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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quelvehin Ghost

Utopian Chaucers cria now has a name.As I said in a previous posting we were not around for the birth and Jake our youngest son,and ever so helpful farmhand was the only one present for the arrival.Now Jake doesn't wonder very far from his bedroom normally and certainly not before midday, so to be left on 'alpaca watch' and have a birth to cope with was a bit of a traumatic event for him. I had a mobile with me of course but the Fete that we were attending with the alpacas had us positioned quite close to the live musicians(and I use the term loosely,as I'm not a big fan of screeching Breton pipes) and didn't hear the calls or pick up on the eleven increasingly anxious text messages.Starting with "Dad do alpacas stand up or lie down to have a baby?" to "PICK UP THE BLOODY PHONE. IF THIS DIES IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!"

He coped all alone,and by the time I had discovered the calls and got home it was scampering a cria coat? On what was probably the hottest day of the year! Bless him.

So anyway, He felt it was his right,as midwife in charge,to name the baby.

His choice....'Ghost'

Quelvehin Ghost. Um, I suppose it has a certain ring to it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Danger Ferocious Animals

I've had my arm bitten right off by a savage man-eating alpaca this afternoon.The stud male,who had recently killed next doors Rottweiler has now been humanely destroyed.

There,now that's got your attention.

Jayne said my last two blog entries were decidedly dull and lacking.

Well,I'm sorry but it was very late at night,I was very tired, and it's not easy for a one finger typist.Sometimes the words come into the head but by the time the finger has found all the relevant keys they fade away again.Especially when you're tired.

Today's opening paragraph is not without some relevance however following the bizarre story in the English press today.Exactly what did happen to Bob Rawlins at Wellground alpacas remains to be told,but I'm certain he wasn't savaged by an alpaca! My guess is a typical over sensationalised story by journalists with little regard for the knock on effects to peoples livelihoods.Don't these people consider the repercussions?I await the full story with interest.

I took a few more photos of the new suri cria today (who still has no name) but it was raining and they are not very good,so instead here's a picture of Angove pretending to be vicious!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

At last.A baby

After watching Acoria like a hawk for the last three weeks she caught us out by waiting until we were out for the day to have her cria.

It's a boy about two weeks overdue and weighing in at 8 kilos. A little bit white,a little bit fawn .He could turn out a carbon copy of his dad Utopian Chaucer. He was still a little shaky this evening but I'm hoping he's found his pronking legs by tomorrow. By which time we may have thought of a name.

Caurel Fete

Here are some pictures from the Caurel Fete at the Lac du Guerledan today. Once again the sun shone and at times was really too hot. We have decided we must really invest in one of those easy erect marquee things for next time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Holidays and Alpacas

Said goodbye to two lots of guests today.Anthony and Sharon Morrell and the Fekete family from the wonderful Bridge Community,Kilcullen,Co Kildare,Ireland. Best wishes to you and your amazing extended 'family'.As usual the children enjoyed walking the alpacas out.So here are Victoria,Emer and Tara having their alpaca experience.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Laniscat Fete

Some of the alpacas had a day out today as we took them along to the kermesse at Laniscat.

They behaved impeccably as usual and won a few more people over.It was a lovely setting and the sun shone most of the day. Jayne and Patsy were spinning and sold a few products,along with a couple of new recruits signed up for the spinning workshop.A few folk want to visit the farm to see more alpacas,and a day visit arranged for the mentally handicapped to spend some time with the animals.This would be the second time we have done this.The first was last year for the home at Cleguerec which they all seemed to enjoy.

Jayne was interviewed for the AIKB radio programme,and a nice lady with a very big camera asked me to pose alongside the alpacas just as I was eating lunch. I obliged and Da Vinci leaned over and stuck his nose into my tray.She took the shot and then informed me it was for the press. Now everyone will think alpacas eat chips!

Still no cria from Acoria who is now a week overdue. Sods law told me she would have it today as we were miles from home and we left Jake on 'alpaca watch' duty. Sensing our anxiety,he found it very amusing to text me every hour to say she still hasn't had it!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Well the alpacas are certainly getting their exercise at the moment with the children staying on holiday.Here are some more pictures with Hope and Hollie enjoying todays sunshine.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No news is good news?

There's been no blog for a month and then,like buses two come along at once!

Truth is not much has happened 'alpaca wise'.Still busy trying to re-claim the land from the wilderness at the back of the house but it's hard going with so many rocks in the ground it's no fun trying to dig holes for fence posts. I've made another three gates for the inter-connecting area and they are all hung and done.The chickens had to be uprooted and moved back to their original compound.

Funny things,chickens, they waddle around for months within their fenced off area but when you try to catch them it becomes obvious they could fly over or through the fence any time they wanted.And that's exactly what they did. Managed to catch the two fat ones but the rest went awol for a few hours.One dirty stop-out came back two days later!

Did a few spit-offs this week,all positive,much to the dissapointment of Sophie and Natalie the two teenage girls staying with us from Lanarkshire who were hoping for a bit of alpacaporn.

Still, they enjoyed walking a few of the boys out instead.

Spinning Workshop

Guilty Spinners!

Anyone who has animals and in particular alpacas knows that a day off is exceptionally rare and something to be treasured. Such a day happened this week when Patsie and I welcomed once again our band of merry spinners to Quelvehin. I don't think we were the only ones that felt privileged with a day off. Judi managed to be released from alpacas and peacock duties and was able to indulge herself in, what is fastly becoming as much a passion for her as us. 'how lovely it is to be able to spin all day without feeling guilty' she said. Well she must have had a lot of guilty moments since the last time we met, as she had managed to spin 600grms of very nice soft grey which was destined for a lacy shawl. Judi's biggest problem now is, which fleece next and what to use it for - so many fleeces and so little time !!
Liz was also pleased to raise her head above the renovation dust for the day, although that was not something that she was able to do often and hence had not managed to achieve that much since her last visit - but hey at least her husband used the day to purchase a new deep freezer for them. I've never seen a woman get so excited at the sight of a freezer on the back of a car, jumping up and down, clapping her hands, when her husband drove into the yard to pick her up (or maybe it wasn't the freezer!).
But the gold star of the day had to go to our newcomer Beryl who had never sat at a wheel before. Now most of us go home from our first lesson feeling a little deflated and clutching something that resembles lumpy rope - not Beryl, after just 6 hours she had managed to spin a lovely consistent thin thread, that Judi and I reckoned represented for us, weeks of guilty practice, and the real worry is that, unlike most expats here, Beryl and her husband have finished their renovation project and she is in the fortunate position of having time on her hands - time to practice. The only thing that's holding her back is the lack of her own wheel (just a minor point), so if you've an old wheel for sale - do us a favour - don't tell Beryl - otherwise Patsie will be out of a job !!! - NEXT WORKSHOP - END OF SEPT