Monthly Archives: September 2015

Django

Django is my favourite dog at the Dogs’ Refuge, where I volunteer. Actually, I say that of all the dogs I sit with. I’m not a Dog Walker there, instead I’m a Canine Carer. That means I sit with some of the more easygoing dogs, and those that may be needing company, and those that might need some basic training. It’s great, as I get to know each dog really well and up close and personal. I hope next month to start walking the dogs as well, but I’ll have to wait to get training.

Normally I visit the Refuge on Mondays and Wednesdays. But Monday was a public holiday, the Queen’s Birthday. So I didn’t go in, as public transport would’ve been far and few between. (As it is, I cycle-train-bus it there, and do the reverse coming back). Instead, I went in on Tuesday.

When I got there, I found out that Django was going to his furever home today. I decided to sit with him first thing, before the Refuge even opened to the public at 11am. I normally sit with Django 3 times during my visits to the Refuge – he’s the first dog I see, then I like having my lunch on the bench outside his enclosure, and I like to see him last thing before I leave.

This time, though, we only got to spend half an hour together one last time. Django gave me his usual huge big teddy bear hugs upon seeing me, and then we got down to our usual routine of practising the tricks I’d taught him. He knows a lot of tricks, does Django: sit, give paw, lie down, roll over, wait, sit up, stand. I gave him some special treats, then decided to make a video of him, as a keepsake.

I did 2 videos of Django. Then I gave him a big hug and said I’d catch him before he went to his new home.

Sadly, I missed seeing Django’s new owners arrive to collect him. I did pass by his enclosure a couple of times, and both times I stopped to give him a scratch on the head. When I went back to check on him at my lunchtime, though, Django had already been collected, and his enclosure had already been cleared out. 😥

Yes, I’m heartbroken. But I also feel privileged and blessed to have known and loved Django for the time we had. I hope he’s happy with his new family, that they find out just how super smart he is, and that he never forgets me.

I tried loading the videos of Django here, but they were taking forever and then kept stalling, then restarting…so no videos, sorry. But here are some photos of Django instead.

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P/S: on this same day I also managed to save a bee and a ladybird from 2 different enclosures. They were in danger of being trodden on by the dogs.

Food For Thought (Literally)

Just a thought about the current refugee crisis in the world. And also  some hometruths about world economics. Oh, go on, then, throw in some anti-capitalism and a healthy dose of communism as well, why not? Just to try and connect some dots, to try and show you the bigger picture.

So, many European countries are now closing their borders to the hordes of Syrian refugees, after opening those borders just a wee bit a short while ago. Why? Because they claim not to be able to cope with the influx of people. Why not? Because they can’t afford to feed and clothe these people and provide shelter for them. And why can’t they afford to do these things?

Money.

Now, consider this possibility for just one minute. If Money was removed completely from the equation, and absolutely everything was free and available for anyone and everyone, don’t you think the refugees would have been received with welcoming arms instead of having the door shut in their faces?

Because, with Money no longer being a factor, don’t you think most Europeans would gladly lend a hand to their fellow brothers and sisters in need? Without any financial bills to worry about whatsoever, where food is free, resources are free, transport, medical facilities, education, EVERYTHING is ABSOLUTELY FREE…don’t you think Humanity would have a good chance of stepping up to the plate and batting a home run?

Economics aside, some countries are claiming that they lack the resources to house, feed and clothe these refugees. Hello??? I know for a fact that in Ireland there are a great number of ENTIRE housing estates lying vacant, due to the recession. I’ve been to some of them. No one has bought these properties as they’d end up in negative equity…so why not give them over to the homeless, the needy, the refugees?

Money.

Greedy property developers, who still want to make a profit from their failed plans, who still want to recoup their initial investment money. Who would rather bulldoze and demolish these estates than give them over to those who need it most.

Now, everyone knows supermarkets throw out a good deal of produce that’s close to their sell-by or use-by dates. And fruit and vegetables that are not as glossy or fresh-looking as EU regulations require. That cucumber being chucked in the bin? Oh, there’s nothing wrong with it…just that it’s too curved to meet regulations. That banana? Too straight. Off to the bin they go. Why not donate all these to goodwill and charity? Why not give them to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the refugees?

Money.

EU regulations my foot. It’s the conglomerates that control the production and sale of food that tell supermarkets that they have to throw out goods after a certain time on the shelves. Use-by and sell-by dates are not accurate indicators of freshness. They’re more like statistical indicators, for manufacturers and suppliers to produce and ship more stuff. To keep the giant ferris wheel of capitalism going.

Also, in many countries, there are rules and regulations, both on a small local scale, as well as on a more global scale, that prescribe circumstances when excess or outdated goods may or may not be given away to people. Put simply, in some McDonald’s fast food franchises, employees are expressly forbidden to give away their staff lunches to homeless people sitting outside on the street. Customers are sometimes even told off for buying food for those homeless. Overall, the mentality is to make the homeless invisible as well as just homeless.

There IS more than enough food to feed the entire population on Earth. There is no need at all for anyone to due of starvation. Why are Africans still starving? It’s Not because they have no food or water. It’s because the top 1% of the world’s population, the tip of the human pyramid, the elite, the Illuminati, the “powers that be” control exactly where, when, how, who, why and what gets sent from one place to another. Africans are starving because they can’t get access to what they need, because it’s simply not filtering through to them quickly enough, and in sufficient amounts. Why?

Money.

The “powers that be” believe in profits over people. It gains them more to move food to the dumps than to Africa, so that’s how it is. Substitute “Africa” with “Syrian refugees” or “The Homeless”, “The Dispossessed”, and there you have it. The Elite don’t care if people die. Especially people at the bottom of the pyramid, who are a dime a dozen anyway, who are expandable. Profits over people, remember.

What a crying shame!

What are You going to do about it?

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Supermarket produce going to waste at a landfill site.

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A family demonstrates just how much supermarket food goes to waste.

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(There is Some light on the horizon now, thankfully!)

Baby Animals

Just some images of baby animals to brighten up your day. Courtesy of Google Images.

Why do we find babies, both human and animal, so appealing? Science has shown that it’s actually a survival mechanism. Big heads, big eyes, small mouths and little noses bring out the mothering instinct in us. Yes, in both women and men, though men tend to be a bit more stoic. If you see something that says “Cute, young, helpless” and tugs at your heartstrings, you’re more likely to pick it up and cuddle it, and take it home to feed and nurture it.

If it didn’t look cute and helpless, if instead it had rows and rows of sharp pointy teeth and even sharper claws, and little slitted eyes, you’d be more inclined to run away from it than pick it up. Especially if it looked really hungry and had a big mouth, and could run faster than you.

Enjoy these little bundles of fluffy cuteness!

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Mammatus Clouds

So, The Kid and I are cycling home late one afternoon, and I spot some pretty strange-looking clouds in the sky. This being sunny Perth, Western Australia, the skies are normally clear blue with the occasional wispy white cloud (if you’re lucky). Or, dark grey and low when it’s about to rain, which isn’t all that often, really.

That day had been just an ordinary day, no global catastrophes predicted…no, wait…it WAS the 23rd of September 2015, the day that the Earth was meant to be annihilated by a meteor. Or was that meteors…

Well, there you go. Except that event obviously did not happen.

Anyway, back to those clouds. I pointed them out to The Kid, and told him they were Mammatus Clouds.

“Mama what??” he exclaimed. And his face went red when I told him they were named after mammary glands…as in boobies.

I was able to take a couple of good shots of those Mammatus clouds when I got home, before it got too dark.

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Not the best examples, granted, but hey they Were different from the usual suspects.

Here’s a great site showing other versions of Mammatus cloud formations, some quite spectacular.

And some examples I found on Google Images
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Right

I’m right, You’re right
We’re all right
Everyone is right
To each his own
My need to be right
Is far greater than
Your need to be right
But of course you’re right
In saying Your need to be right
Is far greater than
My need to be right
We’re both right
We both just want to have the last word
I’ll let you finish your sentence
Right after you let me finish mine
I’ll hear your side of the story
Right after you’ve heard mine
I’m sure your account is accurate
Just like mine
Of course you have the right
To exercise your right
But you must allow me
To exercise my right too
Of course everyone is important
Of course everyone can have a say
But to decide who speaks first
Is the hardest part
Because most people don’t listen
To understand, but to respond
And the first one to speak
Generally gets the most responses
Crowding out everyone else’s right
To freedom of speech
And this is how
The Tower Of Babel came to be
Everyone clamouring
To exercise their right
To speak their mind
And be heard by everyone else
Everyone needing to state
That they are right
And to prove how right they are
And you know what?
I’m right, You’re right

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(Images: Google)

All Creatures Great And Small…

When I was growing up, I loved reading James Herriot‘s semi-autobiographical vet stories. I devoured all his books, I would get so engrossed in the stories that the time would just fly by.

I never entertained the thought of becoming a veterinarian, though, mainly because my father saw it fit to encourage me towards becoming a medical doctor instead. That’s where the money was, he said. Vets just didn’t carry the same social status as doctors.

He succeeded with my older brother. However, in my misspent youth, I careered off the carefully laid out tracks my father had envisioned for me. And I ended up doing a degree in Music instead, far, far away from the field of Medicine.

But now, at long last, I’ve heard the call and am answering it. Though not in the strict sense that I’m going to become a veterinarian. Hey, I’m nothing if not practical. I’m no spring chicken, and studying to become a vet (5-7 years) will take far too long. So, instead, I’m studying to become the next best thing – a Vet Nurse, which I can do in 18-24 months.

So far, so good. I’ve been getting High Distinctions on my online assessments thus far. And I’m waiting impatiently for several textbooks on veterinary nursing to arrive in the post. Why are they taking so long??!

And recently I decided to rekindle my romance with my old flame, James Herriot. Granted, his books were written many decades ago, and the man himself has long departed from this earth. But his heartwarming stories are eternal and the subject of his writing even more so. Surgical techniques may have changed, medicines may have evolved, diseases eradicated and new ones discovered, but the stories of one man’s love and compassion for all creatures great and small will continue to resonate in all of us.

Mind you, it is getting rather hard to source James Herriot’s books these days. His Omnibus and box sets are rather expensive on the secondary market. Amazon has some really cheap, affordable copies, but after factoring in international postage to Australia, the costs soon add up to Too Much. But still, you never know when one or two of James Herriot’s books might end up at your local thrift store.

A short while back, I wrote about animal relationships, and mentioned several books on the subject. One of these books was “Unlikely Loves” by Jennifer S. Holland. And guess what, a couple of days ago I felt compelled to visit Elizabeth’s Secondhand Bookshop in Perth, and I found a copy of that same book there, for a paltry AU$8.80. Happy days!

And so, being as the Universe appears to be answering a great many of my prayers these days, and helping me manifest my desires, I again felt compelled to visit my local thrift store in Rockingham today…and I was just about to leave when a large hardcover book under several other books somehow caught my eye.

Could it be? Was it possible? Yes!! It wasn’t an Omnibus or Box Set like the ones I’d seen online. This was something else altogether, something unique and special. The Best of James Herriot. AU$2.00.

And here it is, my Great Find Of The Day. It’s a sign, surely.
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As you can see from the photos above, this edition contains not only James Herriot’s own selection of stories, but also photos and descriptions of the towns mentioned in his books, a bit like a travelogue. It also has many rather quaint illustrations, and some useful and informative sidenotes on instruments, animals, farming equipment, etc.

I feel so lucky and privileged to have come into posession of this wonderful book. Thank you, Universe!! 🙂

Love Yourself First

Just some quotes that I found on Google while researching my post about how being alone can be wonderful if you’ve learnt to love yourself.

Yes, Happiness does come from within oneself, never without. And when you love yourself for the amazing, awesome person that you are, there is your Happiness. Grasp it, nurture it, never let it go again! Reclaim Your Power.

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ONE IS WONDERFUL

The breakdown of my marriage has taught me several things. Things that I’m grateful for, and that I actually thank my dearest darling (ex)husband for, because if he hadn’t decided to taste the Forbidden Fruit become a Frequent Diner at the Bar of the Forbidden Fruit last year, and if I hadn’t discovered the true extent of his infidelity and lies, I would never have embarked on my own voyage of self-discovery. So yes, strange as it may seem, I’m grateful that what happened, happened.

So, while he indulges in wanton acts of debauchery, both virtual and in real life, I’ve turned inwards instead. While he looks for happiness in the pleasures of the flesh, I’ve found my own Happiness within. While he whispers sweet nothings to his many online girlfriends, I’m looking after my own Mind, Body and Spirit. While he posts up photos of himself with leggy exotic dancers wrapped around him like a boa constrictor, with their sinuous tongues writhing in his ear, and his similarly febrile-minded friends cheer him on without a care for discretion or morals, I’m busy studying so I can get a job doing what I love, and hopefully be financially independent of him in the not too distant future.

And while he has resumed online communications with the American Cougar that first started wrecking our marriage in 2012, I’m pleased to report that I too, have fallen in love. I’ve learnt to love Myself. And it’s a simply wonderful feeling to wake up each morning and feel happy just to be on my own, and throughout the day to appreciate my own uniqueness, creativity, compassion, etc and then in the evening to curl up on the couch with my own company, my dogs at my feet, a good book and a nice hot cup of tea before bedtime. Bliss!

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So, it’s become very clear to me that my dear darling husband and I are heading in totally opposite directions. He to hedonistic hotspots in Hell. Me to pastures far greener than I’ve ever imagined. It is what it is. We make our own destinies.

I was in conversation with one of hubby’s ex-girlfriends, (yes, I’m That sort of wife who would not only strike up a friendship with her husband’s girlfriends, but also help them out of sticky situations he’s left them in. My life bears some similarities to the film “The Other Woman“, though of course I can’t compete with Cameron Diaz and her female co-stars in the looks department, and He for sure doesn’t look at all like Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, but more like a pill-shaped Minion. I’m referring to the idea that the Wife and Mistresses could become friends).

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So, this particular Other Woman. She said to me, “If you know of any man looking for a wife, tell him about me, please. I need to find a man to make me happy”. You know, I had to laugh at the absurdity of it. First of all, I don’t make it a point to go looking for men or relationships anymore. Hubby finds that hard to believe, but that’s just because of where he is right now as a person, what he’s addicted to.

Secondly, even if I did know of a man looking for a wife, this Other Woman would not come highly recommended. Not at all. After all, hasn’t she already proven that being faithful is not one of her virtues? That she doesn’t believe in the sanctity of marriage, hands off married men, don’t even go there? Oh, the irony! No use saying you were only “Practising my English”, dahling.

Thirdly, (Heterosexual) Ladies, listen up. You Don’t Need A Man to be Happy. Happiness does not rely on finding Mr Perfect (who, by the way, is just a figment of your imagination). Happiness is right here, right now, in Yourself. Learn to love Yourself first, and everything else falls in line, as Lucille Ball once said. That yearning ache in your heart, that lonely feeling, that hole in your chest? That’s not going to be filled by a Man. That is actually your Soul telling yourself to look within and you will find the Happiness you were searching for.

Now, I say this to my fellow Sisters of the World, you who have spent countless hours, days and nights fretting about how to “tame” your man so he behaves himself and isn’t tempted to stray (again). Remember that if he wants to change, nothing can stop him. But if he doesn’t want to change, he will have a million excuses. And remember also that You CANNOT change a man, only he can change himself. And that it takes a Great Man to accept that he’s flawed/made a big mistake and needs to change. Minions need not apply.

One is Wonderful because One is Loved by Oneself.
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Two, Three, One

Two
The number of Happiness and Hope
Of Plans, Ideas, Ambitions
Of Things done together
Of Safety, Security, A Common Goal
Of Dreams to be realised
Of Visions to behold
Of Places visited hand in hand
Of Sunsets witnessed
Of Kisses, Caresses
Of Whispers of Sweet Nothings
And Everything to come

Three
The number of Chaos and Turmoil
Of Lies and Deceit
Of Cunning and Stealth
Of The Grass Being Greener
Of Apathy, Boredom, Curiosity
Of Planning together to leave
Of Running Away and Hiding
Of Insatiable Carnal Appetites
Of Hurt and Confusion
Of Trying or Not Trying
And Nothing to come

One
The number of the Warrior
Of Standing Alone and Solitude
Of Stoicism and Resolve
Of Determination, Grit and Guts
Of Finding and Knowing Oneself
Of Enlightenment and Awakening
Of Leaving Things Behind
Of Loving and Caring for Oneself
Of Happiness and Hope
Of Plans, Ideas, Ambitions
Of Everything to come

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(Image from Google, quote by Alexander Den Heijer)

If Not You, Then Who?

In order for anything to change, first WE ourselves must change. You can’t keep doing things the same way and expect a different outcome. If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.

Clichés, yes, but also very true.

Right now, the World as we know it is in an unprecedented state of constant turmoil. From natural disasters, to refugee crises, to people seemingly having lost their senses and going on murderous rampages.

I see some people speaking out, whether positively or negatively according to their opinions and beliefs. But I also notice the majority of people keeping their heads down and not saying anything. Worse still, people not doing anything about it. In this day and age, ignorance is no longer bliss. You can choose to brush things under the carpet, but you can no longer pretend to Not know what’s been shown to you.

You can also no longer claim to be unaffected by events that are happening far, far away from you. We are all connected, and every single thing that happens will affect us in one way or another. You might try to deny it…but just consider this – we are all on a tiny piece of rock, hurtling at thousands of miles per hour through infinite space. But we are still on the same piece of rock, and there’s no getting away from that. What happens to anything on this third rock from the Sun, happens to everything else on it.

Those European countries that right now are putting up barbed-wire fences and walls to keep out refugees, that’s exactly the sort of mentality that the Chinese had when the Great Wall was built. And the Germans with their Berlin Wall. To keep unwanteds out. But, don’t forget that walls also keep people in. Haven’t we learnt our lesson from history yet?

Change is always happening. And it must happen, otherwise there would be no Life. It is a fact, not an idea or thought.

And that change must begin with each of us. Let’s go out there and make things happen! Stop waiting for the person next to you to go first. At the risk of sounding repetitious, I will say this once more:

If Not You, Then Who?
If Not Now, Then When?

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(Images sourced from Google).