Tuesday 29 January 2013

Vehicle woes

We have had a vehicular themed week so far.  The Polaris had got stuck in the snow in third field so Carl took the Nissan up to sort it out - which he did - but then, on the way back the Nissan tried to take a short cut sideways down the bank into first field.  Lots of jacking up on one side, shoving and slightly tense looks got it back on track.  Then, this morning, I did the animals and then went to get my hair done as we are gong  out tonight.  Rather pointless with all the rain and strong winds but I did take my bath hat to wear in he field afterwards.  When I arrived back at the fields I watched a field shelter take off and land firmly against the electric fence.  I was in such a rush to check no animals were involved (they were not) that I forgot to turn off my car lights.
When I went to leave the fields my battery was flat.  This caused much  cursing a Carl is in Devon or some such place, Sam was at work and I was stuck without comestibles or other important necessities.  Then a brain wave struck - I have AA membership!  Finding a mobile signal was a challenge but after only 40 minutes a lovely man arrived and, once we had locate the bonnet release catch, he got me going AND he did not seem at all phased that I had left my lights on!

Now I am going to prepare myself for an evening out and send Sam out later to sort out the shelter which I have managed to temporarily prevent from moving any further - I hope!

Friday 25 January 2013

A rescue

The snow is still hanging on at the fields.  This morning I got to the bottom of the cut and debated whether to give it a go but chickened out in the end and walked up.  I was just emerging from the halter path when a car went by and I though I had been silly not to try - but no, as I went up the road I heard that stuck on ice revving noise and sure enough, as I rounded the bend, there was a lady very stuck.  I did my best to assist but the road was a sheet of ice with snow in the middle and at the edges.  Luckily, the Shepherd was near by and I miraculously had a phone signal so with him and Valtra man who was also passing she was turned round and taken back down the cut.

This evening things are getting better.  Still not much grass but some is beginning to show.
The girls are still spending most of their time in the field shelters but they are soon out when food arrives!

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Snow remains

Going into Stur yesterday the roads were fine and I planned to actually drive up Bell hill to do the animals but a meeting with the Shepherd at the bottom of the hill led to a change of plan.  The hill is okay as far as the sheep field and then it is a big problem - a shaky woman had just given up and come back and the Shepherd advised not.  I walked along to have a look and was glad I had not attempted it as the snow had compacted and kind of banked up on one side meaning any skidding pushed you over to the hill side - not good!  Even this afternoon Sam's Land Rover slid on it.  The cut is also not good news.
We had to dig our way in through the gate again.
The girls did venture away from the field shelter this afternoon - but not for long!

Tomorrow I may walk up (again)!

Sunday 20 January 2013

Sporty mummy

The snow remains with us and it is pretty cold here which means the water is all frozen and needs lots of breaking and replacing - Sam's blow torch came in very handy this afternoon!  Luckily Carl helped with the water today as it is a long old trudge around.
Dude is the only alpaca who seems to be enjoying the snow - he looks filthy but he is pretty lively.  It is mostly charging up and down the fence line looking for ladies!
I have a snow suit now which is remarkably warm and very visible so if I do collapse somewhere I will be easily spotted from quite a distance.  The Scottish blacks find it intriguing.
Sam popped back at lunchtime and spent the entire time turning my car into a sports car - not quite sure why it has such a small windscreen hole!

Friday 18 January 2013

Snow Plough?

Bit of snow today which meant I had to get a lift from Sam before he went to work as my car could not cope.  I arrived just after 6am in the dark and a blizzard which meant getting to the barn was interesting.

The only alpacas out of their shelters were Dude, who was prancing around with a snow mountain on his back, Bea, Trouble and The Slink who were snuggled up together with their heads on each others backs.  No photos of alpacas as I forgot I had the camera with me until later.

The sheep have got through several bales of hay - all of which have had to be carried up the hill by hand.  They did appreciate them which I am glad of as it was an almighty struggle.

The problem was the snow drifting which meant every now and again I sank!

Carl picked me up after he got home, the drifts at the sides of the road were quite big but we had no problems - until -

 we had a slight delay just before Fifehead as a tractor had lost it's scraper so Carl lent  hand.
Had to break off there to take delivery of a giant -heavy- box addressed to Sam which appears to contain (the box was broken - I did not peak!) a snow plough!!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Our first snow of the year

With great trepidation I made my way to the filed this morning - just a smatter of icy snow on the car but the hill looked a bit white.  It is getting up the hill that is the problem - not so worried about getting down as I have just about perfected the driving half in the bank technique - Land Rover Man is a master at this one.
And - I had stopped the car before taking photo! (not sure what that thing like a cartridge belt is hanging down but I think it must be the camera strap)
The fields were all covered with snow but by lunchtime it was clearing in first field.  Still covered in second and third but third is out of sight. Up towards the ridge was completely clear but it was still hanging on for us!
The girls enjoyed their sugar beet this morning, even Tulisa, and Little Star remained at the troughs until she had checked underneath every one for every last remaining crumbs.  Sh is so grumpy at the moment I am hoping it means she is pregnant.  We didn't get the spit offs done at the weekend as I had to get to Mole Valley and Carl was off doing toenails in Somerset - alpaca not human!
I wasted a bit of time watching the birds fighting - a visitor had invaded their territory and the visitor ended up sulking in a tree.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

A proud moment

I wasn't going to blog today because there is nothing really to say on the alpaca front.  However, I have achieved something I am very proud of so I will!  Last year I got to grips with rolling the little sheep and that was okay - not very professional but okay.  Well, this year I was determined to be able to roll any sheep and today's challenge was the biggest - Stumpy.  She is big, strong and heavy - but I did it and, I have to say, it was easy despite the mud.  Okay, it might  not look that clever or professional but see how proud I am of myself?!

Poor Stumpy!
Now I shall see if I succeed in following Barbara and Rob's advice re Blogger!
Then - I will start rolling Scottish Blackies!!

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Big X

Can you see the Scottish Black faced?  She is not where she is supposed to be.  If you look closely you will see a puzzled looking Welsh mountain who is behaving herself on the correct side of the electric fence.  Yesterday, I discovered all four Black Scots on the wrong side of the electric fence.  As soon as I went up there they came back and I sent Carl and Sam over in the evening to put on new batteries.  This morning I found one out again but assumed she had just escaped before they did the battery and they had not spotted her in the dark.  As I went up with the hay she ran over to the fence, hooked the bottom strand of electric up with her horns and crawled back under!  She has been doing it all day.  I go up with food or hay, or just go up to say hello - and she comes back.  I go back to the car and by the time I have reached the field gate I turn round and she is back out again!  At least it is only one doing it now.
Tomorrow I shall be reassessing the situation!
And I am still having to shift between HTML and Compose to upload photos - be interested to know if you are now doing that Paul, or are you normal again?

Saturday 5 January 2013

Cracked the photo issue

Ha Ha!!
I can do pictures - but it is a very convoluted approach and suggests blogger is at fault and not me!
This is an extra mini blogette just to prove to myself it works!
So here are the pictures that should have been there on the Birthday blog -
Mick with seed heads
Cassie with a leaf encrusted miniature Tulisa
Cassie with a leaf covered Arctic in the background
And if anyone else experiences this problem you have to put it into HTML mode o insert the images and then back into Compose to actually see them and to edit the thing - daft!
And if I have to go through this rigmarole every time I am going to be very cross!


Thank you for the birthday wishes for Sam - he had a lovely day!

. . . but I still cannot upload any photos.  When I go to the little picture frame thing at the top it puts up the normal bit where you upload but there is nowhere on it to select the photo.  I can only put up old photos that are already on there.  Anyone else have that problem?

So we are picture less again.  All the sheep feet have been checked today.  Stumpy and 32 both had limps and the start of foot rot but are now trimmed right back and sprayed so hopefully they will mend fine.  Field shelters, feed bin, waters and troughs have all been cleaned out but poo picking has failed again due to mud.  Weanlings feet have been checked - Tulisa is not at all keen on this!

Carl has been out beating today which he enjoyed except that it was too warm for him to wear his new Christmas coat.

Friday 4 January 2013


The weaners survived the night and look quite perky but they are collecting a vast amount of rubbish in their fleece from the bank (as in slope and not financial!).  I am particularly disappointed in Mick as he has visitors at the weekend and I have told him to remain clean.

Should be a photo here but Blogger will not let me upload anything

Even the normally pristine Arctic is gathering leaves.

Should be a photo here but Blogger will not let me upload anything

And as for Tulisa!  She is the little one in the middle - same age as the others, and not thin, just little!

Should be a photo here but Blogger will not let me upload anything

Today, Sam is 18!  Now that really makes me feel old!  36 hours it took to produce him and he came out at a hefty 11 pounds - almost two of your normal babies.  None of his tiny baby clothes fitted until I had cut the feet out of his baby gros.
He has been working today so I have had time to construct a masterpiece of a birthday cake.  I don't do big cakes so we have an artistically arranged collection of fairy cakes - and when he gets home we will no doubt be going out in his Land Rover as a celebration!  He did not want a party, to go for a meal or any other normal type thing.  He is not even marginally interested in a trip to the pub so it will be a bottle of coke amongst the weanlings I feel!

It is my turn on church cleaning this month so I climbed the hill with a tin of pledge and a duster but every time I hoovered to my satisfaction another smattering of leaves drifted down and covered the Bishop's chair - not holly, luckily.

And a very happy birthday to the village Lion Tamer!

Sorry about the photo problem - I will try to put them in later!

Thursday 3 January 2013

Throbbing Derriere

Sad news to start the day but there was no rain and no drizzle plus Sam came home at lunch time and helped me with the weaning so things cheered up.  The weanlings are having a great time jumping round their weaning pen - they have a bank which they are loving.  Cassie is in there to look after them and she is also enjoying it as she is getting extra rations.  I decided Tulisa might as well be weaned as well and she has suddenly started eating hard feed.  This is very funny as she likes to share a trough with Cassie who is not pleased.  Cassie never spits but screeches if anyone gets near her food.  Tulisa has the temerity to spit at her which stops Cassie dead - I don';t think she believes anything so tiny should be capable of standing up to her!  Little Star is also in with them, mainly by default as it was supposed to be Zara but Zara was not having any of it and Little Star  was insistent she wanted to go with Cassie.  I suppose they know best.

The boys are completely unfazed by the weather and are very lively at the moment.  Today was terrorising chickens day. 

And YES - that is a positive mountain of uncleared alpaca poo by the shelter, I am sorry!

Interspersed with fighting

and a little posing thrown in
I am now going to soak in the bath for a bit due to a sore lower body - sometimes known as Land Rover Bum - Sam has bought himself a Land Rover and I have spent much time being driven around in it whilst he extols it's many virtues - chief of which is NOT comfort!  Which reminds me of another hightly uncomfortable 36 hours almost 18years ago - more on that tomorrow!

Wednesday 2 January 2013

When you're chewing on life's gristle . .

A little late wishing you all a Happy New Year, I am afraid.  I have been suffering and have spent sometime on the settee with a Winnie the Pooh water bottle and a tin of chocolates - my waist line has also suffered.

We have had a respite from the rain and today have just had light drizzle which has been good, I suppose, but to be perfectly honest it is still basically wet and when you are feeling 28% it takes more than that to get you singing and dancing round the fields.  I have even painted my nails pink with red dots to mimic summery type creatures but it still all feels a wee bit gloomy out there.  I don't know how the rest of you keep so cheerful.  I began to update the alpacas for sale list as that seems to be what everyone else is cheerfully doing with a song in their heart and a merry fluttering of their breast - but blow it, I can't be bothered until the sun comes out and I can get a picture of an alpaca who is not wearing the hay from the hayrack, covered in green spit from arguing over the hayrack, wearing the hayrack as it has detached itself from the wall . . .

Bah Humbug and may the rest of you remain cheerful the entire year.