Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mini Holiday After The Worlds

After the Worlds, I drove Penny to the train station so she could finish with her travel plans. I filled up the car and continued with my plans. I was talking to a fellow from Yorkshire about dogs, so I decided I would travel that way before I headed of to my destination in Wales.

It was a misty day of driving, but the Pennes were something else.

I got to Holmfirth, and found the farm. No dog deals could be done this day, but had a good visit nonetheless.

After the visit in the Pennes, Gin and I headed our way to Wales to meet up with Calvin Jones. I was to take him to Heathrow in a couple of days so that he could do a clinic in Saskatchewan (which didn't materialize in the end) and to judge the ASDA finals (which got cancelled at the last minute). I ended up driving all night to get to Wales. That day, Calvin with his son Rod in tow (which looks nothing like him, but more like the mailman since he is much taller) tied some loose ends so that Calvin could leave for his extended holiday.

Calvin drove me around that day. I held my breath alot.

We went over the mountain several times during the day, doing various jobs.

We went to the farm where he kept his hounds. They had a few sheep.

They also had a few pigs.

Calvin took his hounds and loaded them up to be taken to a farm closer so that his family could look after them.

Load up!

Please buckle up and keep your hands inside.

So over the mountain we went (yet again).

I was beginning to think the sun was a wive's tale in the UK.

And this is what we saw on the other side of the mountain.

We got everything set up, and after supper, we headed off to Heathrow. Yes, driving all night again (truly not recommended). I got Calvin at the right terminal, and he was off to Canada.

I then made my way down to Devon to see Janet Kittow and her family - they were my host family 20 (plus) years ago when I was on and international exchange program.

On that first trip, I was actually able to go to Stonehenge and touch the stones. Those were the days my friends.

As I got closer and closer to Honiton, I was trying very hard to remember the way back to Hayne's Farm - Janet knew I was coming, but when was the question. Corn mazes have nothing to compare with the country roads in Devon. Hedges everywhere, no straight roads and roads that are only big enough for 1 vehicle (or 5 cow abreast, depending on the time of day). I was lost for about 2 hours, but then I found Catherine's Wheel - the pub I had frequented at many years ago. It was a short winding road from the pub and I found the Kittows.

There was time for visiting, but still the chores had to be done.

Funny, I can remember when I fed the calves it was by single pails.....I guess things change.

The milking parlour.

The cows would take a short jaunt down the road to their field.

No matter how young, everyone has a job to do.

Rules of the Devon roadways - cows always have the right of way.

And the gate is closed ....with 2000 pound tensile strength bailer twine...just like in McCord, Saskatchewan!

Marie (Janet's daughter) came down with Buddy and we walked the dogs.

Finally a sunny day in England!!

We checked the heifers.

We took another hike (well actually it was from the pasture to the car).

The day before my plane back home, we went to Collumpton - had to get a vet's certificate to get Gin back on the plane.

With all papers in hand, I left early the next day for my plane. Good think I left early, I got lost getting back out, and it was nip and tuck by the time I arrived at the airport.

In the end, no papers were asked for Gin, although I had forgotten to phone the airline to let them know she was coming along. First I can't get her into the country, then I can't get her out of the country.. In the end, we got home. The World Trial is now just a memory, but a very good one.

The World Trial - Double Lift Day

The skies were a little more clear the next day, but one could get away from the fact that the ground was saturated. These plonkers were one of many who had to have Mr. John Deere help them out of a mess.

These guys were worm hunting.

The final day were filled with top notch handlers and their dogs....who would win?

Would it be Kevin Evans and Mirk?

Denis Birchall and Bill?

It was really any one's game.

Serge van der Zweep and Eve prayed before their run.

People like Cristine Clarkson made sure the days event went without a hitch.

All the runs were videotaped. There were some speculations throughout the day, and some favorites came to the post - but in the end, it was any one's game. Serge and Eve were the front runners for most of the day.

Some spectators had a better viewing advantage than others.

Micheal Gallagher and Cap tried to come on top again. By the end of the day, he would settle for third place.

Tom Lawrenson and Clyde was fourth overall.

Lyle Lad and her dog Shep was the only woman handler in the finals.

Unfortunately a grip at the shed would end their run.

Tommy Wilson and Sly was in the same boat, which sunk in the shedding ring as well.

The skulls and crossbones flag marked the end of Tommy's run.

James McGee and Becca would ultimately be the ones to show all others.

His run was to be placed down in the annals of history. Or least on BBC 4's video tapes.

James would have to be interviewed by Mr. Mutton Chops himself.

The day ended with all the countries being asked to partake in the ceremonies.

James McGee and Becca - the best in the world!

After the crowning of the champion, it was homeward bound for all. A quick wash of the boots was in order for many.

In the end, the real heroes were the tractor drivers.

Look out - 2014 World Trial will be here before you know it. Will I be tempted to come back? Darn right I will!!