I love these blended ice things. They have pretty much the same at Starbucks except they don't have peach flavour which is... the best flavour. Tasty tasty tasty
We went to Cheddar Gorge! It was amazing. I took loads of photos but unfortunately most of them are a bit blurry as the light was so low in the caves.
Coffee#1. They do hot apple and cinnamon, one of my favourite drinks and actually not too easy to find (AMT coffee does it too, randomly) as well as things like hot chocolate with coconut. We were impressed. But anyway...
These were taken on one of our many walks. No pictures of me because we were going to the woods where there are zillions of stinging nettles and I didn't bring any trousers with me hoho. I looked bizarre in the end. Actually, I didn't bring loads of things with me e.g. shoes without holes, tampons, toothbrush, contact lens solution... I had to got to Asda and buy all these things the day after I arrived because I was so disorganised haha.
Hope this isn't an anti-climax! On my second day at the farm, I went off by myself to read (the cows can be a bit noisy so I wanted some peace and quiet). I didn't go far, just to the other side of the field in front of the house. There are a couple of bridges on the far edge of the field there as there is a river, and on one of the bridges there is a gate separating that field from a long lane that runs between two other fields. I went over the gate, into the lane, and sat on a mound of grass in the shade.
I had been sitting silently for about 40 minutes, kind of crouched down on the grass, when I looked up and saw what I initially thought was one of the cats. It was about 5m away from me, on the other side of the gate, half in the long grass.The first thing I noticed was the long, low, curved tail which was dark brown with some darker brown markings on it. One of their cats is a brown tabby called Olly, and as I've seen him outside in the grass near the house a few times, I assumed it was him just going for a bit of an explore. HOOOWEVER, as I kept looking (no idea how long it took me to notice haha), I realised that in comparison to the gate, the cat was significantly larger than Olly. Then I realised its legs were weirdly muscular and sheeny. Then I realised it had a big head, not like a domestic cat at all, more block-like (idk how to explain, but like the head of a leopard). SO, I picked up my bag, walked to the gate of a nearby field a little way down the lane, climbed over the gate, and ran faster than I have probably ever run in my life. I now realise that actually, this is the absolute wrong thing to have done, but obviously I had never thought to google 'what to do when you see a big cat' before last Monday. Anyway, my story is not yet over!
I didn't try to get back into the field in front of the house because I figured that if the cat was in that field, I should try to stay out of that field, so I ran diagonally across the field and over another gate on the other side. I looked back behind me once and it didn't seem to be following me, but I kept going. In the next field there were two horses and a caravan but they were behind an electric fence. I like crawled under the electric fence (haha :|) and tried to find someone but nobody was there. I ran to a gate on the right to go into another lane, but I looked over the gate and into the lane, and 20m ahead of me I saw a cat running from the hedge connected to that lane to the hedge opposite. At the time I didn't know whether it was the same one or a different one, but I think it must have been the same one. If that is the case, the fact that it was initially 5m behind me and then 20m in front of me is TERRIFYING but... I'm alive so there you go. Anyway, after seeing it again I decided not to go into that lane and went back past the horses and over another gate. I ended up on a gravelly road thing, and saw a big leaning tree up ahead that I recognised so I knew vaguely how to get back through the residential area. I ended up going through the whole residential area to get back to Andy's farm on the main road.
Two weird things: at first when I was running I was like 'must find people / houses to get help', but when I actually reached the first house, I felt oddly embarrassed. Like they wouldn't believe me and would think I was crazy. I never asked anyone for help, WHY? The other thing is that when I finally got back, despite my throat being painfully dry and my face tear-drenched, Andy's Dad saw me from about 10m away and was like 'had a nice walk then?' and I was like 'yeah, I guess!' haaaa. Then went I went inside I saw Andy's mum and she asked me how I was and I was like 'I'm okay! (:'. Then I went upstairs to Andy's room and like broke down haha. Anyway, eventually Andy went downstairs and told his mum what happened, and his mum and brother went out to the lane area and found all these paw prints! I haven't got the pictures from her yet but Andy and I went out a couple of days later and I took some of my own:
So yes, that's my story. I still don't know what it is. There is a rumor of black panthers in Wiltshire, but this definitely wasn't a panther. I initially thought it was the brown tabby cat if that gives you some idea of it's colour, but it definitely had markings on it. It also wasn't enormous, just around the size of a medium-large dog. Anyway, seriously scary. I hope it doesn't seem like I'm overreacting considering it didn't even attack me haha, but it was definitely the most frightening experience of my life. Even more frightening that a scary man on drugs bashing on my door with a metal plank and threatening to smash my windows in haha (oh Brighton! hyuk hyuk). But seriously, it was scarier than that. A couple of people in Andy's extended family (they all live in Wiltshire) have seen odd things, but none of them sounded quite like what I saw. All I know is that the 'myth' that there are big cats roaming the Wiltshire countryside is ... not a myth. I'm sure that many of the reports are false, and it certainly wasn't a huge panther or a leopard that I saw, but there are obviously animals out in the countryside that aren't supposed to be there haha! The fact that it was so close to me really scares me, especially seeing as they are generally supposed to stay away from humans. I COULD TALK ABOUT THIS ALL DAY (and this is an edited add-on haha) so I'll stop here. But yes, scary!