Package Three young males

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Friday, June 19, 2009

For Ella & Jack

Thought I'd just say Hi to Jack and Ella,Eric and Jennifer who stayed with us recently from Germany.They still frequently ask after the alpacas,and I think Ella has fallen in love with Flynn.
So there you are Ella it's official,now the whole world knows!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Emperors and Princes

Well it’s been a busy week again here with matings and non matings. The alpaca formerly known as Prince unfortunately didn’t live up to his names-sakes sexual prowess and failed miserably on that front. He has gone back to Michelle and Odiles. So it was up to Caesar to do the deed on our last female which was probably for the best as he is a much superior male, but sometimes you just fancy a bit of grey! Anyway, just in the nick of time it seems as we have sold Caesar today. He began his eight hour journey to department 54 first thing this morning. He will be the main stud male for a herd of 10 coloured females for Michael Matthieu in the Moselle.
It’s a bit sad in a way, like loosing a member of the family but another fine Popham male is ready to fill his place .Da Vinci has been watching and learning and I believe he is now ready to work after climbing the mating pen to join in the fun.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Patsie and I had a really enjoyable day yesterday when we had another one of our spinning workshops/courses. It was lovely to welcome back Judy with her new ‘Ashford’ wheel. The last time she came, she brought with her an old wheel she’d had for many years that had been tucked away in the corner collecting dust. After several brave attempts by Patsie to inject new life into it, it was a unanimous decision that if she was serious about spinning, Judy really needed to invest in another wheel. After several attempts on EBay, looking for something reasonable, Judy bit the bullet and brought a brand new one and very nice too – I thought, and it was clear this had paid off, as the progress she’d made with her spinning was evident. She produced a very nice chestnut brown wool, together with a couple of knitted items – not bad at all for a first attempt – well done Judy! We were also joined this time by Liz who had brought several sheep off Patsie earlier in the year and now, after having them shorn, was keen to put the fleeces to good use. Although not being a complete beginner, she’d felt that a few pointers from Patsie wouldn’t go amiss – the main one being “slow down – take your time” and throughout the course of the day, Patsie could be heard across the room shouting “your going too fast again” !!
After lunch and several glasses of Rosé, Patsie showed us some useful plying and carding techniques, used to create fancy wools and then announced we were going to try “Navaho plying”. I must admit this is not one of my strong points, the last time I attempted it, I got in a hell of a mess and it soon became evident that this time would be no different. It was at this point my wheel decided to show its age and started playing up. After 15 minutes of fiddling and messing about adjusting it, I realised that a quite serious snag had been created on the metal bit of the “mother of all” and no amount of adjusting was going to put it right. (This is my excuse for shoddy Navaho plying anyway). Like Judy’s old wheel, mine had been sitting in a corner since Steve had brought it 20 years previously on a buying trip to the Scottish Isles when he was in the Antique game and it wasn’t until moving here and the arrival of our alpacas that it came into play. Although not in full working order when he brought it, after a lot of hard work and trial and error from a very good friend and retired engineer Brian Foster , has served me well and is of great sentimental value, as several weeks after its completion, Brian was sadly taken from us when he suffered a massive heart attack, which came as a huge shock and left a massive void in a lot of peoples life’s, especially Lynn’s (Brains wife) – god bless you sweetheart and R.I.P. Brian. So, as nice as the new Ashford looks, I couldn’t possibly think of replacing mine. Thankfully, Mike, Patsie’s husband came to the rescue and understanding my plight, made some emergency adjustments last night in his workshop and hopefully all is well once again.
It was unfortunate that in the end Vanessa, who I met a Terralies last week, was unable to join us, due to illness, as I know she particularly wanted to learn plying techniques (hope she gets on better than I did) but we are looking forward to seeing her at the end of July for our next workshop. Anyone interested in joining us is welcome, but hurry there is only one place left. We make a small charge of 20 euro’s per day which includes lunch, wine, teas, coffee and a guaranteed laugh or two!!!
Posted by Jayne

Saturday, June 6, 2009

lumpy jaw and the prince

We have a new lodger at Quelvehin this week. The alpaca formally known as Prince is in residence.
He is a five year old medium grey with an identity problem. You see he has only ever known the company of llamas and behaves quite differently to the other boys. Whilst the others just look up when you open the field gate, he runs headlong towards you at full speed. Just when you think you are about to be skittled he applies the brakes and stops a few feet away, clucking and chattering his teeth. He is very gentle though, and walks beautifully on a halter, just like I imagine a llama would.
We still have one female open at the moment and are considering him as a suitor.
Monday, we had a bit of a scare; Bella a particularly nice huacaya of ours had a swollen face. She has caught us out a couple of times before, and has a habit of sometimes storing food in her cheek pouch like a hamster, but this was different. All the underside of her jaw was swollen and ‘jelly like’. My first fear was an abscess but there was no lump to be found. The vet was called. He arrived ‘tout suite’ said it wasn’t an abscess but most likely a sting or a bite.Anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory were given. 100 euros please.
I didn’t know whether to be relieved or miffed that I had called him out on a bank holiday, which, for anyone here that doesn’t know (and I didn’t) is double time!
She was perfectly normal again the next morning.
Jayne and Patsie are giving another spinning course on Tuesday next week. (There is still one place left if anyone is interested) So I guess it’ll be my turn for poo picking.
If anybody wants a poo picking course? of charge.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Groupement des Eleveurs d'Alpagas de Bretagne

Gathered under the newly formed umbrella which is the "Groupement des Eleveurs d'Alpagas de Bretagne" and consisting of Nina(Achnad Alpagas) Enid (Breizh Alpagas) Robin & Linda (Utopian Alpagas) Norman & Orla (Vaux Hardys Alpagas) and ourselves we assembled on our products stand for a photo.The show seemed to go very well, and there are now a few thousand more people that understand a bit more about alpacas. It was very well supported with a non-stop stream of visitors throughout the three days.
Lots of information leaflets were given out and lots of patting and prodding of alpacas.They are such tolerent creatures.Although they didn't show it they must have been really peed off by the end of each day.
Marie-Genevieve and Gabi of Alpaga developpement came along for support on the Friday.An admirable commitment considering the distances travelled.And 'bravo' and 'merci' to Jacques Olivier for his impromptu handling of the microphone in the parade ring.