4th February 2007. We all miss him, you know. Barley went off to his new home with Jo and Ann Hempsey on Thursday. They arrived in a posh car and trailer, not unlike Uncle Rob's "Passion Wagon", but instead of bringing someone to court the ladies, they collected Barley, taking him away to have his own ladies herd, which includes my beloved "Sexy Legs".
They will ply him with supplement and lots of hay, give him lots of hugs and cuddles, take him for walks on his halter, take him to shows..........HANG ON JUST A MINUTE! Just WHO is the Alpaca of Distinction around here? And WHO saw "Sexy Legs" first? And WHO is it that likes hay more than anyone else? That should have been ME! I'm the Web-Celeb!
I've moved in to my newly refurbished shelter. "Other Half" has made a nice job of the rebuild, the wallpaper has a natural wood effect, inside and out. The wall to wall carpet has a natural grass and hay design, not unlike (in fact exactly like) the rest of the field, and I have a clear panel in the roof so that I can tell when "Other Half" will get wet bringing me my supplement in bed each morning.
These humans are a strange lot, you know, - the BOSS and "Other Half" keep going to Saddle Clubs to take photographs.
I mean, I understand Stamp Clubs - you go along to look at stamps and swop a few.
I understand Car Clubs - you go along to look at cars and discuss how to improve them.
I even understand golf club clubs (and try saying THAT with a mouthful of hay!).
If I live to be twenty I'll never understand people!
11th February 2007. Will this rain NEVER give up! Maybe I should talk to the BOSS and "Other Half" about building an ark! It shouldn't take too long - the BOSS says "Other Half" can make absolutely anything.
The "Upside" of all this rain is that us alpacas are too wet to have toenails cut, - and cuddles!
The "Downside" is that I haven't been able to try skiing - we didn't get any snow. Hmm - how about WATER skiing! Even number one fan Jacki had to have pretend snow when she went all the way to Andorra to go skiing! I still think my idea about MUD skiing is the answer to everyone's problems.
Last week I was given a nice big newly rebuilt shelter full of hay - well, all change. BOSS has come back from her holiday and decided that Barnaby looks a bit lonely and I am too fat! Me FAT? Its all fleece, honest!
So Barnaby has been moved into the top field - MY field - with MY HAY - and company on all sides. And ME? Well I am back in a smaller paddock next to my chum Alex, with a restricted Hay diet - that means only a couple of handfuls of hay a day - but lots of grass.
I don't know whether you have noticed, but you have to move about A LOT to eat a day's quota of grass! Now, hay is all in one place, and that means Ted stays in one place - in the shelter! So now not only do I have to get wet, but I have to have some exercise too!
Maybe BOSS will go on holiday again soon, and "Other Half" and I can have a little chat. He understands the "Fleece makes me look fat" theory.
20th February 2007. Hi fans, sorry for the delay – but it has been all change here at Little Gems.
First let me tell you about Barnaby. Well you know all about the rain down here in Devon – Well, poor old Barnaby couldn’t get out of his paddock for a walk on his halter because of all the mud at his gateway (See! - I said that mud skis would be a great idea!) Well after about ten minutes or so the BOSS managed to persuade Barnaby to paddle through the thick sticky mud, (with her help) and let him off in My paddock! MY Paddock! I mean, I ask you!
Barnaby is happy too. The BOSS calls us the Dynamic Duo, - like Batman and Robin. Hmm - Bat Alpaca! and maybe "Dobbin"? - Uh, Uh! NO, the BOSS wouldn't let me get away with that one! But I like the bit about ME being the hero! Will I get a batmobile and a cape? – I can use my Zorro mask. But I think Barnaby will look silly in tights!
Poor Barnaby - he misses his mate Barley – who (BOSS tells me) is happy in far off Essex, being spoilt and loved to bits!
Of course nobody reminded me that I'd have to share my hay and grass, and even my shelter – but Barnaby is a great guy, really cool and laid back – he will have to be, because he is going into the show ring later this year!
Which leads me to the other bit of news.
On Saturday we had some lovely visitors; Mark and Mike. Of course they came to see ME. Oh, all right, AND Alex and Charm. Yeah, O.K. - everybody really.
We each had to be caught and examined. There was much "Ooh-ing" and "Ahh-ing" over MY beautiful markings and my "Cool Dude" attitude. But I think Alexander got the Mr. Macho Award. There was a "Wow!" and a "Goodness Me" as soon as his fleece was opened, and they spent a great deal of time discussing his "Macho" attributes, and admiring his posturing, once they let him go into the field next to the ladies.
Well, he’s a show off – what else can you say? Okay, he is quite a guy, I suppose.
Barnaby impressed the visitors as well, but I think the actual Star Of The Day was, as usual, CHARM! Well, all of us boys can't keep our eyes off her, and it seems that the humans have the same problem. There was much chattering, feeling, cuddling and admiring – but BOY!, was it COLD! Our visitors' teeth were chattering, and their hands were freezing. You don't know how chilly it is until you've had a cold hand right through your fleece, I can tell you!
Well, after a while they left to have a cup of hot tea and to discuss our future. (No hot tea for us you notice!)
But its O.K. - our friendly visitors, Mark and Mike, (that came yesterday) are going to take us all together over to a place very like our home here; lots of acres of grass in Dartmoor - another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so we shall be "M & M Alpacas of outstanding natural beauty" - new name, new owners, same beautiful alpacas and the same old Ted - but with much more grass and hay (they promised). We get to stay together, I shall still see my mum and Boadie and Charm and keep my pal Barnaby. They have promised to look after us and love us as much as the BOSS does – even take me out for long walks, and LOTS of hay – great! and cuddles (well, we all have to make allowances, don't we).
I will still be able to write my diary, with the help of BOSS, - she says it will not be too hard work as she is going to visit me regularly – I do hope so, ‘cause even if I am The Alpaca of Distinction, I shall miss BOSS, - she helped me into the world, and has looked after me lovingly for two and half years. It has been worth putting up with the cuddles. And I shall really miss my long interesting conversations with "Other Half" – I will have to make lots of notes, and we can have a good old "chin-wag" when he comes over.
I will tell you all more about where we are going and our new friends next time – I shall have to "grill" the BOSS and Other Half – get all the facts, you know - like Sherlock Holmes, now HE wore a cape, - you don't suppose he had to wear tights as well, do you? I definitely need a cape! But I'm NOT wearing the tights! Not for all the hay in Devon! (Hmm, just how much hay do you suppose that would be? - NO! it doesn't matter! - and I can't believe I just said that!)
Your Caped Crusader – TED.
I knew something was up when she came to the catch pen with a handful of supplement.
Now usually us lads don’t get mid-morning snacks as we have all been given a body score of 3 or more (I have more - of course, I have more of EVERYTHING). So it was obvious that if food was being handed out so freely then there was a very good reason. Still, food is food!
Too late I saw the Blue Bag, even with her hand behind her back I knew the BOSS was going to do something to ME. As it turned out I DID have a broken nail, which clever BOSS had spotted, and she just wanted to tidy me up in case my new best friend Mike came to take me for a walk today.
We, that is Barnaby and I, had a photo call last week and had to do our stuff for our new owners – they were delighted we were SO good. Well, aren't I always? Barnaby was on his best behaviour and showed them just how clever he was – he stood and walked around just as if he was already at a show. He’ll go places, that lad, just you wait and see!
Mr Macho got to be kissed by BOSS. He has no shame! Just for supplement he will put his reputation on the line. And I thought I was greedy!
We all crowded round our fences to get a grandstand view of the show. Conker, that’s Charm’s mum, screamed at Other half – for all of two seconds! Then went back to her lunch!
Chris, the little devil, decided that Charm being on a halter was fair game, and wanted to try his mating technique – not bad for only 7 months old – bright lad that!
Well, I know that I am the exception (being an Alpaca of Distinction and all that), but that kid has brains as well – I knew that chat we had last month would work.
After laying down a bit, jumping a bit and generally skipping about she just stood and looked at everyone as if to say ‘What’s all the fuss about – halter training – a doddle for us Little Gem alpacas!
Camera, lights, action! Come on Fellas, bring on the trailer - I’m ready for the big ring’
Hey, whose diary is this? Yes this is ME - TED, the Alpaca of Distinction, just remember, Kiddo, who will be looking after you when we go to live on Dartmoor – yeah that’s right, - your Uncle Ted.
They may even take me to a show – now that WILL be fun! I'll think up a few new tricks to entertain everyone - Mark and Mike just don't know how much "fun" I can be!
Sue West runs Little Gem Alpacas and Alpaca Angels from Wiltshire in the UK
Feel free to contact Sue either by e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 01985 219118 (mobile 07799 761289)
©2006 Little Gem Alpacas