Sunday, 29 May 2011

Lots of news!

Well, as always with me it's like waiting for a no. 7 bus and then three come along together. So here is my third and final post of today.

All change: we are getting a new caravan. We had almost decided to give up caravanning and just day trip with B&B as needed. However, we came home from Boot Camp thinking that we did still quite like caravanning just not all the clearing away at the end of the weekend. So we decided to downsize dramatically and hopefully this coming week will be picking up this little caravan from Songhurst. It's very small compared with our previous models but we spent nearly an hour looking at it and figured out exactly where each dog will sleep at night as well as ourselves.

Yesterday we spent the whole day clearing the old caravan and cleaning it ready to swap over. I cannot believe the stuff that came out of our caravan. We have been really strict and rationalised everything that we carry. So instead of having spares for the spares, we will manage with the absolute essentials and nothing more. Hopefully that way we can continue to enjoy caravanning at shows with slightly less packing up at the end of a long and tiring weekend.

We hope to have the caravan in time for Dartford and Keston. It's due to be shipped to Songhurst from the factory on Wednesday and Richard is going to to his best to have it ready for us on Thursday including swapping over our motor mover. They are a lovely family firm and I wouldn't want to buy a caravan from anyone else.

The other exciting news is that we have a new arrival due. Tomorrow morning I shall be leaving home at about 6.30 am to travel to Plymouth to bring home this gorgeous little girl. I am so very excited and doubt that I'll sleep much tonight. I hope that Niamh, Poppy and Zeki won't be too upset.

The origin of her name is Pepperbox - a type of poppy (the ones that produce seeds for bread) in memory of her breeder's first dog, a spaniel called Poppy. Perfect for me too!

Moon - Becky wanted a theme of English ships that fought against the Spanish Armada and Moon was one of those ships.

Tide - to go with my chosen name of Tide-y (I might drop the hyphen not sure yet.) Tide-y from one of my most favourite comedies 'Gavin & Stacey'. Obviously there is a connection between Moon and Tide so I'm really thrilled with the name.

Meet Tidey "Pepperbox Moon Tide"

General Update

The run up to the agility season beginning has been quite frantic as we've had so much going on in the background. We are trying to get my Mum's house ready for sale and it's both hard work and heart breaking going through things. The house means a lot to all of us as we were all born and raised there, the house has been in our family since my parents bought it in the mid 1950's. The three of us are children of the 60's and so there are lots of memories going back over a long period of time.

Dan organised a gang to start tidying up the garden and we are gradually making progress. The garden is full of wonderful memories and it was lovely seeing it start to reappear from the brambles and overgrowth.

We have spent a lot of time on our own garden as well and it's starting to look lovely especially the long border which Julie has helped us with. We have also made a start on a new rock garden and I brought home some plants from Mum's garden and have planted them up with pansies and violas. Every time I look at them I think of Mum and how much she loved her garden and growing things. Only wish I had inherited her green fingers!

Here are some pictures of the garden:

Runner beans which we grew from seeds

Sweet peas also grown from seeds

The start of the new rockery

The pond and surrounding pots

Above and below, planters from Mum's garden

A rose about to bloom; this is the rose that Sara and Steve bought me in memory of my beloved Abbey.
Andy gave the above plant a massive haircut as it was huge and not very happy. Since its haircut it's thriving.

Below are pictures of the long border. It's lovely seeing the different colours as they emerge.

May has been a very busy month for us with the garden, house clearing and also the WAO's and Boot Camp. Andy had a fantastic time judging at the WAO's and absolutely loved the whole experience. Hopefully there will be some pictures we can post at some stage, meantime here are some from their own gallery.

Boot Camp was a brilliant, two lovely groups of handlers and dogs and on the whole decent weather. It was absolutely exhausting but very satisfying. There's a lot of work involved before and after Boot Camp as well as the training itself. We couldn't manage without our janitor Andy and equipment mover Jay. Alex is a star and always helps us pack up and load the trailer.

We managed to get some good training in with our own dogs working on tricky weave entries and European style courses, all good stuff ready for the EO. It's beginning to dawn on me that I have qualified for this event and Zeki and I really need to get practising!

Show update

The agility show season is now in full swing and since my last update we have been to Easter Celebration , Vyne, Beacon and Tunbridge Wells shows.

Zeki's first champ class was at Vyne and I made a stupid mistake in the jumping round and got eliminated. We then went on to do a good run in the agility leg with a ketschker turn from #2 to #3. It worked really well and got me into a good position to handle the A-Frame to tunnel. That said I over handled the exit off the A-Frame and cost us too much time. I was very disciplined and trained the dog walk as I am still trying to get Zeki's performance sorted on this piece of equipment. I should mention that I did the same with Niamh and got E'd in the jumping round and ran clear in the agility. Uuuummm, where's the common denominator here?

The theme continued at Beacon with me again making a stupid mistake in the jumping round but then running clear in the agility, still with a trained dog walk and gues what, we won the class. Fantastic courses from Lee Gibson, challenging, flowing and such fun to run. I think Lee is a really excellent course designer and judge and I, for one, hope we see more of his courses.

Kizzy and Andy competed at Easter and started off their season really well, getting 2nd in G6/7 jumping.

Here is a selection of videos of our doglets at the various shows mentioned plus a couple of runs from Mid Downs right at the beginning of the season. The agility run was a qualifier and Zeki came 3rd behind Dizzy and Minx. As you'll see it was a fast course and so I was thrilled with that result. This means we've qualified for a final later in the year. I hope to keep up to date in a slightly more timely fashion but this year has been a very busy one so far!

This is the champ agility round from Beacon. Really good course and I was so thrilled to win it! I would love to have been in the final as that course was also tricky. Must try harder!