One of our best alpacas gave birth to twins – not due until September. They were obviously dead but a perfect little pair of females. This is the first pair of twins that we have ever had in fourteen years for which we are very thankful. At the Futurity the veterinarian Ahmed Tibary said that twin pregnancies were a no no and the ones that come out alive are very rare. Apart from that we’ve had a fun Easter with Tom, Matt and Joshua in residence. Tom and Matt decided to have a go at curing three rabbit skins – a bit of a long process – particularly the yucky scraping the red bits off – but it seems to have worked although they are a bit stiff even after being oiled. Do we now have to chew them? I hope not.
I took them down to see the wild daffodils that are so beautiful and we saw the pair of roe deer grazing on the edge of the maize field next door. They stared at us for ages and then ran off leaping into the air as they went. I managed to drive the mule into a big mud hollow but was saved from having to go and fetch the tractor as the three of them were strong enough to lift the buried wheel out of the mud and allow me to drive the thing out. It did mean they were covered in mud but we do have a washing machine! The alpacas were leaping around too particularly the field of old geldings and stud males. They were neck wrestling, pronking and generally being very teenage.
During the weekend the hunt appeared and suddenly our garden was full of hounds. I was pretty irritated as we had animals in the barn. The huntsman who appeared to be around twelve asked if I had seen a fox, oh yes very likely, in the middle of the day in a garden in the country. I told him to get his hounds out forthwith and before I could draw breath there were about a million horses and riders galloping down the lane like mad things. The alpacas down at the bottom of the lane were distinctly unnerved and spent the rest of the day huddled up in a corner. I think they were stag hounds as the dogs were enormous brown things. In the past the hunt have always told us if they were coming through but this lot have been through twice and not a word.
We all went off for a walk at Crow Point near Braunton. There was a howling gale. Matt claimed his eyeballs were being flattened. There is a very scenic wreck there that we all had to climb on before heading into the dunes where the wind was not so violent. There was not much sign of life apart from some very pretty dark blue violets. Matt needed fish and chips so we stopped by at the award winning Squires restaurant in Braunton. There was no queue so it was cod and chips and mushy peas and tea. By five oclock the queue was stretching into the street and the place was rammed. It was delicious but we were all so full that no dinner was required when we got home and everybody was fast asleep by ten oclock after only one game of Scrabble.