On the very last bank holiday of the year I decided, that there obviously wouldn’t be a better way to spend the day, than herding my family up and heading off to an alpaca farm. Because, if truth be told, I bloody love alpacas!
(In fact, Tom Hardy was Scott’s compromise between a pug (a thing I also bloody love) and an alpaca! Makes sense that we’d go for a part dog, part lama, part ginger speed bump, right?) Anyway, I’d sourced this ‘alpaca open day’ like I source everything else; on Facebook, and surely if the open day had its very own event it was bound to be good wasn’t it, or at the very least an alright way to spend an hour?
Now, I felt dead alternative with my purple tights, yellow wellies, wearing a moon cup after brushing my teeth with a bamboo toothbrush, but let me tell you now, if you want to see real alternative, make your way to an alpaca farm!
I obviously smelt the chickpeas in cardboard boxes before I saw the vegans and the fact more than one person was wearing an ‘ I heart my alpaca’ sweatshirt meant, for the first time ever, I sort of felt posh, not to mention a bit out of my depth.
‘What’s that terrible smell?’ B asked.
‘Where the fuck have you brought us this time?’ Scott asked.
Whilst internally my stomach churned with something that felt like unease.
On the left was a field full of uninterested alpacas. To the right was a make shift car park filled with make shift camper vans and the odd Nissan.
‘I’m sorry.’ I muttered as everyone took in our surroundings.
‘Can we go to the pub now?’ My four year old asked upon plonking her welly in what one could only assume to be alpaca shit.
‘Let’s just…’ I snapped, anxiously gesturing towards some sort of log cabin, where I was sure the free tea and homemade cake would be.
Now, I have an overactive imagination, I mean, I spent years convinced that Guy Fawkes and Elvis, haunted my childhood home, because obviously these iconic men would choose a village in Ebbw Vale, South Wales, to creep about. I’d force myself to run through our hall way after dark, desperately trying not to imagine fireworks or lip curling, because I didn’t want to conjure any bonfire or Wonder of You, spirit things and I’m telling you this for a bit of context. So, when I say that within seconds of eating the homemade brownie and drinking the tea pot tea in the alpaca farm, surrounded by people calling their kids Tabitha and Fabian, I convinced myself this would be the last thing we’d ever do.
‘There are drugs in here!’ I whispered to Scott, trying to keep my shit together. ‘They have drugged these and they are going to sacrifice her for her curls!’ I point at our Afro-blessed-offspring, who was holding her nose and asking a woman with silver hair and sporting a weird bridesmaid headpiece and nose ring whether she was American or not.
‘Calm down.’ Scott said slightly amused, mainly embarrassed whilst I scanned the crowd for Inspector Morse or that Bergerac bloke. ‘Let’s just go and see these bloody things because a pair of socks is £20!’ he had had enough. ‘Soft though to be fair.’ He added obviously devastated we wouldn’t be taking a souvenir home.
‘Should we check in on Facebook?’ I asked, now utterly convinced we were about to be lead, firstly to the field of alpacas and secondly to the cult induction part of the farm where they’d dress us in alpaca made robes and place B in some sort of stew pot.
Alpacas are actually my spirit animal.
Nervy, a bit funny looking, fury, loves food and hates being touched, but will tolerate a pat if you have nibbles for them.
And as I watched baby alpacas, in the cutest little coats, and Mammy alpacas looking generally pissed off I momentarily calmed down only then to hear some bell ringing and; ‘Ok, follow us for a walk around the valley!’ From An I heart alpaca-jumper-wearing -woman and I snorted out of pure fear and chest contractions.
‘We’ll never return.’ I whispered to Scott, who now, really pissed off with my, what did he call it? Overreacting? And the fact B wouldn’t take her hand off her nose, had already asked Google where the nearest pub was.
In the pub I had a large white wine. We both ordered the steak and ale pie whilst B pleaded for ice cream but compromised on some crayons (not to eat) and chicken nuggets.
‘Better now?’ Scott asked as I inhaled the Pinot and continuously stroked my child’s head whilst promising to the universe that I’d never put her in that type of situation again.
And then the pie came and the pie was salty and after enquiringly gently to Scott, discovered his was salty too and that tipped me over the bloody edge.
‘They are all in on it! Like in Fucking Midsummer, we are doomed!’
The drive back to Merthyr was, not surprisingly, conversationally quiet as I wept a bit and B sang Jess Glynne songs very loudly and Scott tried to unassumingly enquire, in about 5 words, whether the bank holiday gin consumption might have affected the OCD medication which made my weeping full blown crying and B’s singing more dramatic.
I only calmed down yesterday, but only because, the three of us had the shits and that makes my theory slightly plausible, right?
Anyway, I don’t want to put anyone off. If I hadn’t been so wired and tired I imagine going to an alpaca farm in the back of beyond would be a jolly good day! Definitely go! And if anyone knows where I can buy an ‘I heart Alapca’ jumpers do let me know!