Friday 31 January 2014


Filthy weather today - and that is not the only place where there was filth today - someone has defecated in the church!  I am not talking churchyard here - I am talking by the organ!  And what has happened to the Bible on the lectern does not bear mentioning.  Our day for church cleaning but the organist had already cleared the mess (human) and bagged it up to show the constabulary (another thing that does not bear thinking about!)  Mother marched up armed with a large tin of air freshener, we didn't take the dog as we feared he might get a little over excited by the unusual aromas.

Back to the weather now and that if frightful with rain and strong winds.  I was worried about Bert this morning as she keeps having neck wrestling matches with Bianca over food and she is not really strong enough to hold her own.  This morning I separated them and Bertie was very upset - all shaky and humming.  When I left her she was tucked up with extra hay and had calmed down a bit.  She has just got to hang on a bit longer and then . . . she can come and live by the new house!!  I really can't believe it but we have now exchanged and it seems impossible but finally, after years of searching and thinking we would never do it, it seems we are lucky enough to have a house with room for some animals.  Everyone can't come back as there isn't that much room but some can!  This is a little preview, sorry the pictures are a bit tiny, of back paddock - actually you can't really see it but just imagine it with alpacas!

 And here is the house!
I could get a bit boring over the next few days about this house, sorry.  There is one big worry and that is Carl's driving license.  He has an HGV license as well as the normal one and had to send it away to renew - we forgot we would need it for him to hire a van to move us and it hasn't returned yet!

Wednesday 29 January 2014


13th February!

Monday 27 January 2014

Nifty Fifty

Unbelievable, I know but today Carl is fifty!  Doesn't look a lot older than he did on our wedding day!  I should have used a photo of him as a baby, or him on a trials bike, or him as a boy scout - but, all the photos are packed except a few which escaped the packing frenzy.  Even on our wedding day he looked like he was just trying to ignore me and whatever daft thing I was saying to Cat Woman.

Happy birthday, Carl!

Just waiting around

Getting cold here - but still wet.  There were whispers of a little snow on the way but that has come to nothing despite the Red Barn getting very overexcited about it!  I have had a frustrating day, so far, waiting for a call from the solicitor and taking my mind of things by writing a rather unexciting blog.  Sunday, despite heavy rain, we managed to get half the alpaca feet done and half the vitamin D.  Everyone except Lina the Screamer was reasonably behaved despite us all slipping and sliding in the mud.  I can't work out how to do Bert's feet as she normally kushes and we do it while she is lying down but I really don't want to be pulling her leg around.  She is doing well and can get around at quite a pace despite the limp.  I haven't heard any clicking from anywhere on her for a few days now so things are looking up.  This morning there was a bit of ditch clearing/fencing/staring at the ground happening at the Cross but other that that all is quiet.  Hope it is not the lull before the storm!  This is this time last year -

Thursday 23 January 2014

News flashes

I knew I shouldn't have mentioned Exchanging!  More delays mean nothing is happening this week - how on earth can it take this long!

It is now cold here but there is occasional brightness - more rain due tomorrow.  The Shepherd was busy fencing down the cut, taking advantage of the weather.  We had a trip down to Landrover man's last night as he needed to borrow the SAMI back as his yard scrapper has temporarily expired.  I was up extra early this morning as I had to take Sam to work because his Truck has gone for repairs - his windows don't open and his prop shaft needs replacing.  He is not a happy bunny without his Truck.

The Gamekeeper has lost his black Lab up on the hill somewhere so I went round checking the sheep field but couldn't find him.

The hole on the hill is still there and growing.  I visited the Aunt today and she said it happened before when my Uncle was alive and it was a spring that collapsed the road, it took ages to get it repaired then.  Even Landrover Man almost got stuck today and that means it must be very bad.  Valtra Man got the tractor through yesterday but I am not sure he will today!

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Bit of a Mule Calamity

Chilly but not bad weather, I worked up quite a sweat doing the hay so was down to a T-shirt for about half an hour (combined with wooly hat, of course).  Hay has been taking a long time due to the Mule's inability to go in a straight line or to turn corners without three or four attempts.  Yesterday it had finally had enough and, despite me steering in a straight line (I was driving towards where the camera is in the photo), it turned round 90 degrees and ended up wedged between the bowser and the fence.

Carl has a plan to put the front end of the old Fiesta on it and apparently it will be okay if I keep it in 5th gear (I have no idea what this is supposed to mean as the Mule does not have gears - just forward and back).

However, in the mean  time, Carl has provided me with a new field vehicle - second hand actually but you can't have everything - I shall thank him in an appropriate manner when he gets home tonight.

Bert is still limpy but she seems quite happy.  I make sure she has a little pile of hay near her if she sits down and she never seems to end up left on her own.  For some reason she seems quite popular with everyone.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Teeny, weeny photos

We have been dashing around since the last blog with a final push today to get two herds of alpacas foot trimmed, given Vitamin D and generally checked over.  This year seems to me to be one where extra vitamin D is called for.  A cria at the herd we went to this morning had been decidedly under the weather last time we saw her, just before New Year and so we gave her extra vitamin D and today she was running round and looking great.  It may not have been the extra vitamin  D that did it but I think it helped.  We are trying to catch up with everything as I think the next couple of weeks may be very busy as it is just possible (and I am very wary of saying this as things tend to all go wrong when I say anything) we could be exchanging contracts on the house sale next week.  Fingers crossed.

As we were out all day Sam and Kristy did the checking and feeding of our animals - and they also took photos, on their phones so they have come out a little small but you can see that it was not raining and the sun had come out!

Thursday 16 January 2014

Doing a jig

I have been waiting for a dry day before I blogged, in order to get some nice fluffy alpaca shots - it is not going to happen any time soon!  You think it is about to stop and then down it comes again; I wonder if the earth is getting heavier?  When I get wet I get heavier and movement slows; maybe the earth is rotating at a more leisurely pace?  Coming up past Woolland this afternoon I saw a very spry elderly lady dressed immaculately in pleated skirt, wellingtons, headscarf and an enormous smile - dancing around in puddles, she knew how to enjoy herself!

As to the alpacas, they are wet!  Bert is doing okay but a bit of sun and dry weather with less mud would be good for her.
And the driest cria?  One of my favourites, Tyke, wearing the contents of the hay rack.

Monday 13 January 2014

Hole in the hill?

Today the weather has ranged from, "Do I get out of the car now or wait a minute and see if it improves?"
To, "Think I might just sit here for a minute longer!"

All alpacas remained in shelters!

No much got done in the fields today but we did have a big move around and a lot of vitamin D dosing on Sunday.  Life is not being helped by Bell Hill still being closed, or at least, I think it is.  The signs are still up but occasionally a car skirts them and goes down, never to be seen again.  Sam had a look a couple of days ago and couldn't get past the hole and the mountain of peeled back tarmac so I haven't fancied taking a peek.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Winter Wonderland

Well, perhaps not!  I am having a bit of a problem again with my Blogger so this blog may not contain photos - sorry!
Some of the girls do not do rain and if the shelter is full they charge into whatever cover is available and will not get out of my way, meaning I am having to mountaineer across alpacas as well as negotiating implements and climbing hay stacks.

No flooding on the hill but lots of water making everything muddy and slippery - my thoughts are with all those poor souls who have been flooded.  The road at the bottom of Bell Hill appears to be cracking up and sinking but, apart from that, we are fine so far.

We have been busy this week with an evening trip out to move some boys, one with a leg injury.  We made it through the floods to Milbourne St Andrew only to find the road just before the Dorchester turn off was closed.  We did eventually make it and moved five alpacas past a raging mill stream to shelter.

Bert is gradually recovering and can now run very fast when food is around.  In fact she can run far better than she can walk.  This morning I opened the vets bill with great trepidation but I am very pleased to see it was extremely reasonable.  I forgot to get a picture of her so here is Cassie and Wonky instead.

Friday 3 January 2014


I really find it hard to believe, but today Sam is nineteen!  Don't think he would fit in the dog basket anymore!  When he was little he liked to pretend he was a dog and curl up in the dog basket (strangely, we didn't have a dog at that point in time so I am not sure why we had a dog basket in the lounge).

We are off to a farm sale later provided we can get the animals sorted out in time.  That is taking longer than usual due to mud.  . .  And I am still puzzling over the Dolly Parton cassette on the church windowsill when I went to do the cleaning!

p.s. something wrong with my blogger clock as it says it is Friday but it isn't - it's Saturday!

Thursday 2 January 2014

Bert and Yohav

Bert has now had her stitches out and the wound has healed really well - however!  On Boxing Day I thought Bert clicked, it was only once and I wasn't sure whether I had really heard it.  Over the next few days it became obvious that something still was not right and onYohav's return it was confirmed.  The dislocation is sorted but there is now something wrong with her knee bit - stiffle joint. What appears to be happening is that when she is at rest it is okay and then as she puts any strain on it, it clicks out of place.  It then slips back in as she rests.  She can use it to scratch, can roll in both directions and eat like a horse - she just has a weird clicking leg.  How it has happened, I don't know - there wasn't a problem with it when she had her operation because they checked.
Currently, we are managing things with pain killers but she seems fine in herself although she is very wary of the mud and will not go through it to get to the barn, even when food is on offer.  She screeched when Yohav examined her but only in a Bert way,not in a pain way - and she only dribbled spit, no full blown stuff. Amazingly, she can still run!