The 'Stage' happened on Thursday and was a great success despite the weather trying it's hardest to spoil things.
It started going pear shaped on the Wednesday,when upon arriving at Rennes airport to collect Jay there was a two hour delay posted on the arrivals screen. This later changed to 'flight diverted' and the gale force winds had forced a change of route to Nantes.The passengers were then going to be brought over by coach. I was in for a long wait.
Anybody who has visited Rennes airport will know there is not a lot there to detract from the boredom, so after a light lunch and coffee I still had three hours to kill so it was off to the nearby Ikea store for something to do.
Carried away in the moment I duly managed to buy a hanging metal rack which is too wide to fit the alcove for which it was intended. A new rug to replace the flea bitten one we currently have but it's far too small and looks naff. Loads of new 'tupperware' type containers which apparently we don't need, and anyway there's no room in the cupboard. A bath mat that's too white and already looks dirty and a couple of collapsable linen baskets which are now destined for alpaca fleece storage!
But I did get a free pencil which I'm sure will be very useful.
It was early evening by the time I had collected the judge and got back home, so the plan to look over the herd with a view to selecting which animals to talk about and shear, was aborted.
The following morning was not looking promising with miserable drizzle and damp alpacas. But by about ten o'clock the sun made an appearance and things started to look better.We re-arranged the programme a little to give the alpacas a bit more drying time and by lunchtime we were shearing and even lunch was taken 'Al Fresco'.
The afternoon was spent skirting and discussing the the fleeces both on and off the animals and the merits and shortfalls of each one. We also covered dentition and husbandry issues.
Thanks to Jay Holland for a very interesting presentation and for managing to answer a constant barrage of questions. And to Gaby and Christelle for translating everything all day. Without them it just wouldn't have worked..
Today is Saturday and we were supposed to be shearing the rest of the herd but the weather hasn't improved so it's been put on hold for a while.One of the benifits of having a new French shearer!
Anyway there is still some clearing up to do. Catering for that many people some of whom stayed over a second night makes a lot of mess and the fridge is full of left overs.
All in little tupperware containers!