Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Getting Fitter

Today I had proof that I’m fitter than when I arrived a year ago. I doubted it judging from the general aches from my walk yesterday.

It was another early start, thanks to Cid this time who decided to be sick at 5 this morning. I think it was in response to the worming treatment yesterday. I know he’s full of worms; he just likes to hunt his own food so he has to have the wormer.

Once the animals were sorted it was a day out for me. I headed north to the other side of the Dordogne to meet with my friend SG who also has alpacas. I first met SG in a spinning shop in Northamptonshire The Alpaca Spinner. We chatted, as you do, and I mentioned I was going to France to raise alpacas and she said that she was doing the same, all be it about 3.5 hours north of me. We exchanged e-mails and have kept in contact ever since.

SG is looking for some more alpacas and so am I (I’ve thought long and hard about it and despite the deaths of Blanche and Anna, I would like some more whites). SG had got her alpacas from Andrew Spillane who was also the guy who gave me lots of information when Anna had fly strike. We decided to kill two birds with one stone and decided to meet at Andrew’s who is conveniently situated between the two of us.

It was a good day, lots of information shared and yes I did decide on another white female plus a young white male, as well as deciding which stud males I wanted for Silver and Noisette. I should have the new alpacas in around 6 weeks, the delay being to insure that the female is pregnant, as she has only just been put to the male.

And what has that to do with being fitter, well not much really apart from meeting half way meant that I got back home much earlier than I would have done had I gone to SG’s so there was time to get out into the garden. The ground had reached just about perfect to finally hammer in the stakes for the raspberries and the kiwis.

I found my hard hat, an integral part of the process, and took the post rammer round to the posts. My technique is to lift the post rammer and balance it horizontally on my head, hence the hard hat. I can then either tip it onto the posts (as long as they are not more than 5 ft high), or carry it to the next post. Last year I could barely lift the rammer and had to balance it on some steps before getting it onto my head and I only managed two posts before I couldn’t lift it again. This year, I could lift from the ground and managed all 12 posts. I won’t lie and say it was easy but it certainly was nowhere near as difficult as last year. Do I think I will change my mind about getting someone in to put in the posts round the 3-hectare field and do it myself – not on your Nellie!


Georgina said...

Oh I'd love to see some photos of your new alpacas when they arrive. I'm sure the babies will be sooo cute. What on earth is a post rammer? We have a big metal pole to poke a hole (the holy poker) into the ground. Then we sledge hammer the posts in.

dND said...

Hi Debs,

The post rammer is that cast iron red thing hanging on the post in the background. It's about half my hight, weighs a ton and once it's on the post all you do is lift it then drop it and it forces the post in but doesn't split them as a sledge hammer does, especially if you are me and usually only hit the side of the post.

Georgina said...

Well I've learnt something new, I feel my "holy poker" may get it's marching orders. Just think of those biceps. Madonna eat you heart out, she should come to france and do a bit of post ramming. Debs x

Living the Dream said...

Why do we do it? The only way I could plant my two fruit trees a while back was to use a pick axe because the ground was like concrete. I am pleased to say that the trees are leafing beautifully, I planted a bramley and a mirabelle. Yummy! Nothing on the scale of yours, but it's a start for us

Stinking Billy said...

Hi, I had almost forgotten about you after being so impressed with what you were taking on single-handed. I had said to Mrs Billy, "You think you've got it tough? Listen to this", and I read your post out to her.

I am so delighted that you are not just coping but flourishing - in health if not financially. Nil desperandum, baby! x

aims said...

All I have today is WOW!