An Early Xmas With Bentley

My Christmas daughter and her military boy have left to follow the Inca Trail. This leaves me safely ensconced in the Hunter Valley on house and dog sitting duties, on a crusade to save the indoor plants.

If you think minding a Labrador is an easy task, think again. Bentley failed both Puppy School and Obedience Classes before it was discovered he was as deaf as a doorpost. I wailed like a banshee when he was finally diagnosed, happier to think he was merely recalcitrant. A “ revenge is sweet” kind of thing……Thankfully, it took only months to master canine sign language.

So this spoilt pup, who has been my daughter’s companion for the last two years with the partner on deployment and elsewhere, has been dining on scrambled eggs and salmon for breakfast on weekends, and fish and chips after his weekly half marathon.

Guess what ?

I love this pup like you wouldn’t believe but I refuse to feed him salmon and half marathons, any marathons at all, are definitely out of the question.

The plan is to entertain Bentley at the beach early every morning for a run and or/a swim, and hopefully he will practice patience whilst I lose an hour with the surf rod. Because of his hearing impediment I cannot let him off the lead – he is renowned locally for helping himself to both picnic baskets and eskys. His beautiful nature means that people laugh rather than fume.

No doubt Bentley will be weighed upon his parents return. My lean, mean fighting machine child likes her Labrador the same way.( A lean Lab – is that an oxymoron?).

This mother-of-the -bride’s main job was to find an outfit for Bentley to wear walking Josie down the aisle. It wasn’t easy finding a bow tie to match the bride’s shoes I tell you….

Back home blinds will be closed and the pup and I will enjoy the book and movie collection. And Netflix too if I can work out the instructions. The washing machine is proving a major challenge as well……..

It’s going to be a long six weeks. Thankfully, the Calvary arrives in a week in the form of the other daughter.

Warm Wishes for the Season, whatever that may mean to you.

Christmas Rituals…..Are Meant To Be Broken

I have been responsible for the Christmas Day cooking since I was 16 years of age. Despite all the time and effort, ( and yes, stress), I’ve always enjoyed the process particularly coming up with a new recipe and something different to add to the menu of Cold Meat and Salads each and every year.

Except for last Christmas. Hottest December 25th on record and both my Smashed Brussel Sprouts With Parmesan and Cous Cous with Bok Choy were an epic fail. As in Epic Fail. I dined on left overs for days.

This year I have retired. Retired on so many levels. No cooking for this little black duck. I’m heading south for a stint in our prime wine producing region with Christmas lunch booked somewhere swish. I might even wear makeup, something I’ve not done for years. Makeup in Brisbane mid summer is redundant as it slides off your face…….

(LIFE LESSON 35. Wearing a white frock mid summer in Brisi and wearing makeup is just asking for trouble. Oh, and do not drink red wine when wearing white either).

Being retired doesn’t mean I’ve slowed down at all. Indeed, these little legs keep moving. It just means my priorities have changed. So much to do, so little time….

I’ve not been to a shopping centre this Festive Centre which has improved any blood pressure issues considerably. I’ve avoided car park rage, school kids on holidays, and curmudgeonly old men who don’t like queuing and aren’t afraid to tell you. Can I tell you how good this all feels ? Any carols that I hear are ones I have chosen to listen too – such as Aussie, Tim Minchin, who makes me smile – and I’ve made Xmas Gifts that are natural and chemical free, including a Make Your Own Lip Balm Kit for those who want Angelina Jolie lips without the collagen. And who doesn’t? Be honest…..

Let’s see what other habits we can break, shall we?

Personal Challenge Accepted.