Thursday 27 February 2014

Batteries low and being head-butted....

We've almost made it to spring....
I feel as if I'm crawling toward spring, I'm tired and feel sure my wellingtons have rubber fatigue too. It has been a funny week, warm temperatures, low wind, a definite promise of better, more consistent weather. However, last night we had more monsoon rain, yay! and this morning the fields that were beginning to dry out were sodden again.

Stuff is appearing in the greenhouse, on windowsills and, more gratifyingly, in the beds and borders planted over the past four years. Herbaceous perennials like astrantia, lupins and hydrangea are now able to compete with the grass thanks to hubby and I battling. We should have some wonderful flowers this year. I constantly check in with The Flower Farmer at Common Farm for hints and tips on growing British flowers, she is a goddess, check her out if you can.

Hope you're not eating while reading this: One of our alpaca mums has an enormous pus-filled spot on her face that I'm cleaning daily. [Did I mention I'm from St John's Wood!!] According to the vet who came out on Saturday, it's likely she was spiked by a blackthorn in the hedge which then turned nasty. The 11yo, who has expressed an interest in being a veterinarian, (I'm light-headed with the thought of the cost-savings,) was an excellent nurse and handed swabs, as the vet disgorged a tablespoon or more of goo from a held, but nonetheless compliant, alpaca. The 9yo meanwhile, was no-where near this carnage.

Yesterday I was head-butted by a giddy baby alpaca. All fun here at The Larches. I've been gently stroking the younger members of the pack in order to get them used to us. Next month I plan to start halter training..... should be hilarious... anyhoo, Fudge, Caramel and Shadow think the 'touching game' is great fun and delight in kicking their legs, tossing heads and running about each time I manage even the slightest caress. I was just reaching for Fudge yesterday when she anticipated my move and with one great giddy bounce, she managed to butt my nose with the top of her head. Lordy did my eyes stream. Hope I don't get black eyes, I'm supposed to be at a black tie do this weekend, though I guess the colour would be in keeping!

I've made pork cassoulet for tea with pinto beans and smoked bacon, plus home-made crusty bread. I very roughly followed this Hairy Biker's recipe. Fancy popping over?... xx


  1. Oh yes, to the cassoulet! I am leaving now. We have been wondering about getting alpacas but the pus filled spot and the nose butt are putting me off slightly. I know just what you mean about dragging yourself toward spring. I feel as though my batteries have almost run right down and am spending a lot of time feeling just plain knackered. Off for a few days in the sun with my older daughter tomorrow so hope that will be a revivifier. Been a long, sad winter up here!

    1. Oh ratfinks, don't be put off by the head butting and the goo, generally our alpaca are so easy to raise and so cute. Much kinder on the ground than sheep.

      I saw the sun (briefly) today, the birds have begun nest building and the tad spawn is mahooosive with at least 40 frogs still singing and snogging in the pond: I'm feeling like our internal batteries will soon be recharged.

      Have a great break in the sun. xx


The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon