I have been quiet for a few days due to the constant interference of the day job but Sue is at work, I have just dropped Angus off at party and I have an hour to spare.
Then will follow some log chopping, alpaca feeding and a cup of tea with some friends who are coming to have a look at Columbus this afternoon. This evening will consist of a nice roast, followed by Strictly Come dancing in front of the log fire. Watching strictly come dancing, not doing it that is. Yes we are fans. I don't know why I am telling you all that but there we are, you now know.
Anyway alpaca stuff. I have read Bob's blog and see that he received the same letter as I did yesterday. It was a letter extolling the virtues of supporting the increase in registration fees for imported animals thus protecting the existing 'british' stock.
It was written by a 'small Uk home-grown breeder'. I searched for a name, a clue as to who had written it. Nothing, it was an anonymous letter. That annoyed me. Anonymous letters usually go straight in the bin or the fire whichever is closer, such is my disliking of them.
I'm sorry but if you are going to send out letters putting forward a strong point of view and extolling readers to act upon the contents of the letters then please, please have the guts and confidence to sign the bloody thing. Ooh it really annoys me.
Ben Harford, who objected to the introduction of the increased fees, put his name very much to the fore, he rang me (sadly I was in France) and sent me an e-mail and argued his case well. I didn't support his point of view but respect to him for standing up and having his say. As a result of his actions the board has changed it's tack.
I am a small breeder and have sold less animals than last year, has that got anything to do with imported animals? I don't know, but I doubt it. I have seen some very ugly looking alpacas that have been imported though and that can't be good. What sort of screening takes place?
If increasing the registration fees stops sub-standard alpacas that can't contribute to the improvement of the national herd getting into the country then that must be a good thing. Could not the same effect be achieved if the screening standards were much tougher?
I am not a political animal, I would rather let other people with greater knowledge of the subject matter sort things out. Sure I will offer an opinion if asked but that's about it. It's not entirely because I can't be bothered it's just not me. I am insular in a way, I like to just get on with things my own way and not have to rely on others. We like to be independent down here in Patouland
The futurity stuff arrived today, great stuff, we're looking forward to it immensely. We had a fantastic time this year at Newbury and if you are reading this and can't decide whether to go or not you simply must. It is brilliant. Total immersion into alpaca world for three days. Love it, just love it!
One thing annoyed me last year though. It said quite clearly (as it does this year) on the bumpf that people entering the showring must wear black trousers and white shirts. Did everyone abide by this small and not very difficult to follow rule? No, some people didn't. Why not? Because they are complete numpties that's why. It's a small request, for goodness sake make the effort.