I was down Manchester this weekend with one of the strangest car loads ever - my mother, Missy and a kitten!
This little fella. He's now been named Ziggy, which suits his fairly crazy personality perfectly. Long story short, my sister used to have three cats - two girls and a boy. The male sadly passed away last year after accidentally consuming antifreeze (if you notice a puddle under your car, always clean it up!) and they've noticed that they are now having problems with toms coming into the garden and spraying and just generally being a pain.
The solution was simple, get a male kitten. The older girls wouldn't view him as a threat so he'd integrate into the household easily, and once he's a bit older and outside, just his very presence will stop the other toms.
And I know someone who fosters cats. The moment I showed my sister Ziggy, she'd fallen for him and, only a day younger than my brand new nephew, it had to be fate!
And that was why Missy and I were in Manchester (my mum is literally just hitching a ride with anyone going down that neck of the woods!). I'd decided to dabble with this whole AirBnB craze (I know, I'm late to that party) and found somewhere literally 15 minutes away.
With only one full day available to us, my sister recommended the White Peak Alpacas farm. It's not a big fancy show farm or anything like that, it's a couple who breed alpacas for their wool and sell them too. It's a labour of love and you can really feel that when chatting away to them. The woman who owns the place was absolutely great with my niece and let her help feed the chickens and got my mum to kiss an alpaca (not bad for a woman who didn't know what one was that morning!)
My sister had asked about dogs on an earlier visit and was told that it was a 'selective' dog policy, meaning that dogs that were non-reactive and calm were welcome, but not those that would jump about and bark at the alpacas. Since Missy fitted the bill, it went very well and all the alpacas were very curious about the little black and tan dog - I can't say Missy felt the same though! She was very happy to stand and watch them and have a really good sniff at the fur on the fence, but she was not keen on having a herd approach her and would very calmly step backwards away from the fence and look at me for reassurance. My brother in law had worked out a nice walk for us as well and, not used to the different access code that England has, I was rather glad for his directions, even if we did have to stop for a while after he was 'attacked' by a frog!
A very quick weekend that was little more than a flying visit. I was very glad to get home to a nice cup of tea, I wont lie!
And I may have indulged myself with some truly terrific slippers.....