Friday 23 July 2021
Trefnanney to Llanfyllin
Yesterday morning we had a vet check. Simon, the vet and Cassie the vet nurse pronounced Wizard and Muffin in excellent health and perfect condition. We did, of course, know that but it was reassuring to have that back up from the professionals. The rest of the morning was spent catching up with e-mails etc. I was hoping for a more restful day, but there were so many e-mails from well wishers that it is encouraging to have so many supporters. After a late lunch in the garden, Carolle's son Greg arrived – he had made a wonderful chicken casserole for the party in the evening and took over organising the pizza oven ready for cooking pizzas for the party. I managed to snatch an hour's break and then Peter Rushforth and Jackie Wilson (friends from student days) arrived. Peter was driving Tracy and her horse box with her pony Blackie and carriage. They came with us for the first three 'legs' and are now joining us for the last three 'legs'. Very soon guests began to arrive for the party. Chairs had been put out all over the garden and people drew them round into a large circle. Everyone mingled. There was a little girl of six who came in her pretty dress and asked all sorts of intelligent questions and quizzed Peter on the different grooming brushes!! She has her own pony and rides a lot. Mandy Shepherd (our lovely artist friend who painted the picture of my two donkeys) arrived bearing flowers and champagne. She was on the way to a wedding so came to the party and stayed the night. Dave Hughes, the singing farmer came and he and Neal entertained us on their guitars. A bit later on Dave came over to our little group and sang the Donkathon song twice as well as some other songs he had written. Carolle is so relaxed and everyone just mucks in and helps out. It was huge fun.
This morning we did the donkeys and after breakfast worked out how best to empty the trailer so we could get the carriage and donkeys in for our return journey on Monday. Peter and Jackie went off to recce alternative quieter routes for us and we all moseyed around. It was so different not to be rushing off early.
Carolle amazingly had 10 for lunch and that included Joy, Julia who was going to groom for Tracy and Christine, the Guardian of St Melangell.
At 2pm David, Jane and Paul Falinski, Jan and Mike Rimmer, Heather and Trefor Llewelyn all came round from the Lake Vernwy Hotel to see us off. As we drove out, there was David (singing farmer) and Jane and a whole host of other people. The drive to our next stop with Peter Lewis at Caeau (near Llanfyllin) was just under 5 miles and with Blackie in front the boys were racing. A lot of the drive was on busy main roads, and Peter and Jackie were at every corner to see us across and to slow the traffic down while my Peter escorted us with the big notice on the back of the trailer.
We reached a village and Jackie went in to the pub the Stumbles Inn to ask if she could park in front while we went past and they immediately gave her a donation. We soon arrived at Caeau and Peter Lewis was there to meet us. We settled the donkeys in and fed them and boxed Blackie to bring him back to Carolle's. Elana with Greg's help put up the tent and we all came back to Carolle's for tea and cake.
We had a lot of fun sitting round and chatting and laughing – everything about the Donkathon has been such fun. Greg has prepared a chicken supper and then we will all drop into bed – a great day, as always. I can't believe it is almost the end!