Monday, 31 May 2010

Alien Life Form

Two photos tonight - not of cria as there are no more - yet!
This first photo is something I found in Crispie's field this evening. It is rather gruesome and behaves like that green slime children play with. Sam got some for Christmas one year and you roll it about, it doesn't stick to your fingers but you feel like it should. I have not been rolling it around in my fingers although I have to admit I could not resist prodding it! I assume it is a cervical plug but I am not sure. Sam says it is an alien baby but then he has been watching too many videos and The Black Sheep was NOT an educational video linked to his college course I discovered!
It has been a busy few days and I have been a little down hearted after we sheared Islay. I decided she really was not pregnant - due on Friday and no signs I could see. We knew it was a long shot but she did scan, tentatively, pregnant so we were keeping fingers crossed. It really didn't look possible though until, that is, tonight. I am sure I saw movement and there was a definite bulge. She was lying very awkwardly so it could be just that. I am not getting my hopes up too much but she is still a possible!
Possible good news from Mum tonight on her situation but no more about that for the moment. She is unable to handle the technology involved in commenting on the blog anymore but I am sure she will get there one day!
The lambs have taken a distinct fancy to the mule and I now struggle to keep them out of it on the rare occasions it goes in their paddock!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Mules for the Millionaires of Mustique

Nice day but very windy up on the hill. Belinda is 359 days tomorrow and still no cria - and no real sign that she is planning on doing anything about it soon! Sunbeam is bouncing around looking very strong and I am pleased to say that Velocette is improving - she actually put on 400g today which is brilliant.

Mum and my brother popped over this afternoon and my brother was very impressed with the Mule - it is, I have been told, the preferred mode of transport for the millionaires of Mustique (
so I am in good company and shall imagine I am Mick Jagger's dog next time I am driving it!

Carl has finally finished the next stage of badger defences which is a line of barbed wire at ground level around the paddocks. It is all coming together but has really made the chickens mad. They now cannot get into the paddocks unless they fly over the fence which they can't quite manage, despite many suicidal attempts.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Emily the Milk Maid

A wet, drizzly day today with a cold breeze. We do need the rain and Billy the Bowser is, thankfully, full again but we could have done with a little sun on Velocette. Sunbeam is doing very well and is very active. She weighs 12.6kg already and continues to rule the rolling pit. Velocette still weighs 8.2kg and is wobbly but she is moving around more, although she still does not kush for long. Emily had given up stealing milk from Flamenco but then, this afternoon, I caught her at it again. I think she sneaks in if my back is turned. We are now considering moving Emily and her best friend Lily out of the paddock for a while but the problem is where to put them. I don't want to put them in with the other group of girls as Carolyn, Sunbeam's Mum, is in there and she might try stealing milk from her. We also don't want to mix the herds as we have planned our bio security around keeping the alpacas in smaller, separate groups - mixing them at this stage would not be good. We could put them in the quarantine paddock if we had to but it is a bit out of the way so not ideal. We will mull over it this evening!
Cool Dude has been doing a lot of posturing at the fence and is particularly fond of Emily. We will be introducing him to Carolyn soon - maybe Emily as well before long!

Friday, 28 May 2010

All cria are lovely but Velocette has to be the prettiest little one we have ever had. She is still very wobbly but she does feed on her own now but tends to fall over. She was 8.2kg yesterday and is still the same today. She is stronger but does not kush for long - she falls over onto her side. I keep rushing over thinking that she has expired. Flamenco is an extremely good mum and doesn't mind me going over to Velocette or picking her up which helps. It is lovely to be so close to a cria but not good and I keep hoping she will get up and run away which would be far more natural.
And this is Sunbeam! She is very strong and lively - a bit of a trouble maker who has started to take control of the dust bath, even pushing poor Bertie out of the way!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What a day!!

This morning I got up with a long list of things to achieve - by evening, nothing achieved! Except - another cria! And it was not Belinda's! I had a feeling this was going to happen. I was managing waste up in the boys field when I looked over and saw all the girls surrounding Flamenco. I zoomed over on the trusty Mule but couldn't see any signs of anything at the rear end then Flamenco and Crispie had a real neck wrestling fight, Emily wouldn't stop sniffing Flamenco and then she started to roll and it all began. Not a quick birth and lots of rolling and straining. At one point Flamenco started her alarm call which had Dude rearing at the fence. Finally the baby began to appear in the bag and Emily, the little minx started trying to suckle from poor Flamenco - I had to literally drag Emily away! Finally, the cria was born - nearly 2 weeks early and with premature signs. It didn't kush for ages and took several hours before it could stand long enough to sniff around Flamenco. I started to worry and held it up as it's legs wouldn't support it for long. Flamenco was fine with this but it was mighty hard with trying to fend off Emily at the same time and then deal with Crispie who would not leave the baby alone - and as for Lina! Right little madam, chasing everyone away - even trying to move Flamenco out of the way at one point! I have spent all day chasing Emily away and helping the baby feed. The cria is a little girl and is gorgeous, from Wellground Buckingham and has a beautiful face with a real little beard coming on! She is not drinking well and I need to support her a bit or she falls over but, hopefully, we will get there.

Her name is Velocette. This unexpected arrival meant Sam was on duty this evening for an hour as we had an appointment. I can't tell you where we went as I forgot to ask if it was alright to mention them on the blog but what a place! I am just glad Sam wasn't with us - he would have been so impressed with all the vehicles. We saw some fabulous alpacas - particularly nice boy and I was very taken with a fawn girl. Carl was raving about what he would do with an old silage clamp all the way home until I came up with The Idea. I cannot reveal The Idea yet but we are so excited by it Carl is trying to slink into his shed to start constructing but he can't as we have to weigh the cria - can't do it before the sun goes down as the bathroom scales do not show up in sunlight - all I will say is it involves rhee bar, angle iron and it is brilliant!
Tough day but brilliant!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Error 400

No cria from Belinda - in fact she perked up a bit today, she has been very, very hot and lethargic. Sunbeam continues to do well and has adopted Islay as her Aunty, which Islay seems to enjoy. The lambs have settled well into their new field and particularly enjoy the pylon. This brief bit of text was supposed to be interspersed with delightful pictures but Google tells me I have error 400 and will not upload anything - so that is it for now!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Potato Gifts

Another hot day today, but no rain which was forecast. Billy, the Bowser, is now empty and so I am carting water from the house but the rain water butts are also nearly empty. This means, if it doesn't rain soon, we will need to start using the metered house water - not good! We need the rain but at the same time I want a dry Saturday and Sunday as we are shearing again. Sunbeam is doing well but Little Star is still most upset that she exists. Sunbeam is desperately trying to play with her but she is having none of it! Belinda is now very enormous and very tired but not really looking a if anything is imminent. She is now 353 days and next week the next group come into their birthing window so my watching system is really going to go to pieces! Mum popped over today with my sister in law and it was good to see them both. Mum brought me a bag of potatoes from the supermarket which was very kind, if rather a strange gift - I think she must feel we are desperate for food as I mentioned I hadn't gone to the shops because of waiting and watching.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lina the Screamer

A very busy few days! We sheared most of the girls and Cool Dude yesterday morning. The worst one was Lina. We had a feeling she would be difficult so left her until last - she screamed all the way through, with occasional breaks to spit! Funnily enough, today she is extra friendly and keeps trotting up when I go anywhere near. Emily was wonderful but Lily, her best friend, was distraught while Emily was being done - I thought she was going to jump in with her, Emily didn't even notice when it was Lily's turn - she was too busy going round sniffing everyone else to work out who was who! They were incredibly sweaty, you could feel the heat rising from them and today they have been much more lively. Lily looks gorgeous and, I think, is very glad she can see out properly.
Once we had finished it was feeding, water and a quick shower before dashing to Wiltshire for a meeting of the Great Western Region Fleece Show which got off to a great start with ice creams all round. The Russell sisters entertained us with their antics with Billie Jean and then we got down to business. A great meeting and I am pleased to report that everything is going very well.
Today has been incredibly hot and Sunbeam has been keeping her poor Mum, Carolyn, moving with her mad dashes around. Here she is in a moment of quiet!
This evening we had a BBQ which went very well until Sam spilt sugar over the new potatoes, Carl burnt the sausages and I absentmindedly ate all the strawberries. So now Sam has retreated to his room to watch a DVD called the Black Sheep which he tells me is useful for his college work, Carl has gone to his shed to make more hanging water containers and I am sorting fleece, when I finish this!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

!! First cria of the year!!

Carolyn has had her cria! And it was amazing! Carl and Sam were away shearing and I spent all day watching, hoping something was about to happen. Carolyn was up and down to the poo pile and then she started to do a lot of really serious straining. I went over to have a look and saw things were beginning to happen so beat a hasty retreat to the fence to give her some peace - but she followed me and proceeded to have it by the fence next to me! Amazing! I have seen them born before but never so close. Sorry, the pictures look a little freaky but when you are there and it is happening it is just so magical. At one point the baby was hanging out spluttering like it was on 40 a day and I thought it was never going to get any further - but it eventually did.

And here it is just arriving at 4.28pm.

These pictures above are the arrival - which took a while and they are the wrong way round but I still can't upload photos in the right order and I have to hurry to get back over to check. Oh - and it is a little girl who is now Westhill Sunbeam!

Friday, 21 May 2010

She has a cunning plan!

I delivered the cake for the Cricket match this morning - I think it may be a bit heavy and sticky for this weather! Passing the Aunt's I saw The Shepherd had sheared her sheep - how he does them so quickly amazes me.

It has been very hot again today and even the sheared alpacas were feeling it. So was I - I had to do a lot of sitting around and observing, in amongst filling water containers. Sherbert's new and cunning master plan is to tip over the water and lie in it. This is easier than trying to get all four feet in. She seems to have realised that if she just barges in with head turned side ways it does not matter how much the others spit and moan she can just do as she likes and they all move for her!

I got a little more active this evening as I had to do something about the bottom run. It has now
becoming part of Dude's new summer pen and is a bit bald so I needed to break it up before seeding it. The only thing I could think of to use was the chain harrow with lots of stuff to weight it down. The Mule pulled it beautifully - job done! Just got to get the seed!

Thursday, 20 May 2010


And there are STILL no cria! Carolyn is now 150 days and huge. The poor girl is also very tired and hot. She is spending a lot of the day lying down grumbling. In fact most of the girls are very grumpy. Bert thinks the field shelter belongs to her and hates it when the others try to get in. She is not top dog enough to keep them out but she and Sherbert had a mammoth falling out over it this afternoon - lots of neck wrestling, spitting and banging on the walls!

Carl has now finished one lot of fencing, well he is just out putting the top strand of wire on. Next, I think, he is completing Dude's new summer pen. I need to get a bit of grass seed on it before he goes in as it is very dusty under the trees. He is going to be sheared on Sunday so he definitely needs to keep away from it until then. As it is, he will get his chin all wet in his water and then rub it around in every patch of dirt he can find until he looks as if he has a little black beard.
Sorry, no photos as I ran out of batteries. The camera is very good and the batteries last for ages but I should have had some in reserve - must get some from the garage later in case of exciting events tomorrow. I must also make some cakes as it is the village verses Tavistock cricket match on Saturday. I can't go because of imminent cria and the boys are off to deepest Devon but I must send cakes down.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Not quite so hot today, but still a bit much for Sherbert who spent most of the day trying to fit herself into the water tub. Normally we just have hanging water containers Carl made on the fences but with the heat I have given each paddock a barrel as well. It means extra work in the evening, picking them all up, but the alpacas appreciate it. The other picture is a view from the top of second field with one group of girls in the distance. All the pictures had to go at the top as I couldn't make them go anywhere else!

Despite numerous trips to the poo pile, much grunting and moaning, Carolyn still has not produced her cria. Belinda is obviously feeling the heat and all that extra weight, but she has also not produced. Flamenco had me worried a few times today - her 11 months is not up until 7th June but she kept going off on her own, rolling around a lot and sleeping on their poo pile. I think, hope, she was just hot. Her last cria, Yoda, was born at 10 months and sadly died despite much bottle feeding and attention.

The lambs didn't make a permanent move to the fields as Carl said they had no Mummies and couldn't survive on their own for the night, so they had to come back to the bin shed. This meant they had to stay in the garden today as I couldn't get them all over to the fields on my own. When I popped back they had discovered they could get through the broken cat flap and were asleep in the lounge. Mummies or no mummies they are being evicted!
Interestingly, the lambs also love ivy - this worried me a I thought ivy was poisonous to animals but the Shepherd says it is fine and he uses it to turn a sick sheep round. It is some sort of narcotic which may explain their antisocial behavior!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Just a couple of pictures

Not very much to report today as there is only so much you can say about managing waste and destroying thistles - so here is a picture of some of the girls this morning. Sadly, we can't use the end paddock at the moment as the fencing is not secure enough yet but Carl is getting there! The weather has been glorious and I have finally shed my jumper - the world is not quite ready for my shorts yet but they may have an airing soon.

Carl is still fencing and is making good progress but the list of tasks is still rather long. I have told him we are going to be eating lots of high energy foods to make us work harder - tonight's chilli has sent Sam to bed with a tummy ache!

Finally, a picture of the hedge - for no other reason than that it looked beautiful today!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Red Hot Router

I'm back!!

I have been unable to blog as the computer went peculiar and would not connect to the internet. According to Sam my Router was red hot which sounded very painful and required me to spend money on a new one which arrived this morning. Sam fixed it up when he returned from college and now I have what Sam terms a Cool New Router and a download of warp speed ten, or something like that!
After I have finished blogging I am going to spend time catching up on everyone else's blogs - I have had a quick look at the titles and it sounds like births at Barnacre, Alpaca Soap at Zanzibah (looking forward to learning how to make alpaca soap!), a quick read from Ashdale (must be Si blogging), more births at Easterwood, a shop at Toad Hall and goodness only knows what Rolf at Knapper Alpaca has been up to (I'll have to get the translation up first). Rob (thank you for your concern!) also has something interesting on poisonous plants - I have a feeling I may have one of them lurking in my hedgerow.
The sheep have now been sheared and look - well, sheared. The lambs have gravitated to the paddock but still come back in their bin shed at night. They had to be evicted from the garden as they broke the cat flap and spent most of the day looking in through the hole that was left.

No cria to report despite me giving them words of encouragement. Carolyn is now 348 days.

Carl has been plodding on with the fencing but, as usual, we have run out of gates - we seem to use a lot of gates and are back to welding up another he found in the hedge up third.

Now I am going to gaze again at my latest knitting effort. It is a very strange scarf. Sadly, I got distracted three quarters of the way through and it kind of reverses it self. Many years ago I used to work for a brewery, telesales, and succeeded in selling an entire case of Midori, a melon liqueur, to a traditional dockers pub - he was a Glaswegian and I think my accent threw him, probably thought I was offering him half price Colt 45. Anyway, I think it is going to take more selling skills than I possess to sell this scarf!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Breakfast whilst lambing

An early start today; up at 5am to feed the lambs, check the alpacas and let the chickens out ready to get to church for 6.30am for the service - we tried to creep in quietly as they were already half way through the first hymn. This was mainly because the Jalopy obviously had enough yesterday and stalled as I was turning down the cut. It wouldn't start but it is so steep we just rolled down.

We then went for the Ascension Day breakfast in the village hall which was very good as usual. The Keeper of the Graveyard was in charge of the toaster which he controlled admirably, particularly as one of his sheep was lambing outside the door at the same time. The Flower Lady cooked - I learnt from her last year how to cook a fried egg and I can do a very good one now but I haven't yet worked out how she does her bacon so well.

It was a rush back - having first realised why I am having so much trouble with the Jalopy. I am so used to the Mule I keep waiting for the red light to go out before starting it and then forgetting that it has a clutch so it jerks and stalls.

More visitors at the gate today waiting for a cria to be born - no luck yet!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Off-roading in a Jalopy

I had a lovely surprise visitor this morning. As I was sitting in the field with the girls a very dapper young man appeared - it was Willie, a blog reader, and never have I seen such a pristine, well ironed shirt on a man - it positively gleamed with brightness! He was sporting the most wonderful waistcoat and bow tie and made me feel decidedly unclean! We had a lovely chat about the alpacas, he's becoming quite knowledgeable, and life in general.

It was then a race to reach the library van and get some much needed light reading along with a couple of knitting books. We also had delicious pineapple cake supplied by Ibberton's own Kitchen Goddess and a visit from a cat.

The lambs are moving to the boys field at the weekend as they have now stripped an entire rosemary bush bare, broken the garden seat, eaten half the tomatoes and cracked a solar light.

No cria yet but it must be getting close. Carolyn didn't come for the evening feed, very unusual, but went and rolled in the dust bath instead. Islay was so concerned about this she stopped eating and went back to Carolyn and lay down beside her - she stuck close for the rest of the evening.

Carl took The Jalopy down to Shillingstone to put some petrol in it and saw The Shepherd loading sheep on the way back so he took The Jalopy up through the field to help him. Now, if you don't know the area I live in this may seem a normal operation - but if you do know it, you will realise this was remarkable. Even the Shepherd has to use 4 wheel drive as it is very steep and the rain has made it slippy - the Jalopy has never even heard of 4 wheel drive and only has four gears. The Jalopy just chucked up there - over ruts, up the hill, through the gorse, lurching over rabbit holes . . . amazing! It is a Peugoet 205 Look I have been told!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Foo Man Choo

Very exciting this morning! Carolyn looked very restless when I let the chickens out. She was on her side moaning, back end gaping, grunting like yesterday. . . then she wandered off on her own . . . then she rolled around . . . then she stood straining over the poo pile for ages . . then . . . she calmly started grazing again!

Little Star spent an hour this afternoon looking like Foo Man Choo - she had got some fleece stuck in her teeth!

And this evening we have been removing posts that it took ages to put in because the paddock is not the right size for the Master Plan! Dobby and the rest of the wethers loved the posts coming out of the ground and kept pronking about while I operated the front loader and Carl did something technical with a piece of rope.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Carolyn, Mossop and Dreadful Lambs

It has been a little warmer today but no where near T shirt weather. I'll start with the good bits but you might not want to read the end bit of this blog.

The lambs have found their feet and, if I leave the door open, charge madly through the house, wee on the carpet, jump on the settee and then bounce out. They have wrecked what there was of a flower border. I tried to get them over to the fields this morning but carrying three lambs over a road proved too much for me. I tried to put them in a bag attached to the sack truck but it was hopeless and I had visions of them careering off. I have just had to evict them from Sam's bedroom.

Belinda and Carolyn are both looking increasingly huge! This is Carolyn with Sherbert. I know Carolyn isn't much of a looker but she produced a nice cria last year and is mated to Wellground Buckingham this year so we will see! I really thought she was going to have it today - very restless and rolling with lots of panting and grunting but nothing arrived.

Well now for the sad bit - it was Mossop's (the sheep) last day today. I bottle reared him and he should have been dispatched for the freezer ages ago but he was very sweet and things conspired to help us keep putting it off. He just got too big and strong - plus he took great delight in knocking me over! I didn't want someone else taking him away and killing him because I felt he was my responsiblity and I had to be with him until the bitter end. Well, I was, in fact long past the bitter end! It was difficult to experience but very quick and he didn't know what was happening - in fact he gave me a good kick before going to pastures new.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Turnworth Part2

Turnworth again today. I made a sign explaining that the lambs were orphan lambs not baby alpacas. Sadly, the lambs ate the sign. The lady I met yesterday returned to show me some beautiful lace she is making. She has now taken some of the alpaca wool to see if it is possible to unply and make lace from it. This is very experimental as it may be too 'woolly' but she is giving it a go. We had several enquiries about shearing but didn't take any of our own products as they are not quite ready for the selling stage.

We saw lots of people and several visitors said how glad they were that we had come back again this year, which was very nice. For some people it was the first time they had seen a sheared alpaca. The Grave Digger was there but now wants to be known as the Keeper of the Graveyard - must remember that! Tractor rides went well but Landrover Man looked like he'd been frozen by the time he returned.
The boys were very well behaved but as soon as the truck appeared they were straight at the gate ready to go home - they had to wait though as we had to take the lambs back first. Now we have the livestock trailer to clean and disinfect, everything to pack away and then baths ready for a mammoth waste management task tomorrow.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Turnworth Part1

A good day at Turnworth today despite the cold and the drizzling rain. There were fewer people than last year not surprisingly, but a good crowd with lots of interesting stalls. There was some fantastic stained glass which has given another thought . . . ! I also met a great lady who is going to try something experimental with some of the alpaca wool - we are not sure if it will work but more news tomorrow if it does!

The boys were very well behaved and their hairstyles fascinated people - Dobby, the black wether, is always a big hit. They were not at all phased by the peacocks - last year they pricked their ears up every time they shrieked.

We took the lambs with us but I forgot to make a sign for their pen to say they were orphan lambs which led to some people explaining to their children that these were baby alpacas and didn't they look like sheep when they were born and didn't they change dramatically as they grew up! My fault and so I have now made a sign!

Last year we left the boys in the walled garden overnight but today we brought them home as it is so cold and damp and, although they have their gazebo, I think they need a bit more shelter. On the fence at the back of their pen we put up the Westhill banner which has a picture of Caedmon and Dobby on it. Caedmon kept going over to look at himself, he wasn't interested in the picture of Dobby. I wonder if he realises it is him, he always poses for the camera but I suppose he can't know it is him as he has never seen himself.

We saw Valtra Man with all the mini Valtra's and he had found the Spring Tine thing in Healey's farmyard!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Preparing for Turnworth in Spring

Rather a race around chasing our own tails today as we have been getting ready for Turnworth in Spring at the weekend. It is not an alpaca show, we don't show our alpacas, but a country event in the village over the hill from us. We will just be taking the wethers who normally reside with the sheep, away from all the girls, up in second field - the wethers have become the publicity side of Westhill and usually quite enjoy the change of scenery! We are the only alpacas there and we are sited in the Walled Garden - as usual, they should be used to it in there by now! Last year was lovely with warm weather, lots of visitors and, of course, the free tractor rides. I am not sure the weather is going to be quite so kind to us this year. We will have to take the lambs as well because I don't think we can leave that little gang in the hands of the farm sitters! I am just hoping no-one decides to give birth tomorrow. The talk at Turnworth is of the Ibberton Six (The Grave Diggers miraculous 6 lambs from 1 ewe) and the trials of muck spreading on a steep hill. It should be a good event with all the preparation that has gone into it. We set up the boys area this evening and prepared a little place for the lambs so now all I have to do is get the movement book ready, pack up the leaflets and notes on the alpacas to go on the display board. If you read this, say hello tomorrow!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Shortsighted, Wrong, Absurd . . . .

I have been venting my frustrations on a thesaurus today after reading about subliminal messaging, all the reading material available in the Mule where I spent some of the time trapped by Mossop (the psychotic sheep) who has been eyeing me up whilst I have been managing waste. He then hid behind the pylon (not realising I could see him through the bars) and waited for me to turn my back before charging.

Poor Carolyn has been very restless today - rolling, star gazing, up and down - but nothing happened!

Last night I was up until 3am trying to catch up on some long overdue inside jobs ready for the weekend - more on that tomorrow after I have caught up with Irene at Ashdale Alpacas.

I have also had a long, long conversation with my man at the Rosette company in preparation for the Great Western Region Alpaca Show (link at the side of the page) - we have agreed that -
  • we are urgently in need of more rain for the grass
  • it's no good saying same as last year as you can never remember exactly what it was last year
  • it is too early to cut silage
  • and we like Cornish Pasties.
We are into final details now on those rosettes - they have to go back to the committee for final approval (and some committees can be nightmares but not this one. It is very jolly and cooperative what with Rob "The Spanners" Rawlins wielding the gavel ably assisted by his delightful secretary),and my man and I are in raptures over tail length and width of braid for Supreme Sashes. I have got to say though, 5th place rosette - well! Of course, we have still got to actually get the alpacas sheared - no second cuts, no vegetation or lurking faeces, only the blanket whatever the weight. It is going to be a challenge - Lily has covered herself in brambles and stingers, she looks like a sloth and Dude - he has gone brown after pawing himself out a rolling pit!

Now I have a Parochial Church Council Meeting in the village tonight - and I have got to vote as soon as Sam reappears to look after everything.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

No Babies!

No babies!

Not even any signs that the girls want to give us any babies! That is not quite true as both Carolyn and Belinda now have udders and they are both big. I am not even thinking about the other alpaca's cria as no one else is due until the beginning of June and I just want Belinda and Carolyn's here safely first.

Mossop, the sheep, was particularly unpleasant tonight and head butted me in the leg three times. He stares at me and lowers his head and I know what he is about to do but before I can move, he charges! He only does it to me - - and after all that bottle feeding! The new orphan lambs are perking up now but they are still fairly quiet.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Lina and the rope

Very odd weather at the moment. One moment it is pleasantly warm and the next it is bitterly cold. I managed to get waste cleared in all the fields, I confess I didn't do it yesterday, cleaned all the drinkers and feeders and generally tidied up.

The scarf hit a rocky point when I suddenly realised that, due to the pattern, only one side would look right. I had knitted 94cm before realising! However, I have a cunning plan, so all may be well!

Bit of an unwanted drama this evening. I noticed this morning that Flamenco had a cut on her nose. She gave birth to her cria last year a month early and, although we nursed it through the first month or so, it eventually died. Something had happened in the field to shock them and I think this brought the baby early. Flemenco is due at the beginning of June so we are doing all we can to keep her stress free and for that reason I decided to wait for Carl to get home and catch her quietly in the corner of the field. That part worked well but then Lina started bounding around and got the rope caught round her. She then pronked off at high speed trailing a rope behind her! Carl managed to catch it but not until she had careered round the field twice. It didn't seem to upset her as she came straight back over - pronking like a youngster. Flamenco seems to have grazed the bridge of her nose up by her eyes but it is drying up so we'll just monitor it.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Pre65 photos!

Carl even talked about the Trial in his sleep last night - I've just sent him to the garage to shut him up!
Just a couple of photos!
I think he is secretly very proud of himself for getting round. When I accidentally kicked him in bed last night I discovered he has a broken toe and swollen knees!

The weather has been a little odd today - I am sure there was an odd flurry of snow at one point. I have been doing lots of watching and waiting but at least I have got a bit of knitting done at the same time. I got very excited at one point as I thought a cria had arrived but it turned out to be the cockerel asleep next to Belinda.

The lambs are running around more today and when I left the back door open just now they ventured into the lounge - not something I had better encourage.

The SFS popped over in the afternoon and I now have a model for some of the knitwear - strange request also for a knitted bikini - not sure which one of them that was for!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

What is it about bananas?

Carl's back! He has not stopped talking from the moment he stepped inside the door! He had a great time and so did his friend, The SFS, who thankfully got to ride as well. Highlights appear to have been - rebuilding a gear box one night, The SFS cuddling a certain rider and Motorcycle Shop/Museum owner, Carl helping a gentleman whose bike had sunk in a bog and finding his false teeth, getting up the Pipeline, his medal in a little velvet box which he keeps fondling (it was for taking part - not for winning!) . . . Photos coming tomorrow, maybe! Carl also seems to have developed a deep loathing for bananas - not sure what that is all about!

Last night was magical. I was standing by the girls after locking the chickens and Belinda's baby was kicking like crazy - I could see a distinct leg! She is also a bit swollen at the back end - maybe tomorrow!

Today has been wet and quite windy at times. It has also been a bit chilly but, despite this, Smudge (the cat) went for a swim in the garden water trough - I am not sure whether he meant to or he fell in, it has happened before. I dried him off but now he smells and insists on lying on my lap while I try to type!

And - it seems it is true about the Grave Digger and his 6 lambs. I met him at church this morning and he said one of his ewes did indeed give birth to six lambs. One died but the other five are going strong, two are being bottle fed but she is feeding three of them. Remarkable! It must be the special grass they have down in the village!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

A Tentative Bleat

Bit of a wet day today - no babies but that is probably a good thing with the rain. Carolyn's udder is developing nicely and Belinda is getting restless so may be soon but it is very hard to tell.

One lamb, Two Tone, made a couple of tentative bleats today but the others remain ominously quiet. They jump a bit but no noise! Mum told me the other day that The Gravedigger had one sheep who gave birth, a week or so ago, to six lambs - surely she must have got that wrong?!

It's a short post tonight as I have to knit - it is becoming something of an obsession now and, despite saying I would never tackle one again, I am on a scarf - and it is good (so far).