Now I know summer is here, it's hot and sunny, I've been driving about in my ancient convertible, the very scruffy but loveable "Boris the Morris" (who just passed his MOT no problem once again) and excitingly on the paca front we have moved the 'due-in-June' girls, twelve of them, into the field by the house, the one our bedroom and my office looks out on. They have loads of grass and clover and lots of shady trees to sit under and it means we can keep a closer watch on them and look out last thing at night and first thing in the morning to check on them.

Calico with a Snowmass Quetzalcoatl on board 
Making use of the shade

Dove and Beulah at the front both with Snowmass Incan King xxx pregnancies and  Moya
the grey with a MV Goldrush on board

Bettina the black has a Kazzan on board, Andromeda in the middle with a Snowmass Invincibly Elite x, and
Selene with a Nyetimber

Selene and Strawberry Shortcake, daughter and mother both carrying Nyetimbers

Moya, Cotton Cake in the middle with a  Nyetimber and Beulah

Dove who insisted on a close up 

Bretta has a Snowmass Quetzalcoatl on board

Toffee Apple a  Snowmass Incan King xxx



Yara has a Kazzan same as her mum Bettina
 Oh and I just can't keep up with the water when they keep getting in it so -
A crafty way of stopping them climbing into the water tubs!

And anther solution....
Can't wait for these crias - should be some interesting colours - I think I might start taking bets on the various outcomes!


Phew, a very hot day! We had guests this morning, the lovely Reception Class from Meonstoke Primary School came for their annual visit, they entertained the alpacas with their lovely shoes and sun hats - why do alpacas get so fascinated with shoes? As always they behaved beautifully, the children that is, and came up with lots of really good questions. Then they all sat and painted pictures of the alpacas and took a big bag of fluff and post cards back to school. The alpacas showed off some bad behaviour with interesting noises and a bit of a spit-spat as they argued over the water tubs,  I've been a bit crafty with them last couple of days and put the water tubs the other side of the fence so they can drink from them but not climb in - means I don't have to refresh them quite so often! Gave them all a hose down this afternoon, so that kept them happy. We're not shearing til the beginning of June so they'll have to put up with being hot a while longer - there's plenty of shade under the trees....


Just to let you know we are once again hosting a Fibre Testing Day on Tuesday 19th June with the AAFT.
There are to be a few improvements this year,  we don't have to huddle in the stable as we did last year, we now have our very warm and comfortable lecture room with 'mod cons' for the seminar in the morning.  AAFT owner Paul Vallely is going to be presenting "Advanced Methods for Utilising Fibre Analysis".

The cost of the seminar (optional) is £20 to include notes and refreshments. Fibre sampling will be going on all day from 10-4pm with test results printed out on the day, payment details on their website.

For those who haven't taken samples before you only need about the width of two fingers from the mid side, as close to the skin as possible - pop it into a paper bag or envelope and write the name of the animal and your farm name on it. Some people take samples at shearing but I always prefer to do my own before shearing when things aren't quite so hectic!  Another good thing to do is to take a slightly bigger sample and keep a bit back for yourself and then when you get the results compare them to what you can see and feel......

Please let me know if you'd like to come and roughly how many samples you'll be bringing and if you would like to attend the seminar.

Check out their website on tell you about all the different aspects that are covered in the tests and lots of other interesting things.  I look forward to seeing you all on the day. Everyone welcome to stay as long as you like to gossip and have a walk round the farm in the afternoon.

And just because I know you'd like a picture ...

"Cotton Cake" - Ardingly's mum and The Sorcerer's Grandmother


Just so lovely to be woken by sunshine this morning and it has stayed with us all day. Perfect timing as we've had visitors to see the alpacas and the drowned rat look just doesn't have the same appeal!  I can't wait for our lot to be sheared now, they look a mess and fluffy tails and tums don't make it easy to keep an eye on impending cria movement.  Our first cria are due at the beginning of June, should be 22, maybe a couple more, we need to scan a couple of females again as we're not getting clear spit-offs. One of them, who scanned empty in March but is still rejecting, is  Sabrina, The Sorcerers mum. Either she's very hot in her fleece with a retained CL, or she does have a cria in there after all. If she is pregnant I will be so excited as I repeated the breeding with Ardingly.

We had bit of a photo shoot with the boys ....
Meon Valley Bond

meon Valley Bonami

Meon Valley The Sorcerer

Meon Valley Bobby Dazzler


Well I thought it was cold last weekend, but somehow this Saturday even rivalled that, and as I put on more and more layers in my efforts to keep warm I ended up looking like the Michelin man with Peter's white coat over the top of everything.  I felt so sorry for the Judge Val Fullerlove who hadn't got 'layered up' and seemed to be turning blue - for sure her legs must now be black and blue from all the kicks she received over the 2 days, embarrassingly one of them from our intermediate girl Bonaventure!

Our show team did well again and The Sorcerer continued his collection of sashes as Reserve Champion Grey Male, with his own sire Meon Valley Ardingly's great rival Nyetimber getting the Champion who then later went on to win Reserve Supreme. Eros came second in the Junior Fawn Males. Bonami won his Intermediate Fawn Male class and then went on to win Champion Fawn Male again, which we are thrilled about, he is a gorgeous boy and we will be trying him over a few of our girls this summer. Bonaventure, despite kicking the Judge, won her class of Beige Intermediate Female, I hope the reason she's temperamental is that she's pregnant, but when we scanned her a few weeks ago she looked empty, another scan needed I think as she won't let a male near her.

Rebecca - a real star this weekend with Callista

Supreme Line-up - Rebecca with Bonami 5th from the end!

Back home today and I'm going to put all the show stuff away and catch up with domestics, very dull. Peter's going to top a couple of the fields when they dry off and then I can move the girls and we can fertilise the other half of the farm. This evening I have a group of 20 people coming for a farm visit, I hope it's dry for them.


We managed to get half of our fields fertilised whilst we had a dry spell in the week, but sadly we have missed the opportunity to spray the buttercups because of the rain and so they'll have to wait til the autumn.  Peter spot sprayed the few thistles we have in the same fields, so they're all out of bounds for a week or so. The grass is growing like mad now despite the cold, and it won't be long before we have to top the long bits in the fields, seems such a waste, but there's no point leaving it long, they won't eat it, and they'll graze it more evenly after it's been topped. Our birthing fields by the house have been rested for a few months so they'll be clean for June when we start having the crias.

Rebecca and I are off to The South of England Show this afternoon at Ardingly, we go early as I'm on duty as Inspection Steward. Our boys are in the stable ready to go, I kept them in overnight as the forecast was grim, which was accurate, we woke to what feels like a winters day of wind and rain. The two girls Callista and Bonaventure I had left out and they were soaked, but it's stopped raining now and hopefully they're drying off in the wind.

Bond, The Sorcerer, Bobby Dazzler, Ero and Bonami
Will report back soon - wish us luck!