Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The joys of little ones

This is the spinning wheel I
purchased the other week. I
think it is an Ashford traveller,
although the pictures that I
could find on the net, show a
slightly different arrangement.
It has been the sort of eventful week that any mother of young children will recognise and all too familiar to me, if a little hazy due to being memories from the dim and distant past. My little two year old granddaughter was less shy with me than my little two year old grandson the other week, but that was because I have chatted a little more with her via Skype. However, early on in the week she came downstairs with her daddy crying her little heart out. Daddy was going to work and her mummy was busy, so I took her in my arms to give her a cuddle, but she was inconsolable. Mummy took over and gave her breakfast, but she was still not right, so she was given a dose of medicine and a cuddle with mummy. Next thing we knew my little granddaughter threw up all over the floor, narrowly missing her little brother. As I was due to go out to meet someone for coffee, we had a rapid re-think and I offered to take the baby with me, while my daughter cleaned up - generous offer heh!

The cards my granddaughter made
I haven't left my daughter to do all the cleaning up, honest! In fact I have spent quite a bit of the week babysitting and washing up while she gets on with some renovations, as it has taken them far longer than they hoped. As my granddaughter took a few days to recover and the baby is only a few months old, it has been a fairly easy job because they have spent much of the afternoon asleep and go to bed early. There has been just a little entertaining in the afternoons between my granddaughter getting up after her nap and mummy and daddy coming home. Today we made cards and did some glueing and sticking - something I haven't done with little ones in a long time and I was desperately trying to remember how to help a little one learn to use scissors. It was rather amusing though that she got far more absorbed in cutting up pieces of paper than actually sticking the paper onto a sheet of lining paper to make a picture.

Boots and wellies drying on the radiators
I had forgotten how many sets of clothes you can get through with little ones. My little grandson has puked up on me and peed into the turn ups of my jeans. My granddaughter has soaked me with jumping in puddles and it was so wet today on our walk that my boots started leaking and my trousers wet through again. In a walk to the shops the other day, my little granddaughter went through the biggest puddle imaginable and it went well over her little wellies, but oh she had fun! A couple walking past at the time laughed and the gentleman commented "Well what are wellies for!" Absolutely right of course. I have also been greatly amused by employing the tricks I learnt as a young mum. Little one walking and another in the pram plus a steep hill? No problem, ask the little one to help in pushing the pram. Little one giving up walking due to being tired? No problem, 1-2-3, whee and run a little way up. Hehehe! Little ones are so gullible - most of the time.

We eventually got some cut pieces of paper stuck on some
Little ones are also funny with the things they come out with. It was hilarious the other day when she sat in the pushchair and going round the shop saying "Happy Christmas Everyone." My daughter is not really sure where she got that from, probably a tv programme as she has quite a remarkable memory recall. I read her a library book one day and then the next day, she was reading a book to her little brother and recalling some of what I had read to her. She definitely wasn't reading the words, she is too young for that.

Who are you looking at? Brencis and Estelle 
Back tracking a little, I mentioned I was going for coffee with a friend. It was a facebook friend I had probably never met before, which might sound an odd thing to say. My facebook friend and I have many mutual friends and I used to live only a few miles away from where my daughter lives now, so we may have bumped into each other before but not remembered. We met up because we seem to often agree on issues we talk about on facebook and both think quite a lot about various things and so we had quite a philosophical chat for easily a couple of hours. A little different from the level of conversation with a two year old, although not always - you can have quite deep and meaningful chats with a two year old, but they haven't a clue what you are talking about usually and so it is great fun. The baby was very good whilst we were chatting and slept most of the time, he also happily gurgled to  one of the waitresses at one point, as well as joining in with our deep conversation, as only a baby knows how.

Ian has also been chatting for hours on end, mind you, it was all on one day when he took a trip up to Estonia to collect three alpacas and a friend had agreed to accompany him. We decided it was going to be too expensive to get alpacas from England and we hadn't heard anything from the farm that Ian had visited in England anyway, so he contacted the people we met back in August in Estonia to see if they would be willing to sell any. We wanted coloured alpacas to increase the range of natural fibres we could generate, because at the moment the choice is white or cream, in other words almost white. They agreed to sell us three alpacas, a dark chocolate brown, almost black, called Peedo (after a neighbour to the Estonian farm who turned 70 years old on the day he was born), a dark toffee coloured brown (Chanel) and a white with brown spots (Mari). By the time they are bred with our white alpacas we should get a fair range of colours along the spectrum. Exciting, but we will have to wait until next year to breed them and so it will only be 2017 when we get to know what colours we will get.
Although he looks sort of black, you can see he is not quite

Chanel on the left and Mari on the right

For the first day Ian put the new alpacas into our newly built alpaca house, to give them a little time to settle down from their trip and get used to him before introducing them to our herd. Ian then decided to introduce them in the evening on the basis that the alpacas often settle down for the night and they might be less likely to react to the new ones. First of all he took Peedo on a harness and tied him up behind the boys alpaca house. He put the boys away as usual and then waited for them to settle down before introducing Peedo. Tellus was not happy with the introduction and tried to mount Peedo, but Herkules our oldest alpaca got between them. He stamped his authority and wouldn't let Tellus do anything. So despite the fact that Tellus is our intact male, he is not the boss. Peedo is such a little fella though compared to our other ones. The girls were okay, but Veronica does not like Mari for some reason. I am sure they will settle down soon and nothing too bad beyond a bit of spitting has been going on.
I think this is quite a cute photo of Mari

Peedo and Turbjørn. You can see how much smaller Peedo
is compared to our other alpacas in this one. 
The next day the new alpacas had to get to grips with learning the ropes of being put away. Of course they did not get it at first. Peedo very nearly did but stopped in the door way then backed off. The two girls didn't even bother going in. Ian got the harness, a stick for guiding them and a long rope. He managed to corner Peedo and get the harness on him, then put him away. With the girls he locked the others on one side and opened the other door, Mari, bless her just walked straight in but Chanel just ran around the alpaca house making a noise. Ian tried to corner her with the rope but she charged through it and the end got caught on her leg which stopped her so he could get hold of her. She is a noisy thing though apparently. During the day I and the grandchildren had a lovely chat with Ian via Skype and we even got to see the new alpacas because Ian took the computer up with the mobile wifi. Neat!

Chanel and Snowdrop. Not quite sure who the other one
is, but probably Agnese
Ian also managed to shift the sheep, they escaped from the poultry fence again like the last time we moved them. The plastic its wrapped in was on the floor and the wind caught it and spooked them. However they ran right into where he was putting the fence and stayed there while he finished putting the wire on fortunately.

Veronica at the back and Estelle looking on with a good
deal of curiosity. We think Estelle might indeed be
pregnant as she is starting to fill out at the back now.
Besides settling in newcomers and moving sheep he has also had visitors. The visitors came the day after the newcomers arrived and were not allowed to actually go in and see them but were able to look over the door, at least they got to see that alpacas are not just white, but a variety of colours. There were 15 children and their parents and it sounded like they had a lot of fun trying to feed carrots to the alpacas. As expected the older boy alpacas were not terribly fussed with the visit but Agnese and Brencis were great with the children and allowed the children to pet them and feed them carrots. We know the children enjoy the visits as there was a lovely write up in the paper about the visit by one of the local schools. Three children had written their impressions of the day with one writing "Alpacas are beautiful, interesting, intelligent animals with a white fur coat." We are obviously giving them a good impression of what they are like then.


  1. I can imagine you're having a great time with the grandchildren. It's good to be able to meet up with online friends and get a chance to chat face to face. Meanwhile your family back in Latvia is growing!

    Enjoyed reading all your news.

    1. Yes I am enjoying my time with the grandchildren and as for meeting online friends it is a joy and a privilege - we loved having you come across to see us.

  2. we do enjoy following your news. hope the newcomers settle in quickly. i love the sound of the kids going to visit. enjoy the grandkids :-) xxx

    1. Thank you Liz. Glad you enjoy the read and apologies for not answering your message sooner. I think I got distracted :D

  3. I always enjoy your alpaca photos. They have such interesting faces. :) I especially like the shot of Chanel and Mari--Mari with the piece of hay in her mouth giving her a look impish sort of look. :)

    1. I agree they do look interesting and can't wait to meet the newbies later on this week


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