I have just finished a stretch of late evening shifts which all ended between midnight and 4am, which is a stupid time to finish work in my book. No lie-ins allowed, due to the school run, and plenty of chores to get on with before setting off again for another late shift.
But today is the first of two days off so I am having a lazy day in the sun.
I'll be 50 next year and these late finishing shifts really take a cumulative toll on me. In short, I'm knackered. I am looking forward to an evening meal that I can eat with a spoon, a large whisky and an early night. Nine o'Clock should do it. Tomorrow I have a very busy day planned and my batteries will have to be fully recharged.
So taking advantage of the glorious weather I took the hounds and the camera out with me to do the rounds. Dee, currently 334 days preggers was not looking remotely like having a cria so I sat down some distance away from the first group, a mixture of male and female weaners and two adult females, Dee and Dilly. I connected the zoom lens and took some pictures at long range.
Here is Patou Spirit looking positively gorgeous in the sunshine. She is a cracking looking Columbus girl and I am very excited about the prospect of arranging a date with Qjori later in the year. I can almost see the result in my mind. Fantastic!
Next up is little Patou Sherwood, rosette winner at the Futurity and another Columbus cria. He is the chosen one. He will be going into the ring with Angus in the junior handler events later in the year.
I then walked up the hill to the paddock which contained the big boys and four of the little boys.
I took a seat in with me and positioned myself a good distance away to get some of those marvellous long distance shots when the alpacas sort of forget you are there. As I put my seat down I turned round and found a small gathering had materialised behind me. I had to change back to the close range lens to take this next picture! From left to right we have Roger Resilient, Scout, Saracen, Sebulba and Sandstorm. What a bunch of muppets.
Sandstorm then insisted that I take a photograph of him as he did his best fluffy rabbit impression.
Patou Scout, (yet another Clump boy) with a ridiculous amount of head fleece. Very deep eye holes had to be cut a week or so ago so he could see where he was going.
Whilst I was there amongst the boys, who all (bar one) came over to say hello, I became very aware of the grown up in the field (the one who didn't lower himself to come over and say hello).
Pacing a short distance away, watching everything that went on in his field and beyond was the big 'un.
Qjori has grown into quite an imposing presence in the 19 months that he has been in Patouland. He has packed on so much density of bone and a whole heap of muscle. In fact I don't think I have seen a more solid male anywhere. This is going to sound silly but sometimes when I am watching him patrolling around his field with all and sundry paying homage to him and responding to his every glance or movement, I actually get goose bumps. He is so impressive, so dominating in the field, such a Macho. God I love that boy.
Van Diemen Qjori of Patou - utterly magnificent.