Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Back Down To Earth!

The high heels are back in the cupboard and practicality wins the day!

I have to admit that I am feeling ever so slightly cream-crackered!  It’s not just my age – I hope! -  but it’s been a pretty full on weekend at the BAS National Show at Telford.  I know that show organisers across the country will definitely sympathise.  Having said all of that, it is hugely rewarding to be on the organising committee of a show that has been hailed as the best British Alpaca National Show ...EVER!!!!  Wow! What an accolade is that!

The show simply went like clockwork with alpacas going smoothly in and out of the ring.  Melania was our first one in and seemed pretty chilled.  Judge Nick Harrington Smith actually said that if you wanted to have your photo taken beside the perfect looking alpaca, then Melania was the one to choose.

It is great fun to take your alpacas to a big show like the Nationals and meet up with old friends from all over the world. Good too to catch up with the contingent from Finland once again - sorry to hear that you have got lots of snow back home!!!

It was great to see so many breeders from the North of England excelling against such tough opposition from the big breeders down south. Just goes to show that there are some top quality alpacas “Up North”! It was also good to see local alpaca breeder, Paul Vaclik of Broad Media Technology, presenting a great seminar on how to improve your company website.

Despite everyone’s concerns, I did manage to stay upright on my very high heels throughout the Champagne reception and Gala Dinner.  I really enjoyed dressing up – it doesn’t happen too often it has to be said!  Mind you, I’m quite glad to be back to the wellies.

I really don't want to bore for Britain about winning rosettes, but Fallowfield Alpacas did do rather well. We took five of our alpacas and they all came home with rosettes.  Not bad when this represented 25% of our herd.! So here are just a couple of  photos to remind ourselves of a great weekend and some lovely alpacas.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Going on Holiday?

Are we hell!  Actually we are getting ready to go to the BAS Nationals next weekend.  Since I am on the organising committee, I am off down to Telford on Thursday and Mike is following on with the alpacas on Friday morning.  The suitcase – Tesco’s best! – is packed full of show equipment, from microchip scanners to show coats to promotional material.  And of course, a National Show has to have a Gala Dinner – hence the high heels!  Have you got yours packed????!!!

Of course, our sales list has to be confirmed. but we were out this afternoon taking photos of the likely suspects.  Hermione definitely fancies herself as a bit of a star – and why not when you have produced Fallowfield Hester, who is a fabulous alpaca.

Supper this evening was Bill Granger’s Vietnamese Chicken Salad – really, really good!  I’d like to give you a little tip –  if you want to get as much juice out of limes and lemons as you can, roll them over your chopping board, pressing down hard, before you cut them in half and squeeze out the juice.  You would be amazed the difference it makes – particularly with limes.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Fresh Start

Ok so I’ve had a tough few weeks, but life goes on and so I am starting off afresh with my blog and will be wittering on about all the things that fill my life here at Fallowfield – animals, gardening cooking, sewing and of course my family.

We've had such lovely spring-like days here recently that your spirits are easily raised just by walking round the garden and in amongst the alpacas.  Sadly we have had quite a lot of tree damage during the winter storms but this particularly fine specimen remains untouched.  I can't quite remember what species it is - something my mother gave me years ago.

Alpacas are all doing fine .  Admittedly we've only just weaned these crias.  Thought we should err on the side of caution this year as the grass has been so poor and some of the them didn’t seem to be putting on the weight they should have.  I just hope Livia and Ignatius are this relaxed when they are in the show ring at the Nationals in 10 days time!!  At least they are looking somewhat drier these days.

 If like me you enjoy eating and cooking good food, you will probably really enjoy Georgina Fuggle’s great blog which I have just discovered.  Great ideas and some super photos.  Talking of food, time for me to go and check what’s in my fridge and get creative, as I’m beginning to feel peckish!