So another week gone by but hopefully the worst of the weather is behind us now. Not sure we’ll get a heatwave in Northumberland but hopefully the weather will be dry and warm enough for us to finally have the whole of the outside of the Log Cabin painted this week. The place is a bit around the wrong way just now! As you’ll see from the above pics we’ve had odd sections painted but that’s all. What’s more we now have 2 bathrooms residing in a bedroom and the kitchen sat in the lounge. However we now have some light fittings, a fuse box, a gas supply and water! In 5 weeks we have to be in and I’m confident we’re well on track. Alpaca-wise it’s been relatively quiet – the winkles continue to flourish and the pregnant mums remain very hungry and hormonal – 2 weeks and counting until the first one completes 11 months gestation. We did have the North East and Borders Alpaca Group AGM today. A very positive mood around the room and a great time catching up with like-minded folk. Will picked up his new car on Wednesday so I now officially have the oldest car in the family. Then would you believe Hannah has now put a deposit down on a lovely new 2 bed home. She may move in at the end of May which means we will only have the newest house in the family for about 10 days – not that I’m competitive of course!! In truth its marvellous to see our kids finding their independence and taking on commitments. The excitement they are both experiencing is a joy to behold – next task is to catch up with Jack and Becky to hear of any wedding planning developments. Can’t sign off without celebrating my team being crowned Premier League Champions! What madness allows those dirty Reds to lose to bottom of the league WBA at home 8 days after their impressive comeback away at the Champions?? ... See moreSee less
So Easter has come and gone. We enjoyed a lovely weekend in Stewarton following a for once successful trip to the golf course for me! Part of the winning team at Longniddry and 3rd individually
Sorry but golf was the highlight again this weekend albeit for different reasons. Our 18 year old son Will is Junior Captain at Hexham this year and yesterday he “drove in” with the other captains – see new pic above. Very proud of the start he has made to his year with a speech at the Intro Night, captaining a team at Club Night and then getting a good drive away yesterday – with nigh on a hundred people watching.
Shame to miss out on showing yesterday at the North West Alpaca Group Show at Carlisle but you can’t do everything. I did visit briefly and Kathryn was there longer. Great to meet up with lots of friends again – looked like a fab show and congratulations to all the winners.
The Nero Black Show Team will next hit the road for The Scottish Alpaca Championships at Lanark 28th April and the Northumberland County Show 28th May at. Both shows are full and at Northumberland we will have our biggest team ever – still just 8!! Excitingly all 8 will be in different classes.
Two of the debutants in our enlarged team are weanlings who were too young to make the nationals. Unusually, but for good reason, we have taken early fleece samples from last years cria and had them tested at AAFT. We were absolutely delighted with all the results but these two in particular, both Nero Black Shadow progeny, have the best black fleece results we have ever received.
Mid week was rather a washout, though we did get some routine husbandry done. There were 2 very unfortunate football results but I’ll do my very best to bury that bad news!
Brief Log Cabin update – the tiling is coming on and the whole interior was sprayed with a stain last Tuesday. This week we have both bathrooms and the kitchen cupboards arriving. Not a lot to see pics wise just now but I’ll hopefully post some next week.
Looking ahead again, Hannah will go to Lanark on 28th April with Kathryn as I have to stay in Hexham to launch our latest business venture. Alpaca Encounters will offer walks, talks, parties and care home visits featuring selected members of our Nero Black Alpaca herd. In preparation for this I am organising a photo shoot this week and we will launch to the press and online by the end of the month. Watch this space. ... See moreSee less
After all the anticipation the Nationals didn’t disappoint. The show itself was brilliant - real showcase for Alpacas in the UK, thanks to a lot of people who contributed. Our great friend Mark Steel from the mighty Patou was instrumental and very focussed but we still managed to force a couple of beers down him:)
Chuffed for everyone who achieved good results but as a “Northerner” of more than 20 years was particularly pleased to see our neighbours in the Northern and Scottish contingents get some great results. Of course the highlight, having spent a lot of time with Nicky and Deborah at Fangdale Alpacas, was to see them get Huacaya Supreme.
Our highlight was Cosmic taking the Dark Sires Progeny Shield - pictured below are Florence, Cosmic Girl and The Chancer who represented him so well. Chancer also won his Junior Black Male class. Gold, our fawn boy out of 2 blacks, took a brilliant 3rd in a tough class.
Once back home we took Kestrel to meet Dexter (above). Cutting a long story short - all being well - pups will arrive 30/31 May.
The Log Cabin shell is to all intents complete. Kitchen ordered this week and 1 tonne of bathroom tiles collected today. Dolan Plant have laid kerbs and tarmac. Northumberland Water have connected us too!
Tuesday will see Michael Inglis start floor tiling in the Hall and Kitchen Family Room. My ChipsAway paint technicians are coming to stain all the internal timbers. Sparky’s are also due to put up outside lights and Trevor Simmons continues to crack on with heating and plumbing - hope there’s room for them all??
Looking forward to a game of golf tomorrow at Longniddry and then visiting our great mates Hugh and Lynn in Stewarton over Easter. Good old Hannah is once again holding the fort - assisted by Will this time.
Have a great Easter everyone - but here’s a challenge - we need to name our new log cabin. A handsome, appropriate prize on offer. Should it relate to Norway, Alpacas, the Tyne Valley or whatever? All ideas welcome!!! ... See moreSee less