Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Time Out

We have just returned from our 'Escape to the Town' so to speak. We went to Derby to stay with son Matthew for a few days. The trip was a break to coincide with our Ruby Wedding Anniversary and I can remember that the weather in 1970 was very similar to what we are experiencing at the moment.
Matthew kindly took us on a tour of the area around Chatsworth and to the Derwent resevoir. This was where the famous 'Dambusters' practised for their World War II mission. The dams were magnificient but unfortunately the 'Dambusters' museum was closed. We will just have to go again when it is open!!!

We also took a trip the National Memorial Aboretum at Burton. Well worth a visit. There are many, many memorial areas,to victims of war, for our emergency services, and many others. The Police Memorial section was a particularly poingnat place of reflection.Police Credit Union Ltd had been invited to sponsor a centre piece for the garden and, in conjunction with Hertfordshire Police Federation, a blue police lamp has been sited in the middle of the garden.
The blue lamp had stood at the front of Hitchin Police Station in Hertfordshire, and it was dedicated to the memory of Mandy Rayner. Mandy was killed on October 13, 1982 when the police vehicle in which she was the observer was deliberately rammed by an offender. Mandy had joined the police service on June 21, 1982, aged 18 years and six months. She came into the service straight from the cadets, and had been out of training school for just five weeks at the time of her death.

We were particularly impressed with the The Children's Woodland area which is planted with 2,640 Native British trees, designed to combine arboriculture and wildlife with rememberance. Individual trees have been sponsored by families and schools and dedicated to babies and children who have passed away. Between the trees are large child-sized wooden figures of the characters from 'Wind in the Willows'.

Well worth a visit, a legacy for generations to come.

We returned home and our farm sitters reported no problems so we now return to paddock maintenance and animal husbandry.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Spring has Sprung

It has been a good week - no snow like Rolf, I'm glad that's all gone. You can never be sure what weather to expect in 'Cheltenham Week'. The Festival race meeting attracts huge crowds to the area and many are often caught out by the changeable weather. Ladies Day caught out a few of the 'ladies' in their skimpy outfits not really suitable for the races whatever the weather and Friday was very wet and cold.
But back at the ranch the grass is beginning to green up and I'm glad to say the Alpacas look well - hope it stays that way and I'm not tempting fate.

Sid has been busy 'poo-vering' and is very pleased with the new hoover. It is a Mini Tippa vacuum system which we bought second hand from Pro-Vac. They were very helpful and the machine is very efficient (not sure about the user though!!!)
We are trying out a different hose system though to make it lighter for me to use, some more adaptations to be made yet though.

Man at Work

Man at Play!

Lisa and Holly having a tour of the paddocks.

As I have some time off from the 'proper' job today I am meeting up with my 'knitting lady' who has made a start on some items which will hopefully be for sale - Judgement Day! as she put it. Time will tell.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

A Quiet Week

The weather has been glorious, the Alpacas have been sunbathing and bronking about - all seemed well with the world. Hopefully it will stay that way.

We have managed to finish fencing the garden area so now the 'tornado tot' otherwise known as grand daughter Holly is safe on her external expeditons!

Our shearing is now booked for the end of May so hopefully we will have some to show at the forthcoming fleece shows this year.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Bronking Babies

At last we have got round to halter training our two young boys, Charlie & Chan. Putting the halters on did not get a good reception - the next stage did not look promising but we were pleasantly surprised. They both walked really well, apart from the odd throw around and bronk up and down. We reached our destination, turning around to return was not greeted with a positive response but once they realised where they had to go they went well. Lets hope the next time goes as well.
Perhaps the boys were saying thank you for moving them to their new paddock. We have now closed off the small paddock in the hope of some new grass soon and will rearrange the other Alpacas into their new paddocks this week.
The weather has been really kind this week, especially today which has been cold but we have had glorious sunshine all day.
Wool sales have gone well lately. My 'knitting lady' (I only discovered her recently)is very enthusiastic and as we are almost out of the dark fawn wool we are now only knitting garments in white so that we can continue to sell both the fawn and white balls.