The days go by

Newhome is almost ready – plumbing is done, tiling is finished, garage doors are hung, the floor coverings go down this week and our Post Construction Inspection is booked for 12 July.   We will probably be in by early August.

A few weeks back the last of my pets from the old life was run over by a car and killed.  Connie, our Brittany spaniel was named after Constance daughter of the Duke of Brittany.   She was about 15 years old and had been ailing since Gambit, her brother, died a few months back.  But she was let out in the yard with the front gate open and wandered onto the road.  She was the most beautiful natured dog and whilst I haven’t lived with her for a few years now it still hurts to think she had to go in that way.   RIP Connie.

I’m halfway through my tenure at work but the boss has asked if I’m interested in sticking around.  I’ve said yes but will make up my mind when I find out what the offer is.  I have a bottomline that will need to be met so that the new mortgage is covered.

Speaking of the mortgage, the CBA is stuffing us around again.  It looks like they underpaid the first of the builders payments by about $2.5k which means we now have to find the extra.  The problem is because of the way the loans were set up I have no visibility of any payments we made or fees we were charged pre March this year.  I’ve asked for a full reconciliation and four days later still haven’t heard a result yet.   We’ll definitely look at moving banks once the settlements are done.

We lay byed  some limited edition prints for the home theatre today.  An indulgence, certainly, but maybe an investment too.   The prints are those below by an artist called Alex Ross.

Erin has left school and started work.  Not something I agree with but no point in forcing her to stay on and waste the rest of the year either.  She has the next couple of years planned out – save for a car, save for an overseas trip, work overseas for a couple of years and then come back and decide what she wants to do.  I’m in fact less upset with that decision than I am with the fact that her mother did not communicate any of it to me.  I found out a week after the fact.  Still, can’t be too critical can we, if I am my kids tend to get all angry with me.

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RIP Gambit

Around 15 years ago friends of ours who owned Brittany Spaniels had a dog who had a litter.   We had just lost my old dog Chai who at 17 had a long and great life and so felt ready to find another companion for our other old dog Jess.

So we went around and chose a little Black and White puppy who we called Connie after Constance the Duchess of Brittany in the 12 century.   When we went around to pick her up there was one puppy left who no one wanted.  The runt of the litter with a shortened pallet he wasn’t deemed to be in good enough shape to be worthy of breeding.  And so we ended up with two wonderful little dogs, Gambit and his sister Connie.

When my then wife and I split up almost five years ago the dogs stayed with her and apart from a few visits when my daughters walked them around to the unit where I lived I didn’t see a lot of them.   For the past few years they have lived with my ex and her new partner and on occasion have come up to the gate of the property to greet me.  Getting slower and struggling up the hill I know that they both still knew who I was because their tails wagged and he gave a funny little groan that he always gave when I scratched his ear.

On Thursday my youngest daughter and her Mum took Gambit to the vet and he had to be put down.  He had struggled to get up for the last week and it was no longer fair to watch him begin to waste away.  My ex was always much braver than me in being able to make that decision.

Even though I hadn’t had the chance to have much to do with either of the dogs for a few years they were still a part of my family and I’ll miss him.

Emasculating the dog

My dog Ramsey is a little over a year old and a true ratbag.  Daughter number 2 who is with me at least every second weekend has been harping for months now about the need to get him desexed.  Now he doesn’t have a predilection to hump legs of tables or persons, he is not overly agressive and whilst I understand that it is a recommended course of action I’m a bloke.  And blokes struggle with the thought of having their balls chopped off.

Today daughter number two decided to tr and appeal to my medical knowledge by telling me that if his was deknackered he would not get testicular cancer, to which I replied “Why don’t we chop off his head then.  That way he won’t get a brain tumour.”

Now any bloke who has seen someone else hit in the nuts at any time knows that it is the one thing that makes all of us squirm.  It is deeply programmed into mankind and most likely dates back to the time when our first shrew like ancestor fell onto a tree branch and straddled it painfully.  It’s something that we tend to want to avoid at all costs.  I’m not saying he won’t be done at some stage in the future but right now with a 16 year old telling me that his nuts are gross and he’d be better off without them, I am manfully resisting the call.

Childhood Memories – For my Sisters

Terri wrote a marvellous post recently about her childhood so please check it out if you haven’t already done so.  She had been tagged by Trisha from Rolling who responded to my comment by tagging me as well.  At least I think she did.

So I thought I’d respond by telling you a little more about where and, almost as importantly, when I grew up.  I was a child of the 60’s but relate more with the 70’s.  Australia was the lucky country and in 1958 when I was 18 months old and my new sister only a few weeks, Mum and Dad took the big step of moving from the northern suburbs of Melbourne with their bluestone gutters and crowded houses out to the new orchard subdivisions in the east.

It was a major decision because their brothers and sisters had tended to stay close to home, but land was cheap out in the sticks and the estates were sprining up with new strip shopping centres and schools.   We lived at 10 Richardson Street, Box Hill South and I can still remember our first phone number, 283928, and that old black bakelite phone copped a hammering because that was how Mum kept in touch with her family all those miles away.

 There were no made roads or footpaths and in spring the grass grew high in the open drains that ran alongside the roads.    Dad used to poor a few gallons of petrol into the drains each weekend then throw in a match and we’d watch the fire run along the water surface.  He used to tell me it was to get rid of the rats, and they certainly did run as the flames burnt the grass, but I think the real reason was because he was a bit of a pyromaniac.

The first photo is of me and my oldest sister Karen with our dog Noddy.   She died when she was around 8 or 9 years old after being poisoned.  In those days dogs were allowed to roam free in the neighbourhood and she lived most of her life under our house,  I still remember how she used to do laps of the house when we got home after being out because she was so excited to see us.

We had an outside toilet and the nightcart man would come once a week to take the full pan away and leave an empty one.  It stunk of crap and phenyl but was normal across the estate until the sewerage was connected in the early 60’s .   The pile of dirt we are standing on was from the ditch that the sewerage pipes were laid in and it was a wonderful day when the potty no longer needed to be used at night time and when the blowflies didn’t muster around your bum when you sat down for a crap.  It also meant an end to worrying about red back spiders which were known to nest under toilet seats.

It was a modest house but it was home and I had my own bedroom complete with vintage car wallpaper and a map of the world on the wall.  My bed lay beneath the window and I used to lie in there in the morning and watch the dust motes dance on air.

We had a hills hoist in the backyard that we hung from and swung each other around in circles.   One Christmas we got a pool and Dad never quite found the right spot for it, at various times it lived in the front and back yards and summers were spent making whirlpools and floating on our backs around in circles.  That was when we weren’t sunbaking on the footpaths when they were made and the roads sealed in the mid 60’s.   Summers seemed longer and hotter back then and they were marked by Dad’s barbecues in the back yard with charcoaled snags [sausages] and the best chips you’ve ever tasted covered in salt.

That backyard had visits from cowboys and indians and superheroes, Robin Hood and his merry men, and the small bushes in the front yard became an obstacle course for make believe horses and a parade of bikes and other wheeled toys like the go-kart my Godfather gave me one year.

And there were the smells – the fermenting apples that fell from the trees in the front yard in summer, Mum’s Sunday roast dinners and Dad’s BBQ’s, my Nana’s scones, the petrichor of summer rain, and the smell of fresh cut grass, all evoke wonderful memories for me.

At night time I could hear the trains on the Box Hill line in the distance and the steam from the Bowater Scott paper factory not far away.  In the early hours of the morning I often heard the clip clop of the milkmans horse as it trotted down the road, the milkman grabbing pint bottles from the cart and collecting the emptys left out in the milk boxes in the front of each yard.   The postman came twice each day and blew his whistle when he put something in the letterbox.   There were the songs of crickets in summer and the laughter of kookaburras and warbles of Magpies. 

I will write more because there  is way too much to put in this simple snapshot.

Childhood Memories – For my Sisters

Terri wrote a marvellous post recently about her childhood so please check it out if you haven’t already done so.  She had been tagged by Trisha from Rolling who responded to my comment by tagging me as well.  At least I think she did.

So I thought I’d respond by telling you a little more about where and, almost as importantly, when I grew up.  I was a child of the 60’s but relate more with the 70’s.  Australia was the lucky country and in 1958 when I was 18 months old and my new sister only a few weeks, Mum and Dad took the big step of moving from the northern suburbs of Melbourne with their bluestone gutters and crowded houses out to the new orchard subdivisions in the east.

It was a major decision because their brothers and sisters had tended to stay close to home, but land was cheap out in the sticks and the estates were sprining up with new strip shopping centres and schools.   We lived at 10 Richardson Street, Box Hill South and I can still remember our first phone number, 283928, and that old black bakelite phone copped a hammering because that was how Mum kept in touch with her family all those miles away.

 There were no made roads or footpaths and in spring the grass grew high in the open drains that ran alongside the roads.    Dad used to poor a few gallons of petrol into the drains each weekend then throw in a match and we’d watch the fire run along the water surface.  He used to tell me it was to get rid of the rats, and they certainly did run as the flames burnt the grass, but I think the real reason was because he was a bit of a pyromaniac.

The first photo is of me and my oldest sister Karen with our dog Noddy.   She died when she was around 8 or 9 years old after being poisoned.  In those days dogs were allowed to roam free in the neighbourhood and she lived most of her life under our house,  I still remember how she used to do laps of the house when we got home after being out because she was so excited to see us.

We had an outside toilet and the nightcart man would come once a week to take the full pan away and leave an empty one.  It stunk of crap and phenyl but was normal across the estate until the sewerage was connected in the early 60’s .   The pile of dirt we are standing on was from the ditch that the sewerage pipes were laid in and it was a wonderful day when the potty no longer needed to be used at night time and when the blowflies didn’t muster around your bum when you sat down for a crap.  It also meant an end to worrying about red back spiders which were known to nest under toilet seats.

It was a modest house but it was home and I had my own bedroom complete with vintage car wallpaper and a map of the world on the wall.  My bed lay beneath the window and I used to lie in there in the morning and watch the dust motes dance on air.

We had a hills hoist in the backyard that we hung from and swung each other around in circles.   One Christmas we got a pool and Dad never quite found the right spot for it, at various times it lived in the front and back yards and summers were spent making whirlpools and floating on our backs around in circles.  That was when we weren’t sunbaking on the footpaths when they were made and the roads sealed in the mid 60’s.   Summers seemed longer and hotter back then and they were marked by Dad’s barbecues in the back yard with charcoaled snags [sausages] and the best chips you’ve ever tasted covered in salt.

That backyard had visits from cowboys and indians and superheroes, Robin Hood and his merry men, and the small bushes in the front yard became an obstacle course for make believe horses and a parade of bikes and other wheeled toys like the go-kart my Godfather gave me one year.

And there were the smells – the fermenting apples that fell from the trees in the front yard in summer, Mum’s Sunday roast dinners and Dad’s BBQ’s, my Nana’s scones, the petrichor of summer rain, and the smell of fresh cut grass, all evoke wonderful memories for me.

At night time I could hear the trains on the Box Hill line in the distance and the steam from the Bowater Scott paper factory not far away.  In the early hours of the morning I often heard the clip clop of the milkmans horse as it trotted down the road, the milkman grabbing pint bottles from the cart and collecting the emptys left out in the milk boxes in the front of each yard.   The postman came twice each day and blew his whistle when he put something in the letterbox.   There were the songs of crickets in summer and the laughter of kookaburras and warbles of Magpies. 

I will write more because there  is way too much to put in this simple snapshot.

Childhood Memories – For my Sisters

Terri wrote a marvellous post recently about her childhood so please check it out if you haven’t already done so.  She had been tagged by Trisha from Rolling who responded to my comment by tagging me as well.  At least I think she did.

So I thought I’d respond by telling you a little more about where and, almost as importantly, when I grew up.  I was a child of the 60’s but relate more with the 70’s.  Australia was the lucky country and in 1958 when I was 18 months old and my new sister only a few weeks, Mum and Dad took the big step of moving from the northern suburbs of Melbourne with their bluestone gutters and crowded houses out to the new orchard subdivisions in the east.

It was a major decision because their brothers and sisters had tended to stay close to home, but land was cheap out in the sticks and the estates were sprining up with new strip shopping centres and schools.   We lived at 10 Richardson Street, Box Hill South and I can still remember our first phone number, 283928, and that old black bakelite phone copped a hammering because that was how Mum kept in touch with her family all those miles away.

 There were no made roads or footpaths and in spring the grass grew high in the open drains that ran alongside the roads.    Dad used to poor a few gallons of petrol into the drains each weekend then throw in a match and we’d watch the fire run along the water surface.  He used to tell me it was to get rid of the rats, and they certainly did run as the flames burnt the grass, but I think the real reason was because he was a bit of a pyromaniac.

The first photo is of me and my oldest sister Karen with our dog Noddy.   She died when she was around 8 or 9 years old after being poisoned.  In those days dogs were allowed to roam free in the neighbourhood and she lived most of her life under our house,  I still remember how she used to do laps of the house when we got home after being out because she was so excited to see us.

We had an outside toilet and the nightcart man would come once a week to take the full pan away and leave an empty one.  It stunk of crap and phenyl but was normal across the estate until the sewerage was connected in the early 60’s .   The pile of dirt we are standing on was from the ditch that the sewerage pipes were laid in and it was a wonderful day when the potty no longer needed to be used at night time and when the blowflies didn’t muster around your bum when you sat down for a crap.  It also meant an end to worrying about red back spiders which were known to nest under toilet seats.

It was a modest house but it was home and I had my own bedroom complete with vintage car wallpaper and a map of the world on the wall.  My bed lay beneath the window and I used to lie in there in the morning and watch the dust motes dance on air.

We had a hills hoist in the backyard that we hung from and swung each other around in circles.   One Christmas we got a pool and Dad never quite found the right spot for it, at various times it lived in the front and back yards and summers were spent making whirlpools and floating on our backs around in circles.  That was when we weren’t sunbaking on the footpaths when they were made and the roads sealed in the mid 60’s.   Summers seemed longer and hotter back then and they were marked by Dad’s barbecues in the back yard with charcoaled snags [sausages] and the best chips you’ve ever tasted covered in salt.

That backyard had visits from cowboys and indians and superheroes, Robin Hood and his merry men, and the small bushes in the front yard became an obstacle course for make believe horses and a parade of bikes and other wheeled toys like the go-kart my Godfather gave me one year.

And there were the smells – the fermenting apples that fell from the trees in the front yard in summer, Mum’s Sunday roast dinners and Dad’s BBQ’s, my Nana’s scones, the petrichor of summer rain, and the smell of fresh cut grass, all evoke wonderful memories for me.

At night time I could hear the trains on the Box Hill line in the distance and the steam from the Bowater Scott paper factory not far away.  In the early hours of the morning I often heard the clip clop of the milkmans horse as it trotted down the road, the milkman grabbing pint bottles from the cart and collecting the emptys left out in the milk boxes in the front of each yard.   The postman came twice each day and blew his whistle when he put something in the letterbox.   There were the songs of crickets in summer and the laughter of kookaburras and warbles of Magpies. 

I will write more because there  is way too much to put in this simple snapshot.

Summer’s ‘Ere

Two days ago the temperature topped 39C and the wind was the type that sucks the moisture from your eyeballs at the same time it squeezes the grit in.   Today just after 8am it is already in the high 20’s.

Last night there were gale force northerlies, rattling windows, blowing blinds and waking birds well before sparrow fart.  Every little creak of the house seemed to be magnified and the echoes woke the dogs who lent the chorus of their barks to the cacophany.

Winds that were strong enough to blow a dog off a chain.

Living in the hills of Melbourne I fear days like today.   The winds bring the threats of bushfires and the drought we have suffered for 10 years means that fuel is high and the ground dry.  We are expecting some sort of cool change this afternoon but that will come with thunder storms which bring their own threats.

Summer’s ‘Ere

Two days ago the temperature topped 39C and the wind was the type that sucks the moisture from your eyeballs at the same time it squeezes the grit in.   Today just after 8am it is already in the high 20’s.

Last night there were gale force northerlies, rattling windows, blowing blinds and waking birds well before sparrow fart.  Every little creak of the house seemed to be magnified and the echoes woke the dogs who lent the chorus of their barks to the cacophany.

Winds that were strong enough to blow a dog off a chain.

Living in the hills of Melbourne I fear days like today.   The winds bring the threats of bushfires and the drought we have suffered for 10 years means that fuel is high and the ground dry.  We are expecting some sort of cool change this afternoon but that will come with thunder storms which bring their own threats.

Unconditional

Pets give unconditional love. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking at getting a new dog. We have one, a maltese shitzu ewok called Bella who belongs to my lady, but a friend of son number twos has a spoodle who has had eight puppies. This weekend I picked one out to be mine.

It occurred to me that I haven’t actually ever chosen a pet of my own. Billy Jack, a dalmatian cross was given to me by my Godfather and put down by my Mum and Dad after he kept escaping from the yard. My German Shorthaired Pointer Chai was a gift from my Aunt.    L chose Calli, Jess, Connie and Gambit.   So this little feller is the first pet that I have chosen for myself.  Folks meet Ramsay, four weeks old and in four weeks he’ll walk permanently into my life.

 
  
 

Unconditional

Pets give unconditional love. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking at getting a new dog. We have one, a maltese shitzu ewok called Bella who belongs to my lady, but a friend of son number twos has a spoodle who has had eight puppies. This weekend I picked one out to be mine.

It occurred to me that I haven’t actually ever chosen a pet of my own. Billy Jack, a dalmatian cross was given to me by my Godfather and put down by my Mum and Dad after he kept escaping from the yard. My German Shorthaired Pointer Chai was a gift from my Aunt.    L chose Calli, Jess, Connie and Gambit.   So this little feller is the first pet that I have chosen for myself.  Folks meet Ramsay, four weeks old and in four weeks he’ll walk permanently into my life.

 
  
 

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