Monday 28 February 2011

Musings amongst the Poo

Today has been cold!  Much warmer up north - or it was anyway.  For me, today was back to reality but at least there was no house to clean, The Chippendales had done a fantastic job and even cleaned the porch floor - I also have a super clean and hygienic sink!  Sam did quite well but there were a few dodgy bits to his looking after everything.  I am not convinced his poo picking was of the highest standard, the metal rod on the top of the Mule door has been bent considerably and he has dug two coffin shaped holes in the barn floor - Why?  There is also a plum line hanging from the top of the barn roof (how did he get up there?) - Why?  I  discovered this early this morning when the door of the Mule fell into my arms, I tripped over a spade and ended up in a coffin, then poked myself in the eye on a dangling plumb line whilst climbing out of my grave.  We will be having a little chat later.

I was thinking as I poo collected today about alpaca knitwear.  It is occupying my thoughts as after my Christmas rush I am not selling  - part of the problem is not getting to enough shows with it - people need to see it and feel it.  My online shop doesn't really reach enough people I don't think.  I then fantasised and slid into my ideal world, a place I seem to go to increasingly these days.  In my dream world there is a shop somewhere and you can rent a space there, it's all alpaca related stuff, you send your stuff there and pay a commission to the people running it (who are alpaca people) on whatever they sell.  Maybe someone is doing it already - and if not maybe I'll do it one day - or maybe that is a daft idea anyway.  A kind of flea market for alpaca goods (flea has the wrong connotations)  Anyway I have had a long time to think today whilst also pondering on how much poo collecting Sam actually did.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Back from the North!

After a mammoth drive - we are home!  Very many thanks to all who commented and emailed about Greeves.  It was touch and go whether we would ever get away but in the end we did and the first thing I did when we got home was to rush over to weigh Greeves.  He looks fine but I am afraid he has lost 200g but I have now got some new food to try him on, a present to him from Jayne at Zanzibah, so I shall give it until Tuesday and then weigh him again.

We set off on Wednesday - armed with the Sat Nav and hit our first problem as the Sat Nav could not find Glasgow.  After a while we realised that Glasgow is not in England so we had to change country.  Towards Carlisle things did get a little tedious.  The 'Spot the name on the Eddie Stobbart lorry' game kept us going a bit (double points if it is also the name of one of your alpacas) .  A long time was occupied by texting Irene to tell her I was waving at Liverpool (I started texting at Manchester as I knew it would take some time).  Spot the Arnold Clark car was fun until we realised every third car was an Arnold Clark car and that game began to pall!  Finally, we reached Loch Lomond!
Quite grey, as you can see!  The next day we motored on, furiously, but fitted in a trip to the beach

and one to a Land fill site (we were not expecting it to be a land fill site)
Now we come to Friday!  We had been looking forward to this for ages - a trip to Zanzibah Alpacas to meet up with Jayne - what a woman!  After our visit there every time I say to Carl that I can't do something it's, "Well, Jayne would manage!"  And I have to say, she would!  We followed the sat nav but couldn't find her so I rang to be greeted with this wonderful cheerful,  "Ohh, Hellooo" - immediately she said she would come and find us and we drove on over the brow to turn around only to spot two beautiful - huge - Highland cows.

 . . and then we spotted Jayne, coming to find us!  Within minutes we had located each other and she took us to her farm - a beautiful place in a wonderful area and she has done so much.  We had a tour and met Norris - a fabulous sheep!  Then it was on to the alpacas and a very soft, beautiful looking Duke.  Minstrel did steal the show a bit!

Carl was very impressed with the fantastic array of barns, buildings and loved Daisy the Digger.  He is also now inspired by the spinning lesson and is already searching ebay for some new and essential equipment - I can see he is soon going to be producing mountains of wool which he will expect me to knit up in my spare time (well, "Jayne can do it!").  We also saw some really lovely knitting, very individual and innovative - and if you could see what she had done with seconds - very impressive!
Well, after delicious soup, rummaging through fleece, spinning and carding lessons, looking at knitting, seeing a fantastic field shelter and a beautiful walking stick made by Jayne's Dad - we just had to move on but we could have stayed there forever.  We'll be back again, Jayne - if we may!!

It was then a drive to our next stopping place and another exciting visit the next day.  Luckily, I had taught myself to text by then and managed to text Debbie at Barnacre to see if we could pop in on our way past.  It is strange when you read someone's blog and see pictures and then  meet them and know exactly who they are and what they have been doing when you have never met them before in real life!  Despite having visitors they were very welcoming - Paul has a great sense of humour!  We had a bit of a knitting chat and I had a sneak preview of some lovely socks - I don't know how Debbie's Mum and Carol do it, they were fabulous.  Debbie's hand spun yarn is very soft and in lovely colours.  I almost wished I was pregnant when I saw the baby cardigan.  It was then out to see the alpacas and I have to say that Sandstorm really took my fancy - can you spot him?!
Minimus was a real hit and I am still trying to work out whether he was taller than Greeves - but Minimus is a very healthy little chap, unlike Greeves.  My other new best friend is Meketaten, so sweet!
We only had the Fiesta - if we had the stock trailer with us . . .
But Debbie was keeping a close eye on things!

It has been a marvellous few days away and many, many thanks to Jayne and Debbie and Paul. 
Back to Greeves and a weight gain action plan - plus, of course getting ready for births!!
Sorry for the exceedingly long blog!!

Tuesday 22 February 2011

My biggest panic ever - Greeves

Rushing around until 2pm cleaning paddocks, shelters, water . . .   Everyone was fine, all happy.  I then went back to clean the house ready for the arrival of the Chippendales.  At 4 I asked Sam to come over with me and bring the camera to take a photo for the blog.  As I went into Greeves paddock I could not see him but thought he must be in the field shelter - he wasn't.  Terrible panic started to set in and then as I went over the rise I saw him - too late in the day for sunbathing and he didn't move as I shouted for Sam and ran over.
Real panic.  As I knelt down he twitched his ears and I pushed him back up - you can't see from the photo but he was lying with his feet uphill and I think he had got stuck.  He made a lot of burping noises.
 . . . then I pushed him up onto his feet and he went to the toilet, perfectly normal, and had a very long wee.  I have just checked him and he is kushed, perfectly normally, next to his Aunty Islay - we'll see how he is later.

After that huge shock, I went to have a word with Bert and tell her  about us, hopefully, going away and to keep an eye on Greeves.
Not sure she understood a word!

Hopefully, all is okay and there will be no more blog until we get back next Monday - if I blog before we have not been able to go!!

Monday 21 February 2011

One more day to go!!

Sam and I have been blundering around in a grey mist today.  Actually, Sam has been doing most of the work and I have just been blundering!  I have an achy cold and am taking lots of tablets to get rid of it before the holiday but Sam has pulled the stops out.  He returned from work this morning with lots of roles of electric fence wire and a contraption called, by The Shepherd, a bike!  With this he is making a new pen for his sheep.  I drove over to Wincanton to fetch the plasma - I now have loads of it in the freezer, Bert's baby WILL survive this year!
The postman has been busy, the spring things for the Mitsubishi arrived, my ebay purchase came and Carl's very late replacement birthday present came.  We had to return the trousers as they were just too obscene and he now has a pair of Trials boots which are great except he does not want to take them off and is walking around like an excerpt from Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers!  My Ebay buy looks fantastic, it is an embroidery sewing machine, but will have to wait until next week for a trial with the alpaca felt.
Sam now has a long list of instructions for next week and later we just have to plan where we are going, find clothes, get the car ready . . .
The car has shown it's very first fault.  If you drive at over 60mph the sunroof begins to lift slightly and the resultant inrush of wind causes the driver and front seat passenger's hair to blow backward giving them a slightly sonic the hedgehog look.  Carl is fixing that problem with a little grip fill!
Our holiday is getting quite exciting - we are going to go visiting!  We plan to see Jayne at Zanibar and Debbie at Barnacre has offered us a cup of tea and a preview of her socks so we are hoping to get there.  We did want to try to meet Barbara at Beckbrow but I know they are on holiday so that will have to be on another trip. Really looking forward to it (despite the cold) . . . Zeto, Norris, Minimus, Legend of Spartacus . . . .

No good, got to go and get ready for a church meeting now!

Sunday 20 February 2011

Moving sheds

Saw went off to work as usual at 6 this morning - with a quick detour to check on his tractor (It is a L2850, Rob!).  The tractor is very useful as, when he got home, I got him to flatten ruts and move a field shelter.
I had to, according to Sam, sit behind in the Mule for no reason that was immediately obvious - but I did get to drive it when he got to a tricky bit where he had to guide it round a corner!

Safely in position and the girls shot in!

After lots of clearing up in fields it was back to the computer as we have decided we have to now put Barry Norton and Barnaby Rudge up for sale and I had to finish the sales details on Alpaca Seller - they also have their own little mini blog at - or see the link at the side of this page!  For anyone who is interested in young lads (alpacas that is) we do know of another source of gorgeous chaps!  Parting with Barry and Barnaby would be a real wrench as they are so very sweet but it has got to be done.

Saturday 19 February 2011

Wellground, Kubota, Land Rover . . .

Phew!  What a day!  After Rob's offer to come and see his etchings we decided we really had to have more Camelibra before we went away!  Due to the magnificence of the Super SFS, lovers of all things fungal (or should that be fungi) we had a fabulous vehicle (Carl now wants one) with which to deliver some odds and ends - and as we virtually had to pass within a 100 miles of Bratton, we popped in to be greeted by the rapturous Billie Jean and the all singing all dancing Russell sisters.  Now, much as I was itching to see Rob's etchings and get my hands on his weather station we  were seduced by the sweetest little boy you have ever seen - such a magnificent head and a fabulous fleece but I forgot his name!  We then talked and talked and talked - Lionheart was a bit of a distraction, looking fantastic outside the window.  I know Rob will soon have some fantastic news on the GWR - we got a sneak preview of something really very stunning.  And after all that I never got to see the etchings - or the weather station!!

When we got back Sam was all twitchy as he had just heard his tractor was arriving early evening - he has been saving for this for years and, having finally bought it, waiting - not very patiently - for two weeks for it to have a full service and be delivered.  Brilliant place, Cowlingagri, very good service.
Sam stood by the gate for 2 hours
He waited and waited - entertained by the hang gliders.

Until finally it arrived!

One happy, pink little boy!!

. . . . And Greeves has gained weight again!

Friday 18 February 2011

Getting ready!

Our little difficulty regarding the holiday has been solved thanks to the Magnificent SFS - may all their rides be comfy ones!

The problem was the truck - it failed it's MOT!  This in itself was not a problem as most of it is welding and Carl is a dab hand with the welder.  However, we have a couple of things that need to be done before we go away - which require the towing capacity of the truck.  We did not panic (well I did, a bit) - we investigated the towing capacity of Uncle Festa - not possible - and then phoned U drive which is a long and daft story and a complete waste of time so I will say no more on that one!  But all is well as the SFS have come to the rescue (they have a website at and if you click on the activities video you can see the male SFS talking about his great loves, riding and fungi collecting).  If you ever want to take your horse on holiday it is a fabulous place and a really high spec holiday cottage.

Anyway, this weekend is going to be very busy and I have to try to get rid of this cold I have coming on - we have to move alpacas around, Carolyn and Flamenco are having a real power struggle at the moment, move field shelters and generally get everything organised ready for going away.  Sam's sheep are looking BIG and they need their electric fence moved.

All the boys seem to be loving their field shelter and cram themselves in there every time new hay appears - with Harry always bagging the prime spot at the back!

Thursday 17 February 2011

Living on a knife edge!

Bit of an up and down day today with a minor panic that we would not be able to go on holiday next week - however, I think (fingers crossed) that we have found a creative way around the difficulty!

It has been nice weather today but I was prevented from too much field work as my parcel from ebay was due to arrive - it didn't!  I hate it when I have to sit around waiting for deliveries. Never mind, the house got cleaned.  After the slight panic this morning, Carl has been getting in the holiday mood and keeps checking the weather in the north in  preparation.  He's bothering me to find an excuse for a trip to Rob at Wellground  to see his weather equipment - I have told him we have enough Camelibra to last weeks but he is muttering that you can never have too much!

A phone call this afternoon from Wincanton Laboratories to say the plasma is ready for collection - very quick.

Angelina Jolie with Dobby and Caedmon in the background

Wednesday 16 February 2011

I can see clearly now . . almost

Today I have been running around all over the place.  The blood has been taken to Wincanton Laboratories for spinning into plasma - very friendly there and quick, it should be ready tomorrow.  I took Mum to Dorchester for her eye test and had mine done at the same time.  Very nice Scottish lady optician.  The eye test took ages but this was partly due to the fact that we got talking about alpacas, which she was very interested in, and she knew Popham alpacas so we had a good chat whilst I was wearing the strange eye test paraphernalia and she was puffing air in my eyes.

The hunt was out and I got a bit mixed up with the riders on the way through - several lorries also chose that moment to negotiate the country lanes and it was all a bit of a mix up for a while; with The Shepherd's Lady in the middle of it all with Prince Charles' Wife's horse.

Tuesday 15 February 2011


I have had a bit of a trying afternoon.  Rain, mud and the vet coming to take blood!  Everything was organised, only thing to do was to get the boys into the barn ready for the vets arrival.  This should have been simple as they know where they are going and normally trot straight in - not today!  Harry was with the group I needed and he isn't yet used to the route to the barn.  He is also not used to my bits of rope for runs!  Spike trotted off to the barn and Harry trotted straight past, crawled under the rope and charged off up the track looking for the girls.  I attempted to cut him off, slipped in the mud and brought my rope barrier down with me.  Spike then shot back out of the barn followed by Alf which stirred up the two little weaners, Barry and Dylan.  They trotted up the track only to spot their Mum's (who promptly ran away from them).  Dylan then saw Bert and went into a bit of a frenzy (she is rather gorgeous) and then I completely lost the plot - much swearing and shouting at this point with me slipping and sliding around and alpacas shooting in all directions.  Luckily, Carl then appeared over the hill - apparently the Gentleman Farmer was looking over the field gate, hope he didn't hear the worst of the swearing - but he probably did!  Calm descended, just in time as the vets then appeared. 
Spike is the best behaved alpaca in the whole wide world and made no fuss about contributing blood.  I did threaten Harry that he would be next after his performance - I didn't mean it, we had enough from the others and I did say sorry to him for the shouting.
I now have a fridge of blood to take to Wincanton Laboratories tomorrow for spinning into plasma.  The vet did a great job, it is not easy with the facilities we have.  In the background is the old hay - only fit for the sheep and there is very little of that - locked away like gold bullion is the new hay and we have 20 bales left - that is all!!
The next picture is a little gruesome - you may not want to look any further!!

Monday 14 February 2011

Looking forward to Spring - and summer!

I couldn't blog last night as the internet suddenly disappeared.  The weather was awful -  rain and wind.  We didn't achieve much outside because of this but we did have a visit from The Chippendales who were here for instructions ready for their visit next week while we are away.  We are going to have a few days of adventure whilst Sam and The Chippendales look after things here.  It has to be now or the lambs will be upon us - also it has to fit in with Sam's half term.  More on our little adventure later!

With one sock finished I am now ploughing on with the other one and am trying to get it finished quickly as I have worked out how to knit two at the same time on circular needles (not sure in which direction the heel will go when I turn it!).  It all sounds highly complicated but I shall have a go!  My winning lot on ebay is also on the way and I am quite excited about that, just hope I can work it!

I think I am really going to have to get new tyres for the Mule now, I kept getting bogged down this afternoon and I really wanted a good clear up as the weather does not look good for the rest of the week.  Tomorrow is not going to be pleasant as I have the vet coming to take blood for plasma spinning.  After several phone calls to Wellground we got ourselves organised and, after final discussions with the vet this evening, we are all ready to go - the wethers are not going to be too keen on this!  It has to be done though as I know I will need the plasma, at least for Bert's baby and I do not want another tragedy like Matchless.

Tonight I couldn't face more photos of bedraggled alpacas - so here are some from last spring and summer!

Greeves - he needs more grass!

Desperate to make hay - we are running low!

Velocette - summer and more cria!

More lambs coming soon!  These are Teddy and Two Tone.

Summer - and cuddly Bert will be back!

Saturday 12 February 2011


Now I am aching!  I confess that it is all my fault as for two day I have not had the Poo Piker out - the ground was just too muddy so today we had build up!  However, I am very happy as today was weighing day for Greeves and we have another weight gain - 900g - he is now 16kg and looking much less hunched up.  Brilliant!  The sun was out today and more good news, the camera is not ruined - here is the proof!

Barnaby, Dylan  and Harry

Barry Norton

Cassie - getting used to lying on a slope!

Grass is beginning to sprout pretty well but this has meant Carl has had to get the strimmer out.  The electric fence outside the paddocks shorts out when the grass starts to touch it - I think it will have to have more drastic measures as the strimming takes quite a while!

This final shot is not for those of you with a weak disposition!  I have finally finished the sock.  I have never knitted a sock before and all those needles were a nightmare but it is done - it is really for Carl and is a bit too big for me but he said his legs were not up to modelling.  I envisaged a tasteful shot of just the sock (my legs are certainly not up to modelling - and nor is the rest of me!) but sadly he got my poo collecting tracksuit bottoms and ancient jumper in - along with three cats, just focus on the sock!!!

Friday 11 February 2011

Slipping and sliding

Morning poo collection came to a bit of a slippery end as I bogged down in the mud.  I then unhitched the poo picker on a bit of a slope, my wellies could get no grip and poo picker and me slid gracefully into the hedge!  I blame it all on a late night at the computer!

I'll have to try again tomorrow, in the mean time it was back to the bucket and spade.

Carl has retrieved the flip flop and sorted the tyre so the car is now ready for action I am glad to say (a very exciting few days away are planned).  I was about to do photos to check if the camera was working when I had a summons to take Mum to visit The Aunt who was ill - she looked pretty perky to me when we got there.  Her dog had a strange fascination for my arm which it kept attacking whilst emitting pungent gusts and I tried to maintain polite conversation and pretend it wasn't happening!

Thursday 10 February 2011

Mystery Balls

It has been a murky, damp day today and I am rolling around in mud here, not literally just in the Mule.  All alpacas are now filthy - except for Cassie who has taken over the field shelter, will only let Zara in, and who is on a mission to eat every scrap of hay in the hay rack.  She did totter out to grumble over her bowl of food but then it was straight back into the shelter and the replenished hay rack!

I have been sorting out the next lot of knitting for the shop - now just got to get it uploaded - and photographed.  This is a bit of a problem as I have had a bit of a disaster.  I took the camera over at feeding time and left it on a gate post - the rain came!  Carl is very cross and the camera is hanging up in the airing cupboard.

He is actually doubly annoyed as I appear to have broken Uncle Festa (the new car).  Somehow it has developed a slow puncture and I also had a flip flop incident.  My key ring has a small plastic flip flop as a key ring (it came in a cracker at Christmas).  I drive close to the steering wheel and Carl drives way back - almost sitting in the back.  He had taken it out last so when I got in I put my hand down to adjust the seat with my key ring in my hand.  The seat shot forward and trapped the little flip flop in the mechanism.  I tugged and the flip flop disappeared into the seat adjuster workings - and I then snapped it off, still inside, while retrieving the key.  All this means the seat now will not adjust which is fine for me but Carl has to drive with his knees up round his chin and he cannot see the funny side of it!

He did cheer up a bit when I gave him his birthday present, several weeks late as it has only just come, a pair of blue Lycra trials trousers!

A bit of a puzzle today.  There are a vast quantity of golf balls down the cut (well, six today).  Where are they all coming from?!

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Thoughts are turning to the GWR Alpaca Fleece and Fibre Show

Failed on photos today again - sorry!  So, to enliven the blog slightly, I'll have to give you one from last week  - Barry Norton.

I was too busy watching bottoms in an attempt to catch the right poo samples from the right alpacas.  I try to rotate my poo sampling to get them all in so if their name is on the list they are supposed to poo!  Today they waited until I was half way across the other side of the paddock and by the time I returned I could not distinguish which was the poo I was after - more staring at alpaca bottoms tomorrow!!

I also had to  send off a cheque today as we have made a big decision to sponsor one of the champion sashes at the GWR Alpaca Show - champions as well as Supreme Champions are to get sashes this year.  I love all my huacaya but I also find suris fascinating and could stand for hours watching their fleece move when they run so we decided to sponsor the Fawn Champion Suri.  I don't have a fawn suri but I would love one!  Next best thing is to sponsor a sash!  Link to this year's show below.

Went to the church this morning to see Dad's gravestone which has just been installed - very nice stone, I think.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Wellground Come Calling

Bit of light poo picking this morning and very glad I did as Wellground popped in at lunchtime.  I think Rob really came for a go in my Mule but I forced him and Les down to the barn to see little Greeves!  Thank goodness I had the gluten free ginger nuts in!  I am sorry there is no photo, as one of the three of us squashed in the Mule would have been a sight to behold!

It was wonderful to spend a couple of hours with both Rob and Les and I was desperate for them to take a look at little Greeves.  We had a cosy ride down in the Mule, once I had found the hand brake - I feel I am very close to Les now!

Greeves is pretty special to me and it is hard to be objective when you have been so involved with them and they are so tiny, as he is, so I wanted an expert opinion on whether he was looking okay.  The opinion is that, once the spring grass comes in, he should come on.  Can't tell too much about his fleece yet, for a start there are too many layers of hay to plough through but Les said he was very sweet and that is enough for me!  I am just a proud Mummy and think he is probably the cutest alpaca I have ever seen with the most gorgeous face!

I couldn't help but drag Rob and Les up to see Lina - who didn't spit at Rob which is not a good sign!  She has been stood by the gate every since!  Dude was in a prowling and posing mood - I think it is the effect of the other boys and he is showing off to them, but then again he could have been fluttering his eyelashes and flicking his tale at Les!

Back to the house, after mud removal, and coffee with lots of talk about alpacas and wool - a great day!
Thank you Rob and Les!

Monday 7 February 2011

Posing for the camera!

First drive out in the new car today (It's a Fiesta, Andy!).  It is jolly nippy and can get up the hill in third gear.  I think I like it very much, despite the horrendous smell emanating from the interior!
Cassie and Zara are now with the other group of girls and there have been no tantrums.  Cassie is keeping herself a little aloof but Zara is making friends - mind you both Cassie and Zara are very keen on the field shelter, Cassie shoots in there and claims the best spot at the slightest hint of rain.  She has also claimed all the food bowls.  I don't think she could believe her luck tonight as I accidentally put Dylan's bowl down as well - she had a real grumble when I took it away again!

Dylan has decided he is too big for his bowl anyway!

Zara has now taken to posing for the camera - just copying Lina, I think!

Sunday 6 February 2011

Busy and productive

The end of a successful weekend!  Church first thing and then, when I got back, we had a few drenches to administer.  The new drench gun is fantastic - but Carl took it over!  He hung it on a strap round his neck and looked quite the professional until he drenched his jeans with it - then he looked more like a painter and decorator!  Zara had another bit of  cream on her little bald patch on her nose.  Viv had said she didn't mind it being done and, despite the first time being simple, I didn't think it would always be that simple but she is so good!  We also checked over Cassie who needed nothing done but we just wanted her to get used to our handling her.  Cassie is probably the most well behaved alpaca I have ever known which, from the fuss and grumbling at feed time, you would not have expected.  We ran them down to the barn to get them used to it and Dylan went wild.  That young man is going to need a top rail on his paddock very soon, I think his hormones are rampaging and really he has an enormous pair of  . . .  well, I'll say no more or I may offend my readers!  Harry has taken control of the field shelter and is very partial to a bit of hay.  Lily is turning into a real drama queen.  She had her drench okay but then jumped up, flung herself on the ground and lay on her side playing dead for a good couple of minutes!  Velocette was much more settled today and is eating well from the trough.  I am looking forward to starting her halter training with a bit of 'introducing' next week.

Greeves is never very far away when I am with his group but he is not moping for Lina and I am itching to weigh him again.  (Definitely not going to until Saturday though)

And Bert was having none of that posing for the camera today!

I have had an anxious afternoon watching an eBay bid which I am very pleased to say I won! I am quite excited about it as it is an integral part of my new felt products - more news on that when it arrives.

Saturday 5 February 2011

Greeves - The Monster!

Well, not really - but not bad for him!  Weighing today and in 6 days he has gained 850g so he is now at 15.1kg , and a gain despite being weaned!  I am very, very pleased.

This morning, after Sam returned from work, we had a trip to Somerset to look at the tractor he has been trying to get to see for weeks.  He went all pink in the face and, after a  good poke around, he bought it.  Now he cannot stop talking about it and is already fussing about when it will arrive and what he is going to do with it!  We went there in the new car which Carl calls Uncle Festa, so I presume it is a Fiesta, and it went very well despite a rather unpleasant smell.  I think the man was half way through valeting it and it is a sort of rotten, damp smell.

Other than that it has been poo collecting, tying everything down because of the wind, sorting out hay racks and Carl trying to save my sanity by making a longer tow bar for the Mule.

Friday 4 February 2011

Windy out there tonight!

I have recovered from yesterday but have not yet driven the new car.  It is supposed to be green but looks more a dark blue to me.  The Jalopy had his last trip out today and I discovered it has a petrol warning light which flashes!  I didn't know that so all those times I thought I was almost out of petrol, I couldn't have been - remarkable and I shall be a little sad to see him go.

Greeves is still not into Camelibra, or oats, or peas, or sugar beet - just hay - but I did infiltrate a little Alfalfa into his hay and he did eat that.  Tomorrow is his weighing day and I am really hoping we at least do not see another weight loss.  I had a little sit with him and Bert this afternoon.  It was blowing a gale but quite warm (I had done a lot of poo collecting).  Bert was in the mood for a neck rub and I know for lots of alpacas that might mean she has lost her pregnancy but not necessarily for Bert.  When Bert isn't pregnant she snuggles up to you, wants you to hug her and is generally sloppy.  A pregnant Bert firmly refuses to have her feet done and only has a neck rub and a sit down next to you on her terms.  Lina is another matter and I think it is highly unlikely she is pregnant as we had a long neck rub and chat today which is not really pregnant Lina behaviour!

None of the Mums are missing their babies at all and Greeves now seems very settled with Sherbert and Islay being his particular favourite Aunts.  Sunbeam and the two boys are also fine but Velocette is still crying and following me around.

All the new alpacas are doing well.  Cassie keeps a close eye on me and always gives me a look as if she has a 'cunning plan' in mind.
Dylan has now gone back to his bowl after preferring the trough yesterday - Harry is back in the trough!  They were all having a bit of a grumble this evening - except for Dylan!

Thursday 3 February 2011

Near Death Experience!

I am just recovering from a traumatic experience!  I have a new car (it's green) and tonight we had to go and collect it from Boscombe which is a long way and a VERY busy place.  On one road I counted 5 furniture shops in 5 minutes!  Carl drove us there and then I drove the Jalopy home while he drove the new car (it's green).  I had no idea where we were or how to get home but he said he would go slow and wait for me if we got lost.  All went okay until we came to a huge roundabout somewhere.  There were at least 20 lanes, cars going everywhere and it was dark.  I got very confused and pulled out just as a BIG, Fast car zoomed towards me - much screeching of brakes (from him) much trembling (from the Jalopy) - then I was half way across a lane on a roundabout with cars shooting around me.  I managed to edge into a lane and took the next exit only to catch a glimpse of Carl going the other way.  Despite my fluttering heart me and the Jalopy managed to turn off and go back to catch Carl where he was waiting in a layby.  Phew!  It was all my fault, I am just not used to big traffic in the dark.  The Jalopy did very well, he's like a little brawny lad and I can hear him saying,  "Think you can get me?  Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough . . . "  A close shave that and I am not going there again!

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Ooh! La! La!

It has felt bitterly cold today and has not been helped by having to do the VAT return.  That means sitting down at the computer for ages and I don't like putting the heating on during the day.  I was very glad to pop down to Mum's and warm up while waiting for the library van (where I spotted an alpaca scarf being worn!).  On the subject of knitwear, my French customer sent me a photo of her daughter wearing the alpaca scarf and gloves she bought - she is so beautiful!

She has allowed me to put the photo on the blog and I am so proud to have some of our alpaca being worn in France - and by such a glamorous young lady!

The alpacas are all fine but Dylan is not quite so keen on his bowl now.  I think he has realised there is more in the trough and that he can easily push everyone else out of the way.  Harry was pushed out and immediately staked a claim to Dylan's bowl while the weanlings looked on.  Spike and Alf decided they would far rather I fed them by hand!

Greeves has now stopped crying for Mum but Sunbeam and Velocette are really moaning!

Tuesday 1 February 2011

The Morning After

Greeves survived a night without Mum but I did worry about him!  He is not exactly crying, just whimpering a bit.
He seems okay as long as I keep taking him fresh hay!  Oddly, the girls he is with are generally very tolerant of him.  I haven't seen them push him away or spit at him once - they are doing both to the other two weanlings!  Velocette and Sunbeam are both making more of a fuss than they did yesterday - I think the novelty of being without Mum has worn off!

Dylan is very much part of the gang and is incredibly sweet.  This morning he came up to the fence to give me a kiss.  He holds his own with the others though.  Harry and Alf both tried to muscle in on his bowl this evening but he was having none of that and soon saw  them off!

When I went in to clean the boys paddock this morning some of the chickens followed me - both Dylan and Harry did not know what to make of these intruders!

Cassie and Zara are both fine.  Cassie was very pleased with her lunchtime carrots and happily ate them from my hand.  Zara was a bit more timid but enjoyed one from the ground - she is getting more confident though and came and sniffed me over the fence this evening.
Back at the house the cats are all now fine.  Mitzy is definitely not keen on outside anymore, since getting lost she runs away if the back door opens.