Monday 24 August 2009

Time to reflect.

When we entered the wonderful world of alpacas, almost four years ago, we knew that within five years we would be in a position to start selling our own home bred alpacas.
This year that time is upon us.
Patou Lola, a beautiful black Centurion girl (pictured below on the right) is off to pastures new to form part of a brand new herd. Joy, pictured next to her, although not ours, has been part of the herd for well over a year and is soon to be heading north to the midlands where she too will form part of a brand new herd. Accompanying Joy will be Henry, our first ever cria, and Sophie who was born here two years ago. Today we have some people coming to look at our remaining weanling boys, Alacazam (pictured below left), Barney (pictured below, below with his mum) and Reggie (pictured below, below, below with Al and Moselle). It's hard trying not to put potential buyers off, it really is.

Last month we said farewell to Monique, Ronnie and Moselle as they headed west to Bridgwater way (deep in Somerset's bandit country!) They had been here for two years and Moselle was born here last summer.
So why am I wittering on about it? I don't know really. I suppose because this blog, which is supposed to be rambling drivel, can also be wistful witterings from time to time. What?
It's just that even though we knew this time was coming, and we have sold alpacas for the last three years, it's just all getting a bit personal now.

Lola and Henry have brought it all into focus. They have highlighted why we are here and why we are doing this, we seem to have forgotten. When we started it was the beginning of a business. It was a plan for our future, a plan that would kick in big time when we retired from the 'day jobs'.
It hasn't felt lke that though. Having alpacas in our lives has been much, much more than that. We have become 'Alpaca breeders'. Everywhere we go people talk to us about alpacas because they know we have some. If they don't know we find ourselves telling them pretty early on. We are proud to be alpaca owners, we are proud of our alpacas we feel special, we feel priviledged.

Our lives revolve around alpacas, everything we do involves thinking about the alpacas. Sue actually thinks I am part of the herd, she said that recently.
I am part alpaca? Which part?
My fleece is very poor. Although relatively low in micron I have very poor coverage and I don't grow a very long staple length, it doesn't suit me. Conformationally I have a solid heavy bone structure but my legs are way too short, my back is too long, my head is definitely more round than triangular and my ears are more or less not spear shaped at all. If I was in Australia I would definitely be eaten as 'La Viande' or whatever silly name it is they market alpaca meat as over there. I'd feed quite a few too.
It may interest you to know that whilst writing the above tosh I have polished off a plate of Bubble and Squeak and bacon. Splendid!
Oh yes, I almost forgot, in case there are any Australians reading. Terribly sorry about the way the Ashes turned out old boy, dashed good show your boys put on, not quite as good as you thought you were though eh!!


Amiryck said...

Not sure what to say really ;-). Ronnie, Monique and Moselle are very happy here. I am just looking forward to Monique popping now - I wish she would get on with it but no signs it is especially close yet. It does give you a nice feeling when you hear from the new owners about how much they are enjoying the alpacas doesn't it!


ps wish I'd been at Inca hq yesterday for the cricket - tee hee

Lucy said...

It is hard keeping it business only with alpacas - we should know. It permeates every facet of life and we also spend vast amounts of time considering minute details of these lovely camelids. Every loss - or sale - is felt keenly. We have reached the point of having some to sell too, but haven't quite done it yet. We have a crop of fine young males waiting in the wings. Well done on the cricket but of course being Scots we have mixed feelings!!! (only joking!) The best side won on the day.

Quelvehin Alpagas said...

I can sense the emotions in your posting.Truly heartfelt.You big softie.Be Strong.Be Mighty.
It's incredibly hard saying goodbye to animals especially those you have bred.They do become part of a family for the smaller breeders.
I know we have alpacas we should consider selling from a "business progression"point of view but I can always think of a reason to keep them,however tenuous.
But as they say "As one door closes another opens"
They are a lovely trio of youngsters,you should be very proud of your breeding,and someone will be a lucky new owner.

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

You've hit the nail on the head Mark - a salutery warning to us all. Unless we are hardened farmers with large, impersonal herds,who look at them as livestock, we become attached - me especially - I get attached to old scraps of wood, screwdrivers, stuff I've had since I was eighteen. ha ha.