Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A day behind - but feet still ache!

I wrote this yesterday so it is all a day behind - photos would not upload  so I have returned to it tonight!

Yesterday's bit
I have aching feet and a headache which is why I am now sitting here waiting for rice to boil rather than shouting encouragement to Carl who is cutting the little paddocks. 

Talk of a heat wave has sent him into a cutting frenzy with muttered night time talk of hay.  To back track a bit, last Saturday we travelled to Pembrokshire to shear friends alpacas.  Lovely boys but one was quite determined he was not going on the mat!  Luckily, me rolling around with him was avoided as his lovely owner stepped in and he was as good as gold - obviously just did not fancy being overpowered by a mere female!  We managed to catch sight of the sea on the way back.  Technically, Carl says it is an estuary but I see the sea so rarely I count anything bigger than a bath tub as 'sea'. 

No rest on Sunday as we were due at the Transport of Yesteryear Show in Weymouth - one of our favourites. 

The alpacas behaved very well and I am sure they recognised it. 

It was the first outing for the suri yarn scarves and they sold straight away so now I must knit some more.  They are quite fiddly to knit as the yarn is very fine but at least people want them which is nice.  The weather started off wet and we had not thought of taking a gazebo so we were not able to get the knitting out until later in the day but we still did well on sales which was good.

When we got back Carl set up the mower and we got the sheep race down ready for today.  Quite a lot to do as we were late back but we did have the help of the wonderful Tractor Boys!

And that brings us up to date.  Today the lambs were checked over and fly treatment was sprayed around - most of it going where it was supposed to.  Now Carl is merrily cutting.  So baling soon - or as soon as we have rethreaded the bailer as the sheep got hold of the twine last year and pulled it out.  That was supposed to be sorted months ago - but  . . .

Today's bit
I have aching feet and a headache which is why I am now sitting here waiting for rice to boil (we eat a lot of rice at the moment!)rather than shouting encouragement to Carl who is woofling the little paddocks.  I have got the twine but the bailer is still to be set up - barn is ready though so, rain permitting (and despite the heat rain is always on the cards when we are hay making) we may bale tomorrow!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Floral Abundance

We went to Sedgemoor Auction Market this morning to check out lamb prices and see how it is all done.  They were very friendly and we are now all organised so later this week we have some lambs and shearlings to sort out ready for a trip to the market.  They also do a very nice bacon roll so that was breakfast sorted!

Despite the rain, we have also managed to shear the remaining few alpacas and all is now done for another year.  It is always a relief when that is finished and it is nice to see who really looks pregnant.   I am really pleased that it looks like Crispie is (mated to Yossarian) and Flemenco appears to be (mated to Greeves).  We should also have some nice coloured ones from Belinda, Zara and Bianca.  Cassie may be but I am not totally convinced about her - time will tell.  Mind you, from the quality of my photos it is anyone's guess with all of them!

And Mother's roses are shaming me into doing something about my own - she has a magnificent floral display!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Horrid beds and good friends

We have had a very jolly weekend - if rather tiring!  Friday night we drove up to Leicester where we stopped off for a relaxing night's sleep and a good meal before our onward journey up to Yorkshire.  That was the plan!  I always like Premier Inns because their beds are comfy and the breakfast is good - breakfast was good, bed was bad - very bad.  I ended up moaning at reception at 3am and, to give them their due, they did sort out an immediate refund.

We then drove on to Yorkshire where we spent the rest of the day shearing alpacas and sheep.  We are only supposed to be shearing a few this year due to the number of our own we have and the fact that Sam isn't so available so Carl has to make do with my inept help most of the time.  Great to meet up with old friends again and have so many laughs  but I have to say I was a little disappointed that the Games Room was closed for refurbishment - after a days shearing a little play on a swing ball is just what you need.  I was offered use of the Hot Tub but I really did not fancy sitting in my bra and pants outside - I feel that is only something you do when you are very much on your own!
What is incredible is how someone can take a quick nap in a barn with mayhem going on around them and actually remain asleep throughout.  We should have stayed longer  but after a curry Sunday night (fantastic) (that should read Curry on Saturday night - sorry Anita!!)and a Sunday Lunch at Uncle Toms (huge) we wended our way across to around Lincoln somewhere to shear again - the large lunch may have slowed us a little!  Again, lovely people and they have given such a good home to Slash and Lemmy.  I fear Slash may not all ways behave himself but Lemmy (Cassie's son) seemed a perfect little gentleman.  Quick coffee and it was off again for the drive back home - which went remarkably well despite Carl being in rather a daft mood - probably due to sheep shearing.

Today we have achieved very little.  I had a good check of the alpacas and sheep while Carl cleared the shearing gear - Carl thinks I am not doing anything but I am as I have to rush around keeping the alpacas out of the blackcurrants when I let them in the garden and then talk to all the sheep which takes ages as there are 73.  I was trying to get some nice photos of Yossarian to email but he did not want to play ball and kept twitching, going to the toilet, sniffing the camera . . I forgot to take his halter so will have to try again tomorrow.

The lambs are getting bigger - some are over 31kg now and getting a bit heavy for me to lift - to his surprise even Carl struggled a bit this afternoon.

I needed his help as I had to get through to third field and getting through the gate without an escape or running something over is quite a challenge!
Sheep shearing tomorrow!

Thursday, 11 June 2015


Just spent ages trying to remember my Google password as dear Sam had logged me out - gave up and did a new one in the end.

I don't know what the weather is like where you are - but here it is boiling.  The pregnant girls have been hot and have either spent their time in the bushes or in the paddling pools.  I still have, despite best efforts, a few to shear.  Thunderstorms and rain on the way they say.

Mind you, it is probably hotter where the three girls have gone!  A long journey for them but they have arrived safely and have a lovely new home.  I rather wish I was there!
Greta Cherubini's photo.
We have a lot planned for this weekend and how we will fit it all in is beyond me - but, where there is a will . .
And . . . there are still about 10 sheep to shear!  My meticulously detailed list sailed away in the breeze so I am not sure who is still left to do and when I try to count they will not stand still!  Lambs are growing well and even the BWM look to be growing quicker this year.  I weighed a few last night and the heaviest of the ones I weighed was 31kg.  He was born in the middle so I have to get everyone weighed next week.  Got to sort them soon before I start getting attached to too many of them - like little Fu Manchu here

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Floaty skirts and big lorries

This afternoon I had to put a skirt on which frightened the boys and made them all huddle together shouting warnings to the girls!  I was talking to the Friendship club in Verwood but had to fit in a quick check on the field alpacas and sheep first.  As I did not want to get changed in the barn I tramped down the track in my floaty long skirt and a pair of wellies - a sight that the boys found very scary!!

We are slowly making our way through our shearing with half the alpacas now done and just over half the sheep.  The Black Welsh Mountains are not really ready so the rest of them are going to wait a few days but the Southdowns have to be finished and they are hard - we have decided Southdowns are the hardest!

The girls went to their new homes yesterday - well, started on their way as they will not arrive until next Tuesday.  Sad to see them go but the driver who picked them up was really nice and has some alpacas of his own so they should be fine.  Massive lorry though - in fact, so massive it deserves two photos!