Christmas here in Patouland was marvellous. To see a 7 year old (nearly eight) burst into tears on Christmas morning out of pure happiness will be a memory treasured forever (I'm afraid he gets his emotional side from his father who can cry at the drop of a hat, don't come near me during any major patriotic sporting event!).
A fabulous day spent with my fabulous family, it doesn't get any better than that.
The Christmas day celebrations started slightly later than normal due to the extended chore regime that all livestock owners were embracing in the ice and snow.
Buckets of hot water lugged, feed, hay and straw distributed and a general looking over of the mighty Patou herd first. Dogs walked and fed, chickens and cats foddered before breakfast was even considered.
My father, an army officer for 32 years, always impressed on me the importance of ensuring everyone else was fed and watered before indulging oneself. A good way to look at life in general.
Anyway, a white Christmas, when did we last have that in the shandy drinking south?
After four days off I was back to work yesterday but after a late shift today another 5 days off beckons, can't really complain about that.
On the alpaca front we separated four females two weeks ago who were a bit thin, this included my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, Lily, who fought back from near death under two years ago. They have been penned in half the field shelter and half the marquee. Surrounded by food and out of the weather as well as being apart from their cria, (who haven't strayed far from their mums) seems to have done the trick. All four have put on weight and I am not concerned about them any longer. They will be moved to a separate field shortly out of sight of their babies where they will regain even more condition.
As you can see the cria are quite large enough to fend for themselves, especially Rafiki (on the left) who is a giant!
Once New Year is out of the way we have halter training to look forward to, which is always interesting in the mud!
All that remains is for me to wish you all a very, very, splendid New Year!
2011 is going to be an absolute corker! I just know it!