Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Been and gone and been and gone again!

Having a scratch on a lovely spring day..... or is
that winter?
Well there has been no change in the weather from last week, it is still spring one minute and winter the next. It has also been rather cold most of the time and windy. Shearing may get delayed a week, rather than put too much stress on the animals by removing their very nice warm coats and leaving them with very little protection from the cold. Ian has decided that Chanel can wait until after her birth, as she is not a calm animal anyway and while the weather is still cool she will be fine. At least the weather didn't interfere with anything I wanted to get on with as I am busy sorting through interview transcripts to reanalyse them for the paper that got rejected last year. Heh ho!
Aggie wearing the latest fashion, spruce! Ian did
remove it later

My birthday cakes, that I bought from the bakery
It was my birthday this last week, another year older and not sure about any wiser. To celebrate we went out for a meal the day before since it was near to a shop where we wanted to buy some seeds from and close to where we get chicken food. Did you really think we would take a trip just for my birthday? I had breaded hake, that was advertised as crispy fried hake, so close enough. I had that with fries but wished I had ordered the baked potato wedges that Ian ordered with his meal, they were more like proper chips (just so my American friends are not confused, American chips in British English are crisps and what we call chips are larger than American fries and made from potatoes not cornstarch or anything weird like that). While we were getting chicken food we also got our friend some food for her goats and dropped them off at her house, which meant a bit of a chance for a cup of tea and a catch up.
Chanel with a nice round belly. Getting close now

Just lounging about with nothing to do
On my birthday itself there was a Talka, which is a Latvian word for a community spring clean. Lots of community spaces all over Latvia get spruced up after the winter and in our village one of the areas was the site of an old ruined castle. The women raked leaves and the men cut down dead trees. I did raise my eyes at the demarcation of roles but did decline to use a chainsaw, on the basis I would be dangerous with it anyway. I was surprised that there is still such a division of labour. I did shift some larger bits of wood, but it seemed to worry one of the ladies who felt sure I should leave it for the men to clear up, so gave up and raked leaves. I love the idea of Talka, as it is a good opportunity for lots of people to get together and do something positive in the community. I think the UK would benefit from more such activities, because I am usually shocked by the amount of waste lying around whenever I go back.
Lounging around with nothing to do, expect go for
a stroll perhaps?

Now how do I get down from here? Oh I know!
Slither and slide with claws out down the plastic.
Yes there are now holes in the greenhouse plastic
and we wonder how many more of them there are.
I couldn't stop for the lunch at the Talka though as I had too many other jobs to do. We were expecting a couple of visitors the next day and so I needed to print off leaflets for the Adopt an Alpaca that we announced last week and another felting course that we announced this week. It is quite exciting as we have had a flurry of enquiries and quite a few shares of that post, so a very encouraging start. If you want to read more about it, then details are here
Aggies starting to look portly around the middle too

A decidedly spring looking day. It didn't last though
The reason for the late post was that on Monday I went up to Obinitsa in Estonia. It is a place I have been writing about as I collected the work from two Masters student into papers that have been submitted to journals and yet I had never actually been. I had to rely on others to give me the context, which they were happy to do, but it was nice to finally see some of the places I had been writing about. Unfortunately I forgot to take some photos but it was a sunshine and snow shower day and so would have been tricky anyway. On the way home I stopped at a viewing tower and was able to see for miles. The viewing tower had the names and directions of places and I was able to stand up there and look over into Russia, only 14km away from the tower and only 7km from where I had been. Good job I didn't take any wrong turns then. If you want to see where I went then probably look at some nice sunny pictures here

The sticks mark the spot where Alpaca House 4 will be
The stones are ready for the base. Just need some
decent dry weather now

The alpacas need moving frequently at the moment

Turbjørn in front of our very old oak tree. It's girth is 470cm

Herkules enjoying the sun

Cat in a box! Of course. I had only just put them out

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