Strange Days
29 September, 2012

Strange day yesterday, ladies and lurkers. I had a lovely day’s Brisvegas Holiday Excursion planned with MM, EB, a BFF and her two kids. Started off instead by having to: grief counsel my father through his dog’s terminal illness (progressive spinal cord stenosis) as I ate my egg on Vegemite toast; guide him through the decision-making process, i.e. that he needed to man up and have the dog put down because it had reached the suffering stage and had no prospect of remission, let alone improvement; and then drive them both to the vet when I was so successful he decided to do it. Right then and there.

EB is a big animal lover and also his Grandpa’s favourite, so when he said he wanted to come too I thought it would be doubly good: for EB to have up-close experience of death before it was a much-loved person involved, and so that he could console his Grandpa.

As you will have guessed, I was wrong. We ended up that Grandpa did the male-of-his-generation thing and pulled a strong, silent act, while EB spent the next hour or more sobbing uncontrollably.

I was correct about one thing – it was best I was there to drive them both home.

So I returned to my parents’ house to race through the preparations for our day out.  All the while EB was insisting that he needed to do a Great Garbo (I vant to be alone), with me trying to nurture him while he grieved, but equally adamant  that we had to proceed with the outing and he had to come with us.  We had gorgeous clear, sunny but not too hot weather and the excursion went fabulously well for 6 hours – fun ride in on the ferry, lots of fun in various South Bank water features, great company, awesome Lego robots, kids even behaving beautifully.

And then, just as we were about to pack up the remains of afternoon tea and make our tired but happy way home, MM’s BF-in-the-world slammed his head into a post while running in the playground.  Straight away, a lump the size of a small avocado and the colour of hailclouds swelled on his forehead. Naturally enough, his Mum panicked.  The helpful staff at the cafe next to the playground gave me a cup of ice without hesitation – thanks Steam Cafe- and then the South Bank lifesavers gave us a plastic bag full of ice.  By the time we were on the ferry home, the lump was down to a third of original size and Mum had stopped hyperventilating.  Mostly.

The evening turned out well, with a lovely BBQ with my cousin and his husband.  If anyone wants a recipe for marshmallow and sour-cream salad . . . much nommier than it sounds. . . I now have one.

And an odd footnote:  my horoscope advised that my day would start well, but unavoidable complications and difficulties would ensue.

Cause and Effect
26 April, 2011

Christopher Walken as the Angel of Death.

In a lyrically traditional piece of symbolism, the Angel of Death passed over my house on Easter Sunday. We enjoyed a low-key and major-incident-free celebration with family and close friends. As one might expect from the events of Christmas, though:-

https://madammorgana.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/oh-goddess-the-horror/

for those of you whose merciful memories have suppressed the Yuletide incident – we came unstuck yesterday.

Magic Man, like the proud little digger he is, shed blood on ANZAC day. It all started when I was at blissful repose, inside the makeshift cone of silence I’d cobbled together from headphones, my internet connection and Youtube. Magic Man came rushing into the room, face twisted in anguish, gabbling something or other than for some reason I couldn’t interpret. Oh, the headphones – right. When I took them off, I heard:

‘A chook’s gotten out of the chook yard and The Dangerous Dog is out, too!’

Since the Dangerous Dog was doing his best to trip Magic Man up – i.e. arguably inside at the time – I failed to panic.

‘Settle down, mate. The chook’s gotten out before.’

And it has. My chook yard might as well be Stalag 13, the number of times this chook has escaped. It may be that Tikka is so stupid – even by chook standards – that she can’t realise we’ve got a free-ranging hound out here and she’s got food, water, shelter and companions in there. It may be that she’s a poultrine freedom fighter, protesting her interment at Villawood by the Sea. It may be chaos theory in action. Whatever the root cause, the kids and I have got re-capturing and returning her down to a fine art. We sprang into action.

Livestock corralled, we conducted a forensic assessment of the scene of the crime. There was clear evidence of dog-digging along the front fence line and a new gap along the back fence.

‘Aha!’ we concluded, ‘DD tried to dig in and Tikka panicked and fled out the back through a tunnel she’d made ready.’

The bloodshed came when he tried to patch up the yard. To cut to the chase, Magic Man stumbled backwards and stepped hard onto the upturned edge of the Weber lid. Which, as it happens, is sharp enough to gash a gusher into the sole of a 10 year old’s foot.

There was wailing, there was a great deal of invective hurled at Elf Boy – who was blamelessly on the other side of the backyard at the time, there was limping, there were tears. I got him in the shower first, to rinse off the archaeological layers of mud, blood and chook poo.

Elf Boy tried to help by yanking his brother’s dick ‘To distract him from the pain in his foot.’

I responded with a string of curse words delivered in a tone of voice so many octaves below my normal pitch that for a moment I wondered if I’d finally been possessed by an incubus.

In conclusion, I patched Magic Man up and after another day’s rest and elevation of the affected limb I hope he’ll be fit for camp. Some of it, at least. They’re only travelling 40 clicks or so south from us, so I can always go and change his dressing if required.

Needless to say, though, I’m fearful of the terror the Labour Day long weekend might hold. Stay tuned.