Losing The Plot

I woke up at 9:40 this morning. That’s five hours later than normal. Morning people don’t wake up when it’s nearly lunch time.

Do I feel better for all this extra sleep? Absolutely not! Let’s blame the heat and the Labrador. Mostly the dog. Four weeks of puppy sitting and I’m done.

Firstly, I find myself constantly having conversations with said dog. The weather, what we’ll have for tea, the Dow Jones Index. This would be a concern at the best of times, but Bentley is deaf. We even had a discussion about music from the 70’s recently.

Then this afternoon I found that I shampooed my hair with Organic Hemp Pet Wash from Byron Bay.

I’m now about to sit down with a chardy in front of my latest Netflix binge : Schitts Creek. I’ve made a platter for humans, and a platter for the Lab.

Does this mean it’s time for me to start checking for employment opportunities ?

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay

Still puppy, plant and house sitting in The Hunter Valley. Loving the green rolling hills and abundant wildlife – hating the heatwaves. Yes, plural. The Labrador continues to wake me up three times a night for ablutions. One of us will be popping Valium shortly and it won’t be me…

Kangaroos Across The Road

The Library at Maitland currently has a lovely exhibition as part of its Walls That Talk series, celebrating 100 years since the publication of The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay.

”At a time when children’s books were usually filled with fairy tales and whimsy, Lindsay’s tale of a quarrelsome, endlessly renewable pudding marked a complete change of pace. Lindsay complemented his playful use of Australian slang with over 100 distinctive Magic Pudding drawings.
Norman Lindsay’s timeless classic follows the adventures of koala Bunyip Bluegum, sailor Bill Barnacle and penguin Sam Sawnoff – owners of the much-desired Magic Pudding ‘Albert’ – as they try to outwit Possum and Wombat, the professional, and extraordinarily persistent, pudding thieves.
First published in 1918, it is still in print and has been translated into Japanese, German, French and Spanish as well as having been published in Britain and the United States. It is regarded as a classic of children’s literature.” – Courtesy of Maitland Library.

The Magic Pudding is right up there with The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie as Classic Australian Children’s Literature. I think everyone of a certain vintage grew up with Bill Barnacle and Albert.

I hear tell that prior to Christmas the Library was selling Xmas Puddings too. What a fun initiative.

Courtesy of Maitland Library Facebook Page

The Exhibition finishes next week. If you are in the area it is worth dropping by. You can pick up the Labrador as you go past.

A Scone That Hasn’t Quite Risen

In the first week of December I had dinner with my daughter in Canberra.

In the first week of January when I met her at the local airport she greeted me with “Mo, you’re going grey!” Happy New Year to you too, biatch.

So five weeks into retirement what possibly could be sending me grey?

Is it because I’m missing the daily two hour train commute?
Is it because all the healthy living – food, exercise,mindfulness – doesn’t sit well?
Is it the freedom to do my own thing that I’m not coping with?
Are the decision making processes required to decide which book to read each day just too demanding?

Nope, none of these things. I’m putting all the blame on Bentley, my Labrador Grandfurbaby, with whom I am currently sharing living quarters. A lovely dog with a beautiful nature he is just simply exhausting.

First of all, he has me up three times a night for bathroom duties. Three times a night!!!!!! My human babies were sleeping through the night within six weeks. I’m a morning person – up with the chooks and often before them – but this broken sleep is a killer. I’m very close to hitting the wall especially that we are now into our ninth day of heatwave conditions.

I acknowledge that it’s a positive that he lets me know when visits are required and that there have been no accidents. How does he let me know ? By licking and slobbering all over my face. Holy Guacamole! Is it a really sad state of affairs to admit that I’m almost at the stage that I’m used to being awoken in this manner?

Oh, and Bents doesn’t like the rain so thanks to my daughter’s poor parenting practises one is required to stand there holding an umbrella over him mid stream.

Can dogs be diabetic, I’m wondering?

Bentley always wants to eat. I’m already nervous that the daughter will weigh him when she flys in as she likes her dog lean and trim. Did you know that Labs have a chemical imbalance which stops them from knowing when their tummies are full? Might have to use that excuse myself…..

And not just kibble, but pumpkin or prawns too

With his hearing impediment (totally deaf) he doesn’t pick up on social queues. You can be walking him down the street and a growling Rottweiler appears and Bentley wants to lick him. He can’t distinguish between friend or foe, which is sad and also awkward (and sometimes scary). I’m thinking I’m going to have to walk him with a golf club in hand for emergencies.

Yes, Bentley is a scone that hasn’t quite risen. Love him to bits but I’m buggered.

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.