Monday, October 29, 2012

We sadly lost our little Iker!

I was sitting at the laptop having a little nosey online, about half an hour before leaving to take my zumba class in town. Alan had gone to put the chickens to bed, and make sure all the alpacas were behaving themselves.  It was a total shock when Alan came back and said "I hate to tell you this but I think little Iker may be dead."  I got that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Our adorable kitten who was named after the extremely talented and totally gorgeous Iker Casillas, was lying to the side of our track.  He was either dead or very seriously hurt.  At that point I was hoping and praying he had died, and preferably very quickly.  A trip to the vet here for us, is a half hour journey, and we hated the thought of him being badly injured and have to endure that bumpy journey, and him possibly have to be put to sleep!  Besides the fact that I had a class to take!

Alan being made of much tougher stuff than me, said he would check on him and deal with him, if necessary.  He came back and said he was definitely gone!  He was n't sure however that he had been hit by a car.  Now anyone that has been to our house knows, that during the summer months we may see 5 or 6 cars a day in total.  During the olive picking season it can be more, maybe 10 or so, certainly not loads.  Iker and his brother Pedro, had only just started venturing outside of the gate however there had been another danger.  About an hour before Alan and I had been marvelling at a stunning eagle overhead.  He seemed to be circling and was extremely noisy, and we have heard may stories of eagles carrying off small kittens.  We do wonder if he had been scooped up by the  eagle and dropped.  We will never know.

Ikers little brother Pedro certainly pined for his little mate.  Although they had their brothers, last years kittens, Messi and Xavi, I'm sure you are getting the connection here, Pedro and Iker were extremely close and was most of the time cuddled up or playing together.  Pedro spent the next week practically glued to Xavi, he did n't know what on earth had happened to his brother and best friend.

I had to go and do my class, I think I may have felt a little better if I could have had a cry but I felt sick.  I felt like that for days.  Especially not knowing what had happened to the poor little thing.  I hope it was quick and as painless as possible.  Bless his heart!

Iker on the left and Pedro, right
Pedro getting some love from Xavi, after the accident!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

We've only blooming done it................

I am extremely proud to say we, or I should correct myself, and say Alan has written a book.  I am allowing him 95% of the credit, however I would like a teeny bit for keeping up my blog, which has been great to refer back to, plus of course I am a woman!  As that woman it was my role to tell him anything I did n't like, plus changed words round willy nilly, even though this may have upset him at the time, just because I am a woman!  

Seriously Alan has worked extremely hard.  When the weather got too hot here to do anything other than "sweat like a donkey" as our friend Pedro says, Alan would take him self off for hours on end typing away.  We could not have got this far with some help from great friends.  They will of course be acknowledged in the book.   First of all we were skint, and desperately needed a second laptop.  Our good friend Trudy had a spare one not being used, and she posted it to us,  for free!   One of my best friends is an editor, Jo, who went through it all with a fine tooth comb, and dotted the i's and crossed the t's and changed any other mistakes we had made.  Another great mate Rich, a very talented artist, is in the process of designing a cover.  I love it, I love it, I love it, and we are not even quite there yet.  If you would like to see just how very talented he is take a look at his website.  You will be blown away.

Through looking at other ex pat authors we came across Victoria Twead, who has a series of hysterically funny books published.  At the beginning Alan sent her the first few chapters and she liked it!  Wooo hoo!  Victoria and her husband Joe as well as being authors run a publishing company for ebooks.  We are over the moon to be working with them, and they are publishing the book in ebook format to be available in every conceivable platform.  You can see Victoria's website here at Once that it done, it will be also available in paperback too.

I'm sure you will be hearing more about it as soon as we know it's available.  The book is called....  pause for drum rolling, trumpet playing and wooping in delight....................

Bloody Hell, What's An Alpaca?

Of course it is the story of our first few years here in Spain.  Why I really gave up teaching dancing!  Our strange estate agent!  Disappointing builders!  Our initial foray into breading alpacas!  Heartache, tragedy and funny laugh out load moments too.

I'm sure it would be a great stocking filler for Christmas.  Especially if you know either Alan or I, or have been here for a holiday.  We will keep you all informed of it's progress!  Meanwhile we have set up a website to run alongside the book, where you will be able to keep up to date with blogs (from Alans point of view), and photographs of all the animals that feature in the book.  We would be so grateful if you would share it with your friends.

Thanks you!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sunshine, Scorchyness and Siesta's in Cordoba

Sorry it's been a while!  Been a bit bogged down with  a few health problems, although I am that other person again now, the much nicer one!!!!! And feeling so much better so I thought it was time to catch up!

Well we made it, we survived another scorchio summer in the "Frying Pan of Spain." We have had a lovely summer with quite a few visitors this year, friends and guests.  I have to admit we had some rather lovely European families visit this year.  Apparently the flights going back to England were particularly expensive this summer due to the Olympics, so we were over the moon to have some lovely families from France, Holland and Germany.  Wow what lovely families, and I have to admit to shedding my first tears after a family left, that were not my own family! How very embarrassing!  This particularly lovely Dutch family had walked the dogs with us, spent time with the alpacas, fed and cuddled the chickens, and adored little Pedro, one of this years kittens, who has become extremely friendly, mainly due to being fed numerous times a day!  The gorgeous, kind 12 year old son took great delight in teaching me Dutch phrases whilst I in turn taught him a little Spanish too.  Every evening the routine was "Good night, buenas noches, goedenacht!"  The family had a bbq with us on their last evening, and the dad confided in me, "There will be tears tomorrow!"  Oh no, I'm such a big cry baby I hate to see anyone cry, as it immediately starts me off!

The following morning we were about to say our goodbyes, and I have to admit I had not thought about little Maud, and her possible tears, until I saw her bury her head into her mums side, and her little chin and bottom lip tremble.  That was it, I was off!  Alan was having a right chuckle to himself.  I'm sure his first thought was "Well that goes to show they have had a blooming good time!"  I was secretly pleased that the mum seeing me in tears started her off too, so I did n't feel quite so ridiculous, well I did feel pretty ridiculous haha!

This summer we saw even more extreme temperatures than usual and one thermometer in the town centre of Montoro showed 58 degrees.  Yes it was it in the sun, the afternoon, but bloody hell, even so! 

Whilst we tried our very hardest to keep cool, and hardly move, the dogs slept most of the day.  The cats found shade anywhere they could and more often than not the alpacas sunbathed and soaked up the sun, mad things!

Our big beautiful Blue, keeping cool with an iced carrot... yes she will eat anything!

Cassandra and Bermuda sunbathing

Iker and Pedro huddled together, even in the heat!

Some of the dogs come in for a siesta, and yes that's their sofa!

Blue prefers to stay with us, in the kitchen

Well that was the sum total of our summer really.  Lots of sun and many siesta's, rather a lot of ironing in 40 plus degrees, and my zumba lessons continued.  All in all a pretty good summer!