Our first blog – how excited are we? Thanks so much for the invite Elddis, we’re very honoured. I better start with an introduction. My husband and I are a wildlife photographer – him (Muddy Wellies) and I’m a wildlife artist (Helen Clark Art) hence the blog names…. we do what it says on the tin.
We’re extremely lucky to be able to go away at least once every month and sometimes 2 or 3 times a month, if the weather and work commitments suit (and no calamities with our 4 older children).
Our beloved Buccaneer (you see now why she’s called The Black Pearl?!) is coming up to it’s first birthday and we LOVE her. She’s our office AND cosy place to unwind. We can take our laptops, photography equipment, my paints and sketch pads and pitch up where, and when, we want. All we need to work is a good internet signal - our business is run online through our ever-growing Facebook page with over 83,000 followers and we have a very busy online shop. We film, vlog and take photographs while we’re away and play our ‘work’ out to the audience in real time. I then get to work selecting which photograph to paint and show that step by step too, so going away is a very important part of our job….so we tell our accountant!
But joking aside it really is and we need the comfort of a good night’s sleep in our cosy caravan to start all over again the next day. Our 2 dogs come with us on all trips. Puddle, our 2-year-old cross spaniel, Labrador, bouncy thing and Jasmine our 13-year-old springer, who is still a puppy at heart, even though her eyesight is failing these days. She loves to lay on the settee – of course they were both banned at first but those big brown eyes… well that rule didn’t last long! Puddle just lays on our feet while we work as it’s the coolest place some nights.
Most CCC AND Camping and Motorhome sites have great WiFi as well as the fab facilities (we only use the loos to be honest we’re very self-sufficient and have a tank of instant hot water, underfloor heating and a lovely powerful shower - it’s an amazing caravan is our Commodore. As with most caravanners the rule to NOT use the caravan toilet for the…you know what…applies with us too!) Sometimes though we’ve found in school holidays the internet has the life sucked out of it by the little poppets and their mobile phones (we have 4 older poppets so know exactly what it’s like) and so our main priority when pitching up is not to be the first there…. you know, when that silent claxon sounds to get on the site at 12pm. We let everyone else do the mad scramble to put their towels on the sun loungers (or get the best views!) We just have to make sure of one thing - OUR view features the internet pole … anything else is a bonus.
We go to the West Coast of Scotland a lot as it’s the UK’s wildlife capital and Mull is a favourite of ours to see sea eagles, goldens, otters, stags – I could keep going but you get the gist. Here’s a little taster of the art and photography we’d love to show you in future blogs as we go our adventures if you’d like to hear from us again (and I’ve not bored you to tears with my waffle).
Happy Caravanning everyone – ours is having her first service so we can’t go away in this gorgeous weather. Sigh…I bet you feel really sorry for us… NOT!
Lots of love, Helen and Toby, Jas and Puds.