We were all commenting on how warm it was and after a stroll up to the office ice creams were brought and an inspection of the camp ground upgrades was made - the children’s play area has been added to with another zip wire, a couple of slides and a bike track, there is a new ladies shower block and there are more toilets around the camp ground. While we were at the office a lady who used to own the original farm (before it was a campground) stopped by for a visit (her first since leaving in the 80s) and commented that she didn’t recognise the place.
We started the fire early and after sitting around it with drinks, Jean and I got on with putting up a few Christmas lights. I’d had my solar lights charging on the window sill for three days and I checked they were working just before leaving home, but would you believe it they decided now was the time to give up and not work! While Jean had a lovely display going with various shapes and colours, I was left with one china Father Christmas with a tea light in it!!!
Continuing to sit and contemplate the flames with a few drinks as the light faded, I noticed a small cat running over to us who, after going round checking for food and getting petted by everyone else, settled on my lap in the warm. After a while, the cat disappeared off into the darkness and no more was thought about it - that is until I opened the back door of the Land Rover to get something out and there it was curled up on a couple of towels. We leave the tailgate open for easy access to the fridge so the cat had taken advantage.
A relaxed evening, after food we were back around the campfire with a few more drinks but it was off to bed at an early(ish) time and I kicked the cat out of the car.
The next morning, Ivan was up early and discovered the cat had curled up on some foam mats we had under the camper trailer (warmer than sleeping on the ground). As I’m a sucker for cats I told him to pass her to me (I was still in bed) and the cat promptly curled up next to me where it was cozy and warm. As it turned out the cat knew it was onto a good thing and didn’t move, staying toasty and warm until midafternoon.
Although the cat wasn’t feral and didn’t look like a stray, I checked with the camp owners and they said yes she was their cat, April, who used to be a house cat but when they brought home a new kitten recently, she refused to come into the house anymore, and only turned up at the office when desperate for food. They tried to keep feeding her but had trouble finding her most days. So, as April had obviously settled in with us for the duration, they handed over some cat food and biccies for me to feed April.
After some discussion and offering Jean and Stuart options for the day’s activities, it was decided that actually relaxing at the campsite was the most attractive option. This involved a stroll around the whole campground to see what we would see (quite a few more campers had turned up Friday evening and Saturday morning but it still wasn’t too busy). While having a look at the children’s petting area (one calf and one kid in residence at the moment), Jean and I managed to upset a couple of young kids who’d climbed in with the animals. The oldest child took exception to me calling the kid a goat and insisted many times that it was a sheep (it was a goat), and then Jean called the same child a boy to which she got the very loudly indignant reply of ‘I’m a girl” (well you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference with her mop of curls, oversized jumper and dungerees) and off she stormed with the younger child in tow. We were definitely put in our place.
Jean dug out a game of quoits for us to have a go at - turned out Jean was a natural at this just like she is a croquet (those who came to play croquet last year might remember this), more sitting around the fire, some cheesy nibbles while sitting around the fire, Jean and I decided that we’d cook our veggies in the embers. We’d already decided that none of us particularly wanted to camp oven cook, but thought wrapping jacket potatoes and other veggies in foil was the next best thing - they turned out beautiful and very quick too. Must do that more often.
After dinner, a pleasant evening around the camp fire continued, a little later than Friday night and then to bed and, yes, the cat came to (well fed and very happy). Sunday morning a not too early start, breakfast and a leisurely pack up and off we went home and, no, the cat didn’t come too - she went off to find another sucker to look after her.