Friday 29 May 2015

The Bath and West

Wednesday was the Bath and West Show.  I only went for the one day as there were other calls on time for the other days - and I only managed to take photos as we were setting up (I then forgot!)  You are quite right, Barbara, I managed no celebrity pictures!  Wednesday was the fibre day so there were just a few alpacas there.

The weather threatened rain at one or two points but managed to hold off - I think they may have caught a sharp shower or two there today.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Almost Bath and West Show

Thank you GHN!!  On Sunday I picked up 4 metres of fabric to cover the table for my stall - - - for £2!!  What a lovely place for material (in fact I must go back and get some more for bedroom curtains if I am not tempted to turn the stall covering into curtains after the Bath and West!!)  Bailie Gate Warehouse at Sturminster Marshall - very good!

We have been busy shearing - but mostly sheep and we are getting a bit better but it is nothing like the professionals.  The first we had to do with the aid of a piece of paper with me shouting at Carl - move foot to right, move sheep with your foot - - It turned into a rather surreal game of twister at one point where I missed a step and ended up with Carl almost under a sheep!  Yesterday we tackled the ram - Leaf - and that was very hard as he weighs a ton and the steps we had did not include how to do a Southdown face or what to do about his hairy balls.  We spent Monday night recovering on the sofa!

The alpacas going to Italy have all had their testing and the paperwork is done so just waiting for a date now and then they will be making their way - they are going further than we will be this year, I do have a trip out tomorrow - The Bath and West Show - and I am hoping I will see people I know and have a chance to catch up with news.  I am now surrounded by knitting which I really should be finishing and labelling but I decided to do this instead!  No photos but will take some at the Bath and West - last year it was me and Adam, shall look out for a photo opportunity with another celebrity!

Monday 18 May 2015

The start of shearing

It is pouring with rain here - something which I do not think is appreciated by the first sheared alpacas!
They were pristine for approximately 20 seconds before rolling commenced!  Saturday we had the help of the wonderful Tractor Boys who made light work of rounding up the sheep for checking and worming.  We nearly had one awkward moment as one lunged for a sheep as I dived for a lamb and only an athletic twist on my part prevented me from landing on top of him - that may have traumatised him for life!  Sunday, Carl, Sam and Kristy went to shear and deliver some pet lambs to Hope Nature Reserve where Dobby and Caedmon (our first two alpacas) now reside.  We also picked up last year's lambs which are now enormous - Sam insisted on weighing them all when they came back.

Rain has stopped play as far as shearing is concerned but hopefully on Thursday we will be able to get a move on.  We are also going to attempt to shear our sheep ourselves this year which is going to be quite an adventure.  Carl has been memorising the order of the blows but you also have to remember where to put your feet and where the sheep is supposed to be so it is all far more complicated than it looks.  I shall be having a very small go myself.  Pictures may follow!

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Avoidance Tactics

I am actually writing this as an avoidance tactic as I do not want to do what I am supposed to be doing.  My job list for the rest of today should be - -
1. Complete VAT return - half the petrol receipts are the 'not a VAT invoice' type which is annoying me and it looks like I am going to be owing a hefty hunk to the VAT man so every penny counts - grumble, grumble, grumble . . .
2. Tying up export paperwork, transport and testing is causing me to eat too much chocolate and I have run out of my current favourites - Magic Stars
3. I have to finish a pair of suri gloves and I am knitting them on very fine needles so each row appears to make no difference to how much more there is to knit!!
4. Carl has resurrected the table for the stall at the Bath and West and I am supposed to be making it look attractive - and it does not.  I searched Blandford at the weekend for some tasteful material to cover some boxes to use as display stands - I could find nothing.  The stall opposite me last year gave me some helpful advice on making it look good - I think she was horrified at the pink plastic Barbie Doll tablecloth I was using - and I could be opposite her again - Progress in stall dressing has to be shown!!

Only one more hour and I have to go back to check on the sheep so if I can take an hour to write the Blog I can avoid those jobs!!  I shall now look for pictures!
Princess, Katie Morag and Scott - new home for them at the weekend!



Saturday 2 May 2015

A post from Squirrel Nutkin

I have a cold - it is a really horrible cold and has gone on for ages.  It is one of those colds that you think has gone and then reappears.  It is one of those colds that blocks up your sinuses and then makes you feel like you cannot breathe and are about to die in the middle of the night.  In fact last night I didn't want to go to bed despite being sick because I thought I might drown in the night.  I stayed up to watch the Bourne Ultimatum which was good but I regretted when the alarm went off this morning.  Carl also has a cold - he is tucked up in bed moaning, snoring and wanting a little snack to help him survive the day . . . MEN!

We had a very nice meal out during the week.  I think there must be someone new at the Stapleton Arms as the portions were much bigger than normal.  I had to feed the lambs and check the sheep on the way out which is not easy when you are wearing a floaty floral skirt and your best cardigan plus you are wearing suede shoes and have forgotten to bring your wellies.  I had arranged my hair into a very chic chignon as I knew it would get blown around and damp on the hill but it obviously did not look quite as chic as I had thought as Red Van Man's first comment was,  "Why have you got a dead squirrel on your head?" 

Lambing is now almost finished I just have a couple of hangers on who may or may not be pregnant - I am going to check that out later.  Just one poorly lamb who I had to carry around in the car yesterday and who escaped into the garden to the amusement of the alpaca girls - I think she had made a full recovery by the amount of effort I had to put into catching her again!  Now it is back to alpaca focus, not that I have any births due yet as we are all quite late this year. 

Friday 1 May 2015

Looking for a suri

This is a really quick post!  I am looking for a couple of reasonably priced female suri alpacas for a client - must be near us in Dorset.  Any out there?!