Wednesday 31 December 2014

Happy New Year!

Yet another quick one as it is now 4 minutes past 5 and mother is due for dinner at 5!  Beef  is still pink, swede is hard, can't find mustard and fire has gone out!  I shall review my year tomorrow which I am sure you will all be waiting for with baited breath!   Just a few photos to be going on with - Happy New Year got to go and rescue the meat!

And - - news of Carl's Christmas excitement tomorrow!

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Old and Slow

I have a computer problem - I always seem to have a problem these days and I think it is down to the age of the computer.  It takes enough time to make a coffee to load anyone's blogs and then it will not load all the pictures and then I can't comment . . so, if you read this Barbara at Beck Brow or Dave at Apple Vale - that is why I am not saying lovely grey boy or responding to anything you write Dave - can't open yours at all! 

All I will blog is - a very Happy Christmas to you all, I am very stressed over Carl's present, here is a lovely picture from GHN (and I really hope it loads okay because I am not going to be able to check!

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Fetes and things

From the photo you would be forgiven for thinking we were now doing so well we had hired a glamorous assistant!  The real reason the knitting is sharing a stall at Ibberton Fete with the very talented artist; is that we were unable to go.  We had to be in Devon, so left a few pieces of knitting to share a stall.  I hear the Fete was very well attended and a great success with trees, wreaths, puddings and jams and everything else flying off the stalls - well done!!

We are nearly out of knitting now but my new yarn is ready for collecting so after Christmas it is going to be a knitting marathon!  And we may have recruited a floral ornament knitter to embellish hats - more on that next year!

Everything is a bit grey, muddy and murky here but we have managed to get some decorations up in the house.  My tree looks terrible.  I had the idea of putting it in he window on the windowsill but the problem with that was that I couldn't get behind it so I has bald patches and just looks a mess.  Once it was done Carl said I should have decorated it and then placed it in the window - too late now!

We also managed to find time to deliver a little sold boy - Cedric (although he may have a name change soon).  He has gone as a companion to a boy who lost his friend.  They seem to have settled really well together and were tucked up together in a shelter when we went to check up on them.

Friday 12 December 2014

D - Day

Before I tell you about today (D stands for disaster) I must apologise to regular readers for the sporadic nature of my blogging.  It is all due to a camera problem - the camera takes really rubbish pictures now, I think caused by dirt and general neglect.  I am hoping my brother can assist me with it but for now I am on mobile phone pictures and they are not very good.  People don't like blogs without pictures so blogging is a little lacking.  Anyway - here we go with a mobile phone picture blog and today has not been pleasant.

First thing I fell down the stairs.  It was dark and I tripped over the cat my behind is now bruised (don't worry no photo of that) and my side and arm hurts - the cat is fine.

I arrived at the fields to find all alpacas wet and muddy but looking fine
Greeves waiting for his hay

. . . and then went in to second field only to find a field shelter in the Southdown field had blown over (and it was one tied down with ratchet straps) - on it's way over it had taken out the fence.  Luckily, the Southdowns are very well behaved and they were all standing by the gap waiting for me - thankfully none of them had been sheltering inside or behind it - or, if they were, they had escaped it.
This year's remaining lambs - not sure why I took this, or why I am including it!  Grace's little white Southdown cross looks like a toy!

This afternoon I managed to fall in the stream whilst clearing debris and then couldn't get back up the bank - obviously, I have now managed to get out, by crawling on my hands and knees, but that didn't help my previous falling down stairs injuries.

Saturday 6 December 2014

A bit of a blog

I do not seem to have written a blog for ages - the intention has been there but time hasn't.  It has turned much colder here and I am now breaking water and scraping the car but I don't mind as I think it has been too warm for the time of year and I think we need a good bit of proper winter to scare away the bugs.  We seem to be finally clearing up Rascal's bald bits - actually, it is probably the cold weather that is doing it I think.  The supplements did not appear to work for her.  Having said that she was terrible at taking her tablets and could hide them and spit them out at least half an hour later.  Cydectin and Frontline on a regular basis did seem to work but not an ideal way to go I don't think.  She is the fawn one just behind the cutest little Black boy (possibly called Axle?!).
We have been having a bit of a worry with an alpaca we sold many years ago - Barry Norton.  He suddenly started lying on his side, rolling around as if he was in real pain.  We had the vet to see him and gave him pain killers and muscle relaxants.  He didn't appear to be constipated as I watched him go to the toilet (although it wasn't a huge amount).  This went on for a few days and this morning I was back to look at him as he still wasn't right.  In desperation I tried the warm water up the back end and reports just now suggest he is looking a bit perkier.  I am just off to check, followed by a trip to Mole Valley to stock up on feed for us and also for another herd we look after and are off to visit tomorrow.
Other than that all is well.  I am busy getting what is left of the knitting ready for Ibberton Fete at the weekend, the saga of the bathroom has reached a conclusion and, although it was a very poor job and the idiots failed to replace the lagging on the water pipes, we now have a shower.  I had a very l9ong hair appointment this week.  I went in and said I was feeling old and could she make me look better - she said she would try and booked a two hour slot - obviously I looked pretty bad!  I can't say I look a whole lot different as she said it shouldn't be coloured and cutting it short would be a mistake - ah well!
Finally,   three random alpaca photos for no reason whatsoever!

Thursday 13 November 2014

I am the 74th Emergency Service

I am afraid the photos are not vey good and my computer has reached critical mass so it takes ages to do anything - we struggle on, wading through treacle, peering through marshmallows, in a glass darkly, up the Khyber and all the rest of it. . .

Yesterday saw a lorry stuck in the field - as I was helping unload, he might as well have parked outside the gate.  I was under the mistaken impression that he would unload with a little pocket forklift - or at least have a tiny man in his cab who he could release to assist - turns out I was the helper.  Anyway, once unloaded he prepared to leave which did not go well.  When driving over/through mud I go for the Rock and Roll approach - slow and steady with the merest hint of brake or accelerator - Lorry Lad went for maximum power.  Monster Truck raced to the barn and collected two cow mats on the bonnet which me and Lorry Lad placed under the wheels - still no go.  I then raced back down (Rock and Roll does not apply to Monster Truck as it is, in the words of Sam, a Weapon!) and collected everything which might assist - sacking, mat from my car. other stuff - - all to no avail.  Lorry Lad was still remarkably cheerful which may have had something to do with the fact that by now I was caked in mud and soaked to the skin whilst he remained pristine.  I suggested the ultimate plan - I push the front of his lorry with my Monster Truck whilst he just sat there in reverse with brake off.  He was quite impressed with this plan so I lined up to ram him - - at this moment Carl arrived which Carl think is a good thing as the front of the lorry was plastic and new.  Carl insisted on going to get the tractor and towing him out.  I think my plan would have been far more fun.

What was wrong with the alpacas this afternoon I do not know.  They were soaked and all pronking round the paddock - even the old girls - and Bianca pronking is a sight to behold - her tummy wobbles!
I have to sort the camera out - sorry!

And the bathroom saga continues (not sure if I have mentioned this drama before)  the bath is now the right way round - how anyone would imagine I want to sit in a brand new bath with a shower over my head I do not know and how the man can have the cheek to tell me he fits lots with showers over peoples' heads!  BUT despite the tiling being done the first fix wiring for the shower has not been done and the firm said they forgot!  How can you forget to do the wiring for an electric shower.  To add insult to injury the arrogant man at TES is not even having the courtesy to phone me back and tell me when he plans to sort it out!  Grrrr!!

I shall now be knitting - quietly knitting - - with chocolate!

Monday 10 November 2014

Murky weather

Bit of a grey day today.  The animals did not seem to mind but were too busy grazing to do anything photogenic.

After sorting out the animals, moving the sheep and doing the shopping I spent an hour happily affixing my new stickers to my Truck - all went well until I stood back to take a look.

And in case you can't see - one sticker is hidden by the windscreen wiper (particularly humorous one that) and the other has turned out back to front!

Monday 3 November 2014

Happiness is a SportTrack

New tyres soon
Kirsty MacColl on the CD

Pouring with rain and the windscreen leaks if you park up hill - brilliant!!

Feet, feet and more feet at the weekend.  Not ours - alpaca husbandry visits.  Saw Striker again - one of Carolyn's - who is now called Spike and still has a cracking fleece.

The new bath and shower is being fitted as I type and is not going well.

Off to Tiverton at the weekend to collect another purchase - and maybe Penrith soon but I haven't worked out if it is Penrith in Cornwall or Penrith in Cumbra

Rain means no alpaca looks good enough for a photo.  So here is an old one of Yosser from the same date - grass was much shorter but sun looks brighter!
Bert is still, in my thoughts and always will be but they are happy thoughts, last night I dreamt about how soft her chin was.

Wednesday 22 October 2014


Very sad.
Bert went today - well, technically she is still here in a wheelbarrow by the hedge, but to all intents and purposes I will not see her any more - well, I will, but not alive.  I have been out to check the wheelbarrow several times as I am afraid she might roll out as it is on a slope and she is stiff so her legs keep poking out the edges.  I suddenly thought she had been reborn as her head came out but it was only wishful thinking.  She was a real fighter - it took three lots of whatever it is but she is gone.
Johav was very good and he checked in the catch pen to see if the operation for her hip had worked and it had - joint was all in place but loose.  She had a heart problem in the end and probably was older than her registered age.  (I did remove everyone else from the catch pen before we looked).  Carolyn kept looking for her but by then Carl and I had removed her in the wheelbarrow - which was a bit of a job as her leg was loose and there were bits.
I don't think I am going to get over her being gone for some time but I did want to record her passing on the blog as she was such an important part of our life.  Things will not be the same without her and I hope I made the right decision.
I really wish she was still here.

Monday 13 October 2014


There are good times with alpacas and there are bad times.  Some alpacas are extra special.  Bert is the best and she has had many troubles.  Last time the vet came he said there was no more he could do.  I think I have to make the phone call and get him back again.

Friday 10 October 2014

Fame in Italy

Driving  past the triangle in the village this morning I encountered the Grave Digger in what I first took to be a bit of vandalism but it turned out he was mending the signpost!  He reminded me that I had not been writing my blog and was, therefore, wasting his time as he had to keep checking and there was nothing there.  Having done my morning jobs I am now putting that right!  I had a message from Greta in Italy this morning as Dude, the girls and her had made it into the Italian newspapers with a full page spread - Carl will be very excited to hear about that when he gets home.
We have had a lot of sheep tasks recently but they are now all up to date and it has culminated with the purchase of a Southdown Ram.  Yesterday we went to pick him up and he settled straight away - he is not in with the girls yet as I wanted to get him a new raddle.
His  temporary companions are Rammy Lamby and George - he is quite fond of Rammy Lamby which Rammy Lamby is not too pleased about!

I have been giving the zinc and rubbing in echinacea and Bert seems to show a tentative improvement.  She is easy to give the tablets to as I just bury them in apples.  Rascal is getting worse but things are not easy with the tablets.  She is fine with having cream rubbed on but will not eat out of my hand so I have to put the tablets down her throat.  I can do this but then she always manages to spit them out.  Some go in and out very many times and what I discovered yesterday is that even when I think they have gone down she can hold them there and spit them out up to 15 minutes later.  I am not sure whether she has actually had any tablets at all so a new plan will have to be made!

Monday 29 September 2014

Messing around

Bit of ebay watching at the moment as my Vehicular Consultant has an eye on something for me. Possibly more news on that one soon.

I have sadly decided I must put dear Yosser up for sale so Carl and I have been doing our photographic bit which is going very wrong.  Carl is having a great time but I am not sure about Yosser!

Yosser's friends can't work out what we are up to!  (note Fiesta/field vehicle in background!)

We have two husbandry visits to fit in this week and Carl is trying to rub down the bathroom in between times - we need to attempt to fit a shower in which is going to be a bit of a struggle.  I had a man round to give us a quote as Carl really hasn't got the time but he did not get back to me.  This was no surprise as no one ever seems to get back to me with quotes.  The window man came round and then never got back, the door man came round and never got back!  This is a black hole for quotes!

Here are my new girls who are gorgeous. 

They are like steam rollers, slow but persistent.  They get up late in the morning, they snore, they feed from your hand and some like a tickle round the ears.  If you want to roll them and they don't want to be rolled they just walk - and keep walking with me hanging off the side of them - they are very strong but as calm as cucumbers.
Each one has initials very neatly stencilled on their bottoms - IRA, JI, ORS, MI, FLA and two others I have forgotten . . . maybe it is the initials of their names but Carl thinks if we line them up in the right order it will say something!

Friday 26 September 2014


First, a grovelling apology!  If you read this, Hilary, you will know I didn't make it - a ewe with mastitis - I really will bring fleece on Monday!!

On inspecting the sheep I noticed an odd looking teat on George - Mastitis - luckily  I had a tube of the squirt up the teat antibiotics so I am hoping she will be okay.  I then had a phone call which had me scuttling down to Goose Farm and I have made a little purchase which I have not told Carl about yet. He may get a bit annoyed but I think I can talk him round.  More on that  tomorrow!

Then it was a quick trip to Stur to get some Echinacea for Rascal.  Now, I may have made a bit of a mistake here as what I ended up with was a liquid - and a very expensive one at that - which had me a bit flummoxed as I was expecting to rub it on her ear not try to make her swallow it.  In the end I compromised and gave her 5ml as a drench which she really enjoyed despite it smelling foul to me.  I then mixed a bit with some, equally expensive, face cream and rubbed that on the right hand ear with ordinary udder cream on the left ear.  She likes her ears rubbed.

This is a bit unclear but kind of shows you her ears at the moment.
I have a couple of other suggestions but I am going to see what happens with his first and go from there.  Everyone else is doing well.  I only have two cria this year but they are both growing well.  This is Flem's little girl.
Tyke and Wonky are still here at the moment and are both gorgeous.  Tyke will insist on rolling and getting covered in dust!

Thursday 25 September 2014

A request for advise

Really struggling a bit here with little Rascal and wondering if anyone can offer any advise.  Rascal is Trouble's baby - just over a year old now and Bert's grand daughter.  Bert came to us with dreadful skin - leathery and split - past damage from mites.  Rascal seems to be going the same way.  I think there is something genetic about it all.  Her mother, Trouble, does not have real problems but her eyelids do sometimes get puffy and look like they are going to go a bit bald so I catch them quickly with cream and a delicate bit of frontline on my finger and so far we have been okay but Rascal is another matter.  Her ears are now bald and have sore spots, her eye lids are a bit swollen and she has scabby bits round them and the skin on the front of her back legs and tops of front legs are cracking.  I have used camrosa, cydectin on a weekly regime, frontline, udder cream, udder cream with sulphur added, a zinc and selinium drench, vitamin injection, a shampoo called sebu something --- not all at the same time!  I even resorted to a bit of that louse powder you use on chickens on her back legs.  Nothing is working.  I have had the vet to look at her and he has said to continue with the frontline and cydectin which is what I am doing at the moment.  Tonight I also gave her some antibiotics as a friend has mentioned their vet talking about it.  I am so afraid she is going to end up like Bert and she is the sweetest little thing.

My field vehicle situation has reached critical stage.  The Mule has given up and I am back to the Fiesta which is ridiculous.  No wonder no one takes me seriously when I am driving round fields in an ancient powder blue fiesta with bales of hay and containers of water in the back.  To make matters worse there is a constant sound of waterfalls whilst driving which is very off putting and I have now reached the stage where all this running water causes a desperate need for the ladies.  And when you turn off the ignition the engine keeps going for at least a minute - how does that happen?

On the plus side I have got a lot of knitting done  and my highly complicate christening shawl/Ladies shawl is nearly finished.  The only problem with the shawl is that it is going to work out so expensive I don't think anyone will ever buy it!  Ah well, it was a challenge and I am proud to have completed it. 

Tomorrow I have to make it to Weymouth in the afternoon as it is already Friday and I said I would get there this week - I don't know where the days go!

Friday 19 September 2014


This was, apparently, a game Carl played at Ealing Infant School (or Little School as he calls it) - this was when he was an Infant and not in a creepy way now he is older.  It involved all the boys running around holding hands until every boy formed a long chain and then, I think, it turned into a sort of British Bulldog - or just a plain old fight.  Would be banned nowadays!  Anyway, that was my chant this morning as I have a very difficult day coming up and I need someone strong, large and of a very laid back disposition.  Luckily, Carl responded to my plaintive plea and he is going to have an afternoon off and be my man - he is strong and laid back although not very large!

I have no more worries for the moment other than Bert whose walking is getting worse and whose eyes are going cloudy.  The vet has seen her but can do no more for her legs - I do not want to get him back at the moment as he go that shaky head, ominous look last time.  They all went in the orchard tonight - Bert can still find the apples alright!  She starts by putting them in her mouth and sucking them.
And then it all gets very undignified!
The trees are looking a little bare now!

Photos are not very good as I had  to resort to the camera due to not being able to trust them on their own while I found the proper camera.  They are NOT allowed to eat the medlar but take no notice and go right ahead and eat it!

Tuesday 16 September 2014


Hot here today - made even hotter by me choosing to get to grips with the greenhouse!

Not much action in the alpaca paddocks - everyone seems to be either asleep or almost asleep.
Apart from these two!  And they were asleep a couple of minutes after I had taken the photo.

So - what's been happening?  Not too much really!  I gave a talk to the Ladies Luncheon Club in Verwood which I enjoyed, may have bored them to tears but I hope not!  We went to a BBQ with mother and I had a bit of a fleece rummage at Reddingvale - nice afternoon as the Mighty Brown Man appeared and there was a good bit of gossip - I couldn't contribute much as I knew no worthy gossip.  Now we are about to go off on a visit to see a delightful male alpaca with a bit of a problem in his nether regions and then get ready for shearing (yes, really, shearing in the middle of September) tomorrow evening.  Meanwhile, out the back, the Gravedigger and son are digging a hole - a hole which involves a tractor and a digger - room for a good few bodies in there!

Friday 12 September 2014

Sheep kerfuffles

Bit of a day filled with disasters!  When I checked the sheep this morning I couldn't find George's lamb.  He was part bottle fed - he should be going to slaughter but is too  friendly and he somehow found his way into the keeping paddock - but I couldn't find him.  Eventually I heard a faint little bleat from the bottom corner and there he was with his back leg tied to the fence post with a bit of bailer twine.  How on earth that happened I do not know - he has been released and suffered no damage - thank goodness.  The rest of the lambs are ready to go on this weekend.  Just got to ear tag tomorrow.

Then, whilst  trying to negotiate the gate to the sheep paddock with no brakes I managed to  let three ewes escape -- luckily they were easy to capture but they have now ended up looking guilty in the wrong paddock.

Then I attempted a -photo shoot with Greeves who really has to go on the sales  list - but the batteries ran out on the camera - again, teach me not to buy cheap batteries!