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Tuesday 29 December 2009

Colour co-ordinated!

The weather has come in with avengence , and so the alpacas are coming in for the nights - well strictly speaking the white and pale colours are coming in , the black and dark brown are staying out ! Why? Does anyone know why, I certainly don't , but I have often observed that colour is a big issue for alpacas . I don't think they discriminate , but they are colour conscious , Dark colours stick together , pale colours stick together , and unless there is a bigger agenda , that is largely how they stay ! The exception to this gross generalisation is the way that little Berlioz is treated , at feeding time Bijou ( as head of the herd) gets first pickings and guards her trough to the exclusion of all others regardless of colour , but Berlioz is allowed to eat with her .I think she senses that he needs a bit of a helping hand , and makes an exception for him.

Yesterday was also Vit injection day . An event that we all look forward too ( not) . We took a different tack this time , and injected Athena first , and whilst she still had time o land one good spit in DH's face , she was quickly removed from the catching pen . She spent the rest of the time prowling the edges she could reach and trying to spit , but didn't manage to get us again and we were all alot cleaner and happier, I also managed some toe nail trimming so Hermione looks quite the lady now !

Sunday 20 December 2009


The snow has arrived , althou a pretty pathetic attempt compared to some parts of the UK , it is sufficient to cover the ground ( just ) and cause a few slips in the car! Deja vu as I slid down the drive , but this time I did it more slowly and there was nobody at the bottom to hit - result!

The alpacas are continuing in their own contrary way - they will not come in to the stables for shelter , preferring to sit under the trees, what is their logic ? The post title refers to the weaning process for Berlioz . Since the weather has got colder and tougher have gone backwards in the process . We are back to two full bottles a day , when we had reached just one 3/4 bottle at bed time . Berlioz is always pleased to see me and guzzles the lot , so I think he must need it . On the plus side he is continuing to eat hard feed , doing much better than his slightly older compatriots , and he won't be 6 months until Jan 13........... so whilst the weather is bad and he is still taking the lot I shall carry on feeding him and try hard to quell my feelings of shame that I have gone backwards !

Our first night in our new bedrooms was very successful , despite the cries of ' who can sleep in this heat?' ( 17C) , waking to more snow and still feeling warm was a great treat which I suspect we shall come to take for granted all too quickly. It seems that all the inches of insulation are paying off !

Saturday 19 December 2009


Wow , it is cold today ! The temp has not risen above -2C all day and the wind is making it feel colder . Last night I took the alpacas into the stables , they have a choice of 3 but insist on all trying to cram into one ! They did appreciate the round the clock hay and hard feed to order ! At last they are beginning to look fluffy again after all the rain , and the pale ones are looking their proper colour rather than muddy grey.

Tonight is our first night in our new bedrooms - so exciting . The floor situation has improved , a change of adhesive has done the job , and we should be easily finished by Wed so that I can start using the kitchen for Christmas - truth be known I have already started to fill the cupboards- but don't tell DH since he feels I should do nothing until it's finished .
The children finished school yesterday so we can wind down a bit towards Christmas , presents are all bought , but I don't have a tree , food is sorted out so we are doing ok . Finished kitchen would just polish it off , fingers crossed!

Sunday 13 December 2009

God bless the NHS , and other bits !

I have been quite for a couple of weeks , partly because on the animal front life is quiet ( i hesitate to say dull cos that is tempting fate ) alpacas have moved to a clean field once the rain has stopped and we have had a couple of crisp mornings , so the risk of that field turning into a quagmire are less . One hen has decided that now is a good time to moult ( mad ) but her feathers are growing back quickly .

On the house front ,2 steps forward 1 step back ! All the new bedrooms are ready to go , ie they have carpets/ wood floors , blinds , beds and heating and light , voila! On the down side , the slate floors were supposed to have been finished last Friday , and by now my kitchen would have been finished and I would be filling cupboards , cooking and generally moving everything in - not so , the floors are a nightmare . The adhesive wont stick to the slate , although it has stuck very hard to the floor , the tiler is blaming the adhesive , the adhesive manufacturers are blaming the tiler , us and generally everybody else , work has stopped with 25m2 laid and waiting to be taken up , I just want my floor laid NOW! Until the floor is laid the kitchen cant be finished ......

Anyway the title of the post might suggest that we have also had experience of hospital recently - anyone like to guess which son ? Yes , Theo! On Friday he and his twin brother went to scout sleepover prior to completing a 26 mile ride for their cycling badge ,half an hour after we got back from dropping them off the phone rang , general conversation about an accident, A & E etc , 'please meet us there' . Luckily the large glass of baileys which I had just poured ( the stress is getting to me ) had not yet been touched , so off I duly set . Had to stop for petrol , not normally a hazardous job , only to get caught up in the middle of a fight , finally got out of that and got to the hospital ,to find 2 shaken scout leaders , mildly blood covered , and one very shocked and blood soaked child . Apparently during a game of hide and seek in the park behind the scout hut , which boasts swings and a roundabout , T had slipped down a bank , only to discover that he had slashed his buttock and the top of his leg on what appears to have been a piece of glass. The wound is 3 or 4 inches long and a couple of inches deep , very unpleasant . Have to admit that I did laugh when the nurses asked the scout leaders if it was a knife wound - what do they think goes on in scouts in a quiet little town in the Brecon Beacons ?! - anyway the nursing staff were brilliant . Althou we were there for 3 hours , not a minute was wasted , we had xrays , wounds cleaned etc , they were quick, efficient , but above all very , very kind to a small boy who was deeply shocked but who also showed enormous bravery and was polite and courteous to everyone even when he was in serious pain . Finally , Theo was stitched up , 3 internal and 9 external stitches , he had gas and air , which made him laugh a lot , but also made him sleepy , which was a blessing since he dozed throu some of the worst stitching , which took the best part of an hour . Now he has a lovely war wound , and is a local hero for the next couple of days - many of the scouts saw the wound when it happened and one was sick , so they are very awed by his experience . I am very proud of how he behaved, but hope never to have to see that again !

Monday 7 December 2009

so trusting - not!

As for many , it has rained a hell of alot recently and today has been no exception.

The last week or so has been hectic - I have set us the deadline of 12Dec for us to be able to move into our new house end! I have been madly painting and fiddling, DH has been fitting kitchen , which he has done very professionally , but like most guys it is hard to keep him on task , and everything has taken a long time ! The alpaca have had the minimum of care for the last week or so - I have dashed out and fed everyone , let out the chickens and then got on with house things .

Today was a bit more relaxed - the stone masons arrived to lay the kitchen floors , so I can't fiddle down there any more , and have reached a halt up stairs pending the arrival of carpets on Friday .I have made up drawers for the kitchen etc , but DH doesn't want anything in situ until he is ready - I am champing ! Anyway , as a result I spent a bit more time with the alpacas. As always I started the day with a bottle for Berlioz , I am beginning to wean him and reducing the volume of milk he is offered gradually , today it was pelting down when I went out so I wore my full length Drizaabone , Berlioz was obviously not impressed , he was very cautious and finally decided that he didn't feel hungry enough to brave THE COAT , I went and changed and then , miraculously , he was hungry and drank the lot _ little monkey . Gradually he is eating more hard feed , and is more adventurous than the other cria , he was very impressed with the micronised peas and garlic , less so with the sugar beet . Maybe they will come in tonight ?!