Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It's All Hallow's Eve today, The Day of The Dead tomorrow. What better time to write an obituary.


Gutter Tree came from our uncleared roof gutter. Perhaps the wind blew a seed there. Perhaps some bird stopped for a poop. 

It was a baby when we found it, a tiny green thing living off decaying leaves. Loathe to bin it, we planted Gutter Tree in our 30cm wide brick planter. "It's a grevillea," I told Cushion confidently. "It'll be a nice medium height bush, perfect for the spot." I had visions of it flowering profusely one day, dripping with nectar.

The months passed. Gutter Tree grew on nothing more than sunlight and the occasional bucket of water. Soon, it was a lovely fat shrub. 

A year passed, then 2. Gutter Tree was almost as high as the fence. "Why doesn't it flower?" I wondered quietly to myself and aloud to Cushion. 

Another couple of years went by. 

Gutter Tree was now higher than the roof. "What a very big shrub Gutter Tree is! " we thought, congratulating ourselves on our green fingers, still wondering when it would start flowering.

Then one day, the neighbour said... 


..."That's a nice silky oak you have there."

Examples of the shrubby grevillea I thought we were growing.
This pic from HERE.
This pic from HERE.

What Gutter Tree would have become.
 These pics from HERE.
Gutter Tree was a silky oak, the very largest species in the genus of Grevillea, capable of growing up to 40m tall. 

A small mistake, if you ask me.


So we started to regularly prune Gutter Tree back. Harshly keeping it to below roof height. Just high enough to provide welcome summer shade for the barbie, and a screen from the neighbour's Hills Hoist. 

When the courtyard pavers start lifting, we stubbornly closed our eyes, sighed and said, "Gutter Tree, you'll have to go soon." 

When the storm water pipes beneath the tree cracked and cost 3000 dollars to fix, we blamed each other for not taking down Gutter Tree, sighed and said, "Gutter Tree, you'll have to go soon."

And so another 2 years passed.


Then on Monday, Cushion noticed the bricks in the planter had shifted. The wall was in imminent danger of collapsing. Bummer. He wasted no time.
I didn't even get a chance to take some pictures of Gutter Tree in its full glory in Spring sunshine. To say thank you, sorry and goodbye. 

Now lying in pieces in the front yard, waiting to be collected on Green Waste Monday, my poor Little Big Gutter Tree. Cut down in the prime of its life. 


It's very hot in the kitchen now, and the sunlight shooting off the sink is blinding me.
Hello, neighbour's Hills Hoist.
More sun for the washing at least.
It wasn't your fault, baby.  I'll miss you. Don't you worry. I'm going to make Cushion feel really bad.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Pic from HERE.

Didn't sleep much last night. There were parties popping all over the neighbourhood. At least that's what it sounded like. Fireworks going off. Loud music. Happy screaming. Presumably, they were halloween parties though it's still 3 sleeps to the real day.

Some people on a nearby street were having such a good time, they wanted everyone else to know. Close to midnight, some man shouted at them, bravely telling them what we all thought but were too afraid to say, behind our closed windows tossing sleepless in bed. They all shouted back, ridiculing him. The herd, drunk on cheap alcopops, or maybe expensive champers, who knows. I thought someone would call the police but no one did, so the noise went on and on and on. More drunks wandered down our little street around 3 or so, talking slurring loudly as drunks do, no doubt trying to find their way to the bus stop. I hope no one pooped on the sidewalk along the way. It's been known to happen. 

We don't do much halloween here though the marketing boys are trying their best to work kiddies and their mamas and papas into a frenzy, and it seems to be getting bigger every year. The scariest part of the whole season for me is how a cheap vege like pumpkin can suddenly cost 25 dollars. And how the lolly shelves at our local Woollies can start to look a lot like what I imagine a food store in Syria would look like these days. 
Pic from HERE.

On October 31st, you'll find us sitting very quietly in our dark house with the telly turned down, hoping that our front door will look too ominous for any sensible child to ring the doorbell. That's right. We've given up trying to give kids a head start on Type 2 diabetes. They only have themselves to blame too. Some years they would turn up all cute and scary, ready to extort candy from strangers. Other years, they would skip by us entirely. Fickle children! I might have an awfully sweet tooth for cream cakes, but I have none whatsoever for jelly beans, rocky road, gummy bears and snakes and having to consume a whole untouched bowl of them in the weeks after halloween is my personal idea of hell. 

One year a very long time ago, Cushion felt so bad when some kiddies turned up and he had nothing ready, he gave them a can of beer. [Thankfully, 1 for the lot and not 1 each.] Obviously, his brain was on vacation that night. As mine will be for the rest of the day.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A case of mistaken identity.



"Scoos me plees. Are you my mama?"

"Are you?"

 "Plees say sumfing!"

"Pleees mama!"

 "Look kiddo. I don't know who you are, I have never seen you before.  And despite my reputation with the boys in the park, I am most certainly NOT your mama!"




"What? Too harsh?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A message from the cosmos.

After 3 and a 1/2 months without my good friends, Endorphin and Serotonin, I went back to training last night.

It wasn't easy getting to class. 

First, Spring deserted us yesterday and the temperature plummeted down to 18. Yeah, you northern hemisphere people, that's cold for us. 

Then the wind started and blew down the beautiful old orchid plant I showed you last week. I hope it survives. 

4 o'clock rolled round. Just as I was about to set off for my bus, it started to rain. I don't know where our council rates go to but it's not to building bus stops. There is none where I wait patiently for my bus to the city that may or may not turn up. 

Finally arriving in the city, I made a not-so-quick stop at Abbey's to look for a Spanish diccionario, then stepped out into the wet for the 15 minute walk to class. Past sad faces and goosebumpy bodies unprepared for this weather after weeks of glorious sunshine. Past twisted umbrellas tossed by irate owners.

At the intersection near my academy, a strong gust of wind suddenly blew up and stopped me in my tracks. Literally. Stopped. Me. I. Could. Not. Move. 

I arrived at the academy, hallelujah! pushed the button for 3, said "Oi, tudo bem?" to my mestre at the reception, and got to the change room just in time to hear the skies split open. 

My mob buzzed. It was a text from Cushion and here's what it said.

Do you think the cosmos is trying to tell me something?

I haven't yet ventured into our little yard but I suspect there may be some cleaning to do today. 

And yes, my knees are hurting. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

So, after we cross the road and see the sign...

...I get dumped with all the other dogs at the sidewalk. 

If you ask me, not to be allowed into places like that is diskrimanatory discrimatory  very bad. I'm sure lots of humans dirtier than me are allowed into the market. I bet they don't get hosed down [or their butts wiped] almost every day like I do. And do their beds get washed every fortnight like mine? I think not!

It wasn't always like this! Dogs used to go into the market just a few years ago! and Mr Piglet and Mr T had lots of friends there. 
So here I am, tied up like a dog, waiting patiently for My Cushion. [This picture is an old one, Ms Rose.] 

But I digress.

Since I'm not allowed into the market, I will just show you the piccies and tell you what little I know.
On a nice sunny day, the market can be very crowded.

This is our egg lady. She is wearing a funny fur hat with horns.
This picture was taken a few Saturdays ago when it was still chilly. It's too hot to wear a fur hat with horns today. 

My favourite bloodwood honey comes from this stall. 
I have it with oatmeal when I am sick. Sometimes the Typist steals it for her muesli.

 This is our chorizo roll man. He has a big moustache. 
The rolls are muy delicioso. It is my humans' ritual to eat a chorizo roll with fried onions and chimichurri every Saturday morning and it is my ritual to stare at them until they each give me the last bits of their rolls.  

These are the gözleme ladies. They wear nice scarves.
Gözleme  is Turkish pastry with yummy stuffing and very popular at markets here. Our favourite is spinach and cheese. Most everyone pronounces  gözleme wrong.

Here are some other food stalls. 
In the picture below is something my humans like to eat too much. 
They are called bee stings and are brioche buns with thick cream in the middle and caramelised almond slivers on top. Can you see them? My humans have 1 each every weekend. They used to buy 4. I'm not allowed any. Apparently, I'm on a strict diet but they're not.

There are many fruta and verdura stalls at the market. Not everything is organic but everything is very fresh.

The papas are very exciting, don't you think?

There are other stalls that sell meat! and sausages! and nuts! and juices! and soaps! and clothes! and books! and flowers! and plants! and beads! and toys! but we haven't got any pictures to show you except this one.


I am always happy when Cushion comes to get rescue me from the hard hot sidewalk.
Of course I get a treat for being A Good And Patient Girl.


Here I am, waiting...
...for the last bits of the chorizo rolls. 
"Your turn, Typist."

Did you enjoy your visit to the market? If you want to know how and when to get there for real, CLICK HERE!

I hope you are having a good Saturday. I am right now waiting for my chicken hearts, liver and gizzard treats to finish cooking on the barbie. It's so exciting! I hope they will be delicioso. Hooroo for now! X

Friday, October 19, 2012

Saturday ritual.

The Chinese star jasmines are out now! It smells very nice on my street.
It's jacaranda time too!


It's Saturday again tomorrow! 

Every Saturday, I go for an extra long walk, usually to Callan Park. The park is very big and there are many things to do there. 
I can hunt possums!
If you like, you can read about one of my possum hunts with Mr T  >>> HERE.
Nice humans leave water bowls about for us dogs so we don't have to worry about being thirsty.

I can play hide and seek! Can you see me?
Here I am!


This big field sometimes has snakes when The People In Charge Of These Things don't keep the grass short. I'm not allowed there when there are snakes.
This is where the community garden is. I think Something Serious is happening there because there's a big fence all around it.
This is the name of the garden. Maybe some bad human broke the sign, or maybe it just got too old.

One of the humans there sometimes gives us vegies to bring home. Once, she gave us 2 big packets of seeds from the garden. The Typist put them in pots but we haven't got anything to eat yet. I hate to be a pessimist but we probably never will. 
Can you see me checking out my favourite fruta? I hope the human gives us some plátanos one day.


How cool is this picnic table? It is very retro.
Maybe I shouldn't have dirtied it.
One part of Callan has bamboos and palm trees and a smelly drain to splash in.
It is a nice cool place in summer. Otherwise, it is quite boring. The Typist likes to play hide and seek here. Despite the smelly drain, she is too easy to find.

Look at how big the bamboos are! They only look nice from far away because some humans have cut their names into them.


There are 2 beaches in Callan. They are little but nice.
NOTE! These pictures were taken last summer because I didn't go there that day. I am putting them here just to show you how nice the beaches are. I have to tell you this because some of you are very painful sharp and have been questioning asking The Typist why I am wearing different collars in my pictures.
After our walk in Callan, we usually go up the road to the Orange Grove farmer's market. It is only a minute away on foot. 

This is our Saturday morning ritual! Do you have any rituals like that?

I would like to show you some pictures of the market but it's now time for my siesta. Sorry. I hope you can come back tomorrow, or maybe Sunday.
The most horrible sign in the world for us dogs.

By the way!
Did anyone notice my newish collar? The Typist says she got it specially for me because plátanos are my most favourite fruta in the world and NOT because I am a little monkey. Despite her somewhat dubious record with collars, I believe her. Do you?