Jun 30, 2009

Subsistence Existence

Matilda Anyone would think this dog is starving. Maybe she is. For a starving dog though she has a pretty high body mass index.

Once again we have discovered, after having briefly forgotten it, the key to getting good behaviour from Matilda - in most circumstances.

Just give her a treat before you go for a walk. Then give her a treat when she comes back. Pretty soon she just comes back when you call her.

Of course the scenario of getting her gently to take food from your hand is an exception to this rule.

Jun 28, 2009

Old Dog

Tiny Tiny just kind of toddles along behind us these days.

We went to Mount Mee and did the four-hour thirteen-k walk there that takes you onto a precipicial ridge in the D'Aguilar Mountains. Matilda had a great time. Tiny just kind of toddled along.

She will jump into the back of the car now though, as long as her lead isn't on, and Matilda is up there already, sitting down, and the engine is on. Sometimes she doesn't even need the engine to be on.

Still she's in pretty good shape given her indeterminate age.

Jun 26, 2009

Up a Gum Tree

Up a Gum Tree Went to the brook the other day, Eloise under duress.

The carrot was to ride her bike down there. The stick was the grey cloud and threat of rain.

She rode her bike admirably. The brook was full so we had to cross on the big Gilbert Street bridge rather than the rocks, which were inwisible.

So we crossed over the bridge and let the dogs off the lead.

Eloise climbed the tree. I went to look around and keep my eyes on the dogs.

I was slightly dis-chuffed when Eloise called me over to announce that she'd had an accident and weed in her Ugg Boots.

I grew extremely dis-chuffed when, trying to take off said Ugg Boots, Eloise fell over backwards into a dog turd.

She rode back home marvelously in her underpants.

Jun 22, 2009

Go To Bed

Sisterhood "Go to bed"
"You're a Pillock"

Jun 18, 2009

Been a Bit Ill

Westridge Lookout I've been a bit ill with a sore throat, coughing, loss of voice etc.

No it wasn't the bleeding swine flu. It was probably more serious than that. Which isn't saying much.

I dropped Eloise off at Nursery yesterday and they said "Oh you'd better call Queensland Health to make sure that England isn't on a list of countries where you have to quarantine yourself when you return."

For, um, goodness' sake.

But anyway I lost my voice for a while and my throat was pretty sore. I spent a day in bed, recuperating. I've read a few books. Had a few early nights. Taken it easy.

Last Friday I was out on assignment producing a picture story for college. Will was my glamourous assistant, and Zoe was my glamourous model. We went for a drive up Mount Glorious Road and stopped off at some places of interest - the Brisbane Vineyard, some National Park places, a couple of cafes. We unfurled lights and attempted to produce professional looking photos with people in them - specifically Zoe - that were well lit with a combination of natural light and flash. Particularly challenging in the rainforest where natural light is a bit thin on the ground.

But I think we got some pretty good results.

Jun 6, 2009

Mount Lofty and the Penguins

Mount Lofty I may have inadvertently skimmed over Saturday, when we took our hire car out Eastwards and up Mount Lofty where there is a lookout which, well, looks out over the bay.

Also rather mysteriously there is what seems to be a lighthouse there, goodness only knows why. Eloise enjoyed playing with some other kids trying to mount its flanks.

We drove then down to a place called Victor Harbor. There is an island there called Granite Island where there is a colony of little penguins. They come back from swimming at nightfall and there are guided tours to watch them do their thing as dusk settles.

So Nicole, wanting to repeat the previous night's nocturnal wildlife antics, though it might be nice to do that, which we did.

The island is linked to the mainland by a causeway along which runs a horse-drawn tram. We thought it would be great to ride on that, but missed it by five minutes. So we had to walk instead.

The tour was fine and the penguins interesting, if little. It was dark. And cold. They squawked. And did what penguins do.

Interesting Rocks

Hallett Cove On the Sunday - our last day - we struck out in a random direction sort of and wound up in a place called Hallett Cove which boasts Interesting Rocks.

Interesting Rocks there were. There was one called the Sugar Loaf. Presumably it looked like a loaf of sugar. I've never seen a loaf of sugar personally, so I can't confirm that. But it was interesting.

After walking for a bit Eloise announced she needed the toilet so back we went to the cafe at the start of the walk. As soon as we were in spitting distance Eloise announced that she didn't really and could we go to the playground please.

The other notable event of the day was the taxi drive we got home from the airport which was a little hair-raising as the driver was ridiculously cautious and didn't seem to know where anything was (geographically). Oh my poor pants.

Jun 3, 2009

Torrens River and Warrawong

Blk Swn We walked up the Torrens River, after catching the bus into town and dropping off at the Festival Centre.

Weather: a smidge chilly. Overcast.

We encountered a senior human who was fishing. I think he was Hungarian. Eloise made friends with him and we admired the black swans and some pelicans came along. The man, he owned some pedal boats. He claimed they made no money. I looked at the large fountain in the middle of the river. I felt the chill air. I looked at his pedal boats.

We walked up the river, headed for the zoo. Progress was slow. But eventually we made it there, and a little later we found the gate.

The zoo was nice, if cool. There were mountain goats and an orang utan and lots of monkeys. Tigers too, and giraffes and flamingoes. The penguins were absent, without explanation.

We met Nicole and picked up a car.

In the evening we headed out to a wildlife sanctuary called Warrawong where we went on a nocturnal walk spotting strange little animals flolopping around in the forest. There were bandicoots and wallaroos and betongs and other things whose names I don't recall. There were supposed to be platypus too, but they didn't want to play.

But it was fun. Cold but fun. We ended up in a large hall. Eloise danced in front of the fire, to the top twenty Easy Listening Painful Faves of the Eighties. We ate our supper there before driving home. Another late night for E.

Lunchtime at Glenelg

Lunchtime at Glenelg Glenelg, whilst not in Adelaide per se, is also terribly genteel in what I imagine to be a Brighton-esque kind of way, though not having been to Brighton - at least not that I can remember - I should emphasise the esque-ness of that speculative comparison.

We wandered thtough the Beach House which was in indoor fairground shamelessly aimed at relieving us of our money and resolutely I refused to spend any. Not for us the indoor carousel. Or the crazy golf. Or the indoor bumper cars. They were all turned off anyway.

Instead we wandered to the beach and the jetty where we encountered a hairy man surrounded by a flock of seagulls who we chatted with for a while. He warned us about the Great White Sharks in the sea thereabouts and Eloise seems to have taken the warning on board, which is probably for the best.

We then wandered around a gallery of mock-Victorian fairground machines with little freakshow exhibits inside which were operated by clockwork handles.

After chips, of course, we headed back into town to meet up with Nicole at the Botanical Gardens.

She didn't turn up. Too much work. We headed home.

Autumn in Adelaide

Autumn in Australia Wednesday last we set off for Adelaide for a well-earned holiday.

Nicole was there "on business" as she is compelled through work to submit research to conferences, and having done so, was surpised and a little shocked to have her submission accepted for presentation.

So we tagged along for a laugh while she hobnobbed, erm networked with her research geek mates-to-be.

Arriving late Wednesday night we found all the cupboards to be bare in our rented apartment. So I headed out to Unsley Road in search of milk and bread for next morning but was ludicrously unsuccessful as everything was closed and the streets deserted.

We awoke next morning around eight thirty to find Nicole gone.

After a bit of telly watching we headed out in a slightly random direction in search of breakfast and trams.

Turns out we had landed in a bit of a posh bit of Adelaide with roads which were not cobbled but not tiled but sort-of-bricked, if that makes any sense, with low-set brick buildings with verandahs and turrets. Terribly genteel.

We found breakfast then caught a bus into town. Whereupon gleaning intelligence from the Tourist Information Centre we headed back the way we had came on a terribly exciting tram, headed for the beach.