They say 'if you want something doing right, do it yourself" well in this case if you want something doing at ALL "do it yourself" so , after endless emails enquiring after our health, concerned parents, saying "I was told to click on it the blog if I wanted to know what was doing on -but there isn't one !!" - other alpaca breeders wondering if we are still in business and telephone calls wondering if I am now in a state of mourning ! I find myself having to bring the blog upto date. So where were we ? Oh yes Soloman !!
Well we did eventually have some success with him, although we did run out of time and only managed one successful mating. All being well, if the winter has been kind to us, good, old, reliable Bella is pregnant. In a couple of weeks we will do our after winter spit offs and confirm all is still well. We have a couple of females lined up for him this year, so by the end of the summer Soloman could well be a 'full on' Stud and flying the flag for his Ambersun genetics - can't wait to see the results. Just had to post up this picture of Bella as it is my favourite preg. female picture taken by a gite visitor last year.
Beautiful isn't she ?
Next to family news - Christmas - yes I know is was along time ago and you are all buying Easter eggs but I can't let this 'up to speed blog ' go by without mentioning our little Christmas visitors.
We had my brother in law Liam (alias Liam Mullone), sister in law George and their two twenty month old twins Digory and Atticus, for a week over Christmas. I, myself, had never seen the twins before, one of the disadvantages of living the dream in France I am afraid, and so for me it was a real pleasure to be able to play Aunty Jayne for a week. The six weeks leading upto the event I found myself once again trailing the shops looking at brightly coloured pieces of plastic. Thinking back to my own boys at that age, I remembered their sudden interest in Cars and so decided to buy them a floor car play mat (a great favourite in our house) and little chunkey cars. I am glad to say they hit the spot on Christmas morning. I have to say though for the twins, I don't think it was Christmas day itself that made the biggest impression, neither was it the Christmas tree, turkey dinner or chickens and alpacas, no it was the open space. Liam and George live in Peckham, London
(Delboy country). Their garden is, well how can I say, a back yard full of rubbish that my brother in law has been intending to take to the tip since they moved in. So playing outside is not easy. Plus going to the park is not an easy task either. George explained she can only get one of them out of the pushchair at a time because they run off in opposite directions. So here they are, - just running !
They brought with them their little Chubby Cars which became their favourite pastime, as they could go outside at anytime and not have to worry about the traffic. As a special treat Boxing day we took them to the local Indoor Play centre where they could have stayed all day for 5 euros but an hour wore out not just them but us. At that age you don't need to spend money, go anywhere or do very much and thats exactly what we did, - not very much, and it was great. They were a delight and I am looking forward to seeing them hopefully later in the year when we can take them down the beach.
sorry I am not very good at getting these pictures all lined up !!
As winter turns into spring, we find ourselves once again thinking about our show team and what is the main event for us, the Alpaga Developpement's show, this year our 'Concours International d'Alpaga' is on Easter Saturday the 30th March at Salbris, dept Loir et Cher. I have been a little more involved in the show this year than previously and I have somehow managed to find myself organizing it. Back in October, when the president Marie Genevieve asked me to help out and take over as organisor I think my reponse was
'Zut', which is slightly better than the word ' Vachement', I had never organized one before and being 500 kms away from the venue wasn't going to help matters. But hey, never one not to accept a challenge I agreed to put up my hand. She assured me there would be plenty of people to help and she was right, I have been overwhelmed by the support and help from not only people in France but Europe in general. The reality was that Marie Genevieve was not a well woman and if I had known just how ill she was I would have thanked her for her support and confidence she obviously had in me. She passed away sadly at the end of January after a long illness so I feel extremely honored and proud to be able to present the show on her behalf , as they say 'the show must go on' and it will. We have 167 animals entered from all across Europe, the most there has ever been in a French show. Don't think this is a reflection of my organizing folks, just a reflection of the development of the industry in general here in France. I am delighted that Nick Harrington Smith accepted our invitation to judge the competition and he will also be judging the fleeces that will then be on display throughout the competition. If anyone out there wants more info. Just ask, we are open to the public as well, so if you're in the area pop along and see us, its always good fun.
Well I think that I 've filled you all in on the last six months. No doubt now my n°. 1 son will criticize my grammar and spelling while the senior partner will also have a few words to say as well ! so hopefully folks this will mean that normal service will be resumed - I do hope so!