Friday 28 February 2014


Quite sunny this morning and the alpacas looked a lot happier - it soon turned to rain though.  After cleaning the church with mother I spent a good while walking up and down the new house paddock checking for anything poisonous or dangerous.  I did find a pile of old staples and a few lords and ladies so dealt with them.

The paddock has a pig ark in it at the moment which was used a good while ago for some chickens.  The Shepherd did look at it a bit sorrowfully when he came round and said it used to be his and so I am going to try to do a deal with him and see if I can swap back his pig ark for a couple of ducklings.  You can see the pig ark in the photo which is up behind the 'orchard'.  The orchard has two apple trees and a meddler waiting to go in - hopefully at the weekend if we get time.  It is going to be a busy weekend as Carl is out with the Tractor boys chain sawing something or other over Woolland way.  Then Sunday we are off to do our Alpaca husbandry visit - toe nails and cydectin.  I hope we can then move some alpacas - providing Carl has had time to finish the fencing.
I also managed to clean the greenhouse as my gardening notebook says I should have done it by now.  I wasn't quite sure to what extent I needed to clean it but as it was raining I just washed the glass and forgo the Windolene for now.
I also did a bit more in the poly tunnel and have put the fish, blood and bone meal around the apricot tree (I think the dog ate some of it).

Thursday 27 February 2014

Sun, rain, hail - what next?

Very weird weather day today with sun, rain and hail.  First thing, I thought the alpacas were going to dry out so I armed myself with the camera to be  ready for a bit of a photo shoot but no one dried out and everyone was muddy.  A grumpy looking Gloria was the best I managed.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Time to get the recipe books out

That was my pointing finger, Judi!  I also have a cleaning out alpaca nail finger which is long, a broken nail which used to be the foot cleaning nail and the right hand is relatively short in preparation for lambing!

This morning Sam and Kristie helped with moving the sheep and checking a couple of dodgy feet.  Poor Grace had a stick stuck between her nail and pad which explains why she was limping.  When I got home the Flower Lady arrived with some lovely knitting she had completed..  She was on her way to visit the Grave Digger who was creating some sort of funeral Pyre down the lane but I insisted she came in the polytunnel first!  After that Sam spent his time fitting his new snorkel to his truck.

My cooker has arrived and Carl is attempting to connect it up now.  I am really pleased with it - no idea how it will cook but it looks lovely.  I got it from Marsh's in Stur and it was £10 cheaper than anywhere else plus as we went and collected it there was no delivery.  In the photo it looks like it is fatter at the top, which it isn't!

I regret to say that I appear to have killed the cucumber seed that was growing.

Monday 24 February 2014

Hard at work

Progress on the house paddock was good until Carl discovered the hinges he had will not fit the gate.  He is off back up the hill looking for ones that will fit right now.

I have told him he has to get a move on as then there is back paddock and weaning has to start soon!  Back paddock needs a bit more work on the woods side and Sam is the one we need or that as he is magic with the monkey and can bash posts in, on his own, at a rate of knots.  Hopefully, I can tempt him in to doing a bit of that on Wednesday - although I do also need help with moving the sheep so we will have to see how busy he is.
Cassie is doing well and I am sure she is gradually straightening up.  Her walking is much better and the wonky neck does not seem to be causing her any problems.
And - great excitement in the greenhouse this afternoon as one cucumber seed is growing.  It is definitely a cucumber seed and not a bit of twig as I dug it up to check.
I have managed to dig over another bed today but it was a small one - I am putting off tackling the monster bed!

Good news!  Lorry unloading a mini (well quite a big one, actually) digger at the bottom of Bell hill - I think they may be looking at the hole!

Saturday 22 February 2014

We have photos!

Finally!  Cassie from yesterday and here she is today.  Different angle but I do think it is improving.
 Now I have sneaked off to do this whilst Carl is completing the fence in house paddock so the girls can come home - very exciting!

I am aching a bit as I have been dong a bit more in the polytunnel.  It is brilliant for drying clothes!  There is a long way to go but I am just taking it bit by bit.

And here is one of Bert - grumpy but doing well!

Friday 21 February 2014

Here she is! Here she isn't!

Here she is!  Cassie' neck is much better than yesterday, thank goodness.

. . .except there is no photo!  I still am not properly on the internet - maybe tomorrow.

I really have to get the other computer sorted now as I can't use the photos from the camera and mobile ones are not the same.  We are trying to sort out the paddock for the girls so they can come by the house and then I will not be so worried about them. I have managed to dig a bit of the poly tunnel, sort out some of the strawberry bed and put some seeds in the green house.  The Shepherd came round earlier and I am sure he looked askance at my wobbly lines.

The house is gradually getting straight but not everything will fit in and the hoover has totally disappeared.

Thank you for asking about Bert, Judi, she is doing well - despite the weather.  She runs better than she walks but seems quite happy.

I hope I will have photos tomorrow.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Wobbly, Weeble Alpaca

We have moved - amidst storm, sleet, rain and even a smudge of snow!  I should now be waffling on about the move and the new house but that will have to wait as I have to tell you about a very traumatic event first.  I am afraid there is no photo yet as I have to do everything on the tablet and I don't know how to get photos on that.   Anyway . . .

It was the night of the big storm and we had just unloaded everything.  We secured everything as well as we could in the fields and anxiously waited for morning.  I went up to check and feed on my own and immediately saw a field shelter blown over and smashed on the track.  Not bad as the boys were up at the top grazing and no one was hurt.  Everything else seemed fine until I went behind the barn and looked up at the girls with cria.  I have had some horrid alpaca moments but this beats the lot.

We have some very heavy duty hay feeders too heavy for me to move on my own, usually.  Well, somehow one of them had tipped over - right on top of Cassie.  She was lying on her side with just the bottoms of her legs sticking out one side, full hay rack over her entire body and her head sticking out the other side eyes closed, froth all round her mouth.

Super human strength helped me move the rack off her and she opened her eyes.  I was sure everything must be broken but I had no phone signal and no one with me to help so I pushed her into a kush - amazingly she tucked her own legs in properly so they were not broken.  I felt her ribs and she didn't flinch but dribbled out lots of fluids.  Her neck was a real worry as the heavybar where the lid lifts had been across it and it looked dented and she didn't lift it.  There was no way I could lift her to get her on her feet so I dashed off to get Carl and thought she would be gone by the time I got back.  We returned in record time and to my amazement she had moved a few feet and her head was up - but her neck had a big bend in it - in fact it looked like a big question mark.  

To cut a long story short, she still has a very odd neck but the vet thinks it is muscular and should recover - she is having metacam to ease it.  Her cria is feeding, she is grazing and eating from the trough.  Her walking is still a bit wobbly and she looks very strange but, hopefully, she will be okay.

What a week it has been!

Sunday 16 February 2014

Kinky neck problem

Nightmare - no internet yet - moved okay but another serious problem.  Am blogging from a roadside cafe on A31, that's dedication!
Back soon.

Saturday 8 February 2014

Bye for now (possibly)

This may be my last blog for a week as complete chaos reigns here and I need to get a grip.

We managed to vitamin D the cria whilst dodging hail stones.  I am using only paste this year as I am worried about injecting with wet fleece - I do not need another abscess.  It was then a return to packing which is very dispiriting as we keep running out of boxes and Carl and I both have a totally different approach to it.  Carl likes to clear an area, set up newspaper, tape gun, pen and have a stack of carefully chosen items by him.  I prefer to dash around throwing various items, chosen on the basis of whether they will fit in the box, in the approximate direction of my chosen box.  It is not going well.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Battles with coat hangers

Well, I found the camera - but, as you can see it was hardly worth it!  The rain continues but we are in no way in the situation that they are on the Somerset levels.  I have to confess a small tear escaped as I watched the farmer with his desperate efforts to build banks around his cattle sheds.  The rain and storms show no sign of abating and I am beginning to cast a wary eye over the hay which is diminishing rapidly.  There is no chance of me getting photos for Alpaca Seller which was my job for this week.  I think I am just going to have to forget about everything but moving until next weekend.

Having returned from my daily soaking I have now recommenced packing but am having a bit of a struggle with the coat hangers which seem to take up a vast quantity of space.  I would really much rather be sitting in the field shelter with Bert studying seed catalogues and working out how to propagate strawberries (she is getting through rather a lot of imported, expensive, strawberries at the moment!

Today I heard from someone I thought I had lost contact with.  She is now running a dog grooming business in Devon and is one of the nicest people I know so if you are in Devon and in need of a bit of dog grooming take a look at Lucy (and Archie of course!)

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Boxes, boxes, boxes

Things are hotting up a bit here but not weatherwise as it is blowing a gale and hammering down with rain.  I spent the afternoon doing the VAT return, not my favourite job and made worse by the fact that I appeared to have packed several crucial elements, such as half the invoices.  After unpacking several boxes I got it done and then had to repack.  The cat are getting a bit restless and clingy, they know something is going on!  Tonight we are burning the bed so nice and cosy in the lounge, just a shame we will be upstairs braving the horrors of Sam's room (he has gone out).

P.S I packed the camera!

Monday 3 February 2014

Spoilt alpaca

A busy few  days with a husbandry visit on Sunday - one I really enjoy as they are such lovely alpacas with only one big spitter.  He is a big boy who does not try to get away when he is held, picks his feet up fine, is generally lovely - but he spits like a fountain!  We reorganised our alpacas a bit and put Trouble and her daughter Rascal in with Bert - that's Granny, daughter and granddaughter in together!  Rascal is very sweet with her Granny and they spend a lot of time sitting together.  Bert is being spoilt with ruinous quantities of best grapes, little piles of fresh top quality hay, little handfuls of freshly picked grass and general mollycoddling.
Today, despite the wind and cold, it hasn't rained yet so everyone is looking much happier.