Winter.  Currently, ascending the driveway could make a reasonable you tube hill climb video, with mud rooster tails flying from the wheels (like this). The vehicle is covered in mud. Anyone who climbs in and out of the vehicle is covered in mud and I’m having dreams of a red-carpet type thing that unfurls as I disembark, protecting my gown... But then reality – I’d have to clean it, probably by hand, whereas the $7 Kmart tights, that I’m actually wearing, go straight in the washing machine.  Sigh. Paradise in the rainy season.

It’s hardly been paradise this year, it’s been more hard.  I haven’t felt much like writing upbeat, good-newsy updates. It’s been a pretty shit year so far.  We’re pulling through with the help of our astounding support crew, and amazing friends, incredible kind deeds and snippets of wonderful news of pending stork deliveries (so pleased for you guys), international NZ rep-pole-axing, an ego boosting A- on my post-grad and first academic paper in seven years, and of course Joe’s beautiful Joe-ness.

We finally popped off the extra rooster, but had a few accidental additions to the menagerie, word must have got about that we’re a soft touch.  We thought Olga’s husband Boris, now the kids are leaving home, had returned but by the time we realised he wasn’t actually Boris, he’s already Boris. Welcome Boris Marque II, now shacked up with Sausage.  

A particularly extended yapping session, while at Kaarac’s, got me outside to check. This wasn’t the usual cat eviction happening in the shrubbery, Jack had cornered a tiny white scrap of fluff and was as scared of this spit-ball as it was of him.  I grabbed Jack, expecting it to flee as soon as the threat was removed but it just stood there.  My next option was a brave barehanded snatch and relocate.  But I should never have touched it, all was skin and bone, bedraggled and scabby and it grabbed on to my sleeve, all claws in a life or death grip.  Next thing I know it’s wrapped in a towel, snuggling on my knee, Tony named it Ralph, deaf as a post, eats a whole tin of food a day, and is the best kitty a toddler could have. Yes, three cats and still allergic to them.

Then there’s the chicken, not finger licking good type (sadly that closed down), but the mysteries of the unexplained type.  Wander down to feed the pigs in the bottom pen and there’s a chook, hungry as. Throw some food, catch it up and put back in the chook run.  The chooks are Tony’s department; I really don’t take too much notice. Except it turns out it’s not from the chook run, it’s not one of ours and it’s a very long way for a chook from anywhere to wander to our place.

So down one and up three – that works, yes?  No. But there’s room in the freezer so we’ll balance it out somehow.

Take care of the ones you love.


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