Friday 30 April 2010

Catch the Great Western!

I am a bit late blogging tonight as I was waiting for the reply to an email before I posted and then realised just now that I had not actually sent it!

Carl is enjoying his Scottish Pre65 adventure. Today he cleared the first section of the PipeLine (I think it went a little pear shaped after that) which was the bit he was particularly worried about. He said it was "Awesome!" He has no injuries so far, apart from a cut finger sustained when he tried to turn the seat on the camper van they are staying it. The SFS has also got a ride and did very well.

I have had lots of people looking over the gate at the alpacas today. One lot said it was better than going to a Tourist Attraction. Another group arrived while we were feeding and were interested in talking about the fibre - luckily I had been knitting in the Mule so was able to show them some of our own wool. The Grey Haired Neighbour and The Parfit Gentyl Knight turned up offering help if I was still carless (which I am but it doesn't matter as I couldn't leave the girls anyway) and we had a good chat.

The lambs are still very quiet but drinking a bit better. I let them out of the bin shed for an hour this afternoon which they enjoyed but then it started to spot with rain and get a bit chilly so they went back in. (Putting them in the bin shed is not as bad as it sounds as we have removed the bins and put down straw and bales of hay for them to jump on!). When I go in their shed they come over and stand in line. I go and sit on a hay bale and one at a time they jump on my knee and suck a bit of the bottle - the others waiting patiently for their turn! It is quite surreal and I keep being reminded of The Stepford Wives (a film - I think that was what it was called).

The Great Western Region Alpaca Show is going well, entries are mounting up and this is great but I have not got our entries in yet and we are still debating who it will be. Carl says not to send the entry off until he gets back and it would be awful if the classes were full! I am not in charge of entries but I have heard we have entries from some of the top breeders and from people who have never shown their fleece before - BRILLIANT! I particularly covet the 5th place rosette - it is going to be a beauty! Competition for that one if you are entering! And if you have not entered yet - go on, get in quick, support the show by putting a link on your website or your blog. That is a particular irritant for me at he moment. I have always been a great supporter of the British Alpaca Society but I am very, very sad that they will not advertise the show or send an email to let people know. Particularly saddening as they appear to have the resources to promote alpacas by sending a representative to an alpaca do in foreign climes. Even some of the regional groups are not willing to send out an advertising email. This does not make me happy. Anyway, it will be a great show but I fear the bar may need to order extra gin for some of the contingent! I am looking forward to meeting lots of other breeders. Cooperation between breeders is very powerful, through my old blog I met up with Irene and Si from Ashdale Alpacas and that has led to massive strides forward in the fleece side of the business. We hope we will make new contacts at the show. I am also looking forward to hearing the judges comments as he looks at the fleece -that will be an educational opportunity not to be missed, plus he looks good too - sadly, I don't think he will be able to wear his sunglasses whilst judging - I do like a good pair of sunglasses on a man!

This has turned into a bit of a marathon blog! I got a bit carried away! To end with, here are some of the girls this afternoon -a very pregnant Carolyn, Islay in the middle and my favourite, Bert, with her head towards us.The question is - Is Islay pregnant?! She would be due at the beginning of June.

Thursday 29 April 2010

A catalogue of complaints

Not a good day and not a great deal achieved.

  • The Jalopy flatly refused to take me any further than the end of the drive. Sadly, I feel my limited petrol strategy may have something to do with this. The drive is uphill and although I know there was some petrol in it, I confess it probably was only a thimble full. What I suspect is that all the petrol rolled to the back of the tank and so it will not go. However, when Sam came home he found a can in Carl's shed and put that in for me - the Jalopy still will not move and the battery is getting flat. We are going to try again in the morning and if not give up until Carl returns.
  • We are getting irritable about The Thing We No Longer Mention - it is progressing but slowly and eating money along the way.
  • The VAT has not been done, accounts are not up to date - they keep going wrong as I can't stay away from the alpacas for long
  • Lambs are still not feeding too well and they are SILENT. They jump around a bit and when I go and sit with them on their hay bale Two Tone jumps on my knee and promptly goes to sleep. They start drinking but then fall asleep - Teddy was actually snoring!
  • Knitting is not good - I have attempted a pattern of stitches way beyond my skills and keep ending up with too many stitches
  • House looks like a tip

However, we are not downhearted! Carl got safely to Scotland where it is cold and there are lots of mountains (with snow). It is also incredibly beautiful. He signed on and had his bike checked ready for the off at 10.24am tomorrow - I have to think about him at that precise moment! Also the alpacas are getting bigger . . . and bigger . . . I don't know about Islay, I have been creeping round trying to look for any signs of pregnancy and I am really not sure.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

The Silence of the Lambs

Carl set off this morning for Scotland. He must have checked that he had everything at least 6 times! I think he was a bit nervous! He will not be back until Sunday but he has promised to phone at some point. Tomorrow is signing on day so as long as the bike passes the MOT this morning (all last minute!) all should be okay until the start on Friday - hope he doesn't fall off before he even gets going!

I spent all day anxiously watching the girls. It is probably a bit premature with Carolyn as she is 330 days and went over a year with Emily. They are all drinking a great deal of water and tonight Sam and I pumped the water out of the rain water catching barrels to fill up the Bowser as that had almost run dry - might rain tomorrow. Whilst watching the girls I was knitting and I am having terrible trouble with the latest creation - nearly broke a needle trying to knit two together through the back of the stitches - must be knitting to tight with all the tension!

The lambs are ominously quiet. Only one of them ever bleats and that is very rare. They have a mad suck on their bottles and then give up and go to sleep. None of them will drink unless they are sitting on my knee so I have to feed them one at a time. They are nothing like last years orphan lambs - they went crazy over their bottles.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Welcome to the New Blog

If you have managed to find this, you will see I have now become a Google Blogger! My old blog would not do what I wanted so I have decided to Google! Tonight I will write my blog on here - if I don't get in a muddle with it!