David rearranged the hay barn to give young Hilton a lovely big house where he had plenty of room for entertaining any ladies who may show an interest in visiting him. The gates at the far end were positioned so that he had a panoramic view of all the goatie girls in the main barn .. and they were also able to talk to him ..
His first visitor was one of our older ladies who was spotted making eyes at him through the gate and wagging her tail earnestly ... I let her in with Hilton (who was very excited to have his first romantic encounter) but it seemed that all she wanted was to stick her head in his food bucket and eat all his breakfast. As Hilton approached, she growled at him and clamped her tail down firmly over her bottom! Poor boy was most upset ...
But, all was not lost as later that same day one of our little fat goatlings, Clarissa, took a fancy to him. And so it came to pass that young Hilton finally began his new career as the Head Boy at Ellie's Dairy!
He has had a quiet few days with no visitors but there must have been something in the air this morning as he had quite a crowd of girls around his gates, all wanting his attention. While I was busy at market, David had his hands full with hordes of noisy hormonal goats! At the last count this evening when we put another group in with him, he had 'entertained' around 20 girls today! I think he should sleep well tonight (if the girls allow him to)
The weather has continued to be fabulous and the goats have been making the most of the dry weather to continue grazing in their field .. not sure it will carry on for much longer though. They are quick to run outside after milking and are still enjoying their pea straw as the early morning mist rolls up the field..
Our young goatlings are all growing into quite big girls now but they all still tend to stay together as a group.
That's Mbuzi staring at the camera!
Some are very brave and are venturing into the milking parlour with the older girls. Needless to say, those two naughty brown things (collectively known as 'The Chocolate Frogs') were the first of the youngsters to come in:
At the opposite end of the goatie spectrum, we have also had to say goodbye to a couple more of our older ladies, Columbia and Magenta. These two sisters were over 10 years old and have always been inseparable. These pics were taken a few years ago by our talented artist and photographer friend Sue Clinker:
Magenta had recently lost a lot of weight and, despite tempting her with all manner of treats (like digestive biscuits and bananas) she was clearly not happy. She suddenly became very unsteady on her feet and David found her one morning struggling to stand .. There was no hesitation in calling the vet ... but we also took the tough decision to have Columbia put to sleep at the same time. She was starting to look thinner and, although she was still pretty bright and alert, she would not have done well without her sister by her side. They were always together and never apart ... so it was only right that they should make that final journey to the big goatshed in the sky side by side.
Meanwhile, life in the dairy continues as usual with yours truly having to turn her hand to lots of different jobs again as various members of our team take some well-earned holiday before the madness of the festive season begins ..
Whilst Joe was enjoying a restful fishing holiday, I was working on our stall at Borough Market and enjoyed having the chance to snap yet another early morning picture of one of my favourite London views ..
I never get tired of looking at the Shard! It's just stunning ..
And for those of you who only ever see Joe working at Borough .. here's another side to his talents ..