Wednesday 30 July 2014

Bringing it all up to date

So, to catch up.  Since the last time we have made hay - 460 small bales which was more than we expected as we used half of second field which had the sheep on it until May.  It is lovely hay and could be the best to date.

Carl was ill - no pictures of that!

I bought the alpacas paddling pools.  I had my doubts about them and thought they would be punctured within the first day - but no, they are still standing (3 for £10 in Argos).  Flem is the only one who gets right in.  Trouble likes to splash everyone else sitting round the edge.  The two cria jump it!  And here is a photo of them ignoring the paddling pool - it's like the Pandas on the KitKat advert, a minute before Flem was doing breast stroke, Trouble was tap dancing and the cria were diving!

All vehicle passes etc for Ellingham Show finally got in the post today - all seems to be under control although still waiting for a few rosettes to come - plenty of first place ones just the third, fourth and fifth looking a bit low!

I found a wonderful lady who spins and visited her to take her some brown to be spun for a special project.

I suffered a serious nail breakage which may sound a minor problem but my nails had reached critically long stage (all chopped down now) and when I lifted a water barrel it slipped and snapped my nail right down on the nail bed.  I can't cut the nail off as it will be very painful so I have stuck it back on and plastered it up until it grows enough to cut it off.

We did two husbandry visits and then, while mother was having a check up at the hospital, I went shopping - not a good idea as I bought a pair of shoes.  I was supposed to be buying a pair of field shoes but these were beautiful and I haven't bought new shoes for years.

I also bought a new handbag but I haven't told Carl that - it is bright red so, like the shoes, will not go with anything else I own!

And, sadly, two of the three ducks have gone missing.  They were the two who escaped most and now the one left behind is very sad.  I have to get another ducky friend for her.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

No words required!

Normal service will resume tomorrow!!

Saturday 26 July 2014

Poetic Feelings

Many thanks to the Poets of Ibberton for writing my blog for me!

I'm finding this heat a bit much
The sun's got a sizzling touch
I'm not feeling stroppy
Just terribly floppy
So no time for blogging as such.

Monday 21 July 2014

Senior moments

Oh dear - I am getting it all wrong at the moment - I can only ask about the political situation in Spanish - not Italian - as Carl reminded me when he read the blog, and I don't think my apricot tree is an apricot tree after all!  I was sure that was what the gentleman said when we bought the house but they don't look like apricots, they look like peaches to me.  I think they are nearly ripe and apricots are yellow.  I have tasted one that fell of the tree and, despite it not being quite ripe it was delicious but I think it was a peach.  I am going to have to pick a few and distribute them to get further opinions on whether I am growing peaches, apricots or something else!

The orchard is looking sadly overgrown but there are apples and pears coming.  The cherries have all been eaten and the medlars have disappeared - serious work needs to happen there once we have caught up with everything else.

Good news is that String looks definitely pregnant and is starting to take herself away from the others - not too long now I don't think.
Poor alpacas have bags of 'stuff' lurking in their paddock but it is on it's way out!
And - thank you for the fly advice, Debbie, they are still around but now under control!

Wednesday 16 July 2014


Che tempo è glorioso! Dovrebbe essere fare il fieno, ma Sabato non sembra buono, quindi aspetterà un po 'che penso.

Just brushing up on my Italian - no not really, I used Google translate.  I can really only say "What do you think of the social and political situation in Italy today?"  Which has never been a very useful phrase for me!  Oh . . and, "Mi fa cagare!" but I am never sure how appropriate that might be! 

We are on our second home grown cauliflower tonight, we have been eating rather an exceptional quantity of vegetables lately . . .with inevitable consequences.

As usual, with the hot weather, the flies are out in force and attacking the cria eyes so tomorrow I must get something to try to deter them.  I used Crovect last year with a little success but I shall look to see what else might work.

I think Carl was checking eyes yesterday - can't think what else he was playing at crawling round the feild!
Lambs are growing well - they do not seem to be as troubled by the flies.
I tried to get a nice photo of Black Scottie but she gets too close and just looks daft!

Sunday 13 July 2014

The last few days (in brief)

Yes, I know - a blog is not a blog without photos . . but I don't have any so this is photoless, sorry.

We went shearing this morning (and yes, I know, I did say no more shearing for us this year but what can you do?!).  Early start to meet up with an Endell's vet to shear for His Lordship.  A little (an awful  lot) of carrot was involved at the start but finally it all came together and a group of lovely alpacas was left sunbathing, rolling and catching up on lost poo time.  I now have bags of nice blanket and a directive to make jumpers or a silk lined coat from it (need to look into that one!).

This afternoon we managed to check all alpacas and cria plus clear most of the barn ready for haymaking.  If I could just finish sorting my own fleece we would be pretty much caught up.

And I nearly forgot, yesterday we were at a fete talking alpaca.  Previously, in the week, I think we sheared something, I made more pickled beetroot, picked my first cauliflower and it was perfect, made some more jam, sent on some lambs, did a bit of fencing, plus various other things which I can't remember and I think I may have forgotten the library van again.

We now have too many cucumbers.

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Lazing around

What have we been doing since the last blog?

Well - we bid sad goodbyes to Dobby and Caedmon who went to their new home, end of an era that.  We delivered six lambs to their new home and six assorted older sheep to their new home - I was fond of them so that was also a bit sad (but I have crept round to check up on them and they are doing well!).  We have slotted in two alpaca  husbandry visits.  I have made Gooseberry jam and blackcurrant jam and that is very good - mother is doing the strawberry jam when her new kitchen is installed (strawberry is a bit more tricky).  I am dealing with a broad ben mountain and a severe glut of beetroot and this weird and remarkable thing called vegetable spaghetti.  Knitting has notched up a gear as we are getting low on stock.  The cria are both doing well and we are trying to get ready for hay making in amongst it all.

Yesterday I had to do a lot of walking as my car appeared to be broken morning.  However, when Carl got back it seemed to have fixed itself.

Hay is next and I was saying to Carl I don't know how we are going to get it all done as the barn still needs clearing, all the fleece is not yet sorted and all the machinery needs servicing.  Unfortunately, Carl then caught me with his mobile phone camera when he came home and has decided that I spend most of my time sitting around with Bert and the other home girls and that is why we cannot catch up!

Thursday 3 July 2014

Allogator in the field!

Yes, honestly!
Carl towed it up Wednesday morning - lovely bit of kit - even for a klutz like me!

So all sheep now sheared - thank goodness.

Today we have been delivering six sheep and getting them in the stock trailer was not helped by my boot breaking half way through.  Some bailer twine made a temporary repair and now Carl is attempting to glue it together again.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

First cria!

I thought I was not having any this year - but I am!

Flem has just had a lovely little girl!  As usual Flem was a brilliant mother and very keen for me to go and see her baby.  She did not mind at all when I sprayed it and put it under her to check baby had her first drink.  She, no name yet, is a vey placid little thing and perfectly happy to have her photo taken.  I had to get right up close as I am not sure how to work the zoom on the phone camera and still have not got batteries for the ordinary camera.

So here she is!

Courgette glut?!

Yes, big mistake to plant 12 courgette plants but I have now developed a courgette recipe which is delicious.  Take two or three courgettes - or even more - and slice them thinly lengthwise.  Fry in butter.  Line a dish and then layer them with tomato paste splodges, cheese, bits of onion (fried a bit), anything else you want to use up - boiled potato, carrots, broad beans, peas . . . A touch of fresh basil is also nice.  Top with cheese and bake at around 180 for a bit - say half an hour or so.
Even better with home made bread!