Thursday 28 August 2014

Those Pesky Chairs

After the rain -  everyone is asleep, well, almost everyone - I am not although I would like to be!

Since the last blog (which was a long time ago, as I was reminded in the library Van!)   We have been to Yorkshire, which was hectic.  We did manage to have two lovely meals out - one was a huge carvery, they have big appetites in Yorkshire.  After helping with a holiday let changeover we sheared a few alpacas and what with that and the meals out we had time for little else.  I had been looking forward to a relaxing hour or so in the Games Room but that was not to be for a variety of reasons - maybe next time when I think there will also be an outdoor assault course for me to enjoy!

I then collected some beautifully hand spun yarn which is destined to make a border on a christening shawl - very clever lady is Hilary!

Matings are almost finished now.  We did have one incident which was totally my fault and could have been a complete disaster.  Whilst the boys were doing their stuff (alpaca boys) Andy, Carl and I relaxed in garden chairs drinking coffee, eating Hob nobs and putting the world to rights.  Andy then had to leave at speed - more to do with the slope on our drive than a desire to depart - and in the chaos I forgot all about the garden chairs.  I let the girls back in the front paddock and when Sam came back he found little Rascal with both feet through one arm of the chair and her head through the other - no panic, just standing stock still.  She hadn't been stuck earlier when I checked them but thank goodness Sam released her before any damage was done.
The offending chair

Mind you, her name suits her personality - here some of the girls are in the holding pen (not exactly sure what Kristy is up to) and you can see Rascal has put herself into the catch pen and is not sure how to get out!

Las night we had a very good meal out at the Stapleton Arms and today I did the VAT return and nearly had a heart attack when my car gave up the ghost on the bridge coming out of Stur.  A little red spanner is now a permanent feature on my dashboard.   It did it just before when I turned into the vets (checking on paperwork) but I thought that was just me.  I managed to get it going again by chewing furiously on fruit pastilles and closing my eyes and it now awaits Carl's return!

Friday 15 August 2014


I have been a bit blogging quiet as I have had rather a lot on my mind and life has been a little stressful.  However, the worst of the stressful moments is over and I am now spending less time in the bathroom feeling sick.

We are exporting some alpacas to Italy and with that comes reams of paperwork involving something called a ruminating ungulate, a form with lots of boxes to fill in and dire warnings of correct paperwork being needed - in fact if you speak to Live Exports in Carlisle  it is far easier than you think and they are very helpful.  But then, of course, there are the vet tests, and, however careful you try to be with your biosecurity, I cannot believe that many people don't have the odd moment of concern.  Anyway, it is done and all is well so more on that and the export process later - if anyone is interested!

Harry went out to do a mating which he loved but has made him a bit frisky ever since.  I had a frenzied sale of  knitting and am now left with a few hats, a couple of baby jumpers and a lonely scarf which means knitting has had to become a forced activity as I have a market to go to in about 6 weeks.

We are off to Yorkshire tomorrow morning (knitting all the way - well, I am, hopefully, Carl will be driving), leaving Sam in charge.  So today has been very busy watering, cleaning, checking, fussing - I know he will do it all but all the same!  I now have to attempt to mend my new trousers as the strain of all that extra stress related chocolate lead to the zip breaking free from it's moorings!

I shall get some lovely Yorkshire in the sun (or rain) pictures for next time.

Oh, and a nice SWAG newsletter with a good article on Apple Vale Alpacas - Good job, Mark!

Saturday 9 August 2014

Ellingham Show

Too tired to write tonight really - Ellingham Show - an early start and a day of standing!  Hopefully, everyone enjoyed it.  Certainly, we had some lovely, friendly competitors, all of whom knew what they were doing.  Tim Hey was the judge and did a really good job with superb oral reasoning, really involved spectators and even appeared to do the odd jig!
And with the excellent Gary Naish having finished his alpaca jig.

Of course there had to be one competitor who would not behave.
Now I am going to bed as tomorrow there is no let up - two alpaca visits plus check the girls over.

Monday 4 August 2014

Stretching, with a little wire insertion to come!

Stretching mat, Judi!  Just a lot of interlocking foam mats - this is just one of them - and a set of pins with T shape top.

 It sounds more exciting than it is but it does mean I can pin out the lace knitting when damp and it then shows up the pattern better.  I  used to use a damp cloth and an iron but that flattened it out a bit.  I have also got some wires to stick up the sides which is a bit fiddly and that is what I shall be doing in a minute!
I have had a busy paperwork day filling in forms and making phone calls so it was a bit of light relief to have a good check over of the home alpacas - and a spot of halter work with Wonky and Tyke so they are ready for their new homes (I think they have been given some rather stunning new names!)  Tyke is completely laid back about it all  keeps checking Wonky is okay  - a little more of a baby about it all, Wonky!

Sunday 3 August 2014

Ellingham Preparations

I have just finished my tea and it was excellent!  Stuffed tomatoes with potatoes cooked in olive oil followed by Greek yoghurt and peach conserve - all but the yoghurt and the olive oil came from the garden.  Excellent!

A busy day as, after we had done the husbandry visit, we went over to the Ellingham showground to check on preparations and see what we needed to do. 

It's a lovely site and things are starting to take shape, just got to organise barriers and sort out disinfectant mats, tables, microphones, catalogues, rosettes . . . Hopefully, we'll get there in the end.  Plus, after Karen started a tradition of cakes, I need to get cakes for the exhibitors!

Evening jobs are to check on Bert again - I am worried about her eyes.  Carl says they are not as bad as I think but I am going to put a drop more orbenin in just to be sure.  Carl has to get to Mother's to look at her leak and I need to get my next scarf finished,  washed and stretched.  I invested in a proper stretching mat with T pins and it makes a huge difference.

Saturday 2 August 2014

The Italian Job

Carl seems to have spent most of the last few evenings crawling around on bale stacks - good job he enjoys it!  When he has not been doing that he has been welding, cleaning up all the shearing gear to put away until next year (well, almost - we are off to Yorkshire soon!) or moaning about the sheep.  It is all his fault as he left the bailer up in third with the bale sledge on the back and the sheep have been using it a s a rubbing post and as a hay rack for them to eat the last bale directly from the back of the bailer.  Whilst they were having a good time they managed to unravel a whole reel of bailer twine and distribute it all over, in and around the bale sledge.  Carl is now muttering about having to rethred the knotter!

Visitors today, very glamorous ones, the language barrier was slightly challenging and I think I may have just sounded and looked like a real idiot but I did put quite a lot of, "Ciao bella" (that one should really only only be used by Italian men riding Vespa scooters. It's the law apparently. Not grey haired women with a lack of dress sense)  and,  "Buon giorno" in to make them feel at home. 

We did miss the fete but the weather was good for it after a very wet start - that was also a problem with out visitors as, most importantly, all alpacas were like drowned rats and, less importantly, so was I!

Off on an alpaca husbandry visit tomorrow followed by a visit to the Ellingham showground to check on what still needs to be done.  And we have to get a photo of some alpacas - far too wet today for any photography.

It's no good - I have tried my utmost not to write this but with a blog title like that what can you do, it is just too tempting!

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"