Friday 29 April 2016

Halter training

Bit of halter training this evening made a nice change from kitchen stuff.
The boys are off to their new home soon - they will be missed but it is time for them to go!

The kitchen is proving to be a mammoth operation and we have now reached the stage of no sink, no washing machine, no work surface - so it is salad followed by salad and it is not really the weather for it!

When it is done it will be lovely!

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Sapphire in heaven

The weekend saw a bit of an epic change for a little group of older girls.  They are a few we will not be breeding from again but I wanted them to still have a role to play and so they have become sheep nanny's.  This is a role they appear to love.  One of them is Sam's alpaca, Sapphire, and she is over the moon about her new role!  She is not normally an excitable alpaca but she was on Sunday!  There is a bank in the 10 acre field they are now in with the ewes and lambs and in the evenings the lambs love to bounce, charge and race all over the bank - Sapphire joined in!!  She pronked, she leapt, she charged!  Gangs of little lambs joined her and it was a site I wish I could have recorded.  The other alpacas with her are also very sprightly and constantly on look out so hopefully they will keep all the lambs safe.  Dire photo I am afraid!
Now Judi told me to slow down a bit and so I have - I spent ages today watching the little Dorpers, who remind me of dalmations!

Well - that is enough resting!  Two little boys to get ready to go to their new home and a drive to dig up!

Friday 8 April 2016

Just a quicky

Feels very cold at the moment and I am still in several jumpers for most of the time.  Lambing is almost over - just two hanging on until the bitter end.  Lots of lovely lambs jumping about - love the little Dorpers!

We are off to market tomorrow and then it is a rush back to move sheep and check over a sold alpaca ready for delivery next week.

Friday 1 April 2016

Every one is growing up

Off to Wales tomorrow to deliver four alpacas so today has been a dash round to check everybody is well sorted so there isn't too much to do in the morning.  We shall be getting back as quickly as possible though as my Dorper Sheep are due next week.  In fact, next week is looking busy already as I have to arrange another pre movement Tb test for another sold boy.  Little ones are all growing well but the two young lads haven't yet found a home - hopefully, they will do soon!

And little Flossie is just gorgeous!

And the lambs are growing up and playing like crazy - all very exciting!  Too many exclamation marks as usual.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

A bit of sun - camera comes out!

Bit of sun today which was very good for the lambs but it looks like rain is on the way.  Thought I would get a few alpaca photos in before the rain arrived.

And one of the cat who is supposed to be a stray but has taken up residence!

Yesterday was pre movement Tb testing on four sold alpacas - hopefully, on their way to a lovely new home very soon.  I got home afterwards to a message that another sale was confirmed so that is another to test!

Thursday 17 March 2016

The Badgers are here!

My car is jinxed - now it appears to have a tyre problem (thank you GHN for spotting that).  Regardless, we soldier on and last night I acquired a few little badgers - - the sheep variety!

Lambs are all growing up - some of the Southdown crosses look like little old men!

The sun coming out has made life far easier - hopefully, no rain for a while, and things will dry out!
Despite not mentioning them, things have not been quiet on the alpaca front and four should be going to a lovely new home very soon - more on that another time as now I must whip off and check for new lambs!

Saturday 12 March 2016

Mostly about my car

Sorry, this is not really alpaca or sheep related!  Lambing continues - nearing the end now although I do have the 4 Dorpers at the beginning of April.  Alpacas are ticking along nicely - they have had two visitors in the last week, something Trouble enjoys immensely.

Real subject of this blog, though, is cars - my car to be more precise!  Eight days ago - a day etched in my mind - my shopping was stolen from my car whilst parked at the field.  This made me hopping mad but I blamed myself as I was carrying a sick lamb and various other bits so locked the car but did not check the boot and the central locking can be erratic.  I assumed it was my fault and the boot had bee unlocked as they had obviously got in through the boot.  They had left a £400 camera on the floor in the front and, incidentally, a £10 note in the side pocket - I think I disturbed them coming up the track as I did hear someone whistle.  Anyway, cross as I was, I blamed myself.

Well - today Carl went to get something from my car and this is what he sported on the passenger door - Eight days ago and I had not noticed it!

It wasn't my fault!!  They had taken a screwdriver or some such and made a hole which enabled them to open the locked boot.

Now I need a new door!!

Monday 7 March 2016


I know the blog has got behind!  I have been lambing and fitting in alpaca vistors around it.  Hopefully, things will calm down soon but for now here are a few photos of some of the lambs!

The weather has been a bit of a challenge and I have taken to carrying a water bottle round with me under my jacket - sun showed itself for a bit today though so, hopefully, things are picking up!

Monday 29 February 2016


Sorry - blogging has taken a back seat due to lambing!  Also the camera has broken - can't recognise memory card all of a sudden.  Tomorrow - if  sheep with a prolapse behaves herself - I am off to the camera shop so expect a cornucopia of photos in the near future.

Here are some lambs - photos taken on phone - to be going on with!
That's my natty leopard print lambing bag hanging on the fence post!
Lovely set of Black Welsh Mountain triplets

And, Judi, if you read this - can't seem to comment on your blog but I love that Fairisle jumper!

Thursday 4 February 2016

Pole Dancing

Today the mud was beginning to dry up but I don't think it will be for long!  Very windy on the hill for the last few days and the Grave Digger was clinging on to the sign post as he attempted to repaint the letters.  Is there no end to this man's talents?!
Lambs not coming for another week or so but Grace - the little Southdown - caused a bit of a panic with a prolapse of her cervix.  It is now safely back in with a spoon, normally they fall out when I do it but Kev tied it in with a bit of bailer twine so I think it is staying put!
The other ewes are all having a bit of a funny five minutes with a lot of head butting and falling out with each other!
Alpacas are all well, if muddy but for some reason the photos will not come of the camera card so have to leave them for next time.  Their fleece has gone to Two Rivers Mill so I am eagerly awaiting the return of some new yarn to knit up in time for the next market.

Wednesday 27 January 2016

What a lovely surprise!

Still raining!  Gales as well so everywhere is even muddier and I am going through several sets of clothes a day.  Overall it has been a bit of a sad few days and I hadn't planned to blog yet but today I had a lovely surprise which has been just what was needed.  Went down to the library van and had to do a double take as on the counter I saw this!
Try to ignore the fact that I have not done any cleaning for days!  A beautiful stand for leaflets - copy of the logo!  Here is the other side -

So pleased with it - thank you to the Knight and the GHN - what a wonderful surprise!

Smiling over that is going to keep me going through mud, wet and rain this afternoon as I check sheep - sheep who are due to start lambing at the weekend!  I would rather sit by the fire and knit at the moment but little Grace the Southdown is looking very big udder wise and very gaping back end wise.  The flower Lady is producing far more than I am at the moment and brought round beautiful hats, scarves and arm warmers yesterday.  I am also hoping to get to the mill on Friday as I need more fleece spun - a thicker yarn this time so I can experiment with cables.  I have also had discussions with The Natural Fibre Company regarding mixing Southdown, Romney and alpaca.  I haven't quite decided yet but it might be rather interesting.

Can't put it off any longer - got to go and check sheep!

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Will it dry up soon?


It is supposed to be getting colder and drier - so far we have a bit of cold but still getting rain.  Mud is the big problem as the alpacas - and the sheep - are churning the ground up and turning field shelters and poly tunnels into bogs.  All I can do is put down straw and hope for the best but I do worry someone is going to come a cropper as they charge down for feed.  Sapphire is limping but I can't see anything seriously wrong so I will give her a day and see if it improves.  This is the sight that greets me every morning and I have to push everyone out in order to stare in dismay at the state of the floor and attempt to make it look less like a toilet/mud bath!  Roll on spring!

This morning I managed to make it to computer club and have finally sorted my laptop a bit - I couldn't open word documents which meant the last invoice I sent ended up as a blank bit of paper - not ideal!  Computer club is only down the road in the village and I shall be going again as it is very helpful.

Carl was a bit over excited last night as I told him I needed him for 20 minutes in the bedroom when he got home from work - the excitement did not last when he realised it was to turn the mattress and hoover under the bed!

At the moment I am feeling my age as artists I grew up with seem to be dying - Lemmy first and now David Bowie.  I had posters of Bowie on my wall as a teenager and his records remind me of my youth - record players, LPs, Sunday evening chart countdown which I listened to on a radio with a green light that had to warm up before you got the station!

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Sun, Rain, Mud!

The sun has shone!  It wasn't when I did the sheep but then it did and the girls all drifted out of the poly tunnel and paddled in the sun.  It is a bit colder which is nice and I managed to check all round the sheep without having to shed a layer of clothing.  Quick rush home to get the camera for some nice drying, sun glinting alpacas - and it rained!  Alpacas shot back in the poly tunnel and the weather has been grey and muddy ever since.  Not sure what Lina was whispering to The Slink but I think it could have been a complaint about the state of the poly tunnel!
Carolyn was the only one who ventured out this afternoon - and that was only to hide behind a tree.
The sheep do not have the luxury of a field shelter or a poly tunnel but are not worried about it.
Sunday was, almost, a complete break from animals.  We went over the other side of Winchester to do a husbandry visit but then returned for Sam's 21st birthday celebrations - a day  at Muddy Bottom Pay and Play.  Driving around in mud - a lot of mud - did not, at first, seem much of a day out but I have to say it was brilliant.  Sam had some good mates there with him  and they all knew their vehicles and were well equipped!

Sam was itching to go through to the other bit but can't until he has some other bit of equipment on his truck - I don't suppose it will be that long before that materialises!

Friday 1 January 2016

21 - almost!

A very happy New Year to all!

As usual Christmas was upon us before we were ready for it.  I cooked the turkey and then trundled it down to Mother's to have dinner at her house (being a lot cleaner than ours and possessing a table and dish washer).  The turkey was the strangest beast I have ever had in my oven - it appeared to be breastless.  Initially, I thought I had cooked it upside down but closer inspection of leg joints confirmed it was the right way up, however, the breast appeared to have sunk and was situated underneath it.  The only explanation I can come up with which is reasonably feasible was that it was an old bird and rather saggy.  It tasted okay, just looked odd. 
Christmas Day night was very noisy as Sam, Kristy and both tractor lads appeared (one brought his Parp Parp Penguin cracker to add to the festivities - his Mother has told him to give it back and not to let it darken her doors again!).  Carl put on his new shearing trousers and vest and tried to remember how to shear a sheep whilst Kristy and Sam demonstrated the proper use of Star Wars light sabres.

Boxing Day we visited Carl's parents which was far more civilised and where we ate far too much beef.  Since then there has been a lot of rain and wind but, despite this, we have managed to get the sheep checked over and feet done where  necessary.  The home girls have taken up residence in the poly tunnel but are still filthy - quite happy though.

Despite the mud we now have to get on with halter training the three little boys as they need to go on the sales list before too long.  It is also, and I can't really believe this, Sam's 21st birthday on Monday - time has flown - seems only yesterday he was like this!