One big giant PHEW after shearing day. All 94 alpacas on farm were shorn between eight o’clock and a quarter to six with a decent lunch break to sample Chef John’s Chicken Tikka Masala, got to be the easiest curry to make, followed by a Vulscombe Farm crumble made with our own apples and blackberries.

Quite a few things went wrong, a flat tyre on the mule quickly sorted by fiddling with the valve, a broken shearing harness, fixed by Chas, and the bolt holding the shearing harness coming out of the wall, also fixed by Chas. The shearer Matt Kyle’s helper, young Darren, doesn’t know his own strength.

Fleeces weren’t bad either. These are third fleeces from two of our stud males.

After all that things went swimmingly until Olivia decided it would be a good time to give birth. Obviously, we couldn’t reason with her and suggest she waits until after shearing so she was last to be shorn. The cria, a boy, was all over the place, down on all four pasterns with horribly bent front legs. Amazing what a week can do, his tendons have done their job, up on his pasterns, straight front legs and dancing around the birth field. Nobody has arrived yet to join him.

While we were toiling away my eldest son was swanning around Madeira and the youngest whizzing around mainland Greece and Crete. Poor middle one was at work, like me, not fair!