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.