22nd May 2018: Many apologies for the lack of entries to my blog but I was trying to cope with Liz's laptop and struggling, you all know how good I am with technology as I don't even know how a mobile phone operates, let alone tablets, ipads and I wouldn't know an app if I fell over one. However my lovely computer Engineer David brought me a temporary PC today which Liz connected up so you will have to endure my chatter again.
Richard, one of our regular guests, lost his dog Luna yesterday. She was found and recovered from a lady in Stoke St Gregory (a good 4 miles away) which is not bad for a 17 year old with arthritis. We are not very busy at present so if you want somewhere to camp at the bank holiday we still have vacancies.
Watched the royal wedding on Saturday and was amazed at how 10 little ones behaved so well. Bishop Michael was a lovely man but he did go on a bit and Meghan's mum said later that the congregation were lucky because he usually goes on for much longer! Naturally the bride looked beautiful and the groom handsome.
22nd April 2018: I am struggling to use Liz's laptop as my PC has broken, so here goes. John was given another lamb to bottle feed yesterday as the farmer is out at work and we already have one being bottle fed. Any would be lamb feeders out there? We are now fully open as the ground has hardened enough for the paddock and the orchard to both be opened up. We are working to get the shop ready and hope to see you all soon. The winter has not done my arthritis any favours and we have not had the best of times but we are keeping going and need your company.
30th March 2018: It is a little soggy here but some intrepid explorers/guests have joined us, sadly they didn't abide by the rules and bring some sunshine. However, I have decided that we will be having a long hot summer to make up for it. John is all drippy and miserable.
24th March 2018: It is official, our camping guests are the very very best. We opened today and owing to the weather we weren't able to switch on the water until the last minute, to his horror John then discovered broken pipes and panic set in. He went off in a bit of a tizz knowing that we had people coming and no water supply to the toilet or shower but when he came back our first guest Andy was coming out of the shower. Bless him, Andy had arrived, wanted a shower, discovered the water problems and being a metal fabricator, had just got on and fixed them. John had to come in and have a cuppa to get over the shock.
22nd March 2018: A very happy birthday to Bridget who helps Liz and I to keep the campsite facilities clean and tidy. Dave is back to work but poor Roz is still at home and bored nursing her broken ankle. We get our first guest of the season tomorrow and it will be a bit of a last minute rush to get ready as John has had to switch off the water supply during the various bouts of snowfall, but we will get there.
15th March 2018: Dave came down on Mothering Sunday with girl friend Roz and they chattered away about rugby injuries following Dave's ear incident on the field. They left because Roz had a match in the afternoon (ladies rugby is apparently always played on Sunday afternoons) and I learned the following day that she had dislocated and broken her ankle in the match. So rugby attacked them both last weekend - I am trying (unsuccessfully) to persuade them that making jigsaws is a much healthier way of keeping fit.
14th March 2018: Our sincere apologies to those of you who have tried to place bookings through our "contact us" part of our website. Regular visitor Dawn told us she had placed a booking that way but we could not find it. We were horrified to find out that when the new website was set up our website host had used our old email address. As it was embedded there was no way we could check it and the old "dot net" email addresses no longer exist. Our sincerest thanks to Dawn without whom we might never have found this out.
11th March 2018: Dave phoned yesterday to ask his dad to lock up his chickens as he was on his way to A&E to have stitches in his ear following a rugby accident. Apparently a "ruck" collapsed, yes well, some might know what this means (I don't). We asked him to ring us when he was back at home but by midnight we hadn't heard anything so we rang him. He was on his way home but had been held up because a specialist consultant had to be removed from his bed to come and do the delicate work. Our NHS is brilliant. Dave had to have 10 stitches on the cartiledge inside of his ear. I inspected the needlework this morning and it was excellent.
3rd March 2018: What a week that was. We had enough snow to close the local schools and businesses and only emergency or 4x4 vehicles used the roads. After it had taken John 20 minutes to get from the back door to the chicken run, he called for help from our son Dave and friend Ashley and asked them to bring spades and shovels. Ash stayed here and made sure the steps and gates all opened and Dave went on the livestock run to help John with the necessary extra feeding and watering of the livestock. Chris helped us today but we are now thawing slowly and we hope that by tomorrow things will be manageable again and we are just waiting to see if the moors flood!
As well as lots of offers of help from people who live near fields where some of our sheep currently are. one of our neighbours went down through Greenway checking on anyone who might need help and there were so many offers of help on Facebook from villagers, it made me very proud of North Curry and those who live here.
We open in 3 weeks time but it will be fine and sunny by then. x
26th February 2018: John had to call the vet yesterday to rescue a ewe having lambing problems. He brought in a very poorly lamb and put her on the hearth awaiting the inevitable. At midnight last night the lamb decided he wanted to stay in this world and bleated at full volume FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT. I woke John at 5am and told him I wanted a divorce - it was either the sheep or him that has to go. This morning I have decided that the divorce comes first - then I can sell all of the sheep. I have had no sleep since the night before last so nobody had better mess with me today and John must find a place to hide.
22nd February 2018: Have only just got around to updating my blog, sorry guys but making jigsaws is very time consuming! We have just had our amazing Cornish friend Richard and his son's dog Harley (Josie's brother) stayed with us for 3 days. Harley is just like his mum, soft and soppy and after his initial scenting all around our kitchen (and a dump on the floor) we enjoyed having him!
Richard grows daffodils and my kitchen dresser is now groaning with them and he also makes lobster pots which is his main reason for visiting. Somerset willows are the best or so my dad brought me up to believe.
6th February 2018: One of my dearest friends and ex-neighbour Mrs Jo Bimson died last Wednesday, she was nearly 103 years old and an amazing lady.
John must mean business because he has bought some new wellies and he complained that they cost him £15, but he has sold some sheep. Luke asked him if he needed help to take a few to the market but John said he didn't have the time (likely story) so Luke said he would buy some of them himself. I like Luke, but not so keen on sheep.
30th January 2018: Chris has finished painting the wetroom and my bedroom, only the outside ramp to go, then I will be able to save for a mobility vehicle and then you will have to watch out as me zooming around on my scooter or power chair was bad enough! The lambs keep coming and I keep nagging John to sell more sheep as he spends all his life rushing around looking after many more sheep than he should - nothing changes here. The goats are still doing well and our son has really moved on with renovating and extending dad's cottage. Liz is making plans to get our gift shop ready and I am quite proud of some of my newest knitted treasures - woodland animals with chocolate stuffing (honestly), lavender dolls, mittens with motifs of everything from flamingos to badgers and all in bright colours and made by my own fair hand (and at fantastic prices).
It is almost February, the shortest month, and then the 2018 camping season starts, so get your motorhomes and caravans ready.
22nd January 2018: The campsite bookings diary (exercise book) is ruled up, my pencil is sharpened and I am ready. John is daily going around with a wheelbarrow collecting up the lambs - this is what happens when you put two rams in with the ewes at the same time - all the lambs come together! Josie continues in her genetic make-up and yesterday was chased and corned by a sheep and had to be rescued by John. He really should give her "the talk" about how sheepdogs are supposed to behave.
1st January 2018: Our bad luck has continued and we had a rather miserable christmas. Last night we were all tucked up in bed by 11pm, so the new year entered unannounced and uncelebrated. Nevertheless a new year has started and we wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2018 and hopefully you will be able to spend some of it with us at Doolittle's where we hope our luck will improve.
EDF (our electricity supplier) wished us a happy christmas by sending us notification that there was a £1260 debit on our campsite electric account with instructions on how to send them the money forthwith, so it is with very sincere apologies that we must put our pitch fees us to £15 per night (or £100 per week) for the 2018 season. Just to add to the financial misery the wetroom electric invoice arrived the next day but I am contemplating selling John and the sheep to help with that one!
12th November 2017: It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of one of our regular guests Malcolm Mills who with his family have been holidaying at Doolittle's for many many years.
It has not been a good week for us as we have been helping to look for our friend Luke's retired sheepdog Rosie who ran off due to fireworks, sadly Rosie died.
On Saturday 18th November Liz will be holding her annual Dizzy Doolittle's christmas sale/party so if anyone fancies a free mince pie and cup of tea, you know where we are.
24th October 2017: It is complete, I now have an en-suite that is suitable for my needs. At times I really did not think it would happen. All we have to do now is pay for it, oh dear.
18th October 2017: Wetrooom almost complete and it is wonderful. The campsite is quite busy for the time of the year. We will remain open until the frosts come (we have to drain the toilet) and thereafter those with their own toilet facilities will still be able to visit. Liz is getting ready for all of her christmas craft stalls and Dave is trying to finish his kitchen before christmas.
9th October 2017: Anne, the lovely lady who lives in our mobile home, has offered to look after "Alan's garden" and we have gratefully accepted. Pauline & Melvyn have been with us for a weekend break, always good for catching up on news. I now have a toilet, shower and instant flow water heater installed, all still have to be connected up but we are getting there. Tomorrow my radiators will be fitted and should be working - so relieved about this.
3rd October 2017: John, Liz and Dave have gone to Wales for the day to attend Alan's (my brother-in-law) funeral in Cwmbran. Many of you knew Alan as being the man responsible for the lovely garden that he planted and maintained on the campsite. My friend Bridget is coming to keep me and the 6 dogs company.
My wetroom now has tiles on both the floor and the wall and our wonderful plumber who has taken over the completion is coming back on Thursday to start fitting out, with a little help from our son David. The return of my bedroom radiator will be most welcome.
21st September 2017: I think I disgraced myself this afternoon. 2 very nice young men were putting the floor down at the end of my bedroom. I had aplogised but told them to carry on but I had to lie down for an hour to change position. They were making a noise but when I got up at 3pm, Scott said that I had been very quiet watching the TV, but since I had no idea what was on I must have been sound asleep for the whole time and I am sure he knew!
19th September 2017: The bad luck seems to continue as our son came downstairs to find burglars. He was angry because he didn't catch one of them, although for their sakes it was probably a good job. However he did get their registration number and got a good look at them both. David has a green belt in sumo wrestling (is one of the top 10 in the country) as well being one of the team captains of a local rugby club so I think the burglars had a lucky escape.
At long last, the wetroom floor is going down on Friday and it is being tiled next Tuesday. Our wonderful plumber is taking over the completion of the job.
16th September 2017: The wetroom progress is at snail's pace but moving forward. My son's wonderful friends plastered it for a very reasonable price and a packet of chocolate biscuits - it would have had to be a chocolate cake if they went over time. They got the cake anyway. I am getting worried because I don't have any heating in my bedroom at the moment and we are already using our woodburner in the evenings.
10th September 2017: It has been such a sad day for us today. This morning John's sister Meg phoned to say that her husband had been rushed to hospital but he died this afternoon. It was sudden and unexpected and Alan was responsible for the lovely gardens here at the campsite which he has worked tirelessly on during this season.
6th September 2017: Oh well the happy balloon has burst. Had a quote from the plumber to finish the job and I think he is a little out of our price range. Our son has promised to help out where he can and I will negotiate with the plumber when he returns for a discount for an elderly disabled lady! The wetroom will be finished by christmas, it is just a question of which year. It's been 18 months already into a job which should have taken about 10 weeks! The saga continues,
27th August 2017: The end of the wetroom is in sight after 18 months!! A plumber came and took pity on me, he said if our building work was not well underway by mid-September when he returned from holiday, he would come with his mate and finish the whole thing off as a priority. The outside is already more or less finished and John has even mowed the lawn once.
The annual tent rally is in full swing and they are enjoying some pretty amazing weather. Sadly their annual cricket match on the playing field in Greenway was spoilt by the length of the grass on the pitch.
13th August 2017: My black eye is now more of a purple/yellow colour, I can open the eye properly and it doesn't hurt anymore. My lovely brother-in-law has put a plank of wood across the entrance to the wetroom so that I cannot do it again. The electrical first fix has been done and the plumbing first fix is due to be done next week so we are making progress - very slowly. Some of our campers have dropped out due to the weather and we have free pitches until the bank holiday.
John collected his new van during the week and is very pleased with it so far. Liz's little Westie Pearl had an operation to remove a lump on her neck yesterday, she is a bit unsettled but otherwise OK. We knew she had the lump there but she had scratched it, so when John took our little Ruby for a routine visit yesterday Liz asked him to take Pearl as well. Our lovely vet Ben decided to keep her and remove the lump and by lunchtime he was ringing Liz up to collect her. Pet insurance is a wonderful thing! It gave Liz a shock though when John didn't bring her home.
4th August 2017: I knew my wetroom would be the death of me and it nearly was. John and I were discussing where to put the towel rail and the wheel of my wheelchair went over the edge and down I went onto the concrete. I am now sporting a spectacular black eye but the paramedic who came to our aid was very handsome and took a lot of the stress away! My blood really is embedded in the wetroom now.
The shepherd's hut is getting very popular and every occupant so far has rebooked. Our most recent guest was enthralled to see a baby owl perch on a nearby post and on hearing a noise late in the evening saw a badger walking around the back of the hut (John and I aren't the only wildlife here). Liz is getting the gift shop all spick and span and all we need now is slightly better weather.
1st August 2017: Have made amazing progress with the front garden, now have a fence and gate to make it dog-proof. The electricians are due at the end of the week to start the wiring, followed by preparations for the plasterer to do his work. With my wheelchairs both working and my wetroom underway there will be no stopping me, you have been warned.
27th July 2017: Be very afraid, Millbrook came to sort out my wheelchairs yesterday and I was soon whizzing around the campsite on my new power wheelchair.
24th July 2017: Campers rang us early yesterday morning to say our sheep were out but they had put them back with the others - the sheep were actually pedigree angora goats and not ours but we appreciated the gesture though sadly their owners wanted them back!
Local builder/handyman John Quinn has done a wonderful job completing the verandah roof, putting up the guttering and fences and clearing the builders rubble out of the garden. He is coming back to finish next week, so BBQs now being planned as it is wonderful to get back into the garden again after so long.
11th July 2017: John is happy, it is raining for the first time in a month. Now the grass will grow and he won't keep having to move sheep around at high speed finding grass. My concrete patio was laid by my wonderful son and friend Matt on Saturday morning, baby steps. A housemartin shared our kitchen for morning coffee, he obviously hadn't quite the hang of "leaving the nest" yet.
2nd July 2017: I am getting used to the curtain covering the hole in my bedroom wall. The housemartins have left the nest, but they are not very good on directions yet as they flew out of the laundry and straight through the kitchen into my bedroom. Ruby was trying to catch them while I was peeping out from under the bedcover trying to avoid fall-out, though my room is such a mess at the moment that it doesn't much matter.
1st July 2017: It was lovely to see Melvyn & Pauline call in this morning on their way to NP Market. This afternoon my bedroom window and the wall beneath it was removed, progress at last on the wetroom.
29th June 2017: How the weather has changed, but luckily the annual canoe club meeting were still able to have a good time and a camp fire get together in the evening. We have had some charming Belgian guests in our shepherd's hut all week, sadly going home on Saturday and we have also had Ray & Jackie.
No more progress on the wetroom, it seems to be either too hot or too wet for the concrete, but the weather can't attack me forever. Hopefully my bedroom window will get removed on Sunday afternoon, but still waiting for everything else.
We haven't had a wonderful weekend as a local woman decided to write off John's van on Saturday evening, fortunately only John's pride was hurt and a sense of disappointment because he loved his van. Then on Monday David asked his dad to fetch him from work because his head gasket had gone on his van and he couldn't borrow ours. Not a good weekend in the transport department here. However our lovely friend Greasy has one tucked away in his garage and John will eventually have that.
Our luck has to change sometime, come and cheer us up.
18th June 2017; Work has begun again on my new wetroom, the roof was done on Friday, friend Luke removed the radiator from my room last night and John the builder is coming tomorrow to redo the verandah roof, guttering, etc. It has been so hot shut inside these past few days, I am desperate to finally be able to get outside in the garden. I have to keep the doors shut because of collie Josie and cannot reach the windows. Fortunately it has been so busy that the time has gone quickly. We are also busy on the campsite with guests making the most of the weather. Meg & Al have been to stay again and worked their magic on the campsite gardens, the roses are amazing.
8th June 2017: We are very sad to report the passing of one of our most popular guests Mr Terry Mapstone. Terry & his wife Janet and their extended family are part of the fabric of Doolittle's Campsite and have been involved in so many of the events and parties held here over the years. We erected "The Royal Enlosure" for them, Pitch 12 and "The Posh Pitch" which their daughter Wendy & family now use. We held lawnmower, electric scooter and mobility scooter races for his benefit which were amazing. There were so many other fun times, too many to recall and we will all miss him.
7th May 2017: The May Fair was a great success as it usually is. Liz and her Aunt & Uncle did very well and the rain stayed away. It wasn't too cold and the sun even tried to shine a little bit. Getting busy on the campsite today.2nd May 2017:
The bank holiday was very quiet, good job the inspectors were here and are leaving tomorrow. We had our inspection this afternoon and all good. They were such an improvement on last year's inspector who I now understand is working on a big club site. Pauline & Melvyn and Helen & David have both popped in to see us in the past few weeks, always good to keep up and it was good to see Donna & Stuart arrive last week. In the Turney household we are getting ready for the North Curry May Fair next Saturday 6th May. Liz has her usual Dizzy Doolittle's stall and has made some more beautiful things and John's sister Megan and her husband Alan are coming to help her.24th April 2017:
John is 72 today but he has spent the weekend carrying blocks up a ladder helping our son with his building extension. I must be looking after him well. Not only are the housemartins back but we now have a baby squirrel to likes to come and ring the bell at the top of the back steps, he doesn't run away but stays to laugh at us for opening the door. 20th April 2017:
I am not sure whether to be worried or not, the Camping & Caravanning Club inspectors are basing themselves on our site for two weeks while they check out all the other sites in the area. I am trying to get John to behave for 2 weeks but it is an uphill struggle!16th April 2017:
We have had a busy Easter weekend, the weather could have been a bit warmer but no rain so far. We welcomed regular visitors and new alike.7th April 2017:
WE ARE NOW OPEN, first guests arriving today. Meg & Alan have made the campsite gardens look beautiful again and the blossoms are out ready for your admiration! Chris was busy all day yesterday doing maintenance and Liz will be putting the finishing touches to the reception/craft shop this afternoon. We still have a few vacancies for Easter. The goat kids are now thriving and we have two lambs needing bottle feeding (any volunteers out there?) Don't forget our new email address - email@example.com
.20th March 2017:
What a week we have just had, first Golly Goat was very poorly and the vet didn't really know what was wrong. We put him in a cage in the living room and his bleats kept me awake for 3 nights in a row, by 3am on Sunday morning I wanted him to lose his voice and by 5am all I could think of was "goat stew". The family took pity on me and put him in the shed with our lamb. Then today Cocoa (the kid that Liz wants to keep) was also ill and off to the vet again, fortunately the vet was more au fait with goats and thinks that they are growing too quickly and the ligaments are not keeping up causing them pain.
John didn't know how the puppies happened (a likely story) but he put the billy goat in with Toffee and Fudge so he can't use that excuse again. I've had the dogs "done" and if he brings home another billy, it will have to sleep on his bed, it's not going near the nanny goats!!NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
- very sorry but the old ".net" is being discontinued on 31st May but I will continue to use both until that date.
13th March 2017:
John tells me that we have crocuses and tulips outside of the reception shed/craft shop and we had two motorhomes arrive last night so I think the new season is underway. The weather here is beautiful this morning and making us all feel very spring-like. The lambs and goat kids are a handful now that they are a little bit bigger but still cute and cuddly (just like John). Don't forget we open on SATURDAY 8th APRIL. Hopefully will see you soon.5th February 2017:
Liz has persuaded her dad to let her keep little Cocoa and this morning we have a local garden nursery who is going to give Cola a home. So we only have Goliath (who actually hasn't turned out the biggest) to place and he has by far the prettiest markings of them all. They have all been neutered so won't be smelly. We have had lots of campsite enquiries and our plans our well underway for the new season starting 8th April.20th February 2017:
While we all watched "Call the Midwife" on TV last night Fudge gave birth to 3 enormous baby boys that Liz has called Cola, Cocoa and Goliath (guess who was biggest). All is well and they are cute but if any of you tell Liz or John I said so I will deny all knowledge!19th February 2017:
Despite our patience Fudge is as big as a house and is showing more signs of exploding than giving birth but something must happen soon. John and Chris have spent the morning putting bird netting over our chicken runs so we can promise that our eggs are still free range. Liz is busy getting the reception/craft shop ready and we can't wait to meet up with everyone again. John is drowning in lambs, nearly all twins and triplets but we just need goat kids.
Helen & David and Pauline & Melvyn called to see us at the same time on Saturday, but rather unfortunately John had just lit the fire and because of a blockage the house was filling up with smoke. We survived thanks to Pauline making the teas and coffees and our amazing chimney sweep has just left. 16th January 2017:
Another set of twins, help - where are all you would-be shepherds hiding?15th January 2017:
It has started, twin lambs born this morning, so very soon it will be chaos here and I will want to emigrate. 9th January 2017:
Liz's craft shop will look pretty as usual. The mobile home is now permanently occupied by our lovely new tenant Anne but we still have the shepherd's hut for all those would-be shepherds out there (we can even supply a few lambs) for weekends or holidays. Our goat kids are due very soon as both our ladies are expecting happy events.
My wetroom is coming along at a snail's pace and I will probably have to sell John's body to pay for it to be finished. I did try to sell him on Facebook once but only got rude offers!