Anemone: Facing Finally Finished!

Yeah, yeah, I know.

It has taken an age. But that’s what happens when you decide to face the edge of your hexie quilt using the angled edges instead of straightening it all up and doing a nice normal binding. Mind you, it looks fabulous.

It’s a fiddly old process. You have to trim the batting and backing so that they sit ¼ inch inside the edge of the outer hexies. Then you have to make and stitch together 4 long chains of hexies to go on the back as facing. You have to stitch together – as invisibly as possible – all the outer edges. Then you have to remove the basting and the papers and pin down the facing onto the backing, keeping everything smooth. Then you have to go all the way round again, stitching down the inside edge onto the backing. It’s a tad mind-numbing. You can’t watch TV while you do it (although you can, and I do, listen to an audiobook. Or two, or even three).

But it’s done, and I’m really pleased with the effect. Now for the hand quilting. That’s going to have to wait till I get back from next week’s forthcoming trip north for a quick break in Cairns.

Next on the agenda is piecing together scrap batting for the second scrappy Sugar Sprinkle pillowcase, sandwiching and quilting. This is the first one, quilted with some moderately wonky-directional lines. I think I’ll do wavy lines on the other one…

I have another milestone to celebrate too, but not quite so decorative. Mouse and I have been gradually building up the length of our morning walks. It has been difficult because of my back pain, but the Husband solved that problem by buying me what’s know as a shooting stick, or spectator seat. When my back starts to hurt, I can stop and sit for a few minutes wherever I am, rest it till the pain eases, and then carry on walking. It has been a total game changer, and doggo and I are now powering through 3 or 4 km a day, something unheard of in earlier times. I’m working up to the 5km mark, and that’ll deserve a proper celebration, don’t  you agree?

Whether we’ll still manage it when the hot weather comes is another question; I might have to get up at 5 to walk him, feed him at the usual 6am and then we can both collapse for a bit, rather than feeding at 6 and walking at 7am. But for now, we have cool, fresh mornings, some with a mild nip in the air. The Crush is in full swing, and cane fields all around us are slowly being harvested. The landscape is reappearing from behind its 2m curtain of green sugarcane, and on these winter mornings there is a mist lying over the earth on cold mornings. It’s lovely, and makes walking a real pleasure.

Excuse me now. Mouse is demanding to go out and do zoomies in the back yard, preferable with his rope toy.

Your wish is my command, O Master…


A Message from Mouse

Hello blog people, Mouse here again.

I’ve had to have words with the Staff. I noticed that Mum isn’t adhering to her usual regular posting schedule and I felt she was Slacking Off. I know you’ll be concerned that the same slackness might be carrying through to My care and feeding, but luckily, all that is still happening on schedule and up to standard.

It appears that Mum (aka Chief of Staff and Quartermaster) is having a spot of bother with her back and hasn’t been able to adhere to her proper schedule (except for looking after Me, naturally). She says there’s a fair bit of pain and some very unpleasant clunking and grinding sensations, and that as soon as Dad finishes his last day of night shift, she’s going to have a day on her back in bed to let it all settle down.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the fuss is about. Her back’s not nearly as long for her size as mine, but I suppose as she insists on walking around on just her hind paws it’s not surprising she’s having a spot of bother. And she doesn’t spend enough time snoozing, in my opinion. Catch me ever having back trouble… On the other hand, too much time spent snoozing might impact on service quality, so I’m going to keep my opinion to myself on that subject!

To be fair, she has sorted out a couple of piles of scraps and has ironed them. She says it’s for F2F and ScrapHappy and is going to be a cushion cover.

I wonder if it’s for Me… My bed could do with a a bit of smartening up.

Best forgotten

It has not been a good couple of days.

I definitely don’t need a knot in my hankie to help me remember…

My father, recently turned 97 and in a nursing home on lockdown in the UK, had the latest in a series of TIAs (Transient Ischaemic Attack, or mini-stroke). The nursing home, which has been wonderful throughout his stay there, picked up on it very quickly, and he was put on aspirin and monitored closely. Thankfully, it never developed into a full stroke, and he is now back to normal. But it was distressing, since visitors were not allowed (with the proviso that if things took a turn for the worse, my brother could visit in full PPE). A worrying time for everyone.

After tearing the ligaments in my ankle several days ago, now on the mend, I forgot my anti-migraine medication again and this time went into full-blown Creature of the Night mode. I get very, very light sensitive, the pain is relentless and nowhere is dark or quiet enough. All I lack is the long fingernails and fangs… The ‘migraine hangover’ is no great picnic either. The arthritis in my hands and hips has flared. The car battery won’t hold a charge, The poor old doggo has a stiff leg and hobbles around like a geriatric unless there’s a walkies or bone in the offing (in which case, the limp is forgotten and he bounds around like Zebedee). I could go on.

On the upside, the weather is cooler, our restrictions are slowly being lifted and it looks as if our July holiday up north is on again, the sun is shining, I managed to get a haircut, and Mouse has a new friend, a pretty greyhound girl called Lottie who lives a few streets away.

I can never feel miserable for too long 🙂

The Travels of Mouse, Part 9

I think this is going to be my last post. 

We’re one day from home now, and it’s a long and not very exciting trip, according to Dad, who drives a lot of it every day for work. There have, however, been a few interesting things to report and Mum has been fiddling with her phone camera almost non-stop. OK, I exaggerate somewhat…

Yesterday, we went from St George (bye bye, Uncle Jim) to Roma, where we had a not very fun stay in a not very good caravan park. Mum is going to name names on Tripadvisor, which she says she doesn’t normally do, but we wuz robbed, and all that. I won’t steal her creative thunder, but I think she’s right.

There was a colourful old Shire Hall in Surat, on the road to Roma, worth a photo, but most of the journey was rather uneventful, being the shortest leg of the journey.

We did, however, have one rather exciting moment before coming into Roma when we had to drive through a flooded creek. it looked worse than it was; a wide brown expanse of flowing water. All 22cm/9 inches deep of it… We took it steady and all came through with dry paws. That Dad is a good driver.

On our route today, there was lots of clickety-clicking of the phone camera, and visits to a couple of alternative caravan park options between Roma and Emerald. One of them, at Rolleston, was very pretty, and the people were kind and smelt nice and the grass was green, and the man knew the correct technique for tickling under my chin, so I told the Staff this was the one we’d stay at next time.

After that, we crossed the Carnarvon Range. I was asleep for a lot of it, but Mum took endless photos. She didn’t get any really good ones because we didn’t get close enough, and the road was bumpy, but she says the link will give you a very good idea what it’s like. Here’s one of the start of it…

…one looking back at the central basin of the National Park surrounded by rocky walls, from Staircase Range Lookout…

plus one of an interesting commemorative plaque (click on it to enlarge). Glad I wasn’t travelling in that car…

Also, on principle I turn up my nose at the Carnavon Gorge. It’s a National Park and therefore doggos are not welcome. I ask you… However, protection of sensitive and endangered native species, and all that, so I suppose I should be understanding.

The last one is of Mount Zamia, just outside Springsure, and that upright section is called the Virgin rock because viewed from the right angle it slightly (in my opinion) resembles the Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus. Mum said she could just about see the reason for the name, but it was a stretch unless you were very devout and inclined to see sacred images in unlikely places. If you want to read more about it, this is a very good article with great pictures.

Today was a good drive. Not too far, and we’ve arrived at Lake Maraboon Holiday Village on the Fairbairn Dam, just outside Emerald. There are plenty of dogs here but most of them are rather rude and barky so I am staying aloof and ignoring them. It would be a lovely place for a family, as you can hire boats and kayaks, and pedal-karts, and there’s a pony club, swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and the facilities are all really nice and well-kept.

I think the Staff may be getting a bit weary as they seem to fall asleep earlier each night. I’m getting dog tired myself (did you see what I did there?). I must say, it will be nice to get back to my own house and my own bed, and meals served in the proper place and my own back yard to zoom in. Dad says it has rained a lot while we were away, so everything will be green and smell good, but I expect he’ll attack everything with that smelly lawnmower. Mum says she has unpacking the caravan and cleaning it, and doing the laundry to look forward to. I don’t know, you just can’t get the staff… What’s a little domestic servitude against the honour and delight of serving Me?

Just off to sharpen my claws – aka running spikes – in readiness for tomorrow evening’s zoomies on my own turf!


The Travels of Mouse, Part 8

Well, here we are in St George.

It was a short and fairly boring trip here. It was raining when we left Glen Innes (no surprise there, then) and there was a slight risk of encountering a flooded road outside Moree, but Dad decided to proceed; the car is tall and 4WD and Miz Lizzie is even taller and her subframe is built for off-road. I told Dad to forget any idea of me getting out to lend a hand if we got stuck in water, though, and I think I made my point….

In the never ending quest for the Perfect Pie, Mum got Dad to stop at Annie’s Bakery in Moree, which was modestly signed ‘Bloody Good Pies’. Mum said hers was “up there”, but Dad wasn’t so impressed because he didn’t get the flavour he asked for. He couldn’t fault the flavour of the Wrong Pie, though. They also got enormous bulgy sandwiches for lunch, which the Staff later ate almost as quickly as I deal with my own dinner… Definitely one to remember, apparently.

And then it was miles and miles and miles of almost nothing. I did a lot of snoozing. Finally, the Staff made a racket as we crossed the border at Mungindi, back into Queensland, and Dad ceremoniously reset the car clock back to Proper Time. Mum cheered; she’d been keeping her watch set to Qld time so I could be fed at the time my tummy said was Mouse Dinner Time, and it made things a bit complicated when making arrangements in NSW…

One final stop before we arrived was a photo-visit to the painted silos at Thallon. Mum took some nice photos, but strangely ignored my advice about lighting and angles. She actually called my directions ‘photo-bombing’! The ingratitude! The misunderstanding of my creative input! I was forced to sulk maintain a dignified silence until we reached St George in mid-afternoon.

I was introduced to our hosts’ companions: It the cat and Ruffy George the red cattle dog (rather elderly and lame). The cat and I have an understanding; we will ignore each other in a dignified fashion. But old Ruffy follows me around everywhere, incessantly poking his nose into my privates, which is disconcerting, and while the attention is flattering, a chap wants a bit of peace and quiet to snooze without the sudden arrival of a cold wet nose to startle one unpleasantly awake. Dad and Uncle Jim have had a really good time reminiscing about Dad’s time in St George, 30 years ago when he and Uncle Jim were just pups. Mum has been listening peacefully, doing fabricky stuff with bits of paper and sharp pointy things in her paws, and says to tell you that you’ll see the results in 4 days or so. She also cleaned up the caravan, did the laundry, baked banana muffins (without giving me one – an outrage!) and prepared meals for me for the next few days. She says it’s been a nice rest, but that didn’t sound too restful to me; I insist on absolute inactivities during my snoozes…

Today we took a drive around Dad’s old haunts in St George, and he showed us a few places he’s lived, the golf course, and the bridge over the Balonne. That’s a river, which has been dry for years. Actually, six months ago, they got a grader and bashed flat a cricket pitch in the river bed and held a game there. You wouldn’t believe it now; since the rains, it’s filled bank to bank with brown, surging water, and they’re actually releasing some from the weir.

There’s a small park beside the bridge, and they’ve put up a sculpture of a Murray River Cod, made of all sorts of tools and bits of hardware. It’s very clever, if you like sculpture. They wouldn’t let me pee on it. Mum took a second, closer shot in which you can see the tail of the Cod, and behind it, water spilling out of the weir with some force. Hence the need to pee, you understand…

We’re here for another night, and then tomorrow we have a short journey of only 200km or so to Roma, our next stop. We don’t need to check out of anywhere or set off very early, so the Staff have arranged to pack up in the morning and I won’t have to spend an hour in the car waiting for everything to be put away. Hopefully Ruffy will be tied up for a while so I can leave with my dignity intact…

More from Roma.


The Travels of Mouse, Part 7

It’s cold and it’s wet and it’s an Outrage!

But the Staff didn’t do anything about it, so I sulked a bit. It rained hard just before we left, and Mum and Dad were both complaining in the car about sitting in wet clothes. I had done the sensible thing and supervised the packing up from inside the car…. They went to get hot coffee and hot chocolate from the service station, and then we set off.

We climbed the first 800m up to Dorrigo Mountain Top, up the Waterfall way and through the rainforest. I leave you to imagine whether even more water was involved in that particular drive… Apparently (although you could have fooled me) it’s very beautiful, world heritage-listed rainforest, blah blah. Mum says there are lots of walking trails, spectacular waterfalls (that W word again), incredible views, a viewing platform and a very nice café. I automatically don’t care for it because dogs aren’t allowed there for fear of disturbing the native species… Fair enough, I suppose, but who could object to Me?

After that we headed across the Dorrigo plateau via Ebor and Guyra, onto the New England Tableland. These are areas where the recent dreadful fires have created huge swathes of devastation in national parkland. Mum pointed out that nearly every single blackened tree trunk was sprouting new green growth. I must say, it looked rather strange, as though the black trunks were wearing frilly pale green tutus all the way up, instead of the leaves being at the top, like sensible trees. Mum managed a photo of some silver gums, which have pale blue green new growth (‘glaucous’, Mum says. Show off…).

We have arrived in Glen Innes, in ‘Celtic Country’. The caravan park offers ‘fossicking’, where people mess around with sieves of gravel in tanks of freezing cold, yes, you guessed it, water, trying to find coloured quartzes and sapphires. Mum talked to a couple of them while she was walking me. Loonies, of course, but they were having fun. Mum found a pink quartz for the lady in her sieve of gravel… By the way, I don’t want to create the impression that I’m a water-funk. I like water, to drink, to paddle in, to have sprayed over me in hot weather. But it needs to be hot weather to enjoy it, and this is distinctly dismal and the water is freezing cold besides. I’m a Tropical greyhound, and I don’t do cold and wet.

We’re only here in this freezing cold (14°C/57°F) place for one night, thank goodness, and then it’s off to Uncle Jim’s for a bit more civilised Queensland warmth. Oh, and the cat… I’m looking forward to that visit, because I get my own bed in the guest room. I expect there will be a lot of Staff chatter, because they haven’t seen Uncle Jim and Aunty Shelley since Mum and Dad got married 7 years ago. Before my time….  We’re there for 2 nights, and then off again.

Oh, and while I think of it, Mum and Dad are taking me to Townsville the weekend after we get back. We’re staying in a special cabin for dogs and their owners, and on Saturday morning (21st March), we’re participating in the Greyt Greyhound Walk. This is to promote the work of GAP Queensland in rehoming retired racing greyhounds, and I am proud to be associated with the organisation and my fellow retirees. Mums and Dads and furry greyhound siblings are also welcome, as are those interested in adopting. Mum is going to ensure I look fabulous and shiny, and there will be an absolute pack of us there so I’ll be able to socialise and sniff like mad and compare notes on Staff, treats, diet, treats, grooming, treats, accommodation, treats, etc.

I’m really looking forward to it!


The Travels of Mouse, Part 6

Well, ‘Travels’ is a bit of misnomer in this case….

We’ve stayed put for days now, mostly. A bit of a relief considering that on the move and round corners, I slide around rather in my back-seat hammock, but generally I let the Staff know when the ride is a little too rough with an, ahem, emanation. Anyway, back to the holiday. It’s awfully quiet now Aunty Chippy and Uncle Jonathan have gone back to Melbourne. Mum has done the same daft stuff as she does at home, washing dishes instead of licking them clean, and actually washing all the carefully accumulated smells and interesting stains out of things instead of letting them mature and ripen. Humans…. I dunno. I’ll have to be careful or she’ll be stealing my bedding and making that smell of detergent, or as she puts it “Nice and clean”. Pah!

There have been good food smells around the place. As well as Mum’s eternal search for the Perfect Pie, and Dad’s enthusiastic assistance, before Aunty and Uncle went off, we went over to their cabin a couple of times, and the humans had Aunty Chippy food: channa dal and puris, and salmon with potato cakes and corn fritters. Mum made peanut butter cookies to take with her for dessert. I was able to help her with that!

Mum came home with loot. She says it’s not for me as it’ll ‘upset my insides’. Personally, I’d like to test that theory for myself. And last night Mum made cauliflower fritters with besan and garam masala, sort of gobi pakoras but big, and she had an egg and aioli on hers and Dad had bacon and sriracha. I could have helped them with the bacon too, I’m sure, but Dad said no help was required…

Mum has also been to have her paws scrubbed and beautified. Apparently, this is called a ‘pedi’. Her nails are now a very unusual colour…. I wonder how I’d look with coloured nails – I have long, elegant paws with long, elegant nails, some black, some white. What do you think about emerald green, to match my collar and lead? Or would that look girly? Do let me know. I know I can’t trust Mum’s opinion, I mean, just look at her feet!

Anyway, today we went to Coffs Harbour, to get some insect repellant for me at Pet Barn, and the man behind the counter gave me a treat! And then Dad had to get something for the car, and also bought two fly veils – we’re going west soon, he says, and Uncle Jim says the flies are really bad. They’re things you put on your hat to stop the flies landing on your face. Why the humans don’t grow fur over the whole thing mystifies me, and they don’t seem to have the trick of snapping at flies, they just wave their paws. Mum bought groceries and also two human treats. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t care for strawberry tarts, but I made sure I got plenty of strokies instead.

We also went up to Seeley’s Lookout in the North Orara State Forest, and out onto the Forest Sky Pier. Mum thought the height might make me nervous, but it was too interesting with all the rainforest smells, and I wasn’t bothered.

Tonight we’re going to Bellingen, to the Federal Hotel for dinner with Aunty Jane and Uncle Muzza and Aunty Tracey and Uncle Johnno. Sadly, they do not have an enlightened policy with regard to greyhounds, so I shall be staying in the car, in my blankie nest, with the windows open and being brought treats regularly. Mum will feed me before we go, so I suppose the hardship will not be too unendurable, but I do think it’s a bit rich that the Staff get to go off and have fun without Me. There had better be a doggie bag…

The Staff have been muttering stuff about ‘packing up’, and I believe we will be moving on Monday to a temporary stop in Glen Innes before spending two days and nights with Uncle Jim and Aunty Shelley in St George. Hence the anti-fly measures. Moving will no doubt be as disruptive as ever, but so long as they don’t disturb My bed, I will suffer it with my usual saintly patience in the face of the Staff’s bumbling about. It will be nice to take a new route home and have new smells and sounds and sights to discover.

I believe Uncle Jim has a cat. That should be interesting….

The Travels of Mouse, Part 5

We went to see my mate Diesel Dog!

Diesel Dog

Yesterday, Mum and Dad and Aunty Chippy and Uncle Jonathan and I all went over to Diesel’s. The humans talked and drank tea and coffee and ate cake, and Diesel and I explored his back yard, had good sniffs and then went for snoozes. The Dads went up the back yard to Uncle Wayne’s shed and talked about man stuff, and the Mums sat in the shade on the patio and talked about lady stuff, including Blogs, whatever they are (This is a blog, Mouse – Mum). I’m sure they should be talking about Dogs, not Blogs…. The Aunties are now ‘friending on FaceBook’ and ‘following on Instagram’ (more human noises, I dunno….).

Uncle Jonathan is taking the photo…

Then they had lunch. I didn’t have any, of course, but this is what I could smell: home made focaccia, butter, buffalo chorizo, three kinds of cheese, samosas, tamarind relish, mint relish, mushroom-stuffed red peppers, zucchini pickle with onion and mustard seed, rocket pesto, Japanese mayo with preserved lemon, honey, grapes, walnuts, pineapple cake and mascarpone.

I still prefer Diesel’s mat to my own comfy quilt…

They took photos, too. Aunty Dale showed the house and the back yard and the vegetable cage and her stained glass potting shed. Diesel got them to throw his toy so he could catch or retrieve it. I just lay about looking decorative. Aunty Dale had bought me a present! Dried duck liver treats!  Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to help myself, so most of them are still sitting in their bag on top of the wardrobe, out of my reach…. She gave Mum a kilo bucket of honey and a jar of tomato and chilli chutney, which Dad will steal for himself once he discovers it… Mum gave her the Woolly Thing and the teapot picture she made. I still think my present was best…

Aunty Dale has bought Diesel some really smart clothes! He has overalls, and a denim jacket, and a puffa jacket, and a Hawaiian shirt with pineapples on it… Mum told me not to get excited, it wasn’t going to happen, although she is still going to make me a hi-vis sweater for winter walks when it’s dark. It will be fluoro yellow fleece and have stripes of orange and reflective tape down the side, to make sure I can be seen. Sounds very nice, but I still have overall envy – they were dark blue denim and had a pocket on the bib on his back, and a hole for his tail… Aunty Dale says he loves them, and always gets very excited when it’s time to put them on.

Then we came home via the Lookout so Mum and Aunty could take photos. There were lots of black clouds on the way, and Mum had to cancel the dinner booking because the dog-friendly table is outside and we couldn’t all sit there in a downpour. But it was OK, because Aunty Chippy arranged takeaway, and we were warm and cosy and the Staff had curry and I had proper food. Mum said it was a record day – despite wearing a bright pink linen shirt all day, and eating lots of drippy things, she hadn’t spilled on herself once! I thought it was a good day too. Playtime with Diesel, a back yard to roam around in, lots of good things to sniff, and everyone said what a good dog I am.

Today, Mum and Aunty are going to sew and eat Mum’s banana cup-cakes. None for me, of course (I am apparently a Very Bad Boy where banana cup-cakes are concerned). I don’t know what they mean, I am only an innocent, much-maligned doggo who has never, ever stolen banana cup-cakes… And of course, I am a Lovely Boy and a Good Doggo (most of the time, we won’t mention cup-cakes, will we?). Mum says it’s for my own good, so I maintain my figure.

It’s raining again, so I shall stay with Dad while he reads, and supervise… with my eyes closed.

The Travels of Mouse, Part 4

Dad says he should be writing this, but I disagree.

After all, any expedition that has me in it, should be All About Me. But I digress. Sunday was the day the Staff had chosen for our motorbike club RTE (Ride to Eat) visit to the beautiful town of South West Rocks. The other attending members of the motorbike club had turned up on Saturday night, and curry was consumed by all Except Me. It smelt pretty good, but I think Mum was probably right when she said it wouldn’t agree with my insides… Aunty Chippy is a wizard in the kitchen, but I’m not allowed any of her cooking. It’s an outrage. But I did receive some treats and lots of admiration, strokies, compliments and general appreciation, so that’s OK.

On Sunday morning after my walkies, we all piled into cars and onto bikes and hit the road. Actually, I fancy myself in a sidecar, wearing a leather helmet and doggles, but Dad says it’ll never happen. Shame…

We took the scenic route down to South West Rocks, to the café I mentioned before, which welcomes dogs and allows humans. There were 4 other dogs there, and sniffs were exchanged, but none of the others had their own quilt and bowl. Poor things. I got lots of petting and strokies and Mum had to answer lots of questions about me.

The humans all sat around eating brunch (again, NO BACON FOR ME), then Mum took me for a short walk, people took photos of themselves and the motorbikes and the flag, etc, and then we went home. I had a long sleep from all that zorsting admiration I got in the café, some of the humans went swimming in the lagoon and the swimming pool, and then they had more curry and I snoozed in the caravan air conditioning.

But I’ve forgotten to tell you about Saturday morning and the car boot sale!  My mate Diesel was there with Aunty Dale and Uncle Wayne! We had a great sniff’n’tell for about 10 minutes, and then the Staffs split up to go shopping, so I didn’t see him again, which was a pity (but I’ll see him again soon, more on that later).  Mum says to tell you she scored big time, whatever that means.

She brought home a great big plate thing ($2), which she’d been wanting for ages, and she found another sewing box (how many does she need?), which she got for $60. She said she’d only seen them on eBay, going for $120. It smelled very old… When she opened it up, there were lots of “vintage wooden reels of cotton”, whatever that means… Well, it certainly made her happy, so it must be a good thing.

And Dad bought himself a book and a new leather belt, and got me to try on a collar, but it was a bit hard and wasn’t a martingale collar, so I don’t think I’d have liked it, and it was only boring brown. I like my accessories to be colourful. And then the humans drank tea and ate cake, and of course, none for me. Again.

Anyway, it’s been a busy couple of days… Uncle Jonathan is going to go fishing this morning, Dad is going to keep me company and read, and Mum and Aunty Chippy are Going Shopping. Sounds ghastly. I’ll catch up on my snoozing and score some belly tickles. Mum has to bake a cake this afternoon to take to Aunty Dale’s tomorrow, and I expect that’ll be a busy day, as Diesel and I will run around Aunty Dale’s back yard and I will steal his bone and his mat again (or maybe Mum will remember my quilt this time).

Well, I must get on. Beauty sleep to catch up on, snacks to cadge, belly tickles to score. It’s a busy life… 


The Travels of Mouse, Part 3

I’m really very busy, but have found a few minutes to let you know what we’re up to.

The Staff have set Miz Lizzie the caravan up very nicely and have finally put up my privacy enclosure to keep the uninvited out.  Behold Le Salon de Mouse, where I receive visitors, have long interesting talks with Mum about food and walkies and what she and Dad laughingly call ‘their’ plans for the next day. It makes a nice change from inside, where Dad grumbles that I’m in his way; surely he realises that everything is mine and he is only there to serve Me? You really can’t get the Staff these days, but I shall have to struggle on with what I have…

Yesterday we went up the mountain to Dorrigo to visit Mum’s sister and her husband. They have a very nice house which I gave a thorough sniffing, but the back yard is best – they have chickens! I did not chase them, I’m far too well behaved for that, but I did follow them about a little bit, and I inspected their enclosure to ensure there was no unauthorised rodent activity. I also checked the boundaries, had some nice zoomies around the grass and then lay on my quilt in the sun next to the woodpile. They have this cunning winch arrangement for getting the wood upstairs to the house, and it would have been fun to ride up in the wood box, but no-one paid any attention to my suggestion.

I have been ensuring the Staff get plenty of exercise; with enormous self-sacrifice, I am taking them for walkies several times a day when clearly I’d prefer to snooze in the sun, but I need to ensure that they stay fit and healthy. Today we are doing something different; we are going into Coffs Harbour and hope to meet up with Aunty Dale and Uncle Wayne and Diesel Dog for coffee (and possibly a sneaky puppacino), if they have time. Tomorrow, I believe we’re going to something called a Car Boot Sale, which is strangely not somewhere that you buy car boots, but where you buy unwanted stuff that people have brought in their car boots (trunks for my US readers). It sounds as if there will be lots of sniffing opportunities, and perhaps some other dogs to say hello to, as it’s being held at Macksville Showgrounds, a 20 minute drive away.

Mum and Dad are in a high state of excitement because this weekend sees a big social event. First, on Saturday afternoon and evening a number of friends are arriving. Firstly, Aunty Chippy and Uncle Jonathan, all the way from Melbourne, then 4 or 5 others who belong to the same motorbike club as Mum and Dad, and who will be staying here at the White Albatross too. I expect there’ll be a potluck dinner of some sort on Saturday evening (better keep a sharp lookout for snacking opportunities), and then on Sunday morning we’ll head off in cars and on bikes down to South West Rocks. It’s a nice drive we reconnoitred the other day. The plan is to hold an RTE (ride to eat) at a café called Malt & Honey, which welcomes dogs and allows humans too. Mum says the Eggs Benedict looks lavish, and she’s already chosen what she’s going to eat! I expect there will be lots of talking. I shall snooze until I feel the humans need to take some exercise…

Well, all this writing is zorsting and I must catch up on my beauty sleep. I’ll write you some more after the RTE, I expect there will be plenty of photos.

Toodles for now.