Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ha Long Bay

We're off to Ha Long Bay today to spend the night on a junk on what promises to be a spectacular trip. I've never been before, but from the images I have seen Ha Long Bay is one of the wonders of the world... or should be.

The bus picks us up at 8am. 8am? Oh my! Funny that I still have such thoughts when I have been up and having breakfast at 7am these last few mornings. (it is funny how the whinging is conditioned)

Friends of ours were going to be in Hanoi the same time as us, we all chatted about it dinner before we left. They weren't spending long here, and we left it at "we must catch up." Tonight, we were back at the restaurant next to the hotel drinking coffee on the balcony watching the world go by when, yes it is a small world, our friends walked passed. They are staying at the hotel directly across the road. They are being picked up by the same bus tomorrow to go to Ha Long Bay. Of all the hotels (Gin joints, oh it should be in Hanoi) in Hanoi, and when I say there is many it is an understatement, they had to be staying in the same street.

One of our friends organises their trips down to the last minute detail in advance, while we said we'd organise stuff when we got here and we only organised this trip yesterday.

So, there you go, we are all off to Ha Long Bay in this morning. By bus, should  be interesting.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Out for dinner

Walking in the night in the streets of Hanoi heading out to dinner. The narrow streets feed traffic through the buildings, so like veins pulsing rich thick blood. There is no space to spare and no spare space. People walking, looking, selling, buying, carrying, carting, spruiking, begging, pleading... boys with wallets and lighters and books, girls with donuts and oranges that are green. The streets are lined with chairs and with tables with the audience in full attendance. 

"Come in, good food here..."

"Would you like to buy my painting, my pots, my shirts, dresses, books, lighters, wallets... you name it."

"Motor Bike."

"I will take you for a ride."

People and talking and tooting and revving and lights and fumes and everybody whizzing away.

The streets full to bursting like a fat girl in a small dress... jogging. The is a wall of activity coming at you from every direction all of the time.

Everybody rushing, but where are all those people going, I often think, every hour of the day and night? People and push bikes and motor bikes and cars and trucks and buses all occupying the same spot, seemingly, at the same time and some how it all works

Monday, July 29, 2013

Who wants to go travelling around on this? I do. Cool, huh?

Hanoi Happy Hotel

Rain gear and pollution masks

Street food

Motor bikes are every where

Cute hairdresser

Rain Rain Rain

Colourful umbrella

When things are grim, sometimes you've just got to dance

Yesterday, I was dancing barefoot in the rain in a garden oasis. Ah, fascinating Hanoi. So, I guess I am feeling better... and I am. However, not to put too finer point on it, I am still too scared to fart. Oh, I know, tacky, but it is the truth. Travel, you have to love it, good and bad. The music was great, the DJ's varied. I was aided with coconut juice imbued with rum, Tiger beer and a little smoke. Who could ask for more? The rain fell hard and I sheltered under the garden pagoda, the rain fell gently and my toes gently padded in the wet grass. It was lovely really.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"There are people in the world who don't have access to fresh water."

I've spent the day feeling like a sad thing. Hot and cold. My body aching. I've had that feeling of being slightly stunned, if that makes sense... the odd eye thing, like I imagine it is to be hit in the head. I ate a cheese and ham and tomato sandwich, with some trepidation, and some hot chips, even if I know deep fried probably isn't the way to go. I couldn't stand the thought of eating anything else. Boo Hoo, woe is me. At least the blinding head ache has gone.

Santo and I have this expression that we say to each other when we are feeling too sorry for ourselves.

"There are people in the world who don't have access to fresh water."

I reckon, you just have to keep that in mind when you are feeling too blue.

And tomorrow is a new day and I am sure I will feel better then.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Not much fun

We went for a walk in the afternoon, around the lake, in the middle of Hanoi. We sat down halfway around,  Mark got chatting to some guy, Santo was checking something on his iPhone and my guts gurgled from my stomach down to my bum. Oh, I thought, that doesn't feel good. And that was how it started, just like that.

I've got food poisoning, it isn't any fun, let me tell you. It has been coming out both ends. And now, everything hurts; my shoulders hurts, my chest hurts, my back hurts, my hips hurt, my head hurts.

I feel like shit. I don't feel much like writing, no energy. It seems to take a lot of effort just keep my head up vertical,  it is a strain. I'm so tired. Oh, bugger, first day and all.

It is raining. I am lying in bed quietly. We ate from a street cafe, I'm not sure if that is the cause, as Santo ate all of the same things and he is fine, but I am thinking that probably is the cause. Oh well, at least the food was nice.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I love the madness

Shopping, shopping, shopping. Shoe Street and Shirt Street and Shorts Street, a street for every thing and everything in its street. They tell me that times are tough in Hanoi, but none of the shop keepers want to haggle or discount. They will a little, but not much, hardly at all. I was surprised. "No, that is the price." You'd think if the times were tough it would be the opposite.

Santo thinks there is something wrong with me. "Where is your shopping spirit?" I'm not much into buying stuff when I am away. I've done all that, I have a house full of shit that I don't need now. Besides, it is only the first day, I told him, there is plenty of time for that.

I still find crossing the road a slightly terrifying prospect. Those avenues of mayhem and madness, one is supposed to launch oneself out into them with faith. "They'll go around you, don't worry.Don't worry? And they do go around you. It get's easier, it does, once you have done it a few times.

We ate in a couple of dodgy restaurants  Santo doesn't want to eat western food. "No! We need to eat the local food, or there is no point being here." And it's cool that he wants to, as I wouldn't. I can be too timid a traveller, to start with. If I've been away for a month and not a day, then I'm more bold. You just get to a stage where you don't give a shit, but that takes time.

It's hot and I am drenched in sweat and my shirt is stuck to me and I look a bit like I am dying, but who cares. I love the heat if I don't have to go to work.

It is very hot in Hanoi

It is very hot in Hanoi, 35 degrees. We ate food off the bamboo mat on the floor, at a friends place out of the city. Prawns. Pig's ear self-rolled spring rolls. Chicken. Melon. Quail's eggs. Rice. I've smoked my lungoff, as Santo continues to tell me. The traffic is as mad, I'm kind of dreading the next busy street crossing. Close your eyes and think of Britain, is as close as I can get to putting the feeling into words. The place is as exotic, though, as I remember it to be. A decaying beauty, not unlike Elizabeth Taylor in the full bloom of one of her many addictions. That is the degradation and not the high, you understand. French colonial in full disrepair. Noisy. Polluted. Every car toots to warn you that it is approaching. A billion motor bikes in a tropical wonderland.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Freezing his arse off

The MacAir really is the computer of choice for travelling. You can just put practically in your pocket.

We packed in the morning. 

We ate Japanese in Carlton. 

The sun was shining.

We took Buddy to Kyneton. 
It just started to rain as we left Melbourne. It was poring with rain on the Caulder. We called LeeLee when we got to Gisbourn saying we’d come back for a cup of tea on the way back. She said she’d be home all day. She was very excited. She wanted to see us before she left for London at the end of July, for her European sojourn. 

We took Buddy's fur lined Japara coat. I thought (sister) Roz would laugh at it, but she simply said it was probably best, for when it gets really cold.
 Really cold? It was freezing. We went for a walk with Roz and Grant and the kelpies around the farm. The Kelpies were very excited, leaping around Buddy. Buddy ran around like a mad thing, he had his "happy bulldog face" on. It was freezing and wet and the ground was soggy. 

Then we drank tea and ate chocolate chip cookies.

Poor Buddy, we both said as we left what felt like arctic temperatures.

We stopped back around 5pm at LeeLee's and smoked joints and drank tea. We sat in her cave. I love her "hobbit" house it is the cutest place. Nothing out-quaints it, under the house at the bottom of the narrow stairs. All wood lined and cosy.

Like all good hosts, she gave us a bottle of water and some marshmallows for the trip home.

We went to Santo’s place and checked the mail.
We bought the last of the supplies at Coles Coburg.
 We ate at Nandos in Coburg. 

We got home about 8pm. It was freezing. I called Jill and told her about the lights on timers. I gave Jill Roz’s phone number. Two more things crossed off my list.

I keep doing things as I think of them, it just seems easier. I’m never sure that great organisation works. As long as the final check list is all ticket off, it doesn't matter how you get there. If you are too stiff and rigid about the things to do, you can freak yourself out. (Read I)

You need imagination to like air travel

We are off to Vietnam, in a few days. We are leaving via the Gold Coast to pick up Mark in Northern NSW on the way.

Buddy is off to the country to stay with the Kelpies. He is going to spend 3 weeks on the sheep farm.

I have promised Buddy that while we are away and while he is staying in the country that the loser and his pitbull will be shot dead by a disgruntled drug addict that the loser has short changed. I think just 2 gunshots will be all that is needed, one through the losers left eye and one through the dog's face, their brains making matching splatter patterns on the wall behind them. Of course, one blood/brain tissue mix would be higher up the wall than the other, probably the only time the loser has a higher intellect than his dog. They will probably fall crumpled in identical heaps on the floor.

I am taking my laptop with me, I might just write the short story of  how it happened on the plane. Small laptop, big journey. Ha ha. I depends how bored I get on board the plane. It is so boring, I shudder at the thought. Well, I don't shudder, I just feel an over whelming sense of stillness and cramped legs and a sore neck and wishing it was over.

Stumbling through the dark

I dreamt last night that I was walking down a dark country lane to a block of land trying to find my car. It was very dark and I couldn’t see a thing. It was black in front of me and I was stumbling and tripping. Once I had found the car I looked back in the direction from where I’d come from it was somewhat light and I could see. It was like “shot” material, if I looked one way I could see, if I looked the other way I couldn’t.

I was sitting in the passenger seat of my Cooper S, with all sorts of bags and stuff around me, looking through things, when a couple turned up out of no where, out of the dark – except they were in the direction that was light to me, so I could see. They said they just needed to use a phone and could they please use my phone.

There was some thing suspicious about this couple, I felt they were lying to me, or were up to no good, as they hovered at my car window.

“I’m sorry, I don’t have a phone,” I said. All the time I was hoping that my phone wasn’t in view on the seat some where.

They asked where I lived and if they could use my home phone, and I pointed to the top of the nearby hill and said that I lived all the way up there. We all looked and there appeared to be a TV station on top of, what looked like, Mount Macedon, which was my home.

Then suddenly Kerry-Ann, my deaf cousin – who I haven’t seen for years – got in the driver’s seat. She started the car and started to back it out of the place it was parked, there were bushes in front of it, as though I wasn’t in the car at all. She was smiling broadly. Then she drove us away, 
leaving the couple behind open mouthed. I protested about her driving us away, but she couldn’t hear, of course, as she is deaf. 

As we drove down the road, there were strapping special operations police officers in bulletproof jackets running along the road, checking tents that were set up along side the road. Big square white tents one after the other.

I kept protesting to Kerry-Ann, but not only could she not hear me, she seemed to have iPod ear phones in her ears.

We drove down the road with the tents, which seemed to disappear as we passed each of them.

Then I started talking to Kerry-Ann so she could lip read, like I always did when we were kids together, she told me we were going for a drive.

We pulled up out side, what looked like an English pub, which had kind of a bitumen semi circular car park in front of it, which joined onto the road. Kerry-Ann got out of the car and walked away, leaving me sitting in the car outside the two story Victorian building.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I dreamt I was a flower

I had a dream that I was out drinking big glasses of white wine, of all things. They just kept being handed to me, by who wasn’t clear. It was some kind of party.

Then I was driving home and I got pulled over by the police for a random breath test. I didn’t care, as I usually don’t, because I don’t really drink. Then I remembered that I had been drinking heavily as the policeman was walking up to my car window. I was stressing as the policeman approached.

What have I done? I thought. The world spun.

Then I was a cream tulip and my head was in the middle of the flower as if on the stem and the petals were surrounding me, rubbing up against my chin, wrapped around my face.

Then I woke up and it was morning and the doona was wrapped up around my chin.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pissing around

I can piss around for hours and do nothing and be perfectly happy. It is true. It has been true of me ever since I was a kid. I could sit in my bedroom for hours and day dream and be perfectly happy, nothing has changed. I still day dream.

Even this blog fits right into my form of procrastination. (I should investigate advertising for it, as much as I am against it, and at least let it pay) I write this when I should be writing a best selling novel. Ha ha. Short stories then.

Today, I am supposed to be packing to go away. I am supposed to be doing the preliminary stuff, you know, find all the stuff that I am most likely to forget - locate my camera battery charger, find the power adapter for Vietnamese power plugs, organise the notes I want to study on the airplane, find the two novels I want to take with me.

I'm supposed to have been doing things all week, and I have done nothing. I really haven't. Zip. Niente. On my fat arse, ta di da.
I promised myself this morning that I wouldn't waste the day, but I did. What is that about?

I've taken Buddy to the vet, twice, this week, he has developed a sore paw. But, I had to do that, as a sore paw waits for no man, besides he is going on holidays up the farm with the Kelpies and he has to take his A game up to the country dogs. All parents want to send their children to camp with the best possible chances. Ha ha. (Mark would vomit, he hates poofs with dog substitute .. whatever it is he says they are) 

But that had to be done... and, I work best under pressure. Actually, truthfully, I only work under pressure. Take the pressure off and I'll be looking at French Provincial Houses on the net, or adding entries to my 1999 journal.

I met a nice lady at the vet with her poodle who said she'd seen me with Buddy down Smith Street,
"Oh he's lovely, isn't," she said. She patted him. "Quite a show stopper as everyone stops to say hello to him."
I wasn't sure if that was quite true, but it nice none the less.

I stopped the mail today, but of course, I had to do it today. It is going to take Aust Post practically a week to stop it, next Thursday apparently, but it is now crossed off the list. 

I usually always get things done. No, I always get everything done, but sometimes the pace I work at gives the more uptight amongst us nose bleeds. Nobody in particular, well, nobody in my life now a days.

It is a good thing that Santo is as relaxed about things as I am. Actually, he is not quite as "loose" as I am, but he's not the wound up type either. He has a list. Thank the universe for Santo's list.

Mike Ruiz My Personal Bullying Story

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Precious Possesions

I spoke to my sister late last night, who was in Sydney working, to discuss her looking after Buddy while I am away on holidays next week. I also decided that I am going to give her my laptop to look after while I'm away. I am going to take the Mac Air and leave my MacPro behind. 

She laughed, "Aren't I the special one, being entrusted with your two most precious possessions." Ha ha. Then she quickly added. "Oh, don't repeat that to Sam... he'd be at the top of the list, of course."

"Oh I don't know," I said. "But I am taking him with me, anyway."

We both laughed.

My two most precious possessions, my bulldog and my laptop, it is pretty true. They give me hours of enjoyment, the both of them. 

Actually, Sam, Buddy and my laptop on a deserted island and I'd be a happy man. Food and music and I pretty much don't need anything else. Coffee, maybe, so the deserted island would need to be in the topics. Grow some pot. I'd be happy. I just like hanging out with Sam, and there are only really a handful of people I care about after that.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bad habits

I leave used dental floss on the coffee table, grimace. Santo hates it. He thinks it is disgusting and that I am a filthy pig, bordering on Satan. Or Beelzebub. Or whoever the worst one is. (Tony Abbott?)

Good grief, it's not as if I have crapped on the floor, or pissed on his leg... although he hates that, when I do it in the shower. (laugh) The pissing not the crapping. He kind of runs on his toes and squeals. Okay, he doesn't run on his toes, or squeal any longer, but he did once. Now he just gives me the death stare, long and still. Plain face, lips of string. He kinds of tilts his head in disbelief. I always think he is going to laugh, but he doesn't. The mouth like two lines doesn't break.

It is not like I leave chewed food on the back of his hands, like my friend Rachel used to do to me. She would just take it out of her mouth and reach over and put it on my hand, then she'd smile, kind of laugh. It would lay there kind of warm, body temperature, going cold quickly.

I take long pieces of dental floss off the reel every time I need some. I don't know why, but I have always found relatively short pieces of floss difficult to use. I have been floss challenged all of my life, anything short of 30 centimetres and it just kind of slips through my fingers and I can't hold it.

I floss after every meal, I always get food caught between two of my teeth, if not more. Then I just curl it in coils like you do with rope, or extensions cords, onto the coffee table. I don't reuse it, or anything. Well, rarely. Occasionally. Maybe, if I have left it on a plate, or something and not just on the table and I got something else caught, just, that one thing. You know when you have just finished flossing and you have just the little bit more to eat and it always goes straight the the two teeth where food always gets caught and it gets caught. Maybe at those moments, I might pick it back up off the plate and reuse it.

I just think it is precious complaining about such things, though. There are people in the world who don't have access to fresh water, what do you think they would say? What does Santo think is going to happen? The spread of SARS? Flu? Poisoned food? HIV? How did I get such a precious boyfriend? Really? I ask you? I don't use somebody else's floss. 

I used to know a couple where one of them would take over the chewing of the gum if the other one got sick of chewing. I mean, what is that about but, you know, who cares? If I had to make any comment on it, I guess I'd say it was kind of romantic.

Goodness me, you can "clean" yourself into oblivion. Actually, there are some researches who say the rise of asthma is because over the house hold cleaners we all now use.

There are a couple of them that I just hate, read loath. Blue loos, er! I can't stand them, they are completely wrong. Spray air fresheners always make me gag. 
Aftershave. Okay, not quite the same thing, but it is kind of the same idea and I just hate it.

I wear clean socks every day and clean undies, I don't reckon cleanliness needs to extend much passed that, not really. A quick wash behind the ears. Clean nails. Wash you hands after you pee. White teeth are good, well, just not brown teeth, lets say. They don't have to be American white. 
What else is there to get anxious about?

I used to wear clean shirts everyday, ironically Santo taught me I didn't have to. And it works too, I can wear a shirt twice, more. I don’t actually sweat that much. Actually, I sweat a lot, I suspect that I have a slightly higher body temperature than other people, but I guess it has to be in micro degrees, whatever they would be called, otherwise I’d be dead, of course, it doesn’t take much. There is only a few degrees of leeway between healthy and dead. I don’t perspire, I don’t get smelly, I don’t get BO. I’ve used a crystal deodorant for many years, not that that seems to make much difference.

I shower everyday. Well, unless I am just at home and not going anywhere. I love those days, don’t you love those days? Those days where I remain in my pyjamas, track suit pants and my Explorer socks that have holes in the heels. Maybe on those days I don’t shower. Then it is those days that I am more likely to leave used dental floss on the coffee table.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Really, talking nonsense does nothing to benefit society

Russia’s anti-gay laws should come to Australia, says the PM’s sister, 62 year old, Loree Rudd. (Whoever she might be?)

She wants Australia to introduce a Vladimir Putin-style ban on schoolchildren being taught about homosexuality.

(Edna Everage grimace)

You know, firstly I'd say why was this given any publicity at all? Why is anyone interested in some old woman proving that she is a Christian bigot and a hate-monger dressed up in sheep's clothing. There is nothing new about that.

"I love you all, but I will deny you any chance of a legitimate existence."

Why do we give people like this the publicity to yet again talk about something they don't know about, or understand. It is just sad really, anyone else who spoke from such a position of ignorance would be pitied.

She has made a history of talking rubbish. About gay marriage, she told her local (QLD) newspaper: ''The whole concept of equality comes from the Bible, from the sacred scriptures. All people are equal before god, but not all relationships.''
You just can't argue against something like that because it makes no sense what so ever. When people like her use gobbledegook like that, it effectively silences any views to the contrary, because you can't have a differing opinion to nonsense.

But, back to the point. Introduce a ban on school children being taught about homosexuality. Why? What would that, actually, do? It would leave a group of straight children ignorant to another group of people in society. It would deny gay kids role models. And the benefit would be? What would the benefit be? Really, come on, one benefit? Just one?
The only benefit would be that Loree Rudd would have her christian views validated. That is the only benefit here.
That is the sad 21st century christian message.
"This is what we believe and you must believe it to."

"Dissent will not be tolerated." said in the voice of Davros.
I still don't get it. I thought the belief in god gave christian's peace and joy and fulfilment and love and a purpose and made their lives rich and whole and pure.

Clearly that isn't true. It must be the god-squad's recruiters spin to get new sign ups and new devotees. "Tell them what they want to hear, just get them to join up."
Christians must have only a tenuous grip on the word of god and their faith, otherwise what a bunch of poofs and a group of dykes did, or said, wouldn't bother them at all. But they clearly have such a poor grip on what they claim to believe in that what the gay community does some how undermines their christian beliefs.
The conclusion is, that the mythical word of god is nothing and means nothing to most people, christians included.

And I don't even want to say that. I am really happy for people to believe in god. I think it is fantastic for people to have a belief system which nourishes their lives and makes them feel like better people. Good for them, I am sure it must be a great thing.

But if it is so fulfilling, why do they use it time and time again to deny other people their beliefs and rights?
It is something I just don't understand.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bad things happen when good people do nothing

Antibiotics are amazing, aren't they. Buddy had a huge weeping lump inside his cheek on Saturday night. I only had to touch it, initially, and it oozed blood and puss. Today, he has a small lump with, what looks like, a small nick inside his cheek. It is no longer angry and red, but almost a simple hue of pink.

I pat his sweet head and shudder, and think of how bad it could have been. Can you imagine what damage that dog could have done to him?

That brings me to a point made by the vet. "It is probably still worth reporting it to the Yarra City Council, the dog may well be already known to them."

"But I really don't have any details to give them. I can't even really remember what the guy looked like."

"It doesn't matter, give them the details you have," said the vet. "You never know." It may help to get this beast off the streets.

So, should I call the Yarra Council and report it?

What is it that they say, Bad things happen when good people do nothing?

If that dog attacked Buddy unprovoked and without warning, then it is quite possible it will do it again. I am assuming from the owners idiotic reaction about vicious dogs and the need for muzzles - despite him directing the tirade towards Buddy - that they are the words that have been used about his dog, so I am guessing that his dog has been in some sort of trouble already.

There are a lot of dogs that are walked along Gertrude Street. On the weekend I noted seeing a cocker spaniel, two Maltese's, a pug and a smaller black curly-haird dog. Buddy, being a bulldog, he is quite a strong, tough dog, he didn't yelp or make a noise and he just kept bulldozing on, as if nothing had happened. These other 4 dogs, I mention, would have their heads bitten off... probably literally... and it would be awful. Let me repeat that, I guess mostly for myself, it would be awful.

But, it is true, I have hardly any details to give the council. The guy was probably in his mid thirties, but I am not really sure. His behaviour was so over the top that I was, I am sure, quite shocked and I can barely picture him. (I just messaged Santo and asked him and he said some where around 50, probably older. A toothless mole, Santo added, so there you go) His dog was a beautiful looking specimen of a dog, to be honest. It was a honey brown colour, it may have had some darker contrasting bits, but then again, maybe not. It all happened so fast and unexpectedly. It looked to me like an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, at the time, as my stepson once had a pitbull and this dog was bigger than my stepson's dog.  Although, my stepson’s dog may have been crossed with an English Staffy, which would have made it smaller, I can’t really remember now. When I came home and googled it, facially, it looked more like a pitbull than anything else. I think the guy lives in the Atherton Flats, but that is only an assumption based on 2 scant facts. Firstly, that is where he appeared to becoming from. When I first saw him on the night of the attack he seemed to be entering Gertrude Street kind of diagonally from Napier. And I think I have seen him once before with the dog, I am not sure how long ago, down Napier Street opposite the commission flats.

So, who thinks there are enough facts there to make a report to the Yarra City Council?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Good people pay for the acts of the stupid... always

I woke up before 8am. Sunday and there were things to do, I had things on my mind, that is for sure. The blocked nose that I woke with didn’t help and I couldn’t breathe so easily and I couldn’t get back to sleep. If I was awake, I was awake, but my usual lay in, my drift in the warmth of the waking hours, with Santo warm against me, proved impossible, as I couldn’t get enough breath to make it comfortable. Grrr! I don’t mind waking early as it is simply a way to enjoy time in bed for longer, because consciousness gives you that. If you sleep right through, you have no awareness off it, so the enjoyment is lost.

But not with a blocked nose. Apparently, it was the Beef Rendang. Shrug. Apparently, one of the spices causes it. I thought it might have had something to do with the red wine, but then I remembered that Brian only had a pinot so I had drunk two glasses of champagne.

Then the rubbish truck came and emptied the (establishment X)’s rubbish bins at 8am and woke everybody up… and I felt cross with the world.

The idiot (establishment X) doesn’t care that their rubbish removal wakes us all up.

Idiots take dogs out in public without muzzles when their dogs are legally meant to wear them and the innocent have to pay for it.

The selfish, the careless and the stupid stumble their way through life causing pain and damage to the innocent.

If the people who were meant to do “something” actually did that “something”, the world would be a different place for many people.

Fuck the world, I thought, and I got up.

I headed outside to see how my poor damaged puppy dog was. Poor Buddy, he didn’t look as though he wanted to come out of his kennel this morning. He was tucked in right at the back, kind of behind his mattress, so I left him there.

I lit a fire and Buddy didn’t even stir as I collected the wood. The orange flames were comforting in the quiet morning air. I drank coffee. It was still and quiet. Ah life, I thought in the silence. Some people have real problems, I told myself. It didn’t help.

I watched the clock tick, tick, tick right the way around to 9am, when the vet was meant to open. I called the (name of outer suburb) vet as soon as the clock hit 9am and they said no appointment was necessary and to just come out.

I got in the shower. I could hear Santo snoring. I heard him call out as I was rubbing the towel across my back.

“What are you doing?”

“Come on, get up.”

“I’m nice and comfortable and warm.”


We left just before 10am. It was remarkably quiet on the roads. High Street Preston was practically deserted and not the car park it has become with whoever the do-gooder councillor is who authorised the ridiculous traffic changes and obstacles that now semi-block High Street. Talk about manufacturing traffic problems.

I gazed out of the car window as we drove out through the suburbs and wondered if it would be easier living out there. There is more space and more distance between people in the burbs. The energy seems to be gentler, maybe life would be too? There are purpose built roads and shopping centres and car parks and things in their places and places for things.

I think the inner suburbs are over. The interesting, fascinating place full of art and interesting people has ceased to exist. What the property developers haven’t destroyed by building bigger and bigger and uglier and uglier buildings – and that is because of a cart blanch allowances by the politicians who are all, essentially on the payroll of property developers – was trampled by the riff raff who have rushed to be here because somebody told them it was the latest thing.

They are not riff raff per se, just in the act of "moving in" because the inner suburbs were interesting in itself destroys that uniqueness of the place by making it popular.

It is just like the internet. Once, you’d search French Doors, for instance, and you’d get interesting information about the history of French Doors, the varieties in Romania, or some such place, the best hues of the very best wood used to make them and anecdotes about the ones used in Mary Queen of Scotts bedroom. Google French Doors today and you get a list of Bunnings that sell them.

It is essentially the same thing.

Buddy was very excited when we got to the vet. He wriggled and wriggled and wanted to say hello to everybody. He’s very popular. And everybody adored him, as is pretty much usual.

One guy sitting in the waiting room next to us, waiting for, what appeared, to be his girlfriend to come out of the surgery with their dog, looked at Buddy and said, “He’s an awesome dog,” as he got up to leave.

The strapping blond guy, who lives in our street in a share house, the one with the cute face and the hot arse, also says the same thing.

The vet shook his head when we told him the story of the dog attack. He said it was a great shame that we didn’t stand our ground as the laws are pretty clear about what happens to dogs who attack other dogs. The laws are pretty clear about what dogs must wear muzzles.

The vet said it was probably still worth going to the council as they may know who this guy was and they may be aware of his dog.

The vet said that we should have called the police. He said it was quite possible the police could have drawn their guns and shot the dog dead, I think, if the dog had a history, that is.

The vet said he can’t tolerate dogs that attack other dogs. He said if he had a dog that attacked another dog, he wouldn’t be able to get it to the clinic quick enough to put it down.

The vet said it appeared that we’d done a good job at draining the infection, squeezing the shit out of his lump and that now the antibiotics should do their job.

“Take him home, he should be looking much better in a couple of days.”

The Labrador in the waiting room with the bucket around its neck when we came out started to growl at Buddy, it seemed to get a bit antsy, a bit aggressive. The Labrador’s owner slapped him and asked him what was up and where was his displeasure coming from.

I took Buddy to the car to restore calm to the waiting room. When I came back, the Labrador was sitting quite comfortably with a Pomeranian only a few seats away.

I looked at the Labrador and then at the Pomeranian and wondered what the problem is? Do dogs find bulldog’s charisma and personality threatening? Do other dogs get jealous at how much people, in general, love bulldogs? It is a stupid notion, for sure, but that is how it appears to me. Their enthusiasm and their gregariousness’ incite negativity in lesser dogs and if you are a bulldog, essentially, all dogs are lesser. Certainly big dogs seem to be threatened.

Now Buddy is laying in front of the fire, like a dead dog, with a sad look on his face. Poor baby, he looks like a sick puppy. He still looks a bit like a boxer who copped a right hook to the jaw, or a stroke victim. But, not to panic, he should be better in two days, said the vet.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday night dinner

Santo had told me in the morning that Buddy had quite a lump developing inside his cheek. I thought he meant the scaring from the puncture mark of the other dog’s tooth, or the swelling from the trauma. I didn’t give it a lot of thought other than that.

Around 5pm, I’m not sure exactly why now, but I looked inside Buddy’s mouth to see how the puncture mark was healing and it was pussy and swollen.

“I told you that,” said Santo.

“Oh?” I thought.

I pushed on it and it immediately began to ooze puss and fluid and blood. He had a fully developed abscess. Shit! He was pretty good, his normal laid back self and he let me squeeze if a number of times, so I was able to squeeze more and more infection out of it.

I tried calling the vet, but they had closed for the day. I googled the other two vets close by and both were closed on Sunday. All of the inner suburban vets seemed to be closed on Sundays.

I held Buddy and Santo pulled his cheek back and squeezed it again and more goop came out, mostly it looked like bloody, thin, watery, infection fluid.

The only vet that was going to be open tomorrow was the (name of outer suburb) Vet where he used to go with his old owner, Jason, and where I’d taken my cat, as it turned out, when he first appeared at the door as a stray all of those years ago.

The vets have always told me that the main thing with abscesses and infection is to break the skin squeeze out the infection, if you can do that you are, probably, most of the way along the healing path, which we had done.

We went to Brian’s place for dinner and ate with Charlie and Lenny, who took a mango cream cake and Phillip and Gavin who bought an enormous passion fruit cream layer cake from Costco, which was gorgeous.

Not just Santo and I on Saturday night. It is so often Santo and I and I quite like it that way. I guess I shouldn’t, I should be more social, but Santo isn’t so social either, so we kind of compatible in that sense.

It was very wet as we drove over there, all of the roads seemed to be awash with water. The rain fell down from the sky in sheets of water.

Brian cooked Beef Rendang, a curried fish dish and baked eggs and chicken soup and lots of rice, even if a few present didn’t want so much rice. All of the food was scrumptious, we ate enthusiastically.

The cakes were fantastic, the passion fruit cake especially, it was sublime. So if you want a fantastic cake go to Costco and get it.

Charlie and Lenny took Pebbles. Lenny asked where Buddy was when we got there, he seemed quite keen to see him.

Brian told Santo we couldn’t take Buddy as it was raining and if he was out the front, as anticipated, he’d get stinky and wet.

We’d laughed about Charlie’s “Caveman Diet” which he is trying out. You can eat what you can catch? Really? What can a poof catch in St Kilda with his bare hands? There is always some diet, there is always some exercise routine with Charlie. And cake, as would his second and third helping of cake would attest to. But, he looks good, so whatever it is that he is doing, it is working.

Phillip said he went to the gym three times a week. I nearly said to him, “What do you do there, sit in the cafĂ© and drink lattes.” He looks more like he eats a cake diet.

Gavin and Phillip will be in Hanoi when we are there. They have two restaurants they want to go to. I am never that organised.

“We should catch up for a meal, or a cake,” said Gavin. “Or a cocktail.”

It had stopped raining by the time we drove home with, what remained of, the mango cake. I am sure “the diet” was the reason that Charlie didn’t want the rest of the mango cream cake home.
Have you ever seen Victoria Parade so deserted? This is early afternoon on a cold and grey Saturday

A cool car in Langridge Street. I think it is a Chrysler, maybe 300, possibly a 1965 model? Actually, it is a 1966 model. Gorgeous, isn't it.

Saturday, Saturday

I dreamt last night that I was in a kind of out door area, under a pergola with vines on it, sitting at long tables, maybe it was a kind of vineyard. My old boss Beck was there and we were trying to work, in what was like a big outdoor office, in the open, under the vines. It was all about work and working together. We were trying to prove our knowledge, or were we admitting our deficiencies, or we were negotiating new employees. 

We were drinking tea. 

We were eating ice creams which were prizes given out. At which point, there seemed to be a group of us all sitting in a large, old fashioned, kind of hunting lodge, lounge room, listening to awards being given out.

Maybe we were recruiting staff for new jobs. It could have been a lottery, a job lottery.

I think, maybe, I have work on my mind.

We got up at 10am, kind of late. We ate breakfast. We cuddled Buddy, whose bite on the inside of his cheek seemed okay. 

We headed down to Victoria Street. It was a grey day, we had to take an umbrella. It started to rain half way to Abbotsford, I popped the umbrella over our heads. It was kind of romantic walking in the rain. I like winter, I like how changeable it is, how cool it is, how interesting.

We ate Pho and shopped for groceries. I love the cut and thrust of the fresh fruit and veg stands. I love the little old ladies selling their goods on the corner. Fuck it, I even love the drug dealers, they ad a touch of spice. “Is he? Isn’t she? What just happened then? Did you see that?” 

We bought moon cake, I have never had moon cake. (Actually, I have, but very little)

I wanted to take one of those baskets on wheels from Woolies to wheel all of our purchases home in comfort, but Santo wouldn’t let me.

“You do realise that is considered stealing?”

I guess I couldn’t claim that I’d take it back like I do with trollies from Fitzroy Woolies.

“Can you imagine what would happen if everybody did that?”

“Yes, nana, I understand that the fabric of our society would break down through my actions.”

“Good boy. Now pick up those plastic bags and start walking.”