2018 has not been a good year. Almost everything I could have imagined going wrong did. It was our 13th year. Hopefully our 14th will be an improvement on the 13th!

This abysmal WordPress update that is moving text around as I type is just the icing on the cake. It means this will need to be brief and very plain, as I don’t even know how to add a photo.

The RHD outbreak was followed by an enormous hole in the barn roof. Wrestling with asbestos was quite in keeping with the way things have been going lately. At least as we no longer had to worry about the roof getting further damaged we were then able to get the huge tree branch off the roof that was dangling over our heads. Hopefully we will manage to rig a patch over it before it snows and we end up with it bringing down the tarps that are there to redirect the rain. I can’t imagine being able to raise enough money to replace the roof as it is enormous and no one even seems inclined to give us an estimate. Last time we tried three sets of people came but not one of them gave us a quote:( I am becoming more resigned to breathing asbestos especially having watched the poor people struggling with sheets of asbestos that were all that remained of their homes after the recent tsunami. We have it easy in comparison! And in thirty years they may well have finally cured cancer…

But my resignation with the situation aside we really can’t have volunteers or the public coming into contact with the asbestos so the barn is off limits to everyone else so I am unable to do boarding for the moment and we have no indoor space for volunteers to use having lost use of the treatment room and office earlier this year. We have gone from having wonderful facilities to shivering outdoors:(

We took in 42 rabbits and 7 guinea pigs in 2018. We end the year with 88 rabbits and 10 guinea pigs. It is hard to believe we have so few piggies. At one point in 2006 we had over a hundred! I have to say though that these ten piggies are some of the happiest piggies anywhere. The new sheds we built for them this year are wonderful and far better than the old stables. The runs that we enclosed in plastic serve to warm up the sheds during the day and remain useable in all but the coldest weather. I was relieved we didn’t have more piggies when we had an outbreak of ringworm in November. Needing to dip and treat ten piggies in cold weather under a patio heater was quite enough. It was very frustrating them getting ringworm out in their new sheds. Goodness knows where it came from! Murphy is so against us this year.

It is also hard to believe that we are ending the year with relatively few rabbits given that we were up to 120 a few months ago. All those beautiful creatures lost to that dreadful disease:((( I wish they could have still been with us enjoying the better life they came so close to. I am determined that the remaining New Zealand’s will live life to the full and to some extent live for those we lost. They certainly seem willing to give it a go anyway. Red Currant ‘s boys and the two surviving Strawbabies are happily living outside enjoying their big runs. Red Currant and her five daughters are still in the barn. They briefly had half of it before the roof caved in but still have a very generous amount of room to play in.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me through thick and thin this year. I have at times wondered why on earth I put myself through this but then someone does something generous and I realise that I am not mad to think these animals are worth it, that I am not the only one who wants to help them and that people think that what I do is worth supporting. It makes the long hours, the cold, the heat and the heartbreak easier to endure. Thank you all.