Monday, 29 July 2013

Cam's a cracker..

One minute he's giving Suri fibre workshops to the British Alpaca Breeders next he's donning a high visibility vest and organising the car park at the Toft Alpaca Kaffe Fassett day. Cameron Holt might be a world expert on alpaca fibre but it still didn't stop him rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in. 
Thanks Cam you're a sport. The cars were lined up with great precision rivalling 'Uncle Keith' who is returning to Toft at the weekend to supervise the parking for the Toft Alpaca Open Day on Saturday.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

See you later Alligator...

Just said goodbye to my 'big lad' who's been back on farm for the weekend. He returns to Angola this week where he's been working for the past six months. 
It will be another three-six months before he's back at Toft. Here's a wee picky of the boyo with his Grandma when he was helping out at the Kaffe Fassett colour day a week ago. We could do with him staying for the 3rd August when we have the next Toft Alpaca Open Day. See you soon Big Lad!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cameron Holt on Suris at Toft

Busy day last Sunday following the Kaffe Fassett colour seminar when Cameron Holt the Australian Alpaca Fibre expert gave an alpaca fibre workshop on Suri alpaca fibre.
 Not nearly as many participants as the Kaffe Fassett day but those who attended were given a thorough insight into the ins and outs of breeding and working with Suri Alpaca Fibre. 
We had four British Alpaca Society Judges in attendance and two other attendees who had completed most of their judge training levels. Could have done with a few more Suri breeders there as the workshop was as relevant to new Suri Breeders as well as the more established. But Hey Ho maybe next time. If there is a next time.
Cameron and his wife Joy were over here enjoying a three week cruise around the Baltic and dropped in to visit Toft for a week at the end of their trip.
It turned into a bit of a 'bus mans holiday' for Cam in that earlier in the week he gave two separate presentations. One to the British Alpaca Society Fibre Commitee and the other to the Heart of England Regional Alpaca Group- both outlining the processes and protocols on the new government backed Australian system for classing alpaca fleece.
Cam has gone back now and will resume his travels in the autumn when he is lecturing in the U S A.
Thanks to all who attended the three events and thanks Cam for sharing your knowledge and expertise - see you soon.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Colour with Kaffe at Toft Alpacas

Great colourful day on the ranch today with the Toft Alpaca Studio Kaffe Fassett workshop. The master of colour  deserved  a splash and the event was themed from start to finish from the bright coloured bunting, multicoloured alpacas, bright cakes, vibrant meringues, pastel colouring books -basically the full colour works all round.
There were120 people to cater for breakfast,lunch and afternoon tea and everyone went away satisfied, excited and truly inspired. Well done to Kerry and Claire and all the Toft Team who organised and delivered a very professional and thoroughly enjoyable experience for all.
A big thanks also to my Mother in Law Myra who worked her socks off again on the coffee and teas, Linda our herds woman who looked after the alpacas, Cameron Holt who applied himself to organising the car park, Paul Beswick of Du Prem Alpacas who delivered the walks and talks and our eldest son Scott who made a return to Toft from Angola to give us a hand. 


Friday, 19 July 2013

We breed pedigree alpacas!

But it would seen the Toft Alpaca Shop is taking a very different tack as there are some very different species being bred in the Toft Alpaca Studio as you can see.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Big hay week

Arrived back from Bali last Friday to find the contractor had slipped in prior to my arrival and cut the hayfield ready to bale. He baled 700 small bales on Sunday afternoon and we rallied the troops first thing Monday to get them in the Shed. 
Patricia Martinez our Spanish intern found out what work experience was like as we toiled away  in 30 degrees. She coped admirably for a first timer. My mate John Woodcock dropped his fishing rod to give us a hand. One minute he's in the Four Seasons Hotel  in Bali and next he's humping hay at Toft Alpacas. Thanks John.
Paul the owner of Du Prem Alpacas in France dropped in late morning after his crochet class to donn his gloves an stack the hay. 
Our herds woman Linda worked like a Trojan as usual but was seen to wilt a little in the soaring temperatures given that she work like ten men that is understandable.
All done and dusted now and two thirds of the Toft  Alpaca winter  chomp is safely in the barn. A big Toft Alpacas  thanks to all the workers who helped us out. 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Now there's my happy girl...

Well fed, rested and watered it shows!

And now the wedding

Into the church for a Catholic wedding. Bail is 90% Hindu but Henny the bride is Indo Chinese. Church profusely and stylishly decorated with roses. Local choir. Beautiful service. Wonderful elegant entrance-The groomsmen all In tails accompanying the groom. Then  the bridesmaids. Then pageboys and girls.  And finally the father with the bride. 
An hour and a quarter later and a very happy couple leave the church beneath a shower of rosé petals.
Reception on the beach beneath the palm trees with local dancers, show band , fire eaters, fire works and an enormous strawberry flavoured wedding cake etc at the Hotel Santrian with the most amazing buffet where all tastes and cultures are well catered for and the deed is done. 
What a fantastic day and well worth the visit. Quite an experience and certainly the most luxurious and exotic wedding yours truly has ever been invited to.
Thanks for the invite David and Henny wouldn't have missed it for the world and we wish you both much joy in your future life together!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Now she's happy!!!

Give the girl a bike and she is away.... Still no romance but the girl is smiling at last!

Paddling on the beach and still no romance!!

A mile and a half of beach deserted except for the local fishing boats being pushed out to set sail and still it doesn't stir the girls romantic bone....hey ho. Might as well have been at Seaton Carew!

Tea ceremony for starters

The day before the wedding it is traditional for the prospective bride and groom to participate in a tea ceremony. Looking immaculate bride and groom served tea,to the brides family whilst we bemused westerners observed and took photies.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Rastabans a man

Toft Rastaban our champion brown male has become a man and started working last week. He took to his new duties as if born to the job living up to his newly acquired status of alpaca stud male at his first sitting. Having ten females to service at Toft will get him proven next year. 
This season he will work  for clients at a discounted rate until his progeny prove themselves next season but if he produces the way we think he will then this year will be the last of the discounted matings. So if you haven't yet sorted the suitors for your girls please get in touch.

What do you have to do to make a girl happy?

Here she is in Bali all fed and watered after a fresh seafood lunch gazing out over a mile and a half of empty beach as the fishing boats leave with the tide and still she says its not romantic! What can a boy do?