As usual, I really should be doing something constructive. Like cleaning, or hanging out my washing. Or the work that's building up on my desk. But, I thought it was much more of a priority to update my neglected blog.
This week, we decided to do something spontaneous and travel somewhere for the long weekend. We'd been talking of seeing a game of rugby in New Zealand, so we decided that would be our destination. I don't care for rugby, or most sports for that matter. But when your other half steps away from his usual, overly serious self to do something adventurous, I wanted to take advantage of it.
We'll fly out Friday, from Sydney to Christchurch before hiring a car and driving to Nelson, located at the top of the south island. There we'll stay until Monday, see the rugby and do some sightseeing. Then we'll drive back to Christchurch and fly out again. The south island of New Zealand, is where the magic happens - the mountains and lakes and wilderness that is usually part of a movie set - which is what I'm looking forward to seeing.
To be honest, I never really had an urge to see New Zealand. It probably sounds awful, but I see them to be our cousins - other than some of the history and their geography, I don't see much being too different. Hopefully a couple of museum trips will help establish the somewhat 'exotic' feeling you have when travelling abroad.
This will be the first time we fly Qantas international - my only other experiences have been British Airways and Pacific Air. I am extremely curious to see how it compares (to British Airways at least, Pacific Air was a budget airline). The flight will be shorter than the drive from Christchurch to Nelson, which made me chuckle.
I am also excited about taking the camera over. I am itching to see how it differs from the 500D and what cool things I can get. Hopefully the weather is nice when we're there and we're able to capture some of the mountain ranges.
Because I don’t have children, one of the scariest things that could happen to me is when one of my dogs is unwell. It sounds silly, but they really do become your fur-kids. I was raised under the belief that pets were part of the family, and that they are to be treated as such. And so, you become very attached to them.
Thursday night, Lucy woke us in the middle of the night having a seizure. She sleeps on the end of our bed, and I could feel her stiffen and heard her start to whimper. She looked very odd, and woke James knowing something wasn’t right. Then, if you could imagine it her whole body locked up and she threw her head back as if her whole spine had been shortened. It was then she started screaming – later we were told it wasn’t out of pain, but because she probably had no idea what was happening and she was distressed as to why couldn’t move her body.
I had the animal hospital on the phone (yes, they do exist) and they confirmed a seizure and to bring her in. I was honestly waiting for her to have a heart attack – and half expected James to call me back saying she’d died. But, 5 minutes passed and everything slowly came back to normal, and after watching her for 30 minutes we thought it was best to find out what was going on (now 2am).
So, it turns out that Lucy most likely has epilepsy and if the seizures become a regular occurrence that she will have to go on medication for the rest of her life. I felt so sad that it was something we couldn’t really control, and that leading up to the battery of blood tests it was a wait-and-see approach.
I was, (and still am until confirmed) secretly hoping that she was poisoned in some way – by a plant in the backyard or by something she’d eaten – and that was it wasn’t anything serious and could fix the problem. It was awful. And the poor thing can’t actually tell me what’s going on.
Lucy is supposedly purebred, which means that I have to contact the people we got her from, to let them know if they are still breeding the same animals to stop because of the bad gene. So a word of caution – although we didn’t purposely set out to buy pure bread, and would have taken her if she was a mongrel – make sure you check breeder history. This is why I think random everyday people should NOT be breeding animals, and only registered professionals should be allowed to. Every animal should have to be de-sexed unless specially classified.
Of course, I am happy to deal with it for as long as I have to, but imagine the puppies out there that are destined to spend their lives on medication? Or the ones that are abandoned because their owners don’t want to look after a dog that needs extra attention? It makes me so angry when I think about it.
My vegetable garden a few weeks ago, freshly planted and ready -
I love fresh food. When I was a kid, my mum went through a period of time where she had a veggie garden and it was so good to pick off the food whenever you wanted and eat it. We also had an orange tree, which for many years gave off the best fruit. It was pretty cool, that you could walk outside and grab fresh fruit.
After spending Christmas at the family house in Vinifera, eating fruit from the plum, mulberry and apricot trees I wanted to have my own garden. A bit hard when you can't really tend to it, but now that I'm home more (and food prices have risen, along with electricity, fuel, etc) I can have one.
So I planted what we ate the most - tomatoes, lettuce, pumpkin, zucchini, capsicum, strawberries, basil, parsley, mint, cucumber and chillies. And now, we have this:
The snake is to keep the birds away - I noticed they were having a nibble of the lettuce. Usually, I try and let nature take it's course and allow Lucy to catch them and kill them (Indian Mynas we're talking about here people, who are a pest and run out any native birds), but she's not allowed near the nice wet soil, because she likes to dig in it. So the rubber snake is there.
Last Friday, I wanted to plant some more but from seedlings, so I can keep a cycle of plants going without in between stages. Below is the lettuce's effort in a couple of days - from seed. The other side has chilies, zucchini and pumpkin, all which are yet to show.
I don't know why, but for some reason I feel pretty chuffed that if anyone ever invaded Australia and supplies were cut off, I could (somewhat) sustain myself, haha. Don't expect cooks to appear any time soon - I hate them and Lucy would get in and kill them. We're on the outskirts of town, so now I'm looking for a farmer who raises lamb and beef for the butchers so I can convince them to sell to me wholesale.
On a final note...
I bought some big, old school hair rollers the other day. I think when I get a chance, I want to try a photo shoot based on this photo of Kristen Stewart, which appeared in Vouge. The pictures make her seem very Elizabeth Taylor and the look is really lovely. I have to write it here or I'll forget.
A couple of people have been asking me what I would like for my birthday. I honestly have no requests, other than one to my sister for a splatter guard for my frying pan.
Shopping today and I was thinking about all the magnificent things I can't eat anymore. And I thought, on the provision it doesn't make me ill, I would like to have a birthday where I can eat what I want. This is my list so far:
2. Tomato Samboy Chips + Burger Rings
3. Crumpets with Vegemite.
4. Bacon, tomato and cheese melts on home made white bread.
5. Chocolate milk.
6. Cheese and tomato toasted sandwich on run-of-the-mill white bread.
7. Dinner roll with butter.
I am trying to think of how I am going to style a particular photograph I would like to take. My friend Pants Man (www.pants-man.com.au) are trying to challenge ourselves and work on our conceptual skills in regards to our photography - this weekend the theme was window. I have had a couple of ideas, but none seem to be jumping out at me as the perfect idea. I probably should just take the photos and see how they come out.
This weekend has been pretty casual. Unless you count the monster spring clean that took place yesterday. And when I say spring clean, I really mean hiring out a carpet cleaner from Big W and doing all the carpets in our house. Over the past couple of weeks we've been slowly culling the junk that has accumulated in the house and that was the final step. I hate the carpets here, but they manage to gain a couple of points when they're freshly cleaned. I know I said we'd try and move this year but that plan has slowly died - with my sister moving it it seems we cannot be bothered sorting it out. We fixed the fence problem ourselves and I've just planted my veggie garden, so at the moment it's on the back burner.
I have to say, I've got itchy feet again. It's been one whole year since I went to Hawaii and I'm on the lookout again. This year we have some Qantas travel vouches to use - basically some free flights. Thinking of going to New Zealand to watch a rugby world cup game or two in October and something else next year. Remember that long lost plan to go to South America with a friend of mine? Well, the momentum is building up again for that plan to be realised. I don't know what it is, but at the moment I really want to off exploring. I watched the movie Paul a week ago and that almost set me off planning a road trip around the USA. I just need to find someone that's enthusiastic about the idea.
What I want to do is organise a trip, with the people I went to school with. One year we went camping, and now I want to do something a little bit bigger. Maybe set a date, two years from now and commit to a road trip around Australia, or another country. Set an amount we'd like to spend, agree on a destination and go from there. It's so hard to get anyone enthusiastic about it though. It's never something you'd be able to do in the moment, and I always feel like we'd miss out on something so awesome if it's not planned in advance. But it's difficult getting everyone to think the same way. Different lives mean different pressures, commitments. Some people think it's silly to plan so far in the future. I wonder why that is. I guess it's hard to know what it will be like then - anything completely life altering may make it hard to follow through - but I'm always afraid we'll go "gee, that would have been cool. when we really didn't have to think of anyone but ourselves'. I guess there's always the chance that it will come to the time, and those involved will start pulling out. That's what happened for the trip to Hawaii. T and I planned almost 12 months in advance. Let some girls know, to start saving and planning for the trip. We were the only ones who did (although the enthusiasm was there, it seemed easy to give because it was just an idea at that stage). T and I got to the point where we were booking and putting down deposits, and of course it was only us two. Not that we didn't have an excellent time. We did. But I wish others could have experienced it as well.
I'm actually waiting for someone to throw back at me the whole Qantas thing. Someone did once. The whole, 'easy for you to say...'. That was disappointing. Let's just say I don't think about inviting them on a trip. I'm lucky, I know it. I feel bad about it. I get it. I don't say, 'we should travel' and completely ignore the issue. I ended up paying full fare for the Hawaii trip - full commercial ticket. Why? It wasn't that much cheaper to fly staff and second, I got a guaranteed seat with T which would not have been the case otherwise. Wouldn't that have been nice? She flies off on the holiday and I'm stuck at international because the flight's full and there's no room for a stand-by. I would have missed out on parts of the trip or been stuck at airports waiting for an available seat.
Actually, I think the next big trip with T, I might bribe my brother to put her on his staff travel. Then we can be stranded together at airports and waiting for available seats. For cheap flights that is, haha. She'd have 6 months usage so we'd try and go anywhere and everywhere in that period. Hell, even to freaking Darwin for a weekend.
I think I might go cook dinner now. Think about my photograph. Might think about the whole group trip thing. Write up a semi proposal. See what the response is like.