Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Visitors galore

Looking for mischief?
It was a strange start to the week. We only had one person booked onto our English workshops but I and our friend from Texas (but living in Estonia) carried on preparations anyway. We felt it was right to prepare for it, as we were sure we had a good idea and we had that time set aside.  We deliberately didn't cancel it, just in case people had a last minute change of plan. As it was, our one participant actually hiked to our village and caught the bus from there to our place, as his car was in service and the bus from his town would have meant arriving either very early or on the late side. So that kind of puts our preparations in perspective.
The storks are still around and
probably enjoying the rain and
the increase in snails and frogs.
They'll be going soon though
Aggie does like to sunbathe
We wanted to go through the course plans with our participant so he could give us some feedback. He was very enthusiastic and asked if we would be willing to actually teach a group of 20-30 English teachers in the region nearby where he is based. That was a bit unexpected, but apparently they are having difficulty getting people who are willing to do some training courses in their area. So we finished off this week by submitting a proposal and CVs for a meeting planned today for a two day seminar at the end of the month. A slightly different direction for both of us.
Josefs is definitely a curious alpaca and always comes to see
visitors. He won't let them get close though
The cria with Aunty V
Whilst we were starting our introductions and presentation on the course, Ian was in our apartment, fixing a leak from the shower. Sigh! Fortunately our friend had the sense to turn off the water, so it wasn't a major leak. He also had to get more antibiotics for Herk. Herk is healing, but only slowly, which is what the alpaca books said would be the case. In fact the honey treatment seems to work the best on the wounds, but it is finding a way of applying it and covering it so the flies don't bother them and make it worse. I seem to have got the front leg sorted for that, but the back leg is proving a challenge. Aggie seems to have something similar. I am using my magic cream on it, but it is only keeping it in check and not healing it. I want to get the honey treatment on her too but again we have to work out a way of applying it and getting it covered.
Josefs certainly looks a cute alpaca

Jakobs is pretty cute too though. Not sure he should be
eating the dock seeds but I guess a little won't harm.
The following day we prepared an area so we could sit in the shade of the trees instead of in the hot greenhouse for English on the Farm. Despite the interest, no one actually came, but it was a mid-week thing, so possibly had something to do with it. Again we won't waste the planning, as it means we have a programme for schools that can be used and we can take that to the teacher training if it goes ahead.  So in many ways the week was a restful putting down of foundations, which was quite enjoyable and a much needed rest of sorts.
A glowing and hopefully pregnant Chanel. She is still rejecting
the advances of Mr. P

My waterlily in the pond that still has water in it. The other
two had very little in until the rain, even then there is still
not much.
My friend and I went on a road trip too after we were sure no one was going to unexpectedly turn up. We needed a large bin for our greenhouse, which we couldn't get one in our village. Just in case you are wondering about our green credentials about getting a large bin - it is so the cats can't get in it. They would be constantly in a small bin. It still fills very slowly and I even cancelled this month's rubbish collection as there was not enough to collect. I also wanted a water lily for our pond so that it will reduce evaporation in the future, so we visited the waterlily pond nearby and bought a nice pink one. The little dark pink one I really wanted wasn't for sale that day. I guess someone must pull them up and put them in bags for sale to the public, rather than get them there and then. We also went to the restaurant named Ūdensroze (waterlily in Latvian) for some home-made blueberry lemonade. Very nice on a hot day.

Josefs beginning to master the alpaca yoga scratch
While we were away Ian decided to make a secret present for our friend from Texas. She asked earlier on in the week if we had seen a wooden ladder that she could hang quilts on. We hadn't seen anything that would be useful and I jokingly suggested that Ian could make one. He had been making crosses for displaying our shawls and scarves on and thought the wood he was using would make a nice ladder. He was a bit bemused by this as he couldn't quite work out what we meant. I showed him some photos but he still looked a bit bewildered at the idea of a ladder for quilts. Anyway, he mustn't have been quite so bewildered as I thought as he made a lovely rustic looking ladder about the size that she wanted. She was thrilled with it. Maybe photos to follow next week.

We are seeing more of the storks just lately, I guess it maybe
due to the fact there is no need to stay on the nest
The end of the week saw a rotating door of visitors to make up for the lack of participants on the courses. Our Texan friend had to get home and so she visited us for coffee and to return the key to our apartment before she set off. Shortly after that, my supervisor, his wife and his brother came for lunch. We made good use of the area we had cleared for the English on the Farm day, as it was still baking hot. We had to cart things down the area though and so we used our log basket as a picnic basket and the wheelbarrow, as you do. We were just in the process of taking our things back and sorting out when another set of visitors turned up for a farm tour. The visitors were two young women and Ian told them about the adopt an alpaca scheme and one of them said that would be perfect for the other friend and meant her birthday present was sorted. That will take our adoptions up to twelve if they do. Every little helps as they say.

Brencis in contemplative mood
The next day we had visitors from Estonia. We had sheared their animals for the last three years but they have never been down to visit us. They decided on a Latvian road trip and called in to see us. They arrived a bit late so they were anxious to get off on their tour once they had seen the alpacas and didn't even stop for a cup of tea. This meant we sat down for our lunch rather late. We just started tucking into our egg sandwiches though when another set of visitors arrived.

A fun picture of George. He looks like he is amused about
This time it was a young couple with his mother and younger sister. I was pottering around the greenhouse when the young lass came to the door and apologetically asked for some water, she had just been sick in our forest. I gave the water and then made her a cup of mint tea to help settle her stomach. Apparently she was 2 1/2 months pregnant. We had a lovely chat while the rest of the group continued on their tour. She said she preferred the British people to the depressive Latvians, but I talked her through some of the good things about Latvians, such as their knowledge of herbs and growing vegetables. Knowledge that is lost to a large extent in the UK. I also said it was understandable given the history of Latvia and it is still a young country. She looked much brighter about her country after our chat.

A blustery day. A bit different from the hot temperatures
we've had most of the summer
On Sunday we had yet more visitors to the farm, they were the new alpaca owners who live nearby that we had done some shearing for. They came to see our little ones and talk about some of the things they were worried about, they also brought a large tray of tomatoes and a large bunch of carrots. At least they arrived before the heavy rain that we had that afternoon. We decided that no one would come to see us on a rainy afternoon so we took a trip into the village to visit the bakery for a cup of tea and a pastry for a treat. I think we deserved it.
First shower

The rain really shows up the dark fibres on the back of Jakobs
One of the things our visitors on Sunday were worried about was how to cut toe nails so we agreed to call in and show them. Ian demonstrated on the first alpaca and then got the lady to do it herself, so that she had had good practice by the time we left. She should be fine as she used to have large animals anyway.

Chatting to Mum
Turbjørn looking coy
We finished off this week with another meal at the hotel, courtesy of the latest apartment guests. It seems that other people have stayed in our apartment for longer periods of time than we have. Although we officially moved in to the place in May, we still haven't stayed overnight there this year and it is a long time since we stayed more than one night anyway. Still that is likely to change in November this year when we transition back to apartment living. We were also joined by a friend of theirs at the hotel and her little 10 month old who has been walking for a month already. That brings back memories of my youngest who also walked at about 9 months and was running around all over by a year. I really need to practice my singing though. The little one liked Row, Row, Row the boat but I kept forgetting the verses and she drew the line at the Wheels on the Bus, she started crying for Mum at this stage. Oh well! Can't win them all. 
Wink! Wink!

Best buddies still

Not sure what Frederiks has been up to but he is submissively
avoiding a spitting from Brencis. Alpaca speak for watch it, boy!


JB said...

I was interested to read that book!

Pene said...

Glad to hear all your news, Joanna. I would have liked to have visited again this year, but the OIDFA Lace Congress event was more important.
When I was looking after my granddaughter I remembered the "This is the way we ..." song which you can improvise depending on what you are doing at the moment.
Enjoy the rainy days when you have them.

Joanna said...

It is a big book but full of information

Joanna said...

I know you love your lace making Pene. I understand :)

That is a good song to remember too