Monday, June 29, 2009

alpaca bonding

Useless Alan has been sacked as the Ormiston sheep guard and now resides at Protea Farm, much to Marley's delight. The boys are very happy together, and Marley is less inclined to hang out with his Wailers.

From Protea Farm 1

He is proving to be quite a poser when he sees a camera.

From Protea Farm 1

Friday, June 26, 2009

gimme shelter

Bob & The Wailers now have a custom built rain shelter- a mini agridome/hog house prototype that we have named the 'Hoof House'. Now we need to persuade the creatures to venture into it.

From Protea Farm 1

From Protea Farm 1

Above: Under construction

From Protea Farm 1

The finished article.

Although Marley has bonded well with the sheep we have been feeling guilty about him being a lone alpaca. Georgie's alpaca ( 'Pharaoh', a retired stud male, now renamed Alan ) who she has had for a few weeks is failing to do his job as a sheep guard and has been pining on his own, so it looks like pretty soon it will be Marley, the Wailers and Alan residing at Protea Farm.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

protea preserves

The frosts have ripened the oranges on the tree so Ness has produced the first batch of produce for 'Finesse Farm Foods' :

From Protea Farm 1

Introducing 'Mudgee Marmalade' the flagship product in the 'Protea Preserves' range. A cheeky tangy little number with a fruity bouquet and a long citrus finish.

Friday, June 19, 2009

marley and the wailers

Today was the day when Marley and the girls came home to Protea Farm. Our first attempts at fencing a sloping paddock were a little amateurish, with some creative weaving and macrame of chicken wire, and a few glitches regarding the gate width and gate post positioning, but it looks stock-proof.

The 3 Wiltshire Horn sheep proved to be very feisty ladies when it came to loading them onto the trailer, but you cannot take the Kiwi out of the girl and Ness wrestled them into submission and rode them bronco-style up the ramp, where Marley was calmly waiting with a bored look on his face ( I think he feels very superior, in a Latino way, to ovine creatures ).

From Protea Farm 1
They unloaded calmly into their new paddock, and got stuck in to their hay. Above picture shows Lilian, Clarrie and Peggy in all their finery, hopefully gestating the rest of the flock.

From Protea Farm 1
Clarrie & Peggy enjoying dinner.

From Protea Farm 1

Marley keeps a watchful eye.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

swine flu

The number of cases of swine flu in Australia last week has tipped the official WHO categorisation to pandemic.

We are obviously taking precautions-

From Blogger Pictures

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

kevin's stimulus package

We finally completed our rather late tax returns for the year 07-08 a couple of weeks ago. Little Kevin Rudd introduced a 'stimulus package' to all tax payers to encourage people to keep spending in the recession: basically a $900 tax refund, and we were hoping to be eligible.

The upshot appears to have been that most households now possess massive plasma screen tv's. In fact demand for these ( not made in Australia ) items has led to waiting lists of several weeks in most retail outlets.

We were lucky enough to claim a rebate and also each received our package. At least we spent ours on an Australian made product, namely a piece of a horse, rather than a tv or a holiday in Fiji. I hope Kev appreciates that we are not un-Australian

Sunday, June 14, 2009

only fools and horses.....

Today we bought a 20% share in a racehorse. She is filly born Aug 14th 2007, and Scott assures us she will run like the wind and earn us a large amount of money, but we are not holding our breath. I will post some pictures when she is scrubbed up and training is underway.

We do need some help though- she needs a name. This has to be based on the Sire and Dam's names which are:

Sire: Seidnazar
Dam: Our Demeter

Any suggestions?

Georgie says I will have to acquire a frock and a hat for attending Race days. I have agreed to buy a hat if she wins a race, and eat it if she wins two races.

rain and frosts

We got our wish granted over the last week with heavy rains, dragging this year's rainfall closer to average and now only borderline drought conditions. The newly seeded lawns are flourishing despite a couple of heavy frosts, and our water tank volumes are not quite so critical.

Fencing still at an impasse, so Marley has not yet arrived. Georgie has sourced us 3 pregnant ( hopefully) Wiltshire ewes to keep him company so we should have our mini flock soon.

Ten days of sorting out the large shipment from overseas- somewhat thwarted by having both cottages full all week so we were unable to dump pieces of furniture into them. We were very lucky to acquire a shed the size of an aircraft hangar in which to temporarily house the surplus.

From Protea Farm 1

'Making the beds' was another task- we only shipped headboards and footboards, so timber was purchased and all our power tools put to good use.

From Protea Farm 1

Another major job was to build a stud wall to partition the office from the house so that we could rent out the house as a separate entity, so we can add another skill to our repertoire.

The first party to rent this house are due mid-July so we thought we had plenty of time to get it ready, but the guest phoned last week requesting an advanced viewing today so we have been working overtime to get it fixed up and ready to be inspected.

Finishing touches today and hopefully the house will be acceptable.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

kangaroo skittles

bang! goes another kanga

On the bonnet of the van.

Lyrics Kate Bush 'The Dreaming'

OK, technically it was my car and not the van but the above is one of the most stupid lyrics in pop history and one I never thought would be relevant to a real-life scenario. On returning from the recycling centre at dusk, trailer in tow, a stupid roo jumped the fence and I hit it at 60 kph while travelling on a wet road.

Large creature the kangaroo. The car is somewhat dented despite the 'roo bar' attachment, and the driver side wing dented where it made contact with a roadside post. The trailer ran over the poor creature as well, just to ensure that it was well and truly deceased.

I needed to open a bottle of wine on my return, a very unpleasant experience.

Pickfords delivered our gear yesterday- some of it is recognisable, a great deal of it has arrived in self-assembly format, so we can spend many a happy hour playing jigsaws with the crumbly pieces formerly known as expensive china. Smashing a cast iron garden seat and table was a triumph.

So now we have enormous furniture to place in smallish houses, complete with a fine film of extraordinarily pungent powdery mould spores.

It is nice to be reunited with the pieces which made the trip unscathed, and I am sure we will work out what to do with it all. James dog is delighted to play camouflage games on the sofa.

From Protea Farm 1
The house looks pretty organised this evening.

From Protea Farm 1

From Protea Farm 1

Monday, June 1, 2009

no woman, no cry

Marley is recovering well this afternoon after we anaesthetised him and removed his testicles, Hopefully I will be forgiven.

pickfords arrive tomorrow

After over 2 years in storage we will be reunited with our furniture tomorrow. All of it cleared customs apart from a box of sundry wicker and pine cone based Christmas decorations (which we elected not to pay to have gamma irradiated) and 1 chair of a set of 6 which has to be woodworm treated at great expense.

We finally got the rain we were praying for so the timing is not great for unloading furniture, but we are very excited at the prospect of having sofas, beds rather than mattresses on the floor, and all our pictures, kitchen stuff, cd's and who knows what else- I really cannot remember what most of the stuff is after so long.

So there will be a frenzied few days while we rearrange the furniture in 3 houses, put pictures up everywhere and choose what has to go back into storage again. Looks like we will be staying here.