Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm packed

Do you think I'm taking too much -- or travelling too light? Should I have sturdier bags? Will I look too feral?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. In reality, these bags are going to charity. The pile has grown bigger since I took this photo. 

The travels are especially good because they have prompted/forced me to 'clean house'. In fact, I've done two houses -- the one in Canberra and the one at the beach. As you can see, I have bags and bags and bags of clothes that no longer fit or flatter. Hope many others can make use of these offerings. 

About half of the bag contents have come from the coast. I hadn't cleaned out there for years. I pulled everything out of the cupboards there, but so much smelled so musty that I brought it home and washed it all. 

I feeling very righteous, but that won't last long.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What a doggone production

The dogs are ready for the trip. Oh, they're not going, but they're physically (perhaps not mentally) ready for us to be away. 
On Boxing Day morning -- why do these things always happen on public holidays??? -- Aggie was in a frenzy. He was rubbing his face along the carpet, scratching like mad and chewing on a front paw. He managed to knock the top off a wart on his neck (causing a bloody mess), and it looked as if a tick was locked onto his paw. And I couldn't get that to budge. 
Fortunately, we have a great vet at the coast. When I called, Paula was already in the clinic -- checking on two tick victims who had 'checked in' the night before. God bless vets. 
Based on my description of Ag's behaviour, Paula thought something may have bitten him and caused an allergic reaction. She cauterised the wart and removed the tick (which actually turned out to be a little growth). 
And that's when it dawned on me to book both dogs in for the works. 
So Aggie and Chiyo had all their annual injections and their nails trimmed. They were also knocked out and had their teeth cleaned. This turned out to be especially worthwhile for Aggie. He's 12 and his 'old' gums were harbouring a collection of polyps that would have caused problems a few months down the track (probably on Easter Sunday!). 
Thankfully, Libby and Petra won't have to deal with that drama, and Aggie won't have to be miserable and unable to 'explain' the problem.
Paula also removed five other warts from Aggie. He has stitches everywhere, but has not had to wear the dreaded cone -- that horrible plastic collar thing that keeps them from chewing. Paula said she'd kept an eye on him and he hadn't seemed interested in the stitches, so she thought the cone wasn't necessary. Lucky and smart dog. Ag hates the cone and obviously had the sense to ignore his wounds. Good dog, good dog, very good dog. 
P.S. Aggie is the schnauzer and his full name is Agadore Spartacus.

You missed mugging us

Paying for the air tickets was an exercise in the ridiculous. 
The travel agent adds 1.9 per cent to credit card payments, so we decided to arrange for an EFTPOS transfer. This meant asking the bank for a one-off increase in our daily withdrawal limit from $1000 to $8400. The travel agent said most banks are happy to do this. At the bank, we were able to say the withdrawal would be made within 20 minutes and the recipient would be so-and-so, and would they please let it go through. 
For heaven's sake, that wasn't good enough! The bank said that 'for our protection', it could only let us withdraw $2000 electronically (did they think we weren't who we said we were?). It was, however, quite fine for us to withdraw $8400 in cash on the spot and walk across town to the travel agent. 
If they were really concerned about protecting us and our money, they could have offered an armed escort.
Either way, you missed your chance to mug us.