It started off rather leisurely; walking with friends followed by supper at mine. Unfortunately, because it was the day before the closing date for the NWAG Alpaca Championships, I had a number of email questions to answer whilst out and about. Trying not too be too rude, I tried to keep walking, talking, and typing on my phone all at the same time...what I did forget to do was watch where I was going... and tripped up ending up in a heap...something I knew about the next day!
Mid week I went down to Stoneleigh to the BAS Board meeting. A number of members had been invited to sit in on the meeting, in order to see what goes on; and also to see if this might be something that they would possibly be interested in getting involved with at some point. As I could tie the journey in with something else, I accepted the invitation; and I must say found it very worthwhile. My journey then continued down to Dorset (thank goodness for Sat Navs...I have absolutely no sense of direction...If I tell you that I would be lost without my husband Paul...that is because I only recognise my left hand from my right because of my wedding ring!). Anyway I made good progress down to Inca Alpacas.
No, I know what you are thinking...the journey wasn't in order to seek out any more black alpacas to purchase...although there were paddocks full of stunning blacks...No, the reason for my journey was to receive some training towards my final BAS judging exams. Tim Hey (owner of Inca Alpacas and renown BAS Judge) kindly put me through my paces; having me place and oral reason a number of top notch black classes. It would have been very difficult for me to see this number, and level of black alpacas anywhere else, and I am sure this experience will prove to have been extremely valuable, if I make the grade.
Talking of Sat Navs I think mine will have to be well charged... I am busy trying to arrange judge apprentice opportunities. Understandably, but unfortunately for me, BAS are not having halter class apprentices at their National Show; and as a number of the larger BAS shows are being judged by newly qualified judges (who dont take apprentices) I am seeking opportunities far and wide. I am apprenticing at the National Fleece Show with Nick Harrington Smith and then staying down to help with ring stewarding for the halter classes (note that they asked me before I have had two days of ring stewarding at the Futurity!) which should all be great experience.
Whatever other spare time I have had has been taken up with the NWAG Alpaca Championships. It really is shaping up well, but what a lot to think about with a brand new event. I have been tied up with getting the catalogue in order. Checking out the latest BAS show rules, reminded me of the changes to the colour classes i.e LIGHTS is now beige and light fawn, and FAWN is now mid and dark fawn only...lots of light fawns in the wrong class...lots of renumbering and catalogue changes...arghhh!!!
On Saturday we met up at Cockerham Alpacas, along with Greenside Alpacas, to check on progress of the show. We have 175 entries for a one day show, so we will have to be slick. Mike and Mary had been to Borderway (our venue) and had made lots of progress with logistics. Pens have now been allocated and we have loads of space available to us. My to do list doesn't seem to grow any smaller, but I am sure it must be...and we managed to sit down to our fillet steaks at 21.30hrs on Saturday night...but it will be worth it!
We also have the British Alpaca Futurity this week...always an exciting event...I am not even going to look at the auction alpacas this year...oh yes...I remember...Morden Hall Honaria...I hadnt looked at her either!! We will be travelling down Thursday, back Sunday then I will be travelling back down again Monday evening for a Judges clinic with Amanda Vanderbosch being held at Toft Alpacas on the Tuesday and Wednesday...then back to NWAG Show preparations...I am not going to think about it yet!
Sorry...I could go on and on...but I have written too much already...and you have probably all fallen asleep by now. So some photos...it is snowing here...really snowing.