I got back from the coast on Sunday evening, after a few days of complete restfulness. There really isn't much to do down there (unless you can run around and drive places) apart from reading, eating and watching things. Here I am, sitting on the concrete under the house, watching other things:
Looking to the left. Colonel Duck with trusty hound. Note the army greens hanging on the wall behind the gumboots.
Oh look! Bumblebee has come to ask if he can use the ride-on mower.
Uh oh. Lucky has discovered me while they get the mower out. I have to throw the ball, but it's much more fun holding it until he thinks I've forgotten about it.
Looking to the right. Mr Pooter likes to sit in this cool shady spot where Lady Duck does her plant potting.
Mr Padge walks past. You can see why one of his nicknames is now Curltail. Sometimes, when he's moving fast, he looks like a kind of pug dog, but don't tell him that.
The cats and the dog get on very well. Mr Padge and Lucky are probably looking for the ball I threw when they weren't looking.
And that's it for the photos I took, because I never remembered to take my camera anywhere. Apart from this, as I was sitting in the car waiting to be driven home:
Poor buggers. They hate the travelling, but they love being at either end. At the start of the journey from home, they sort of hold their breath until they get past the point of Turning to the Vet, and then they relax and start moaning half-heartedly. As soon as they get to the farm, they rush around checking out their favourite spots and getting under things and coming out covered in spiderwebs. They're Lady Duck's favourite dusters.
We (the cats and I and anyone who wants to come along) always do a circuit of the house garden, through the orchard and down the hill to the olive grove, then up the hill through the citrus trees and back to the house. This time we saw an echidna that started burrowing as soon as it heard us. Mr Pooter went for a closer look and ended up jumping a mile in shock. It was pretty funny.
I caught up with a couple of friends who dropped by (separately) to see me. I've known them as individuals, but they've recently met each other at a art class in Bega and like each other immensely. I'm completely chuffed, because they're both talented artists who have buried themselves in family and the demands of living in the country, and they will egg each other on to get creative. Those sort of friendships are so valuable, especially when you have things besides art in common. Their silver jewellery work is showing at the Spiral Gallery in Bega as I write, if you're in the area, and it's really good.
I'm getting better and better by the day. I'm at the stage where I can feel the improvement, a bit like a mortgage when you stop paying enormous amounts of interest and start making inroads into the actual debt. Visitors are most welcome.
I've realised that I can't do my usual excuse of 'I'm too busy to send Christmas cards' this year, so today I'm going to sit down and make some cards. Yesterday I made a heap of paper beads; I've admired the ones I've seen others make, including one of the students this year, so I decided to try myself. It's harder than I thought to get a good result, but by the end of the afternoon I'd made a string of paper pearl-like beads out of old sheet music, and my head was spinning with ideas that will stop spinning eventually and I'll come up with something do-able.
Tomorrow I have to make my way over to Bumblebee's school for both his ex-curricular drama performance (The Sneetches) and his end-of-year concert. Annoyingly, there's two hours between them, so I'm going to drive the car for the first time to get to the earlier gig. I have permission to drive but not the inclination, the same with alcohol. I had half a glass of wine on Saturday night with the home-made pizzas we cooked in Colonel Duck's new home-made outdoor pizza oven, but I spent all night nursing it and didn't like the taste. This is VERY unusual for me, as I'm a wine guzzler. Maybe it's an after-effect of the general? And yes, it was a wine I've enjoyed before.
And I hate being a passenger, always have done, but I don't feel in a hurry to drive myself at the moment. I think it's because I'm still slow and get pains when I react fast to anything, and a car sometimes requires fast reactions. Still, it's only across the road and up a bit, I'm sure it will be fine. I have to start sometime.
We've been gathering bits of costume for B's role as Sylvester McMonkey McBean: a blue satin bowtie from Colonel Duck, a fake moustache, a utility belt armed with a wrench and a carrot or two for comic effect. I'm sure he'll ham up the part suitably; he's a big admirer of comedy, and especially slapstick, and has been watching a lot of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clousseau over the past few days. I'm looking forward to watching him reinterpret a few Sellers moves.
So no more procrastinating: card-making awaits. Thank you to SuzeOz, who challenged me to my first game of Wordtwist, which I hadn't let myself play up to now. If you want to start a game with me, go ahead; I SO need the practice!