Alpaca & Muscovy

Car essentials when things go wrong

Well those of you following will know good old faithful the Landcruiser finally packed up and was replaced with a Mitsubishi Shogun Sport. Well, for a while at least!

I do not know if this was a “Friday afternoon car” for those of you old enough to remember or not but making a noise like a tractor is not a “normal” diesel engine sound.

You know it is not right when you have to go out and buy a breakdown car essentials kit for a 2021 vehicle!

that is a tool kit, triangles, jump leads, tow rope and warming blankets!

After 5 days in the garage made up of three separate visits one instinctively knew something was not right!

Mothers Day at Kensmyth Alpaca in the Cotswolds

Well with dreary wet weather, cold, wind and sometimes hail you have to wonder at the sanity of those people who mated so early last year that cria are being born now.. unless coated and barned, few will survive.

Happy thoughts for Mothers Day for everyone though with big smiley faces – so cute!

March 2024 comes in with a roar at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow in the Cotswolds

I spoke too soon, the weather continued with gales and heavy rain and more floods but what a difference a day makes and when the sunshine comes out!

The daffodils proudly showing off the (finally) latest Kensmyth farm vehicle.

Sorry folks, if you are expecting shiny sports car or treny Volvo XC90’s – look them up and see that they will not tow the skin off a rice pudding!

A farm vehicle needs to tow and one is being fitted shortly and this has the boot space required for carrying sheep and alpaca in the back too!

Weather dramas in February 2024 at Kensmyth Alpaca, Clay Meadow

Well the weather has been weird to say the least. I always say we get a heatwave before serious snow and then Spring historically but the wet weather has been odd but so have the forecasts..

what was forecast..                            what we actually got here ..



and as we move towards the end of the wettest month of February with endless floods towards March..

so glad all our alpaca have great fields to move onto and we did not cut too low too late last year!


Sad day at Kensmyth for an old favourite, Clay Meadow in the Cotswolds

Well most of you will recall that I am not a car person. I have driven the same car for over 15 years and completed around 300 kilometres in the same old Toyota imported Prado Landcruiser. I have attempted to replace her when she stopped on several occasions but always reverted to the old favourite.

Not so this time sadly, after being left by the RAC blocking the Siddington to Cirencester road from 11 am to 6pm when the Police finally intervened, it was time for her to go.

I have to say a big thank you to those who stopped and offered me food and coffee from the villages as they passed me to and from their journeys on this road, it was very welcoming.

The communications were diabolical and twice the RAC sent out a small van to tow a vehicle bigger than their own which could not be towed as automatic before finally the Police intervened and did a Force Recovery which ensured the RAC got a low loader out before dark. Thank you too for the Police who stayed with the vehicle as it went dark on this single lane road before the car was eventually towed away. Not a great day for anyone!

However, the sad end to this car was being stored at a garage, many days and calls to see if a new gearbox could be sorted quickly and when quotes came in for months ahead, she was sold to a company who will break her up for parts for a lot more money than I sold her for!

Sad day to see her go and a wait for a new vehicle.. she had carried many children on many trips, dogs, sheep, alpaca cria, three house moves, you name it!

The final goodbye..


Six Bells restaurant near Hungerford, Berkshire recommended by Kensmyth

Well as we look towards the Valentines Day ahead, we never go out on that day because of all the hiked restaurant prices!  So we really enjoyed a meal out at a totally new venue with friends at the Six Bells near Hungerford in Berkshire. Lovely toasty log fire, great choice of beers and friendly service and good pub grub..

in no particular order: Fruit Crumble, Sticky Toffee pudding, Burger and Chips, steak and chips, cheesy chips, chilli spaghetti, beef goujons, pate and toast all homemade folks!



February 2024 at Kensmyth Alpaca, Clay Meadow and welcome

I can never remember which months creeps in softly and which is the lion but I have to say with the promise of snow shortly following rain, wind and freezing temperatures in January the weather has gone a bit bonkers. First we have minus temps (-4) and then we have 11 degrees the next day!

What a joy that the alpaca are in full fleece so do not get cold, they love it but do not forget that means the cold!

Alpaca do not have lanolin in their fleece and have pads like dogs so wet ground and wet backs are invitations for infected cuts in the feet and hypothermia.. shelters and dry ground please folks!

Wet Weymouth in January from Kensmyth alpaca, Clay Meadow in the Cotswolds

Well I like to add to this blog some of the things we get up to as farming life continues daily 24/7 for 365 days a year. It is something people forget when the weather is cold, wet, windy and they stay indoors by a warm fire with a glass of wine and do not have to go out!

A quick trip to see friends in Weymouth and a drive by the beach, sorry we did not get out but folk were still out walking on the beach !