- just not blogging! It's so mild for the middle of October, not that I'm complaining, we have masses of grass and it'll save on our Autumn feed and hay bill, they're all in very good condition! Only one problem with having so much grass is that most of the time it's too wet to poo pick, Peter, however doesn't view it as a problem is enjoying the break from his job! The crias are growing out really well - they're full of beans and I spent a happy 10 minutes or so, as the sun was going down, watching them all have a funny five minutes racing around the front field. The girls were definitely in the lead by the way, led most of the time by Flopsie and Bossy Boots.

We had some of our mated females scanned the other day, mostly the maidens, there were quite a few we didn't scan, we know them so well we can trust their spit-offs. It appears we have 20 pregnant females, a couple less than I thought, confused maidens who were running away at spit-off time, late developers maybe, anyway, 20's plenty to be going on with. Now I just have to wait til mid summer to see what we get.

Earlier this week the weather was just perfect and I was helping my friend Donna on her vineyard, which is on the hill just behind us. The view from their land is stunning, they're quite a bit higher than us and can see right over the Meon Valley and to the hills beyond.  I'd never picked grapes before, I found it really therapeutic, I had to try the odd one or two of course, they were surprisingly sweet, but with tough skins.  I'm looking forward to tasting the finished product in a few years time when it's been turned into Poppy Down Champagne. The bunches of grapes were so beautiful hanging there in the sunshine - I just had to take pictures of them.

Yesterday we hosted another training day for the Southern Alpaca Group, entitled 'Get it out of the Barn', which was given by Jean Field, all very inspiring and she brought along lots of samples of fabulous yarn and knitted products. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day and all learnt a lot and hopefully will now do something with their fleeces. Jean used one of our fleeces to demonstrate the importance of 'skirting'  before sending it away for processing.  I normally spend a few minutes on each one as it comes off at shearing time, doing just that, but this fleece was one that I hadn't done, thanks to one of our females, Calico, having a torsion and taking me away from my usual job right in the middle of shearing ... bless her, she was Ok and so was her cria by the way. The fleece certainly needed skirting and there must be a few more that I need to check before I send them off to UK Alpaca. Then our own fleece barn (stable) will be empty again, apart from just a few really pretty grey and appaloosa fleeces, which I would love to get spun, or even spin myself if I can remember how to do it and find the time! Even all our 'rubbish' legs and bellies, have gone off to Penrose Products to make duvets, one of which we now sleep under, and lovely it is too.

What else have I been doing ... oh yes painting, the kitchen, and the dog room, makes the rest of the house look a bit dull, but at least I've made a start. I'm on a bit of a clear out mission too, though it's more like mission impossible, why do we have so much stuff?
Soggy bums this morning
My planned, first time for ages, Sunday morning lay-in was scuppered far too early this morning by torrential rain and thunder ...  I like thunderstorms actually, but couldn't it have waited til at least 7am? As the rain pelted down in, what sounded like hose pipe proportions, I realised I had left the window open and got up to close it - a flash of lightening revealing all the pacas sat in a huddle in the middle of the field - I knew they wouldn't be cold though - each wearing their own alpaca duvet, and I snuggled back under mine! We've had a dry hour or two this morning so I did the rounds, and fed everyone, and then walked the dogs in the dry. Now its pouring with rain again, and windy, but still very mild. All the pacas are absolutely soaked, a shame as I have a couple coming on a beginners course this afternoon - soggy pacas don't leave the same impression as lovely dry fluffy ones do they! May have to be a slightly longer session in the classroom, with frequent tea and biscuit breaks! I hope they remember their waterproofs!

Oh, and one last item - our electricity poles have been replaced - we scrounged the old ones for gate posts and a shelter I'm planning to put up, and the boys just had to supervise!


  1. Ha ha! love the pictures with the pole lorries, they are SO inquisitive.

    1. Yes, not sure who enjoyed each others company more, the pacas or the men!

  2. Tee here at first glance I though your blog was about perfect poo...not grapes!

    1. They are quite similar aren't they, but doubt that the poo tastes that good! Ha, just remembered that a lot of our paca poo went on the vines!!!