It's been quite a week and I can hardly believe where the time has gone. Last Friday I set off with my little suitcase to meet Chas & Rachel from Classical MileEnd to join them on their trip to Holland for the Dutch Show in Hapert. I was a little concerned about whether I would get car-sick on route, I'm not a great passenger, but Rachel very kindly gave up her front seat for me, bless her she had a cold too, and Chas's excellent driving along with all the straight roads proved to be no problem whatsoever. The Channel Tunnel experience was a first for me, and I think I would be brave enough to do that on my own if I had to ... very cool how the turnstile thingy knows who the driver is and welcomes them by name.... little things. Pics just in case you haven't been there...

Meeting the breeders and talking about their animals and watching the judging show was very interesting, getting to know who was who was quite taxing for my memory, which is just rubbish these days, I had too keep making notes on my catalogue ...  'bald chap who looks like pirate' and 'miserable woman/friendly man'! There were of course a few familiar faces from home too. There were plants everywhere, no tulips, and cute little hurdles all made out of wood, which looked like they wouldn't hold alpacas in... they did. There were some extremely tiny animals there too, apparently miniatures,  they could have stepped through the gaps out of the hurdles! It was held in a big equestrian indoor arena,  the surface was quite dusty, presumably they hadn't watered it to keep the humidity down, but each morning the animals were all really damp anyway from the condensation and pre-sun fog, must have been quite a challenge for the Judge.  The Hotel was very comfortable and the food for the Show Dinner excellent,  they had an amazing raffle which went on between courses with a seemingly endless supply of really good prizes. We had a lot of laughs in the bar afterwards too, with Leo and Chris, I have no idea what time I got to bed as I was so confused by all the time changes I lost track. We took our time for the trip home on Monday, via a huge Carrefour supermarket where we bought stinky cheese, lovely wine and tins of interesting french things, which I haven't opened yet.

Tuesday was spent catching up and getting organised for Nick's Breeders Seminar here yesterday, which was excellent of course, very informative and thought provoking. We all stood in the glorious hot sunshine all afternoon, examining fleeces and animals. Always good to see, feel and learn more, suris too, as well as huacayas - he brought some with him as we don't have them.  Only took the one photo just got too absorbed to think about taking more...

Today I moved a few groups around into new fields, trying to find some grass - this weather is fantastic but I am getting concerned as our hay stack is almost gone and we have so little grass growing, surely it has to rain soon?

So a whole week steeped in alpaca, well month really, I just love it, never get tired of talking about them or looking at them, they are my addiction and clearly I'm not the only one whose an addict!


What a brilliant weekend that was ... fantastic venue and superb organisation .. well done the Futurity team especially Chas and Rachel. Unless you've organised a show it's hard to imagine the amount of hard work that goes on to make it all happen and something on this scale must be immense. I am still recovering from the late nights and early mornings, and the hotel bill, all worth it as I had a great time with lots of laughter!

I'm really pleased with our little show team of juniors - Bond and Callista came 4th in their respective white  classes, Bobby Dazzler 4th in the fawn junior male and Eros got a very close second in the same class. Our lovely grey boy The Sorcerer won his class and then took the Reserve Champion Grey Male - the smile on my face says it all! His half brother also took Reserve Champion grey male in Brittany this weekend too - so pleased for Eve and Nigel from Bonheur Alpacas as it was their first show, both by Meon Valley Ardingly, we have a couple more females pregnant to him due in the summer and he is producing more greys than any other colour.

Rebecca came with me this weekend and she was a star, she handled in the ring really well and was great company - she looked so grown up at the Dinner too, I'm very proud of her.

The Sorcerer
Rebecca with Bond
Bozedown Protegee
Oh, and this is Bozedown Protégée who was in the auction - she seems to have found her way into our field! We bought her with Ken and Liz from Artwork Alpacas and we're all looking forward to breeding with her with our Snowmass boys in the future.


What a lovely group of people we had today on our Alpacas for Beginners Course, I just know that they're all going to love keeping alpacas. We were so lucky with the weather again, just a brief shower before they arrived,  Peter and I had hastily got the weanling females in to play with this afternoon, but actually we needn't have worried 'cos there was a good drying breeze and the sun came out. All seemed to enjoy the course hugely and went home full of enthusiasm (or in Alistairs's case at least converted!) - which means I achieved what I set out to do, which makes me happy:) Big blunder and momentary panic, was to leave the cottage pie unattended in the oven whilst doing the farm walk with everyone, came back to a charred potato crust, thank heavens Greg and John (Masterchef) weren't on the course - blimey could you imagine that?! Scraped off the black bits and everyone was very polite and ate it... so I think I got away with it!!

Hmmm paddock condition!
Frog spawn
Enjoying a cuddle
A natural alpaca handler Alistair - that's a big smile!
Sue, Don, Alistair and Charlotte all enjoying the pacas