Thursday 24 December 2009

Christmas Greetings

Hi folks,

WillowBank Alpaca Stud would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we hope you all have a lovely time over the festive season.

We are struggling with frozen pipes as I'm sure some of you are too, so its back to filling old milk churns that we have to water are horses.

I have just received a phone call from our electric supplier who are processing our connection, and it all looks like work is set to commence at the start of January, so hopefully once that is connected I can get some heating into our barns, which will put stop to our frozen pipe problem....fingers crossed.

That's all for now, as I'm still at work and need to crack on before we finish.

Friday 18 December 2009

Sitting With Dongle In-Hand!!!!!!

Hi Guys,

I sit here today to bring you this post, with one arm in the air holding my dongle and the other typing this. We now have the money in the bank and have started planning our new adventure.

We did say that we are going to have a relax over Christmas period but that's not us, so i have been chasing the Electric people around, to get our application processed. We have also had our hedge cut in preparation for new fencing fort the Alpaca paddocks.

I hope to try and keep the dongle hand in operation and keep up to date with the blog.

That's all for now.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

We Have Moved House

Hi All,

We have great news at last, we have now moved out of our house and into our rented accommodation in time for Christmas, Lisa put the tree up Sunday night whilst Lily was in bed, Lily was amazed the following morning to see the tree all decorated in the living room.

Since we moved into the new house Lily has been very excited and is charging around all over the place, it must be something to do with the fact that both myself and Lisa are a little more relaxed now, with the house sale finally gone through, Lily must have picked up on that. Its amazing how much kids pick up on different situations.

We are on limited access to the Internet and emails, as it takes awhile to transfer things over, so I can only access through my works computer at the mo.

I feel its going to be a relaxing Christmas and New Year for us as a family, which will allow us to re-charge our batteries before we start our new journey in 2010.

That's all for now, keep warm

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Its Looking Good

Hi Folks,

Things are starting to look good. Hopefully we will be moving out of our house on the 18th December, into our rented accommodation, before we start our journey into Alpaca Breeding.

We have been so stressed since our house sold, worrying if it will all go through OK, just waiting for the call to say they have pulled out.

Moving before Christmas is giving us time to enjoy the festive season and New Year with our daughter, who will understand what its all about this year, before the next part of our lives start to unfold.

Bring on 2010 I say and hello to the birth of WillowBank Alpaca Stud.

Hope your all coping with the wet weather.

Take care.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Lily's First Visit To See Santa

Afternoon All,

Well after an exciting day yesterday for myself and Lisa, we thought it was only fair to do something with Lily today. We had spoken with Lisa's brother yesterday, who was taking his son Riley to see Santa at our local garden centre, we arrange to meet them so that Lily had someone to go in with, as Lily gets very shy.

Santa, Riley, Lisa & Lily

Lily was having none of it, sitting next to Santa and Riley is to much, mum to the rescue. Lily did manage a wave on the way out though, bless her. With her present in hand and a lolly pop later Lily was quite happy to stand next to a fake Santa.

Well almost next to it!

After our trip to see Santa it was time for log cutting for our log burner, as stocks are starting to run low at home its about time I cut some more, 3 wheel barrows later, that will do for today. Time to also cut back the willow on the bank hence the name WillowBank Alpacas this also gives me some more cuttings to plant along our boundary line, this willow is the fast growing variety and grows around 9 to 10 foot a year and makes excellent screens and wind breakers.

Well that's all for now, back soon.

Saturday 28 November 2009

What A Wonderful Day At Wellground

Hi All,

What a wonderful day we have had, we have finally managed to visit Wellground Alpaca Stud again in Whiltshire, after several further attempts being postponed due to snow earlier in the year, to rob having his accident we have just not had the opportunity to make it any earlier.

We were greeted with a surprised look from Rob after I had forgot to put in my email our arrival time, all was OK though as Rob left Les to finish cleaning out the Alpacas whilst we went in doors for a coffee, a bit chilly this morning for Kenco on the decking but never the less Kenco in the kitchen went down well. Les joined us and gave us a lovely gift for Christmas which prompted me to fetch her Christmas gift from Rob, one of my hand carved Rocking Horses. I set this up for them in the living area and I must admit it did look fantastic in the log cabin, I hope you have many a happy day looking at "Emily"

It was time for a look at the Alpacas, we hadn't made it through the first barn as we were greeted by the lovely sounds from Wellground First Lady and Wellground Cyan, Lisa had that look in her eye as she couldn't stop looking at Wellground Cyan, Lisa is still going on about Cyan now. These two weanling's have absolutely fantastic fleeces and will of course be a credit to Rob & Les with the dedication they put into creating elite stock.

We moved on and had a quick look at the new barn, I spy the quad bike, I wonder if......yes Rob lets me have a sit on the new quad, I'm half way there to getting a go on it!! damn no key in the ignition, not to worry.

Taking a walk down the raceway with the Alpacas and Cria, we had another chance to quiz Rob & Les on so many questions that we have, of course Rob & Les always give you an honest answer. These Elite Alpacas are second to none and always look so healthy and bright eyed

Heading back up the paddocks, I here Rob mention the quad bike and fetching the key....maybe my time has come? Rob strides off and then, the sound of an engine coming from the barn, my petrol head has kicked in and its straight to the quad, I have a quick run up the road, turn round and head back. Lily's turn, Lisa passes Lily to me and we are both off, with Lily sitting on the petrol tank we head off down the back track, now Lily is a bit of a speed freak like her dad, we take it steady to start off with, on mother's orders, but as we head back I give the quad bike a bit more throttle and above the engine noise I can here Lily giggling, she does like to go fast......that's my girl.

Time for a bit of lunch that Les had created for us, thank you Les it was lovely. A bit more Alpaca chat, more questions answered, then unfortunately it was time to leave as it takes us just under 3 hrs to get back and we had animals to feed.

We just want to say thank you so much to both Rob & Lesley for all the help and advice that they have given us over the last two years. I'm sure they know this is just the start of it!

Take care all,

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Try And Keep Up If You Can

Hi All,

Well the alarm went off at 05.30 this morning, to a start of a hectic day. Lily was not impressed and as Lisa went to get her up, she insisted on pulling the duvet covers back over her head. After a little persuasion Lily got up in a fantastic mood surprising for the time of morning as our Lily does like to sleep in.

It was then off down to the farm to load up the sheep and take them to market, it is sad knowing what the future is for the sheep but its what keeps the food chain going, plus we need to get ourselves cleaned down and ready for our Alpaca business. We had some really good luck with the sheep, as ours fetched top money today which took us by surprise as we had left it a little late taking them to market and they weighed a little more than the ideal weight.

It was now 12.30 and its time to head home with an empty trailer, as we had already washed the trailer down at the market it was a quick unhook of the trailer down on the farm, drop off Lisa and Lily at home so Lisa could put Lily to bed for her afternoon nap, bless her Lily had already fell asleep halfway through eating a cookie.

I then had 20 minutes to get to my opticians appointment for 14.00, why can't you find a parking space when you need one!! I get to opticians dead on 14.00 and have to wait half an hour for a ten minute check up, its then back in the car and head home.

15.00 and I'm back home, "don't take your shoes off" I here Lisa say as she comes down stairs with Lily, its back in the car and we are off into town to the bank, bearing in mind we have a solicitors appointment at 16.00 we enter the bank at around 15.30 Lisa puts the bank card into the machines inside the bank so that we can transfer some money, presses the finished button and guess what....the bl##dy machine wont give us the bank card back, a quick chat with a member of staff and the front of the machine is open, hands are inside and hay presto our card is back. A quick look at the time 15.55 luckily the solicitors is over the road from the bank.

16.00 straight in to see our solicitor and we sign our contracts for our house sale, at least we are now ready for when that time comes. We leave the solicitors and its a mad dash home to pick up our other car that has to be at the repair garage for 17.00 I hope your all keeping up!! believe it or not we get the other car to the garage on time, we head home and finally shut the door for the last time tonight at around 17.15

Lily has gone to bed early and myself and Lisa are just relaxing with a nice cup of coffee. As for Alpacas they are always on our minds and are desperate to get started with the setup of our farm.

That's all for today.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Sheep Wrestling

Hi All,

Today the rain held off as our good friends Jeff & Sheila from came to visit, they came with gifts of a dozen eggs freshly laid, I will have some of those for snack tonight. We all had a cup of coffee and a chat, then it was down the farm for thoughts of our new adventure.

Sheep wrestling springs to mind as Jeff helped me catch our final few sheep for tagging and feet trims, Jeff nearly went over, but was saved with his knee, he regained his balance, oh how I would have laughed if he had fell over, in a nice way Jeff.

We took a walk around the farm and discussed various options for fencing the paddocks, of course the ladies had to steel both Jeff and myself thoughts on this, we continued around the land with Jeff having to pull our daughter Lily along on a sledge, she finds it to much like hard work to make it all the way around, she is only two, so I guess we will have to let her off.

It was then time to have a look around the barns before returning back to the house for a bite to eat, another coffee and some alpaca chat then unfortunately it was time for Jeff & Sheila to return home, it takes around two hours for them to get back and as they had left Gemma holding the fort, it was understandable that they headed off.

Jeff & Sheila are such an inspiration to us, myself and Lisa both feel that we have made some very good friends.

Thank you for a fantastic day, you are both more than welcome anytime, to come and visit.

That's all for now.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Contract Signing

Hi All,

My obsession with muddy gateways is still going strong, with the bad weather over the last few days not helping and more bad weather to come, Lisa has been out and brought me some new wellies, she is a good wife to me, although she could have shovelled stone in the gateways rather than wasting time and money buying me new wellies, only joking darling.

I am taking next Tuesday off from work to take our last few sheep to market, sheep are making good money at the moment, so we would be daft to miss out on this. We are also going to sign our contracts for our house, so that everything is in place ready to exchange when the time comes.

We are expecting a visit this Saturday from Jeff & Sheila at Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud, this is a long time coming this and we are excited to show them our farm and imagine its future. Bring your wellies guys!!

That's it for now

Thursday 12 November 2009

Fantastic News

Hi All,

Congratulations to our good friends Jeff & Sheila at Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud, who after a battle have finally be granted permission to live on the farm, well done to you both.

This news has again given us another boost of excitement for our up and coming months ahead, our house sale is still going strong, our solicitors have even started mentioning moving dates!! we have had surveys done on our house which all went well.

We are getting excited now as it sinks in even more, are dreams are starting to come true and we cant wait!

Take care all.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Muddy Gates!

Hi All,

Today we have had to go and complete paperwork for a rental property that we are looking to move into on a temporary basis.
We are so lucky to have some fantastic friends that are also willing to take a risk on us, Lisa's friend Lynn owns the property that we are looking to rent, which is all good, but they have just turned down rental on this property with 6 months rent up front, to wait for us to get the house sold, so that we can move in. How fantastic is Lynn to take this gamble with us.....Thank you so much Lynn.

We have been down the farm this morning also, I cant believe that already our gates into the paddocks are already churned up by the horse and pony we have. I do intend to put hard standing down in the future to stop this happening, but I say this every year or every time we have allot of rain, I just don't like to see the land turning into a ploughed field!! little things to some folk but it does bug me sometimes.

Take care all.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Ticking Over Nicely

Hi All,

Well things are still ticking over nicely with the house sale, we have the surveyors coming tomorrow, all our paperwork is with our solicitors, so its just that horrible waiting game.

On a brighter note we have arrange to go and visit Rob & Les at Wellground Alpaca Stud in a few weeks time, secretly I'm going to try a get a go on the new quad, if it's not to wet, I don't think Rob & Les would appreciate the ground getting churned up!

We are also expecting a visit from Jeff & Sheila From Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud, after a couple of attempts to make it up to us in the past had to be postponed for one thing and another. If we time it right they might be able to help us move out.......only joking Jeff & Sheila.

That's all for today.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Rocking Horse Goes Down South

Hi All,

Well after a rapid response, I am pleased to say that the Rocking Horse pictured in my last blog is hopefully going to a new home down south. I'm sure she will settle in nicely.

If anyone would like to purchase a Hand Carved Rocking Horse then I'm still making them, but to order only at the moment, as with my new job my days off are limited, so sorry I would not be able to make another in time for Christmas.

As stated in my last blog, I am currently trying to get my head around making Hand Carved Alpacas, not in a rocking form but free standing, again having the time at the moment to put this into practice is proving rather difficult but watch this space for any updates and progress.

Just to show that the Rocking Horse pictured previously was not a fluke, here is another picture of one that I made for a Christmas Display last year for a local company.

That's all for now, so take care all.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Still Keeping Our Fingers Crossed

Well the house sale still seems to be going OK, the SOLD sign has now appeared outside which has got tongues wagging in the village.

We are still on edge thinking something is bound to go wrong, we are trying to think positive and have even been a viewed a property today that we are looking to rent when the house sells.

We have so much that we want to get on with, but at least this gives us time now to really think about how we want to set are farm out.

Oh does anyone want a hand carved rocking horse that I also make for a hobby, this one has to go before Christmas or before we move house as we will just not have the room for it. I am looking for £900 for this one. I normally sell them for £1200 they make fantastic heirlooms or even just a piece of furniture in the home, I'm also looking into making hand carved alpaca soon.

Sunday 25 October 2009

Starting to Sink In!

With the sale of our house starting to sink in, we have had another visit from the purchaser today, She wanted to bring her daughter round to see her new purchase.

We are also starting to realise the task ahead of us, we have decided to move straight into rented accommodation for a few months just until we have the electric connected and the sewage treatment plant in place. if it was just myself and Lisa it wouldn't matter to much but as our daughter Lily is only two then its not fair that we don't have hot water / heating etc.

We are going to try and push to be moved out this side of Christmas, so that we can start our new adventure in the new year.

Keep you all updated with the progress.

Friday 23 October 2009

Its Not Over Until The Fat Lady Sings!!!

Well its been awhile since I last updated the blog, so many things have been happening I just have not had the time. I am now running on broadband and wished that I had changed sooner, what a difference.

I have also started a new job which is taking a lot of my time at the moment until things settle down, but at least its a full time job with a guaranteed income every month.

After our house being on the market for such a long time and having endless viewings, I am now pleased to announce that we have finally SOLD yahoo!! however its not over until the fat lady sings as they say, so until we have moved out I'm not taking anything for granted.

Its so hard not to stop thinking of whats ahead of us and how our lives are going to change, we are desperately trying not to get to excited as we have been let down so many times before.

That's all for now but I'll keep updating with news.

Take care all.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Still Waiting!

Hi All, well with house viewing coming thick and fast, surely its only a matter of time before someone wants our house.
We have a visit from Jeff & Sheila at Easter-Wood Alpacas tomorrow which will be nice, it also gives them a change of scenery, not that there is much for them to see, as we are in the very early stages of setting up WillowBank Alpacas, even so they are more than welcome.
I must try and update my Blog more often but I get so caught up reading other Blogs that I always forget to update my own.
Take care all.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Second Viewing!

Well after the two house viewings on Saturday, we received a call from the estate agents requesting a second viewing for today. Well they came and viewed but showed no signs or hints to say if they would be putting in an offer, so I guess we are back to waiting for the call from the estate agents, but this is still a good sign that they wanted to come back for another look.

We have finally got are hay cut and baled, so yesterday was a busy day for us, as we had to bring the hay in off the field before the weather turns, as I'm sure it will soon! A phone call later and we have sold half of it already to a local guy that normally buys from us, it all helps towards the upkeep of the farm.

I have finally finished dismantling the waterfall and I'm now filling in the fish pond with the rubble, I wish it still had water in as it was rather hot today.

We will Keep you all updated on house situation.

Thursday 13 August 2009

Visit To EasterWood Alpaca Stud

Well its been a busy few weeks again for us, a couple more house viewings that didn't lead to anything (I'm sure people just want to have a nose around)

I have also been help a friend of ours to dismantle a waterfall, sounds simple but believe me this was not just any waterfall!!

On Sunday we had another trip down to Jeff & Sheila at EasterWood Alpaca Stud, yet again we had a fantastic time getting hands on with the Alpaca, even if I did get spat on a couple of times, I didn't mind, that's a part of learning in my eyes, it was also Jeff & Sheila hearing on Tuesday so its been fingers crossed over the last few days.

I came back home from still dismantling the waterfall today, to hear Lisa tell me that we have another two house viewings on Saturday, one of which is an investor so this could be promising, but as per usual its not sold in my eye until we have moved out! :)

Keep you all posted.

Wednesday 29 July 2009

More House Viewings

Well we have now changed over to our new estate agents and things are looking better already, we have two more house viewings already book over the next few days, so that quick work for our new agents but lets not get to carried away we have been here before!!

Well are visit to Jeff & Sheila at Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud is getting closer (not that we are counting down the days) we are always made very welcome and are very grateful to them both for giving up there time to help us gain our husbandry skills, we will of course return our gratitude to all that are helping us on our journey to become quality Alpaca Breeders.

So fingers crossed again please for the house to go :)

Sunday 19 July 2009

Hopes Are Dashed!

Well the viewing of our house that we were expecting never happened, allegedly he was stuck at the vets, but the estate agents could not get hold of him again to re-arrange, I smell something fishy!

We are still in good spirit as we are changing estate agent anyway and adjusting the price so hopefully this will have a fresher appeal to purchasers.

I'm also in need of updating my Internet connection as I am behind the times and still use Dial-up, and after waiting nearly half an hour to download some pictures and receiving a hefty phone bill its time to move forwards to broadband, we have not gone onto broadband as we are waiting until we sold the house and know where we are going, can you take broadband with you like your land line number? sorry if this sounds thick to some, but I have not look into it at all yet. Anyone with good suggestions please comment, all help here will be much appreciated.

We have been invited to visit Jeff & Sheila at Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud again for some more husbandry experience, so with this visit coming up it has given us another boost of excitement and determination to keep pushing for our dream to come alive.

Sunday 12 July 2009

Hopes Are High Again!

Well we have another house viewing tomorrow, so its fingers crossed please that its a success, if only we could sell, then are dream can really start.

We have all been ill since our last posting, which has really knocked us for six, it was so unfair to see Lily struggling with this bug but thank fully we are all back to good health.

We are waiting for our hay to be cut and baled but are waiting for the weather to change, I just hope we have not missed the window for the sunny weather! I will post again with hopefully good news from the house viewing.

Sunday 21 June 2009

Fantastic day with Alpaca's

What a fantastic day we have had today, myself, Lisa & Lily have visited our new friends Jeff & Sheila at Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud ( for some hands on husbandry skills and lambivac injections. This is the first time for me and Lisa to actually get hands on with Alpaca's and be involved with assisting with spit-off, we did feel for Ice Cool Lad who was more than happy to service his ladies, but unfortunately had to be patient for a while, until later on in the afternoon when he finally got his way with Black Magic I'm sure he showed her a trick or two!! :)
Jeff & Sheila are an absolute fantastic couple with lots of advice and enthusiasm, we hope to buy our Alpaca's from Jeff & Sheila, as soon as we are the position to do so.
We were recommended to Jeff & Sheila by Rob & Lesley Rawlins from Wellground Alpaca Stud ( and what a fantastic and worthwhile recommendation that is. We look very much forwards to working with both Jeff & Sheila and Rob & Lesley in the future, hopefully we will return all the help given in the following years to come. If you are ever in need of advice, these are the people to ask.

Sunday 14 June 2009

A busy week fencing

Well its been a busy week for myself and Lisa, we are also renting 4 acres of land as well as our own 5 & half, the gentleman that owns the land ask us if we would put the fencing up for him, of course we said we would, after all its going to benefit us more when we get our Alpaca's. He had all the kit we needed including a machine to bore the holes in the ground, surely this was going to be a nice easy job!!
How wrong we were, after setting the machine in the ground for the first hole, it starts to drive its self into the ground, fantastic, oh spoke to soon! 4" into the ground and it stops going down anymore, I remove the machine clear the hole of soil to reveal solid clay that the machine wont touch, so its down to breaking it up as best as we can with a spade and try the process again, another 3" and its machine out, spade back in! only another 70 holes to go! oh I forgot 2 new gate posts to put in too. :)
Lily our daughter has also been busy, this Saturday 13th was our village carnival with the theme of "Aliens" with Lily only being 20 mths of age she found it all a bit strange, why have mum and dad painted my face green! and put me in strange clothes, she was not amused. ( photo's can be viewed on the village website )

Monday 8 June 2009

Im still trying to learn

We are still just as committed as ever to make our dreams come true, we are desperatly trying to sell our house to fund our dream. We keep having veiwings but just no sale, it gets very annouying, we have been very lucky to have Rob & Lesley from Wellground Alpaca's to keep us from going insane.

If you have been trying to follow our blog and waiting for updates I am trying to find the time to update more often, watch this space.