Saturday, 8 September 2012

Venturing into the show ring

Today was a 5am start and an attempt to catch 3 alpacas in the dark, in a field!  We managed but it involved quite a bit of charging up and down a hill in the dark.  Despite the chaos we were still away in good time and had a good run down to . . . Perhaps I should say where we were going!  We went to Romsey show - full of trepidation and very unsure whether we wanted to go.  Of course we had a bit of a hope we might come home with a rosette but we were not hoping for great things as we expected the competition to be tough - and it was.  Being dark when we left the field, the first we saw of the alpacas was when we reached the destination and they did not look good - wet, muddy and straw covered.

The show organisation was, in my opinion very, very good.  We are first year showers and have very limited experience but I felt it was all very impressive.  The pens were well separated, there were disinfectant mats, public were kept from the marquee during showing, minimising alpaca contact was helped considerably by good placement of collecting ring, microchips were checked (I had been worried ours might have not been there as I did them and then had no way of checking - they were there!), pre show paperwork was ideal for people like us who need telling and there was a good catalogue.  How the Judge, Liz Barlow, coped with the heat and the number of alpacas was beyond me - but she did and she kept smiling!

We enjoyed it - despite me being very tense and biting one nail off.  We met lots of friends, shared muffins, ice cream and looked at yarn. . .
And we were pleased with our results which were as we thought they might be.  Yossarian got a first and a Reserve Champion while our other winner, Trouble, got a sixth place.  Now you might thing that is not very impressive and I should not be mentioning that one but I am very proud of it as she had lots of worthy competition in the white class - anyway,  I think Trouble is one of the worlds loveliest little alpacas!  I have lots of pictures but most of them are of a certain black alpaca, who gained a first place and performed many acrobatic movements in the ring with his owner, for some strange reason.  This is not very good but it's Yosser and his sash

 - Yosser was just interested in everything going on and watched the ring with great interest!  His and Trouble's favourite sight was the spider man marching band!
Now I feel I should go to bed but I am inspired to finish knitting a glove!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Hey, Micky, You're so fine . . .

Very exciting - Sam's other part of his herd has produced a cria!  Sapphire gave birth to a lovely, strong little boy yesterday morning.  A little help was required just to give it a gentle easing out - because she sat on it's head before it had emerged properly.  Poor little thing was grumbling away to itself inside it's bag!  So here he is (he should have been called Mike but Sam's texting dyslexia caused it to come over as Mick and that has stuck!).
Lady Tulisa has finally put on a little weight but she still looks very small and vulnerable and has an odd Marmoset type face!

Everyone else is doing well - here are Unnamed (Sam has an ultimatum - must have a name by Saturday), JJ, Arctic and Trevor.
Lambs are also doing well - half of them are now bucket trained (essential without a dog!) and a handful are VERY friendly!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Scary Toilet Problem

I have to blog fast as I am afraid I might be overcome with sewage at any moment.  The downstairs toilet has developed a serious problem.  When you flush it fills to almost the brim and then slowly dribbles away - I fear we have a major blockage!  Carl looked down the inspection hole last night and, after a bit of plunging with a mighty plunger, said it was okay - but it is not!   I am  going in with a stick and a pair of Marigolds, maybe some time so will leave you with a few cria photos.
First up is Trevor who is growing very nicely.
Next comes Arctic Lad, having a stretch.

Then Bianca's cria who is Sam's first homebred alpaca.  JJ is lying down behind and someone else is walking out of shot!
She is the most lively little thing, very fond of hay (like her mother) but tends to grab rather more than she can easily handle!
This is Tropical Storm whose eyes have finally cleared up but all the cream has left him a bit bald - it is growing back now.  A very pregnant Sapphire is behind him.
This is supposed to be of Dippy who is lying down at the side but Bianca's baby came and posed so I did her, again, instead!
Now I fear I hear a gurgle so I must don my gloves!