• Phew!!

    So much has happened in the last two weeks I'm not sure where to start!

    Our water has been connected, hallelujah! We have decided to definately go off grid as our neighbours wanted to charge us £20K to cross a section of their land to dig an underground trench which we didn't think was very neighbourly at all. Therefore, we will be spending that money on solar panels, pv panels, battery stores and a back up generator and then never have to pay a penny for electricity! It's a bit nervewracking but it's an adventure! The same neighbour, along with another, has also objected against our planning application which is also a bit annoying, seeing as it was really just a small adjustment to the original planning permission (to which they also objected, funnily enough!). In order to make our house as eco efficient as possible we need a plant room to store all the equipment and the back of the house needs to be pulled out by a metre to maximise the sunlight, which is what we've applied for. It's still within the 200M squared that the planning permission granted. Their objections were really all about the original application and didn't make any reference to the changes we want to make. It's a shame because even if they don't want the house to go ahead, it is! and they can choose to welcome us or not. Either way I'm not really bothered!! James wrote a fabulous response and we're waiting to hear what the planning department says. I'm not worried.

    The foundations have been laid this week which was incredibly exciting. My family came to watch the "pouring of concrete" as that really feels like things are starting to become a reality.

    We have had a new paddock made and are waiting to be able to move the girls into it before the baby we are awaiting is born! This will be the birthing paddock as it is the closest paddock to our house. We can't wait to meet our first Abbotts View Alpaca baby (or cria as is the official term!).

    We have also bought a 40 year old tractor! We are assured it is a good buy and we plan to renovate it over the winter. Looking forward to being able to top our paddocks as there are some tall weeds!

    Other exciting news is that we have purchased four miniature shetland ponies! We are collecting the first t two girls who are yearlings (last years babies) on Amy's 18th birthday on 20th August. The two male babies (colts) we will collect in October when they have been weaned from their mummies. We're hoping they will satisfy our need to "pet" as the alpacas aren't very tactile. I can't believe how endearing they are though, the alpacas I mean! We really have fallen in love with them and can't wait to have more time to work with them.

    Our rainwater harvesters arrived yesterday and will be buried next week. And our hay was finally cut this week! Our 10 acre paddock that is designated as out hay paddock was full of clover and we were unsure whether it would make good hay but the weather has been on our side with hot sunshine and a good wind today and it's drying beautifully. We are going to have more than enough hay for our needs as well as haylege so will be able to sell some. It would be nice to have an income as everything has been expenses so far!

    What I love most about our new home is when we have a delivery. Without exception, the delivery drivers want to come and meet the alpacas as they are so fascinating. We had a guy deliver some pipes this week and he loved them and asked if he could bring his grandaughters. I can't wait to open our gates to paying visitors and share what we have learnt. We're planning open days where people can come and meet our alpacas, miniature ponies, runner ducks (yet to be purchased!) and guinea pigs! We will also have Alpaca Experience Days that are pre booked where people can learn a bit about these wonderful creatures and take them for a walk around the farm, as well as grooming and walking the miniature ponies. We are also thinking of hosting children's birthday parties as I know I have struggled to find original ideas for my own children's birthdays. And finally, we still need to sort the fibre that was shorn in May and send it off for processing into yarn.

    We're really busy - spent 8 hours at the farm today and Rosie was brilliant as it's all a bit boring for her! But we love being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. And having the caravan to stop and have a cup of tea or lunch is just lovely.

    We feel very blessed.

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