Saturday 31 March 2012

Alpaca Breeder Strike

Alpaca shortages!
Stock up here now

Sorry, couldn't resist that!  We haven't been on strike but first I was hit by an almighty cold - worst I have had for years - I couldn't breathe, my body wouldn't move faster than an ancient slug and I felt totally rotten.  Had to carry on though but it got really bad when the Grasstrak needed applying to the fields.  We meant to borrow the spinner again but with Carl working down in Torquay, Sam working till late and weekends filled up it had to be done by hand again.  After I had manfully struggled round one paddock on foot, Carl took pity on me and drove me round with me sitting on a garden chair in the bucket.  He kindly stopped and took the trouble to take a photo of me - ensuring, of course, that I looked my best!

Anyway I am almost recovered nearly three weeks later having missed the Futurity which I hear was very good and the standard outstanding - congratulations to all.

The second reason for the lack of blog was computer problems.  We had an intermittent connection and Sam had a go at fixing it - which resulted in no internet at all AND no phone!  Finally, tonight he discovered the problem - not my fault at all (he had been blaming me) he had plugged a lead in to the wrong slot!  We are now up and running, but very slowly, so I am hoping this will actually publish eventually.

It has been a busy time but now I am taking some time out to catch up on other people's blogs - and to decide on who goes where when everyone goes into their new paddocks at the end of April.  Greeves is the real monkey at the moment.  He seems to enjoy winding up Alf and Harry by jumping on them but they don't turn on him, they then start fighting with each other while he looks on!


Tuesday 6 March 2012

A new foundation garment

So!  My hands look like winter hands do they!  And the dirty nail was noticed!

I have had a respite from fleece today as I went to Dorchester this morning to assist Mother in finding an outfit for a wedding.  Stuck in Goulds for several hours I ended up browsing the underwear department where a glamorous green lady asked fairly pointedly if I required assistance as I rummaged through some very lacy bras.  (Not a blog for my Gentlemen readers tonight - they may like to switch off now).  I decided I might like a bra but confessed to not knowing my size or having bought a bra in the last 7 years.  I have come away with a true monster of a bra, a bra you could trek through the Andes in and use as a handy emergency hammock!  The uplift is truly amazing and not a sight for the faint hearted.  It has strengthened my resolve to go to the Futurity.  I feel me and my new bra can go anywhere and achieve anything!!  NO photos tonight or it might turn into an episode of Readers' wives!

Monday 5 March 2012

Fleece shots part1

Time to reveal one lot of fleece shots!  Someone said to me (Tip 1) it is better not to post any fleece shots unless they are good - in fact only to post alpaca shots which are good and show lovely clean, bright, well behaved and perfectly conformed alpacas.  However, here at Westhill, we are not following that advice!  So, I am not trying to pretend these are any good but things are what things are and I am going to show you my fleece shots whatever!!!  Yossarian, my little suri boy is my subject for this evening.  The second tip I was given were to have a handler, one to part the fleece and one to take the photographer.  I abandoned this tip as Yossarian immediately dropped to the floor and played dead so no handler required!  This is the only point in the whole proceedings where he was standing!

Tip 3 was to have a bit of a manicure and wear a flashy ring - I forgot about this one until it was too late.
Tip 4 avoid shadows - we remembered this one and the photographer managed with some contortions to get this one right.
Tip 5 don't put them in PIXresizer and make them smaller files - had to ignore this as no one would have bothered to wait long enough to see them otherwise.
Tip 6 Know the photographic equipment you are using and use it properly.  Luckily, this was down to my brother and he wielded his Canon EOS 400D Digital with 1/500 sec exposure and a focal length of 70mm (35mm lens) with aplomb!

So there you have it - I can do no better!

Sunday 4 March 2012

Are these acceptable fleece photos?

To be honest you will not be able to answer that question until next week!  We did make an attempt at fleece shots yesterday.  It was a bit of a rush as my brother was on his way to a Graham Kendrick event but we made a start.  Sadly, once I got home I realised we had a slight technical issue - his memory card needs a big slot and my computer only has a little slot!  By taking my monitor off and resurrecting an old computer tower Sam appears to be overcoming the problem but we are not there yet!  And, Jeff, when I say a special camera I mean one where you change lenses and other complicated things.  I think it is a posh Canon with a 35mm lens but will confirm (if anyone is in the least bit interested) that once I have managed to retrieve the pictures.  In the meantime, to enliven the blog, here is a picture of Dude.

A wet, cold day today where I did not achieve that much.  The two colour glove went wrong, the Mule developed a fault which involved much mud and a sad lack of 4 wheel drive - - - sausage casserole and a bath is called for as I cannot even have a cheering bar of chocolate due to Lent!

Friday 2 March 2012


No alpaca pictures tonight I am afraid but tomorrow my brother is coming over with his special camera and we are going to have a go with fleece shots.  If this does not materialise tomorrow it means we have failed!

Tonight it is a Grace night.  Grace is my little Southdown who arrived with very bad legs and later had fly strike.  She is much improved but does get a bit bullied by the others.  She is also rather portly!  I keep looking at her rear and wondering how on earth a lamb is going to get out - assuming she is in lamb and not just a tub!
And, to show you how little she is - in height anyway - here she is with Two Tone next to her (Stumpy is just about to walk across the front of the shot and head butt her on the way through!
This year I am going to get some oral antibiotics and give the new lambs a drop on their tongues as soon as they are born as last year I lost one of the triplets to Rattle Belly and I don't want that again.  I am also blocking off their shelter in the lambing paddock as the Shepherd says the build up of cocci in there where they kept going in to have their lambs would not have helped.

And talking of the Shepherd, I was in the village taking to the Aunt and her daughter about their lambing when The Shepherd drove past with a Topper on the back of his tractor.  Is he showing off as he has so much grass it needs to be topped - or is he simple topping for the electric fence?!