigh Farmers Market while I attended a local event to celebrate the Royal wedding which was shown on big screens with a picnic and live band afterwards selling a selection of meat, pies and pasties along with freshly cooked bacon, burgers and sausages in Holdsworthy. The local mayor proved a very good customer, coming back for both breakfast and lunch!

On Saturday we all went to Bideford Market where Dragon, Star and I enjoyed a couple of hours off in the morning to wander round the town and do a little bit of shopping before coming back to help out on the farm stall selling pasties, pies, meat and burgers, while Ady spent the whole day helping out on the neighbouring stall, Dan the Fish Man a friend of our hosts who had said he needed a hand on his stall so they had suggested Ady. In exchange for a couple of quid and enough fish to feed all of us and our hosts for dinner that night Ady spent his time learning his skate from his halibut, his turbot from his plaice and enjoying fish related banter instead of sausages for a change!

He is welcome back any time apparently, he was great at it!

Also this week, along with helping to feed and muck out animals and do some general tidying up around the farm we went to our first livestock market, helping our host take along some ewes and lambs and watching the auctions for sheep and cattle.

Ady has had a go in the cutting room and we’ve both been involved in more packing up and labelling of meat and sausages.

During our evenings and days off this weekend we have spent time in the woodland directly opposite the farm which is just gorgeous, full of evergreen and broadleaf trees and teaming with wildlife. We have walked,

and we have sat,

including picnics and spending quiet time being still and silent to see what we could spot, we were treated to a deer coming really close to us before getting spooked and dashing off again.

And of course Dragon and Star have played, found ‘treasure’ (a deers skull in this instance), waved sticks around, tried to identify mushrooms and enjoyed getting dirty!

A visual on our week

We’ve parked under a willow tree at the campsite, it seemed fitting. We’re enjoying debating on how we’d run a campsite if we were in charge (it’s a revenue stream that seems a good match with landowning / animal rearing). This campsite seems to have lots of rules – Ady got told off for walking on the grass!

Here’s the lovely Willow at night, looks cosy doesn’t she? It’s bloody freezing at night this week (making us very edgey about sleeping in a tent next week) but the van is snug and warm.

 We’ve been experimenting with campervan cooking. We have a two ring hob, a small grill and small oven. They definitely cook slower than a domestic oven and we’re glad we brought thin camping pots and pans. We’re mostly lacking workspace though, so meals have to be planned in advance and everything kept very organised.I cooked a lovely breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs and toast yesterday – a repeat has been asked for tomorrow.

We’ve done some eating seperately to the kids, prepping our dinner while they eat theirs and watch a film.

Today in honour of being in Devon I made some scones to have with some home made jam we’d brought along with us and some local clotted cream and we enjoyed a cream tea.

 When we’re not cooking, eating or otherwise hanging out in the van we’ve been walking. Lots and lots of walking. We’ve seen herons, buzzards and Star brought her animal tracking book out with us today and identified a front and back footprint from an otter at a point along the walk we’d seen yesterday and speculated on whether it was a path to and from the river for otters. We also picked some wild garlic to have in our dinner tonight and with the help of google, and
 identified some scarlet elf cup fungus, which apparently while edible is not particuarly nice to eat but is used to garnish salads as it is bright and colourful.