Monday 26 December 2011


It's really quite amazing quite how quickly Christmas comes and goes!

Christmas Day held no particular major disasters for us.  Carl discovered that 1 Brussel sprout is 1 too many for his digestive system and the scented candles went into overdrive during the evening!  Christmas dinner preparation was fairly hectic and hit a bit of a low when I burnt the parsnips but all was saved by good company and a tasty bird - how I got bread sauce in my hair is a mystery.

But, of course, a real highlight of Christmas Day had to be a surprise entry on the Festive Field Shelter (very loosely interpreted) theme entitled  'Festive Hay Bar’ by Mrs C Rackers of Warrenfield Alpackers

Saturday 24 December 2011

A very happy Christmas to all!

All is now, almost done!  Just the electric fence to go on, the chickens to lock up, Sam to get back from work, a stocking to fill and then we can relax!

The cats are already relaxing - asleep on Sam's bed!

The dog is in a state of nerves and keeps dragging presents out from the tree - luckily she is just staring longingly at them and not actually unwrapping!

The alpacas are looking expectant - but probably only for carrots!

Lots of mud this year - as you can see but at least it has made getting to the fields easier.  Strangely everyone else's paddocks look far cleaner!  Take a look at this marvellous mud free Festive field shelter in France!  Brilliant Judi!

Jayne has gone for the Decorate an alpaca and human look - do take a look at the magnificent golden moustache!!  Not on Jayne, I hasten to add!!!!

So, a very happy Christmas to you all - and thank you for reading!!

Thursday 22 December 2011

Nearly Christmas!

As usual, Christmas has come upon me!  I have iced the cake, bought and wrapped the presents but I still have to clean the house, buy some food and find clothes which are not covered in mud.  That will, however, have to wait until the sheep have been moved, alpaca food bought, new hay rack constructed for Bert (she broke the old one).  I think she feels a little sorry about it - or maybe she is just planning her next misdemeanour (Zara is in the backgound, looking  grumpy because she can't quite get the hang of carrots and  keeps dropping them).
I left out Bert's legs as they are filthy and she looks pretty clean at the top.  Long distance shots also seem to work in this weather - Here is Greeves.
And finally - Trouble, Bert's baby.  She has recovered from whatever was wrong with her but I have gone back to giving her a night time bottle.  I relented as I was so worried she was going to expire on me!
And, talking of gorgeous  young ladies, for a better idea than my rather weak attempt at a Festive field shelter go to -

Sunday 18 December 2011

Festive Field (?) Shelters

I had better start by explaining my alpaca tragedy of last week - thank you all for your kind comments and emails.  I went over to the fields first thing and as I climbed over the gate I could see a small white bundle in one of the field shelters.  I knew it was not going to be good.  I ran down as fast as I could and was just in time to catch Axle breathing his last breath.  Bianca was with him - but only because there was hay there I think.  It was very upsetting as he had been lively the day before and, although he was small and thin, he appeared quite happy.  It was then a trip to the vets for the post mortem.  The vet phoned back later that day to say his heart, lungs and everything else where very healthy.  His stomach contents were all as they should be so he was eating well.  She was running some more tests with the VLA as there was a suspicion of one of the clostridial diseases being present - but not one covered by lambivac.   We are waiting the results on that so will keep you posted.  Despite him being wormed a month a go she also found a small quantity of what she called a particularly nasty stomach worm - one not seen often and which could kill very quickly.  I have forgotten its name so will have to wait for the report for that.  Very sad but have to put it behind us now and just learn from it.  One thing we have done is worm the whole herd again today even though they were done a month ago.  The wet, mild conditions are not good for this time of year.

The worming experience nearly turned into a complete disaster this afternoon - I hope all is well now but I am still a little on edge!  Half the girls, including Trouble the bottle fed, were down by the barn ready.  Now they love it in the barn - but, due to the amount of hay in there, calling it a barn experience is a bit over the top as there is only about 6 foot square of floor space.  Anyway  - it is dryish and they love to roll on the floor when all the fields are wet and their rolling pits are soaked.  I was standing at the side filling the needles ready with some vitamin D while Carl sorted out the wormer and, as usual, Trouble was fussing next to me.  Sherbert dashed in for a massive roll and kicked me in the process.  That was not the disaster, however, Trouble also got caught by a flying foot.  She was a bit fussy all the time we did injections but seemed okay.  We put them back and I got everything ready for the creation of a festive field shelter.  Half way through Trouble came into the shelter  crying and started rolling on her side, kicking her legs around and crying.  I sat down on the floor to look at her and she sat next to me but on her side, still crying.  This continued for quite a while with her walking and then suddenly dropping to the ground and lying on her side.  She seems okay now but I wonder whether she was kicked in the ribs or stomach and has a pain.  It seems sensitive on one side but nowhere near the injection site.  This did slightly take the shine off the Festive Field Shelter and it all ended up as a mere shadow of what was planned! 
Now I am sorry that I appear in it - not as planned - but this is just after Trouble had been sitting sideways with me crying.  And in this one I have just shed  tear as I thought I was suddenly going to lose Trouble!!
This is supposed to be a Festive blog, which means it should not be a catalogue of disaster!  So I am very grateful to Mr and Mrs Mustafbinat Theslowjin for sending me this delightful late entry - the fact that it is not in a field and is only big enough for a domestic cat is totally immaterial!  First class entry showing creativity, artistic use of clippings, enviable bunch of mistletoe and highly trained cat!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

The only way is up?

When you have a series of unfortunate events you tend to think - things can only get better.  Sadly, that is not true and today we had an alpaca tragedy.  It really was very upsetting, so I'll wait till next week and then return with a festive field shelter blog.

Saturday 10 December 2011

Come on Barbie, Let's go Party

We needed to be up and out early this morning as we had an appointment to help with feet and vitamins and our animals needed sorting first.  All seemed to be going to plan except there was ice on the water which needed breaking and the hay in the barn was collapsing a bit after the high winds.  In the end this meant we were a trifle late for our appointment but it was a fun morning meeting old friends  - including the enormous young boy who is Carl's particular friend - I fear the feeling is not quite mutual and Carl did get a rather hefty kick in an area he did not want me to check out for him!

All done and we headed off to the Marines to take a look at the pink truck.  It is only pink in a certain light and I think it is officially known as Shiraz - or that is what the hefty builder who is selling it calls it!  After a bit of toing and froing over prices it looks like we may be soon driving around in the Barbie Truck!  I can't really understand how we keep talking about reducing vehicles and yet we own more and more - the D-Bat, the original moped, the current truck and Uncle Festa all MUST go!

Friday 9 December 2011

An Encounter with a Traffic Warden

Yesterday I took Mum into Stur to do some of her Christmas shopping.  I parked in the car park and got, I thought, a ticket for 2 hours.  I thought wrong!  I ambled back to the car while Mum went in the Coop only to see a traffic  warden photographing my car.  Charged over, bags flying and told him how incredibly stupid I was - thought I had got a 2 hour ticket and resignedly prepared to take the ticket and pay the fine.  But no, he wished me Happy Christmas and said it was fine!!

The wind was strong last night and the sheets have blown off the barn - no where near the northern weather though and I am hoping all is well up there.  I have been flitting between fields and house trying to think about both animals and Christmas at the same time - not working very well.  Bert had a very sleepy day.  I think either the wind kept her up or she has been spending too much time preparing for Christmas!
The three little girls are only into rear end photos at the moment - String, Bea and Slink, Bea has a red spot on her leg so I can tell which is her and which is String!
And poor Yossarian has finally settled with the boys!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

All in Pink . . .

Carl has a heavy cold - in fact he is at death's door - in fact how he managed to eat all his tea is beyond me.  Despite this he has suddenly cheered up due to having been offered the possibility of a new truck.  I have not agreed yet but this has not stopped him enumerating all of its virtues - chief amongst them appears to be the fact that it is pink!  He has told me it is pink several times now and all I really want to know is how much the tax and insurance will be and where he intends to keep it whilst getting rid of the old truck (I don't think there is anything wrong with the old truck except that you have to get out and fiddle with the wheels to get it in and out of four wheel drive).  We will see . .

Bert had a bit of a paddy tonight.  She was hoping to have carrots as she had seen me giving the other girls some this afternoon.  When I  went in she jumped up and came sniffing around only to get very disappointed when she saw I was just cleaning out the water trough.  I cleaned and refilled and - I am sure this was deliberate - she went over and tipped it up!

Axle is still a midget (skinny is the worst thing) and I cannot find the stuff I was recommended - sounds a bit like codeine, I think, and apparently it is used in Australia to help with growth issues.  Any ideas?
Axle is at the front with Trouble, the bottle fed, behind.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Gloomy Outlook

A tragic occurrence in the village in the early hours of Sunday morning meant the road through Ibberton was closed for much of the day - we could still see smoke from the hill at lunchtime.  Sam stayed in bed for much of the day but was up and back to work, still snuffling, on Monday.

The sheep have now all had their feet checked and trimmed.  They have also been moved back into pylon paddock - their favourite as it means they can rub against the pylon and lie in the stingers, something they thoroughly enjoy for some reason!

The weather has now turned colder but a wet, drizzly cold - not a nice crisp cold.  Carl and Sam have been  working on mud prevention which has involved the tractor and their new bucket.  Not sure how successful the plan is - not sure they are either!

Saturday 3 December 2011

Talking dogs and investment opportunities

It has been a busy day today and we have only just got back.  Sam is now ill, he has a horrible cold and is curled up on the settee sniffing and moaning.  He didn't finish work until six and has been working every day for weeks - I think he has just got thoroughly run down.  It looks like tomorrow he may have to give up and languish in bed!

We were off early to start the day with a bit of car dealing - thankfully we are now one car down and it is only Uncle Festa who is still lurking, waiting to be removed as he does have a new owner.  Further negotiations meant we now have a trifle more room in the barn which was good as I then had to get the girls in for their check over.  Flem had a bit more work on the abscess and Axle had a bit of poking and prodding.

It was then a quick trip out and that was quite an eye opener.  We went to look at a possible investment - and bumped into Andy and Viv from Reddingvale at the same time.  I think both Viv and I were quite speechless over this 'investment opportunity', Carl definitely warmed to it and Andy was in his element!  Coffee afterwards (and I have never before heard a dog say 'Mumma' so convincingly) - I have a feeling Andy could be a late entrant to the Festive Field Shelter competition, he was rather coy over the form of decoration he might be using but there was a certain competitive gleam in his eye!

We then raced back to do the sheep feet but some visitors in the late afternoon meant that sheep feet is a job for tomorrow.

I will take a photo tomorrow - I did aim to do some today and had a lovely shot lined up of Cassie charging straight for me in search of apple - she has a real turn of speed for a lady of mature years - only to find at the critical moment that I had forgotten to insert the camera card.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Festive Field Shelters

Okay, the gauntlet is down!  The Festive Field Shelter competition is on!  I have tentative interest!  Barbara queried who the judge would be and I have considered contacting the great and good of the alpaca world but fear rejection.  Maybe a prospective judge will materialise, and as to prizes - there aren't any!!  But you could use the photo on your Christmas cards next year.  We can just post our photos in the week before Christmas and see what we get!  I am considering a Mary and Joseph in the stable alpaca theme - Carl said this would be inappropriate but I don't see why.  My brother, who is now a Baptist Minister, once performed the nativity with his teddies and, despite Mary's dress continually falling off and her giving birth to a panda, it was reasonably tasteful and got the message over (mind you he was about 4 at the time).  So, festive field shelter photos the week before Christmas - chickens allowed!  (there are no rules but then as there is no judge and no prizes this is probably immaterial).  Ah, and do not leave your field shelter unattended and remove everything immediately or who knows what disaster may strike.

On to more serious matters, it is pouring with rain and no one will let little Axle in the field shelter.  He may have to have a coat on - which is what I am going to try to do now, find his coat!

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Getting in the spirit

I woke up in a very happy mood today, for no apparent reason and despite the fact that I am no longer on the property ladder.  I decided to embrace the mud today (not literally) and revel in  its multi-faceted splendour!  I was not even dismayed when some of my Christmas decorations got splattered and fell off (I have festooned the Mule for the festive season - rather early I know).  I would like to recommend a blogger competition for the most festive field shelter but maybe that is not wise from a health and safety aspect (not sure whether I mentioned Carl's current preoccupation with Bonn Mots?  Apologies if you already know this but his current one, an old favourite, is 'Clean as you go' which is highly annoying but marginally better than 'Strive to Improve'!).
So here is my festive Mule - I shall wait a little before unveiling the festive field shelter (well, I haven't done it yet).  It did look a bit better at the start of the day.
The cats have now settled down and have started going outside.  They don't go out much, in fact they rather turn their noses up at outside at the moment - no where as much fun as the field.  They do like exploring the house though, particularly Little Wee who has a fascination with leads and the log pile!
Yes, the table is really a plant stand and it is in sore need of a polish.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Bugatti Veyron Super Sports

Very windy today and the feed bucket blew out of my hand - full of feed of course - and careered down the hill, chased by Bianca (one way of getting her to run I suppose!).  The sheep were very naughty.  It is good to have them very friendly most of the time but when I am taking hay in and they are all pushing and shoving me it is not quite so pleasant - I ended up drenched and in the mud!  I was told that if you smile at sheep they like it so have been grinning inanely at them for a while now.  I am not sure if that has made them very friendly or it is just that they are so used to me but they do stare at me in a very quizzical fashion.

I took pity on Trouble this afternoon, the bottle fed, as it was so horrible in the fields.  I made her up a little bottle but she only really drank half of it.  I think she just likes a bit of a chat every now and again!

The worst thing of all at the moment is the mud - acres of it - and I have lots of toenails that need doing.  This is what I dream of at the moment not a Veyron, it would only get stuck in the mud, !!!
A barn with a concrete floor!

Monday 28 November 2011

Sorting by Size

This morning there was ice on the troughs - first time this year.  It was only thin ice but shows it is getting a bit colder.  Of course back at the rental house it was much milder and there wasn't the strong wind that I had on the hill.

Yesterday we did a bit of sorting out of alpacas and I have now split the girls into the skinny ones and the fatties.  The skinnies are on the best grass with extra rations and the fatties are sulking!  Bianca is particularly annoyed about having a little less food and having to walk up hill to get it - in fact her double chin  went into serious wobble and her gigantic thighs trembled as she shook the earth pounding her way up hill!

Dude is seriously happy as he is now at the top of the hill with girls in whichever direction he looks!
I caught myself this morning planning who to mate to next year - not even got these babies out yet!  Trouble is I am longing to try out Greeves - even if he does need a step ladder!

Thursday 24 November 2011

The daftest woman around - probably!

I cannot believe how stupid I am sometimes - all day searching for the raddle, wondering around with pen and paper writing down the ear tags of anyone Rammy looked keen on - only to have Sam tell me amongst howls of laughter, that Rammy never has had a raddle on this year - The Shepherd painted his chest in the manner of The Victorian Farm!  I could have sworn he had a raddle on - and I spend a lot of time looking at him - ah well!  I think his painted bit has worn off anyway as no one else is getting marked, even number 10 despite me seeing him get on her.

Having made that mammoth mistake I have been keeping a low profile today - spending a lot of time on the telephone and the computer!

Wednesday 23 November 2011

A bit of leg sucking

This morning I had to scrape the car!  First time this winter.  It turned out quite nice - a bit cold but no rain or mist.  I have had one catastrophe today - Rammy has lost his raddle and I can't find it.  They are not in a very big paddock and I walked all over it - but no raddle!  Now I have no idea who is still to be done - number 10 has been because I watched and it was all a bit of a non event - Number 10 ate throughout and took not a blind bit of notice, it was also pretty quick.  Last year an alpaca ear tag came out and I still haven't found part of it.  Someone said maybe the birds took it - must be a flippin great bird if it took the raddle as well!

Back to my current preoccupation with midgets - Axle is now just over 3and a half months old and he is still little - but also thin.  He is, however, very lively - here he is prior to running over and attempting to jump on Trouble.  Trouble is the first with Flem to the front - she has the abscess.
I don't know whether you can see it but he also has very runny eyes.  I am investigating a growth supplement I was told about to see if this might help him.
Trouble is now not having her bottle and she has gone back to sucking on Bert's leg.  This is what she did as a cria - Bert has never had any milk whatsoever but all her babies seem to suck on her front leg!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

The Midget?

Another murky, grey damp day today and all alpacas are looking like drowned rats!

I keep thinking Greeves is still tiny - Here is a rear end view - the only way Greeves would face today.
Here is his best friend, Harry - a perfectly normal size alpaca -

And here they are together.  Greeves is looking a much better size now I think and it is partly my imagination that makes him seem such  midget!

Sunday 20 November 2011

Counting Arnolds

Having travelled 1268 miles in the last 48 hours I am somewhat not with it and this is a quick blog.

Despite being tired we managed microchipping this morning, something Carl does as I do not like the size of the needle.  I also checked over all the babies and tackled Flem's abscess which is pussing up again so I obviously have not got it clear yet.

Grace, the Southdown, had a slight limp so Sam trimmed her feet and sprayed them - there was the beginning of foot rot but we have, I think, caught it quickly.

Now I have a busy day tomorrow as the livestock trailer has to be cleared out and cleaned (it is currently home to approximately 24 boxes of Christmas decorations) and I need to catch up on a bit of John Deereing around the electric fence - plus, of course, collect  little poo!

. . . and I know the blog title means nothing to anyone but me - But Arnold has to be a very wealthy man!

Thursday 17 November 2011

Tiger Feet

The girls are getting used to the new routines and as soon as they hear the Mule start up there is an expectant charge to the gate - whether it is feeding time or not.  I can always pick out Bert from miles away as she is the one with the red ear tag which looks rather like a fetching little bow!
I have decided that, this weather, long distance shots are probably for the best!  The chickens also quick off the mark when they sense feed might be around.
Tracks all muddy again so I am back into sideways sliding on the top corner - mind you, since I have had the new tyres it does not happen so often.  The worst of mud is that it gets everywhere and the more you try to scrape it off the more it just gets distributed elsewhere.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Rammy has been busy

The weather has certainly turned colder - on the hill!  At the rental house it is pretty mild outside and subtropical in the house.  We tried out the woodburner the other day but had to then open all windows due to the heat.  On the hill it is back to coats, jumpers and, the only thing that keeps my feet warm, alpaca socks.  The flower lady is busy knitting more so I can get the shop going again (it disappeared in the move and I have decided to start again).

The Ram has been very busy and I have lots of red marks on various sheep from the Raddle.  For each sheep it is a faint, tasteful mark - except Stumpy who looks like she has been in a road accident!  Even looking at her from the front you can see a red bottom - here she is with Teddy at the front, Little Pugsly and George behind, then Stumpy with her lamb following and Number 32 the only black one in the picture.
Even Grace has had an assignation with the Ram.  He looks far too big for her but The Shepherd says it will be fine.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Can't think of a decent blog title!

A bit colder today but nice and dry and sunny at times.  This was a relief as it was getting very difficult to get out of the field gate due to the mud. 

Having got over my sulk regarding dirty alpacas I tried again but this time for cria photos - they looked a little less muddy but still rather damp!  Here is Yossarian at the front with The Slink looking out of the shot and Striker behind.  The two Dudettes are milling around at the side.
We did debate taking the tips off the cria fleece this year but time ran away with us with the house move.  I think next year we might have an experimental go as they do seem to harbour so much vegetation in the first fleece.
Striker is looking more of a baby Dude every day!

Monday 14 November 2011

Alpacas in the mist

I got a wee bit fed up today and I'll show you why - filthy alpacas in the mist!
Camera card found I decided I wanted a nice shot of some of the mums - but look at them!  They are filthy and milling about aimlessly.  No one posed properly - Sherbert is yawning, Prue is showing off her weird blue eye, Axle looks like a midget alpaca, fat Bianca has muddy legs.  I was going to do a bit of looking at fleece to work out who would win the prize of having the most guard hair - part of my new breeding programme (I don't mean I am breeding for guard hair - although I think I could be quite good at it with some of them!).  I gave up though and depressed myself further by coming home to look at other people's shiny, clean alpacas!

Before I did come home I investigated a bit of a situation with the field gate - I think the padlock has been tampered with - interestingly, there was an abandoned car being towed out of The Gentleman Farmer's field and another burnt out on the picnic site so something has been going on up on the hill.

Sunday 13 November 2011

A Trip Out

We went out for the day today. 

We were a bit in two minds about it as  I still haven't found the forks and we only have 3 plates and 1 tea towel but we decided it would be worth a trip out so off we went to Longthorns Farm Alpaca Open Day - it was actually an open weekend so we missed day 1.  Wendy Billington, the Australian breeder and judge, did an excellent talk and there was lots of hands on looking at fleece - both on and off animals.  Thoroughly enjoyable and a great learning experience.  At the end we had to rush away as The Shepherd was bringing the ram - by the time we got back the ram was already in place and had served Stumpy who is now covered in red from the raddle.

Now I am off to unpack  box or two and find the camera card! - - and attempt to stop the cats climbing the Yucca plant in an escape bid.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Four Candles?

I did say we would have  a photo today, and we have but it is not very good I am afraid as, despite having found the camera, I can't find the memory card.  This was taken on Sam's phone.  Tilbo and Striker, together as usual!

And, on the subject of losing things, I have lost all but three forks.  Life is incredibly tedious with only three forks.  It is surprising how many forks you can us in a day! (Talk of forks always makes me remember the sketch with, I think, The Two Ronnies in the shop - makes me smile!).

We have been doing toenails and vitamin D injections today, along with moving a few of the animals around.  Toe nails were no fun at all in the mud, I really want a proper concrete yard!    Flem's abscess is still weeping and I gave it several good squeezes today which got a lot of the remaining mess out.  I will give it another good go tomorrow.

And thank you for the tip, Judi - Roast chicken and potatoes tonight which was all done at the same time, although I did start it at 1pm just before going back to complete toenails!

Friday 11 November 2011

Here I am again!

Finally, about 10 minutes ago, the broadband started working and so here I am again.  I have no idea what has been going on in the land of bloggers as I have been unable to read anything - shortly I will be catching up!  Happily, this means my furtive lurking in bushes is now over - probably not wise to explain that one to the world!
We have now, finally, moved into the rental house - it was quite a drama but we won't go there at the moment!  The rental house is okay.  It has a Raeburn - I keep calling it an aga but have now discovered it isn't.  It makes the house very warm and is great for drying clothes as it has a pull up clothes rack over it but cooking meals is something of a challenge  A miniscule piece of gammon went in at 12 and was just ready at 7pm - the sausages took all night!  Potatoes we ended up eating for breakfast and I fear I must be doing something wrong!  The cats are shut in the conservatory which they hate and Cruella appears to becoming a little depressed but I can't let her out as the road outside is quite busy. 

On top of the drama of moving we had an alpaca drama on the Friday night which is luckily now sorted, in a way.  It is very odd being further from the animals and means I have to plan everything very carefully, particularly with the bottle feeding.

Anyway, we are back on line so now I must catch up on blogs and read the emails - proper blog with photos tomorrow.

Monday 31 October 2011

This is no ordinary drama, this is an Aylett drama

WELL!  I would love to tell you all what is going on here - but I am afraid I can't!  Suffice to say it is a bit of a nightmare.  Jeff posted a comment asking how I coped and I have to say I am about to not cope terribly well!

Today started well with the rounds of the animals, all fine, and a chat with The Somerset weather woman (the other day I told her I was going to do some poo picking and she told me to hurry up as it would rain at 3pm - I pottered on, lovely sunny weather, and dead on 3pm the clouds opened!).  I cleaned all kitchen cupboard and stacked up the rest of the stuff to move - then things began to go horribly wrong!

At that point I gave up on the house and went to see the animals who were all wet and dirty, but quite content.
The dog and cats are the ones who are getting most concerned.  Amber, the dog, is constantly shaking and the cats spend their time looking out the window but not actually going out.

Thursday 27 October 2011

I know, I'm moaning!!!

Life is a little frustrating at the moment and I feel like having a major tantrum - plotting evil revenges and generally being horrible - but no, despite the rain I shall write this and go and commune with soggy alpacas for the rest of the afternoon in order to get a little PEACE!!!!!

Just an update on what is happening here first -
1.  Aunty Islay is turning into a monster.  I remember this happened last year with Greeves when she suddenly decided Greeves was her baby and no one else was allowed near him!  Yesterday she decided to do the same with Trouble, my little bottle fed.  When I went to feed her yesterday afternoon she charged over, ears back and actually spat at me!  I had to retreat and feed her through the fence.  I am going to have to remove some of the babies early - not that it matters much with Trouble.
2.  The camera has been packed and I cannot find it - so no photos again.
3.  My charitable giving hit an all time low when I accidentally donated to   the wrong website and not only can I not get it back (understandable and fair enough) but the website it went to was incredibly rude and obnoxious.  I have now given up trying to sort that one out and will have to redonate directly and not through the Just Giving website once my next animals sale goes through.
4.  Sam's moped would not run right so we ended up buying him another and today - his first day going to work on it - it would not start!!
5.  Somehow I have succeeded in packing the password to the website - which I cannot remember - and I cannot log on to change and update (plus the shop has disappeared).
6.  Sadly, I have not lost the iron nor the hoover not the floor mop.
7.  BT have no problem switching the line and the broadband is no problem to reactivate in the new house - what is a problem is the timescale which is indeterminate.  So, at some point, there may be a break in the blog due to a lack of connectivity.  And if I don't answer emails for a day or two that will be why.
7.  Mostly everything else is now packed.  Even Sam's room shows some sort of order and the carpet is clear- which is a first.

So, all in all everything is going as well as can be expected just longing for the new stage of our lives to begin, whatever that new stage might be!!

Sunday 23 October 2011

Shed Clearing

Firstly, sorry for no photos - I have misplaced the camera.  We had a major attempt to finish clearing Carl's shed - and it is very difficult.  He refuses to throw anything away - old bits of pipe, planks of wood, rusty screws, parts for bikes he sold years ago, an old tractor seat, carpet from two houses ago - all will, apparently, come in useful one day.  It shows how often he actually looks at half of it as there were three full bottles of Stella Artois in one of his tool chests.

I sloped off with Sam and did a bit of body scoring and a surprise mating to a female I thought was definitely pregnant with a boy I hadn't used before - we'll see next year!

The sheep are waiting for the arrival of The Shepherd's ram.  He is down in the village at the moment but should be up soon.  Sam has, I think, agreed to give me one of his black ewes in exchange for all the looking after while he is now at work.  I am torn between number 6, number 8 and number 32 - all of whom are super friendly and like a little back scratch and a bit of hand feeding.  I am hoping to find a few more Southdowns to swell numbers but The Shepherd is having a job locating any for me at the moment.

I also did a good bit of poo picking - the poo picker is holding on with the aid of a bit of tape. I was a bit shocked to hear the price of new pipes so am trying to make this last as long as possible.

After all the activity we went to Mum's for dinner this evening and head the most superb bit of beef I have had for a long time.  It came from The Gentleman Farmer and was very tender.

Thursday 20 October 2011

A Day Of Firsts

A day of firsts today -

I managed to work out why the Poo Picker was not picking up as well as it should with no assistance - split in the pipe.

Harry ate out of my hand for the first time - until Spike chased him away.

Sam went of to work on his moped for the first time - then he came back 5 minutes later as it still was not running right!

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Sleepy cat

Not a great deal to say today and I nearly didn't blog but I don't fancy anymore boxes tonight and Cruella has taken over so I thought I might as well!
I poo collected amidst showers of hail - it has certainly turned colder (hope it's better up with you, Debbie!).  Trouble has gone off her bottle and hardly had anything today.  I have a feeling my coat may not have helped, she is not used to me wearing a oat and I think it put her off a bit.  Tomorrow the coat will have to come off for feeding.

Sam's moped has finally been mended and he has tried it out tonight.  He drove up through Delcombe and then down to the garage for fuel (I think he felt pretty proud of himself!).  Tomorrow he rides it to work for the first time and he has strict instructions to text me when he gets there!

Sunday 16 October 2011

Killing ropes

A very nice day here, if a bit hectic.  First thing it was off to pay a visit to help with some toenails and a bit of handling where we met a couple of very sweet cria including a lovely black boy with a great fleece.  It was then a rush back to take Sam over to Milborne.  Whilst we are out, Sam had filled the bowser for me as it had got very low.  Despite the time of year the girls are still enjoying paddling with Bert and Lina being the worst.
Lina has been one extremely stroppy alpaca today and all because I wanted to weigh little Axle.  I didn't want to get them all down to the barn so Carl and I used the rope to take them into a corner and then catch Axle - Lina screeched and leapt around and then when Carl put the coil of rope on the ground while he went to fix the hayrack (which Sherbert had loosened by rubbing on it yesterday), she attacked the rope!  She pounced on it, kicked it, spat at it, knelt on it - shame I didn't have a camera!

Saturday 15 October 2011

Trouble for Zara

If another fly buzzes me whilst I am sitting here I shall scream!  I am having terrible fly problems - they are everywhere and they hide in the curtains - buzzing out at me when I am unprepared.  I have even resorted to those old fashioned fly strips which remind me of going to Nan's where she had them hanging in the kitchen.

Zara has been in big trouble this afternoon and I have had to have a serious discussion with her.  She feels the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and leans through to eat.
She has started leaning further and further out and finally snapped the staples of not one, but two posts.  This then meant I had to grub around in the grass for ages to find the staples which seem very illusive once they drop.
The slink was doing her own version of eating through the fence but, for her, it just seemed to involve stretching her tongue through.
Yossarian has been conducting his own spit off tests with everyone.

Here he is - just a few seconds before Little Star finally got fed up with him and covered him with green spit!

Very warm again today which has really worn the babies out.

Tilbo at the back and one of the Dudettes at the front.

This evening both Carl and Sam are worm out as they have been beating for the shoot.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Making the most of it!

Another warm today - in fact it was positively warm at times.  The alpacas were sunbathing, snoring and sleeping - I felt I should be as well, but I was tied to the telephone attempting essential but frustrating phone calls.  Cruella, the black and white cat, has spent most of her time staring intently at a piece of hedge.  There is obviously something there that she is desperately keen to get hold of!

The flies have been bad today - not on the animals but on every shiny white surface, particularly tacky PVC conservatories!  Must be the unseasonable warmth waking them up.

It was an early start this morning as Sam had to be at work by 7.30am which means we had to set off just before 7am as he was getting twitchy.  I think the part for his moped may arrive tomorrow so he might be mobile next week.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Feeding Frenzy

Still windy and a bit chilly but not really October weather here.  The grass is still looking good - despite a few persistent docks and thistles.
Dude is much happier now he is back in end paddock.  He likes to be high enough to look down on everyone else!
He just dashes down when he wants his tea - something which didn't go quite to plan last night.  I fed Dude and then went to feed the boys who were very excited and rushed to the gate by Dude's pen.  Normally I feed them at the other end near the girls and they give Dude a wide birth.  Last night they were so excited about their food they forgot he was there and Spike started eating from my hand - Dude charged over, screeching reared up at the fence and had a real funny 5 minutes!  As soon as I stopped feeding Spike he calmed down - strange!

Spent a frustrating day waiting for an important phone call that never came, knitting and communing with boxes!

Sunday 9 October 2011

Poor Flem and Cuddly Bert

A very busy day today!  I didn't manage to get any photos as the camera had run out of battery power - so here is one from last week!

Dylan with Harry and Greeves behind him
We had a lot of alpaca chores to catch up on so boxes had to wait.  Sam and Carl got all the sheep drenched with their wormer first thing (sorry, I have to confess I got up late!).  I was then supposed to take Sam over to Milborne Port - but the car wouldn't start.  Investigation by Carl showed the problem was I had accidently knocked the fuel cut out thingy off whilst manically hoovering the car yesterday (a rare occurance).  Once that was sorted - took a while to sort out where the switch was - Sam got to Milborne Port!

We then did some, worming, vitamin Ds and lots of toenails and body scores.  The girls were not terribly well behaved which seems usual for them at this time of year - subsequent spit offs showed they may all be pregant which is good.  Bianaca spat like a demon so possibly the antibiotics etc have done the trick.  Very pleasingly (a phrase I hate as it was a favourite one with an Ofsted inspector I knew in a previous life!) Prue spat beautifully, as did Little Star so might be the patter of little Jed feet next year!  In fact everyone spat - even Bert.  Bert was the only impeccably behaved alpaca for foot trimming and this is usually not the case.  Bert is lovely- until you try to pick up her feet.  She spits, sits, tucks her feet under her and screecehes - not to day!  She did not spit - she did sit but obligingly put her feet out - she moaned ecstatically when I tickled her under her chin, gave me a kiss and was generally lovely!  I fully expected her to drop like a stone for Dude - but no, she turned into a she monster when he got near!  Strange alpaca!

I am afraid Flem has a jaw abscess which I noticed as soon as I held her for Carl to do her feet.  It is very hard at the moment so we'll give her some antibiotics to start with and see if we can soften it up with something.  She hasn't lost weight or gone off her food but I need to get that sorted out.

Friday 7 October 2011

Axle - flowing freely again!

Thank you for the emails regarding Axle!
An enema seemed the best bet but that is not as simple as it sounds, never having administered an enema to anything - animal or human.  First I felt I needed a tube - hose pipe looked only suitable for a baby elephant, as did water pipe.  Then I found an old stomach tube kit in the back of the cupboard so decided that might be okay with a feeding bottle attached to put the fluid in - but what fluid?  Soapy water seemed the best choice but did I use Wrights Coal Tar, Estee Lauder or Bronnley?  In the end I felt washing up liquid might be best.  So, I went back to check email advise and noted the use of a syringe or the administration of Castor Oil.  Not having any Castor Oil to hand I went over with my made up kit and a syringe in case.  As I approached Axle was continuing to strain and as I got nearer he passed a little brick.  He then race up the top of the field with me in close pursuit, stopped and bit an other lovely normal poo!  Crisis over - my administrations not required - he has pooed normally for the rest of the day!

The cats have decided box packing is the most fun they have ever had.  Cruela is sleeping in a box of my most precious china while Little Wee is stalking everything else I pack!
And if you are wondering why I have a blue sheet and bits of alpaca all over the floor, it is because I am trying to sort fleece at the same time!

Thursday 6 October 2011

Axle's bottom problem!

The wind is still strong today with intermittent showers  - a real change from a few days ago.  I have started to worry about Axle, Lina's baby.  Yesterday he was straining quite a bit and not producing anything.  This morning he was still straining and by 10am a compact poo was beginning to emerge.  Like a small tortoise it continued to creep out with Axle straining, eating and walking around.  By 12 it was beginning to look most odd and Axle was beginning to walk oddly so I donned the rubber gloves and gave him a hand.  He looks a little better but I fear there is still more to come and it is not heading out easily!  If anyone has any suggestions on what to give him to soften it all up I would be grateful!
The poor little soul also has runny, sticky eyes which I think is due to the wind - I remember Greeves also had it when he was little.  As you can see he is still little, that is Tilbo behind him, but he will not have any bottle top up and, despite being small, he is nice and rounded on his back.
I am blogging early as we have a busy evening which involves boxes of various descriptions!

Wednesday 5 October 2011


The weather is starting to turn a little here - it is very windy this evening and I am wearing a jumper for what feels like the first time in months.  It feels like we are waiting for something and I think the animals feel it too!
I can't believe it is almost time to get the ram again for the sheep.  We are having the Shepherd's old boy back again I am pleased to say - he did us proud this year.  I am not sure about Grace though.  She has recovered a well but her skin is still tender at the back and a crack has opened up at the top of one leg, I think I will see how she goes on over the next few weeks.

And I don't know what has got into Sapphire today - she has even been pronking with the babies, must be the wind I think!  She is the brown straight ahead at the back, not pronking in the photo - I couldn't catch that!
P.S. I have had a bit of trouble with the GWR show results and website but they are all up now and the link is -