The Sailor is home from sea for four weeks...he arrived home the day before we went away on holiday for Wales for the week. We then won't see him again until February, and that only for a few days. I last saw him in February of this year. Four weeks in one year doesn't seem long! However, I am going to be putting him to good use, doing some of the jobs I can't do by myself that involve lifting and clearing and hopefully some cleaning and painting in the kitchen - who knows? He is also going to be helping his Dad lay our second patio down by the Office and Sewing Studio. It is there we are planning to put the spa pool that has been sitting in a box on our front porch for about four years now! I in return have taken in five of his naval shirts at the sides and shortened them for him, so they now fit him a lot better.
Today he helped me move one of the hutch blocks out of the Cavy Shed. It was so cramped in there and I could hardly move and it was very difficult to clean out. I forgot to take before photos...but believe me it was in dire need! I did all the cleaning and sweeping and general sorting of things - but it was good to have the muscle power.
I only have three guinea pigs left now - hard to believe at one stage I had close to 100! I do miss the breeding and exhibiting of them, but not the work and it had got the stage that it increased my daily pain levels significantly and became clear that I just couldn't drive to the shows either without increasing the pain. What I miss both is the companionship and friendship of other Cavy fanciers, who once you drop out of the showing scene, gradually drop out of your lives. I had been doing really well with promoting the Abyssinian breed and I was quite successful in showing, and I think some were disappointed that I didn't stay...I was of course disappointed as well, I had fully intended to stay in the clubs and continue my involvement long term as it was something I was passionate about, like the music, but things don't always work to plan as I have discovered. I re-homed many of my pigs, some to pet homes, some to other Abyssinian breeders and kept the very old pigs and the boars...hence the numbers gradually decreased with the passing of time.
My three boars all live happily together in one cage so that leaves me four spare for any boarders I have. They too are less as some have died and not been replaced by their owners as the children have lost interest, grown up, or gone to university, so I have just a couple of regulars as I don't actively advertise any more.
Looking in the door...the lower hutches are both empty, the bottom level being used for storage of bottles, bowls and other miscellaneous items.
The other side my three boys live in the top cage and that allows another two spare cages, so I have four in total for boarders if necessary. I currently have one boarder staying with me, a piggy I bred a number of years ago now. Sadly his mate died earlier this year. The hay bale tucks in nicely at the side and I have room for feed bins as well. (They are currently drying after being cleaned out) My pictures will be put up on the walls tomorrow freeing up some space on top of the hutch block. currently sitting up there is a carrying cage and a basket with 'lotions and potions' for the piggies.
Very difficult to capture the sense of space in the shed now...especially as I forgot the before photos! But it is a lot more spacious and I am happy with it.
I put the guinea pigs out on the grass while all the work was being done, although this photo was taken earlier in the year.
Mason, Oscar and Rocky.
Next job to do is to move the block of three that we took out of the shed into the garage - it is a nice sturdy block and we are going to use it for storage and the block of four stackable double hutches are being given away. Hopefully we can make a start on the garage tomorrow or Wednesday as I want the block off my front porch!
Some lovely raspberries from the garden that I had the other evening.
No one else wanted any so these were all mine and very scrumptious they were as well.