I was invited to a hog roast yesterday. Actually I was invited to a gathering which involved a hog roast. The gathering was at Inca Headquarters in deepest darkest Dorset. The gathering was for those of us who dare to breed black alpacas.
Now regular readers will know that the mighty Patou is breeding mainly for brown but we do own some black alpacas. Indeed Lily, my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, is black. She is not only black but an award winning black alpaca. We have black alpacas people, we have good black stock. Not a lot, but we have a black 'line' of alpacas. Anyway that qualified us for an invite.
Unfortunately Angus had a swimming lesson at 10.30am. The gathering began at 10.30am. The venue for the swimming lesson was about an hours drive from Inca HQ. We were going to struggle to get there on time. Actually, we were an hour and three quarters late. Swimming started late, finished late, the swimming instructor seemed to be talking in slow motion, every slow moving vehicle in the country was on our route. Destiny was against us. We were shamefully late.
We arrived towards the end of a fascinating talk by Kerry Bettinson from Toft Alpacas. She is a fibre processor and turns alpaca fibre into the most beautiful garments. I am sorry I missed most of her talk. Everyone I spoke to said it was fascinating.
I must make mention of 'the pig'. The hog that lost it's life to be roasted on a spit at Inca HQ must have been a marvellous piggly wiggly. In the words of my son Angus it was 'The best pork I have ever tasted!'. He is only 7 but is a huge meat eater, he knows what he's talking about. It was seriously good.
After lunch there followed a demonstration of fleece sorting and skirting together by Kerry and Timbo. Very interesting, Tim talked about, amongst other things, his vast experience with alpacas and how different frame types were likely to produce certain fleece types. Fascinating stuff.
There was more talk and more imparting of wisdom to come but Angus, bless him, was bored rigid and I had received news that Mrs S had arrived home. Poor Sue was working all weekend and that also involved being on call from Friday night until Monday morning. We had to leave. Tim was in full flow so we kind of sneakily snuck out. There was also some rugby to watch but we won't talk about that now.
I didn't take any photographs but Karen from Amiryck Alpacas did and they can be viewed on her very good blog at www.amiryck.blogspot.com. Proof that Angus and I were there can be seen in the final picture.
But anyway the title of this blog is 'The Ultimate Professional' and it is a title that certainly doesn't belong to me. Not yet anyway. No, the title refers to my good mate Tim Hey. He organised this gathering and Tim and Tracey went to a lot of trouble to make it work, which it did. The barn looked fantastic (well done Trevor, he told me it was all his own work) and the whole event had a very professional atmosphere to it.
I would like to thank Tim for his hard work. For Tim is the ultimate professional.
If there is a more professional and hard working alpaca breeder in Europe I'd like to meet them. I doubt very much if there is one.
I'm very proud to have him as a good friend.