Monday, 31 January 2011

By George I think we've done it!

Once again I find myself up against the clock. Three times in the last three days I have started a blog only to run out of time, abandon the entry and start again the following day. That is very frustrating. Today however, I have 23 minutes until I have to get changed for work. 23 minutes to waffle about my favourite male alpaca in the whole wide world (Sorry Jack, you have been surpassed).

I have wittered on about Qjori (pronounced Cory) before, some may say I have spouted enough about him, well it's my blog and he's my boy and that's the way it is! Prepare to repel more rambling dribblings for I feel a right old spitoonfull coming on.

Yesterday the sun was shining on a bitterly cold Wiltshire morning, a brisk northerly breeze was biting through our clothes chilling us as the sun's warm rays attempted to penetrate those same clothes in order to warm us, a battle between wind and sun, marvellous. Sue and I took the opportunity to grab Qjori's halter, his ribbons and the camera and set out to get 'that' photograph. We changed location, the wind blew, we photographed him facing one way and then the other, with and without his ribbons. I wanted to get it right. I tried photographing on my knees as Sue expertly lead the Qjorimester around. Eventually I found myself lying flat on the ground amongst the alpaca 'beans'.

I wanted to get it right because, and I'm sure you will agree, we all look at or watch our alpacas and see them at their very best. We see them as we would like others to see them. We see them strike that pose, stand proud, look macho, look cute, look powerful, look motherly, all depending on how they behave or how they should look, how we want them to look, in essence how they are.

I wanted to capture a bit of that in Qjori so that you could see him as I see him. So that you could see him as he is. And do you know what? I think we have got very close indeed.

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is our boy. Van Diemen Qjori of Patou.
And that is our boy with his party clothes on.
Right, you are spared any more drivel as I must remove my trousers immediately.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A quick one! (oooh err missus!)

Just a quick blog today as I sit here snaffling a quick, ham, mustard and Branston pickle sandwich. Mmmmmmmmmmm!
I had to take the day off today which was just as well. Angus went a bit squiffy this morning so was kept back from school (a slow and rather miraculous recovery has taken place this morning!). On top of that the floor fitters arrived at 0930hrs to re-floor the utility room and right in the middle of that the alpaca feed arrived.

We buy an all in one alpaca feed from Mole Valley Farmers and the minimum delivery weight is a tonne (or is that a ton?), it's forty sacks, each weighing 25 kilos. Today the delivery driver said his lorry was fully laden and couldn't get up to our house. This resulted in me having to hitch up the trailer and reverse down to him waiting in the road (well it's a lane really, the super highway that is the C24!). Once there I had to load it all into the trailer and then drive back up the hill to unload it all into the shed. A very effective way of warming up in a quite brisk North Easterly wind!

This afternoon I am catching a train to London to meet up with some of my old school chums for a half a shandy or two. We have to plan this autumn's 'old school chums trip', called 'The Rat Run' (from Ratcliffe College, where we schooled). Our leader has called an emergency meeting and as such there was no way I could refuse to go. It is my duty, it is important, I would be letting everyone, including myself, down. So, ho hum I have to go and that's that. It's a bummer and all that having to drink beer all night with my oldest friends but as I have said it just has to be done. Tee hee!!!!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Four days off!!!!

Yes, four days off and I am right up there close to complete delirium. Even the Aussies winning the one dayer this morning hasn't dampened my mood. On top of my general high spiritedness I think I've had too much coffee this morning which has made me extremely hyper. I am quite literally buzzing. I must calm down or I will be asleep by 6 and we have guests for dinner.
We are having curry which is gently simmering on the hob, it smells like an Indian restuarant in here which is fantastic!

A couple of days ago we received a parcel from far far away.
Those super fab people Bob and Diane Hey at Van Diemen Alpacas in Burnie, Tasmania had responded to a request to send Qjori's ribbons over from Australia. I was expecting to have to send them back, these things are hard won and highly cherished I know. However, Bob said that we could keep them and wished us luck with Qjori's future. How is that for customer service! I can honestly say that buying Qjori was the best decision we have made since we decided 5 years ago to take that first step into the wonderful world of alpacas. He was exactly what we were looking for and we absolutely love him, he is a super looking male with a terrific fleece and if anyone is fed up with me saying things like that about him, sorry, there's plenty more to come!

Anyway the reason for the ribbon request was so that we could take some nice publicity shots for some advertising. Not as easy as it sounds!

Sue and I spent an hour out in the sunshine with Qjori, his ribbons, the trusty Canon and a slightly gusty wind. I held Qjori, Sue took pictures, Sue held Qjori, I took pictures. Over a hundred pictures were taken, sometimes Sue was a little distracted and there were far too many shots of our rear ends (arty I was told?).

Actually we had to take one of his ribbons off as he just had too many and looked a little like he was standing behind a curtain. He was very patient and we farted around trying to get the best shot.

We are nearly there, but not quite. We will be trying again when the sun next shines, a different background maybe. We'll get there, nothing but perfection will do.
It's all down to my secret New Years resolution which was to stop saying 'Sod it, that'll do' .............................. because it just won't.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


I can't believe its 5 days since my last post and about three days since I sat down in front of the computer (not counting the odd look at the Blackberry which doesn't really count because if I haven't got my glasses with me my eyes bleed with the strain of trying to focus!).
The day job is to blame, as usual. Friday and Saturday's ten hour day shifts meant leaving for work in the dark and returning home in the dark, very, very annoying.

Whilst I wasn't here Sue was keeping an eye on things and after the gale force winds over the weekend she reports that poor old Clump's shelter is now only about three feet high instead of about seven feet high. The Patou Alpacas show tent has well and truly bitten the dust despite literally yards and yards of baling twine coming off it in every direction. Like me and a pair of tights, it just didn't have the legs for it. It is, I'm afraid, skip bound.

Apart from that the mud is still ever present, the alpacas are munching through the (very expensive) hay at a rate of knots and the dogs are doing their level best to poop scoop the alpaca field (doesn't improve their breath one bit!).

Halter training is looming just around the corner and I am really looking forward to it. In fact I can't wait. I know it can be a bit of a struggle with some cria but it is always enjoyable.
The one I am looking forward to halter training this year is Ruby May. She was the first cria of the year born way back in May (on Sue's birthday).
She is the biggest, chunkiest cria we have ever had (in fact she is the spitting image of her father) and she is the latest in a line of really troublesome, hair trigger spit monsters. Her mother, Bobby has produced the stressiest alpacas we have ever had in Poppy and Penny (both successful in the show ring I might add) but I get the feeling that Ruby is more like her Dad, the supercool Jack of Spades. Let's hope so anyway!

One more day shift and then I'm in to evenings (mornings free for alpaca stuff and chores) and then days off.

Life as usual is grand down here in Patouland!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Especially for you!

A day off so time for a short blog especially for Gary down at Popham Alpacas.

Patou Resilient, (aka Roger) is doing very well thank you. He may not be the biggest alpaca in the herd but as we all know, you don't have to be big to be mighty!

Yup, he's coming along nicely thank you.
Dino, Commander or Hobgoblin? Bring them all.

Little Roger Resilient will be ready and waiting.

Monday, 10 January 2011

What? Twelve days? No. Really?

I had a moment to check the internet this morning and saw that it has been twelve days since my last posting! I was utterly amazed and ashamed of myself. Twelve days! I have never abstained for that long.
I am very sorry loyal readers, I have wronged you greatly. You may like to take satisfaction in the knowledge that immediately after I had recovered from the shock I donned my wellies and ran outside.
Never before have I given myself such a punishing and lengthy larraping with a whippy twig. It really smarted people, a lot. Not only that but it's difficult. It's not that hard to slap yourself with the instrument of pain I agree, but it's hard to hit the target when your trying to run away from yourself! A mental picture here will help folks.'Let that be a lesson to you I shouted' as I caught myself a glancing blow for the final time.
Indeed readers it has been a valuable lesson. It won't happen again, I promise.
Of course I have a whole raft of excuses. The day job for starters, that is extremely irritating, always getting in the way of life in general. New Years day was a complete write-off. When will I learn?
However, I have been keeping up with other peoples news by reading the blogs who haven't let you down. The 'Ladies of leisure up North' for instance never miss more than a few days at the most (Blue touch paper well and truly lit methinks!).

Anyway with the nonsense out of the way on to Patou news.
Well not a huge amount to report really. We are in the period of the year when the mighty Patou plans, once again, for world domination. A period where we gather together the big hitters in the herd and have a frank exchange of views as to how we feel the herd should be progressing this year. Opinions as to which direction we should be heading in 2011 are heard and discussed.
The general consensus this year is to continue pushing for brown domination.
There was a minor objection from the black and fawn flanks of the herd but once we had introduced Their Royal Patounesses Cambridge Columbus and Van Diemen Qjori of Patou into the argument that was soon quashed.
'Brown is the way we are heading and these are the boys who are doing all the colourwork' I said gruffly. All the girls fell silent and there was a certain amount of eyelash fluttering from some rather young girls as Qjori turned sideways on and pushed out his chest. 'Steady lad, no 'colourwork' until April' I whispered but he had done enough, brown it is to be.

On domestic matters we have been dealing with an overflowing septic tank, (nice) and a flooded utility room (not connected thankfully!) and a whole heap of mud everywhere.

Halter training has not yet begun but will have to start soon. The show team have been selected and entered into the Futurity. Future shows have been identified and day job permitting (grrrrrrr make it go away!!!!) we will be showing more than ever before this year.

2011 has well and truly begun. The Mighty Patou is ready and poised, waiting to start our advance on the world again.

Right, enough sitting down, I have stuff to do.