Monday, 26 February 2007

Thunder, Lightning & a Fire Alarm

The day dawned with a fantastic electrical display in the sky. I am amazed I managed to get to work in one piece as I kept scanning the sky for a fleeting look at the lightning as it reached across the clouds and down to the ground.

I had only been at work for an hour when the thunder started. It was continuous, never stopping for a break. The view from my window is of a large hotel so I only caught a hint of the fact that the light display was still on. I thought it would be great to be somewhere high up right now, with my camera, capturing it all.

And so it was in mid thought that a particularly loud clash of thunder boomed overhead. In answer to it's call our fire alarm rang out.

My colleagues and I looked at each other and then looked outside. Our evacuation area was 500m out in the open by the Esplanade. Though it had not rained yet we knew there was a lot of potential. So we waited. After a couple of minutes the alarm was still going and there was no announcement that it was false.

A fire warden came to our door and directed us to the nearest exit. Only one of us out of the entire building had an umbrella.

Instead of heading down the hill to the esplanade we stood under the shelter of the drop of zone one of large hotels. A police car sirened its alarm and came to a hand break stop in the middle of the intersection. A fire engine followed and attempted to do a u-turn back to our office building. All around us the lightning flashed.

Eventually we decided we should head towards the usual assembly area as they may be worried about where we were. Down there we had a clear view of the Swan River and how the storm was circling us.

Within 30 minutes of evacuating we were told it was a false alarm and headed back towards the main body of people only to be told we could not go back into the building yet. An hour later the heavens opened upon us as buckets of water fell heavily on the city. Even undercover there was little shelter from the almost horizontal rain.

When the okay was given we through all protocol out the window and dashed across the street where ever we could. By the time I got back to the office I was wet through (yes thin white shirt). The air conditioner was cool and I soon got quite cold.

By afternoon the sun came out bright and hot. Humidity was here to do it's dirty work. The air conditioner chose this time to die and for 4 hours we all sweltered.

I relished hopping into my air conditioned car and driving home.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Anthony Callea

Friday had been an average day at work until, late in the afternoon, an email message flashed up on my screen.
"Two free tickets to see Anthony Callea in Concert"
Before I even knew where the concert was I contacted my colleague and said I would take them. So that evening I went home with two tickets to one of my favourite singers in my hot little hand.

I contacted a friend of mine who is absolutely in love with him. When he was on Idol she kept saying he would make a great son in law. Her daughter laid down the rules: under no circumstances was she to see her mum on the news after jumping on the stage to kiss him, and her underwear was most definitely to stay on.

The day dawned nice and hot. Thunderstorms were predicted for the evening. The concert was at Scarborough Beach on a grassy area that had been fenced off. We arrived 30 minutes before it started and was told our tickets were for the general area which started about 100m from the stage. We found a small spot for the 2 of us to sit down right at the beginning.

Chris Murphy started the concert off. He was good but too many people were still walking around and it was too hot to get up and dance.

As the sun vanished over the ocean (it was a great sunset but the fences were in the way for photo's) Anthony came on stage. I noticed that anyone now was allowed up the very front so I left my friend where she was and went to check it out. I got within 5 people from the stage just as he chose to sing The Prayer. That is my favourite song.

When it finished I ran back to my friend and told her to come down to the mosh pit with me (not that it really was much of a mosh as I am sure a half the group were little Italian mothers). Anyway we stayed there for the rest of the concert. At one stage he through out a heap of beach balls. Only the two large ones remained air born for the duration of the concert. They soon disappeared though. I know that he had signed them to because they hit me on the head more than once. The best thing about the beach balls is it made people forget they had a prime position at the front and went running after them leaving spaces open for us oldies to get into. It was a great night and for my first concert (yes I am 34 and it is my first live concert) I thoroughly enjoyed it. He is a better singer in real life than he is on cd and apparently that is a rarity.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Motor Way Musings

I don't know how many of you drive to work but I have only just started doing it this year. I used to catch the bus into the city (I was on standard hours then) and I tend to zone out and catch up on some ZZZZ's on public transport. Driving into the city is a different matter. You really have to take notice of what is going on around you even when the traffic is at a standstill.

Every morning I end up behind the same car with the girls name on the number plate. I quite often see the same courier van that has a sticker on the back saying how reliable he is and then an even larger one beneath asking "which planet am I on?" Then you have your new lovers which on occasion I have had in front of me at that stage of the traffic which is drive 5m and stop for 2 minutes. These two just can't keep their hands off each other and are kissing every 5 seconds. Sometimes I feel like telling them to get a room. Am I jealous? Yeah probably. It is interesting watching people's reactions in the cars around them too.

I see these people everyday and yet I don't know them. It is a shame really when you think about it. Imagine what it would be like to have a street party??? The invitations would read:

TO: anyone who is stuck in traffic on X Rd in X suburb leading into the city between the times of 8:30 and 9am.

REASON: Get to know your fellow roadies.

I can see it now. Everyone would get to know the person in the car next to them and peak hour traffic wouldn't become such a drag anymore. You could lean out the window and ask the courier guy what planet he was on today? You could tell the personalised number plate girl that you really like what she did with her hair this morning. Wouldn't life be so much more interesting that way?

Wednesday, 14 February 2007


Okay so I have finally managed to put a photo album on this blog. I selected the smallest size but it is too big. Any ideas on how to make it smaller would be gratefully appreciated.

I have played around with the sizing in the scripting for it but that didn't work.

One of these days I will be blessed with the knowledge of how to set up a blog, and then they will go and change all the rules. :)

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Iced Coffee - the continuing saga

I rise in the morning bleary eyed from work and study. To move is a drag but somehow I manage to dress, apply half decent makeup and prepare my hair in it's usual boring but dependalbe style. My small car pushes it's way through peak hour traffic as I listen to the incessant chatter on the radio (can't they just pay music).

Arriving at work I find 40 emails for my immediate attention. My stomach growls, it has had no breakfast and before I even know that I am doing it I am across the road at small takeaway restaurant buying none other than iced coffee.

Oh the shame of it. I did not even last one day of my challenge. If only there was a support group for those wishing to give up coffee.

Never fear I will struggle on. One day I will wake up and shout "Coffee be gone with you." And it will be gone, and I will be pleased.

And thus is the end of my story, for now. Short and sweet (shock horror).

Monday, 12 February 2007

Precious Pup No. 4 PART B

It was fun watching Tess get used to new things in her world. She had a routine that she followed each time something new presented itself:
  1. Look at it intensely and dare it to move
  2. Paw at it, if it moves jump back quickly and start all over again until it is safe to continue to point 3.
  3. If no movement then sniff it
  4. Having deemed it safe, time to taste test. If death does not occur immediately then it must be edible.

The two very memorable times when his occurred. The first time I was having a bubble bath. I had only had Tess a week but I was most definitely hers and was not to be out of her sight. Learning quickly that a crack in the doorway can be made wider by pushing, in trundled Tess to see what I was up to. Some bubbles fell on the floor when I moved (yeah I had it pretty bubbly). She stopped and stared at it. Every now and then a small bubble would burst. After a while (all thoughts about me forgotten) she starting pawing at it. More bubbles burst. She sat down and watched. Every now and then her gaze would lift up and see me surrounded by this white stuff. If she wanted to get to me she had to conquer the white stuff. She moved in cautiously, took a big sniff, and sneezed 3 times. Well that didn't hurt. It was time for the final test, and it tasted great. After finishing off the small amount left she attempted to join me in the bath. She was too little so chose to just stand there and lick the bubbles instead.

About a month later the following happened:

It was a nice sunny day and Tess and Rambo ventured out into the back yard. Rambo to walk the perimeter and make sure every thing was ship shape and secure; Tess to hinder his every move by biting his ear or his paws or lean on his back. As the afternoon wore on clouds came over and a very light mist of rain started to fall. Rambo decided it was time to head inside. Tess followed, but she hadn't seen rain before so she decided to stand under cover of the porchand watch. Rambo stood at the door and watched what she was doing. Out went her paw. "Hmm that was wet!" Out went her nose for a little sniff but quickly came back in as was hit with little droplets of water. Out went the tongue, "It's just water, I drink this stuff." And so my blond poodle decided she was thirsty and tried to lick all the rain in as it fell. Rambo by now had literally shaken his head, said "youngin's" and walked inside. Tess then decided that being on the porch was not letting her get a decent mouthful so she ran out into the rain and dig zig zags all over the back yard with her tongue hanging out.

Why she doesn't like water now I will never know!

The picture at the top is one that I took after her first professional haircut (yeah I gave it a go and it took over 4 hours though she did sit very happily for me-I even had to wake her to move her). In this picture she is about to jump out at me. I told her to wait one more time and it turned out to be the best shot. As soon as I said okay, she flew at me and gave me a hug. She loves her mum.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Precious Pup No. 4 PART A

I have no idea what is going on with this post but it is not allowing me to space out the paragraphs. Sorry it is so condensed.

I am so annoyed with myself. I went looking in my photo album for 3 of my favourite photographs of this pup and all I saw were empty spaces. I have been hunting hi and low looking for them for the last hour. It's like losing the first few photographs of your child because that is what this pup is to me. I obviously took them out and showed someone and forgot to put them back in. That is sooo me! At least I found one of them.

It was Dec 2000 and I had recently returned from a 6 week holiday overseas to 3 friends planning weddings and another 3 getting engaged. (This started the two year wedding, bang one after the other). Anyway as single as any person can get returning to reality and then having to listen to wedding talk became a bit of a downer really. Tess had been gone for around two years and Rambo was still as playful as a rock.

One balmy evening a whole group of us rocked up at a friends place. His poodle had recently had pups. They were so cute. There was only one female in the whole group and they called her Twitch because she twitched in her sleep. She had a brother named Diesel who was jet black.
There were other pups as well but these are the two I remember. Twitch because she had the most gorgeous personality and because they were going to keep her, and Diesel because he was the last to everything as the pups were faster and bossier. He didn't seem to play as much either. I really would have loved to have Twitch but they were not letting her go. My friend told me the price and there was no way I could afford one of the pups.

January came and the pups turned 8 weeks old. I had seen them a few times and had fun playing with them. They just have a knack at making you feel special. Anyway my friend saw me at church and said that all but one of the pups had gone. This pup had been a popular but they wanted it to go to a home they new for sure it would be looked after. It was Twitch. They couldn't afford to keep her as well the mum. Because my birthday was coming up and because they wanted visiting rights I could have her for half price. I was so excited.
The thing was that Mum and I still lived together. I had to convince her that we needed another dog. She had been so upset when Tinks died I think she was afraid to get close to another dog (current chihuahua being loved thoroughly of course). So my friend and I conspired against her and I was to look after Twitch for a trial weekend ... to see how Rambo would cope. Well 6 years on and she is still with us and her name got changed to Tess.
I remember driving home with her in the car. She liked to sit under the seat you were on so she got under my driver's seat, then decided to play with my feet. Consequently driving home was very slow as I didn't have a box to put her in and if she sat on my lap she wanted to play as well. Luckily home wasn't that far so I drove with one hand on the wheel and the other on Tess.
There is so much to tell about this dog. I hear my friends talking about their toddlers and I think ... my dog does that!! She is my four legged child and yes she is spoilt spoilt spoilt. From a young age I taught her how to give hugs. I will fling my arms out and say "give me a hug," she will jump on my lap, put her paws around my neck and I would hug her in close. Problem is that she thinks wet sloppy kisses are part of hugging!

As per my post on Rambo, he didn't know what hit him. The photo's I was looking for have her on his back walking sideways and one where he is finally getting his own back. He may be laying on his back on the ground with her front paws on his chest but he has one leg straight up and into the jugular. One point to the old boy. Below are some photo's of that same play time and you can see what I mean by a poor quiet lap dog suddenly thrust into the world of puppy play. This was the first weekend.

"Come on old man it's time to play!"

"If I stay still long enough I might make a getaway!"

"I'm all for baby sitting as long as they remain sitting."

"Can she go home now?"

"A weekend right, that's all it is!"

"What! Don't you want me to stay longer?"

"I'm so sweet and innocent, who wouldn't want me?"

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Colour Swap 2 Part 2

I am sooooo excited about this colour swap thing. As soon as I figure out how to attach the button to my web I will put it on here. Considering it is all about crafts it was suggested to me to finally put some of my handiwork on my blog so I went around the house finding things I had made.

I started at age 10 with cross stitch though I have none no photographs to show you. In high school I found a clown doll pattern and started a small business selling them. I think I sold around 500 of them. That was my pocket money (helped too when your mother worked in a maternity hospital). They came in three sizes. This one is a large.

Studying to be a Home Ec teacher and doing electives in art opened my eyes to so many possibilities. I did pottery, totally sucked on the wheel but my slab work was great (apparently). I also had to do carvings in aerated concrete. The following images are some fun I had at home rather than what I did at Uni. The Zebra I copied from the wooden one I got in Africa, and the camel I made for a Christmas drama. The Camel is also covered in plaster of paris. The poor things legs fell off and he was decapitated but he eventually got put back together.

I have also dabbled in quilting and applique, decorative wall hangings, hand painted bedspreads for my cousins kids and surrounded a mirror with my large shell collection. I have also tried my hand at decoupage with textured background painting. I started on wooden books and then moved onto trays. You will note that even my typewriter (which was nicked from work because they were throwing them in the bin) got a face lift.

My cousin went to South Africa and found some beaded lizards. I borrowed one to copy and manage to sell a few of these as well. People have been hanging them in their toilets, on an outside wall, in the kitchen etc. A friend of mine was given a lady bird key ring done in a similar way and I also copied it. She won't show me any new and unusual thing now as she wants it to be new and unusual for a few months before I copy it. I am waiting for another friend (in South Africa) to send me the chameleon so I can have a go at it.

After having a play with wire and beads I tried my hand a jewellery. I started simple with the tiger wire but then moved onto making my own links and swirly creations. I made over 200 necklaces and earrings that were sold at my old work for charity. I only kept a couple. They aren't necessarily my best but here they are none the less.

When I was at Uni I had to doodle in order to concentrate in those classes. This has since become known as my Doodle Art. Oh I have also included a water painting that I copied from a magazine years ago. It is in the toilet as well as the lizard.

Oh and of course there is my card making and scrap booking in there. That is my main fun now days. When I get time to do it of course.

Colour Swap 2

This is to my colour swap pal

1. What are your top three favorite colors? Currently I like teal blue and brown, but anything earthy

2. What crafts do you really enjoy? Scrapbooking

3. What products do you really covet? Anthything scrapbooking, unusual papers or embellishments.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things? Sleep so that doesn't help you.

5. Is there anything you collect? Scrapbooking stuff (I am trying to turn it into a business)

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol? I don't believe in this stuff but I am an aquarius

7. What are your favourite bands - Ah Nee Mah (instrumental realaxation music) …authors? Terry Pratchet I have all his books …animals? that would be dogs-small ones but I love all cute and cuddly animals …season? Autumn but not the Aussie one as we don't get the beautiful colours in the trees …

8. Do you have any wish lists? If you see anything Canadian in the scrapbooking that would be great. I went there and have nothing to embelish my photo's with.

9. Are you allergic to anything? no

10. Do you have any pets? A miniature poodle and a chihuahua

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy. Not sure, but anything quirky and out of the norm. If that is too hard then anything will do. I am not fussy.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Precious Pup No. 3

Okay I promise this is not a teary one as the boy is still alive. I missed having a playful dog around the place (even though I was only home 5 months of the year from Uni). Our local shopping centre had a pet store and one Christmas holidays 13 years ago I saw three chihuahua cross pups in the window for sale. My mission was to convince my mother to get another dog. She had seen them also but deliberately kept walking. Soon they were down to two and eventually I got her to stop and at least enquire as to how much they were. They were in fact very cheap. Apparently the three brothers had been born in Adelaide (in another state for those who don't know Australia). For some reason they were sent to Perth and a different store. They were too noisy at the other store so they got sent to my local. The boys were three months old already and had 75% off the cost to get rid of them. I told mum it was meant to be and that God had planned it that way. So we chose the most excited looking pup, a scrawny little thing (as per very blurred photo).

The drive home was interesting as all he wanted to do was get up high. He ended up on my shoulders and I couldn't get him down. This only lasted a little while. When old age hit him around one year he became like an old woman. I think Tinks being old at the time and never playful didn't do any help.

He remained nameless for a week as we really couldn't think of anything that fitted. One day a friend knocked at my door, as usual the little boy went all protective and barked his little head off. We told my friend we couldn't think of a name and then suddenly he said it for us. It was a strong name that would make this small, scrawny little thing feel like a Rottweiler at the door: RAMBO. Hey at least it sounds good telling Rambo to shut up at the door.

So what is Rambo like? In his first year of life he had guts. He climbed the heights of the lounge onto the kitchen table (small house) and attacked a vicious paper book fall of well meaning thoughts. In mum's letter to me about the whole incident it was "YOUR DOG." He was always my dog when he was bad. Considering I wasn't there for much of his first 3 years of life he soon became mum's dog.
Caught on the ironing
At around 4 years he filled out into a solid but still little dog. Not a single bit of fat on him. Like a real man he patrol ed the perimeter of the back yard. The garden had permanent tracks in it where he walked. If someone came into the house his hair would stand on end and he would warn them off with a loud bark ... from underneath the table hidden in between the chair legs.

His favourite game (which happened very rarely) was to get into a sudden hyperactive mood and jump from mum's lap across the floor and onto mine, then back again. Of course he had to get a scratch each time he landed on us though otherwise the game would be over.

Overall though he is a real sook. He only wants to know about you if you are going to scratch his belly, behind the ears and on the rump. He is the fussiest eater. He won't touch any kind of pet food unless it is a doggy treat like schmaco's or meaty bites. He thinks he is human in that he has to have something different every night ... sausage tonight, chicken leftovers last night, mince meat and veg tomorrow night. If he doesn't want it he won't eat it. He can go three nights without eating.

When Tinks died Rambo soon took the place of sole protector of the family and really took over the role of mum's dog. I took him out sometimes when I went bush with friends (4WD in the photo here). One day we all took our dogs. He was about the size of their heads but he still took on the German Shepherd. All Rex wanted to do was have a sniff. The poor big fella didn't know what all the commotion was about

It was a couple of years before we got precious pup number four, but when she arrived he had no idea what hit him. Here was this little ball off fluff half his size that took over his life. Play! What was this thing called play and why does she insist on doing it every second of the day? He was good though. He would either join in (more out of self defence I am sure) or he would ignore the fact that his leg was being gnawed on. Quite often he would find she drape herself over his back, he would walk away but she would walk sideways still hanging on. (photo's later)

We had just finished training the both of them that the spare chairs were not for the four legged family members of the house when my Aunt's came to visit. A towel was then permanently placed on the chair. When the new lounge arrived two years ago they both found themselves floor bound unless laps were available.

Now he his older they play very rarely. Rambo has developed bad allergies to everything in nature and is forever scratching. The tablets he is on make him fat and really skittish. Any noise out of the ordinary IE a hole punch, and he is out of the room like a shot. He has a heart mermer as well which you can feel when holding him and yet he still tears around the back yard no worries in the world.

Getting nice photo's of him are difficult to say the least. He always looks guilty. In his younger days we could catch him unawares but not now.

Anyway speaking of the boy, he is now curled up at my feet. Time to let him out I think.

Stay tuned for Precious Pup No. 4

Friday, 2 February 2007

Precious Pup No. 2

Likky and Tinks in their prime.

As you can see I managed to find a photograph with Likky in it. This was a stage in my life when I wasn't serious about photography so didn't take photo's. I had to scrounge to find this one. I think it was taken in 1991. A year before Likky died.

Anyway this is about Tinks. She was two years old when we got asked to take her in. Mum and Dad didn't think they could afford it and initially said no. She was a tiny frail little thing that was obviously the runt of the litter. Her name was Jinx. Her first owners decided to divorce and neither of them wanted her so they gave her to a lady who offered to find her a home. That is who came to us. In the end she went to a young girl who had just moved into a unit. She didn't want a Jinx in the house so she renamed her Chinx. Two weeks after geting Chinxs she got full time work and felt that it was too cruel to leave her locked up in a unit all day so she gave her back to the lady, who in desperation came back to us. Being a dog lover dad just could not say no a second time and Jinx, Chinx, Tinks (Tinkerbell 'cause she had a cat collar on with a bell) became the 5th member of our family.

She was so tiny and felt like she would break if you held her too long. We also think she had been abused by her first owners as she would cringe every time you came near her. She wasn't a playful dog like Likky. She was a lap dog and became very much mum's dog. She would follow mum every where to the point that mum would step on her occasionally. She was a precious little thing. You could pick her up and hold her like a baby. She absolutely loved cuddles and having her belly scratched. Her favourite spot other than our laps was a brown sheep skin rug (yes brown not purple and it died when precious pup number 4 was losing her baby teeth and went sheep skin hunting). Tinks blended in so well with the sheep skin at times you didn't even see her.

Not only was she the runt of the litter but she had a huge hemorrhoid (golf ball size) under her back leg. When she would run, it would be on three legs. One night when she was around 10 years I remember laughing at her (fleetingly though) as she seemed to want to walk in a straight line but her back legs had a mind of their own. She looked like she was drunk. The next day the vet confirmed she had slipped a disk. There was no operation only cortisone injections and something to make her dopey and rest. Whenever she moved we had to make sure she didn't bang into things. (Speaking of banging into things, one night my cousin raced the two dogs from the backyard into the house. Mum had cleaned the glass sliding door so well it looked like it was open - all three went smack). Anyway eventually her back healed itself. As old age took over she lost most of her teeth which made her tongue hang out; went deaf; got cataracts in her eyes; arthritis; and developed a cancerous growth on her chest. None of which seemed to bother her. The vet didn't think it necessary to put her down.

When Likky died Tinks pined for her. She kept searching for her. After a year I was able to convince mum that we needed another dog and was when we found our precious pup no. 3. Luckily for this dear only lady, he was not the playful type (in fact I think she rubbed off on him too much).

In 1996 her health started going down hill. Mum did night shifts so I had to take her to the vet. They told me it was time to consider putting her down. I told mum and she said we would take her on her next days off. Well those days came and went and soon it turned into a month. I had prepared myself for that first time and then again for the next and then again for the next. Eventually I had to put my foot down and say this is it, we are doing it for her sake and my sanity.

We made the last possible appointment, took one last photo (below) and I drove us in to the vets. As we waited mum held her so tight trying not to cry. I tried desperately to toughen up and be there for mum, after all I also had to drive us home. Eventually we were called in and to be honest I can't remember much. I deliberately tried not to look at her because I knew it woud be the end of me. I remember mum holding her head and stroking her and telling her it will be all okay. Then I remember being left alone in there once she had passed and wishing we could get out of there so that I could ball my eyes out at home rather than at the vets.

She lived to be 18 years of age. With all her problems through life she outlived Likky. She was a precious little thing, so tiny, like a toy. Definitely my mothers dog.

In Memory of Two Special Pets

With tears of grief and heavy hearts we said goodbye to you

Animal friends as sweet as you have been a precious few

You stayed with us and played with us and gave us all your love

Now we give the gift of peace to you and thank our Lord above for the years you joined our family with your patient, gentle face

We'll always keep you in our hearts in a very special place.

All the memories you made with us are surley here to stay

For what love has already given us death could never take away.

(Kimberly Rinehart)