Thursday, 21 November 2013

Sad Times

I suspect that my blog followers will be split into two camps - those who are wondering why I haven't done a blog for a while and those who understand the reason why.

Well the truth is that we have had a bit of a tough time here in the last couple of weeks.  One of our very closest friends died suddenly in his sleep a couple of weeks ago at the age of 58.  This was a real shock and has hit all his family and friends very hard.  Then my mother passed away last Saturday morning.  My mother was 90 and had started to go downhill pretty rapidly, so it was no surprise but we all miss her greatly.

At times like this, you have to take comfort in your friends and family. Nature too has a way of offering its own solace.  We have had some beautiful sunny days, showcasing the glorious autumnal colour in the trees and the shrubs.  Our alpacas too seem to be particularly relaxed and even more friendly than they normally are.  Even my little terrier, Scrumpy, seems to have taken on a new lease of life.

Thanks to all of you who have been in touch - much appreciated.  I very much hope to get back in the groove very soon.

On a more cheerful note...every cloud has a silver lining. Housework is really not my forte but with the impending funeral tea here on Monday, I have been dusting and polishing like mad.  I think my mother would be very proud of me!!!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Winter is coming!

Yup winter is definitely coming!  I do miss the warm days and regret having to put a coat on in the mornings.  I've even got a bit soft in my old age and put Livia's coat back on.
We were supplementary feeding Livia for quite a while and although she is doing well and gaining weight I do still worry about her.  We had a really good 2013 breeding season with no birthing problems and Livia was the only one that needed a bit extra TLC - very well deserved too as she has a very special fleece.  Her Mum, Leonora is extremely protective when I try and take any photographs and I usually have to leap out the way pretty quickly before I get shoved out of the way!
At least Livia hasn't got the snivels like I've got - I'm blaming Mike and my grandson Archie for that!
Six of our female alpacas went off to their new homes during the past week.  I think all new owners worry about them and whether they should put them away at night, but we keep telling people that alpacas are a pretty tough lot and we rarely shut them away.  I have to say that both lots of new owners have prepared for their new herds exceptionally well, with excellent fencing and first rate shelters.
These three girls, Phyllida, Aquilegia and Aurora have all settled in really well in Edmundbyers
as have Sabrina, Dido and Artemesia in Hawick, although I sadly don't have any photos of those.
My best bit of news of this wintry week is my sightings of a red squirrel at the top of our drive two days on the trot..  Northumberland is one of the few places in the country where you can still see red squirrels although they are not as prevalent as they were a few years back.  We used to have quite a number here but I hadn't seen any for quite some time. I almost forgot about my snivels when I spotted this squirrel - well for at least a minute or two!!