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Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Way Forward.

It was a big decision making day for me today.

I have had my first totally anxiety free day since David died so I made the most of it. I've come to realise that my biggest problem has been this dream-like feeling of unreality that I've had for a year now, as though I'd wake up soon and none of it would have happened.

Charlotte mentioned acceptance and I have now internally accepted that it has all happened and I am where I am now, so it's time to take charge and move forward.

I have never been a drifter.

At the first flutterings of anxiety I decided to veiw it positively and thought to myself "Well, I can feel something and that's good because it shows that I am alive", and it went away again.

I am going to sell the cattle apart from my two elderly (17 and 19yo) hand reared and very tame Charolais cows who may be in calf and start breeding Alpacas instead, on a small scale.

The reason for this is that cattle mostly require two people to do anything safely with and sending animals off for slaughter has never really been something I have felt comfortable with. David was no different but we did it because it was part of the job.

I don't want it to be a part of my job any more.

Also Alpacas don't eat people out of house and home, or make the mess that cattle do!!!

Alpacas are classified as agricultural and have other advantages over sheep and goats as they breed all year around, like cattle, which may be useful. They will also fit in very well with my other plans for the farm. I was also unhappy about having a bull out in the fields when I have so many people around and hope to draw in more people still.

I am thinking of getting a breeding pair of Kunhe Kunhe pigs as well.

I also entered for my first ever race tonight - a 10km Race For Life on the 27th June. I can only manage 2.6 miles at the moment so need to train with purpose as I intend to run every step and not get left behind.

My first volunteer helper arrives two weeks on Monday, from Romania, and I can't wait to meet him and get started on moving forward with whole hearted enthusiasm.

It's taken me a while to work out who I am now and how to be true to myself but I think I'm there now, at last.


  1. Finding out who we are is a long journey - thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. Doesn't it feel great to make decision confidently? I'm bad at second guessing myself and leaning on other people. I'm glad you're getting back in control of your life. Sounds like you have some great plans. :)

  3. Wonderful Helen - I have a feeling that you've hit the nail on the head with your comment about feeling again. To a certain extent you go through the motions after such an upheaval and once the acute emotions go, you're left with a sort of void.

    To notice the emotion, as opposed to becoming shanghai'd by it, is a real skill. It is what marks amazing trainers and teachers apart from those who become lost and hijacked.

    Its very exciting to decide what your job will be - khunie khunie pigs will be great fun as they are fantastically intelligent and learn really really fast!!

  4. Alpacas? That's neat. I have a feeling they will be very interesting critters.

    Glad to hear you are confident in your decisions now. This is a great step forward.

  5. Good luck, Helen. Sounds like you have been doing some important decisions!

  6. Alpacas are rewarding. I read two different blogs that center on alpacas-one in Virginia also throws in some horses; she has a Percheron, too. You could also get into the fiber arts or make a connection there for your fleeces(of which there are two different types). Do some research and see where you want to go with this; they are expensive to purchase but can pay themselves back. If I had the money to invest in them I certainly would do so. I would also do serious investigation into the integrety of the breeders from whom you purchase your stock or maybe several breeders and find a variety of bloodlines to eliminate in-breeding.

  7. HI Helen. I spent the day at Barnacre Alpacas - was great to chat and find out one was doing things ok. There are even 2 options of how often to give lambivac ,depending on who you speak to.
    Biggest concern - TB - heard to day there is a confirmed case in Yorkshire . And though Scotland is TB free , you really need to know what the movement book is like. There is a very low endemic rate in Yorkshire.
    Have just put a little video fo a couple of the weanlings up.

  8. Thank you so very much, all of you.



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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!