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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Births and birthdays

Finally at 2 days off a full year our first cria of the year arrived.  A beautiful Columbus girl from La Grand Mere Blossom.  Needed a little help this one as she got stuck but after abit of intervention hit the ground at 7.2 K, which surprised me as I was expecting a whopper given Blossom's body score.
Although now a week old she is still unnamed which is why I hadn't blogged until now.  Fact is this year we are on 'K's and the senior Partner says its his turn to choose the name, so despite several suggestions from myself and  other interested parties (namely Judi), she is still referred to as 'the cria'.
So here she is  -  The Cria !

There is something quite magical about a newborn, brilliant, crispy white cria running around a field of tired, shabby fleeces that are more than ready to come off.  The last week the girls have all been sitting around the water bucket, willing it to jump out and splash them.  Today, however, it is a different story.  One day off shearing and it is raining cats and dogs.  With no barn here we are now faced with a familiar problem - 'will it rain tomorrow and how are we going to keep them dry overnight' - the forecast is better tomorrow but wet fleeces don't shear.  So far the last five years we have been lucky, could our luck have run out this year, watch this space.


All this rain is a world apart from the weather at the end of May 21 years ago, when we were in the middle of a heat wave.  I remember  it all too well as I was very heavily pregnant with our youngest son Jake, who will be 21 this Saturday -  how time flys and how life changes.
You know when they have grown up when :-
Letters arrive in their name ! some of them bills !
When the phone rings, someone asks for Mr Parker and they don't want your husband !
When they complain about the price of petrol !
When they buy a pair of shoes from a cheap shop that when you were paying they refused to go in !
When the only time you know where they are  is when their car is stood outside !
and when they tell you they are having their 21st birthday party at their girlfriends house because her parents are not there this weekend !
However, you know they are still your baby when they say, '... but you will make me a birthday cake won't you Mum,  as you've always made me one and it won't be the same without one !'   arrh bless !
Come to think of it  - it took a week to name him !!




Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers pride

Sometimes I find myself apologizing to the non alpaca breeders for a blog that is almost all alpaca chatter, but this blog will be of no interest to those readers, so for those of you who were looking for your next  alpaca fix sorry, this one is not for you !!
Regular  followers of this blog may have, from time to time, seen we have someone  clicking on from Baja California or comments on the blog from No.1  son and those of you that know us well will no doubt realize this is our eldest son Josh who at the tender age of 18, packed his suitcase, and went to work and study in Mexico, a third world country !  or so we are led to believe.

Josh left France to study for his language degree six years ago and since then has gone from strength to strength.  He now works and teaches for the university in Ensenada  and does interpreting and translation work in both French and English.  Here he is interpreting for an International conference, not quite the U.N. but give him time.
As a parent I think that the most difficult thing we have to do is to let go, it is always hard to say goodbye to your child after 18 years but when they are getting on a plane at Nantes airport, waving you goodbye through the passport control window and you are trying to look cool, waving back and being casual - boy it is hard.  Skype is a wonderful thing and we are able to communicate on a regular basis, but there are times when you feel you are not fulfilling your parental duties.  When they are ill because they have once again eaten something off the street stalls in Mexicali (hope I have spelt that right), at Christmas and birthdays, or as in this week when they send you their photographs taken at their graduation ceremony.

They say that Pride is one of the deadly sins, well then I am just going to have to add it to  my  list of other deadly sins as Josh passed this degree with honors and we are both extremely proud of him and  what he has achieved.   So many congratulations Josh  from all your family this side of the world, we all love and miss you.
Oh and just one thing .... do you think Mexico might be interested in this one too ? !!


Friday, May 10, 2013

The waiting game

Its that time of year again!  when I spend most of my day either looking out of the bathroom window or leaning over the gate just in case one of the females decides to give birth unannounced.  No doubt despite our constant surveillance Bella will once again still manage it.

This year all being well we expect 11 little extra mouths, the first is now a week overdue and still no sign.  LGM Apple Blossom is now 151 days and looking very fat with a body score of 5.  I hope she is not having us on and getting fat on all the extra preggy girl rations.

Our breeding programme here at Quelvehin has now taken on a new direction and the senior partner has got a new project to occupy his spare time !!  chickens ! -   We have had chickens for several years now that wonder freely around the farm -(yes protected by alpacas ) too freely in my mind, two in particular think they are part of the family and if they get the chance wonder around the lounge and sit in front of the telly.  After a hen went broody the other week we ended up with two delightful chicks.  This is the second time this hen has sat on eggs, the first time didn't go so well, when only one hatched and for some reason the good lord decided to put one leg on the wrong way  so it went round and round in circles, needless to say it didn't last long .  So on the strength of our current success,  we are now the proud owners of a new incubator and are hatching our first clutch (does one say clutch) of eggs.

One good thing about breeding chickens it only takes 21 days and requires no monitoring on my part.- finally a business idea that requires no picking up poo !