Some shots of the woolly lawnmowers! The sheep are Harry (no horns) and Dumbledore. We’re fans. So shoot us. They’re Wiltipolls and shed their fleeces, so no shearing and they don’t need crutching. Phew. The alpacas are Judge (black); Lester (white); Charlie (fawn); and Jack (brown). They’re really pretty cute, although you need to watch out for your fingers when feeding them, and dodge fast if they start spitting at each other! And yes, there’s Oliver the cat up on the gate post.
And here is Ben at six months. He's got to be one of the sookiest dogs I have ever owned.
We love the garden and in spring, when it's getting warmer, it's great to seat out here under the elm for a cup of coffee, or share a beer or bottle of wine in the evening. The rhododendron in the back ground is a very old one. Our eighty plus neighbour, Ken, remembers his mother planting it when he was a small boy.
And here's our Pippa. Still gorgeous and still Daddy's little girl<g>. I took this on the back verandah. It's a good place to read and relax. I like to do my research reading out there with a cup of tea if it's warm enough.
Poor Pippa missed Smokey terribly after he died. She took to Ben immediately when he arrived and as you can see they are the best of friends. We've always preferred having two dogs and watching these two play together is just lovely. Sometimes in the evening when they get too idiotic we have to put them outside to let off steam!
It's not much of a secret that I love animals. As a child I loved natural history programs on TV and a long-held ambition was to be a vet, or possibly a zoo curator. Although my life and ambitions went in other directions, I still love animals and was privileged recently to visit the cheetahs at Monarto Zoo here in South Australia. These gorgeous boys were hand-reared because their mother become seriously ill when they were little. The handlers saved six out of eight cubs and have kept three at the zoo as ambassadors for Cheetah conservation. Best looking ambassadors I've ever seen! This visit was a birthday present from my husband - he said it made a nice change from a tea caddy! Those of you looking for my birthday present for the Harlequin Historical Holiday Giveaway - this is it! Use the email link at the top of the page with your response and go in the draw to win one of my books - your choice, as long as I have a copy - and the Grand Draw for a Kindle Fire.
Meet Ralphie, the Australian Magpie. He came to us as a chick last summer to be hand-reared after falling from his nest. He's still with us, very cheeky and giving the dogs, especially Ben, a hard time. Mehitabel the cat is actually terrified of him and clears out whenever she sees him. He's very affectionate, highly intelligent, and has a wicked sense of humour. He loves swinging upside down from the washing line, and rolling over to have his tummy rubbed, and he makes an interesting weight on the end of an earring!
This is Ben on a recent trip to stay with my sister. Taking up her entire couch (above) and sharing a sleeping bag with my elder son - a well-grown 14 year old now. Which gives you a fair idea of how big Ben is! When children ask about patting him, I have to warn them about being licked. A Benny lick is a serious matter!