I went down to Manchester Champ Show with two friends in a motorhome. With the three of us and seven dogs there was a slight lack of space but we coped fine and had a good time. Manchester show is actually held at the county showground at Stafford, which always seems to be damp and squelchy, but being there in a motorhome is one of the best ways to do a show, especially when you are doing two days, as we were.
Rosa and Pansy were on the first day but, although Rosa was short-listed in a large class, it wasn't to be their day as they both went cardless. Jana did manage to get placed the following day but it was a rather unexciting 5th. She was on very good form though and seemed to enjoy her time in the ring, it was good to see her tail well up as she can sometimes look a bit miserable.
Our journey home started off well and all was going to schedule until we were in the Borders and pretty much in the middle of nowhere. This was where the motorhome engine started to make slight noises, followed by a loud roaring and then started belching out smoke! We pulled onto the hard shoulder and got out quickly. Morag was snoozing in the back when this all happened and was woken by shouts of "Get out quick, we're on fire"! The smoke did stop once the engine was turned off and things calmed down a bit. It was all quite dramatic but I'm afraid I have no photos, in the rush to get out I didn't grab my camera........I'm sure a really dedicated blogger would have!! Of course, I could have got Morag to stand in the doorway and pose but I doubt she would have been that keen.
Once things had calmed down, we sat for quite some time waiting for recovery. A mechanic arrived but was unable to fix the motorhome and so we were towed to the nearest services, which were about 10 miles away. The van towing was actually smaller than the motorhome and I did worry that it too might break down as it seemed to struggle, especially on some of the hills. It wasn't a fun experience for Elizabeth trying to steer and break and we nearly had kittens when we were towed out virtually into the path of a huge lorry on a roundabout!
We made it to the services and then had to wait for a recovery lorry to come a long way south to collect us and transport us back home. He arrived at about 2am and we spent the rest of the journey in the cab of the lorry trying to get a bit of sleep. The dogs had to stay in the motorhome but they seemed none the worse for the excitement. At one point I didn't think I would get back home in time for work but did actually make it with about an hour to spare! The journey back from the show should have taken around 8 hours but in the end was nearer 18!!
Certainly a show we won't forget in a hurry.
Just enough room for us all!