Early on Tuesday afternoon we arrived with the caravan in tow at the site in Churnet Valley just outside Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Simon and Sue were already there, waiting to greet us and help with the setting up of our caravan, I can no longer manage this alone. The rain started to fall from the sky almost as the wheels had stopped turning . A break in the clouds and we decided to erect the awning, Simon being a big guy is a great asset with this task which we never bother to do when there is just the two of us, myself and Mrs Pecker that is.
Finally we were all done, awning up, electricity and water connected etc. etc. and soaked to the skin. I removed my clothes and literally wrung them out. Fortunately the site has very good facilities with an excellent shower block which I took full advantage of. A lovely cup of freshly brewed tea and I was calm and relaxed, sitting outside with the gang in the sunshine. Yes I did say sunshine. It peered cheekily from behind the clouds as soon as we had completed getting everything set up.
The sun may have been laughing but I did not really care, I do not mind getting wet anyway. This is what we had been waiting for, relaxing in the midst of the countryside enjoying the peace and quiet and the screaming and the smell. .... What was that, the screaming and the smell, yes that's right, on the hillside opposite where once there were horses, there were now pigs. Loads of them, free range of course, doing what pigs do, squabbling, screaming, wallowing in the mud, screaming, grubbing in the dirt, screaming, you get the picture.
In the evening, it being Simon and Sue's anniversary we went along to the local pub for a celebratory meal, none of us had pork by the way, and it rounded off the day nicely.
Wednesday was fabulous, we lazed about all day basking in the glorious sunshine, we did not even notice the pigs. That is not strictly true. The farmer seems to feed them in a shed at the top of the field, at the same time each night. Have you ever heard the noise that around 100 pigs make when being fed. No neither had I, it sounds more as though they were being skewered alive rather than being fed, incredible, blood curdling, eerie almost. If you had failed to notice that the pigs were there and then heard the noise, you would think that aliens had finally landed, you would probably flee for your lives.
Thursday gave us some heavy rain and thunder in the morning but then cleared up nicely. I even went fishing in the small on site lake and caught a few nice fish to round off another perfect day.
I felt that things went downhill from then. Many more people began to arrive on the Friday with loads of kids and somehow it was not quite the same it got really really busy. Before you hang me out to dry with the remark about kids, all I mean is we are surrounded by children at home, on all sides (that's what sounded familiar about the pigs) The peace and quiet that we had enjoyed had gone and I now longed to return home, back to familiar things.
I even missed Twitter, is that sad?