What a great day we have had here in the land of the Patou Warrior.
It has been a day of mixed emotions, highs and lows followed by fantastic teamwork, teamwork that has carried me on a high right through until the end of the day.
Let me talk you through the day as I saw it. If you are not interested in what happened here today you can of course log off and check out what happened elsewhere, your choice.
I had planned for a 10am start today, the shearing equipment was laid out the ropes, the mat, the clippers, the bags, buckets, you name it, I was ready.
10am came and went. I thought a lot about what was going on. I realised that although I was the shearer I was useless without a team. Without help in a major way I was as much use as a third whatnot on a doodah.
I relaxed and waited.
The team arrived, time didn't seem important. Good people had given up their time to come and help, people who had busy lives themselves. As the shearing team assembled I began to feel a sense of comingtogetherness. I know that's not a word but that is how it felt.
Charlie and Louise with their lovely daughter Olivia arrived first closely followed by Kevin, my chief handler.
As I have said before I am a bit of a control freak, I like to be in charge, I like nothing more than to be in charge of my own destiny. I back myself. I trust myself to get on and get stuff done but with alpaca shearing as with so many other alpaca related chores it is not a one man job. No, a team is required, a team of people who know what is required of them, a team that will stand tall and step up to the mark (there should be very loud inspirational music playing in your head here). A team willing to put their life on the line for their leader, a team willing to stop at nothing to achieve their goal, a team willing to follow their leader to the very edge (the music should be VERY loud now people!)
The team of which I talk arrived here in Chicksgrove this morning.
Charlie and Louise, Kevin and Gill, Matthew and Katie and of course the ever lovely Mrs Steele (actually she didn't arrive as she was here already).
At about 11am the work began. By 1pm, which was designated 'beer o'clock' the maternity herd had been sheared. All had gone relatively smoothly, one alpaca had a slight mishap but all went well.
All went well because the team worked like a smoothly oiled oily smooth thing.
The barbecue was lit and cold beer was administered, boy it was a hot one today.
A good time was had by all and I look forward to more shearing next week.