Saturday, December 15, 2012

Starting the muck raking

I have sorted out the HTML and have made a beginning on the history of my immediate family.  I've made a template and have opened up ten files; there will be more.  However, it is much too inflammatory to publish online and will probably be discreetly distributed via CD.

I have also paid out a lot of money for what I hope will be the Will of my Uncle D., my grandfather's twin brother.  It was his will which first caused the poo to hit the propeller and opened my eyes to some of the hidden facts and opinions about my grandfather's siblings and their wives.

I now need to get the wills of Uncle R. and Aunt A. which will be lodged with the South Australian records;  Uncle D. died in New South Wales.  There is already quite a lot of information at the Trove site regarding the court case in which Aunt A. sued the people who bought out the family assets at an extremely low price  -  something which was always a festering sore.

And that is before I even start on my Great Grandmother's family and their doings which I have been reading with a great deal of interest, once again at Trove which is publishing all the archived court cases and social news from way back.

My maternal grandmother's family is more of a mystery but at least they appear, for the most part, to be reasonably respectable, simply rather prone to multiple marriages with a little bigamy thrown in.

It is going to be a lifetime project and will need some editing as the threads cross; it should keep me occupied and entertained for years to come.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The relearning curve is steep

I started on my family slush history yesterday and decided to do it in HTML as it makes it easier to connect up the dots (links?) but alas I have forgotten most of my HTML and am going to have to relearn it.  The simple stuff is still OK but I am going to have to look up how to do tables again because it is the simplest way to do an index.  It should be fun and I will be able to link it to my web page if I want, although I suspect that some of it should never get out into the public arena for the sake of those who are still around and who might find and read it.

And I went out and pre-ordered a MS Surface this morning because I am going to find that I need to know something about Win 8 if I am going to keep on teaching computer  to older people who have not grown up in the computer age.  It is going to be Win 7 all over again but more so and people are going to expect us to know how to show them.  At least the tablets are lighter than my Win 7  computer and I can probably slip it into my handbag.

Techie told me to get one directly from Microsoft but they courier them and I have discovered that it is not possible in a high rise apartment, and the Post Office quite rightly doesn't think that it is their job to take the parcels in.  I was going to have it delivered to D3's workplace but she is going on holidays next week so that won't work.  Anyway, with luck I will get my tablet before Christmas, which is when JB HiFi are expecting to get their first order.

Techie has promised to set it up for me and put in a start button.  The sales person at JB HF said that they are having no end of problems with Win 8 on desktop computers so I suppose that there will be a Win 9 along before too much time passes.  I think that is when I will give up and spend my time doing HTML and dredging up all the oddments of family history and its secrets.

Monday, December 10, 2012

All those cousins!

Last weekend was the second family reunion held and this time I felt that I should go over to Adelaide and meet all the cousins who have been creeping out of the woodwork lately.

D1 and D2 also attended and it was a fun weekend and I'll probably go to the next one.  The hesitation is that rumour has it that it will be held at Victor Harbour and there is no way I am going to go all the way to Adelaide and then all the way to Victor, much as I love the place and knowing well that it is the place where the family's roots are.

There is also a problem with the cats who didn't take very kindly to being boarded at the cattery again; Parsifal's behavior caused Poppy to become quite aggressive.  They have settled down now but Poppy needed room to run from Parsifal and there was nowhere for her to go.  I had to resort to the water spray bottle in order to get the message through to him that he needed to leave Poppy alone.

When I consult with the animal behaviorist I am hoping that we can resolve that problem as well; Parsifal needs to understand that he is no longer a proper boy and that it is unseemly to act like one.

While we were in South Australia we took the tram to Glenelg where I spent some of the early part of my life and it was in Glenelg that I went to boarding school for seven years.  D1 wanted to see it and I suggested that the traditional way of getting there was by tram so we did that.  But it is no longer the tram which used to do the run.  For starters it now goes as far as  the Entertainment Centre on North Terrace and it is not a tram any more but light rail.  Not nearly as much fun as it used to be and I would have thought that the original tram was heritage listed; obviously not.

The kids, bless their hearts, want a barbecue on Christmas day so this morning I went over to Cottesloe and loaded up with sausages and a vacuum-packed rib-eye fillet of steak so all I need to do is salads and a trifle  -  not 'deconstructed' like the one I had at the Playford Hotel on Friday night.  It would certainly be easier  -  slices of cake, a bottle of sweet sherry, some fruit, custard, jelly and cream and they could all reconstruct their own. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where there's smoke ...

We had much excitement last night when, in the midst of late-night shopping, the fire alarms went off and orders came over the loud speakers to evacuate the centre.

I bundled the babies in to the kitty carriage and took them down the lift  -  contra-indicated in case of fire but no-one had suggested a fire at that stage.  However, soon after we hit the street the fire engines rolled up, blazing red and blue flashing lights and with sirens going full blast.  No-one seemed to know what the problem was and I still don't know if there was a fire or just a false alarm but eventually the all-clear sounded and we sheepishly returned to whatever we had been doing.

As soon as I started wheeling the babies in the kitty carriage I realised that the tyres were flat but didn't have time to pump them up so this morning I collected my bike pump and discovered that not only were the valves badly angled but my bike has schrader valves and the kitty carriage has presta so the pump didn't fit even when I managed to get it through the spokes.  I suspect that the pump could be converted but that didn't make it any easier to attach.

So  -  I removed the wheels and caught the train over to Cottesloe where the man in the bike shop straightened the valves, pumped up the tyres and sold me a pump which, being very small, I can store in the kitty carriage.

I had intended, this morning, to wash my car but there was no water on level 4.  I later discovered that there is a broken pipe out in the street with water bubbling up between the pavers so I assume that is where all the water has gone.  I guess that it will be fixed eventually but I will be going to lunch at the Selfs' on Sunday in a very dusty car.  I don't like using the car-washing area on weekends when there are cars parked close by.

All in all an interesting few hours and the staff of Zoo showed me how to dismantle and fold the kitty carriage if I need to take it in the car.

Friday, November 16, 2012

'ear no evil

I went to my first yoga session today and had to stop about halfway through because I started to feel dizzy and nauseated; my inner ears can't cope with that much head movement and rotation.  I think that the instructor who took the introductory session on Monday was right that if I am going to do yoga at all it will have to be the 'restorative', not the 'vinyasa' yoga. Pity about that  -  I really wanted to do the vinyasa type.

The Restorative sessions are at 12.15pm on Monday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons so I'll give it a go next week and see if I can cope better with the less kinetic version.

Parsifal has eaten a bit of a polystyrene meat tray which I had thoroughly washed and put into a soft, woven plastic-type bag.  He ate a hole in the bag to get to the meat tray.  I am now waiting for it to appear out the other end or he will upchuck (hopefully).  No sign of either option yet.  He is a worry and I am hanging out waiting for the return of the animal behaviorist next month although I suspect that he will not start practising again until next year.

For all that he is a problem he is also a most delightful cat; a real clown and wants to be into everything.  He keeps me constantly amused.  Poppy's aim in life is still to be a lapcat and she is always curled up on my bed when I wake up in the morning, ready for a bit of smooching.  His nibs is out on the balcony sunbathing, since we get early morning sun during summer.  He is making the most of it and I can understand that.  Poppy joins him when I get out of bed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Senior's moment or do I need a diary?

Would you believe that I didn't just double book the middle of the day of 18th December, I triple booked it.  I have spent time this morning rescheduling my appointments but all is finally sorted out.

Now I need to go out and buy a diary to carry in my handbag so that I don't just assume that things are so far ahead that I am bound to have nothing scheduled.

On Monday I went to a Council sponsored "Introduction to Yoga" and am now waiting for the Yoga Centre to call me back so that I can book myself in for a beginners' course as I would feel more comfortable joining open classes if I already had some idea of what I was supposed to be doing.  The classes take place just across the road so I can even manage early morning without too much trauma.

I have finally bitten the bullet and been measured for a new hearing aid; hopefully the new one will fit better than the current one.  The audiologist is trying to persuade me to get one for each ear and I agree that it would benefit my hearing but unless the second one fits (and I know that the right ear is going to be harder to fit than the left) I won't wear it and they are expensive.  I'll see how I go with the new one and if I can get a good fit I might reconsider.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What the butler saw

Sydney was fun; the long-haul plane rides in cattle class weren't.  

The hotel "upgraded" me to a horrible little room with twin beds and I fell out whenever I turned over but D2 had a chat with the concierge the next day and I found myself in  a four-room suite for the second night.  Very nice.  I have upgraded myself to a "Delux King" room for the trip to Adelaide next month for the family re-union.

Talking to Bro at D1's birthday dinner I realised that there was a lot of contemporary history about the family which he didn't know so I am going to try to get it down in writing so that the wild stories which I was brought up on will not happen in the next generation.  He is several years younger than me and a lot of the goings-on would have gone over his head; best to record it or it will all be forgotten.

I am not quite sure where to start; I guess that I should work through person by person.  Some of the stuff is on my web page but that is mostly the wild stories, not the information about the marriages and divorces, law suits and property division  -  things which I assumed that Bro would know about.  I'll probably start with Uncle Dud, my grandfather's twin brother and work out from there to Great great Uncle Charles and all his works  -  the ultimate money launderer who lost his position as mayor of Adelaide because he was in jail cracking rocks and missed two council meetings without just cause.  I must learn how to copy the information on the National Archives web site for details.  My mother's family really were a shady lot; my father's family were respectable for the most part.

In Sydney, D3 and I visited the Hedrena shop in the foyer of the Wentworth Hotel where we stayed and bought a lot of clothes and again sorted out sizing so that we can buy online.  Then we spent the rest of the morning doing retail therapy at a spectacles shop, shopped for shoes and then dressmaking fabrics.

After lunch we inspected D1's new apartment which is lovely but much smaller than mine.  That night was the birthday dinner and I finished off with a decaf coffee affogato with drambuie; memorable ...

On Sunday morning I met up with Cousin H. and her daughter and in the afternoon we all congregated at D1's place for a party for her friends before flying back to Perth.

The kittens arrived home the next day but will be off to boarding school again in about four weeks for a short weekend stay. I spent some time this morning retrieving all their rubber balls from under the spare bed after which they exhausted themselves and are now asleep.  The balls are probably back under the bed; that is where they always end up.

Friday, October 19, 2012

TV Trauma

My TV, which has been playing up for some time, has been taken away to be fixed.  Because my last one died an early death I actually had the sense to buy an extended warranty for this one so it is covered until 2015.

However, the men sent to collect it had problems finding the place and since the truck they came in was 2.7 metres high, it would not fit into either parking areas and the DJ's Loading Bay refused, quite rightly, to allow them to park there.  Anyway, they finally managed to get here and take the TV away and it will probably be ready next Friday, when I will be on my way to Sydney.

I am going to an all-day seminar at iinet on the next Tuesday and with COTA on Thursday mornings I can see problems ahead.  But maybe they will send it back in a smaller van..

I finally got around to washing the floor of my balcony, something too difficult with all the big pots on it.  Everything there is now readily portable and it all looks so much better and the cats had a lot of fun paddling.

My spell checker has gone crazy.  It is marking properly spelled words as wrong and when I double click it puts in an extra first letter so that I get mmetres and bbalcony.   There must be either solar flares or gremlins. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Geraniums Red and Geraniums White

I suddenly started to get fed up with all my scraggy potplants.  Parsifal had eaten, or at least chewed, most of them and had started in on the parsley which was about the only thing doing reasonably well.

So I gave away or uprooted everything except the small Rosemary plant which Himself gave me and which, for some reason, Parsifal passes up so it is flourishing, unlike the Bay Tree which was in a sad state  -  very chewed with multiple holes in all its leaves.

On my wanders around Claremont I chanced on a shop which sells water features and artificial plants so now I have a balcony of pots of red and white geraniums and it looks so much nicer.  I am not sure what will happen when it rains but I'll worry about that when it rains  -  or replace the geraniums if needs be.

We had the annual general meeting of the Council of Owners on Monday evening and I hauled along the nice man from 702 who had a few issues he wanted to discuss but didn't know where the meeting was to be held and his English is a bit iffy as he only stated to speak it at age 50.  It was a good thing I took him along because there was a problem with getting a quorum with much phoning around to see if they could lure one more person in.

Since the rules state that if there is not a quorum the committee has to wait 30 minutes before canceling the meeting, the chairperson suggested that we should have a general discussion and bring up any issues which troubled us.  The meeting became quite lively and when another owner arrived to make the quorum the meeting proceeded with a continuation of the discussion afterwards.  It was all very helpful, hopefully we sorted out a lot of issued and the chairman said afterwards that it was the best and most productive meeting he had chaired.

I took the babies out to the park in the kitty carriage yesterday but neither would get out onto the grass; Parsifal curled up as far from the grass as he could get with his ears back.  He hasn't forgotten the dog, poor little cat.  I'll keep taking them over to the park at odd intervals but will let them decide, in their own time, of they want to explore or just lie in the sun in their carriage.  We don't get sun in the apartment except a bit very early in the morning in summer so I like them to see the sun every so often.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy birthday ... now you are one

Today was the cats' first birthday; a red letter day and easy to remember because it was my parents' wedding anniversary.  For a birthday present I gave them one of those feeder things which they have to work to get their food from.  Parsifal is orally fixated and is getting fat; Poppy is a little plump.

Parsifal, naturally, has worked out how to get food from it but I am a little concerned about Poppy who really hasn't got the idea yet.  I might have to slip her a little something on the side but neither of them wanted their 'salmon in seafood sauce'  so either they have fur balls or Poppy has managed to get enough from the feeder.

They are both losing their winter coats and I have bought them one of those glove things which they love, particularly Parsifal who likes all things sensual.  Poppy needed to be very lightly restrained for the first few sessions but enjoys it now.

Things which I have learnt since I got the cats:
  • Never leave anything long and soft around (string, cord, ribbons etc) or Parsifal will eat it
  • Turn all the fliptop rubbish bins to the wall; Parsifal can open them and likes to inspect the contents.  The bathroom one contains used dental floss  - see point 1.
  • Check all drawers and cupboards before closing them and count heads just to be sure
  • Always back out the front door to repel the cats when they try to come out with me
  • Don't bother trying to keep them off the kitchen benches; it is a waste of time
  • Keep a bowl of water in the shower recess and top it up with warm water whenever I have a shower
  • It is impossible to grow plants on my balcony as Parsifal eats them
  • Be aware at all times where Poppy has hidden her favourite toy
There are more but I can't think of anything else at present.

I am off to Sydney in a couple of weeks for B1's 50th birthday and the cats will be going back to their breeder for a few days.  The whole family will be turning up and she has asked my brother and sister-in-law, niece, nephew and their partners and Uncle John Cobbly and all as far as I can see.  Hopefully I will be able to catch up with Cousin H for morning coffee while I am there.

With the time difference and 'summer time' over east it is going to be a long haul with me leaving home before 7.00am and arriving in Sydney in the late afternoon after a 4.5 hour flight.  Coming back is better; we arrive back almost as soon as we leave Sydney.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Out! Damned spot!

So, I have just bought, at great expense, three Persian carpets with almost white backgrounds and ... my two black cats have started molting.  There is fine black hair everywhere and the only way to cope with it is to vacuum.  Water just pushes it into corners and sweeping sends it floating all over the place.

Any way, here is a picture of my wool-on-silk bedroom rug.  I stood on the bed, wobbling woefully, to take the picture and even then I was not able to focus straight down so it looks a bit wider on one side.  No matter; Click on the picture to enlarge it.

The apartment residents have all received a notice suggesting that we clean our sliding louvres with warm soapy water every four weeks.  I must admit that mine are filthy at the moment and I had intended to clean them in the near future but every four weeks??  I have just spent the morning on my knees cleaning the tracks of the sliding doors.  The louvres should be easier, they are not full of unreachable crannies, and I have yet to tackle the balcony floor.  I need to get rid of my pot plants because they never get any sun and they are pale shadows of themselves  -  except for the parsley and Parsifal is working his way through that; he has all but demolished the thyme.

I have found a shop which sells fake geraniums, fake box trees and fake palm trees and as soon as I have worked out what to do with all my potting mix I shall go colourful in pots on the balcony.  Parsifal has his cat grass ...

I realise that I rarely mention Poppy.  She is a darling little cat, very cuddly and who thinks that her life's work is to be a lap cat.  Unfortunately she has a voice likely to wake the dead and she uses it to good effect when she loses her favourite toy which is a small pink silk flower which she removed from an arrangement which I have in my bedroom.  She hides it, forgets where she put it and then yowls until I get up and search for it or until she forgets about it again.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The BIG rug

Below is a picture of the big rug which I have bought for the sitting area in my apartment. Click on  the image to enlarge it.

I have also purchased a small rug for my bedroom.  It is wool on silk and very fine knotting.  The colours are just right for the room  -  Thank you Amir  -  and I love it but it was very expensive. I'll post a photo of it when I take one.  It only arrived late yesterday as it needed a minor repair.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Oh, what a feeling

Herself and I went carpet buying today and we chose a lovely Tabriz which seems to pick up all the colours in the sitting area of the big room.  I also bought a small black and pale, pale, green rug which is by the front door.  It has a much lower knot count and generally looks more like a tribal copy.  But it looks very pretty in the hallway and the cats love it.

I have taken some photos and will post them but the light is not brilliant at the moment so I will try again tomorrow morning when it is brighter.

This is Parsifal sitting on the big rug.  (Click on the picture to enlarge)

The carpet man condemned the Bukhara in my bedroom and is trying to find something which matches the colour scheme.  He brought a couple to try when he came back with the underlay but neither was the right colour so he is going to bring another, silk-based, more expensive one,  which he thinks will match better.  We will see; there is no hurry.

Herself bought me lunch and as the place she had chosen was full to overflowing we came back here to The Duchess where they have a lunch menu of entree and main course with a glass of wine for a set price.  We both had calamari for starters and I had the best pepper steak I have ever eaten.  I shall certainly go there again.

The cats are getting big and are now Eleven months old.  I have started them on a mix of kitten and standard food and they are not very happy about it but I am sure that they will eat it when they get hungry enough.  They are very excited about the new carpets and Parsifal had to be shut out on the balcony because he was rolling on them before they had even been properly spread on the floor and kept getting in the way, refusing to be held; he was determined to help Amir the carpet man.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Foraging for food

Today I finally worked out how to get into XP on the COTA computers.  I can't think why it had to be so hard but hopefully I will be able to show my new client how to send emails because Win Live mail is quite different and he has XP at home.  I haven't tried Live Mail out on the COTA computer yet ... that is a joy to come but I need to try to work out gMail because himself was unable to work out how to send an email today and I was not able to find a way either.

Himself is off to Europe on Saturday and while he is away herself and I will be shopping for Persian (or at least Oriental) rugs for the floor as the babies don't like walking on the cold tiles and I can't say that I blame them.  I also need to get blinds fitted because the sun is now far enough to the south to come into the apartment in the early morning and put my water colour paintings is some jeopardy, albeit minimally but the blinds might help to keep the warmth in during winter.  I have been meaning to get some installed ever since I moved in.

Parsifal the Bald, with his shaved tummy looks quite disgusting when he sits down as he now has a naked apron which rests on the floor so, in the absence of frozen rats and mice I have instigated another of the strategies for the prevention of pica.  The babies now have to work for their food and I am spreading it around, some in accessible containers and some in rolling thingies which Poppy can't work out.  She might need some extra feeding although she is not particularly skinny either and it might do her good to work for her keep for a while.  At the moment she is being very vocal about the whole thing so I gave her some pellets in the proper dish and she ignored them.  I don't think that she is going to starve any time soon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

No Buttons: no bows ...

The ultrasound shown an empty stomach so all the stuff he ate has passed through .  The radiologist said that they couldn't see the colon properly on account of some gas but she said that any cord there will pass out naturally and will not cause any damage.

I think that, at this stage, I need a cup of coffee.  It has not been a good day ... until now.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buttons and Bows #2 parental guidance recommended

Parsifal and I are about to head off to Osborne Park for an ultrasound scan to find out exactly what he has inside him.

I realised yesterday that he had eaten the cord from my hoodie which was hanging on the clothes line  -  quite a length of it and the metal knobs on the ends have disappeared, although I think that he has probably hidden them somewhere; I can't imagine him eating those as they are quite big and hard.

So I hauled the wrapped up vomit out of the rubbish bin, went through it and removed the bits of cord which had come up, laundered them and had a good look.  There was about two cm of the first cord he ate and about 5cm (in two pieces) of the hoodie cord which he would have eaten on Tuesday night.

So there is rather a lot of stuff unaccounted for  -  not to mention my shoelaces and spinning wheel drive band.

The odd thing is that he seems to be thriving on this odd diet; last night he was full of beans, eating well, eliminating normally and generally looking good.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Making ends meet

Now that the latest crisis is over I can finally write about it here.

Last Friday morning (today is Wednesday) I woke up to the awful discovery that Parsifal (of course, Parsifal) had eaten the soft nylon handle off one of those cardboard carry bags that the posh shops put their goods into when you buy something.

Thinking that I needed some advice as to how to cope with his pica I took him to the vet.  Dr S. thought that an emetic might be a good first aid measure but decided that it might be too late and the cord could already have passed out of the stomach.  A scan?  their scanner was currently being serviced; an emergency ultrasound at the Specialist Clinic?

By this time I was thoroughly spooked, took the faecal softener she gave me and took him home to await events.  He continued eating well, beating up his sister and his 'internal hygiene" seemed to be working OK.  D2 gave me the name of an animal behaviorist but he will be away until December so that was no help.

And lo and behold, this morning he vomited up three pieces of cord which, put together, appear to be all that he ate ... and this time I did put them together.  Such a relief.  Next time I will opt for the emetic but hopefully it will not happen again; I will try to keep the things he likes to chew and swallow well out of his reach.

Anyway, he is very pleased with himself and Dr S. has kindly sent me some journal articles on pica which are interesting but I don't think that frozen rats and turkey chicks are available here and I don't think that I would feed them to him even if I could get them.

I had lunch with D3 and SIL and we discussed our flight to Sydney at the end of October.  I have booked for the both of us and emailed to D2 to ask her to book ASAP because the planes are filling fast and we are having to catch an earlier flight than we originally selected; I am going to have to order a taxi for about 7.00am or a bit later to get to the airport through the peak-hour traffic.

I only have one client for tomorrow and have a free hour before the lesson so I will use it to try to come to some sort of agreement with the new computer at COTA which is sadly lacking in things we need such as Solitaire and Windows Live Mail.  I had hoped to be able to stop taking my own laptop every week but it looks as though it will be a while yet before I can leave it at home.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cats and Dogs

After our run-in with a BIG dog on Saturday when we went to the park, Parsifal, who when he found that he was unable to run (thank goodness the harness stayed in place) was prepared to protect his sister and mummy with his life, has been a bit reluctant to leave the safety of the kitty carriage but today he braved the world again.  I thought that Poppy would be the first to emerge again but she was content to lie in the warmth and look out at the world.  I think that the dog only wanted to play  -  reading his body language that is how it looked but he was very big; he looked to me like a pig dog but I've known charming pig dogs.  The owner wasn't very helpful, though.  Now we go over to the playground area where dogs are supposed to be on leashes, but ...

We keep a careful lookout but this dog came very fast out of nowhere.  I won't take them out again on weekends; the park is usually empty around lunchtime on week days.

We are off to Sydney at the end of October and D3 has booked us all into the Holiday Inn at Potts point.  I was plugging the the Wentworth in the CBD but D3 has a discount card for accommodation so she did the booking.  It is only for  two nights and we have harbour views so I am not complaining.  And it is right by the train station from the airport so that is a huge plus.  And it is close to D1's apartment.

Parsifal, after his brave defense at the weekend has finally discovered his voice, much to my dismay.  He used to communicate in rather charming little chirps but now he is almost as loud as Poppy.

The nice new computers at COTA are not behaving themselves.  Every week we find the settings changed  and we have now discovered that there is no 'Windows Live Mail' ... a search takes us straight to Hotmail.  I thought that I would no longer have to take my own computer but I can see that I am still going to need it for the foreseeable future. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Buttons and Bows

I looked into my wardrobe today and saw a tail.  When I removed its owner I found that he had been chewing my shoelaces yet again.  Luckily he hadn't managed to chew right through it so he hadn't swallowed any but I looked at my sad array of lace-up shoes with their rag-tag of macerated ties and realised that I either needed to keep them in a high cupboard or abandon laced shoes altogether.

I am a contributor on a board on which concerns itself with all things "cat" and at the moment there is a section on the odd places which cats choose to sit and as one of Parsifal's favourite places to sit is in the dishwasher I took a photo and posted it.  Here it is ...

Click on the picture to enlarge

It took the kittens a couple of days to settle down after their stint at boarding school.  Wherever I went I was confronted by two cats lying belly-up asking for tummy rubs.  They are back to normal now and I dared to cut their claws again this morning.  Parsifal is very good but Poppy is not so keen, poor baby; I do it anyway because I have leather couches and they pelt along the backs of them.  I have a repair kit but haven't used it yet.  My last girl-cat, Bast did more damage than these two, actually, and I need to patch up her damage.

I will be going to Sydney at the end of October for D1's birthday and hopefully back to Adelaide in early December but I would have to fly out on D2's birthday so I need to negotiate with her.  She might come too, of course; it is for a family reunion and it is high time that all the cousins started to get to know each other.

Monday, August 6, 2012

An alarming situation

I arrived back from Adelaide the night before last and directed the taxi to the temporary parking spot at the end of "The Lane".  I climbed out and all the building alarms went off so instead of going upstairs to my apartment I trudged across to security to tell them that it was a false alarm.  No chance of explanations  -  all I got was "I'll be with you in a minute" and disconnect. I tried twice and then set out to search for the guy.  When I caught up with him he said that the big door which comes down in the middle of the shopping centre was going up and down and he couldn't leave it to attend to me.  Fair enough and next time I will know where to look ... but I can now understand why we have had so many false alarms.

The trip to Adelaide was fun and I got to see people whom I hadn't seen for years.  The purpose of the trip was to attend a Betrothal Ceremony for my niece and it all went off very well with a bevy of small children running riot in the church and keeping us all amused during the signing of the documents.  I doubt if any of them was older than four and they were very well behaved but tended to wander a bit.

For the two nights we were there we wined and dined very well but the noise was almost unbearable; on the Friday night at the restaurant we went to there was a very rowdy party at the next table and the acoustics were not designed for that level of sound  - and Saturday we ate at the hotel restaurant where there was amplified live music which drowned out all conversation.  I received a questionnaire asking for my comments on the hotel facilities and I mentioned that the amplified music was a real downer.

The babies arrived back yesterday afternoon and spent the rest of the day throwing themselves down on their backs to have their tummies rubbed and Poppy kept me awake by yowling until I told her that if she didn't stop it I would shut her out of the bedroom.  She settled after that and I can only assume that she was checking to make sure that I was still there with them.

Poor babies  -  they are going to have to get used to boarding school because I have to go to Sydney for D1's birthday at the end of October and there is a family reunion on 8th December in Adelaide which, since I have missed he last two, I would really like to attend.  The collection of family photos which I put together for my niece looked very good and I have been asked for several more copies; perhaps the family is finally starting to look to its roots.  Yeah!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The babies are off to boarding school *sob*

The babies are off for a few days boarding at the kennels where they were born.  It is times like this when I am glad that there are two of them so that things are not totally strange and frightening.  Not that much would frighten this pair but just the same it upsets me.

I thought that Parsifal had passed all of the cord he ate but on Sunday morning he had a mighty heave and a huge bundle came up.  It looked far more than the 20cm which I know that he ate  -  because I had a lead for each of them and was able to see how much was missing.  However, I decided not to unravel it to see if there was the odd shoelace in with it all and simply disposed of it thoughtfully as we are exhorted to do by the conservation groups.

He certainly showed no signs of discomfort and was eating normally but he is rather pleased with himself nevertheless.  He seems to have given up on the smurgling, thank goodness.  I have been discouraging him from smurgling on me and putting him onto his blankie.  Hopefully he has grown out of it or has worked through his allotted sucking time and is growing up.

It is exactly 52 weeks since I moved into this apartment.  The time has gone very fast and I love living here despite the design faults and general brainlessness regarding fittings and fitments.  It is nice to have everything so close to hand and I run into friends a lot ... and there is Koko Black!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

... which passeth ...

Parsifal has passed the 20cm of lead which he ate on the weekend.  Not that I was worried but I was glad to see it in the litter tray.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There is something weird going on.

My microwave oven was returned to me yesterday.  It has sat in the repair shop for a week or so with various people pushing the door release button and it has been opening with no problems ... so they sent it back again.  The man who brought it back put it on the top of the bench and demonstrated to me that it worked perfectly, which it did.  Then he put it back into its proper place in the scheme of things and tried again; it refused to open.  He took it out again and it worked; put it back and the door, once again refused to open.

So I have the oven back again and I still have to use my fingernails to prise the door open but he is going to put in for a new oven for me.  He told me that Miele appliances should work properly under all circumstances and that it was not good enough.  All very odd!

Parsifal has eaten about 20cm of his new lead and I am still awaiting the outcome of that but everything seems to be working as it should.  I had the same problem with my Burmese female, Bast, who tended to eat shoelaces and eventually a shoestring strap attached to my favourite nightdress.  I consulted Dr Don about it when nothing came through and he assured me that the stomach acids are strong enough  to dissolve such things.  Certainly Parsifal seems none the worse for his strange diet.

I took them out for about an hour in the kittycarriage again today and they are both getting much braver about getting out and exploring their surroundings  - firmly attached to the kittycarriage but with quite a lot of leeway as I now have an extendable dog-lead with an lead expander attached so that they can get about 3 metres apart and several metres from the kittycarriage but I have the option of reeling them in quickly if I need to; as I chose to do today when an unleashed dog came into the park.  It was very well behaved and stayed with its owner but I don't want to take any risks with the babies.

The warranty for the apartments has now run out and the management has my list of things to be done.  I have stressed very strongly that I expect that the light which has blown three times and has not been working for the last two months will be under further warranty until the problem is fixed to my satisfaction and that no amount of new globes and transformers is going to solve the basic reason that it keeps on not working.

My son-in-law, who was going to install cat doors as soon as the warranty had expired has broken several ribs and punctured his lung so I will ask Hugh from Zoo if he can recommend someone when I go there to buy the cat-flaps.

Me, D1 & D2  are off to Adelaide next Friday for a couple of days for my niece's Nuptial Blessing and next Wednesday the babies are going back to their origins for a few days of boarding.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I took the babies out for a walk to the Mary Street Reserve in the kittycarriage this afternoon.  I let them out and a girl walking along the path stopped and said "Are they Bombays?"  She and her husband have one  -  about four years old, from Canning Vale (like mine).  Its mother was a brown Burmese and father a Bombay.  She took some photos to show her husband.  

It is fun to watch people when they realise that I have two cats in the kittycarriage; not at all what they expect.

The computer at work today was totally stuffed up.  The desktop had three very small COTA-related icons on it and My Documents had been cleared out totally.  All the gutter icons had gone as well.  Himself and I sorted it out as best we could but we never have enough time to do any proper adjustments.  I told the boss before we left for the day and he is going to have a look at it.

My accountant has applied for a variation on my quarterly tax assessment from $26,655.00 to $3,000.00.  I can't imagine what the tax department was thinking about but it came as quite a shock to me when I received the assessment; it wasn't going to leave me with enough to live on.

I took the wedding present photos to Office Works yesterday and they did a really good job of printing and binding them.  I'll take them with me to Adelaide; I don't trust the mail after losing so many items which, my postman assured me, were not down to him as he knows which mailbox belongs to me regardless of which of my five addresses are used.  The Claremont Council still insists that I am A707, not B707 and that the A stands for 'Apartment'.  *sigh*

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Old friends and babies

My best friend from university, who is a cousin to my Ex, was in Perth for a couple of days, staying with her sister and we met this morning for coffee downstairs.  I had pretty  well lost touch with her as she married a Dutchman and has lived in the Netherlands for many years but is now in Queensland so it was lovely to see her again after all this time.

I took the cats in their kitten-carriage over to the park today and let them out onto the grass in the sun.  The birds all saw a couple of predators and went quite frantic for a while until they realized that the cats were firmly tethered and were no threat … but it was very exciting for the babies and they thoroughly enjoyed their little jaunt.  And this evening neither is nagging to go out into the corridor so there is lovely peace.  Poppy has the most appalling voice; very oriental and she doesn’t let up.

I have spent the last two mornings downstairs, coffeeing with friends so hopefully I can get to Office Works tomorrow morning as I have some printing to be done.  If all else fails there is a Snap Printing here in Claremont and that might be a better option anyway.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Apartment Warranty is about to run out ...

First of all I would like to apologise for the very erratic font size in some of my posts.  I have tried, and failed, to correct the problem.  I will keep trying to fix it but don't hold your breath.

The day before yesterday my microwave oven was taken away to be fixed.  The door has been sticking and for a while it has needed two hands to open it.  I assumed that someone would come here and fiddle with the catch and it would work properly but I was told that it probably needs a new part, that it has happened to other oven doors but never before, in the experience of the removed, has it happened to a Miele.  He also said that there was a queue for repairs and it could be some time before I get it back again.  This is a nuisance but not the end of the world and the cats think that the compartment in which it is housed is great fun and they like to sit in it and try to reach down to the power point which is some way down, through a hole.

I am not sure how the carrier managed to turn off the switch and remove the plug and I have no idea how he is going to get it back again; small hands?

I have all but given up trying to walk the cats on their leads.  Poppy is good as long as she is allowed to go where she wants to go but tends to spit the dummy if I try to take her where I want her to walk.  Parsifal is  hopeless; he lies down as soon as he gets outside the door (sometimes even before he gets all the way out) and rolls until his lead is wound around his tummy.  If I walk on with Poppy he will get up and follow but I am supposed to have my animals in my full control in the common areas.

Instead I have taken them out in their Kitten Carriage a couple of times, firmly attached to an extendable lead which is firmly attached to the carriage itself.  They seem to quite enjoy their trips but are wary of getting out and smelling the flowers.  Poppy is more adventurous than Parsifal in this activity.

An old friend from my University days dropped in to see me on her way to the airport on Thursday.  She has a couple of sons and some grandbabies over here and comes over every so often.  I met her down in Fremantle for lunch about this time last year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The End of the World as we Know it #3

Today Poppy finally made it up onto the kitchen bench.  She very sensibly chose to start with the bench which has the cooktop, as it has a wall at the back so she was not in danger of sliding off the other side when she jumped up.

D1 has been staying with me for the last six days.  She was sent over on a work-related trip and told to take a couple of extra days while she was over here.  It was lovely to see her and she flew back this afternoon.  I'll be seeing her again in Adelaide early next month and again in Sydney in October.

Unfortunately I took her advice and booked my hotel through an agency and it is now set in concrete which is a great pity as Cousin H will be there earlier in the week and there is to be a family reunion dinner just before I arrive.  My airline ticket is also set in concrete and the hotel is fully booked for three days before we arrive so the timing is bad in all directions.  D2 and D3 are flying over on the same plane but are returning on an earlier one than me as I am hoping to catch up with Little Bro while I am there.  I am not holding my breath on that one, though.

Australia Post has obviously been investigating my lost mail as my Postie has had a little word with me and told me that he has been off for a while but that he will always ring up to the apartment if there is a parcel, and he commented that he knew my name and number as I was the first to move into the apartments.  The handbag and the wedding invitation haven't turned up but fortunately the senders sent replacements and the Medic Alert bracelet arrived back in Adelaide as soon as they started making inquiries at that end.

I weighed the kittens today but am not sure how accurate the scales are since I weighed a different amount each time, myself.

Parsifal  -  4.9 kilos
Poppy    -  3.3 kilos

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fire and Emergencies

Two days ago we had two emergencies during which we were ordered to  exit the building, only to be told, when I reached ground level that it was a false alarm.

The cats are HEAVY!   I refuse to leave them up here to burn so I had to load them into their carry cases and lug them down with me.  Parsifal is big now and quite weighty; Poppy went to ground and I had trouble finding her.  I decided that, as I grew older the cats were going to grow heavier and so far, since I moved in here there have been four emergencies so I decided that a cat buggy was, after all, a necessity.  I had looked at them before I even got the kittens but decided that I didn't need one; yesterday I changed my mind.

I went across the road to Zoo, the Pet Emporium, and bought the biggest they had, since it has to accommodate two cats.  It is very fancy and can be converted into a bike trailer if I ever feel the need to tote the cats by bicycle.  It has nice big wheels in case I have to take it down the fire escape stairs and a whole lot of windows, openings and flaps as well as an  orange flag, reflector lights and a brake. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

I don't really need all those things but it suits my needs better than the other buggies on offer and the babies love it.  Parsifal is determined to climb the pole and capture the flag but lost interest when I removed its extension so that he could reach it.  They both went to sleep in it.  It is too big to store easily and obviously It can't go into the store room because that would defeat the purpose; it needs to be ready for a fast exit if necessary.  At the moment it is in the spare bedroom but I might have to reorganise the utility room and put it there.  A lot more stuff is going to have to go down to the storeroom anyway just to clear the clutter and there is a lot of stuff I'll never use and needs to be got rid of.

Australia Post is losing my mail again.  An invitation which I knew was coming has not arrived but a replacement one came two days after it was posted, and a leather handbag, posted over four weeks ago, is missing.  A replacement has been sent but it has got me wondering how much mail, which I wasn't expecting, has not been delivered.

The entry through the fire escape stairs is sorted.  My door key will open the fire escape door to my floor only so security is preserved and I can get in that way if I need to.

I am off to Adelaide in early August and so are D1, D2 and D3.  I might stay a few days longer than them and see if I can catch up with some friends and family.  Since the babies will have to go to boarding school anyway, a few more days shouldn't bother them.  Their photo is on their breeder's website and I am very chuffed about it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lurgies and smurgles

I have been laid low for the last two weeks with flu and bronchitis but am finally almost back to normal again; just a bit of a residual cough.  So the apartment is in a mess (I hadn't realised just how quickly it got that way, what with the kittens scattering their toys everywhere and the dust which comes from some magic and inexhaustibly source.

To make matters worse, the lift stopped on Level 6 last night and again today, and refused to move.  I was expecting Herself at 10.00am and was not able to invite her up, instead I had to go down all seven levels via the fire escape which is a one-way trip; you can get down but not back up through the doors into the residential areas.  I thought that losing my key was the only access problem I might potentially have but now I need to explore the access to the Level 4 car park from where I can use the service lift.  Staff parking is on Level 4 so there has got to be a way up ...

Parsifal read a LibraryThing discussion on smurgling and decided that, as he is a male oriental cat, that is what he should be doing and went to it will a will so that I was ending up with sodden, cat-sucked clothes.  Fortunately Princess Poppy is above such things being a girl, although I did once own a female Burmese smurgler.

Anyway, I hope that I have sorted the problem.  I discourage the behavior as soon as it starts and if that doesn't deter him I put him onto his 'blankie' which is an old dressing gown made of miffy fleece and he seems to be quite happy with that.  ... And he turned on the kitchen tap the other day.  I think that it was an accident as it moves sideways, unlike the bathroom ones in which the levers move up and down.  He has only done it the once so I think that he jumped illicitly onto the kitchen bench and leaned against it.  I found him playing with the water so I hope that he has forgotten how he did it.

The warranty on the apartment runs out on 23rd July and we have been exhorted to test everything before that date.  I have submitted a short list, including the kitchen light which has, yet again stopped working.  It has had two new globes and two new transformers so the problem MUST come from higher up.

In the latter stages of my bout of flu I decided to fill in some time by putting a new recipe onto my web pages.  Win7 is not very friendly towards html and I stuffed something up and ended up with no recipes and with iinet's "Bob" saying "Ooops we have somehow lost your page".  I finally worked out what the problem was  -  it worked perfectly on my hard drive  -  so I knew that I had done something when I was transferring the file.  Today I managed to get it all working again and my recipes are back and the link to Bigilla works.  Much relief; I didn't have to phone iinet for help.