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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Finally some caribbean sun !

I believe that is was Aristotle who said  "One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day;  -well in our case it is the lizards that give the illusion that summer has started .  This week they have been out  in force, basking in the bright sunshine and running up the walls.  They hibernate in the walls during the winter months occasionally somehow making their way into the house.  They are often seen running across the bedroom carpet and even on one occasion, on pulling back the sheets of his bed,  Jake  found one snuggled up there, taking a nap !

   As you can see they weren't the only one's soaking up the D3

The good weather seemed to coincide with the visit of a family from Costa Rica.  When they first enquired about the gite four weeks  ago, I thought it was someone having a  bit of a laugh, a joke or something.  I sat there and replied to their enquiry in two jumpers, listening to the rain against the velux and looking  at the meteor reading on my computer which read just 3° and wondered why anyone would want to leave this .............


and this ...
   to come to this  ..............
it was surely not because of these .........

I was right  -the answer was Cheese !!   Jean Jacques explained that he kept a herd of 200 cows and that his main income comes from milk production.  Over the last few years the costs involved in keeping them taking into account  the rising cost of feed and medication, compared to the income in milk sales was  making it more and more difficult to keep going and that he was looking for  another outlet for his milk. Costa Rican cheese apparently has very little favour, so most of the cheese they eat is imported and hence is a bit of a luxury.  He had booked himself a course at the local Agricultural college to learn how to make french cheese.  While here he sampled some of our mature white cheddar which really impressed him.  So if anyone knows of any Cheddar making course I am sure he would be interested.  While he spent his time on the course his family enjoyed the summer sun with temperatures  as high at 26 ° , here are the two girls aged 2 and 5 enjoying a chocolate cake. 


Every day we had endless conversations, with me replying  'si'  which is the only word  I know in Spanish.  I just hope I was not  saying 'yes' when I should have been saying 'no'. They left this morning taking the tropical sun with them and  leaving us with a cloudy outlook and a temperature of 8 degrees.  Standing at the door with their coats zipped upto the neck they  explaining they had packed the sun  in their suitcase - thanks !

All this good weather gave us a chance to look over the cria from last year and make some decisions for this years matings.  We don't  open fleeces that much here at Quelvehin,  if you're  not careful it can become a bit of an obsession and we feel it destroys the structure .There are very few shows in France so we don't think about it that much. Hence every now and again we come across something that is quite a nice surprise.  They say that a good stud will improve any female, although if you want the best then put him across the best, especially if you're paying good money.  So, with that in mind, I will just ask, what is best, to get a good result out of a Dam and Sire that you expect to get a good result out of, or to get a female cria that is a vast improvement on her mother and shows you just exactly what a sire is capable of.  Having seen what Columbus could do when given our best female - Fanny Ann or as she is affectionately known 'Princess Fanny' (as she absolutely refuses to eat unless she has her own personal bucket - no way she's eating with the riff raff),
 Izzam - second fleece ! s. Columbus
Almost two years ago now, we decided to see what he could do with one of our 'lesser' females who had been bought solely to put strong colour in the herd.  Meet  little Janine, almost a year old now.

 while I admit, it's not what I would call show quality, I have to say given the Dam,

I am very  impressed.   Anyway,  a pleasing result, a lovely female who just needs a nice male to put across and  I  think we  have just the one for the job !! 



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