The Alpacas Are Watching!: House Sitting near Hahndorf in South Australia...
We’re currently staying in a dream home around thirty minutes from Hahndorf in South Australia’s hills and I’m in love. It all started with the big eyes, the stick-like legs, the surly attitude… and the fact that I’m currently writing a book about an actor that plays Mr. Darcy and the glaring similarity between the object of my affection and Mr Darcy (in temperament at least).
His name is Ben and he’s an alpaca. And he only cares about me for the grain I’ve got. It’s a fleeting affection. The true objects of his desire have motored off down to the coast for a five day holiday while Tony and I take care of him, his brother, Jerry and an entire menagerie of critters, which include a very sweet horse, two delightfully tubby geese (named Gandalf and Gracie), a gaggle of chickens and two cats.
The cats worked out that Tony was good for pats within around five minutes of their humans driving away and he’s currently being colonised by Mika, a Russian blue boy who has the attitude of a czar demanding attention, while Poppy, a quieter, daintier girl is watching the whole affair from under the coffee table, every now and then flashing her tummy for a quick pat. I lost track of Tony while writing last night and found him curled up on the spare bed with Poppy laying tucked under his arm. They were both snoring… I couldn’t quite work out who was snoring louder.
There is also a tame magpie who has so far convinced me that feeding her is much more important than eating my dinner, having my first morning cup of tea, my second morning cup of tea and much, much more important than giving the horse carrots. She’s not quite as placid as she was with her human, Gabi, but she’s still keen to sing us songs through the windows until we come out whenever she wants some attention.
The house is absolutely stunning, an absolute dream first-official-sit to kick off our big three-year trip and our hosts, Gabi and Pete couldn’t be lovelier. Their home is beautifully and eclectically decorated in a way that had us instantly relaxing the minute we settled in. They’re avid fantasy fiction fans, so their book cases are full of all the books Tony loves reading. He’s currently in his element, typing away at his current fantasy novel while I’m writing this, happily listening to a rooster crowing and a bunch of cockies squabbling out the kitchen window.
At the moment I’m thinking about sitting out on the patio to write today’s word-count while Ben and Jerry the alpacas watch on with the indignant expressions that seems to come with a human being present but no grain being dispensed. The way this home is set up with windows everywhere, they’re watching us whenever we look outside. It’s turning into the running gag of this sit that the alpacas are watching!
In short, it’s turning out to be a rather lovely day. I’ll try and get a picture of Tony herding the geese into bed tonight because I laughed so hard at his goose-wrangling skills last night, I forgot!