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Saturday 21 August 2010


Yesterday was amazing ! We had torrential rain , and thunder and lightening! The rain was much needed but a little to intense , but the streams are beginning to trickle a little so we have reaped some of the benefits . Much to the amazement of our paying guests , i was out in the rain clearing cattle grids and ditches to allow for a peaceful passage of water ,I quite enjoy that sort of thing ( which is just as well) , at one point the youngest son opened the back door to see what I was doing and found the water rushing past 4 inches deep and just lapping at the sill!

Needless to say the animals were un impressed with it all , Riva is hanging on to her baby I think , but I have to admit that I have no mating date for an accurate guess. Mind you , it sometimes seems pointless knowing the due date anyway , since I haven't met an alpaca yet who has read the same books as me about gestational periods . Still watching and waiting . Luckily we have secured a farm sitter for next weekend - who wants to bet that that will be the time !? :)

Third son is still in Sweden , and rang today to say that he is happy to stay ...... forever! So far he has caught 5 fish with his new rod , is promising to teach his brothers ( that went down well , NOT) has tried all manner of new foods and is generally happy and content with the world. His surrogate mum is happy with him , and says that he hasn't stopped grinning since he got their 10 days ago , whilst he misses us a bit (!) he is having the time of his life , how much he will have to tell when he goes back to school , and on Tuesday he is going riding on Icelandic horses!!

The weather forecast is dodgy to say the least , hoping this means a hot September , I really need a few hot days to really make sure that the hay is thoroughly dry - I have my doubts at the moment , and Yes , I am watching it closely!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Busy , busy

The last week has been very busy . As if three boys ( one is away in Sweden ) wasn't enough , we have guests staying in our holiday cottage , which is good for the bank account , but also time consuming , not only washing and ironing bedlinen , but chatting and giving advice about walks ( yes , me !) , pubs to eat in and generally passing the time of day .

Last week saw toenails trimmed , and a nasty sore area covered with summer fly cream , polytunnels sowed and then re-sowed , after the slugs had had their fill. It is never ending .

We did finally get a hay harvest in , but it was touch and go as to whether the grass would be dry enough for hay or just silage . I really wanted small bale hay , and we were lucky . Last night we got it baled and stored , so we are set for the winter , just before the rain came down again.

Riva is keeping us on our toes , she looks pregnant- big udder , loose ligaments- but hasn't produced yet , and now her daughter is looking the same !Do alpacas have phantom pregnancies?

I know that this is a slightly disjointed blog , for which I apologise , but this is how my brain is working at the moment !!

ps. we had a superb selectionof veg for supper last night- all home grown !

Sunday 8 August 2010


We may have surprise arrival. Last week I was all ready to sell Bozedown Riva , my light fawn suri , and had a buyer ready to come and collect her , so I went out for a final nostalgic chat with Riva , and as I looked at her across the field I thought ' She's pregnant' . All stop on the sale , cos she is clearly close to delivering - full udder gave it away- and a quick chat with a friend who happened to be delivering me Teifi Magic back for some stud work. Long and short , Garry came and had a look and a feel and confirmed my suspicions , we could be expecting a late arrival! Riva is a little monkey , she was clearly interested in mating back in April , but having tested her I held off , partly while I decided who to mate her too , and partly while I decided whether to sell her . The two are related strangely , it is hard to find a suri stud of good colour etc within a reasonable travelling distance , and Riva's babies have so far needed a lot of supplementing in the early days , I felt like a year off and that it would be better to sell her as a companion animal , having made it clear she can breed abut requires a lot of imput for the new cria .
Anyway plans of mice and men etc. looks like my year off may not be happening after all!

Friday 6 August 2010


On Sunday we hatched 9 chicks ! One of them struggled from the moment it hatched and finally died on Wed afternoon , the first to spot this was the youngest son , who promptly claimed the dead chick as his new best friend , what can I say , he's 5! Anyway , after a little while he promised to put the chick in a box and wait for Dad to come home so it could be buried . Then we went out to a party.
Imagine my horror on Thursday morning when I could find the box in the kitchen on the island , but no chick . Had he sneakily taken it to bed with him ? Put it under his pillow ?

No , he fed it to the dog!