Saturday, September 19, 2009

walking dogs once more


I am notoriously oversensitive to all criticism real or implied, so I have to report that, a few months ago when I came across a casual comment somewhere on the internet that my blog was full of me bleating about a lost kitten, I stewed over it for quite some time, and indeed, continue to stew. It has been a long time since I lost a kitten, certainly long before I started this blogging enterprise, but I suppose the person who accused me of promulgating such content was alluding to the furkids element herein. I guess I have to wear that.*

This afternoon Millie and Charlie and I went for a walk around our lake. I have discussed this kind of thing before and I suppose there isn’t too much new to add. There was no spectacular birdlife (we did upset some plovers when we first got to the water, don’t know what their problem was) and in fact no people in particular either, which was more unusual.
It occurred to me for the first time ever that the landform at the edge of the creek was undoubtedly man-made, perhaps dating back in some regard to early settlement (this area was first farmed in the mid-19th century) but probably more likely to the major works undertaken in the early 1970s, when a few small tributary watercourses were put underground and so on. It’s funny how when you live in the city you don’t develop the ability to read the landscape at all really, you just take it as it comes (or I do, anyway).

We found evidence of some kind of car theft or damage, a taillight I think, though there was nothing but this (Charlie found it interesting).

It is strange to think that 6 months ago it looked like Millie was going to have to retire – in fact, it looked that way even before she had that horrible accident in April – but now she seems to have a new lease of life, even if she now really does look old. Nevertheless, she maintains her irritating habit of falling behind in the walk and, basically, asking to be called.

When we got to the isthmus between the creek and the lake, Charlie did an odd and rather quaint thing of sniffing all the yellow flowers on either side of the path. (This picture is not intended to show that exact act.) She seemed to get lost a bit in each one. I was reminded of something I hadn’t thought of for years and years. When my sister Nicola was about three, she and our father and I were doing something at their house (I can’t remember what we were doing) which involved going in and out of their shed on a few occasions. Each time she passed through the doorway, Nicola would make a little fist (the only kind she could make at that age) around a nail which was in the doorframe sticking out quite far but half way out pointing down at a right angle. After she did this a few times my father asked her what she was doing. ‘I’m getting a drink’, she said. Well, far be it for me to anthropomorphise Charlie any more than I already do – i.e. totally – I suppose she wasn’t playing with the flowers at all, more likely they had brushed on an animal/ some animals which she had to check up on. Anyway, it was kind of sweet, if you like Charlie, which I suppose it’s time to admit I do.

Other news. There is a good new café locally here in the Pearcedale Precinct (I don’t know what the café is called or what the people who run it are called or nothing). It is cheap and cheerful and they are threatening to name my breakfast from this morning after me (I asked for mushrooms and spinach on a muffin). The coffee is excellent and they get the papers in and this morning we were treated to a radio station that was constantly saying ‘we’re playing two hours of Australian jazz’, which was exactly what I wanted to hear at that moment (those words and the music they heralded). So now there are two great cafes in this general proximity – that one, unnamed, and Silver Sage. You should come and visit.

Tonight I am babysitting April. I saw her and Nicole yesterday in one of those grouse April vignettes thus: I was driving up Lorraine Crescent and came across an unusual impasse a little like a sacred cow reputedly can cause in India, wherein a man had been backing his car out of the drive and he somehow came to appreciate that a white cat was sitting in the road absolutely unconcerned about a vehicle coming backwards towards it. So I had to stop, he was in the road shooing the cat away though the cat had absolutely no interest in moving, and April and Nicole were on the pathway watching. April looked like this scene was one of the highlights of her short life which, though it has been a short life, is hard to believe. But it’s the thought that counts.

This morning in Niddrie Salvos I bought a light beige Pierre Cardin suit.

Currently listening to: Hoodoo Gurus, Denim Owl, Red House Painters, Wa Wa Nee

* I am also of the opinion that if you ‘put yourself out there’, i.e. make public pronouncements, on whatever minor level, you shouldn’t complain about what people say about you or how they typify you. At the same time, of course, it does come as a bit of a jolt.

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