Monday 31 January 2011

Poor, Poor Greeves

A sad day today  - poor little Greeves

It's okay, he has not expired, today we made the difficult decision to wean him from Lina.  He is not gaining weight, in fact he has lost another 250g this week.  He is now only 14.25kg and skin and bones.  He is also, believe it or not, just over 6 months old - he certainly does not look it.  Lina is a challenging mother and, although she doesn't mind me being there, she objects violently to anyone else touching her baby.  I can't get him to eat any hard feed, she sneaks in to take anything I try to give him.  If I take him away from her she creates a fuss and he gives up any thought of eating.  If he is getting milk from her it is very little and not doing him a lot of good now so we decided to take him and the other two female cria, Sunbeam and Velocette, away this morning.

We took them all down to the barn and settled them with some hay and then let the Mums and older, weaned  cria out while keeping the three young ones back.  The Mums were so excited to go to a new paddock they totally forgot their babies and happily rushed off.  This evening, only Carolyn seems to realise anything is missing and she just gives the occasional glance round the paddock as if she is thinking, "I'm sure I've forgotten something!"  Lina appears to have completely forgotten Greeves ever existed.

The three weaners then went up to join Bert's group.  Velocette settled straight away and gobbled up her Camelibra tonight.  Sunbeam has intermittent moaning episodes but Greeves looked totally shell shocked.  He tucked into his hay but then just stood and stared through the hedge  at Dude.  He is crying a bit and just looks so tiny and lost!

With all this I forgot pictures of Dylan , Cassie and Zara but they are all fine.  Dylan is the sweetest little thing.  We checked him over this afternoon and he is very well behaved and gentle, holding up his head for a kiss - even Carl got a bit sloppy over him!  When I was doing the water this morning Zara suddenly set up an alarm call and everyone rushed up the hill to see what was going on in their paddock - a fox had just walked down the road past the field gate - I wouldn't have spotted it if it wasn't for Zara.  It soon disappeared with the racket she was making.  He couldn't get in the paddocks for all the fencing and barbed wire but we will need to keep an eye open, it is the first I have seen around us for over a year now.  We'd moved the perimeter electric fence from that side but I think it may have to go back. 

Cassie is a definite matriarch and she grumbles!  I was a little slow getting her food out of the Mule this evening and she grumbled!  I could imagine her rolling her eyes and saying, "It is not good enough.  Really, things have to change now I am here!"

We tried again with the different injection technique today and it did work.  We only had Dude and Dobby to do so it wasn't a really good trial but we will use it for everyone next time and that will be the real test.  Anyone who is interested can go to     to find out what it is all about.Yesterday we made two mistakes.  Firstly, we didn't take enough off the needle cover so the hole wasn't completely under the skin and it leaked out.  Secondly, we didn't file the end of the needle cover so it wasn't level and didn't sit comfortably on the skin.  With the two today it was quicker, went in easily, didn't seem at all stressful but I will wait until I have tried it with a large group before I say I prefer it!

Sunday 30 January 2011

Reddingvale Arrives!

Today did not start quite as early as planned.  Carl was given a bottle of wine for his birthday and, at ten o'clock last night, he suddenly remembered it.  One glass led to another and we ended up rather late to bed!

Despite this we had all the injections, drenches, foot trimming and body scoring done by 12, apart from Dude who has to wait until tomorrow.  The new injection method failed dismally, but not due to the method,  rather it was a slight mis measurement problem so we will try again tomorrow and I'll tell you about it then.

Everyone was very well behaved, apart from Bert who was highly hormonal.  Emily, Carolyn and Prue were the stars, barely needing to be held and lifting their feet perfectly.  Lina and Islay are always little monsters so they had theirs trimmed on the ground as usual, which they are fine with, so no dramas there.  In fact the only drama was when I broke the drench gun by letting it fall off the fence!

We then weaned Barnaby and Barry.  This went remarkably well - their Mum's haven't looked for them once and they haven't looked for their Mum's - lets hope it stays that way!

Then . . the big excitement!  Viv and Andy from Reddingvale came with Cassie, Zara and Dylan in a very smart stock trailer.  Dylan came out on his halter and walked beautifully into his paddock with Harry, Spike, Alf, Barry and Barnaby.  He is quite a cool young man and sauntered over as if he owned the place (after Andy had given him a manly cuddle!).  Zara and Cassie were straight off to explore their paddock - as Andy said, rather a higher altitude than they are used to.  Lina's crowd came over to investigate - I think Cassie will soon become the boss when they get together!  It was then back to the house for a coffee - no faints or trouser incidents so the state of the carpets was immaterial.  I forgot to ask if they needed the toilet and they were probably to afraid of what they might find in there to ask, which was a shame as they were specially cleaned and smelt very lovely with a musky pine fragrance, brand new soap (I'll go and whip that back into the packets for the next visitors) and clean towels.  Somehow Carl lured Andy into his shed, which I had told him firmly he must not do (he gets carried away talking about his bike).

After Andy and Viv had gone I went over to feed.  Viv had left Dylan, Cassie and Zara's bowls - all individually named.  I really did not see this working but, it did!  Despite Cassie's bowl being the furthest away from where she was she went straight over to it and Zara to hers.  Very well behaved, intelligent alpacas who can obviously recognise colours and read! 

Next up was Dylan.  I put down the troughs and the others rushed over.  Dylan lagged behind a bit, obviously way too refined for a trough made out of drainpipe, and when I put his named bowl down he came straight over and ate it all up!  Barry Norton tried to get his nose in but Dylan was having none of that!  Not a very good photo of him - I'll do some better ones tomorrow!

All three seem very settled - looking good!

Saturday 29 January 2011

Mitzy's Return!

Thank you everyone for the comments!  Mitzy, the kitten, who disappeared on Thursday morning, returned this afternoon.  About 3pm I returned from a quick trip to the shop and, as I walked down the garden path, I heard a pathetic, faint little miaow from behind the old fridge (I know, it makes our garden sound awful!).  On closer inspection - there was Mitzy, shivering and a little bedraggled but safe.  She was so pleased to be home she charged around the dining room, went to the toilet in the kitty litter, drank two saucers of milk, ate half a tin of cat food, crawled up and down the back of the sofa, attacked Smudge, curled up in her basket and went to sleep - purring very loudly!

Sam and Carl were beating all day while I poo picked and tidied up (given up on the sock fluff it has returned already).  I moved Harry, Spike and Alf in preparation for tomorrow - a lot of pronking, rearing (from Alf) and play fighting ensured.  The runs are now ready, vehicle mats in readiness, Vitamin D and Baycox on the table, Alpaca Manager worksheet printed out (I love that programme!) - roll on tomorrow!

And here is a quick snap of the new wool, Irene!

Friday 28 January 2011

Hunting for Mitzy

It has been a busy couple of days - as usual.  Sam's interview went well and he has an apprenticeship place and a possible job which may work out.  Unfortunately, Sam and I are not speaking at the moment due to 'An Incident' involving a bank, a quad and several carefully nurtured saplings.

Last night we were out searching - Mitzy went missing and we still haven't found her.  I am sure she could not have got out of the cat flap so she must have slipped out of the back door when it was open.  There were several dead baby birds out there which Cruella and Smudge must have caught.  Carl is convinced Smudge lured Mitzy over the field and left her there.  We haven't given up hope yet as she did survive on her own for three or four days before we found her - more searching later.  Carl must have been dreaming about her last night because he kept nudging me and saying,  "Something's scratching, I can hear scratching!" in his sleep.

Weighing day for Greeves tomorrow and I am really hoping he has finally put on a bit more weight, we'll see.  Tonight, however, is manic cleaning of the house night.  I have just taken half an hour trying to get sock fluff of the bedroom carpet!  Everything MUST be tidy as Viv and Andy from Reddingvale arrive with the new three alpacas on Sunday.  Carl says just to clean up the downstairs and one of the toilets but I feel you can never be too careful.  Who is to say that Viv won't suddenly have a fit of the vapours and need to lie down or Andy a burning desire to change his trousers?  The sock fluff  must go!  We also have to get the vitamin D injections (all with the new - to us - injection method) and the Baycox done.  On top of this Carl is Beating tomorrow and it is his birthday today (his present has not arrived but is on the way!).

I haven't told Irene yet but the new Westhill/Ashdale mix wool is now back from the mill.  Lovely and soft and a beautiful fawn colour.  I think Irene is going to be pleased!  I have also had several conversations with a very nice lady from Wiltshire who has given me an interesting idea for my alpaca felt - must find the time to have a go at that next week.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Bowties and Trailers

A trip to Blandford first thing where I caught sight of a certain dapper young man with a very fetching pink bow tie - just too late to catch up and say hello!

It was then back to clearing fields and sorting hay and water - for the second time in the day.  The alpacas are going through hay like crazy at the moment.

This evening I missed a lovely photo opportunity - Harry pronking all around his paddock with Spike and Alf watching and then joining in!  No time to get the camera and I had to rush to the vets to pick up some Baycox.  This had caused a bit of a discussion last week as the vet said Baycox Bovis (which we had before for Greeves) no longer existed.  It appears that it is now just called Baycox but is exactly the same and same dosage.

Sam is spending every evening outside with a trailer (thank you Rob!).  It is a wonderful thing with an electric tip and he has now got it to work by taking something (a switch I think) out of the old caravan and adapting it for the trailer.  Last night he got the tail gate to work and cleaned it all up so I can see it will soon be permanently attached to his quad!  I have to drag him in soon though as he has an interview tomorrow at Kingston Maurward for an apprenticeship course - not sure whether he will be able to find any employer with an apprenticeship to offer though as they are very hard to come by.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Hay covered alpacas

It has been cold and drizzly today which has meant a lot of clearing of field shelters and carrying of hay.  Bert's group of girls are the messiest alpacas - they do not seem to want to go outside to go to the toilet.  On the other hand, Lina's lot rarely mess in their shed - nor do Spike's group.  Dude is the cleanest - he always uses one spot!  However, worst of all are the sheep who wander around all over their paddock - going to the toilet as they walk!
Greeves has spent a lot of time waiting at the gate for me to bring fresh hay.

He has got so much in him now he looks ridiculous!  This afternoon I noticed Velocette was also getting very hay covered and Sunbeam was following her around eating the stray bits of hay from her back!

I keep squinting at the sheep trying to decide if they are pregnant - in theory they should lamb at the beginning of May.  I think most of Sam's are but I am not sure about mine.

That is Stumpy on the left and George on the right with Caedmon's side at the front. The sheep are fat!

Monday 24 January 2011

All is calm

Sorry for the recent lack of blogging - caused by super slow broadband - we are now gradually becoming stable and getting back to a degree of normality.

Carl has now put a gate into top paddock, which was what he wanted to do in the first place but I interfered, and it is much better.
Harry, Spike and Alf are getting along very well- even though it looks as if Harry has been sent to stand in the naughty corner in this photo.
I have now decided that Harry, Alf and Spike will stay together and little Dylan will join them when he arrives on Sunday.  The two weanlings - Barnaby and Barry will also go in with them.

Sunday is going to be both busy and exciting.  In the morning we have some routine injections to do - I am actually really looking forward to that as I have what sounds a wonderful new method to try (Many thanks to Viv from Reddingvale for the suggestion) - I'll tell you all about it on Sunday!  In the afternoon Zara and Cassie are arriving along with Dylan - great excitement!

Yesterday, we had the first meeting of the year or the GWR Fleece and Fibre Show.  They are always great fun but Carl made me change my trousers before I went as he said the first pair I tried (my best going out trousers) made me look crazy and the second pair (my summer trousers) were not much better but they had to suffice.  He says to buy a new pair before the next meeting!  Planning took a while as we were trying to incorporate as many suggestions as we could and I am now ordering sashes instead of rosettes for the champions as well as the supreme champions.
Look out for more news of the show at -
Carl spent part of the meeting doing a bit of Forklift truck maintenance - sadly all his ministrations ended up with it bursting something today so he has gone back to give it a good seeing to tonight.  After the meeting I got a ride in Rob's RTV flippin' good it is!  I'm certainly not taking it on  round the circuit in my Mule - it's too fast!

Everyone else at Westhill is doing well - Mitzy (or Little Wee) has made friends with both Smudge and Cruella so all is peaceful - for now!

Oh! And I have managed to update part of the shop with new items!!

Friday 21 January 2011

My stability may be improving

I am speeding up!  Brilliant!  Pages are now uploading in minutes rather than hours!  Mathew is sending me a new router which may mean uploading in seconds!  My life is complete and I am very happy!
Tonight I updated the hat section of the shop with out too many problems - tomorrow I anm working on scarves.
Now I am going to attempt a photo upload - if that works my day is complete!

Half an hour later - no, it did not upload!
Maybe tomorrow normal service will be resumed.  We have fencing tomorrow - and a complete clean out of field shelters.  I'll do photos - I'll attempt to upload . . .

Thursday 20 January 2011

I am unstable

Despite Super Computer, my internet is failing me,.  I now have an upload speed of 0.16mb and a down load speed of 0.12mb - hence - I am tearing my hair out, I have achieved nothing on the shop update and I am going to have to do another short blog with no photos.  The reason for my lack of speed is, according to Matthew at my internet providers, my lack of stability and until I can remain stable for 3 consecutive days there is no help.  I have told him this lack of speed is making me even more unstable but he did not seem to get the point.

Despite this the day started well with a trip to The Flower Lady to get a little finishing off knitting help.  The roads were very slippy and there was quite a frost in the fields - back to cracking water again!

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Back again - I hope!

I have been without internet or computer for the last two days - hence no blog and no reading of the blogs of other people.  We now have Super Computer but the internet is still a little dodgy to say the least.  I hope I make it to the end of this post and manage to post it!  It will be short in case it all disappears again!
Today was a lovely sunny day but I was so busy clearing the mess in the fields I forgot all about the camera.  I do have a couple of photos from the other day which I tried to share before.  They are photos to cheer anyone who owns dirty alpacas!  Nothing can be as bad a Greeves neck!

Monday 17 January 2011

Bottoms' Up!

Today I have been mostly on my bottom.  Several of the alpacas nearly were as well!  Partly, this has been due to the number of times I have slipped up on the mud (three pairs of trousers in the wash) and partly due to knitting ordered from France.  The shop would not accept orders from anywhere but the UK so I have been desperately sitting here trying to rev up the computer enough for me to try to sort it out.  Please let it be easier on Wednesday when Super Computer arrives! (With the alpacas it was solely due to the mud being so slippery - they have not, obviously been on the computer!)

Everyone was wet and bedraggled today and we had fighting over the carrots at lunchtime!

I fear there will be more fighting later, this time in the house, as Carl picked up the new computer desk this evening and it is flat pack!

Sunday 16 January 2011

Beavering Away

Today we have done well and the worst of the rain held off until now - it is hoofing it down again at the moment!

I did have a photo but the computer is hanging on by a thread at the moment and cannot handle uploading photos!

I have cleaned all fields and water containers.  Sam, when he returned from helping at Landrover Man's - yard scrapping (his favourite job) feeding and having breakfast with The Shepherd - moved the badger defences on end paddock and we moved Dude over.  He is much happier now and, incidentally, the only girls interested in him as he went past their paddock were the two female cria and Little Star (not mated yet).  That looks like good news on the pregnancy front - Flamenco an Lina both spat very forcibly at him as he went past.

Sam then somehow managed to lift the blown over field shelter back over the fence with the front loader, turn it back the right way and stake it down.  He has also done something technical to his quad, emptied and cleaned the Poo Picker and reorganised all the machinery.  He is after something which I think is a day off school to help with TB testing in the village but I am afraid he has to be disappointed!  I have to be tough as it is his exam year and he struggles enough with exams as it is!

I am increasingly impressed with the Alpaca Manager software and their help is fantastic.  I emailed with a problem and they replied with in a couple of hours (impressive as they are in New Zealand) and not only sorted out that difficulty but gave me several extra tips for making things easier.  I have now named all the paddocks, tagged the animals to the paddocks they are in and put in lots of paddock management tasks for Carl - he will be impressed!  The computer will flash a little reminder if he is behind!  Can't wait to tell him!  He has been off today being a Building Buddy for Si at Ashdale Alpacas and isn't home yet - hopefully, that means good progress on their barn.

Now my back hurts so I must sit down with the knitting.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Flight 2-0-9'er, you are cleared for take-off.

Very windy today.  I went down to clean the church with mother this morning and the wind blowing through the trees on the way back up the cut was quite scary.  I thought I was about to be squashed by a falling branch.  Sam and Carl have been out beating today and I have ordered a new computer.  I am totally fed up with the lap top crashing, there's just too much on it now and it is eight years old which my brother says is geriactic for a computer.  I have 1TB of hard drive on the way which sounds a bit ominous but Sam says is essential (my brother says it is more than I need and I have a feeling Sam has designs on it).
I had a quiet time with Bert this afternoon.  She was eating her hay and I was discussing with her the progress of her pregnancy when a huge gust of wind blew up, a great creaking made Bert and I fly out of the field shelter just in time to see the field shelter in the next paddock take off, somersault and land top down on the track pulling the stock fence off as it went.

I kid you not, it flew!!  I screeched at the chickens to move, luckily there were no alpacas in hat paddock, and Bert and I just looked at each other in amazement.  The cupboard door now has another couple of jobs added to it!  Harry stood at the top looking down, almost as if he was saying, "Things like this never happened on the Island!"

Friday 14 January 2011

Big Head Harry

Bit of a fright this evening.  I went to do the feeding and Spike and Alf rushed over as usual with Harry rather tentatively bringing up the rear.  Spike and Alf ate as usual - Harry didn't, but he is gradually creeping nearer.  All was fine and I went off to do the rest.  The individual bowl idea is proving a bit problematic as Little Star and Lina think all the bowls are theirs!  After feeding and weighing Greeves ( much to Lina's distress, Carl arrived and helped - so we were then covered in Camelibra) I walked back up while Carl emptied the Mule of waste hay from the shelters.  I saw Harry rather oddly positioned by the gate.  As I walked over to investigate he started pulling back - but his head was obviously stuck!  Sam was by the barn getting hay for his sheep so I called for him to help, and come up the side. as I didn't want to panic him any more by walking straight towards him - I had visions of broken necks and ripped ear tags.  Somehow, he had got his head in between the gate and the fence post and his head was too big to pull straight back out without lifting it - pulling was just making it worse.  I can't work out how he made the gap wide enough to get his head down in there in the first place.  Just as we were almost upon him he wiggled and lifted at the same time and jumped free.  He is fine and the gate has now had a bit of adaption.  Phew!!

Thursday 13 January 2011

The Joys of the Cupboard Door

Heavy rain in the night but today was just damp so I managed to get all the paddocks cleared, despite getting the front of the Mule entangled in the stock fencing again.  A bit of alternating revving up and sliding backwards eventually extricated me and the crowd of interested alpacas looked as if they might burst into applause at any minute!  I have also located a few bowls as my new girls and Dylan (not here yet) like to be fed from their own individual bowls.  They are bringing their own with them but I need to start preparing the girls who will be going in with them after quarantine - Lina is going  to love this!
All animals are now nearly entered on the Alpaca Manager software although I have still not succeeded in putting in 6 monthly events.  It will be good when it is all done but caused a mini panic today when it informed me on start up that I was overdue with 6 tasks!  Luckily, it was because I had entered a date wrong.

After tea tonight Carl was just saying we should have a wall planner in the kitchen when we redecorate so I could mark up the things that we had to do with out fail (his idea) when I had a brilliant flash of inspiration!  You can write on the inside of kitchen cupboard doors with a whiteboard pen!  Now Carl can open the cupboard door and see a list of tasks!!

No alpaca pictures but here is Mitzy (or Little Wee) with Smudge who has taken to laying on top of her until she falls out of her basket - which is far too small for Smudge anyway!  (and yes, my carpet really does need a hoover.  Those are sweet wrappers which Smudge finds and plays with, and bits of chewed up wood which Little Wee finds and plays with!).,

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Bad news followed by good

The weather has been a trifle miserable today and some sad news this morning did not improve things.  However, these things happen and all turns out for the best in the end.
The Westhill herd is looking good, if rather wet and dirty, but Greeves' neck is beyond help!  It is now so full of hay he looks like a walking compost heap and I do not have a clue of what to do about it!  I think we will have to just wait until the weather dries up a bit and hope some of the vegetation drops out.
Dude continues to look as if he is busting for a punch up and it has been suggested that he could be particularly annoyed because he is at the bottom of the hill and Harry is at the top.  I have a feeling that there could be some truth in it but he cannot move yet as I have to alter some of the badger protection first or he is liable to cut himself to ribbons.  I also have to break it to Carl that he now needs to put a top rail on another paddock!
This afternoon I has some very good news from the vet - Greeves is now clear of all parasites including coccidia.  HOORAY!!

Monday 10 January 2011

The morning after

Harry was very settled this morning.

Dude was not!  I am very unsure whether he wants to make friends with the interloper, or beat him up!  He is a field away but follows Harry's every move.  Dude is filthy - and I know I should wait for him to be clean to photograph him, but that could be a long wait!
So, today - - -
Poo picking completed,
Several little chats with Harry,
Water containers cleaned and filled,
Hay delivered to feeders -
I had to keep moving today as it felt very cold due to the nasty wind which blew up.  Sam reorganised the barn last night which has actually made a lot more room, despite having made a little area for himself and his bits, as he has restacked my hay.  His sheep hay is now in a very tidy pile.  It made getting the hay this morning very much easier as I usually have to climb under a tarpaulin and through a maze of bailer twine.

I am now settling down for an evening of inputting data into the new herd software which actually sounds quite good - particularly as, now it is registered the import animal bit works - plus it makes graphs of the body scoring (or I think it does!).

Sunday 9 January 2011

He's here!

Up and out to get all the morning chores done as quickly as possible.  Sam went to work at 6 and just missed getting back in time to go with me to meet Sandra and Mike from Warrenfield who were delivering my very special new arrival - Black Arrow (or Harry as he is now known!).  It's a long trip from the Isle of Wight and not that easy to find us so I met them in Blandford.  I brought Mike back via Turnworth as it is the easiest approach to the field entrance; it is a bit longer and Mike did comment that he felt we were arriving via Exeter!  Any way we all arrived safely, despite some mammoth pot holes in the road up from Blandford and, after a quick look at the girls, Harry made his entrance!  He had to say goodbye to his two travelling companions and long time buddies but he went down the track on his Halter looking as if he owned the place!  Dude caught sight of him arriving and has been pacing the fence and looking highly put out ever since!
Here he is!

I have left him to settle in; which he is doing remarkably well having already put Alf in his place.  He appears very fond of Bert and keeps half an eye on her at all times!

I'll get some better photos tomorrow but didn't want to keep fussing him today.  It was lovely to see Mike and Sandra again - thank you, both of you, Harry is gorgeous!  Carl hasn't seen him yet as he has been down at Ashdale Alpacas to act as Building Buddy to Si and isn't home yet.  Got to go over and have another check on Harry now!
Oh!  Just a quick photo of Lina's lot - and a bit of very good news!  I had been showing Sandra how thin Greeves was and, although he is thin, I did think as I showed her - he doesn't seem quite so bad as he was last week.  So, after Sandra and Mike had gone, Sam and I weighed him and he has gained nearly 1kg!  Whether it is the Ceto Phyton or the Baycox who knows, but it is good!
Little Greeves is on the right with his back to the camera (his neck is solid hay!).

Saturday 8 January 2011

Black Day tomorrow!

Up and off early this morning to help with a bit of alpaca handling and checking.  It is lovely to return to see alpacas and find them so calm and easy to handle.  A good morning and the rain held off which was a big bonus.  It was then back to our herd and a final push to get the field shelter roof on.  All is now ready for our special delivery tomorrow - sadly, I can do nothing about the mud!  His two new companions are waiting for him, another new friend will be coming soon.  Tomorrow there really will be photos - rain or not!

Friday 7 January 2011

Excitement Mounting!

Today was wet - not much more to say about it really!  I kept my eyes on the skies; partly looking for a vague clearing so I could get Poo  Collecting but also on the look out for rogue helicopters as I hear the Scrap Man now has acquired one!

We have a busy weekend ahead of us with a special delivery on Sunday to look forward to so I am going to be watching the telivision whilst knitting in order to prepare myself.  I had my hair dne this morning in preparation and Carl keeps giving me sidlong looks and calling me slick for some reason (I am not sure he totally approves.

No alpaca photos due to the rain but one of Mitzy (or Little Wee as she is now known).

Thursday 6 January 2011

Would you like to swing on a star. . . .

I needed Willie's pink umbrella today - it was miserable weather!  I had a slight Mule catastrophe this morning when negotiating the track as I slid sideways and entangled myself with the new fence.  The bar thing at the front got stuck in the stock fencing and nearly pulled it off the posts as I attempted a reversing manoeuvre.  This was strange as the Mule has never been so badly behaved before.  However, I have since found that it is, as usual, not my fault!!  SOMEONE put the Mule in 2 wheel drive so no wonder it could not negotiate the track - I shall be very glad when that someone gets his own vehicle and leaves mine alone!!  I did a very small Poo collection today, which I will no doubt regret tomorrow but I did manage to have a quick hoover in the church and take the window decoration down.

Sorry no pictures today as it has just been too wet.

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Raindrops keep falling on my head!

Thank you for your kind wishes for Sam's birthday - he used black ink for his tractor driving application, enjoyed his birthday tea of fish and chips and had lots of cards!  We also watched a DVD  we had given him for Christmas - quite funny but a lot of violence and rather dodgy I felt.  It said it was rated a 15 but 15s are not what they were in my day!

Today was grey and drizzly and the mud is getting beyond a joke.  I had a good check on the new paddock this morning and went to stand in the field shelter, to check it for spaciousness, and was just thinking how good it all looked when I realised I was still getting wet - on looking up I saw why - no roof on the field shelter yet!  I had forgotten that was still to be done!  I spent the afternoon putting all the due dates in the new diary; already looking forward to these babies and wondering how much out they will be from the dates I put in the diary!

Tuesday 4 January 2011

On my own again!

Despite the harsh weather, Greeves is coming along slowly. This is him with Lily.   Lina is still highly possessive although she is not keen on him feeding and I don't think there is much, if any, milk there.  He is a very good hay eater though!  Today has been my first day on my own since before Christmas as Carl had over a week off and Sam has been around in the afternoons.  Up until now I have been able to yell if the poo picker and the Mule got tangled up together or fuel ran out or I got stuck in the mud so I approached the field clearing with a little trepidation!  However, I am pleased to say all went well with all fields cleared, no animals escaping whilst I negotiated gateways and refueling accomplished with only a minor spillage.  There was one snag though - and I am convinced it is not my fault!  I could not unhitch the Poo Picker from the Mule and on close inspection I feel this is due to the length of the tow bar on the Mule; it is too short making unhitching awkward.  Tonight I shall ask Carl if he can make some sort of "Mule Extension"!

Now I have to go and create a birthday tea as it is Sam's 16th birthday (the highlight for him is filling in his application form for a provisional driving licence so he can take his tractor test!)

Sunday 2 January 2011

Field Shelter Number One (almost)

Today has seen th erection of one of the new mobile field shelters - and they are VERY heavy to manhandle!  We had a little slip up where the side went on in the wrong place but it is now almost complete (darkness has stopped the roof going on).

The second one is still on the trailer.  Hopefully, tomorrow, it will make it into position.

The old ones were a bit of a squash, even with only half the group in there!

Saturday 1 January 2011


A new year and I am on church cleaning duties for January and February.  I am taking this so seriously I was down there by 8am clutching the pledge and a feather duster.  However, who ever was on in December had taken things even more seriously and I could barely find a speck of dust to whisk away!
In fact, cleaning was the theme of today as the paddocks got a thorough poo pick with two now closed up and resting - a little late due to the snow.  Carl has almost finished fencing one new paddock - just the wire and field shelter to go!
We now have lots of mud here and some paddocks are very bare which means the girls are still very keen on the hay and dash down for their feed.  They are not getting their morning sugar beet since the snow has gone and are most unhappy about it.

The sheep and the boys are also still queuing for food!