We’ve never taken the dogs away with us. That’s not just Emma and Freya. Alice, Brad, Carmen and Day-z also never went on holidays with us. To be fair, Alice and Brad spent a lot of time travelling to Dural from Katoomba where they would holiday with Bob and Claire but it was because we’d gone off somewhere else.
So, when Mirinda decided, last week, that she needed to go on a writing week in a remote cottage in Devon, I suggested we take the girls with us. It was partly for the novelty but also because of the short notice which, I’m certain, would have led to disappointment.
Of course it wasn’t without it’s complications. The first place we looked at and were all ready to book, suddenly said they would only allow one dog and not two. As Mirinda rightly pointed out, surely this should be done on weight rather than quantity. I mean, our two are clearly not equal to a Newfoundland or even a golden retriever. Still, they were adamant so we chose the place in Devon instead.
The girls were a bit confused by the car packing and the house preparation but were more than happy to eventually jump into the car. Mind you, Emma wasn’t particularly happy with the suitcase position.
Emma always leans out of the passenger side rear window. She likes to see the pedestrians because they always smile at her. She rarely bothers looking out the driver’s side. Unfortunately (for Emma) the fold down back seat is divided into two thirds and one third rather than half, the widest bit on the passenger side.
Naturally I had to fold down that side and put the suitcases and the guitar across Emma’s window. She spent a lot of the trip quizzically observing the top of her window, trying to work out how to get to it.
Not so Freya. Her favourite position is with her paws dangling over the central console. She likes to see where we’re going, in case we need any navigational help.
And so we drove, and drove, and drove. Well, for just over two hours anyway. And it was all very easy until we reached Crewkerne when the roads started getting narrower and the threat of tractors became more likely. Not that we saw any.
We eventually found the cottage after running through the directions about 37 times.
I’m just going to gloss over the parking issue we had at the foot of the cottage steps. I’ll just mention the slippy mud and Mirinda’s stressy temper. However, eventually all was well and I sent her up to the cottage with the girls while I unpacked Max.
After a bit, Jane, the owner, popped in to show us how to do the fire and the heating and stuff. She’d been getting the sheep in as lambing is very close (I know because it was mentioned on The Archers this week) and her husband has injured his back so it was up to Jane and her son to get them in. They have about 40 sheep. She runs the pub in a nearby village with her daughter as well.
About 20 minutes before arriving I called her to let her know where we were and it was she who said “I’ve just got to put some sheep away,” before telling me where the keys were for the cottage. I think the girls were rather interested in the sheep as well given how friendly they were to Jane with all their sniffing.
Eventually we were all hunkered down for the night, heating working, and discovered to our joy that the TV had Netflix. This means we can keep watching the shows we’ve been watching like normal. Perfect.