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Blog 88 - Alpaca Close Up

My last two blogs have had a serious theme. I thought I would choose a scarf today to make me smile. Look…..this is Blog 88 of my second series, I am 88 years of age and we all need a little diversion!

My scarf was given as a gift on my 88th birthday by a friend who keeps alpacas…..or are they llamas? I have researched the difference and the alpacas are the smaller with squashed up faces and little ears, yielding finer fibre. They are herd creatures, whereas the alpaca is more independent. Makes me think, which category am I, or indeed you, my readers? At my age, I struggle to maintain my independence, but yes, I like to be in the herd too, have always liked being part of a team, a group of like-minded people, a united nation. There I go again, almost getting serious.

Let me describe my scarf. It is not silk, but feels like viscose and is very comfortable around my neck. A white background with pale blue fringed borders. The alpacas are sporting coloured rugs, necklaces, earrings and yes, even striped scarves. All very jolly. The scarf was given to me at a birthday lunch last October kindly hosted by a Japanese friend for a group of my golfing friends. It was a very happy day.

If I go back a couple of years, I find photos of two of my great grandsons having a post Christmas treat of feeding these delightful animals and taking them for a walk through a wintry Wiltshire wood. It is good to remember these simple pleasures.

So what other memories do I have of alpacas? I can’t say I have ever been up close with one myself, but maybe I will make the effort to visit my friend who lives a little way south in Surrey. I have friends with dogs and cats, family who feed half the parakeet and bird kingdom of Richmond, but only one friend with alpacas. They are not the usual type of pet! She has gathered their wool, spun it and made a scarf for herself.

I also have an unofficial goddaughter who bravely started up her own business with alpacas in Peru. Now, there’s an interesting place to whiz off to on the magic carpet! I have known her since early childhood in Hong Kong, acted as surrogate parent whilst she was an early girl boarder at Rugby School, watched her progress from UCL through various careers and finally marvelled at her bravery in buying commercial sewing machinery to knit fine alpaca fashion to her own designs in South America. She ran the business from Barnes to New York, the Hamptons and finally Aspen, Colorado. No, I have not taken an alpaca or llama for a walk, but I have many fine baby alpaca wool garments, so I will now search one out to wear today with my amusing scarf. I will match it with a beret and fingerless gloves. I hope the latter will not be a mistake if this cold spell in Britain does not lift.

I will start planning that visit to Chessington and who knows I will check out what is going on in Lima. I think I have left it too late for high altitude Machu Pichu!

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Series 2, Blog 88.

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Jackie Barley
Jackie Barley
Mar 14, 2022

Thanks Hazel. Busy at the moment as arranging the Ladies Invitation to the Men golf competition. The first major meet as Ladies Golf Captain! Starting tee off times at 10am to attract the drop off the school run mums and the retired ladies who don't want to get up at the crack of dawn!!

Looking forward to your visit to the Alpacas and learning the art of spinning, plying and knitting Alpaca fleece.



Bette Bardeen
Bette Bardeen
Mar 13, 2022

I love your scarf! I have an alpaca raising friend and have enjoyed visiting the babies. I have also been to Peru and photographed lots of lamas, alpacas and guanacos. I think it is probably too high for me to visit again as well, and besides I have so many new places I want to see

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