Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Holby City meets Countryfile!

I nearly had to find my sun glasses today; it has been so long since I last saw daylight. Sat, Sun and Monday saw me leaving the house at 6 am and returning at 8.30 pm... and whats more I was so tired I didn't even go out to see the alpacas in the barn on my return...that's dog tired for me.

It looks like I will be back in full-time employment on the Intensive Care Unit at our local Infirmary for a while. I won't bore you with all the medical drama, but swine flu has meant that the crisis escalation policy has had to come in to operation. This means that critical care beds have been increased from 8 to 15 in the hospital. All elective theatre has had to be cancelled to provide space and equipment; and all staff with critical care skills have been called upon to help. I have to say we sometimes criticise our National Health Service, but in a crisis (the technical term that they use is when 'poo hits the cooling device'...not sure what they mean!) they really do an amazing job: doctors, nurses, physios, pharmacy, porters etc...the list is endless.

This has meant that Paul has been on alpaca duty all weekend, without any interference from me. Now I know that he thinks that Hoity Toity is a drama queen, and that I spoil her by feeding her on her own in the 'private dining area'. Apparently, he had thought that 6 consecutive feeds would be enough time to sort this out. However, not only has he failed in his mission (HT will not eat if another alpaca so much as looks at her; he now agrees) he seems to have added another member to the dining club...Galaxy...who is quite capable of getting her own share of the feed...she is just naturally slim...so now I am going to have to univite her...which isn't very nice!

Actually I should say thank you Paul. All of the paddocks have been poo picked twice (so I could have a poo free day today) and I even got pheasant casserole (Amanda and Graham kindly brought us some pheasants earlier in the week) made for my supper on Sunday night. I haven't yet told him that I am also working next Sunday...roast beef?...I wonder how long it will last! I now have a couple of days off before Thursday night so I will enjoy.

I couldn't wait to see the gang this morning, especially the weanlings. Paul had instructions to give out kisses and cuddles but I expect that that was an ask too far. Halter training had been on the agenda for the weekend (Ben and Craig were at the ready to help) but the ground was far too icey. So training was recommenced today.

The A team: Finian, Explorer and Roma have it cracked completely and are now going down the road. The others are all doing well, and with a little coaxing make it to the lane end and back. No sitters this year...(they are absolutely the worst)...so training has been pretty easy...helped massively by having Finian (he must have been crossed with a labrador we think!). We are treating Explorer and Roma as a priority...will they or won't they be going?...decisions!

It is a lovely crisp bright day here today...so the camera has been out of course...

Explorer (with Roma behind)...the grump is actually turning out to be gorgeous after all!

Finian leading the gang to ....

...check out Velvet

Weanlings enjoying some decent weather for a change.

Looking like spring might be on it's way?

Now I really must check out The British Alpaca Futurity auction site on the web...at this rate...with full-time employment...I might even be able to put in a bid!


  1. Lovely photos Barbara but don't know about Spring on it's way. We're blanketed in ice here with the boys doing a good impression of 'Strictly on Ice' in the paddocks. Take care. Shirley & Robbie

  2. Explorer...Is there really an alpaca under all that fleece?!!

    And Barbara...Good luck with the "Day Job" especially if it means you can splash out without feeling guilty!!

  3. Spring....!! a bit early up here me thinks...its a case of Dancing on Ice up here in frozen Scotland !!....the photos are lovely its nice to see the sun shining......and the weanlings are looking a bundle of cuteness....Jayne

  4. HT sounds just like Oonagh here, she would rather starve than share or eat something that another alpaca has touched. My Paul never believed me until recently that is!

  5. What a great little face Explorer has, perfect!