Tuesday was shearing day, a success, with all 85 alpacas looking clean and lean now that their fleeces are off.

The girls have started birthing too with eight cria on the ground so far. They range in weight from a massive 11.1 kilos to the titch at 6.2 kilos.

I have been skiving, returning on Sunday from over a week in Italy with my three sons, their partners and three grandchildren. We rented a villa up the hill from Florence so our view was of the city below with a very obvious Duomo dominating the scene. It was great to be back after an absence of fifty years and I celebrated my 74th birthday there too.

Youngest son Joshua is an experienced museum goer so booked us in early for the Uffizi and to see the David. This meant that when we got to the Botticelli there was no one else in the room which was fantastic. By late morning Florence was full, so many people, that we hopped on the bus home, a princely 1.5 euro! Arezzo and Siena were on the list too. It was a cultural feast followed by some very good lunches.

And on the loo front, the Uffizi won hands down.