November 2013

I have discovered that very “interesting” things happen when a cat walks on the keyboard.

We now allow Buddy out into the back yard for a few minutes each day to eat some grass and sniff around, under very strict supervision. He is now wearing Angel’s harness and she has her new collar. He plays with her sometimes and she has NO idea!

The bus has gone off to its temporary home, suitably rigged up with water, sewerage and awning set up onsite.

Buddy has really settled in and Angel is enjoying his company. We have pictures to prove it. The latest pictures show him sporting his new bright red harness, so that we can start leash training. Tonight, we traveled a whole metre, following a trail of cat treats!

And the fun never stops out here on the farm. As tenants, we undergo a house inspection every 3 months, partly to check whether we are looking after the place, but also to check on anything that needs attention from the landlords. With that coming up (already!), we got me up on the ladder, vacuuming the cobwebs and baby spiders from the top of the cathedral ceiling. As I worked around the chimney, a honking big spider emerged. OK, you stay up there and you’re fine. Come down within my reach and you’re going outside.

A few days later, at work, I was unpacking the lunch and other food from my bag and Big Ben, as he was later named, crawled up over my tub of yoghurt. Oh, OK, carefully take the tub out and shake him out onto the floor, then search for a cup or glass to capture him. The usual process, slip a piece of paper underneath and transport him to outside. Alrighty then, we will keep the bag zipped up in future. Just 2 days later, I grabbed my bag to pack my lunch and Big Ben 2 is crawling up the outside. He also got dispatched to outside. The following week, as Julie was preparing to take both Angel & Buddy in to the dog clipper (Joan said, “Angel is enough of a handful, without being here alone. Yes, bring Buddy in.”), Big Ben 3 was sitting on Buddy’s transport cage. He wasn’t so lucky. And then this morning, I spotted Even Bigger Ben on the kitchen ceiling. He was truly worthy of taking a picture after I had put him outside.

When I went to collect the children from the pet store, I found Angel huddled in the back of the holding pen, neatly clipped, smelling rather strongly and traumatised as usual, and Buddy just sitting there, quite content. Darryl, the proprietor, said, “I’m a dog man, but at present, I’ve got two cats. I would gladly swap both of them for Buddy. He’s the most laid back cat I have ever seen.” We did good!

And earlier this week, we had the mother of all storms come through. It was a very localised, very intense storm cell that came through here via Gundaroo. It shows as black on the BOM picture snapshot. The movies tell the story.


Julie got home just before it really came pissing down, and as she drove in, I saw a cloud to ground lightning bolt. When we came inside, the power was out. Then one hit right overhead and we both jumped several inches at the clap of thunder. The cat leapt off the table, where he was eating his dinner (so that Angel doesn’t steal it, wow haven’t we come a long way), and disappeared under the kitchen cupboards.  OK, so we have no power. Take the wine casks out of the fridge and keep it closed. Don’t open the freezer! Got any candles? Nope. Put some on the shopping list.

Coincidentally, he chose this particular evening to start a new game: “Prison”.

Of course, because we have battery powered laptops, connecting to the rest of the world via battery powered phones, we still had Internet access, for a while at least. Still, it was an early night for us. I was already asleep when the power came back on at about 9pm. What we didn’t know was that it had gone off again at about 11pm.

So we got up in the morning, still no power. With a rain water supply, no power means no pump, which means no water. Which means no shower, no coffee and can’t flush the toilet. I left early and had a shower at work. Julie didn’t get one at all. I had checked the Essential Energy website and there were still entries for our area in their unplanned outages list, so we figured it would come good during the day. It was not until I got home that I realised that it was still off and the problem was probably local to us. I called them and the lady got me to go to both power boards (the main one for the property and the one in the cottage), turn all the switches off then on again, and concluded that she would have to send out a crew. I was quite surprised when they arrived about 20 minutes later. They immediately identified a blown high voltage fuse on the pole at the other side of the house (first time I’d even noticed it) and proceeded to replace it. I now know what to look for if the power is off again. And we knew it was back on when Julie came trotting out of the the cottage, professing her eternal love for the guys.

I have been getting acupuncture treatment for a couple of months. Finally got around to taking a picture.

The 50th anniversary of the opening of the Scout Hall in Deakin went off without a hitch (definitely pun intended). Lots of hard work in the background, but it was worth it. Muggins here managed to push his way to the head of the queue for the flying fox, which turned out to be a really good test of their rigging, as I am certainly heavier than the kids who wanted to have a go. Of course, Muggins also let out lots of yeehaas to attract attention to it. And had to lift his bum up at the lowest point to avoid dragging on the ground.

What? You’re leaving me? Again?