I have been away for my annual week in West Wales. We had mixed weather but managed to get the dogs, my 2 and Sue's 5,walked well at least once a day on even the worst day,Tuesday,But it was a holiday that could have ended in disaster.
We stay in a little cottage roughly in the middle of the village of Moylegrove, which is mostly holliday accomidation theses days but still has some some residents, if only the people we rent the cottage from. Between my freind and I we have 7 dogs, dogs who all know about Newport beach and as soon as their people get dressed are barking madly with anticipation. SO we feed them while in our nightclothes Sue goes up stairs to dress while I prepare our breakfast and lunch to be eaten at the beach, this one,
Breakfast is always the same for the humans, bacon butties(wenglish for sandwiches)cooked on a camp stove in the back of the van in a space between the dog cages and the passenger/driver bench. It is cooked after we take the dogs for a walk along the beach to the left of the picture turn left around the end of the dunes, up this estuary
as far as the white house and back. As they sit and dry out in their cages we sit and have breakfast looking out at the sea, in deck chairs if warm in the front of the van if not. Last week it was van weather. The gas bottle we were using was grtting low so Sue had bought a new one, which I installed on the Thursday. We should have known something was wrong with it by the ammount of gas that escaped when I put it in but it cooked our bacon with no trouble. I swithced it offclosed the side door of the van leaving it too cool down in the van where I was cooking. We had finished eating and I had made us both a cup of coffee when suddenly thee was a flash of light and a flash of heat and we saw flames surging along the roof of the van, we both fell out of our respective doors. sue to the back to get the dogs out, me to the side to get the still burning camping stove out before it did any more damage. Sue was grabbing the dogs and almost throwing them behind her and niether of us noticed until everything that mattered was safe that 4 people from other cars in the car park were catching them and putting them in their cars so they wouldn't run off, one couple had dogs of their own but the other didn't and had an immaculate car in side but they didn't care thewy took care of our fur babies. Kandi managed to geta way from eveery body though and it took her about half an hour to come back but at least she di come back. We were so lucky that Sue ahd fixed the back doors so that air could get thrrough to thr dogs, the draft coming throughthe crack blew the flame forward and away from the cages, Hugo, Cas and Daily who were on the bottom cages were hardly touched, but the girls, Kandi, Saffron,Katie and Dyllis have all lost their whiskers and have some singeing on the back of their necks. Thankfully they are all full coated Shelties and the under hair seems fire proof as it was only the long guard hairs that got caught. The high seats of the van protected me and Sue but the cooker was the passenger side of the van so I caught the worst of it, I got a very small burn on my scalp and burns on my right nuckles where the dog blanket I grabbed to move the cooker left them bare, Sue's short hair was singed on the left hand side where the back of the seat dips slightly. We were very lucky that everything we had in the back of the van were all 21st century buys, nothing flared but my cool bag, wet weather coat and cold weather coat melted as did two of Sue's body warmers and her wet weather coat. All were right offs as was the cooker. The van stank of burned plastic(the coats etc) but being a basic van it was metaled floor and roof so no damage there. Sue made me go and see the local doctor and he gave me a cream that cleared up my burns withing 24 hours and took my blood pressure which was a near perfect 80/110, though I was crying by that time, mostly with relief that Kandi was back. I got an appointment with the hairdresser near the surgery and got rid og the singed hair, I will put up before and after pictures soon. The pictures are from last year but that is what we like about Newport Beach it never changes.