Package Three young males

- see sales page

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Come in. It's Christmas.

Oh the joys of rural living.

Our bedroom is a tip! It's a huge room but unlike our two gites (which are beautifully restored and cosy and surely represent good value for money,book now to avoid disappointment,) is in need of a little renovation to say the least.It's the room where everything that doesn't have a place lives.There are piles of stuff. Boxes that haven't been unpacked since we moved here eight years ago. Everything from mattresses to mirrors to car radios to christmas decorations and somewhere in amongst all this is our new house guest.
For some time now I've awoke in the dead of night to scratchings and scrapings and the patter of tiny feet sometimes running overhead inside the sloping section of the ceiling and more recently from the corner of the room that is this pile of stuff.
What could it be? Far too noisy for a mouse. I know the cats outside,and anyway when you switch the lamp on it stops instantly. A rat? possibly, although too horrible too contemplate.
Well yesterday I think I found the clue needed for identification.
We were getting dressed up ready to go to a Christmas dinner and as the wellies didn't really go with the suit  I put on a pair of shoes not often worn to find one of them contained a stash of hazlenuts and acorns!
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Must be. Mustn't it?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

joyeux noel


Monday, December 12, 2011


It's official. I've reached middle age. My body no longer can keep up with the demands of the mind..
A couple of weeks ago I was in the third week of an enforced 'do nothing' phase following an operation.
A good time to take our annual weekend away at Pophams in Cornwall, take in a veterinary seminar on alpacas and generally have a jolly good busmans holiday. Or so I thought.
Now I should say that I am a reasonably frequent ferry traveller and have never suffered from seasickness apart from one occasion returning from Ireland in my youth but I had had Guinness for breakfast so really only had myself to blame!
This time it was a day crossing to Plymouth, A calm sea,and we had barely left St Malo port when I realised I had to buy a cabin and lie down.
Jayne and I had just had one of those moments that you have when you've been married too long and had been arguing about where was the best place to sit on the boat.
I chose the bar. She wanted the quiet lounge by the window.
We ended up in the quiet lounge by the window.
So when I made the announcement ten minutes later that I had to leave she left me to it. No doubt thinking I was having a 'mardy' after losing  the seat debate.
I got myself a cabin and spent the next five hours on the toilet floor dying. Being seasick is bad enough but believe you me wretching on a stomach recently patched and stitched was memorable to say the least.
And where was the missus when you really need someone to mop your brow and kiss it better?
Knitting alpaca bootees in the quiet lounge.
The bellyache subsided shortly before docking and a couple of jars of real ale and a chicken piri piri in the evening seemed to make the world right again.
The weekend was great, as it always is.But something wasn't right. Every now and again it was like I was back on the boat and the floor was gently undulating under my feet making me feel dizzy, and a haematoma that had developed above the navel had doubled in size.
Anyway to cut a long medical story short I've had another week in hospital on our return following bad stomach cramps and it is still under investigation with further tests this week.
It would appear I have three different unrelated ailments that have all decided to come at once just to confuse things.
So there you go. It's like buses. Twentyfive years without seeing a doctor and then three come along at once.

vets day at Pophams

It's not all bad though, somewhere inbetween being ill I did manage to get to the movember moustache grand passing out Gala where my moustache was judged to be... not as good as somebody elses. So I didn't win the Mo-bro crown but a few hundred pounds were raised and I'm glad to be rid of it and clean faced again.

the three moustache eers

the band ,who's name I can't remember

A fine drop handlebar effort from Patrick in the background
Lee van Cleef meets Charles Bronson
Apart from that nothing much has happened. I can't remember the last time I was able to pick up poo. Despite her best efforts Jayne is struggling to keep on top of things but understandably weeks of damp and drizzle have left the fields and the alpacas not looking particulaly attractive.My light duties have included cleaning out the workshop,putting up the Christmas tree,lots of hoovering and a half hearted attempt at repairing the washing machine.
Force 10 gales are forecast for Wednesday so we shall batten down the hatches and hopefully a few tons of wet soggy leaves will get blown away a rid us of one big job!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fluff bundles and the delights of facial hair

"What was that?"
"That was your life mate"
John Cleese 's observations in,and indeed on, the meaning of life, seem to be ringing ever truer.
(or should that be 'ever more true'?) Josh? Anyway
It must be something to do with my advancing years, I just don't know where the time goes.
Any regular readers of alpaca flavoured blogs couldn't have helped but notice the sharp decline in blogging recently. Not only here but throughout the alpacasphere.
Truth is , not much happens this time of year.The cria hopefully have all made it through those crucial first few weeks and are growing on and apart from a few updated pictures of the fluffy bundles not much to report.

Which is probably just as well as it's been all go in other departments. The gites have both been occupied during Toussaint and after.Building and fencing etc.. has kept me busy but unfortunately also taken it's toll on the body and put me back in hospital for a second operation on a third hernia.I had to go back and see 'Jaque le knife' who some of you may remember from Februarys blog.As a result I now have a belly with more holes than swiss cheese and I'm under strict instructions not to do anything, which as you all know is not possible. There's only so much daytime TV you can stomach.!
So I'm lounging around growing a moustache. Yep a great big French moustache. How cool is that? In fact it's about the only body hair I've got left. They do like you nice and smooth in that hospital!
This is exactly the sort of thing you get talked into on a Saturday night at my new favourite bar 'Aux Sabots Rouges' in Guemene after several pints of Guinness. But it's all for a good cause.
I was sworn in, photograph taken clean shaven as of the 1st November, to the Movember team and the judging and gala party is the 3rd of December.
Sponsors are collected throughout November and the proceeds go to Cancer research.
I didn't realise at the time but it is a truely global effort. Even Jenson Button is a team player sporting his new tache for Movember in the formula one on Sunday.If it's good enough for him.....
More details at 

I thought I would go for the Paul Teutul Snr look from Orange County Choppers  although to be honest mine's a bit more 70's porn star than hard biker dude at the moment.
Perhaps I'll buy some shades.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Boys on tour

It's been a busy time these last few weeks as the Quelvehin roadshow has done back to back shows at horse fairs around Brittany soaking up the last of the years glorious sunshine along the way.
The alpacas drew large crowds as always, along with the usual exhausting array of questions to answer.
It's alot of fun but I always have French Brain ache by the end of the day!

And, as if you needed another reason to keep alpacas ...The poo dump here is bursting with mushrooms at the moment. Lovely!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wet and wonderful weekend.

The last cria of the year finally arrived on Friday. A beautiful fawn girl for Alibrandi ,and for the first time this year I was witness to the occasion.
She caught us on the hop a bit as we were in the middle of doing a couple of matings one of which was outside the mating pen with the alpacas on lead ropes so it was a bit awkward to drop everything and attend,but as Atlas seems to go at it for about an hour these days and won't be interrupted for anything we were safe to leave them to it for a while!
Fortunately it was a text book birth and baby was soon feeding.
Weighing in at just over 10 k if it is anything like her last cria she will be 50 kilos in no time at all. Alibrandi seems to be blessed with the udder of a fresian cow and there is no shortage at the milk bar.

It was just as well everything went smoothly because we were due to go out later that afternoon to stay overnight with friends.We were exibiting at an agricultural show on the Saturday with some of the males,and as it was a bit of a trek decided to break up the journey and stay over at la Grand-Mere with Ron and Judi. who were also going.
Once the boys were unloaded and settled in for the night it was down to the local for a few jars and some very welcome fish and chips. The bar was English owned and called the 'Pitstop' as the owner was a bit of a racing driver and also owned the garage attached to the bar with a small forecourt and two petrol pumps just outside the bar entrance. The heinous crime of smoking was not permitted in the bar but was socially acceptable outside the door...........
Next to the petrol pumps.
Hmmm Is it me ? or has the world gone mad.    
  Best not go there.
Saturday morning came and the stalls were set up at the comice and we soon discovered we didn't have the most exotic camelids at the show.!

The sky in this picture really tells the rest of the story. We had battled against the wind all morning blowing the products and information boards etc.. off the stand but when the rain came in the afternoon it was horizontal and all too much to bear. We decided to give it up as a bad job and called it a day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's all go

August,as you probably know is holiday time for the French and nearly everyone fits their annual vacation in somewhere during this month and as a result of this there are fetes and festivals all over the place.One of the biggest in Brittany is the inter-celtic music festival at Lorient. A ten day extravaganza where the town is filled with market stalls and every bar (and there are loads) hosts live music from traditional accordian players to solo folk singers to full heavy metal bands. There is something for everyone and we spent a happy time bar hopping on Friday. It's all free if you stand and watch from the street, as most sets are on the pavements outside.
You eventually get drawn to a band you want to stay with and for us it was a band called 'What' We took our seats at a table and of course it's only right to order drinks from the bar hosting the band. Two cokes and a small beer cost almost a tenner! but then the table is yours for as long as you want.The band were brilliant and my logic reckonned I would gladly pay a tenner per ticket to have stage side seat to watch this band. Suddenly the drinks didn't seem so expensive.
So we had some more! and in fact stayed there until the small hours.

There was a huge food village catering for allsorts and the market stalls were varied and interesting.
Although there was one knitwear stall that made me wonder that when choosing a company name they had'nt really thought it through!


Alpaca News. We decided, a little late perhaps, to shear the two suri girls after all. It's a constant battle here trying to keep suri fleece free of debris,and one we always loose! Too many trees, most of which they manage to create a rolling dirt bath underneath and are soon knotted up with twigs and all sorts of rubbish.
We enlisted the help of a new Breton shearer who had learnt his trade with Colin Ottery the best shearer I know. 
Although he's not of Colins calibre, Pascal, whilst evidently a little nervous and new to the game did a reasonable job considering it was his first Suris!

Unfortunately French lass got a small cut under the armpit and we are checking and treating it daily. There are a lot of flies around at the moment and they mass around any open wound. Fly strike is not something I want to deal with later so it's definately prevention rather than cure.
And we've had a baby!
Charisma unpacked our final Columbus cria for this year. Another boy!  7 kilos and just slightly undercooked.. Could have done with another week in the oven. He was a bit slow to get going but a dose of glucose and electrolytes later and he was up and about. He's a grand little chap with a promising tight curly mop.

We were pondering on a name beggining with  I when a new lot of guests arrived for their holiday stay . As we made our introductions the two boys anounced their names. Silus and Isaac . So it had to be didn't it . Isaac it is then!
Rain forecast for tomorrow; Oh please let it rain.
Sod the holiday makers,we need some grass!!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Late night contemplations of the troublesome kind.

I have just been made aware of the recent and ongoing riots spreading through the major UK cities.
Yes, I know it started days ago but haven't watched any telly for a while.
Truely horrific images of buildings burning, town centres destroyed and shops looted. Why?!
How do you get to such a state of lawlessness.(if that's a word)?
I saw it coming. For twenty years England has been a role model of mis management.
The signs were there alright, they started when we prevented schools from disciplining pupils and therefore erroded respect that children have for any authority when they were just infants,and then we prevented parents from disciplining their children and reinforced the belief that they can coast through life with few consequences to their actions.We destroyed family values, choosing instead a diet of reality TV and violent video games. The latest cell phone is king. Social support networks  are in place that enable people to live comfortable lives without ever having to work, entirely supported on the state with no obligation to take any responsibility for their actions or their life. It gets worse every year as this underclass of undereducated, under disciplined irresponsible individuals continues to have more children born into a ghetto culture where underachievement is celebrated, criminality is glorified and parental responsiblities are ignored and abdicated to the state. Police forces are pared to the bone,their working disciplines making law enforcement nigh on impossible and at the end of it all judges are handing out derisory sentences. Where's the deterrent? ASBO's  CCTV? Political correctness is out of control. Gang culture is rife. Britian has become afraid of it's own children.
Unfortunately there's no easy fix.The disease is in it's latter stages.The damage is done.

 Anyway, I don't live there anymore so here's some pictures of Hennebont where we had a particularly enjoyable Sunday with the happy peasants of medieval Brittany.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

La Grand-Mere Apple Blossom of Quelvehin

Or Blossom for short is a new addition to the Quelvehin troop this week complete with her angel-wing ears that won us over when we first saw her last summer. Isn't she lovely?

She is very well developed for her age and is already showing a strong urge to be mated.
We will leave her a while yet but have just the man waiting in the wings.
There is a lot of testosterone floating around the male paddock at the moment as the mating season is upon us . With all our girls to 'do' as well as the' away games' there's a lot of confrontation as they challenge each other to prove who is the most worthy macho.

Talking of sex....
Ever been to one of those parties? You know,..where you find yourself being surrounded by women all wanting one thing. I was at one last night.
I kid you not. It was a BBQ type soiree and everyone took a little something to contribute.As you do.
As we stood around the kitchen tucking into our grub the room started to resonate with gentle moans of pleasure mainly from a group of ladies not too far away from me.Some even took it to the next level and became what can only be described as,well, orgasmic.!
Apparently it was all my fault.
I was approached by at least six ladies during the course of the evening all begging me for it.
I had to promise to email all of them so I thought I'd save time and blog it here.
So here it is. The reason for my new found popularity...
My recipe for Broccoli Salad.

1 Head Broccoli
1/2 mug cashew nuts
1/2 mug chopped spring onions
1/2 mug lardons (pref smoked) cooked and cooled
1/2 mug golden raisins/sultanas


1/2 mug mayonnaise dijon
3 table spoons cider vinegar
2 table spoons sugar
2 table spoons liquid honey
2 tea spoons curry powder

Mix all the dressing ingredients together,then stir in all the rest and finally gently turn in the raw cut broccoli florets.
Well there's a first.  I never imagined I would be posting recipes here.
There really ought to be a M&S type photo to make your mouth water but sorry we've eaten it.
So, any guys reading this that want a sure fire way of getting attention at parties; Try it. It's lush.

I should perhaps point out than when I say "my recipe for broccoli salad" it isn't actually my recipe. I stole it from a friend who probably stole it from somebody else. I don't know who's recipe it is or even if people can own recipes.But I should hate to be sued by Jamie or Delia for breach of copyright.

The other way of impressing ladies of course is to dress up in leather and get the motor bike out. Something I seem to have less time for these days but last weekend was one such occasion.
It was the annual Brittany Harley Davidson rally at Baud.A weekend affair with an all night shindig on the Saturday night and a three hour ride out parade on the Sunday. I must admit I no longer have the staying power for the beer fest and bands but enjoyed the ride and spent a few hours admiring all the shiny metal on show.Not just bikes but American cars and trucks too.

A sea of lovelyness

A proper truck