Shortly before leaving for our weekend outing, we got a call from the vet. The results came back on Chris, and the liver damage was “consistent with toxicity”. We may never figure out what caused the damage, but as a precautionary check we will do blood tests on the other two to check their liver function. This means I get to do IV blood draws from their jugular veins! I watched the vet do it last weekend on Chris, and as they say in the medical profession “watch one, do one, teach one”. I guess after this teaching Tam will be the next step. It will be a good skill to have, should we ever need to administer IV drugs.
With this perplexing news stuck in our heads (what could be toxic? It’s the wrong season for FE.) we packed up for Darton Anniversary. This yearly event was being held over the hill in Wainuiomata, about a 30 minute drive. A nice Boys Brigade camp, with excellent cabins– more like small houses than cabins considering they had pumbing and hot showers! All the local SCAdians were there, plus people from Auckland and Christchurch. There were also people from the other local recreation groups present, including the Midaeval Guild, The Company of the Dragon, the The Order of the Boar (the jousting folks). It was a fine little event with fighting, archery, singing, dancing, A&S classes (I gave one on Mongol Strategy and Tactics) and an yummy feast to cap it all off. There was also a large contingent of children present, all under the age of 4. This could get rather noisy at times.
I won the archery competition, which I attribute to the high winds and my more powerful bow. My heavy arrows, flung at speed, could ignore the gusting wind much more effectively! We joked that when submitting the results to the Kingdom we should include a “WWF” or Wellington Wind Factor, adding to our scores to account the the more challenging shooting conditions! I also won the “most improved Darton Fighter” for the year, but as I was the new one in the group, that was no surprise. For the year I get to have this nifty dirk/dagger thing as my prize. Helen from the Order of Boar came over to check, and it is one of the early ones her husband made. You may have seen his other work– like Aragorn’s sword! 🙂 He could not make it to this event because he is working flat out making the blades for Narnia, which begins shooting soon. The whole small country/small town aspect of this place means that everyone knows someone who does something interesting!
This week we are looking at lots of really crappy weather. A big low has stalled east of the country, and it is bringing cold southerly winds across. Dunedin was shut down by snow yesterday. Today we have gale-force winds. Wednesday and Thursday we are looking at cold pouring rain. I moved the alpaca to the new Glen paddock, so they can have a bit more shelter, and some better grass. Grass supplies are starting to run low, but that is not that bad. The horses are all fat, and could do to lose a few kilos before the spring riding season gets going. And there is enough grass left in the paddocks I have been reserving to get the alpaca though untill the flush of spring growth kicks in, probably in September.