We had a week off work at the end of June - beginning of July to recharge our batteries down in the West Country, a nice relaxing time and we were attending a couple of shows at both ends, the first and the last weekends of our holiday which we were really looking forward to. It would have been a slightly better week away if the sun had come out a little more, I think in total out of 9 days, we had two where it didn't rain, slightly disappointing!! The weather has been an unfortunate feature of this year, and especially that week, but we still had a good time.
At the first show it was a nice pleasant first day, once we got there around about midday, I think we managed to set up, have a cup of tea (always welcome!), take the dogs for a nice long walk through the fields and see the beautiful views over Bath, and enjoy dinner with friends, all while the sun shone, only giving way to rain in the late evening. Saturday wasn't too bad, though the ground had started to suffer a bit, with limited areas of walkways, and traffic not being limited which I think should have been, it was showing signs of not holding up. Kiah was really good in the runs we did, unfortunate in a fab ABC qualifier course by slipping and just having a pole. Another was in a jumping run, we had a dog run into the ring where we were going clear - the judge kindly gave us a re-run but we had a pole in that, damn!! By the time midday came on the Sunday though, we had already decided to not do any more runs cause of the conditions, typically the rain started to subside, and the sun made an appearance, but it was too late!! The tractors were called in (about 5 in total we think!) to tow people off, they did a fab job and so did Alex - helping out our friends getting their camps packed away and towing eyes ready.
The week in between was slightly better, we still had rain but were in a campsite not far from Gloucester rather than a field full of caravans, so slightly better drained - I suppose the rain was probably inevitable as Wimbledon was on!! Normally we don't take a television on holiday, but borrowed a friend's for the week, it was nice to just zone out in the evenings so I think we will be investing in a small one for next season. We still found plenty to do despite some of the gloomy days, walks with the dogs, a couple of rest days, having some professional pictures taken by Chris of 'Pet-ography' (definitely recommend!) indulging in yummy pub food, going to the beach, taking Kiah swimming down at Dogchester Hydrotherapy (also definitely recommend!), walking along the canal on one of the sunshiney days, doing a bit of shopping, and sightseeing a little with the camera.
At the end of the week it was a thankful decision by the organisers to go ahead with the show, the sun was shining as we pulled into the venue only a short journey away, and we set up quickly and easily, and after a quick run around for the dogs, they and us were happy to sit in the sun right into the evening, though it wasn't to last!! Friday was ok, Kiah had a great time in her three 1-7 runs, we got eliminated in every single one but there were some fab courses, somewhat thankfully our runs came up at once as it only started raining heavily once we were finished. The problem was it didnt really stop... at all... Saturday's runs I can't really remember, the ground was pretty good though a number of our friends decided against travelling up due to the weather, which was completely the right decision. Sunday when the rain had continued pretty much all night (again), we had just about had enough, the river was getting worryingly close to bursting its banks, and so we chose to pack up!! Kiah and I did one course, very carefully, we were eliminated by jump two!! It was mainly just so that Kiah felt like we had done something before we left, but without putting her in danger.
The Tuffley show organisers were very helpful and smiling all the time, even though Alex was quite proud of himself that we actually managed to safely exit the showground without needing to be towed through the quagmire, and we were glad to get home at a sensible time on Sunday, and get out of the mud and rain. The dogs were pleased to get home too, it was clear to see they were getting tired as well! I think that we would do that week away again, the shows are very relaxing and quite laid back, the show locations are stunning and normally our highlights of the year - its just that this agility season has mostly been exceptionally bad weather wise and that can't be helped!!