Dark Sky Wales is proud to be part of the fantastic Welsh Government funded project that has seen the South Wales Valleys gain recognition for their dark skies. This video put together as part of the funding and produced by Bluesy Monster demonstrates those wonderful skies and the work undertaken to protect them.
We are really excited to announce our new arrival. It was always in the pipeline – because the setting is perfect.
We have some work to do on the pitch, which will boast it’s own fire pit, decking, patio set and hen house (which means you can collect your own eggs for breakfast!) As for the decor….well, you’ll have to follow the blog to see!…
Insulated and weatherproofed to withstand our harsh but incredibly beautiful winters, you can now escape whatever the weather.
So whether you stay for the mountain biking, hiking, road biking, kite-surfing, family adventure or simply to relax – you will love it….all year round!
We have had some absolutely stunning evenings in September and so far in October too! Predominantly tonight and tomorrow we have the chance to see some more meteors, and don’t forget too look out for the International Space Station zooming over head too!
It’s the chillier end of the summer…(commonly known as Autumn!). The summer colours are being slowly replaced with those reddy browns, and that means it’s time to prepare the winter fuel!…. sooooo stand up if you have a woodburner, now, if it doesn’t heat your hot water and radiators sit back down, out of all those still standing ( time to sort the men from the boys…) sit down if you buy your wood already split and seasoned… if anyone is still standing feel free to smile that smug smile 🙂
So with that in mind, there’s no greater sight than seeing Mrs Willow Springs walk out of the wood shed with my chopper in her hand!!
In truth that old equipment is gathering dust in the shed – Axes, log maulers and wood grenades…sounds like a props list for a diet coke advert…the reality is standing behind the rumbling tractor with a hycrack wood splitter and a pink wheelbarrow…hardly a diet coke image!!! The days of swinging an axe are gone, mainly because it was followed by copious paracetamol’s or ibuprofen and heat pads! Nowadays its practically a one man (or woman – take note Mrs Springs!) operation.
Splitting the windblown or diseased wood on the farm can be therapeutic, and its quite satisfying seeing the wood store packed with freshly split wood. Even more satisfying when its minus silly temperature outside with 3ft of snow and all I need to do is fill a basket to keep the homestead toasty!
If that isn’t enough graft – it’s also the time for track repairs….so more of this…
I thought it would be great to get a photo of the Gosling’s sitting on Liberty’s lap – they have always been happy to sit there. This was easy when they were no bigger than your hand, but now they look (and feel) like a small Albatross! So seeing Liberty being ‘Goose mobbed’ is quite amusing ( if only for me!).
They say never work with animals or children! I had to bribe Liberty with a ‘Ben and Jerry’s Coreice cream’ just to be able to take one picture of her (and that was post 35 mins of hairstyling!), Only for my picture to be photo-bombed by the other gosling!
Naturally, I asked Mrs Willow Springs to take part in the photo-shoot, but her innate capacity for Health and Safety took over, and I left her in the lounge drawing up an action plan and risk assessment!
Before starting the campsite, we looked through campsite forums, to see what people liked and didn’t like. The biggest annoyance for campers seemed to be poor washroom facilities, one of our goals was to ensure we would never have complaints about the presentation, condition and operation of the washrooms. With that in mind we realised we didn’t even want washrooms – we wanted bathrooms! So we fitted out three. Two family size and one standard size. Jude was on a mission – with a car full of mirrors, pictures, paintings, more mirrors, bath mats, roller blinds, even more mirrors, magnolia paint, shower curtains and, errr did I mention mirrors?! Jude set about telling me exactly where everything needed to go, and then changed her mind ( this happened a lot!) Eventually (after every possible combination) we (I) were finished (phew!).
It’s really difficult to capture the cosy and homely feeling on camera but at least it gives you an idea.
Do you recall I had a hankering for bringing Geese to the campsite? well… a suitable trio presented themselves to me, and I just could not resist. I have absolutely no idea of their gender but I know I’ll be finding out soon enough :/ …they are sooooo cute, constantly chattering and so keen to find out if you have anything interesting to offer them. Evey was far from impressed as she reluctantly moved out from her dog crate in order to temporarily home these 3 Embdem x Toulouse goslings….almost as impressed as the wife!! Now at 6 weeks – they have just been allowed to stay outside, in their brand new house ( always build a big, heavy, awkward animal house close to where you intend to site it – naturally I didn’t do that, and poor Jude looked like she was in a training scene from a rocky film!) So these young geese will need some names – feel free to leave a post with suitable suggestions and the reasons why! Evey is ecstatic at having her crate back!
Approx 10 days old.
Approx 3 weeks.
Approx 4 weeks.
Approx 5 weeks.
ooooh ahhhhhh I hear your say…you are bigger softies than me!!!
So what have I learned this month? well, July 2015 was wetter than July 2014. I learned from a soon to be physicist, that if your neighbours security light springs into action don’t be too quick to dismiss the notion that something is a foot at the bottom of the garden! I learned that gosling’s are also a natural epilator for the forearms – not unlike retrieving the last few pringles from the bottom of the tube – only more painful! . I learned what a puss moth caterpillar looks like and a horntail. I learned that the international space station #ISS , which has been making guest appearances in the night sky all week has 6 crew and a budgie named Derek. I learned that the perseid meteor shower that has also been dazzling our dark skies all week will never be less than incredible year after year….providing its not cloudy!
So, the campsite has passed the guest test with everyone so far being very complimentary.
Our first super big booking was Port Talbot Town Girls Football Club (they booked the whole site). Our daughter plays for the club – the coaches are great and as a result the girls are really close (as are the parents), and as with all clubs – the parents sacrifice a lot for their children to play and train. This weekend was for the parents as much as the children. Friday evening consisted of tents up, bbq and orientation ensuring everyone knew where everything was (…or more specifically the location of their chair and drink!). For Saturday, the parents and coaches arranged an unusual treasure hunt, involving tasks, followed by a forfeit for the losing group ( care of the teams’ very own ‘Barely Gryls’) akin to a celebrity get me out of here eating task – when the fish’s eyes and sheep’s heart appeared the girls did their best B-movie screams and disappeared! The afternoon consisted of 20m of builders plastic membrane, 4 bottles of fairy liquid and a running hosepipe!…slip n slide time…(hugely popular with the dads!) everyone enjoyed whether directly involved or laughing from the sides… (and with the field being recently cut we looked like a troupe of silver backs – covered in foam and grass). The coaches have always maintained that being part of the team, training and playing would not only improve their football but also their life skills. This was deftly proven when the need for a camp fire arose – and under guidance was built, safely lit and maintained by the girls. The evening festivities included bad singing, great bbq food, dancing and reminiscing. Interestingly we hardly saw girls using their tech and if they did, it was to take photos! The next day was a somewhat slower day (must be all that dancing), and of course the packing up and departing. Fabulous memories for the parents and the girls, with calls for a yearly get together echoing around the group. See you next year guys 🙂
It’s been a while since I last posted anything – in part due to a lack of inter-squinternet through changing our broadband provider. I can still hear the sales advisor proclaim how the transition will be seamless and smooth, as smooth as a bramble patch growing around a razor wire protected wall, full of cactus! (if anyone has a picture of that I’d be intrigued to see it!).Consequently I have blended in with the younger generation – and can now negotiate a busy high street with various obstacles without even looking up from my phone…go me!
I must confess I’m surprised at just how busy we have been in our first summer, lots of bookings spread throughout the weeks, including our first international booking all the way from Burnley! Just kidding, I meant Berlin (hi Sebastian and family!!!)Talking of Burnley – we have attracted a large portion of guests from the North – I put it to the wife that my southern charm, hospitality and wit was clearly the attraction (Jude proceeded to choke quite violently on her tea at this point, poor Jude!, and upon composing herself made it quite clear that the only attraction was the beautiful area and well-kept campsite – with awesome guest loving bathrooms!). I’m lucky to have a wife that keeps me grounded. We also found that Mr and Mrs Swallow had set up camp in our facilities shelter. At first this seemed lovely, then we realised they never brought their own loo in favour of dropping bombs on unsuspecting people – who said birds didn’t have a sense of humour! It was easy to forgive them once we saw the babies hatch, grow and fledge.
Yes those are baby swallows…all beaks and feathers!