Wednesday, August 28, 2013

These are the Dog Days

Today is our second last day here in paradise, yet again. 

It started out as yet another foggy day and it was a toss of the coin as to what the weather would be like, but regardless it was a Dog Day morning AND afternoon.  Our plan was to extract Stuart and Noni from the kennel we put them in when we come up here (Aspen Kennels) and take them out for a day of fun and frivolity.
Our arrival at the kennels was heralded with much excitement by both dogs who acted like we had not been a part of their lives for weeks. It was a quick jump for each of them into their lair in the car, the boot, and off we went.
 First stop was the foot of Mount Buffalo, a place where we have taken the dogs a couple of times before. It's a lovely green area filled with tracks and smells and animal spawn which renders any respectable dog crazy with the possibilities of adventure. It's a picnic ground which leads to 'The Big Walk' which takes you up the side of Mount Buffalo if you are fit and daring enough to try it out. The walk initially traverses over a quick flowing creek with a swing bridge and begins a lead up the mountain which the dogs loved.
One of the major delights for myself as we go walking with Stuart and Noni is how the dogs will run ahead then circle back to 1. make sure we are still coming, and 2. ensure they remain the leaders in this walk.
The hillside as we started our walk was filled with the sounds of bird song and some scurrying in the undergrowth, not to mention the bubbling sounds of the creek in the background. It was a delightful start to the day and you could tell by the smiles on their faces that the dogs were enjoying this immeasurably.
A walk of about 15 minutes up hill always seems to go much quicker as you turn around and head downhill again. The dogs by now were impatient but, give them their due, they still came back to check we were still coming, and if we had stopped to admire the serenity of our surroundings, would come back for a pat and a shake of the paws before leading on yet again.

We got back down the picnic ground again after walking over the swing bridge once more and as a reward, I gave each of the dogs a brush which like all good dogs, they absolutely loved coming back for more and more after a quick run each.

Once we returned to our car, we then travelled onto the Buckland Valley bridge, yet another place we love to take our dogs to. This is also picnic area where we can walk and walk and the dogs can have a paddle and a drink and once again, sniff out the local fauna whilst we admire the flora!
Lots of wattle around right now! I am so lucky I don't have any allergies.... I know lots of people react to wattle pollen but I can appreciate the perfume and just admire the brilliant yellow hue amidst the greenery of the trees.

With the melting of the snow  and all the rain thats been had up here of late the rivers and creeks are pretty full right now, so the one fear we had was of the dogs getting caught up in the fast flowing river... I can imagine the ludicrous scenario we would have jumping in to save either of the dogs. The water is icy too, so we were very wary of either of them getting in too deep. If you can imagine, Stuart is very much like an adolescent these days.... He likes to push buttons and when you say "no", he looks at you as if to say "why not" and continues on until your voice changes and he thinks he might be in a spot of bother if he doesn't comply. Noni is very much a good girl and just watches from the sidelines most of the time never know!
So, after a while, hunger was getting to us so it was back into Bright for some lunch then a drive onto Wandiligong for yet another walk. We drove to the gold diggings and encountered a Chinese bridge and yet another stream (fast flowing too) with a beautiful grassy pathway we walked along with the dogs once again taking the lead.
Back to the car again, and next stop was in Bright itself where we sat in the main park, by the river and watched a lot of water flow by before hoisting ourselves up again and going for yet another walk along the canyon just to wear both dogs out that little bit more.
I have to say and this juncture that both dogs are a hell of a lot easier off the lead than they are with their respective leads on.
Both dogs like to be in front ( once again like kids) and its a bit of a tussle until they learn that the humans are really in control. (Well, we like to let them think that anyhow).
Back to the car again, and with a cold drink now and a toilet stop for the humans, it was time to venture on once more.
Next point of interest was the park by the river in Porepunkah itself. This is where we got the ball and the throwing stick out to amuse Noni as a distraction to stop her from venturing into the raging torrent of water that is the usually calm Ovens River.
One ball decided to go the quickest way home by water and by the time you reader are aware of its venture, it'll probably be floating out to sea. Fortunately Noni didn't see the ball overboard otherwise she would have thought it was her responsibility to save it from the perils of the deep and with the speed of the water I don't like to project much thought into that outcome either.
So, here we are, mid afternoon, with another hour to kill before drop off time (4 to 5) thank you very much, and so, a walk in the pine forest was the next experience for all concerned.
This time of the day is magnificent up here. The weather is warm, the sun is still sitting above the mountains and the flowers are facing upwards, catching the last of the rays. 
The dogs were happy as was the master, and they gambolled off into the bush from time to time pretending to hunt the local inhabitants be they rabbits kangaroos or even stray cats
Drop off back to doggy camp came around all too soon. Usually when we take them there they're both a little hesitant about leaving us, but they knew who was feeding them this day and with the promise of food, heater and something to lie on, there was no hesitation when it came time to return to their kennel.

The most interesting thing of the whole day for me was watching their personalities.
The beginning showed them exuberant and excited as they were picked up from the kennel where they stay each time. When Stuart is like this he's quite vocal and makes a bit of noise....much like a whimper, whereas Noni is complacent and just happy to be in the zone.
As I mentioned before, I love their need for reassurance as they walk on ahead, coming back for the occasional cuddle, pat and lick. I love how they walk together in tandem, yet, as Murray pointed out today, Noni feeds off Stuart, he being the older and the male of the two. Whatever he sniffs, she sniffs also. If he goes in a different direction she will follow, but when it comes to eating other animal poo...she fortunately leaves to him.

They are beautiful dogs in more ways than one. Yes, they are cute, but most importantly, they are loving towards each other and they are generous with their affection towards us, their owners.

We are very fortunate indeed in having our two lovelies even if Noni isn't the full bred border collie she was supposed to have been. To tell you the truth I couldn't care less as the love they give far outweighs any thing else.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I am now home from what has been a day of mixed emotions. 

No, not Offspring I hear you say.....
To tell the truth, I was going to conduct a one sided discussion about a certain theme that is dear to my heart that announced itself unexpectedly last night, and who knows, I may get to it shortly, but for now and without elaborating too much on detail, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss some finer things of my life.

I was an early riser this morning. 'Why?' you ask. Any well meaning woman knows the emotion I am going to share with you all.... It's the "Oh my god, the cleaners' are coming today and the house is a mess AGAIN.... I have to clean it up before they get here" feeling, hence my rising at 0700 hrs., to give me time to not only ensure the house was relatively tidy for the fairy godmothers who come here every second week but, today was also TAX day which meant time to get the paperwork all together right at the last minute and tick all the boxes before I trundle off to the tax man with an appointment time there for 12 midday.
So, 11 am. saw me with two major feats accomplished, house AND paperwork all ready to go, so, with a spring in my step I jumped into my trusty vehicle and made my way over to Avondale Heights to spend 45 minutes with our accountant..... 
The best bit is that we don't owe.... I hold my breath each time I go there for fear he's going to turn around and say "Sorry, this one's on you"... but no, fortunately, they owe us yet again and so a little moolah will be spinning our way to our bank accounts not before too long.

So that was done and dusted without too much pain. Are you like me? Do you, every year make a promise to yourself that you will have your 'affairs' in order before the due date, only to have that mad scramble at the very end again like last time?
Like I said recently, Procrastination must have been my middle name for I am always planning to do this (organise myself), but never do.... I suppose that is how some people (like me) get stuff done at the last minute. It's how we live and it's how we organise our lives. Complete disorganisation = fait accomplee.
No cool calm, organised 'I know where's everything is in my house' life for me. I thrive on that mad scramble as the bell tolls....... That sick feeling in your tum when you think you've lost it all, feeling, only to have a last minute reprieve combined with that 'I'm sure I looked there' before feeling.

Now, what I want to share with you to end today's chat, is how important it is to share the love. 
I, with a large contingent of work colleagues today got to do just that this afternoon. 
You see, the daughter of someone I have known for a large number of years was farewelled this afternoon. Whilst being there was so terribly sad, there was a profound beauty in the number of people who wanted to share their love with a grieving family. People from many different aspects of this young woman's life were there to offer their respects, so many that there was standing room only by the time we all crowded into the chapel. 
I am sure by the end of the day, the family will have no clue as to who was there and who wasn't, but regardless, they will know there was love, comfort and succour for all as they make peace with their hearts and look to the skies again.
The amazing thing and the solace I have found in tough times such as these is how people do pull together and make some attempt to support one another.
Did you watch Offspring last night? Are you over the hype and exaggerated emotion verbalised by fans of the show...or should I say, fans of Patrick's.
I am one of the thousands who did watch, waiting for the death knell to befall an unsuspecting character and audience and it did fall with a bitter blow.
The scenes and the acting that led up to the characters death were quite realistic, but once the family landed in the hospital scene, that's where the reality ended for a little while.
 This show as far as I am concerned has prided itself on intrinsic intuitive mental health in the past and that's why a large number of health workers such as I have enjoyed the pseudo reality. What made me very curious and more than a little cross was to see the callous way the health care workers were represented. I understand they had very small speaking roles and probably did not have to put too much effort into their acting skills, but, to announce to a very pregnant woman that her partner was seriously ill then tell her that they had done all that they could but he died anyway,then walk away and leave her standing there alone with a distraught sister of the deceased was a wrong portrayal of what could have been the opportunity to really demonstrate their synch with reality. As for the clip board wielding organ donor signer.... I would have punched her lights out if that had been in reality.

I guess what I am really trying to say is that it disappointed me that the doctors and nurses were not portrayed as the compassionate caring people I know from my own experience to be.

So, such as has been my day today.

Until next time....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 3

.......and it's dosage time!!!

Well, I was a very good girl last night.
I did come home and went straight to bed as I had promised myself.
The excitement of being on LSL is getting to me..... I need my sleep it seems.

This morning saw me trundle off to work in yet more rain to 'my other job'.
As I may have mentioned yesterday, I do enjoy my clinic work as it is quite variable, and a little more predictable than what I usually do. Ha! That could account for home life too!!!

I got to do a home visit today which was interesting. I visited a part of my local city in which I had never been before (another new estate) where there are houses upon houses upon houses. This crazy world exists where we have to build almost on top of each other, with a primary purpose to make money.      

The people I visited were lovely and most welcoming. Their house was interesting, I think that's what I love about home visits, especially with the elderly is that their memorabilia is so idiosyncratic to their own personalities. I love looking at their photos up on the walls of their children and grandchildren. I love getting 'the vibe' of the place too. I could tell this was a happy home with a couple who cared a lot for each other despite their illnesses. They had children coming and going whilst I was there who obviously care for their parents as well, so I came away content in knowing this was a cohesive extended family who were in a supportive position for each other. (No patronising intended here).

This afternoon there was a major hiccough within town. A goods train derailed right in an intersection that divides this city. The result of course is a major traffic entanglement within the heart of the main streets which are bad enough come peak hour time on a good day here! There will be some people getting home much later than expected I feel, tonight. I was very lucky that I got through traffic with obliging drivers letting me in and out so I could circumnavigate the upheaval without too much fuss.

During my day, I think of interesting things to write about when its blogging time but I'm usually too busy to write them down there and then and so, when it comes around to now, you, readers have to put up with my meanderings as I try to recoup my day to day happenings.
For that I can but apologise and hope you will return. Who knows there may be a spark of something interesting eventually which you may enjoy and reply back to me with.
Now that, I look forward to in anticipation.

May you all have a lovely evening despite the cold wet weather that is upon us in Melbourne right now and don't forget to have the handkerchief with you when watching Offspring tonight!!!

Oh, and another highlight of my day..... A wedding invitation. How much excitement can this old girl take!!! Another beautiful couple have thought to invite mon 'usband et moi to their wedding which is to be a gala 2 day affair..... Such fun!!! Simply lovely!!!! And to the lovely couple, a very big thank you.

Bonsoir mes amies.........

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 2

I'm writing early tonight as I'm heading out soon. I'm feeling a bit tired so by the time I get home, I hope I stick to my guns and go to bed early as I'm going to have a busy day at work tomorrow with one thing and another.
When I say work, I'm not referring to midwifing as I'm on long service leave as I mentioned yesterday, but this will be my other hat, my practice nurse hat where I get to do many varied things with many varied different people for the day.
I've realised in my time in this other job that I really do love chatting to older people. Many are somewhat isolated and being able to just chat to someone, even if to see how they're going is a bonus in their lives I am sure. I enjoy witnessing their progress if they require repeated dressings and I love it when littlest come in for their vaccinations and I can stem the tears with distraction and stickers and laughter.
Tonight I am off to a Varoma demonstration. A Varoma is an attachment to the Thermomix and can be used for steaming and all sorts of things I am about to find out no doubt.
It's cold and miserable out there so I trust they'll have heaters on inside the hall.
I find myself feeling extremely envious of those travelling off to warmer climates right now. Funny that you get to a point in winter and summer where you say right, that's enough, bring on climate change right now thank you. I am of feeling cold, I am over grey skies and wind and rain.
I am lucky I haven't had to suffer with a cold or worse, the flu this year. I have my flu vaccination each year and a couple of years ago, because of a scare at work had to have a whooping cough booster, so I like to think I am immune to lots of things around about now.
My best friend has flown over to W.A. to meet her brand new granddaughter baby so when she returns we will catch up before she flies off to Italy no less!
So that's me in a nutshell today. Not much accomplished other than washing, hanging it out, visiting Mum and tidying up. 
I will have to make amends and DO SOMETHING!!! 
Until next time......

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's a new day!

Today was the first day of the rest of my life. 
It was actually the first day of long service leave, the first day of a month away from my primary place of employment and the first day of not having to scramble around like crazy to get stuff done before work, for a while.
My grandiose plan is to keep a bit of a diary whilst I am on leave so when I do return, I can reflect on my Much Ado About Nothing time.
We shall see how this goes as I am pretty good at making plans and non spoken promises, but am even better at not keeping them as it turns out. I suspect that Procrastination is really my middle name and no-one ever told me. I wonder if there's a job for someone out there where the performance description meets that criteria. 

My day started out well enough with a bit of a sleep in. When I finally emerged out of bed I realised I had an appointment this afternoon to farewell a colleague's Mother so I had to get my act together if I was to do the things I had planned for the day.
Stuart Noni and I went for a bit of a wild time down the beach this morning. A lot of dredging was done down there in recent times and consequently every time I take them down the shoreline is a little different. Today the tide was well and truly in. there was lots of flotsam washed up onto the beach and even in one area there was to be an amount of mud which both dogs loved skidding in.We did a few laps of the sand bar and the dogs swam out for the ball as usual and as the rain came down once again, it was time to return home.

The afternoon as I mentioned before was planned around the attendance at a funeral of a work colleagues Mum. Hers was a beautiful story of a woman much loved by family and friends who had lived many years. 
Those years are never enough are they, regardless of the circumstances. We always wish we had longer time to spend with that person when they have gone and that is a large part of the feelings of grief..... the regret that how ever close you are or the closeness you experienced, it's never enough.

Anyhow, I returned to my home again....back to the bosom of my dogs and housework and then took a phone call from my very own mother asking if she and my brother could come over for dinner this evening which would complete the evening beautifully.

My mother is quite frail now. Some might see her and not notice her gradual 'decline' but it has struck me recently how tired she is all the time and how reticent she is to venture out much any more. She does go shopping, and we do go out for lunch and or for a cuppa each week, but social activities are now few and far between as she doesn't feel as confident as she once was, which is so frustrating for her. On more than one occasion she has said to me she hates feeling the way she does and that she wishes she could overcome her general feelings of ageing and becoming older with time.
I am very fortunate to have had two wonderful parents who both worked very hard to ensure their children never went hungry and that their lives were fulfilling and happy and I often reflect on this when I hear stories of what others have had to embrace when young.

So, mother and brother came for dinner, then they left as the weather is still wild and windy and raining and cold outside (it is winter after all).

So day 1 is almost ended and I will be off to bed before too long.