The reason I required new undercrackers was twofold. Firstly I am the sort of person who doesn't get new pants very often. My shreddies become like good friends to me, each pair is acknowledged for the important duty that it carries out, each pair is individally cherished and recognised as being slighty different to the other pairs. They are all important to me. So much so that I tend to hang on to them for a little too long. Some of them are more hole than not hole, some are very thin, some are older than our oldest alpaca (and she's nearly 15), some just give up and fall off.
So just before Christmas I visited Mr Marks and Spencers online shop and new trollies were despatched to Patou HQ.
Dee, our oldest alpaca and Truffle earlier in the year when it was dry!
They have been well used since their arrival mainly due to the weather. Patouland is nestled at the head of a beautiful valley on the magnificent Fonthill Estate. The Fonthill Estate bottles it's own water and provides all residents (including us) with free mains tap water. That may give you an idea as to how much water there is in these parts. The water that they produce is pumped from deep underground I presume but to get there it obviously has to fall out of the sky first. This year, as us outdoorsy types are aware, has been rather wet, there has been rather a lot of water falling out of the sky. A lot of it came during the summer meaning that when the winter rains arrived there was nowhere for it to go. Puddles became ponds, Springs have sprung up everywhere here and I am permanently sinking when I am outside. Gone are the days when I could skip across sodden ground with the nimbleness and surefootedness of a light skippy thing. Now, one large wellie is placed on the ground and the second one is gradually ripped with a noisy squelch from the thick sucking mud as wellie number one is slowly disappearing into a muddy abyss, and so on.
I also picked a good year to decide to forage for all of our firewood from the surrounding woodland. I know I should have started in the summer (would it have made any difference?) and filled up the log shed but I didn't. As a a result I trudge up the slippery slopes to the woods with a saw and my wheelbarrow to select fallen wood that isn't too wet. When I find a nice thick branch that has fallen from a big tree, be it Oak, Ash or Elm, and see that it has been caught in the branches and is therefore just hanging there with only it's toe touching the ground my excitement is almost uncontrollable. I dream of dry seasoned wood, seriously I do!
The treacherous slope when it was dry and not a health hazard (it's steeper than it looks!)
Next blog - alpaca stuff, honest!